Country info: Portugal
Rail companies: CP (Comboios de Portugal)
Portuguese Rail Network Map
Train travel in Portugal: train types, tickets, fares, discounts & other useful info
National Train Service:
Train types in Portugal: Urban (urbano)/Suburban (suburbano), Regional/InterRegional, InterCidades (InterCity), Alfa Pendular & International (internacionais) trains
- Urban / Suburban (marked by specific names like 'Azambuja', 'Sado', 'Aveiro', etc. on CP website): trains serving urban & suburban areas of Lisbon & Porto, no seat reservation required
- Regional / InterRegional (marked as 'R' & 'IR' on CP website): short & medium distance service on regional routes all over Portugal, no seat reservation required
- InterCidades (marked as 'IC' on CP website): intercity service connecting major Portugal cities & towns, seat reservation compulsory
- Alfa Pendular (marked as 'AP' on CP website): high-speed service on CP major line Faro-Lisbon-Coimbra-Porto-Braga, seat reservation mandatory
- International (marked as 'IN'): daytime (Porto to Vigo) & overnight (Lisbon to Madrid 'Lusitânia' and Lisbon to Irun/Hendaye 'Sud-Expresso') international trains connecting Portugal with Spain & France
Discounts, special offers & ways to save money for passengers traveling by trains in Portugal (CP):
- Passengers purchasing tickets in advance can take advantage of CP special offer allowing 40%-65% discount on journeys using InterCidades & Alfa Pendular trains (e.g. from Lisbon to Porto for as low as 9,50 euro on InterCity trains or 11 euro on Alfa Pendular trains). Discounted tickets like this can be purchased as early as 60 days (but no less than 5 days) before the actual journey, but keep in mind that such cheap tickets cannot be exchanged or refunded.
- Passengers planning short or medium distance trips in Portugal can save some money by using slightly slower Regional & InterRegional trains instead of more expensive InterCidades & Alfa Pendular trains. For instance, full fare standard ticket for the journey from Lisbon to Coimbra on Regional trains costs only 13,70 euro, while the same journey on InterCidades trains will cost passenger 19,20 euro, on Alfa Pendular trains even higher - 22,80 euro. So if you are not in a hurry, why not to save some money?
- Passengers purchasing full price return tickets (Regional, InterRegional, InterCidades & Alfa Pendular trains) for distance >91 km receive 10% discount
- Youth passengers <26 years old recieve 25% discount on all the tickets for Regional, InterRegional, InterCidades & Alfa Pendular trains
- Seniors (> 65 years old) receive 50% discount on all the domestic & 25% on international tickets
- TrainSharing is a discount allowing 3 or 4 people buy their tickets together for the Alfa Pendular or Intercidades trains and get a discount of 40% or 50%, respectively.
- Passengers traveling by Alfa Pendular, Intercidades or Lusitânia trains eligible to receive special discount (up to 25% off) on some hotels (Tivoli, Sofitel, Mercure, Novotel, Ibis) in Portugal. Everything passenger needs to do is to show train ticket while checking in
- Tourist Ticket for Lisbon area: unlimited travel on the Sintra/Azambuja, Cascais and Sado lines. Option of 1 or 3 day tickets, starting from the first validation.
- CP also offers special Family/Group (from 3 to 9 passengers travelling together) discounts on Regional, Intercidades and Alfa Pendular trains. For instance for train tickets for journeys in InterCidades & Alfa Pendular trains families (not necessarily close relatives) receive 50% discount for any return journeys during weekend (same or following)
- Passengers planning multiple train journeys in Portugal might consider purchasing SCIC-NRT international ticket for domestic journeys in Portugal (more info about use of international tickets for domestic train trips can be found 'Western Europe-how cheap it can be?'). For instance, ticket from south of Portugal - Faro (Algarve) - to the very north of the country - Braga (via Lisbon, Coimbra, Porto) valid for 15 days & allowing unlimited stopovers (=basically meaning that it can be used as rail pass for the predefined route) on the way costs only 47,20 euro
International Train Service:
a) Regular discounts
- 20% discount is given for passengers purchasing standard return tickets for 'Lusitânia' train (from Lisbon to Madrid) & 'Sud-Expresso' train (from Lisbon to Irun & Hendaye). For instance, full fare standard one-way ticket from Lisbon to Madrid for an adult passenger cost 60,50 euro, return ticket for the same route is 96,80 euro, for passengers <26 & >60 years old it's 45,40 euro for one way ticket or 90,80 euro for return train ticket, etc.
- 25% discount is granted to passengers <26 and >60 years old for journeys on Lisbon to Madrid 'Lusitânia' & Irun/Hendaye 'Sud-Expresso' trains (both one-way & return tickets)
Porto to Vigo (CELTA service): one-way tickets 14,75 euro (11,05 euro for passengers <26 and >60 years old) or 23,60 euro return
b) Special offers (SparSchiene)
- Spain: Promo & Promo+ offer from Lisbon to Madrid with 'Lusitania' overnight train (seat from only 24,20 euro, 4 bed sleepers from only 33,60 euro, from Coimbra to Madrid (seats from only 20,40 euro, couchttes from 33,60 euro), from Lisbon to San Sebastian with 'Sud-Expresso' overnight train (seats from 27,60 euro, 4 bed sleepers from 37,60 euro), from Coimbra to San Sebastian (seats from 25 euro, couchettes from 37,60 euro) etc.
- France: Promo & Promo+ offer from Lisbon to Hendaye with with 'Sud-Expresso' overnight train (seats from 27,60 euro, 4 bed sleepers from 37,60 euro), from Coimbra to Hendaye (seats from 25,20 euro, couchettes 37,60 euro). NB: change to French high-speed TGV trains is possible at Hendaye, tickets can be booked via www.voyages-sncf.com
Youth & Senior passengers holding Rail Plus Cards eligible for 25% discount on CP international tickets
SCIC-NRT tariff tickets can be as well used for international journeys to/from Portugal (more details about such tariff 'trick' at 'Western Europe-how cheap it can be? section)
How to Buy Train Tickets in Portugal:
National (domestic) tickets can be purchased online via CP website - www.cp.pt
International tickets (Lisbon to Madrid 'Lusitânia' & Lisbon to Irun/Hendaye 'Sud-Expresso' trains) can be purchased online via Spanish Railways (RENFE) website - www.venta.renfe.com
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