Local transport in Porto / Douro

Post your experiences of travel, especially for the Douro region. Make recommendations for places to stay and visit or ask advice from those that have already been there.
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benread
Martinez 1985
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Local transport in Porto / Douro

Post by benread » 07:34 Sat 12 Jun 2010

This was one of the things that caused me most trouble organising my trip a few weeks ago. Hence I thought it worthy of a note in its own right.

Airport - central Porto / VNG: We paid around EUR30 for a taxi with 5 of us. There was one waiting on the rank and the 4 seater at the front just waived him down for us. All of the pre booked options were more the twice this cost. Going back to the airport from Campanha station (direct line on the metro) we paid around EUR2 each. Just remember to validate your ticket on the barrier before you get on the tube!

Porto - Regua / Pinhao etc: This is a direct train line, even though the Railwey website http://www.cp.pt (available in English and actually very easy to use), tells you you need to change to go beyond Regua. What seems to happen is the train stops at Regua for anywhere between 20-45 minutes for the driver to have a tea break! We used it to top up our cold beer supplies! You can take the train from Porto Sao Bento (very central) or Porto Campanha. Sao Bento is worth a visit just for its architecture. A word of warning though - the ticket office has the most confusing queueing system I have ever experienced. Unlike the website, nothing is explained in English! So, for those of you that decide on this route, here is how it works, for those who do not speak any Portuguese:
  • -Outisde the ticket office is a ticket dispensing machine. This gives you a ticket that tells you your number in the queue. You need to know which line you need. (The website tells you this, but probably "IR" for Regua etc)
  • -Go into the ticket office and watch the large screen for your number and ticket window (numbered 1-9)
  • - Have a copy of the website print with you so the counter clerk (who probably speaks no English) knows what you want!
  • - A ticket to Pinhao cost us EUR8.45 each, one way. An absolute bargain!
  • - The train will take around 3 hours to Pinhao, depending on the length of the wait at Regua
Around Porto / VNG I would not recommend getting the metro unless you are travelling outside the main central area. Even the walk up to Graham's lodge, which is well recommended for the views, will only take you about 20 minutes from the bridge.

If I think of any more tips, I will add to this thread!
Ben
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RonnieRoots
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Re: Local transport in Porto / Douro

Post by RonnieRoots » 08:14 Sat 12 Jun 2010

Very useful information Ben, thanks for posting.

One word of warning about the waiting time of the train in Regua... when we took the train from Pinhao to Porto, I assumed the train would indeed be waiting in Regua for some time. I got out to buy some sandwiches and drinks, and when I returned after 3 minutes I was just in time for the whistle! It is probably best to ask the conductor what the waiting time will be, just to be sure.

Andy Velebil
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Re: Local transport in Porto / Douro

Post by Andy Velebil » 16:32 Sat 12 Jun 2010

And another word of advice if you take the train and are getting off at a station that the train doesn't normally stop at (one of the old Quinta platforms). Make sure to tell the ticket taker when he checks your ticket that way he can tell the driver to stop where you need to get off.

If you are getting on at stop that isn't a regular one, as the train approaches start waving your arms to flag it down and the train will stop to pick you up. You can then buy your ticket on the train.

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