Happy Easter everyone!
What a stressful time we are all experiencing! I am sure everyone and their loved ones are taking appropriate action to keep healthy and remain calm during these uncertain times. Keep safe and well, we are all in this together!
Ahhh Portugal! Without a doubt, it’s one of the most beautiful countries in Southern Europe, we loved every minute of our visit to Lisbon and Porto last year and we can’t wait to go back. Port and wine tasting, marvellous landmarks, glorious food, mouth watering Portuguese custard tarts (pastéis de nata), a step back in time Tram Car ride which climbs and descends the narrow cobbled roads of Lisbon are just few of the highlights of our trip.
We spent a few days in Lisbon then continued to Porto by train. We always avail this mode of travel whenever it’s available. Train travel is convenient and affordable when booked in advance. Most Central Train Stations are located in the heart of any city, it’s an easy connection with local networks, less hassles with security checks and a shorter distance between your feet on the station platform and your derriere in your designated seat.
Train: Comboios De Portugal (CP)
Destination: Lisbon (Estação do Oriente ) – Porto (Campanha Station)
Carriage: Comforto 1 – First Class
Seat Numbers: 51 and 52 – Single Seat Face to Face
Booked directly on CP website
Cost: € 27.00 each advanced booking
Estação do Oriente – getting to from the city centre to this colossal train station is easy. Located on the northeast of the city in the Parque das Nações district, this station is one of the main intermodal transport hubs in Lisbon. If you travel by the Metro, you alight at Oriente station. The platforms for express trains are located directly above the station. There are plenty of shops inside the station, its a day out in itself!
Departure – trains are operated by Comboios de Portugal (CP) the national train operator of Portugal. Our train was the 09:09 am AP (Alpha Pendular) 123 which arrived and departed on time. Tip: Make sure to double check your platform number against the departure board and your paper ticket especially if you’re running late. The station has a number of platforms and you need to go up by the lifts.
Carriage – Comforto 1 is towards the rear of the train. Inside there is ample space for luggage storage at the end of each car, and overhead racks for your carry on. I pre-booked our window seats 51 and 52 face to face on the single row. Our seats have there own power socket for a charger, an adjustable table in the middle, shared rubbish bin and wifi was available for free. Comfy and reclinable seats but with visible stains and markings. Carriage features include footrest, convenient newspaper holder, tray table, reading light and shutter buttons. A digital display of the next station would flash on approach by the carriage entrances. Lavatories were functional. Tip: Always carry some tissue and sanitiser, unpredictable soap dispensers and the loosely placed toilet rolls which were either missing, soaking wet or dropped all over the wet floor.
Catering – there was no snack or meal included in our tickets. Coffees were available from the attendants for €1.50. Half way of the journey, I had a look around and a quick sticky-beak in the cafeteria/bar car, a menu is mounted on the wall offering snacks, hot and cold beverages to purchase. It’s standing room only. You can also order food and drinks through the trains attendant and dine at your own tray table in style.
Travelling time – train speeds up to 220 km/hour and travelling time was under 3 hours. Three quick stops in Coimbra, Aveiro and Vila Nova de Gaia before we arrived on schedule at 12:50 pm in Porto. Views and landscapes changed dramatically as the train edged its way north. The countryside views were breathtaking with the changing colours of the late season. Make sure to have your camera ready for snaps of your journey. The arrival into Porto is quite impressive with high views over the city from the towering bridge.
How did it go? – Train schedule was spot on, we can’t complain about that! Estação do Oriente station is a modern station and if you need a quick feed or to get some snacks before your journey, there are lots of foodie stations and souvenir shops around. The overall running of the network is reliable, punctual and efficient. The negatives are the sheer amount vandalism that obliterated windows in some carriages, bang goes your view… The interior of our train was bordering on decrepit to say the least. Deeply stained seats, rips and tears coupled with general filth. Lavatories were a bit hit and miss in every sense. Our cars suspended ancient CRT monitors were not working, as well as other broken bits and pieces. The journey is manageable once settled in, a read perhaps, a nap or update your socials thanks to the free wifi onboard. Despite some issues we highly recommend train travel between these two cities.
Train station address:
Lisbon – Estação do Oriente Av. Dom João II, 1900-233 Lisboa, Portugal
Porto – Porto Campanhã Railway Station 4300-173 Porto, Portugal