How to get to Portugal

By | May 3, 2022


Portugal is a country in Europe according to ethnicityology. Although Portugal is somewhat overshadowed by its eastern neighbor Spain in terms of popularity, it is – perhaps for that very reason – an unused tourist gem. Traditional villages and dynamic cities are just as typical of the former seafaring nation as the numerous historical sights and UNESCO World Natural and World Heritage Sites. The capital Lisbon and further north Porto enchant with picturesque neighborhoods, large squares and old-time trams that still rattle through the streets today. Smaller cities such as Évora, Coimbra, Guimarães and Braga, with their charming, well-preserved medieval districts worth a visit. Outside of the cities, one can enjoy the warm, sunny weather while exploring century-old wineries, hilltop villages with typical stone houses or the stunning south coast. The wonderful natural scenery of Portugal also offers the best conditions for leisure activities such as hiking, surfing, horseback riding, deep sea fishing, kayaking, diving, golfing or mountain biking.

Getting there

Arriving by plane

Portugal’s national airline, TAP Air Portugal (TAP), offers scheduled flight services from numerous international airports in Germany as well as from Vienna, Geneva and Zurich to Lisbon. TAP also flies from Munich and Frankfurt to Porto and Faro and from Hamburg and Berlin to Faro. Lufthansa (LH) also operates a flight service to Faro several times a week and also flies to the other Portuguese airports. Ryanair (FR) flies from Frankfurt Hahn to Faro, Porto, Lisbon and Ponta Delgada as well as from Frankfurt International to Faro, Lisbon, Porto and from Memmingen to Lisbon. Eurowings (EW) connects numerous major German cities as well as Vienna and Zurich with Faro, Funchal (Madeira) and Lisbon. Swiss (LX) flies from Geneva to Porto and to Lisbon. Faro is also served by many German, Austrian and Swiss charter airlines as part of their package tour.

Flight times

Frankfurt – Lisbon: 2 hours 5 minutes (non-stop); Frankfurt – Faro: 2 hours 10 minutes (non-stop); Frankfurt – Porto: 2 hours 35 minutes; Vienna – Lisbon: 3 hours 35 minutes; Vienna – Porto: 3 hours 5 minutes; Vienna – Faro: 3 hours 35 minutes; Zurich – Lisbon: 2 hours 50 minutes; Zurich – Porto: 2 hours 35 minutes; Geneva – Lisbon: 2 hrs 30 mins


TAP Air Portugal (TAP) offers the TAP Flight Pass tailored to business travelers and frequent flyers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Arrival by car

The cheapest border crossing for central and southern Portugal is Badajos – Elvas, via southern Spain to the Algarve the San Antonio/Ayamonte – Vila Real crossing is ideal, for central Portugal and Coimbra the Fuentes de Oñoro – Vilar Formoso crossing. you are i Generally open 24 hours. Vehicles can be imported for stays of up to six months (see Travel – National/Documents). Long-distance bus: Eurolines buses run several times a week between Germany and Portugal. Tolls: Motorways are subject to tolls in Portugal. Detailed information on payment under the heading on site on the go. Documents: The national driving license is sufficient.

Arrival by train

From Germany, Austria and Switzerland you can take the ICE and TGV via Paris to Irún and from there take the hotel train to Lisbon. Driving time from Paris is around 20 hours; from Geneva about 26 hours. The hotel train Lusitânia is also an international train that runs from Lisbon and Porto to Madrid (journey time: about 11 hours). The Lusitânia runs together with the Sud-Expresso to Medina del Campo, where the train is separated and continues to Madrid.

rail passes

The Interrail One Country Pass and the Interrail Global Pass are valid in Portugal.

Arrival by ship

Lisbon, Leixões (Porto), Albufeira (Faro), Funchal (Madeira), Setúbal and Portimão (Algarve) are the main port cities. The ports are called at by Aida Cruises (, Cunard ( and Seabourn (, among others.

Car rental

Rental cars with and without a driver are available at airports and in major cities. The minimum age to drive a rental car in Portugal is 18 years (may vary depending on the vehicle category) and you must have held a driver’s license for at least one year. Some Portuguese rental cars are equipped with an electronic toll box. The toll fees are paid here with the final bill. For rental cars with a Portuguese number plate without a transmitter, the toll can be paid at the earliest 48 hours and no later than 5 days after using the motorway at a post office, stating the number plate. The number plate is saved when passing the toll portal until the corresponding payment has been made.


The new taxis are ivory; older models green and black. Taxis have meters. If tolls are incurred, the passenger pays them. Tips are paid voluntarily and are usually 10 percent of the fare. Taxi prices are displayed in the taxi window or the driver has a national price list.


There are regular bus services between all Portuguese cities. Further information is available from Rede Nacional de Expressos.


Traffic regulations: – Vehicles can be imported for a maximum of 6 months; – Dipped headlights are also compulsory for motorcyclists during the day; – Children under the age of 12 or 1.35 m tall must be in a child seat; – Seat belts are mandatory in the front and rear seats (seat belts are compulsory); – a warning triangle must be present in the car; – Wearing safety vests is compulsory in the event of a breakdown or an accident; – Reserve cans of petrol may not be carried; – Alcohol limit: 0.5 ‰. Speed ​​limits: – in built-up areas: 50 km/h; – on rural roads: 90 km/h; – on expressways: 100 km/h; – on motorways: 120 km/h.

Roadside Assistance

The ADAC foreign emergency call offers ADAC members and holders of ADAC foreign health and accident insurance comprehensive assistance in the event of vehicle breakdowns, traffic accidents, loss of documents and money, and medical emergencies. The emergency number is available around the clock; in the event of vehicle damage: Tel. +49 (89) 22 22 22, in the event of illness: +49 (89) 76 76 76.


The national driving license is sufficient. Liability insurance is mandatory. The minimum liability insurance cover is sufficient. For citizens of EU and EFTA countries, the license plate number is valid as proof of insurance; However, it is recommended that you take your international motor insurance card with you to make it easier to record accidents in the event of an accident and to enjoy full insurance coverage.

How to get to Portugal