There are a few ways to travel from the Portuguese capital of Lisbon to the northern city of Porto. A distance of just over 300 kilometres means its just a few hours drive, by bus or on the train and less than an hour by plane. Each of these have their pros and cons, but to fly is usually the cheapest and quickest option – although you’ll need to factor in time to and from the airports, too. It’s also possible to drive, but the cost of renting a car as well as paying at the several tolls between the cities mean your bill will soon rack up.
There are two options when travelling by train, the first is the express train which takes 2.5 hours and costs €30.30 and the second is the cheaper low speed train taking 3 hours and costing €24.30. The benefits of the train is that they’re air conditioned, smooth and give you time to see more of the country outwith the main tourist hot spots.
The main company running the route between Lisbon and Porto is Rede Expressos which run luxurious, modern coaches along Route 50 and Route 11. Although the former is around 30 minutes quicker than the latter, both routes cost the same €19/€9/€15 (adult/child/senior). The buses are said to be more comfortable and spacious than the trains, and considering they only take a while longer and are cheaper, I think if you’re using public transport then they’re the way to go.
The plane journey between Lisbon and Porto is around 45 minutes, but time taken to get to the airport, through security and checked in means the total time spent travelling by plane is around the same time as the train and bus take. When we flew this route last year, the flight with Ryanair cost only £7 with hand luggage and a handbag. Planes are easier than trains or buses, and if you’re easily bored then moving around for the three hours might be easier for you than sitting in the one spot for a few hours.