Buses Portugal: How to Ride a Bus in Portugal
Buses are a popular mode of transportation in Portugal. They are used widely, and there are many bus companies operating throughout the country. Some bus companies offer connections to other European countries as well.
Bus tickets are typically the most affordable and the routes are extensive, making it a convenient option to travel around Portugal for many travelers.
Buses in Portugal are clean and modern, offering comfortable seating and air conditioning.
The only problem with buses in Portugal is not riding them, but figuring out the minor details, like who your operator will be, how to buy the cheapest ticket (and there are some tricks!), and where your bus stop or bus station is.
Let’s make sense of all these aspects of traveling in Portugal by bus in this blog.
What types of buses are available in Portugal?
In Portugal, there are primarily two types of buses: coach and local. Coaches are usually newer and come with amenities like air conditioning and Wi-Fi. They connect cities and large towns, with trips ranging from one hour to several hours. Local buses could be bit older but still functional, and are mainly used to connect small villages and towns.
There are four types of buses available:
Alta Qualidade (deluxe, high-speed services between major cities),
Expressos (comfortable, fast services between major cities),
Rapidas (quick regional connections),
Carreiras (slower regional services stopping at most small towns).
Bus companies in Portugal
Major bus companies operating in Portugal include Rede Expressos, Rodo-Norte and FlixBus. There are a few smaller companies as well. Rede Expressos is a main operator and runs services between major Portuguese cities. Rodo-Norte serves northern regions, while Eva Transportes operates in the southern Algarve.
Carris operates buses in Lisbon and Flixbus offers routes from Portugal to other European destinations. All these operators offer modern buses with comfortable seating, reliable AC and Wi-Fi.
Let’s take a look at each operator and what they offer.
Rede Expressos is a national bus operator, that offers services for both domestic and international travel. They have a wide range of bus routes that connect various cities across Portugal, providing a convenient and affordable way to travel.
Their buses are comfortable and modern, and offer amenities such as air conditioning, onboard restrooms, and free Wi-Fi. They also have a loyalty program called the Rede Expressos Card, which rewards frequent travelers with discounts on their trips.
Book tickets on-line and in advance, to save yourself up to 300 % off the fare.
Rodoviária de Lisboa
Rodoviária de Lisboa is a bus operator that operates in the Lisbon metropolitan area. The company provides bus services to several destinations within the city of Lisbon, as well as to other towns and cities in the surrounding region.
For slower, more affordable transport, use Rede Expressos, Rodonorte, and Vamus.
GOOD TO KNOW
Do you know that buses are not only convenient and affordable way to travel in Europe, but also a wonderful way to see a country? You can enjoy watching a scenery or beautiful old buildings from your window.
Also, because countries in Europe are so close to each other, you can conveniently reach many European destinations on a bus.
Rodonorte operates public transport in Portugal, primarily in the north, including Braga, Porto and Viana do Castelo, with additional operations in Lisbon and the south. Rodonorte has offices and ticket booths at several major bus stations across the country, including Lisbon’s Sete Rios Station and Porto’s Campo 24 de Agosto Station.
While the company also offers online booking for its services on its website, it is marked as unsafe on the web. So it might be better to book from well know official bus tickets resellers like GetBus , Omio or others.
Rodonorte has bus counters where it sells bus tickets (bilheteiras) in Amarante, Braganca, Felgueiras, Lamego, Lixa, Vila Real, Porto, Mirandela and Macedo Cavaleiros. One of the phone numbers for contacting them is : 255 422 194
Vamus operates in the Algarve area.
Tel: 300 074 830
EVA Transportes is a bus company that operates in the Algarve region of Portugal. The company provides bus services to several destinations within the region, including cities such as Faro, Albufeira, and Lagos. The company operates several different types of buses, including standard buses, express buses, and luxury coaches, and it offers a range of services to suit different travel needs, including airport transfers, intercity travel, and sightseeing tours.
P.S. Vamus (above) operates under EVA transport.
Frota Azul Algarve
Frota Azul is a small bus company, operating around Portimão in Algarve.
Their website is not secure, so it’s better to use MooveIt App website to figure out the buses routes.
