On this article I will go through the basics of the system, the purchasing and validation of tickets, the schedule as well as some platform etiquette of the metro of Porto.
After reading it, you’ll know how to use the metro of Porto, my favourite public transport to fight the minor struggles of walking in Porto. Let’s go!
Let’s learn how to use the metro of Porto!
The basics: On the metro of Porto, you’re in the Zone
Before learning how to use the metro of Porto, it is important to understand its concept. The metro of Porto works with zones that start precisely on the metro station where you first validate your ticket.
As a lot of people get confused with this concept, I made a very simple gif just for you to understand it. It’s genius (the concept, not my gif)!
So, for instance, a Z2 trip means that you can travel to all the zones that are in direct contact with the zone where you first validated your ticket, pretty much like an onion ring. A Z3 trip means that you can travel not only to the first onion ring, but also to all the zones on the second onion ring (so, the zones in direct contact with the zones of the first onion ring). And so on and so on.
Now that you got it, here’s a map of all the lines of the metro of Porto.
How to use the metro of Porto: step by step guide
1. First, you need to purchase an Andante Card
It costs 0,60€, and you can charge it any time. The Andante card is a personal card, so if you are travelling with 3 people you need to buy 4 Andante cards, instead of one Andante card charged with 4 tickets.
You can use your Andante card in bus (STCP) and on some train trips as well, but not on the Guindais’ Funicular nor on the trams.
Given what I explained before about how to use the metro of Porto, you buy your Andante card charged with the zone where your destination is. For instance, you can see on the picture that on the metro station I am at, I need to buy a Z3 ticket to get to AEROPORTO metro station.
On each metro station, on the right hand side of the machine, there is a list of all metro stations and the ticket you need to buy to get there.
What ticket should you buy to use the metro of Porto?
There are three types of tickets that you can buy:
- Andante Azul: It is a non personalised, rechargeable paper ticket for daily use. You basically acquire the Andante Card that I mentioned above, calculate which zone you are traveling to and get the correspondent ticket that can range from Z2 (the closest zone, and hence the cheapest ticket as well) to Z12 (the furthest zone, and so the most expensive ticket).Expert Tip: If you buy 10 tickets at once, you get another one entirely for free. These are the current prices of the Andante Azul (2021 – don’t mind the date on the picture, the prices remain the same):
- Andante 24: If you plan to use the metro a lot, then I suggest you to get the Andante 24, which is a ticket you can use to travel during 24 hours after the first validation.Please bare in mind that if you bought a Z2 Andante 24 you can only use it within the Z2 zone starting at the metro station where you first validated it.
This logic is valid for all the zones.These are the current prices for the Andante 24 tickets (2021 – don’t mind the date on the picture, the prices remain the same):
- Andante Tour: If you are planning to use multiple public transports whilst in Porto then you might consider getting an Andante Tour. This ticket is valid for 24h not only on the metro of Porto but also on the STCP buses, trains and other regional buses.Honestly this ticket only pays off if you visit the suburbs of Porto – the city is so small that you can perfectly manage it with one of the tickets mentioned above. These are the Andante Tour’s prices:
You can purchase and charge your Andante card at:
- All metro stations
- The post office at the airport (everyday from 8h – 23h)
- Loja da Mobilidade (Address: Rua Clube dos Fenianos, 25. Mon – Fri: 9h to 17h30)
- Pay Shop agents.
You can pay with cash or using your debit or credit card.
2. After you purchase an Andante card, you need to validate it.
In most metro systems that I’ve used you need to validate the ticket in order to get access the platform, but that is not the case in Porto. Here, you must validate your ticket on the black & yellow machines before you go to the metro platform. You don’t need to validate again when you leave the metro.
Expert tip: Every time you change lines, you must validate your ticket again!
Common questions about the metro of Porto:
Can I take the subway of Porto to the airport?
Yes – check my guide about the airport of Porto.
Are there lockers on the metro stations?
Yes, there. For more information, make sure to read our article about the lockers in Porto.
Where can you check the timetables of the metro of Porto?
You can check the metro’s timetables but honestly it makes a lot more sense to simply use the metro’s journey planner by filling in the required parameters. Or you can simply do it the old fashion way – go to the nearest station and check the next arrivals on the blackboards.
Can I park my car close to any metro station?
If you live in the suburbs or if you have rented a car in Porto, it might be wiser to park your car and then head the city centre by metro. In order to do so, you can park your car at one of the free parking lots available 24/7. Here is a list of them:
Can I transport animals, bikes, surf / body boards on the metro?
It is possible to carry your bike, surf / body board and baby carriage for no extra fee, but please do it either on the first or last metro carriages. Moreover, the owner of the bicycle / surf / body board is liable for any accident resulting from its transport.
Regarding animals, different rules apply: “unless possessing special written authorisation, which is reserved for exceptional cases (i.e. guide dogs), only small household pets transported inside a basket are permitted to travel on the metro do Porto” as quoted from its website.
Platform Etiquette (we are not savages, you know)
Common sense should apply when using the metro of Porto, but as a friend of mine says, common sense is the most precious asset in a company and it’s quite hard to find, so I am leaving you with a few simple rules:
- Always let the people go out before you go in.
- Upon entering the train, near the doors, you will find pull down seats. Anyone can sit on these, however during peak hours, you are obliged to stand up and make room near the doorway.
Now that you know everything about how to ride Porto’s subway system, find out more about other modes of transportation within Porto. Like our guide to the train stations, our tips for car rental and bike rental, everything you need to know about bus tours and our complete guide to airport transfers to get you from the plane to the center of the city in no time! 😉