View of Lisbon's historic architecture from across the Tagus River.

Portugal Driving Guide

Portugal is a unique beautiful country. Explore all of it by driving when you get your International Driving Permit

2023-08-07 · 9min read

Portugal might often be overlooked in favor of its larger European neighbors, but it possesses a unique charm. Perched on the western fringes of Europe, this country boasts turquoise coastlines and rugged cliffs, providing an outdoor adventurer's paradise. Moreover, Portugal has an intricate history, so expect a collection of palaces, plazas, and quaint cobblestone villages.

Fortunately, Portugal's major cities have an efficient public transportation system. But if you want a more flexible and leisurely journey, we recommend renting a car.

If I were in a traveler's shoes in Portugal, I would want to enjoy my travel without worrying about transportation. Imagine the convenience of cruising the Portuguese roads as relaxed as you can be and worry-free.

Plus, Portugal has good road conditions, so driving wouldn't be so much trouble.

" Yes, it’s generally safe to drive in Portugal. The country has a well-maintained road network, and traffic regulations are in line with what you’d expect in most European countries.
However, as with any unfamiliar destination, drivers need to remain vigilant, especially when navigating narrow streets in historic centers or winding country roads."

Yvonne Ivanescu of nowinportugal travel blog shares her insights about the roads of Portugal. Yvonne is a Portugal-based writer and marketer who aims to share the wonders of Portugal with the world.

Discover more of Portugal's gems

If you're planning to visit Portugal, having a car is a must - unless you intend to confine your activities to a limited urban area like Lisbon.

There can be a few bumps on the road. Take, for example, Jeremy of livingthedreamrtw experience. Jeremy is a full-time travel writer based in Pittsburgh.

" That is to say, major cities can be quite chaotic (we opted not to drive in Lisbon and Porto and think that was a good decision), gas is expensive (1.8 Euro/liter when we were there), rural roads can be rocky gravel and have some serious potholes, and of course, tiny villages have those wonderfully narrow streets that anything larger than a Fiat may struggle with. "

Compared to its neighboring Spanish counterpart, Portugal's land area makes it ideal for exploration by car. Don't just settle in major cities! We've put out this guide so you can confidently hit the road and discover more of Portugal's charms.

Let's take a closer look at Portugal

While Portugal shares similarities with its European counterparts, with its cold and mountainous terrain, its beauty is undeniable. Here are some facts you might be interested in knowing before your trip:

Geographic Location

Portugal graces the far southwestern corner of Europe, stretching along the Atlantic coast of the Iberian Peninsula. Spain stands as its sole neighbor to the north and east, while to the west and southwest, Portugal claims the Azores and Madeira Islands, integral parts of Metropolitan Portugal. The vast Atlantic Ocean embraces its southern and western shores, bestowing the country with an impressive 1,793 kilometers of coastline, including its island boundaries.

Languages Spoken

The official language of Portugal is Portuguese, ranking as the ninth most widely spoken language globally. For native English speakers, learning Portuguese is relatively straightforward, given its Latin-based vocabulary.

English also has a prominent presence in major cities and tourist areas, making communication more accessible. Additionally, a significant portion of the population speaks French and Spanish.


Portugal once held a dominant position in Europe during the 15th and 16th centuries, on par with France, Spain, and England. However, its colonial influence waned in 1822 when Napoleon's forces occupied the nation, and a catastrophic earthquake struck Lisbon, the country's economic and cultural nucleus.

This led to a significant Portuguese exodus to Brazil and the United States. The early 1900s witnessed a military coup in Portugal, which did little to resolve the nation's challenges until a new government emerged in 1974. Substantial democratic reforms were subsequently implemented, culminating in the relinquishment of sovereignty over its African colonies.


Portugal's political system combines parliamentary and presidential elements, characterized as a Parliamentary Particracy where voters choose a political party rather than individual candidates. Parties pre-select their representatives through predefined lists. A watershed moment occurred in 1974 when the authoritarian-corporatist regime led by António de Oliveira Salazar gave way to a democratic government.

