Traffic in Portugal

Hello everyone,

Which city or area do you live in in Portugal, and how do you find the traffic?

How long does it take to commute to work or run errands?

Is there a rush hour in your city? What times of the day would you recommend people to avoid driving if they can?

Are there any ways to avoid spending too much time in traffic in Portugal?

What is parking availability and cost like?

Thank you for sharing your experience.


Traffic is really odd here, in large part owing to the fact of the concentration of the population in Lisboa and Porto. It means that, at any time during any day, traffic in, into and out of, the big cities is pretty unbearable. I take the train into Lisbon centre, because it takes perhaps half the time of driving, most of the time.

Outside of the biggest cities though, there is very little traffic. Huge, high quality motorways run up, down and across the countries and have very little traffic on them. So it's something of a dichotomy!

Living in the Algarve, much of the traffic is seasonal , albeit that the season is getting longer as each year goes by. During Nov-April the A22 is almost empty at least until Albufeira/Faro.
The 125 remains a disaster area in spite of some upgrades.  New roundabouts have been constructed at every possible opportunity and the locals seem to navigate them as some sort of game to see just how fast they can get round !  I have driven in many major European cities including Paris/Barcelona/Madrid/Frankfurt and London and I would suggest that the biggest problem here is a generally poor standard of driving. It’s not only the boy racers, it’s also Grandma in the Golf GTI !

I am in Lagos in the Western Algarve. The traffic in town varies seasonally but is never really a major problem. My 10 min winter journey to the gym may take 15 during the summer - mainly because of pedestrians on the crossings rather than volume of traffic. I may have to wait 2 minutes at a roundabout occasionally but there are worse things in life!

If you travel outside of the town you may experience more congestion on the N125 during summer. This is worse when there is roadworks (which seem to be a permanent feature). I have never experienced traffic problems on the A22 (toll road) at any time of year.

If I ever experience any traffic issues anywhere in Portugal,  I only have to remind myself what the traffic was like in the UK or other places I have lived to keep things in perspective.

Having driven into London from kent for the last 30 years dealing with the snow the M25 the roadworks on the A2 marble Arch and hyde Park Corner driving to Lisbon is a doddle!
Only complaint is the way the Portuguese tailgate you at high speed forcing you to move.
If anyone did that in UK the brakes would be applied very sharply. However thats the excepted norm here and the rest of Europe it seems.
Parking in Lisbon is very cheap compared to Uk and between 1 and 14.20 pm the EMEL have lunch so free parking!!

I am sure there are other experiences!!

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