It is important to be aware of means of transportation which are available in Portugal if you are moving there. Here is an overview.
Portugal has nothing to envy to other European countries regarding transports infrastructures and facilities. The country enjoys a modern and developed transports infrastructure, whether in terms of rail or route. You are free to choose if you prefer to travel by train, by bus or by car.
Portuguese buses are regular, punctual and comfortable. However, traveling by bus can be more expensive than by train. The most important bus companies connect the major Portuguese cities to outskirts and rural regions. But you can also find many local bus companies in remote cities and villages. For your leisure travel, on the other hand, you can opt for tour coaches.
Bus is definitely the most popular means of transport in Portugal. Hence, advance booking is recommended for long routes. As regards coaches, you can book your seats on the eve of your scheduled date of departure.
There are different types of trains in Portugal: the Alfa Pendular, the Inter-Regionais and the Intercidade. The Alfa Pendular is the most rapid and comfortable train. It connects Faro to Braga, that is, the South to the North, passing through Porto, Coimbra and Lisbon. It is also known to be a silent and clean train. The Interner-Regionais, on the other hand, are omnibuses which connect different regions to one other. Intercidades, for their part, are more rapid and connect the different cities to one another. You also have the Regionais which is Portugal's biggest railway network.
Note that railway companies update their schedule indicators and their railway map at least twice a year. You can obtain all related information at train stations and tourism offices. But you can also check out latest news updates on the Comboios de Portugal website.
Good to know:
Passengers are authorized to get on and get off at specific stops. You are advised to be careful.
Advance booking is required to travel by the Intercidades and the Alfa Pendular. You can also opt for the Rover Tickets which are valid for 7, 14 and 21 days, whether for 1st class or economic class. You can also use these tickets in the Coimbra region.
Portugal has a modern road infrastructure. However, you are required to be careful in cities and conglomerations. In fact, the speed limit is fixed at 50 km/h in cities. Those who do not meet up these regulations will definitely have to stop at the next red lights.
You will also find main and complementary roads where the speed limit is fixed at 100 km/h. Moreover, switching on headlights during the day as at night is compulsory on some roads, namely the IP4 and IP5.
Speed limit is fixed at 90 km/h on national and municipal roads marked N and M respectively whereas on motorways (autoestrada) marked A, speed limit is fixed at 120 km/h. Note that A roads are subject to the toll system.
Good to know:
Portuguese authorities are currently replacing the toll posts by an electronic tolling system which requires an electronic pass. You are hence advised to look for 'Electronic Toll Only' signboards.
Comboios de Portugal www.cp.pt
Rede Expressos www.rede-expressos.pt
Portugal Tolls www.portugaltolls.pt
Transportes publicos www.transportespublicos.pt