Portugal utilizes the Euro as its official currency, and the nation's financial system, having been a European Union member since 1986, remains stable and well-managed.

Renting a Car in Portugal

Opting for renting a car in Portugal not only offers an economical mode of travel but also delivers convenience and comfort, surpassing the advantages of using public transportation.

Portugal boasts a well-developed road network, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable driving experience across the country. This comprehensive network comprises motorways, primary routes, secondary roads, and primary and complementary trunk routes.

Particularly when traveling in a group, renting a car proves to be a cost-effective investment. To enhance the ease, comfort, and flexibility of your journey through Portugal, renting a car is the optimal choice.

Do I Need An IDP in Portugal?

Yes, it's advisable to have an International Driver's Permit (IDP) in addition to your native driver's license, especially an International Driving Permit for Portugal when you're there. An IDP is an official translation of your native driver's license into multiple languages. This makes it easier for local authorities and car rental companies in Portugal to understand and verify your driving credentials.

Yes—US citizens can drive in Portugal with their valid US license for short stays. However, it’s often recommended to have an International Driving Permit alongside it for clarity.
-Yvonne Ivanescu of

Does An IDP Replace A Native Driver's License?

An IDP is just a translation of your license in another country - it can't replace your original one. Make sure to have both the permit and your local license with you all the time.

How Can I Secure An IDP?

You can apply for an IDP through the International Driver’s Association. A digital copy will be sent to you in 2 hours.

Car Rental Companies

Car rentals are readily available in airports and even in different major cities in Portugal. You can find cars at the lowest possible rates in tourist areas such as Lisbon, Porto, Faro, and Lagos. Here are some of the major car rental companies operating in Portugal:

  • Amoita Car Rentals
  • Alamo
  • Auto Rent Rent a Car
  • Avis
  • Drive on Holidays
  • Enterprise
  • Europcar
  • Global
  • Hertz
  • Luzcars Rent a Car
  • Sixt
  • Portugal Cars

Renting a car only takes a few steps, and voila! You can already drive to Portugal. All you have to do is complete the requirements for renting a car. Do not forget to have your IDP and your local driver’s license. After that, all you need to do is pay the deposit either by cash or credit card. The deposit will be refunded once you return the car in good shape and condition.

Necessary Documents

You must show an identification card for EU citizens or a valid International Driving Permit for other nationalities. Pay attention to the requirements so you do not encounter problems during your trip to Portugal. Some situations require additional car rental fees, and of course, you don’t want to be allocating a significant portion of your budget to extra fees.

To rent a car, you also need to provide the following documents:

  • Passport
  • A valid native driving license
  • Identity card
  • ID card showing name, date of birth, and address
  • Credit card

You need a credit card to rent a car in Portugal. Car rental companies will deduct a certain amount of money depending on the type of car you choose. Car companies will refund your deposit if you return the vehicle in good condition. You need to deposit €100 or €3,000 depending on vehicle type and car insurance.

Vehicle Types

In Portugal, you can find a variety of vehicle types available for rent, catering to different preferences and needs. These include:

  • Economy Cars: These small and fuel-efficient cars are ideal for city driving and budget-conscious travelers.
  • Compact Cars: Slightly larger than economy cars, these vehicles offer more space and comfort without compromising fuel efficiency.
  • Standard Cars: Standard cars provide a comfortable and well-equipped option for longer journeys and families.
  • Full-Size Cars: These are larger sedans, suitable for travelers who require more space and luxury features.
  • SUVs: Sport Utility Vehicles are famous for their versatility, making them an excellent choice for exploring urban and off-road destinations.
  • Minivans: Minivans are ideal for larger groups or families, offering ample seating and storage space.
  • Convertibles: Enjoy the sunny climate of Portugal by renting a convertible for a more open and scenic driving experience.
  • Luxury Cars: For travelers who want the ultimate in comfort and style, luxury cars and premium vehicles are available.
  • Electric and Hybrid Cars: Portugal has made significant strides in promoting electric and hybrid vehicles, and you can find these eco-friendly options for rent.
  • Camper Vans and Motorhomes: Perfect for those looking for an adventurous road trip, camper vans and motorhomes provide both transportation and accommodation.
  • Motorcycles and Scooters: To explore the cities and coastline more efficiently, motorcycles and scooters are great options.