The company operates 2 routes. One is a shuttle, and another one is bus #76, that goes from Portimao to Lagoa.
Renex is a bus company, offering a range of domestic and international routes to destinations throughout Portugal and beyond. It has a fleet of modern buses that are equipped with air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, and other amenities, and it offers a range of ticket options.
There are more bus companies in Portugal, but some of them don’t have online services; the tickets can only be bought at the local bus station and there you can also check the timetables. The local bus stations: Rodoviária and Camionagem would be the best places to check routes, timetables, and buy bus tickets.
A note - even though Rede Expressos, Rodoviaria do Alentejo, Rodonorte, Rodotejo, Frota Azul, and EVA are private companies, they all provide transportation services to members of the public, which is the main criterion for a company to be considered a public transport provider. These companies offer bus and coach services in Portugal, and they are regulated by the government to ensure their services are safe, accessible, and affordable to the general public.
Renex Bus Terminal in Porto.
FlixBus is one of the popular bus company that operates in Portugal, offering a range of domestic and international routes to destinations throughout the country and beyond. The company operates a fleet of modern buses that are equipped with air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, and other amenities, and it offers cheap tickets.
Here is a breakdown of:
FlixBus popular routes in Portugal, including locations of its stops, and the how to find the cheapest ticket on their website.
What is the best way to book a bus in Portugal?
The best way to book a bus ticket in Portugal is to use the online booking service provided by Omio. You can also use Omio to find the cheapest way to travel around Europe.
Omio is a great booking platform with many partners.
The best thing about Omio - it gives you choices of traveling by a bus, a train or flying. As you can see from the screenshot of my example, looking for a way from Lisbon to Faro - Omio found a better deal on the train, rather than choosing a bus. A €12 train ticket to Algarve is not a bad deal at all! Though, if you book father in advance, here is even cheaper €8 ticket on Flixbus for a trip in June (booked in May).
Booking on Omio
Booking on Omio is easy, but just in case - here is a walkthrough of the process.
Here are the steps to follow:
Visit Omio’s website and select if you want to travel by bus or train. Then select all the options, dates, cities, etc.
Enter your contact details and payment information.
You will receive a confirmation email and an e-ticket.
Show your e-ticket or mobile ticket at the bus station to board the bus.
Omio return policy:
The ticket is valid only for the designated bus. The ticket may be canceled or changed free up to 48 hours before departure, subject to a 20% fee up to 24 hours before departure, and a 30% fee up to 2 hours before departure. The ticket cannot be canceled or altered within 2 hours of departure.
There are many bus terminals in Portugal, some serving just one specific bus operator. Lisbon and Portugal have 5-6 each. This confuses many. So, I am listing all the major bus stations in Portugal here to clear things up.
Bus terminals in Portugal (long distance travel)
Bus terminals of Rede Expressos in Lisbon
Rede Expressos uses several bus terminals in Lisbon, including:
1. Sete Rios Bus Station: located in the northwest part of Lisbon and is served by several Rede Expressos routes.
2. Oriente Bus Station: located near the Parque das Nações district, this bus station is also served by Rede Expressos and is a convenient option if you are heading to or from the airport.
3. Campo Grande Bus Station: located in the northern part of Lisbon.
4. Lisbon Airport: Rede Expressos also operates a bus service to and from Lisbon Airport, with stops at both the domestic and international terminals.
5. Rossio Square: in addition to the larger bus stations, Rede Expressos also has a stop at Rossio Square in the historic center, making it a convenient option if you are staying in the downtown area. Check if it's open, though: the Pandemic and changes in tourism cause it to be closed at certain times.
Flixbus Portugal stop in Lisbon
Flixbus stop in Lisbon is located by train Oriente station at Lisboa Oriente .
Renex bus service and Rede Expressos also have stops in the same building. It’s easy to find; follow the link above.
Renex bus stop in Lisbon
Renex bus stop in Lisbon is located near the Oriente station in Lisbon. It's right by Oceanario de Lisboa and the Casino de Lisboa.
FlixBus and Rede Expressos also have stops in the same building. It’s easy to find; follow the link above.
Bus terminals in Porto
There are a few bus terminals in Porto, each serving the specific bus operator (s). This confuses many. So, I am listing all the major bus stations and terminals in Portugal here (and their new locations).
