How to get from Porto's
Airport to the center?
February 5th, 2020
It’s been a while since we wanted to write an article to explain you how to get from Porto’s Airport to the center, but now that we are actually at the airport before a short trip abroad, it seems like a good time to do so. Let’s get into it, keep reading because we tell you all about it!
Above all and since you come to Porto to discover it, let us tell you a bit about the history of this airport.
The airport Francisco Sá Carneiro from Porto has been named in 1990 after the portuguese prime minister who passed away on Dec 4th, 1980 in a plane crash on its way to Porto. In between its inauguration on December 3rd, 1945 and 1990 the airport’s name was Aeroporto Pedras Rubras. The first flight landing at the airport was a flight coming from Lisbon and it’s only 11 years after its opening that Porto’s airport welcomed its first international flight. The growth of the airport started slowly and it’s in the late 70’s that a regular line in between Porto and London was created.
An airport in constant evolution
In 1990, the construction of the new terminal helped the airport to develop more and more. Since the year 2000 the number of passengers increased year after year. We reached 10 million passengers in 2017, a milestone for the Airport Francisco Sá Carneiro. In 2019, the number of passengers reached 13.1 million passengers.
Besides the 65 destinations already available, Porto’s airport keeps opening new regular and seasonal lines to attract more tourists. In 2017, KLM-Air France and Air Royal Maroc were added to the long list of airlines companies operating flights to Porto. In 2018, a seasonal direct flight of about 6 hours from New York to Porto was launched by United Airlines. The UA flights are starting again from March 2020 on and will be going on all year long from now on. In 2019, Emirates start operating flights from Dubaï to Porto opening a whole new part of the world for people eager to visit their country or Portugal.
Another key point, the airport Francisco Sá Carneiro has been rewarded many times, including being the Best European Airport in 2007.
You want to go to Porto's center by...
This is without a doubt the easiest way to get from the Airport to the center of Porto. The line “E” of Porto’s metro (the purple one) brings you directly to Trindade.
From there, you will be able to get to another line if you need to go to São Bento, Bolhão, or to catch a train at Campanhã train station.
It will take you more or less 30 minutes, depending where you get out in town. First and foremost, you will have to purchase a ticket or an “Andante” card as it is named here in Porto.
There is 3 different Andante cards and you need one Andante card per person. It costs 0.60€ each (one time fee).
- “Andante Azul“: The Andante Azul is a reusable chipcard allowing you to credit a certain number of travels on it. Besides the 0.60€ fee for your Andante card you will have to charge it with travels. From the Airport to the center you will have to choose a travel for the Z4 (Zone 4) which is 2€ per travel.
Z2 1,20 € Z3 1,60 € Z4 2,00 €
- “Andante 24“: This card (also reusable) allows you to travel in the chosen zones in Porto for 24 hours starting after the first validation of your card.
The prices are (does not include the Andante card):
Z2 4,15 € Z3 5,50 € Z4 6,90 €
- “Andante Tour“: With this version of the Andante card (non-reusable), you choose a number of days you want to buy the card for and you will have access to unlimited travels on the circuit Andante.
Good to know
Be aware that it can take some time to buy your Andante card. Most of the tourists choose this option. This can explain a waiting queue at times in front the automatic machines. In other words, just remain calm and be patient 🙂
Taking a taxi or Uber to get from the Airport to Porto center is probably the fastest way, except if there is traffic. It should take you about 20 minutes if there’s no traffic.
- Taxi: The average price for a travel is 25€. However, at night from 9pm to 6am the price increases of 20%. This rule applies as well on saturdays and sundays and during public holidays. Furthermore keep in mind that an additional fee is added to the course for luggage (not sure if it is per luggage or for all luggages), which is 1,60€.
- Uber: Without a huge difference in the price, a travel with Uber is a bit cheaper with an average price of 20€.
Without any dedicated spots to put your luggages in the bus and a travel time way longer than the metro. On the negative side, this is the least convenient way to get to downtown Porto.
However, it’s possible! In fact, the company STCP (Sociedade de Transportes Colectivos do Porto) has two lines in order to get from Porto’s airport to the center (Cordoaria). The line 601 and 602. The travel costs 2€ per passenger (or the equivalent of a Z4 travel on your Andante card, if you already have one). Get all the information about times and routes on the STCP website.
Unless you come to Porto to not only visit the town but also the Douro region for example, this option is not very necessary. Here are some of the reasons to point out on why you should choose another method on how to get from Porto’s airport to the center:
- You will have to pay quite a lot just to park it.
- Parking spots outside the different private parkings are hard to find and expensive.
- Traffic can be horrible at times
- You will enjoy Porto way much more by walk than by car!
Many companies offers to rent cars which you can find directly at the airport upon your arrival. Many of them give you the option to book your rental car upfront online, like the website Porto Airport Car Rental
Of course, it exists other ways to get from Porto’s airport to the center. But the ones mentioned above are the most common. However, if you are looking to make a good impression to your girlfriend or boyfriend, we can arrange for you a limo, for instance. Additionally, if you are a group we can arrange a private bus… Possibilities are endless! Contact us to know more about all the options we offer.
Nowadays, most of us cannot live without internet. Especially when traveling, many of us choose the option of having our bookings on emails.
Porto’s Airport offers a free wi-fi connection under the name: VINCI Airports Wi-Fi.
To get online, please follow the steps below:
- Turn on the Wi-Fi option on your computer, tablet or smartphone.
- Select the “VINCI Airports Wi-Fi” network and open your Internet browser.
- Enter a valid email address, select your country and accept the Terms and Conditions. Then, you’re connected and ready to access your favorite emails and websites for free.
And to go back to the airport?
Once your stay in Porto is over, you will be able to use the same ways of transportations to go back to the airport. Therefore you can use the Metro (Line E), buses (601 and 602), rental cars, taxi/Uber (in between 20 and 25€). Just reverse your travel and you will get there very easily!
If you decide to use the metro to get to your accomodation when arriving, we advise you to charge your Andante card with 2 travels for the Z4. At least you will already have your travel arranged for the way back to the airport.
In case you are traveling back to the airport, we advise you to get there at least 2 hours before the departure of your flight to be sure. In fact, in order to check your luggage, you might have to wait quite some time. When traveling with Ryanair or any other low-cost airline the lines are usually pretty long. Generally, the security check goes quite fast in Porto. Contrarily, during the summer season, the waiting line can be a bit longer than usual. Keep that in mind
Departure Board – Porto’s Airport
What about the duty free?
The duty free section of Porto’s airport is quite small, however, there is many stores where you can go in and out while waiting for your flight. If you haven’t got the chance to eat before your departure to the airport, you will find many restaurants such as La Pausa, Burger King, A Francesinha and many more. In addition to the restaurants, if you forgot to buy a souvenir for your loved ones, the options for you to buy a present won’t be missing!
However, sorry for the smokers but there is no smoking area once you passed the security check.
Overall, Porto’s airport is very nice, and welcomes all international tourists the best way possible. Very accessible by public transportations, it has all the characteristics of any other international airport. Furthermore, its size makes it easy for you to find your way. Porto has a great airport, but the town will surprise you with its landscapes, views, colors and more!
If you want to discover Porto at its best, book a tour with us! It will be a pleasure to explain you its history, culture, anecdotes and more! Click here to check out our different tours.
See you soon in Porto!