Car Rental Cost

Your car rental cost will depend on your chosen car type and how long you will use the car. Here is a rundown of the cost of the cheapest car rental in Portugal per day.

  • Economy car - $5 per day
  • Compact car - $6 per day
  • SUV - $8 per day
  • Convertible car - $13 per day
  • Standard car - $27 per day
  • Minivan - $22 per day
  • Premium car - $35 per day
  • Luxury car - $37 per day
  • Premium station wagon - $54 per day

Age Requirements

The legal driving age in Portugal is 18 years old. However, car rental companies in Portugal have their age requirements. The minimum age may vary depending on the type of vehicle.

Some car rental companies require drivers to be at least 21 years old. This helps them avoid the risks associated with younger and less experienced drivers. If you are under 25 years old, you will need to pay a young driver's fee.

Car Insurance Cost

The cost of your insurance will depend on your age and driving history. The driving vehicle’s model and power are also considered.

The collision damage waiver and theft protection insurance cost at the counter is $19 - $70 per day, and the deductible insurance costs $1,140 - $3,975.

Car Insurance Policy

There are various types of car insurance you can choose depending on your needs and budget. The basic car insurance is the one that will cover accidents and even theft. It is essential to get one for your safety. The following are the 3 main types of insurance in Portugal:

  • Fully comprehensive insurance (Seguro Contra Todos) – this insurance is for all parties involved in the accident.
  • Third-party (Responsabilidade Civil Obrigatoria) – this insurance covers other parties who are entitled to claim fees after an accident.
  • Third-party and legal fees (Responsabilidade Civil Facultativa Juridicia) – this insurance covers any legal fees in an accident involving your car.

Can I Take My Rental Car Outside Portugal?

The good news is most car rental companies allow travelers to enter other European cities without additional charges. Consider this opportunity to drive both in Spain and Portugal. You can extend your travel list to Portugal’s neighboring country, which is Spain - hitting two birds with one stone.

Do I Have to Return My Rental Car to the Same Location?

Returning your rental car to the same place you get is not necessarily the case. Many car rental companies will allow you to return it to many locations in European cities. However, you need to pay for the one-way car rental fees. You can return your car to other areas if you’re considering a cross-border trip to Spain and want to end your travel there.

What Are the Driving Distances in Portugal?

As stated in Portugal’s driving laws, drivers of a moving vehicle must keep enough distance to avoid accidents. There should be a sufficient lateral driving distance between your car and other vehicles traveling in the same or opposite directions.

For a motor vehicle, Portugal’s driving distances must have a lateral length of at least 1.5 meters to avoid accidents. Violating this law will incur a fine of €60 to €300.

The Road Rules in Portugal

Familiarizing yourself with the country's road rules, signage, driving customs, and prescribed driving distances can significantly enhance your driving experience. Portugal's traffic regulations might differ from those you are accustomed to in your native land, so it's prudent to acquaint yourself with them to steer clear of infractions and penalties.

Important Regulations

Many road rules are being implemented in the country, so be sure you know and follow these rules when driving in Portugal. The most important rules are listed below:

  • Drunk driving is prohibited. The alcohol limit is 0.50 grams per liter of blood. If you exceed this limit, you may face a fine of up to 1,250. Your International Driving Permit will also be suspended for up to one year. You could face double the fine or a lengthy driving ban or be in prison for a year if authorities found that you are significantly over the limit.
  • Wearing headphones and using mobile phones while driving are illegal. You may use a hands-free in-vehicle phone system and portable device with only a single earpiece. This is to avoid distractions that can lead to car accidents. If you violate this law, you are subject to a fine of up to €600.


