What to expect when arriving at Porto Airport

If you are travelling by plane to Porto, you arrive at the only airport in the city, “Aeroporto Francisco Sá…

Sara Riobom
27 de December de 2023

If you are travelling by plane to Porto, you arrive at the only airport in the city, “Aeroporto Francisco Sá Carneiro”.
I know it can be quite stressful when you first land in a country you don’t know, so I am here to help you with all the information you might need when you first arrive at Porto Airport.
Here is all you need to know for your first 30 minutes in Porto!

As this is a long article, feel free to navigate it at your will:

Transportation: getting to and from Porto Airport

The airport is approximately 20 minutes by car from Porto’s most central point (Boavista), and 30 minutes from Avenida dos Aliados (downtown).
It isn’t the most central airport, so you will need to either get to your hotel by transfer, taxi/uber (prices might differ depending on which one you choose), or metro and bus.

Transfers

transfer minivan porto airport
© Oporto Airport Business Hotel

Firstly, let’s consider the best Porto airport transfers. Transfers are an easy and affordable way to travel, and completely hassle free. And, depending on the size of your group, they can get cheaper than taxis and ubers, so I recommend them for families and groups.

There are a multitude of Porto airport transfer’s options, but the most popular ones are the shared transfers (for around 12€, which is a bargain and cheaper than taking an Uber!) and the private transfers, which cost 24€ for a group of four people.

What I particularly like about hiring a private Porto airport transfer is that, as soon as you arrive, you will have the driver waiting for you at the entrance, so you avoid an unnecessary waste of time looking for your driver (which happens with Uber and similar services).

Car Rental

car rental companies
If you wish to rent a car and explore the city behind the steering wheel, Porto Airport has many car rental companies for you to choose from. Personally it is not my favourite option because the city center is full of traffic and under construction at the moment (we are building 3 new subway stations in the city centre); however, if you are planning to travel around Portugal, renting a car is a good option as it gives you more flexibility.
Normally when I travel, I book my car in advance as I find very stressful to arrive at a new country and figuring out on the spot what is the best car rental deal.
I recommend you to use a price aggregator such as AutoEurope, where you can compare the prices of different car rental companies, make a hassle free booking and guarantee a free cancellation, in case you change your travel plans.

Metro
porto subway station

Metro is the cheapest way to travel, and the most environmentally friendly!
Firstly, you’ll need an Andante card and depending on where you need to go, you load it up with trips according to the zones you’ll travel through (at the same machine you bought your Andante card).
For example, to get from Porto Airport to downtown Porto, you need a 3 zone (Z3) trip which costs 1,60€. The trip takes around 35 / 40 minutes.
Line E (purple line) has a frequency of approximately 20 minutes. For more detailed information read our article about the metro of Porto.

Bus

public bus porto
You can also catch a bus in Porto, although this is the least comfortable option and its destinations are more limited.
There are 3 STCP (Porto Collective Transport Company) Buses, line 601 (Cordoaria – Airport), line 602 (Cordoaria – Airport -via Padrão de Moreira), and line 604 (S. João Hospital – Airport – via Crestins).
Services are scheduled on a 25 minutes frequency, although there might be delays. For more information, check STCP’s website.

Taxi / Uber

When exiting the building, you’ll find taxis parked just outside. This is the most convenient way to get to your hotel, but you can also opt to travel by Uber / Bolt / Kapten etc (by the way, so far Kapten is the cheapest option, followed by Bolt).
You may be asking yourself, “how much is a taxi from Porto Airport to Porto city centre?” If you choose to travel by taxi, you’ll pay around 25€ to get from Porto Airport to Aliados. However, if you opt to call an Uber, you’ll pay around 16€.
Still, due to the price fluctuation of these apps and to the fact that we have to find them, I still prefer to request a transfer.

Porto airport: facilities and services

Porto Airport is a modern building with stunning architecture.
The terminal building has three levels. In the ground floor are Arrivals, baggage claim and all the rental car counters.
On the second floor, there is a shopping area and the Boarding Lounge.
Finally, on the third floor, you’ll find Departures, some restaurants, banks (where you’ll be able to exchange currency), a pharmacy, a post office, a children’s playground, and a baby changing room.
There are ATM machines on every floor, as well as a full-service bank where you’ll be able to exchange money. “Nova Câmbios” (where you can exchange currency) is open on the ground floor from 7am until midnight and on the third floor from 5am until 9h30 pm.

Here’s what you will find at every level of Porto airport:

Level 0: Arrivals

On the ground floor (Level 0) you will find a multitude of useful things like 4 ATM machines, an interactive tourist shop (with travel guides, free maps, etc.), a currency exchange shop, a post office, the police, a lost property section and finds, lockers so you can store your luggage, etc.

It is also on level 0 that you will find all available rental cars, which I recommend you book in advance using AutoEurope. You can also buy a ticket for a bus shuttle.

In addition, you will also find a Starbucks cafe, two or three restaurants and Relay (a tobacconist that sells books, newspapers, magazines, etc.).

