I had a question about where to leave my luggage between plane and bus journeys in Porto, so I thought I'd write a tip with the answers.
There is an office (despacho) in the station, where you can leave your bags. Make sure you check with the attendant that it will be open when you return. But when I went back on Saturday, the office was closed. So I walked a few minutes to Sao Bento train station and left them in a locker there.
Getting to Rede-Expressos from the airport was really easy. I took the metro directly to Bolhao station and walked five minutes from there.
This bus service runs between the airport, centre of Porto, and the main hotels in the city. At the time of our visit, the metro service was still under construction
We were lucky enough to have landed early to enable us to catch this bus. Afraid the service stops at 20.00 hrs at the moment, so not timed for Ryanair flight landing - yet!
On boarding we gave the name of our hotel, the driver wrote this down, and we paid 4 Euros (This ticket is then valid for 24 hours for travel on STCP routes, tram routes , metro, the Guindais Funicular and the train services (CP/USGP) , that provide the connection between Valongo and Coimbroes)
A 3 day ticket costs 9 Euros.
Bus journey is free for TAP passengers on production of their boarding card.
We didn't realise that the ticket was valid for 24 hours, we'd thought that it was only valid upto 2400hrs. (I'll know better next time!)
A useful leaflet with the timetable and list of hotels is available on the bus. (also from The Mobility Shop and Tourist Info offices. Both located to the left of the City Hall at the top of Avenida Dos Aliados, on Rua Clube dos Fernianos).
We were dropped off outside the hotel we'd booked (Hotel Malaposta) However, due to refurbishment, we were located (by taxi) to another hotel (Hotel Miradouro)
On the day of our return, our hotel receptionist telephoned the aerobus service to book our pick up. Although our hotel wasn't on the list of hotels served, the bus collected us from outside the hotel.
You can also book online www.stcp.pt or phone 22 507 10 54
Fixed stops in the city centre are at Av.dos Aliados and Rotunda da Boavista.
Departures FROM Airport 07.30 , then every 30 minutes to 20.00hrs
Departures TO Airport From Av. Aliados 06.45 hrs then every 30 minutes to 19.15
UPDATE *****- Metro link between airport and city centre is now in operation
There is a designated stop for these buses (marked by the sign 'aerobus' on the stops as well).
Frequency is every half hour, between 0915 and 1845 hours everyday.
The journey takes between 35mins and 1 hour maximum. This bus also waits at several of the major hotels for pick-ups. Quite an expereince, the way the bus thunders down the cobbled streets at speed!
Fare is 4EUR per person, for a return journey! (only useful to someone arriving & leaving the same day!!)
Buses are usefull in Porto. Each stop has all the schedules and timing. Just read carefull, some times the instructions are somewhat confusing. Also U must take care because right now, Septemeber 2005, the buses are changing their numbers and many places still have the old ones so U can get stuck in a bus stop for long minutes thinking "...where is my bus?" and maybe it has already pased by more than one time and didn´t notice just because it had a different number...trust me, I was one hour waiting and when I realized that the number 500 bus was the same as the number 1 I was specting...grrr....I was really upset...
U must pay the driver a flat fare. In Porto there are special tourist tickets STCP (Oporto) information kiosks, open form 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. If not, the normal fare is 1.20 € per ride.
Porto has only two old trams, and a tiny metro system, so you are going to be visiting the further out destinations by bus or crazy taxi. If you buy the three day ticket (5 euros) they work out very cheap, although it costs 1.20 euros a trip if you buy tickets on the bus. There's no central station, but the Sao Bento station serves this function closely, and many routes start and end there. You can pick up the three day ticket and a very detailed route map from the tourist office near the Town Hall.
The two most useful routes are #1 to Foz do Douro, and #78 to the Museum of Contemporary Arts.
On the return trip we went by bus which was ideal. The international bus station is at Placa da Galiza, which is half a kilometer from Placa de Ribeira, the nightlife area. This took only two hours to get from O Porto to Vigo and you can catch a bus as far away as A Coruna in the northern part of Galicia. It cost us nearly the same and the seats are way more comfortable. The company is called Internorte.
During the day, AeroBus is the best way to reach dowtown (Avenida dos Aliados/Train Station São Bento). The ticket, which costs 4.00 - day ticket - can be bought inside the bus and includes travels on undergrand.
Lines Nº 56, 76 and 87 run from the airport to Cordoaria (Clérigos Tower), close to the centre. In these buses you can buy a single ticket for 1.20. During the night, line nº 76 goes until Avenida dos Aliados.
An open-top-bus tour around Porto´s most beatiful sights during one hour.
It operates from Tuesday to Sunday.
The ticket is also valid on STCP´s public buses, for the rest of that day.
Fare: Adult: 10.00 Euros
Children(4-12): 5.00 Euros
Travelling by bus
You can travel to Portugal comfortably installed on a long-distance coach.
Intercentro is the Portuguese company that provides regular road links between Portugal and the other European countries and is part of the Eurolines network.
Intercentro - Tel.: 213 547 300; Fax: 213 570 039
Rede Nacional de Expressos
Praça da Galiza, 96
Tel. (351) 226 052 420
Campo 24 de Agosto, 125
Tel. (351) 225 189 299
If you’re travelling between cities in Portugal, Rede Nacional de Expressos offers a variety of alternatives, that you can see at http://www.rede-expressos.pt .
In the north of the country, there is a much vaster service between the different towns and cities provided by Rodonorte , whilst, in the Algarve, Eva Transportes is the service that links the different places.
Porto has a bus network called STCP (Serviço de Transportes Colectivos do Porto). To move around the city you should get into one of their buses, although due to traffic if distance is close i recommend you walk as it should be quicker.
Porto has several bus terminals.
Rede Expressos (website: www.rede-expressos.pt) buses go to most destinations in Portugal and depart from the Paragem
Atlantico terminal on Rua Alexandre Herculano 370.
Renex have frequent buses to Lisbon and Braga and some buses to the Algarve and depart from Rua das Carmelitas 32.
International buses depart from Praca da Galiza 96.
There is a new bridge for crossing the Douro river between Porto and Gaia that is named ponte do Infante (Infante bridge). If you have a car and are going from Porto to centre of Gaia, use this new bidge as the transit is really much more easy in that bridge
Porto international Airport is around 12KM from Porto Centre. Taxi around 20 Euro, journey time 20 mins. Allow extra time at peak periods.
Local taxis are plentiful and fairly inexpensive.
Bus system is good. Small tram service around centre.