Similar to Spain, the legal alcohol limit in Portugal is 0.5 grams per liter of blood. It follows the standard limit for most EU countries. There are specific tests that authorities do to know that you are not drunk while driving. The police can use a breathalyzer to test your breath if you’re over the limit. The policemen have the right to detain you. The following are the penalties for violating this law:

  • If your blood alcohol level reaches the range 0.5 g/l - 0.8 g/l, there’s a €250 - €1250 fine.
  • If your blood alcohol level reaches the range 0.8 g/l - 1.2 g/l, your penalty is €500 - €2500.

The local authorities will suspend your International Driving Permit for up to one year if you violate the drunk-driving law. You could face double the fine or a lengthy driving ban or be in prison for a year if authorities found that you are significantly over the limit.


In Portugal, you can use many public lots for parking. In general, street parking is free. Just make sure you’re not blocking the driveways and park where the bus stops. There are things you need to keep an eye on when packing in any place in Portugal.

  • Estacionamento Probido - this is the sign you see in a “No Parking” area.
  • Usually, a white and blue sign with a red line across signifies areas where parking is not allowed.
  • No parking zone has a yellow or red sign painted on the curb.
  • In a one-way street, you should park in the same traffic direction.

If you are not following the law, you’ll need to face your penalty and fines. In case you are parking illegally (and repeatedly) in Portugal, local authorities can give points on your driver's license that will indeed affect your insurance premiums.

Speed Limits

Portugal is implementing general speed limits in different areas and road types. If you do not follow the posted speed limits, speeding fines will be charged depending on how far above the set limit you are driving. For example, if you are over the limit of 60 km/h to 80 km/h on rural roads, you’re fine may reach up to €600.

Speed limits:

  • Built-up urban areas: 50 km/h
  • Rural areas: 90 km/h
  • Motorways: 120 km/h

Seatbelt Laws

In Portugal, the law regarding the use of seatbelts closely follows EU standards. All vehicles must use seatbelts. As the law states, seatbelts are compulsory for the driver and all the passengers. Seat belt use for all passengers does not apply to large vehicles such as buses. The fine for violating this law is €120 - €600 for each person transported improperly.

Driving Directions

You might be confused about how you should go and drive in roundabouts since Portugal’s driving side is in life. If you enter a roundabout in Portugal, remember to give way to the traffic already on the roundabout, approaching the left. The rule is simple: if the roundabout has one lane, enter the roundabout, then take the exit lane you want.

Did you know the roundabout hardly existed in Portugal before the country joined the European Commission? So, most Portuguese never had to learn how to drive in a roundabout quickly.

In Portugal, you need to enter the roundabout on the left side, so it’s not clockwise but the other way around. Stay on the inside lane until you approach the exit. If you violate traffic laws on this, you’ll pay between €60 and €300.

Traffic Road Signs

Road signs may confuse you, especially if it is your first time driving in Portugal. You must know the traffic signs of Portugal so that you know how to behave on the road, and the traffic signs give you some sense of direction to drive safely and smoothly. Traffic signs are located on the top or the side of the road. Portugal’s traffic signs include information signs, mandatory signs, warning signs, priority signs, and prohibitory signs.

  • Information signs: These are usually rectangular-shaped signs indicating “beginning of a motorway,” “road with one-way traffic,” “national speed limits,” and “end of the tunnel” signs.
  • Mandatory signs: These are the blue and circular signs that you are to follow. Some of the signs include “passing left mandatory,” “driving straight ahead,” “mandatory lane for trucks,” and “mandatory lights off.”
  • Warning signs remind road users of the potentially dangerous traffic situation. These are red triangles with illustrations in the center. Warning signs include “warning for a speed bump,” “warning for a curve to the right,” “warning for a road narrowing,” and “ warning for a heavy crosswind.”
  • Priority signs are in place to let the road users know who should give priority and who has priority. Some of the priority signs include “give way to all drivers,” “curve of the main road,” “warning for a roundabout,” and “warning for uncontrolled crossroads.”
  • Prohibitory signs indicate specific actions that road users are not allowed to do. Examples of these are “entry prohibited,” “pedestrians prohibited,” “using the horn prohibited,” and “overtaking prohibited.”