Porto Bus Station
Porto Bus station is an open air bus station right next to Camphanha train station. It serves Rede Expressos 1-91 (routes) buses.
Don’t confuse it with Campanhã Bus terminal.
Campanhã Bus terminal
FLIXBUS PORTO is located withing Campanhã Bus terminal and serves Flix buses. (this in NOT Porto Bus Station; that one is the next building. )
Rede Expressos in Porto
Porto (Campo 24 de Agosto)
The Rede Expressos bus station in Porto is located at in the city center. It is a modern and well-equipped bus station with several amenities, including ticket counters, waiting areas, restrooms, and food and beverage shops.
The bus station is easily accessible via public transportation, with several bus and metro lines stopping nearby. There is a cute park nearby to wait for your bus on one of its benches.
Rodonorte - Port Bus Terminal (new location in Porto!)
Rodonorte, a major bus transportation company in Portugal, has the new location in Porto for its Port Bus Terminal. Port Bus Terminal is now ( since 2022) located near metro Polo Universitário. Take a note about the new location! The old location was just a warehouse with seats, the new one is much nicer.
There are ticket counters where passengers can purchase tickets for Rodonorte and other bus companies operating from the terminal, as well as waiting areas with comfortable seating, food options and air conditioning.
Park of the Camellias Bus Terminal
Central Bus Station in Lagos or
Terminal Rodoviário de Lagos
Terminal Rodoviário in Evora
A note: While this is a modern and well-equipped bus terminal, it is worth noting that it’s located on the outskirts, by the city cemetery. You might have a hard time figuring out the city bus going there, so, just in case, leave plenty of time for walking. You will be questioning yourself, if you are even walking in the right direction, especially once you arrive to the cemetery!:) Don’t worry, there is a nice surprise waiting for you!
The surprise would be to see how modern the station is. It has indoor waiting areas, restrooms, vending machines, and ticket counters where you can purchase tickets, inquire about schedules, and get information about destinations.
You will have a much better time figuring out your ride to the station, if you know it is called not a bus station, but Terminal Rodoviário in Evora. This will help you to find a better response from Google maps.
Sometimes, the language barrier is a real thing, even when searching for something on Google map!
Bus station Faro - Terminal Rodoviário Faro - Próximo - Bus Station
The Bus Station in Faro is a modern and well-equipped bus terminal that serves as a major transportation hub in the Algarve region of Portugal. From the station, you can easily access Faro’s city center, it’s located right by Faro’s marina.
The station has a tiny indoor waiting area, a restroom, a café, vending machines, and ticket counters where you can purchase tickets. Faro Bus Station has connections to the train station, located nearby, making it a convenient option for those who need to make transfers between the two modes of transportation.
A note - Faro has two more bus stations.
Alsa bus station is located inside of the same terminal as above.
FlixBus has a different location. Here is a link to my post about finding FlixBus station in Paro (tricky!)
Bus station Tavira - Bus terminal Rua pelames 8800 Tavira
The bus station in Tavira (more like one large empty room) is located in the town center and is easily accessible by foot, bike or car. It is right on the river. You can walk to your hotel from there - Tavira is not that large.
Olhão Bus Terminal-Terminal Rodoviário de Olhão
The bus station in Olhao is hard to identify. It is small and has a small hall with a ticket booth in an unidentifiable ordinary building, so it’s hard to figure out that there is a bus station inside. So, if you arrive to Olhao by bus, make a note of the stations’ location, so you can find it again for the return trip.
Buses to Portugal (INTERNATIONAL)
Several neighborhood countries in Europe have bus routes to Portugal
Bus Portugal Spain and Buses from Spain to Portugal.
There are several buses that travel from Spain to Portugal.
Here is a list of bus operators, serving the routes:
1. FlixBus - operates daily buses from Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia to Lisbon, Porto and other destinations in Portugal. Read my guide about FlixBus ride from Faro, Algarve to Seville, Spain.
2. Alsa - offers daily buses from Madrid, Seville, Malaga and other cities in Spain to Lisbon, Porto and other destinations in Portugal.
