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World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > Portugal > Porto

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Local time Porto

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Travel to Porto

Flying to Porto

Airlines operating direct flights to Porto from the UK include easyJet, Ryanair, TAP Portugal and British Airways. There are no direct flights from the USA; the quickest route is via Lisbon with TAP Portugal. Prices are fairly steady year-round, but you can find the best deals by avoiding school holidays.

Flight times

From London - 2 hours 20 minutes; New York - 9 hours (including stopover); Los Angeles - 14 hours 30 minutes (including stopover); Toronto - 9 hours (including stopover); Sydney - 28 hours (including stopover).

Travel by road

Portugal is served by a good network of trunk roads, and driving is a relatively good option for getting around the country. As with any large city, Porto itself can get congested and finding parking is not always easy.

Traffic drives on the right and the minimum driving age is 18. Speed limits are 120kph (75mph) or 100kph (62mph) on motorways, 90kph (56mph) outside built-up areas and 50kph (30mph) in towns.

EU driving licences are sufficient – non-EU visitors are advised to obtain International Driving Permits. If taking your own car, a Green Card is advisable, though not compulsory for EU travellers.

The national motoring association Automóvel Club de Portugal (ACP) (tel: +351 21 318 0100; www.acp.pt) can offer assistance to motorists belonging to an automobile club with whom the ACP has a reciprocal agreement.

Emergency breakdown services

ACP (tel: +351 707 509 510).

Routes

Porto is well connected to Portugal’s national motorway network. The city is linked to three motorways: A1 Lisbon, with a connection to the Algarve; A3 Valença (Minho), with a connection to Galicia, and A4 Amarante (Trás-os-Montes), with a connection to Bragança.

Coaches

There are several bus companies operating in and from Porto. Rede Expressos (tel: +351 707 223 344; www.rede-expressos.pt) has a wide network of buses going to most cities in Portugal. Buses depart from the Paragem Atlântico terminal, Rua Alexandre Herculano 370.

Internorte, Praça da Galiza 96 (tel: +351 707 200 512; www.internorte.pt), works with Eurolines (tel: +44 871 781 8177, in the UK; www.eurolines.com) to provide services between Porto and numerous other cities across Europe.

Time to city

From Galicia - 2 hours 30 minutes; Lisbon - 3 hours; the Algarve - 5 hours.

Travel by Rail

Services

Porto has excellent rail links to the rest of the country.

Campanhã Station, Largo da Estação de Campanhã, is Porto’s main railway station with international, national and regional services. The beautiful San Bento Station, Praça Almeida Garret, is located in the city centre and offers suburban and regional services. Suburban trains depart for Braga, Guimarães and Marco de Canaveses. Several trains link these two stations.

Operators

The main railway operator is CP (tel: +351 707 210 220; www.cp.pt). There are frequent services between Porto and the capital, Lisbon.

Journey times

From Lisbon - 2 hours 30 minutes; Coimbra - 1 hour.

Book Accommodation

Featured Hotels

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Pestana Porto

One of the most popular boutique hotels in Porto, the Pestana Porto has a fantastic location down by the riverfront, overlooking the river and with a view across to the port wine cellars of Vila Gaia di Nova. There are 63 rooms, a restaurant offering a wide range of regional and national dishes and a bar with live music. The hotel also has several meeting and conference rooms. Bicycle hire is also available.

Quality Inn Porto

Centrally located on Batalha Square (Praça da Batalha), the Quality Inn Porto is convenient, with the river and all the main attractions within a few minutes' walk. All guest rooms have air-conditioning as well as internet contact points.

HF Ipanema Porto

A short walk from the city centre, and close to several leading attractions, the HF Ipanema Porto offers comfortable accommodation at a very reasonable price. The aim is to provide a relaxing environment; the bar is quiet and the restaurant offers a range of international cuisine.

Sheraton Porto

This hotel opened its doors in 2003 and is one of the most luxurious hotels in Porto. Housed in an elegant 12-storey building it has 266 rooms and suites as well as an excellent restaurant and bar. The spa offers a range of health treatments, a high-tech gym, a Zen studio offering yoga classes, an indoor swimming pool and a mixed sauna and Turkish bath.

Hotel America

With 22 basic but comfortable rooms, the Hotel América is ideal for those seeking cheap hotels in Porto. It is situated in the heart of the main shopping district in the city centre, and despite its low prices, offers extras such as air conditioning, a mini bar in the room, security safes, a snack bar and pool room.

Hotel Ibis Centro Porto

Following the French chain's successful formula as applied over the whole of Europe, the Hotel Ibis Centro Porto is exactly what it says on the tin: a modern, budget hotel offering basic but clean and comfortable accommodation without the frills of luxury. It's a good choice either if you're on a budget, or simply don't intend to spend a lot of time in the room.