Outside there is a taxi rank.

Level 1: Departures

Before airport security

Going up to the 1st floor, there are two large areas available, before and after security control.

Before security control is the check-in area and customer support area for airlines. It is a very spacious and well-lit area that has, on the far left side of the floor, a more “free” area with benches, where you can rest (and even sleep) in some silence.

There are 2 tables for charging cell phones, 1 ATM machine, the airport pharmacy, a bank, the police station and another Relay tobacco shop. There is also a brewery and two cafes.

After airport security

After security you will immediately notice a free water station on your left side, which is great.

Then you will have to go down some escalators. Opposite you will be a huge store called Portfolio, which I LOVE because it allows you to buy authentic Portuguese brands (ceramics, wines, preserves, etc.). I always take the opportunity to have a coffee at this store, accompanied by a pastel de nata.

Then, on your left side (when facing away the escalators) you will find an ATM machine, several shops (Parfois, Ale Hop, FC Porto store for football lovers, Tech2Go, etc.), as well as some restaurants: a brewery that It’s a good place to eat your last francesinha, Deli&cia for smoothies and wraps, Burger King. There is also a cell phone charging area and, of course, a piano 🙂

facade francesinha portuguese restaurant
© ANA (Aeroportos de Portugal)

On the right hand side there are a lot more stores and restaurants as well.

When it comes to stores, there is Victoria’s secret, FashionGate, Lacoste, Desigual, another Parfois, Geox, Mr. Blue, Fnac (the most recent acquisition), Swarovsky and a crafts store perfect for buying cork souvenirs.

As for restaurants, they have a traditional Portuguese restaurant, an Italian restaurant, a sushi station, a wine bar, a sweets shop and even a cafe.

Disabled Travellers

If you are a disabled traveller, don’t worry! The airport follows all the European Union standards. There are specially fitted toilets, adapted lifts, ramps and easy-to-operate telephones.
For more information on this, please contact the airport’s information desk (+351 229 432 400).

Sleeping at Porto airport

There is no official sleeping area at Porto airport. However, it is a very spacious airport and the lights are turned off for a few hours at night, which makes it possible to rest there for a few hours. There are not many seating areas and the ones that exist are made from metal and have armrests, making it difficult for a comfortable sleep there. However, there are couches and soft chairs in the cafes that sleepers use when the businesses close. There is also plenty of space to sleep on the ground, although I’d recommend to bring an extra layer of clothes and eyeshades if you intend to spend the night in this airport.

Hotels near Porto Airport

On our website you can find numerous articles on the best hotels in the city. However, if you need a hotel close to Porto Airport, we have some suggestions with varying price ranges.
All the hotels listed below have a 24h reception service.

OPOHOTEL Porto Airport

double bedroom oporto airport and business hotel near porto airport
Ⓒ Booking.com

Firstly, OPOHOTEL Porto Airport (4 stars) is 7 minutes walking distance from Porto Airport and has a free transfer service. A double bedroom costs 70€ per night with breakfast.

Hotel Aeroporto

double bedroom hotel aeroporto near porto airport
Ⓒ Booking.com

Secondly, Hotel Aeroporto (3 stars) is likewise very close to the airport and a double room costs 50€ per night, although the price doesn’t include breakfast.

Park Hotel

double bedroom park hotel porto
Ⓒ Booking.com

Thirdly, Park Hotel is the best option if you wish to enjoy your breakfast. For a double room with breakfast, you’ll pay 70€, but the serving hours go from 04:30 to 11 o’clock. You’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the most important meal of the day.

AirPorto Hostel

If you are on a tight budget (I feel you!), then AirPorto Hostel is the best place to stay near Porto airport. You can get a bunk bed in a dormitory for as cheap as 17€ / night, which already includes breakfast. I bet you will never consider sleeping on the floor of our airport again after checking this hostel!

Oporto Airport & Business Hotel


Finally, Oporto Airport & Business Hotel (4 stars) is ideal for families. This is the furthest of the 3 from Porto Airport (1,4 km) but features a pool and an esplanade. A double room here costs around 60€ euros, and 70€ with included breakfast.

As you can see, there are many options to choose from, but you’ll definitely get your money’s worth.

Airlines: a multitude of options

With all this useful information, you can now book your trip to the magical city of Porto.
Some of the main airlines that travel to Porto include Iberia, Lufthansa, Luxair and Ryanair.
However, the airport welcomes many more airlines . Here is a list of all the operating airlines of Porto Airport (2020): Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air Europa, Air France, Air Transat, Azores Airlines, AZUL LINHAS AEREAS, British Airways, Brussels Airlines, Easyjet Airlines, Emirates, Eurowings, Finnair, Iberia, KLM, Laudamotion, LEVEL, Lufthansa, Luxair, Ryanair, Swiss International, TAAG, Tap Portugal, Transavia, Royal Air Maroc, Turkish Airlines,  United Airlines, Volotea, Vueling Airlines, WIZZ AIR HUNGARY.

I hope that this article was useful and that you’ll make the most of your trip to Porto!

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