Travel to Porto by Train

Galicia lies just north of Portugal on the Iberian Peninsula, and since Spain and Portugal are EU members, it is easy and affordable to travel between the two countries from almost anywhere in Galicia. You could fly, drive across the border in a car, or ride a bus, but our personal recommendation is to take the Celta Train from Vigo to Porto which operates daily. We’ve broken the process into a few simple steps. Read on to learn how to quickly and easily get to Porto from Galicia by train.

Step 1: Get to Vigo.

Whether you’re in A Coruña, Ourense, or Ordes you’ll need to get to Vigo. From most cities that will be as simple as booking a train ticket a week or two in advance (it may be possible to buy tickets closer to your travel date, but it will depend on the time of year and the departure city). You will want a ticket for either Vigo Urzáiz or Vigo Guixar, the two train stations in the city. Try renfe.es for tickets, although if you are having issues you can also use a third party app like Omio or Trainline.

If you’re traveling from a smaller pueblo that may not have a train station your best bet will be to either take a bus, taxi, or blablacar (only use if you are comfortable riding with strangers in their personal vehicles) to the nearest city with trains to Vigo. Then book a train as explained above.

NOTE FOR TRAVELERS ARRIVING TO VIGO AND DEPARTING THE SAME DAY: The Celta train, which you will be taking from Vigo to Porto leaves from the Vigo-Guixar station. This is not the same as the Vigo-Urzáiz station which is newer and larger. If you are doing the trip in one day, you will need to account for the fact that you may have to transport yourself and your luggage from one station to another (It is a 20 minute walk or a 5 minute taxi ride).

Step 1.5: Enjoy Vigo.

The train from Vigo to Porto runs twice daily, once at 8:58 AM and again at 7:56 PM. This means you will likely have some time to explore Vigo before you depart for Porto. You could even spend a night or two in Vigo as there’s plenty to do and see.

Step 2: Take the Celta to Porto

Tickets for the Celta Train can also be purchased from renfe.es. The departure station will be Vigo-Guixar and the destination should be Porto-Campaña or Porto-Campanha. Whether you leave in the morning or evening the journey will take about 2 hours and 22 minutes. Portugal is in a different timezone than Spain so it is an hour earlier, meaning you will arrive around 10:20 AM if you take the early train or 9:18 PM if you opt for the later.

Try to arrive at least 15 minutes early for your train to ensure that you have time to go through security and have your ticket scanned. It’s possible that you won’t be required to pass through security and can enter the train directly, however you run the risk of missing your train and for our money the stress isn’t worth it (although, we can also understand running late and we’ve been there).

Though you won’t have to pass through customs or border control, since you will still be traveling in a foreign country, make sure you always have an official government issued ID with you in a safe and secure location.

Step 3: Enjoy Porto

Mission accomplished! You’ve made it to Porto without issues. From Porto-Campanha you can either walk to your accommodations if they’re close by and the weather’s nice or you can join the taxi queue to catch a cab to your next stop. Depending on the time of your arrival you may want to head directly to your hotel or you might have some time to kill. Be sure to stop in at Manteigaria for pasteis de nata and if it’s open check out the Mercado do Bolhao for a taste of local culture.

Near the train station you’ll find Tapabento (one of our favorite restaurants in the city), but you’ll want to make a reservation if you plan to dine in. You can also stop in at A Regaleira, the birthplace of the original Francesinha, to try to the signature sandwich of Porto. We also highly recommend planning a trip to Livraria Lello, the most beautiful bookstore in the world, to see its iconic red staircase. For more suggestions on how to spend your time in Porto click over to any of our articles about the city and its charms.

If you haven’t already booked a place to stay in Porto, we have a few recommendations.

The height of luxury: Pestana Palacio do Freixo is actually a National Monument located just outside the city center and the Baroque style is stunning. There’s an infinity pool, Turkish bath, spa and views of the river. It truly doesn’t get better than this.

Nice and reasonably priced: Laranjais Boutique Suites is perfect for those looking for the comfort of a home rather than a hotel room. Located right in the city center, the apartment suites here are stylish, modern and comfortable. And you’ll have professional staff on hand – as if you were at a hotel.

Ballin’ on a budget: J3M Houses offers clean studios in a quiet neighborhood where it feels like you’re living like a local – and it’s only a 9 minute walk to the city center. Definitely a steal.

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