Right of Way

People walking and riding bicycles can cross the pedestrian, which is usually painted with black and white stripes of what they call zebra crossing. If you are driving in Portugal, you must stop your car at a pedestrian crossing. Recently, the government has installed roundabouts and pedestrian crossings to reduce accidents.

Overtaking Laws

You cannot overtake on the right side in free-flowing traffic. Remember that you must overtake on the left side of the road.

Violating this law may incur a €250 - €1250 fine. Be cautious of drivers who will potentially overtake you, especially in low-visibility areas such as mountains and hills.

Driving Side

You must always drive on the right-hand side of the road, which is the same as the US. On the other hand, you need to overtake on the left.

Penalties: Overtaking on the right side has a fine of €1,000. You also need to take note that you need to give priority to the traffic from the right. Be prepared for vehicles suddenly turning out of the side streets since locals do not typically use indicators.

Driving Etiquette in Portugal

Car Breakdown

Regular car maintenance and periodic checks can significantly reduce the chances of experiencing car breakdowns. However, unforeseen events may lead to breakdowns, causing travel delays and unnecessary problems.

If your car breaks down, it's essential not to panic. Stay alert and find a safe location to pull over, ensuring your car does not obstruct traffic.

Park your vehicle in a well-lit and safe area, activate your emergency hazard lights, and call the emergency services hotline at 112 for assistance. When renting a car, rest assured that the car rental company will cover the costs of car maintenance in case of a breakdown.

Police Stops

When driving in Portugal and faced with a police stop, remain calm, especially if you haven't violated any traffic rules. Always carry your valid native and International Driver's License, as this provides proof that you are legally driving in Portugal. Failing to provide these documents may lead to delays and even being taken into custody for identity verification.

Portugal enforces driving laws and fines rigorously. Note that the police are always professional in their undertakings and are often proficient in English. Maintain courtesy and politeness during interactions with law enforcement, and inquire politely about the reason for the stop after presenting your legal documents.

Asking Directions

Navigating directions in Portugal can be challenging, particularly if you don't speak Portuguese. While the official language is Portuguese, English is widely spoken in tourist areas. However, it's helpful to know some basic phrases in Portuguese to ask for directions effectively. Here are a few useful words and phrases:

  • Topo – Top
  • Fundo – Bottom
  • Cima – Up
  • Baixo – Down
  • Meio – Middle
  • Centro – Center
  • Frente – Front
  • Atrás – Back
  • Onde tem um …? – Where is there a …?
  • Onde fica o … mais próximo? – Where is the closest …?
  • Como eu chego a/ao …? – How do I get to the …?
  • Como eu faço para chegar a/ao … – What do I do to get to the …?
  • Onde está o …? – Where is the …?
  • É muito longe? – Is it far from here?
  • Qual é a distância? – How far is it?


Border crossing posts and checkpoints in Portugal are under surveillance, mainly to monitor the movement of people and prevent undocumented travel. When you encounter these checkpoints, present your legal documents, and authorities will grant clearance for your entry or exit.

There are no border controls between Portugal and Spain, so you can drive between the two countries by presenting your ID and legal documents. Ensure you have your native driver's license and international driver's license to verify your identity.

What Will You Do if You're Involved in an Accident?

In case of an accident, stay calm and wait for Portuguese authorities to arrive. If there are injuries or fatalities, do not attempt to provide medical assistance unless you are qualified to do so. Call the emergency number 112, and the operator will notify the police and arrange for an ambulance service. Cooperate with the operator, answer questions calmly, and wait for professional medical assistance to administer first aid.

What Are the Emergency Numbers to Know in Portugal?

