Top Five Tips for Train Travel

Taking the train is still a great way to relax whilst travelling around the country. It is extremely economical compared to many other European countries, and some routes are rather picturesque. 

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The rail network in Portugal isn’t particularly extensive, and is quite out-dated in some places, especially when you look at the trains and stations along the creaking Algarve train line.

However, taking the train is still a great way to relax whilst travelling around the country. It is extremely economical compared to many other European countries, and some routes are rather picturesque.

We have pulled together the top 5 tips to help you enjoy train travel in Portugal.

 

  1. Book in advance

Whilst it’s not possible to book in advance on many local train services (including the Algarve’s train line), it is compulsory on some long-distance services, such as the fast and modern Alfa-Pendular between Lisbon and the Algarve.

You can book your advance travel on the train operator’s website (www.cp.pt), at any train station, or by using a cash machine (Multibanco) if you have a Portuguese bank account.

 

  1. Check the location of train stations

Some Portuguese train stations are nowhere near the towns they purport to serve. Two good examples are Mafra, near Lisbon, and Albufeira, in the Algarve. Both of these stations are at least 5km from the named places, and neither guarantees a reliable link with a bus service.

 

  1. Buy tickets on trains from unstaffed stations

If a station has a ticket office (or machine) you are expected to buy a ticket before boarding. Don’t worry, however, if there doesn’t appear to be anywhere to buy your ticket; the conductor will be happy to sell you one.

 

  1. Consider first class (Conforto)

The price premium to travel first class in Portugal is quite small. So, if you’re travelling at peak times or just want a bit of extra luxury, consider paying our for a first class ticket.

 

  1. Sign up for offers

If you live in Portugal or visit regularly, consider signing up for email offers on the CP website. Quite often there are advance or limited offers, especially between Faro and Porto, where the train route is in direct competition with a budget Ryanair flight!


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