Interrailing in Portugal

International connections

Note that Spain and Portugal have one hour time difference. To find connections between Spain and Portugal, you often need to check the timetables from both operators, Renfe for Spain and CP in Portugal.

Sadly international trains between Portugal and Spain are slow and infrequent. There are 2 lines – one linking to Vigo and another to Badajoz. Each runs twice a day. Note that at Vigo these trains use Guixar railway station. This is a short walk from Urzáiz station where most longer distance trains from the city operate. You may need to perform 2 separate searches as journey planners may not show options with a change between the 2 railway stations.

If traveling between Southern Spain and Southern Portugal buses are usually a better option. Lots of buses run Seville – Faro – Lisbon. If you don’t like long buses and alternative is:

  • From Seville catch a local train to Huelva
  • Then catch a local bus to Ayamonte
  • Cross the border by ferry to Vila Real de Santo António
  • Continue from there to your final destination by train

Though it’s a few changes and not particularly fast each leg is frequent, there is no need to book far in advance and it minimises time on buses. run several buses a day between Seville and Badajoz – which enables same day connections at Badajoz with the Portuguese trains. And provide a much quicker journey then the train over that section if heading from Lisbon to Southern Spain.

Railway operators

The national railway operator in Portugal is CP.

Interrail is not valid on the Lisbon metro.

Be aware an interrail pass will not open Portuguese ticket barriers even if it is valid. You’ll have to find a member of staff, make sure to leave extra time.

If you have a first class pass this can be used to access the lounge at Lisbon Oriente station. This is only open on weekdays.


Reservations are required for high speed (Alfa Pendular) trains and intercity trains. They go on sale 60 days before departure and are only available locally in person from ticket offices. In practice there is lots of availability and trains never sell out even in the height of peak season.

If you are continuing to Spain reservations for Spanish domestic trains can be made at the ticket offices at: Lisbon Santa Apolónia, Lisbon Oriente, Lisbon Rossio, Porto Campanhã, Porto São Bento, Aveiro, Coimbra and Faro.