In case you find yourself in an emergency, here is the list of the essential numbers you need to call:

  • Police/ambulance/firefighters: 112
  • 24/7 emergency health line: 808 242 424
  • Forest fires: 117
  • Maritime police: 210 911 100

Driving Situations and Conditions in Portugal

Compared to many other European countries, driving in Portugal is notably less challenging. The country ranks as one of the highest in terms of quality of road infrastructure.

Accident Statistics

According to a 2019 report from Portugal's Department of Transport, the country recorded 621 road fatalities. This translates to 60 road deaths per one million people, which exceeds the average for the European Union. Despite this, Portugal's fatality rates are notably lower than Spain's, which reported 1,755 road deaths in the same year. The government is actively pursuing measures to address key issues contributing to accidents, including driving under the influence, pedestrian accidents, and motor vehicle collisions.

Toll Roads

If you are driving in Portugal, you’ll come across toll roads or what the locals call Autoestradas, in which you will pay to use a section of the motorway. You need to pay tolls via electronic ones that existed back in 2012. You’ll take a ticket from a machine and hand in your payment to the one in charge in the toll booth or whom they call Portagen. The significant tolls are A1 between Lisbon and Porto, A22 between Faro and Portimao, and A28 between Porto and Valencia.

Road Situation

In Portugal’s capital, Lisbon, it is pretty challenging to drive since the road surface is narrow and old. One of the challenges in driving in Lisbon is the lack of parking space and poor traffic management since many cars go in and out of the city. The historic center of Lisbon has quite a high volume of vehicles. You need to have a lot of patience when driving in Lisbon.

Driving in Lisbon is unnecessary since distances are not huge and public transportation covers most of the city. Navigating the narrow hilly streets of the old center is also challenging, and traffic can be a nightmare on the big avenues and access roads. Besides, this is a city best explored on foot.


If you want adventure, Madeira is the place for you. This mountainous portion of Portugal has impressive scenery and refreshing views. Just take note of the challenges you’ll encounter in driving in Madeira. There are steep slopes, massive cliff sides, and narrow roads. Just ensure you prepare before going to Madeira since many roads are going up and down.

Driving Culture

Generally, Portuguese drivers strictly adhere to road and driving rules in Portugal. However, there are still drivers who drive too fast, especially on highways and motorways. Just be cautious when you encounter these drivers. Remember to follow the driving rules and to go within the accepted speed limit. Since the roads’ quality is in good condition, it is up to the drivers to keep a safe and secure driving situation.

The Top Destinations in Portugal

Exploring Portugal, despite its modest size, reveals a wealth of hidden gems and top destinations to visit in Portugal, all waiting to be discovered. The most enjoyable way to uncover Portugal's secret treasures and marvel at its breathtaking vistas, including these top destinations to visit in Portugal, is by cruising the road.


Start your road trip to Portugal’s capital which is Lisbon. It is a must-have experience because this city has palaces, monasteries, enchanting villages, and scenic views. Lisbon still has traces of its ancient past evident in its narrow alleyways. Your Lisbon trip would not be complete without going to the lamplit streets and romantic evening view. You can check the driving map of Portugal to see another tourist spot near the capital.

From Lisbon Portela Airport, it will take you less than 20 minutes to get to the Belem neighborhood if you drive to the A36 route. Here is your driving guide:

From Lisbon Portela Airport, it will take you less than 20 minutes to get to the Belem neighborhood if you drive to the A36 route. Here is your driving guide:

  1. Head west on Av. Berlim.

2. At the roundabout, take the 4th exit and stay on Av. Berlim.

3. Use the left lane to take the ramp onto E1.

4. Merge onto E1 and continue onto 2ª Circular.

5. Continue onto 2ª Circular/A37.

6. Use the right 2 lanes to take exit 1 to merge onto CRIL/A36/IC17 toward Zona
Portuária Algés/A5/Cascais.

7. Keep left to continue on A36.

8. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Av. Brasília heading to Lisboa Centro/Zona
Portuária Alcântara.

