Before walking along the banks of the Douro, before visiting the Lello bookstore and before looking up to the Clérigos church... the first place you will see when you arrive in Porto will be the Francisco Sá Carneiro airport.
Shared transfer between the airport and your hotel
With this shared transfer from Porto airport to your hotel, a driver will pick you up at the airport upon arrival and, together with other travelers (maximum 8 in total), will take you to the door of your hotel in a comfortable air-conditioned minivan. Besides the comfort, the main advantage of this service is that it is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so no matter what day and time your flight arrives in Porto.
How it works
You can book this option online by providing the date and details of your flight and the address of your hotel so that the driver can plan the route and wait for you upon arrival. The driver will take into account the time it takes you to get to the arrivals area and you will have his contact details so that you can communicate with him in case of any incident.
The duration of the trip to your hotel in the center of Porto will be, at most and under normal circumstances, 45 minutes. You will have enough space for your luggage, but if you have bulky or delicate luggage, remember to inform the driver in advance when you make your reservation so that he can take it into account.
Shared transfer back to the airport
Once you finish your trip, you can hire the same service and with the same cost to get from your hotel to the airport. The only thing you have to take into account is that you will have to be ready in advance so that your driver will pick you up with a time margin that will ensure you do not miss your flight.
Private transfer between the airport and your hotel
This is undoubtedly the most comfortable and fastest option to get from the Francisco Sá Carneiro airport in Porto to your hotel. With the private transfer you will not share the vehicle with other travelers; the driver will be entirely at your disposal and at the disposal of the people traveling with you. Regardless of the time and day you arrive in Porto, you will have this option available.
How it works
The booking method is simple: indicate your flight details and the address of your hotel so that your driver can pick you up on arrival. You will be able to leave the plane without rushing and when you arrive at the arrivals area the driver will be waiting to take you to your hotel in a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle. You will be able to communicate with your driver in Spanish, English, French and Portuguese.
The time it will take you to get to your accommodation in the center of Porto from the airport will be approximately 40 minutes. As this is an individual service you will not have problems with space for your luggage, but if you are traveling with delicate objects I recommend that you indicate it, just in case, when you make your reservation.
Private transfer back to the airport
If you want to use this service at the end of your trip to go from your accommodation in the center of Porto to the airport, it is also available. Let the driver know the departure time of your flight so he can pick you up in plenty of time.
Ana's Traveller Tip
In Portugal private transfer prices are very affordable; for less than 10 euros you can save time and gain in comfort on your arrival in Porto.
Other options: metro, bus and cab
Although the city of Porto is small, the metro network is on a par with that of any large city. There are six lines that run through the city differentiated by letters from A to F and by colors. The line that goes to the airport is line E, which is purple in color.
This metro line has several stops in the center of Porto and you can choose the one that is closest to your hotel if you use this option to leave the airport. The total journey time will be about half an hour and the frequency of the metro will depend on the time of day, but ranges from 4 to 15 minutes.
This option will be useful if your flight lands between six in the morning and one in the morning, as this is the Porto metro service schedule. The single ticket costs less than two euros, so if you arrive within the metro schedule and your hotel is close to one of its stops it can be a good option to get to the center of Porto from the airport.
Some of the E line stops closest to the center of Porto are:
- Casa da Música
- Carolina Michaelis
- Campo 24 Agosto
- Dragao Stadium
Another option to get from Porto airport to the city center is to use the bus. On the one hand, there is the special airport service and on the other hand the regular buses.
The special service buses are synchronized with the flight schedules of certain airlines, usually cost about 5 euros and reduce their stops in the center limiting them to two or three main ones such as Boavista or Avenida dos Aliados. You can ask for specific options and schedules upon arrival.
As for the bus lines, their price is less than two euros and the lines that go to the center from the airport are the 601 and 602. If you arrive in Porto at night you can use the night bus (3M). Note that, if you choose this option, it will take about 50 minutes to get to the center, as these buses have intermediate stops.
Cab or VTC
Porto is the second largest city in Portugal and the most visited after Lisbon, so it also has services from the airport such as cabs or VTC (Uber). Taking one on arrival can be a comfortable way to get to your hotel, but not cheap. The average price of a cab to the center is about 25 euros being 20 euros approximately the cost of an Uber.
I recommend that you use the cab or VTC as a last option in case you miss the metro or bus or have not hired a private transfer in advance, but not as a main option as it will not be worth it compared to other options.
This is Porto airport
Porto airport is the perfect size. Since it is the only international airport in the area, it has catering services, stores, parking, car rental, luggage protection, etc. and it is not so big that you get lost or disoriented once your plane lands. The main airlines operating from Francisco Sá Carneiro airport are: Ryanair, Vueling, easyJet and TAP Portugal.
This airport consists of a single terminal with several floors: on level 3 you will find the check-in desks and on level 0 the arrivals hall, car rental companies, metro station and bus stops.
Once your plane lands, just follow the signs to the baggage claim and departure hall. Unless your luggage is delayed, it will take you no more than fifteen minutes to leave the airport. Free and unlimited WIFI connection is available throughout the airport without registration.
First tips for your arrival in Porto
- When to travel to Porto: Porto is a city that can be visited at any time of the year, but if you want to find the best temperatures the ideal months are from April to October. Within this range I recommend avoiding July and August, which are the months that, in addition to having higher temperatures, coincide with the high season and with a greater influx of visitors. During the winter months you can find rain and lower temperatures, but it will not be an impediment to visit the city.
- How to get around the city: Porto's size makes it perfectly possible to walk around the city. However, there are also several subway lines to get around the city center. In Porto there are not as many hills as in Lisbon; the biggest one is the one that connects Praça de Batalha with Ribeira and is connected by the Funicular Do Guidais.
- Where to stay: the city of Porto is very safe, so you will not have to worry about staying in one area or another. The most central are the Avenida dos Aliados and the Bolhao area, but I recommend that you look for accommodation well in advance to get good value for money.
- What to eat: not counting the wine, you will have plenty of options to enjoy Portuguese gastronomy during your visit to Porto. If you take a guided tour of the city, ask your guide for local recommendations to find a good restaurant. Dishes to try are: francesinha (a sandwich with béchamel sauce that is best shared if you want to leave room for a snack), bacalhau a brás (casserole of onion, cod, fried potatoes and egg) and bifanas (rolls with pork meat).
- What to bring in your suitcase: comfortable clothes and shoes will be enough to get around the city without getting too tired. Rather save room in your suitcase to bring back a good Port wine as a souvenir.
If you travel to Porto you may also be interested in
Once you have sorted out the transportation from the airport to the city center, it's time to start planning what you are going to do when you are there. Complete the organization of your trip to oporto by reading these guides that I have written about Best Tours and Day Trips from Porto y Porto River Cruises.