As the 2nd largest city of Portugal and most important city of the north of Portugal, Porto is mentioned on roadsigns well in advance. Comming from Spain you will have to follow the signs towards PORTUGAL first, in Portugal Porto will be mentioned.
Comming From Lisbon (Lisboa): Follow the A1 northbound, it leads straight to Porto.
Comming From Spain:
There are 3 routes towards Porto:
1. Most used is the route from Salamanca into Portugal, take the E80 (A62) into Portugal and follow Aveiro on the E80 (A62 changes into IP5 in Portugal). Near Aveiro take exit 7 direction Porto, this road is the A1. This route is recommended if you come from direction Madrid or south of Madrid and Northeast Spain/France.
2. North of Portugal there is a road from Vigo towards Porto (A3 - E1). This road also connects to the A52 leading towards Leon/Valladolid/Burgos. This road is ideal for Northwest Spain as well as Northeast Spain/France. If you like a mountain scenery, this is your pick.
3. Definately not the fastest route, but it's also the least congested and most scenic of the 3 routes. On your way from Valladolid exit towards Torrdesillas/Zamora and follow the E82 (A11/N122) in Portugal continue on the IP4. This road is ideal for avoiding toll and offers a stunning scenery as the road really goes up and down the mountains all the time. It offers a good alternative for Northwest Spain/France.
The accessroads in Spain are not very crowded as is the IP4 is Portugal (read: these roads can be almost empty). Highways in Portugal are more crowded and the as soon as you leave the tollroads in the Porto area you can prepare yourself for crowded roads, congestions are common here.
Like many big cities, Porto can be pretty congested but it's manageable to get around if you have a decent navigation or a good map.
Keep the following things in mind:
Porto has a good circular network of highways, congestions are common here but it's the easiest way to get around if you need to cross greater distances in the city. WIthin the citycenter roads are most of the time one-way traffic, mostly the roads parallel to a one-way street face go one-way the other direction but this is not a common rule so don't trust the roads all the time. If you are not experienced into driving in a city where traffic doesn't pay attention to roadlines and overtakes you left & right it's not advised to take your car into Porto.
When parking your car, try to take park it in a garage, street parking is rather difficult and when driving out you may find yourself locked-in or blocked by other parked cars.
Situated at the south-western tip of Europe, Portugal only has land borders with Spain. In descending order, from north-west to south-east, these are the main points of entry into the country:
Valença - stands at...
… 32 kms from Vigo, 96 kms from Santiago de Compostela and 166 kms from La Coruña … this is the border closest to Braga (78 kms), Guimarães (90 kms) and Porto (116 kms). It also provides access to Aveiro (181 kms), Coimbra (227 kms), Leiria (289 kms) and Lisboa (418 kms).
Vila Verde da Raia - stands at...
… 38 kms from Astúrias, 447 kms from Madrid and 1414 kms from Paris
… 163 kms from Porto, 115 kms from Guimarães, 122 kms from Braga, 228 kms from Aveiro and 274 kms from Coimbra
Quintanilha – stands at…
… 337 kms from Madrid, 572 kms from Hendaye (France), 909 kms from Barcelona and 1345 kms from Paris.
… 237 kms from Porto, 217 kms from Guimarães, 238 kms from Braga and 302 kms from Aveiro
Vilar Formoso – stands at…
… 118 kms from Salamanca, 327 kms from Madrid, 964 kms from Barcelona, 1400 kms from Paris, 1803 kms from London and 2155 kms from Rome.
… 181 kms from Coimbra, 198 kms from Aveiro, 239 kms from Porto, 255 kms from Leiria and 351 kms from Lisboa.
Caia – stands at…
… 223 kms from Seville, 411 kms from Madrid and 1027 kms from Barcelona
… 220 kms from Lisbon, 229 kms from Leiria, 252 kms from Coimbra, 308 kms from Aveiro, 310 kms from Loulé and 323 kms from Faro.
Vila Real de Santo António – stands at...
… 142 kms from Seville, 399 kms from Granada, 677 kms from Madrid and 1135 kms from Barcelona
… 59 kms from Faro, 62 kms from Loulé, 323 kms from Lisbon, 429 kms from Leiria and 488 kms from Coimbra.
Braga (64 km) - A3 IP1
Faro (584 km) - A2 IP1 / A13 IC11/ A1 IP1
Guimarães (56 km) - A3 IP1 / A7 IC5
Lisbon (317 km) - A1 IP1
Porto has an efficient highway system. It is connected to highway both to North, East or South of city. If you are driving on a Portuguese highway you must pay a toll. Beware that there are special lanes for holders of a device that makes direct debit to bank account - those lanes are signalled with a green V (Via Verde). If you are driving a car without the Via Verde device, you should go to lanes that accept cash or card to pay toll.
Porto is located in the north coast of Portugal and is served by a good road infrastructure.
To the north is served by highway A3, which goes until Spain, near Vigo. To the east is A4, that end in Amarante, where it encounters IP4, that enters Spain (near Zamora).
Finally, to the south is A1, Portugal's main highway, which goes to Lisbon.
When you arrive at Porto, you will reach a "circular" road named VCI that surrounds Porto. The best path to arrive at the hotel is to take the exit named "Campo Alegre", and follow the directions in the map.