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Ease of renting car at Lisbon Airport versus train station (Gare do Oriente), for drive to Algarve?

We will be in Lisbon for 5 nights in March, staying in Cais do Sodre downtown area, then renting a car to drive out of Lisbon to the Algarve (5 nights); then returning car and planning to take the train (or maybe fly RyanAir) to Porto for 3 nights.

Since it's our time visiting and driving in Portugal, I'm hoping to minimize the stress of driving in high-traffic/city areas. Would it be easier to get to the Algarve -minimizing traffic, maximizing highway- from the airport or the train station (thinking Oriente)? We'll likely use googlemaps or waze for directions.

Thanks for any advice.

Posted by
56 posts

To drive from Lisbon to the Algarve you will have to drive out of Lisbon thru one of the two available bridges.
If you're departing from either the airport or Oriente train station area the Ponte Vasco da Gama ( bridge) will be the closest.
If departing from the Cais do Sodre area the Ponte 25 Abril ( bridge ) will be the closest.
To calculate the road tolls use ( the site is in Portuguese)
If you prefer to use the train, you can use the bullet train from Lisbon to Faro at the Lisbon station called Entrecampos.
You can also use the bullet train to Porto.
Travel time either way is about 3 hours on the bullet train.
Happy travels

Posted by
1010 posts

I would suggest taking the train to the Algarve before renting the car. The train is easy and cheaper than driving and you get to avoid driving in Lisbon. It’s not that interesting a drive and much more stressful than the train. Most of the bigger towns in the Algarve will have car rental agencies.

Posted by
33 posts

Thanks for your replies! I was thinking we would meander down the the southwestern coast from Lisbon as we're not in a rush to get to our Algarve destination. I hadn't thought about taking the train to Faro and renting a car. . . or training from Faro to Porto. Options options. . . . well I have a couple days to figure this out before the 60-day window opens for their promo fares!

Posted by
821 posts

Hi from Wisconsin,
Start and finish your rental at the airport. Driving in Lisbon is difficult. Just how do handle a one way street with a tram on your backend and tourists standing in front of you? The airport...much easier.

wayne iNWI