3. Avanza - operates daily buses from Salamanca, Caceres and other cities to Lisbon, Porto and other destinations in Portugal.
5. Rede Expressos - operates daily buses from Lisbon and Porto to several cities in Spain including Madrid, Salamanca and Vigo.
The most popular bus routes from Portugal to Spain are:
Porto to Bilbao
Porto to Madrid
Porto to Santiago de Compostela
Porto to Seville
Porto to Barcelona
Porto to Zaragoza
Lisbon to Madrid
Lisbon to Seville
Lisbon to Malaga
Lisbon to Barcelona
Lisbon to Badajos
Lisbon to Alicante
Lisbon to Benidorm
Lisbon to Bilbao
Lisbon to San Sebastian
Faro to Seville
A note: Did you know that since May 2019, Eurolines has been bought by Flixbus? So, you can just book that ticket of Flix site.
Bus Portugal France
What are the bus options from Portugal to France, you might wonder?
There are several bus options for traveling from Portugal to France:
1. Flixbus: Flixbus offers several routes from Portugal to France including Lisbon to Paris, Porto to Paris, and Lisbon to Bordeaux.
2. Eurolines: Eurolines offers bus services from Lisbon to Paris, Lisbon to Bordeaux, and Lisbon to Marseille.
3. ALSA: ALSA offers services from Lisbon to Paris, Lisbon to Toulouse, and Lisbon to Marseille.
4. BlaBlaBus: BlaBlaBus offers routes from Lisbon to Paris, Lisbon to Toulouse, and Lisbon to Bordeaux.
5. Renex: Renex offers services from Lisbon to Paris and Lisbon to Marseille.
6. Rede Expressos: Rede Expressos offers services from Lisbon to Paris via a connection in Madrid.
7. Intercentro: Intercentro offers services from Lisbon to Paris via a connection in San Sebastian.
Buses to Porto
If you are looking for reliable and comfortable bus options from Lisbon to Porto (Oporto), there are several companies that offer service on this route. The breakdown of all the options and prices is in my other blog.
bus routes in Portugal (local)
There are several bus routes that pass through Largo, Portugal. Some of the most popular routes include:
1. Bus route 1: This route connects Largo to the nearby town of Albufeira. It runs several times a day and takes about 40 minutes.
2. Bus route 2: This route connects Largo to the city of Portimão. It runs several times a day and takes about an hour.
3. Bus route 3: This route connects Largo to the city of Faro. It runs several times a day and takes about an hour and 30 minutes.
4. Bus route 4: This route connects Largo to the town of Lagos. It runs several times a day and takes about an hour and 15 minutes.
5. Bus route 5: This route connects Largo to the town of Tavira. It runs several times a day and takes about an hour and 45 minutes.
There are also several local bus routes that run within Largo and the surrounding areas. These routes often connect to the larger regional bus routes and can be used to travel to specific destinations within Largo.
What are the bus travel options for Faro, Portugal? It is possible to travel from Lisbon Oriente to Faro with Flixbus, with some journeys also extending to Olhão and Tavira.
Are there discounts available for bus travel in Portugal?
Yes, there are discounts available for bus travel in Portugal. Large bus companies such as Rede Expressos, Eva Transport, Carris and STCP offer various discounts for children, seniors, and groups of three to nine people.
Depending on the company, discounts range from 25% to 50%. For example, Rede Expressos has a Family & Friends 50% discount for weekends, and Eva Transport has a three-day pass for €30.40 and a seven-day pass for €38. Rede Expressos also offers discounted coach tickets for certain groups, such as seniors (65 or older), youths (13-29), children (4-12), babies (up to 4 years old) and military (65 or older) - you must show the ID when asked.
What are the different Portugal bus passes?
In Portugal, there are three types of bus passes available, each offering different benefits and services.
Single fare ticket, which is used for one-time trips and can be purchased at bus stations or online. Prices vary depending on the region, with Lisbon’s single fare ticket costing €2.00, Porto costing €1.25, the Algarve costing €1.85, and Coimbra costing €1.60.
It’s better to buy VIVA viagem zapping card.
