350,000 inhabitants live in Porto with about 1.5 million in the area around where 12000 cars are stopped circulating because of Metro do Porto.
Porto is a city that sits on the coast of Portugal. It is a beautiful city that should be visited by many that love to travel to try out great light rail solutions. It is a unique city for people that looks after a city with many public transportation options to see.
In this article, we will be looking at the light rail system in Porto. There is also an older tramway system in the city, but that one we will come back to in another article. So the contrast between the new and the old is seen a lot when traveling in Porto. The new light rail system that was first revealed to the public in 2003 is now a huge example of how fantastic a light rail system can be.
So let me reveal the fantastic Porto town in Portugal for you. It is Portugals second biggest city, but it is much less crowded than Lisbon. For me, Porto is a magical city that breeds with its special rocks on each side of the river that is connected with several bridges. It is a city like no other with a spirit in it. I felt so alive in this city. It’s the beauty of a city that I will always love. All of the mountains and hills where Porto is located make the town special.
Let’s introduce you to light rail in Porto Portugal
With many cities in the world, Porto also had a huge tram network. But in the 70s day decided to scrap the trams in favor of buses and cars. A decision that many cities at that time did because everyone thought that buses and cars were going to be the future. But when the 80s and 90s came along. The world understood more and more what a big mistake it was too close down the trams.
So the politicians in Porto decided that a type of tramway system must return to their city to save it from car pollution. Almost every street in Porto was full of cars and there was chaos everywhere for pedestrians and the safety for them. So something needed to be done.
A plan was laid out and in July 2002, the very first trial of a light rail stretch was shown. And people loved it. There was a trial service between Câmara de Matosinhos and Viso with very beautiful low-floor light rail trains.
Experience Magical Places in Porto with its Light Rail
The only stations of the network that are Overground in the city center are Carolina Michaelis, Lapa, Trinidad, Jardim do Morro (Line D only) and General Torres (Line D only) that is served by all of the lines except for line D which is located underground under Trinidad station.
Line D is also one of the most interesting lines where you can see the beauty of Porto from the Luís I Bridge which only light rail trains and pedestrians. So if you take it between Sao Bento and Jardim do Morro stations you can get a spectacular view either during the day or night.
You can see on the map on the right here how it connects Porto with suburban areas and nearby cities. That’s exactly how any bigger city should have been built. It is affordable, effective, and productive for all of the areas that it reaches.
5 lines serve the city center of Porto, Portugal
- Line A (Blue): Estádio do Dragão – Senhor de Matosinhos
- Line B (Red): Estádio do Dragão – Póvoa de Varzim
- Line C (Green): Estádio do Dragão – ISMAI
- Line E (Purple): Estádio do Dragão – Airport
- Line F (Orange): Fânzeres – Senhora da Hora
Today the network is served by 5 light rail lines. They reach all of the areas such as the Porto Airport, Central Train station Campanhã, and the neighboring City named Senhor de Matosinhos. The population in this city was 175,478 back in 2011 where you also find quite nice hotels. The Lines in Porto are A B C D E and F. The shared stretch between Senhora da Hora and Estádio do Dragão is served by all of them.
On every corner of Porto, the light rail system is like a tram or a train tram but in the city center, all of the lines runs Underground which means that when you are in the city center of Porto. You can reach 13 (includes Line D) underground stations in the town when travel by the Porto light rail system.
Also, I do recommend anyone loving to take great pictures. To take them on or beside Luís I Bridge. It is really gorgeous. From having traffic mayhem to become a fantastic pedestrian-only path road with light rail in the middle. This bridge has becomes a spectacular icon of the city.
Porto is a huge proof of how important it is to implement a great light rail system. Many cities around the world should look towards Porto as they were one of the first cities in the world to re-implement a light rail system with a huge success. Porto is nowhere near the same now as it was 15 years ago when all of the city was crowded with cars standing in huge queues. Kudos to a city that’s made a correct decision.
Experience a light rail that acts as a Metro in Porto
7.7 km is the total length of the underground sections and stations in Porto. This light rail layout proves to all politicians in this world that light rail can be a very good Metro or Underground train alternative and that it is much more affordable than any odd busway solution. The platforms are a bit lower even at the underground stations, but they work very well for all kinds of people using them.
All of the light rail trains in Porto are low floor. Yes, even the faster tram-trains have it too. So, you never need to worry when taking kids on a stroller. With Line B you can take the tram-train as far as to Povoa de Varzim. Which are 4 zones from the main Porto zone on the official public transportation map?
With Line E you can take the light rail to the airport of Porto. That station is named Aeroporto. So when you enter the center of Porto. Most of the stations are underground. So take a look at the map where your hotel is located.
All important Ticket Info for Porto Portugal
A single ticket in Porto costs €1.20. If you purchase the Porto Card or the Andante Tour Card, you’ll have unlimited access to the city’s metro system. If you’re however thinking of using public transport in Porto, the cheapest and most affordable way to get around the city is to get an Andante Card.
So the most affordable tip is to get an Andante 24 card gives you unlimited access to the metro system, buses, and some of the city’s urban trains for 24 hours. So if you want to check out the entire area the cost is only 6.40 Euro! Then you can travel over 67 km in one day in the area. For light rail enthusiasts or those that come to the town as backpackers.
This is for sure a great price. Also if you are a tourist person that likes to see different parts of a town and its surroundings. Then an Andante 24 card is recommended. If you only want to travel for 1 hour. Then an Andante Azul ticket should be enough. We have gathered the prices for the tickets below.
Porto Ticket Prices for Zones
So if you are smart. Go for the Andante 24 if you are going to travel around for many hours. You can see above here that Andante Azul price for 11 single tickets cost 12 Euro while the Andante 24-hour card costs only 4.15 Euro for 2 zones journey. All of the tickets can be bought at ticket machines on the Andante shops on stations, in the railway stations within the city borders, tourist offices and at some hotels.
The card is activated when you first use it and it is valid for exactly 24 hours, not one day. This means that if you activate it at 10.00 in the morning when you arrive, you’ll be able to use it until the following day at 10.00.
Although it is has a “flat rate”, you’ll have to validate it every time you use public transportation. Which is the only thing that could be improved? The price of the travel card depends on which zones you travel to. If you are going to get around central Porto, then you’ll probably need a Zone 2 card. The Airport is in zone 4.
Porto Light Rail FAQ
How big is the Light Rail network in Porto?
It is 67km
How many underground stations does Porto Light Rail have?
15 stations are underground. Line D that runs from north to south got 8 underground. Line F got 7. Line A and B got 6 while Line C got 5
Which light rail line in Porto reaches the Airport?
Line E reaches the airport. It is located in Zone 4
What is the cost of a single ticket?
1.60 Euro is the cheapest. Its for one hour. If you however chose to visit the town for more than 1 hour. Then Andante 24 is enough
Distrita recommends anyone to come and visit this town. It is magical. Not only the light rail system but also the food, architecture, atmosphere, and weather is often not bad at all. Because of the sea, the town is a bit cooler than many cities in Spain during the summer. I really recommend anyone to visit it. My experience is that any city in the world should follow Porto.