Traveling by plane
According to top-medical-schools, TAP Air Portugal (TP) flies to Lisbon, Faro, Porto Santo, Oporto, Funchal on Madeira and the Azores. The airline SATA (Sociedade Açoriana de Transportes Aereos) (SP) (www.sata.pt) connects the individual Azores islands with each other and with mainland Portugal and other European and non-European cities.
Traveling by car/bus
Portugal has a well-developed road network. Petrol stations are open 7am-8pm, some have 24-hour service; sometimes there is a small fee for paying by credit card. Unleaded petrol is readily available. Tolls: Motorways are subject to tolls in Portugal. Fees are based on vehicle type and distance. Tolls are only paid electronically on some sections of the motorway. These sections are marked “Electronic toll only”. In order to be able to pass through the toll portals without stopping, vehicles with foreign license plates must be registered here in advance. Depending on the system selected, the electronic toll is paid in advance or deducted from a credit balance or credit card. At conventional (non-electronic) toll stations, a ticket is drawn, which is paid for in cash or by credit card (Master, Visa) when exiting or changing the highway. Payment by credit card is not possible on some motorways, eg A7, A8, A11, A15, A17 (south of Mira). EASYToll – suitable for stays of up to 30 days and when entering via an electronically toll motorway. At the “Welcome Points”, which are located on the motorways near the border (A28 – Viana do Castelo; A24 – Chaves; A25 – Vilar Formoso; A22 – Vila Real de Santo António), you can pay with your credit card at the machine. The credit card is assigned the license plate number for 30 days. The receipt serves as proof of payment and must be carried with you. TOLLCard – suitable for travelers who stay longer or more often in Portugal. It is valid for one year and can be purchased at the above mentioned border crossings, Portuguese Post Office (CTT) branches, online (www.tollcard.pt) and in tourist information offices. Great service – suitable for short stays. The toll is paid in advance. The ticket is valid for vehicle classes 1 and 2 for any number of journeys for 3 days. Via Verde Visitors – suitable for longer stays of up to 90 days; can also be extended (www.viaverde.pt). The system is not tied to a license plate. You rent a transmitter that is attached to the inside of the windshield. Dispositivo Temporário (DT) – the Post’s transmitter model. This transmitter is also valid for 90 days. It must be topped up with a minimum balance. Payment is by credit card or in cash. Any remaining credit will not be refunded. More information on how to pay for each route for vehicles with foreign registration plates is available at www.portugaltolls.com.
Right-hand traffic/left-hand traffic
A distinction is made between AE-Auto-Estradas (motorways), IP-Itinerarios Principais (express roads), IC-Itinerarios Complementares (subordinate expressways), EN-Estradas Nacionais (national roads) and EM-Estradas Municipais (country roads).
Traveling in the city
Lisbon has a tram, a metro (Metropolitano) with 4 lines (blue, yellow, green and red) and two municipal bus companies, Scotturb and Carris. Metro operating hours are 6:30 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. daily. All major Portuguese cities have a tram network. Porto has a subway. Taxis are everywhere. They have taximeters. A single fare applies within the city limits, which includes 4 passengers; outside the city, the fare is calculated according to kilometers traveled; the cost of the return journey may be included in the final price. Tipping is optional and is usually around 5-10% of the fare or rounding it up.
Locally on the way by train
The Portuguese State Railways (Caminhos de Ferro Portugueses) maintain rail connections to all cities. Trains run every hour between the larger cities. The main trains have dining cars and minibars. Fast trains run regularly from Lisbon to the resort areas of Cascais and Sintra. Alfa pendular high-speed trains run from Lisbon to the Algarve; they also run to the north of the country, for example to Porto, Braga or Guimarães with stops in Coimbra and Aveiro. Intercity trains operate on the Lisbon-Porto-Braga, Lisbon-Guarda, Lisbon-Covilhã, Lisbon-Alentejo and Lisbon-Algarve routes. Fertagus trains operate in Lisbon (www.fertagus.
The Interrail One Country Pass and the Interrail Global Pass are also valid in Portugal.
Note on the train journey
Fare reductions: Deutsche Bahn offers various group and family tickets. Seniors over 65 receive a 50% discount. Children up to 3 years ride for free, children between 4 and 11 years pay half price. The European Youth Card offers discounts of 25% for young people between the ages of 12 and 30. More information can be obtained from the Portuguese State Railways (see above). InterRail passes are also valid in Portugal, see Germany for details. More information from all DB, ÖBB and SBB agencies. For more information on family passes, inclusive rail travel and tourist tours, contact the Tourist Office or the Portuguese State Railways Caminhos de Ferro Portugueses. Tel. 00 351 707 210 220 (www.cp.pt).
Traveling by ship
Ferries operate between many places on the coast and on the larger rivers, such as the Transtejo. Nicko Cruises offers, among other things, river cruises on the Douro.