The Monthly Pack, which allows customers to explore different areas of the country on a daily basis. These passes are available in Lisbon, Porto, the Algarve, and Coimbra, and the fares are €40, €30, €50, and €30 respectively.
The Pro-Tip, which offers discounts for expats and frequent travelers who use the bus regularly. This pass allows customers to save money on their bus trips and is available in all regions.
Portugal offers a variety of different bus passes that make exploring the country convenient and cost-effective.
How can I find the best deals for bus travel in Portugal?
Step 1: Research the different bus companies that operate in Portugal. There are 7 bus lines with scheduled service in the country, including Lisbon’s Carris, Porto’s STCP, the Algarve’s Rede Expressos and Eva Transport, and Coimbra’s SMTUC.
Step 2: Check FlixBus for international trips, as this is the bus company with the most frequent international trips. Remember to check visa requirements for entry. Check Rede Expressos for the domestic trip.
Step 3: Use Omio to compare and purchase bus tickets online. This website provides mobile ticketing and makes it easy to look up tickets, see when there are cheaper and better bus options available, and purchase tickets without needing to print anything out.
Step 4: Consider the Monthly Pack if you’re a new expat. This is a great option to help yourself feel at home by exploring different places.
Step 5: Look up the tariffs for each region. Lisbon’s fare for a single trip is €2.00 and the monthly pack fare is €40. The rate for Porto is €1.25 for a single trip and €30 for a monthly pack, while the Algarve’s fee is €1.85 for a single trip and €50 for a monthly pack.
Step 6. You can book tickets online or buy them at bus stations and ticket desks, where you can also check the scheduls.
Tips for riding buses in Portugal
Buy tickets online or at bus stations and ticket desks. It is recommended to check the bus schedules and book tickets in advance to ensure availability and avoid last-minute hassles, especially when traveling between Friday afternoon and Sunday evening.
Know that services may be reduced at weekends, and also that buses are not necessarily the best option for remote beaches and some of the natural parks.
Know your bus stop! This is the most important part! Read my section on all (and it times - confusing!) bus stations in Portuga.
And as always, it helps to know some basic Portuguese phrases. Saying Com licença (excuse me) and Obrigado (thank you) will be appreciated by the locals
When riding a regional train makes more sense
Why is it sometimes better to ride a regional train in Portugal?
Riding a regional train in Portugal has several advantages. Firstly, regional trains are the most affordable way to get around the country as they have discounted tickets when you book in advance. Regional trains also have a much wider coverage area than buses, so they are perfect for long-distance trips. Additionally, regional trains are known for being reasonably fast and stopping frequently, making them ideal for shorter journeys.
In terms of comfort, regional trains have air-conditioning and only offer second class quality seating. This is great for those who are on a budget and not in a hurry to reach their destination. Furthermore, regional trains can often be more convenient than buses because they are not limited to the city center, meaning that they can be used to reach even the most remote locations.
How can I find bus timetables in Portugal?
Here is what you can do:
Check the websites or mobile apps of intercity carriers for timetables and live departure information.
Visit the websites of bus companies like FlixBus (for international trips) and Rede Expressos (for domestic travel).
Visit Omio. Check timetable and buy ticket on-line
Visit BusBud. Check timetable and buy ticket on-line. Some of their customers reviews mention difficulties returning tickets in case you can’t make the trip. However, I would suggest use them if you know you’ll keep the ticket, because they offer great prices from many different operators. See the screenshot https://www.busbud.com/en/bt/bus-tickets
Book tickets online through Wanderu for the 7 bus lines with scheduled service in Portugal. https://www.wanderu.com/ In my opinion, though, they offer less choices, and also less relevant choices, like this one. A search Lisbon to Porto shouldn’t produce an offer to only go to Porto airport Oporto, but not the city of Porto. See the screenshot.
Visit local bus stations (Rodoviária or Camionagem) for local services, timetables, and travel routes of buses, operated by bus companies that don’t have websites (or have confusing websites). You can buy your ticket there.
You can also purchase tickets from the bus station offices or from the ticket desks (often in cafés by the bus stop/station). Additionally, you can book tickets in advance for express buses by calling 969 50 20 50.
I hope you I was able to help you figure out the bus system in how to travel Portugal by bus.
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