Things to Do

  1. Take a day trip to Sintra.

The town of Sintra has been the summer retreat of Portugal's royal family as it is home to the fairytale castle, exquisite architecture, exotic flowers, and lush green forests. You can add this breathtaking and one-of-a-kind view of castles, palaces, and manor estates. If you ever get lost or don’t know where to head next, you can check Portugal’s driving map to check the best places to see next.

2. Go for a city Cruise by sailboat.

Embark on a new experience of the city cruise on the Tagus River. Discover Lisbon’s historic waterfront and sail under the grand iconic Belem Tower, famous landmarks like the MAAT Museum and Commerce Square, and other historical monuments along the way. When you are on the cruise, enjoy the live commentary and learn about the city waterways’ history. Catch the fantastic golden-lit views of the city, especially during the sunset hours.

3. Ride Tram 28.

One of the exciting things to do in Lisbon is to ride Tram 28 from Martim Moniz to Campo Ourique. If you want to avoid some walking but still want to know more about the city’s history, riding the tram is the best for you. Just note that the tram is full and crowded at midday and rush hours, so go before 11 a.m.

4. Visit the colorful food markets in the city.

One of the best places to interact and connect with locals is by going to the market. Go to the Mercado de Alvalade Norte, where you can buy fresh food and freshly made bread from local vendors. The market is open from Monday to Friday from 7 am to 3 pm, and on Saturday, it’s available from 7 am to 4 pm.

5. Go to the Belem neighborhood.

Although Belem is not within the city’s central area, it remains one of Lisbon’s famous neighborhoods since you can see the Belem Tower’s iconic monument. You can easily access Belem by taking tram number 15 at the Cais do Sodre station. You can also go to the nearby Jeronimos Monastery, a beautiful work of architecture and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


You’ll have a two-hour drive if you’re from Lisbon Airport going to Cais da Ribeira. If you want to avoid congestion and you want to drive the fastest route, take A2. But take note that you’ll pass toll roads if you drive to this route. Here’s your driving guide:

1. Merge onto E1 and continue onto A1/E1.

2. Take exit 14 toward A12 Sul and merge onto A36.

3. Continue onto A12 (toll road) and keep left at the fork to continue on IP1, follow
signs for E90/E1/A2/Algarve/Évora.

4. Merge onto A2/IP1.

5. Keep left at the fork to stay on A2, follow signs for E01/Algarve/Alcácer.

6. Take exit 13 toward N393/Almodôvar/Gomes Aires (toll road).

7. Take N393 to cais da ribeira in Almodôvar.

8. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit.

9. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto N393 and turn right to stay on N393.

10. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto R. António Cândido Colaço/N2.

11. Turn right onto R. Nova de São Pedro.

12. R. Nova de São Pedro turns left and becomes Rua de S. Pedro.

13. Turn right toward cais da ribeira.

Things to Do

1. Explore Cais da Ribeira.

The Porto’s riverside area used to be a hive of commerce and businesses. Now, it is where people mingle and make memories. There are many restaurants and bars in the place and there is a picturesque piazza where people gather around. You can also see Luis I Bridge in Cais da Ribeira.

2. Have a great day knowing history at Serralves Museum & Villa.

Serralves is in the western region of Porto and it is the home of Casa de Serralves, an Art Deco in 1925-1944 which houses different artworks. On the other side, there is the Contemporary Art Museum which opened in 1999 for high-profile exhibitions.

3. Stroll in the trendy district of Foz de Douro.

Foz do Douro is a former civil parish in Porto in the western part where the Douro River meets the Atlantic Ocean. The place has fashionable and relaxed vibes in the city and a sophisticated neighborhood with stunning mansions.

There are two fortresses you can go to near the Douro River Bank in the direction of Matosinhos. You can also find here the Farol Molhe Douro Lighthouse, which guided vessels in and out of the city, although it was deactivated in 2009.

4. Visit the oldest part of Porto and see the Porto Cathedral.

Do not forget to go to Porto’s historical landmark and an old center and find an essential religious building, Sé do Porto Catedral. The most notable architectural styles of it are romantic, gothic, and baroque styles.

