Getting there & away
Like many Portuguese cities, bus service in Porto is regrettably dispersed. The good news is that there is frequent service to just about everywhere in north Portugal, as well as express service to Coimbra, Lisbon and points south.
Renex (222 003 395; Rua da Restauraçao) is the choice for Lisbon (€15, 3½ hours), with the most direct routes and eight to 12 departures daily, including one continuing to the Algarve. Renex also has frequent service to Braga (€5.20, 1¼ hours).
Rede Expressos (222 006 954; www.rede-expressos.pt in Portuguese) has service to the entire country from the smoggy Paragem Atlântico terminal (Rua Alexandre Herculano 370).
For fast Minho connections, mainly on weekdays, three lines run from around Praceta Régulo Magauanha, off Rua Dr Alfredo Magalhães. Transdev-Norte (222 003 152) runs chiefly to Braga (€4.40, one hour). AV Minho (222 006 121) goes mainly via Vila do Conde (€2.75, 55 minutes) to Viana do Castelo (€5, 1¼ hours). And Arriva (222 051 383) serves Guimarães (€4.40, 50 minutes).
Rodonorte (222 005 637; www.rodonorte.pt; Rua Ateneu Comercial do Porto 19) has multiple daily departures (fewer on Saturday) for Amarante (€5.20, one hour), Vila Real (€6.40, 1½ hours) and Bragança (€10.20, 3½ hours).
Santos (279 652 188; www.santosviagensturismo.pt; Centro Comercial Central Shopping, Campo 24 Agosto; metro: Campo 24 Agosto) has frequent buses to Lisbon (€11.50), Vila Real (€5.50) and Bragança (€8.70).
There are Eurolines (225 189 299; www.eurolinesportugal.com; Centro Comercial Central Shopping, Campo 24 Agosto; metro: Campo 24 Agosto) services to/from cities all over Europe. Northern Portugal’s own international carrier is Internorte (226 052 420; Praça da Galiza 96). Take bus 302 or 501 from Aliados. Most travel agencies can book outbound buses with either operator.
The Loja da Mobilidade at the main tourist office has a map showing all the car parks in the city. All major European and international rental car companies have offices at the airport as well as in the centre. The best deals include Budget Castanheira (808 252 627; www.budgetportugal.com), Auto Jardim (229 413 661), Sixt (229 483 752; www.e-sixt.com) and Europcar (808 204 050; www.europcar.com in Portuguese).
Porto is the principal rail hub for northern Portugal. Long-distance services start at Campanhã station, 2km east of the centre. Most suburbano, regional and interregional (IR) trains start from São Bento station, though all these lines also pass through Campanhã.
For destinations on the Braga, Guimarães or Aveiro lines, or up the Douro valley as far as Marco de Canaveses, take one of the frequent suburbano trains. Don’t spend extra money on interregional or intercidade (IC) trains to these destinations (eg Porto–Braga costs €1.75 by suburbano but €6.50 by IC train).
Information points are at both São Bento train station (8.30am-8pm) and Campanhã (9am-7pm). Alternatively, call the toll-free 808 208 208 or consult www.cp.pt.
The gleaming new Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (229 432 400; www.ana-aeroportos.pt), ominously named after a beloved politician killed in a plane crash, is 20km northwest of the city centre. Portugália and TAP have multiple daily flights to/from Lisbon. There are also more and more services by low-cost carriers such as Ryanair and Air Berlin. On most days there is nonstop service to London, Madrid, Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Brussels. Note that there is no left-luggage facility.