Despite going through many changes and renovations, you can see the pieces of 12th to 13th-century architecture that are still left in the cathedral. Along your way, you’ll discover stories and secrets of both the cathedral and the area in Porto.

5. Visit the Church of Santa Clara.

In a replacement for medieval content, people built the Church of Santa Clara in 1457. In the 18th century, there were extravagant renovations to different religious buildings. Most of them had red marble, gilding moldings, and wooden carvings on the walls with intricate details, and the exterior of the building was in Gothic style.

Faro and Algarve

If you’re from Faro Airport, it will take you less than 15 minutes to go to Cidade Velha. Just take the fastest route in N125-10. Follow this driving guide to avoid traffic:

1. Continue to N125-10.

2. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto N125-10.

3. Use the right lane to take the ramp to Faro.

4. Merge onto Av. Dr. Gordinho Moreira/IC4.

5. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto Av. José Maria Nunes.

6. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto Praça Largo de Camões/Av. Prof. Dr.
Adelino da Palma Carlos.

7. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto R. Gomes Freire.

8. Turn left onto R. Miguel Bombarda.

9. Turn right onto R. Gil Eanes.

10. Turn left onto Av. da República and slightly right toward Praça Dom Francisco

11. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto R. da Misericórdia.

12. R. da Misericórdia turns right and becomes R. do Albergue then becomes R. José
Maria Brandeiro.

13. Sharp left onto Praça do Afonso III.

Things to Do

1. Explore Faro’s Old Town which is the Cidade Velha.

The best way to get to know Algarve’s capital city is to explore Faro’s compact Old Town. When you get into this area, you’ll realize how rich is the history and how turbulent is the past of this place. In Cidade Velha, there are cobblestoned streets that will lead you to a church in the heart of the city. In the vicinity, you’ll see the dusty medieval walls built over Roman foundations.

2. Visit the Faro Cathedral.

Faro Cathedral’s exterior has Renaissance, Gothic, and Baroque styles. On the other hand, the interior has a glittering chancel coated with azulejos panels and an ornate chapel with intricate wood carvings. There are also Chinese motifs that adorned the church’s organ. Go inside the church and check out the beautiful work of art. You can go to the terrace if you want to witness an estuary seascape.

3. Relax in the beautiful Ria Formosa Nature Reserve.

If you want to get away from city life and any crowded places, you can relax and refresh in this subliminal and pristine Ria Formosa Nature Reserve. The park encloses over 18,00 hectares of salt pans, channels, islets, and lagoons. The nature reserve ecosystem is one of the most important wetland habitats all over Europe. You can take a sightseeing cruise to have a view of the lagoon waters up to the Deserted Island.

4. Try riding the Comboio Turistica or the tourist train to discover many places in

One of the exciting ways to learn and discover Faro’s places and culture is to ride a Comboio Turistica or tourist train. The ride will start from Jardim Manuel Bivar and pass through the city’s landmarks and different top tourist destinations. It will take you about 45 minutes to have one circular route, and one of the impressive stops is in Sao Pedro Church.

5. Swim on the beautiful beaches in Lagos.

Situated on the beautiful Western Algarve is this historic city that boasts seafaring heritage. If you want to get away from the crowded city, it is best to drive from Lisbon to Lagos to see the beautiful and dramatic scenery that is one of Algarve’s finest holiday destinations. From buzzing nightlife to stunning morning views on beaches, the city retains its charm and character.

Explore Portugal By Car

Get your International Driving Permit (IDP) before exploring Portugal! While public transport is available and reliable, renting a car in Portugal gives you unparalleled freedom and convenience. You can discover winding coastal roads, explore hidden mountain villages, and immerse yourself in the picturesque countryside with your International driving permit for Portugal.

Whether you're in search of the serene beaches of the Algarve or the charming corners of Lisbon, Portugal's diverse beauty awaits you. Have a safe journey, and may the open road lead you to unforgettable moments in Portugal!

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