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BRAGA - how to get there by train or bus and how to get around

DURING THE CURRENT 'CRISIS' THESE TIMES MAY ALTERED AT VERY SHORT NOTICE.
PLEASE CHECK AT THE OFFICIAL WEBSITES FOR THE TIMES ON THE EXACT DATE YOU PLAN TO TRAVEL
LONG DISTANCE TRAIN SERVICE IS CURRENTLY REDUCED FROM WHAT IS STATED BELOW
LONG DISTANCE BUS (COACH) TICKETS MAY BE AVAILABLE ONLY 14 DAYS IN ADVANCE

I have no easy means to check or update everything so please confirm through sources given below. PLEASE CHECK AT THE OFFICIAL WEBSITES.

BRAGA (pop.110,000, urban area 171,000) is a city of Northern Portugal. It is not in the Algarve - I was visiting! It stands about 54km (34 miles) north - east of the major city of Porto.

It is therefore about the same distance from PORTO airport. Lisbon and its airport are some 375km (235 miles) to the south.

From Porto Airport to Braga portometrologolinha_braga.gif

GETBUS operates a direct service between Porto Airport and Braga, costing €8 each way or €14 return. This is the quickest way. There are seven buses each way every day until further notice. The non-stop journey takes 50 minutes. Tickets can be bought on line or, with cash only,  from the bus driver. At Braga tickets are also sold at the Getbus ticket office in the bus station.

By metro and train it is more frequent, straightforward and inexpensive, but slower. Take the METRO DO PORTO Line E from the Airport to Campanhã station. You will need to change trains at Trindad station, which is now the end of E line. Trains are currently running about every 30 minutes every day. The first train from the airport is at 0557, the last train at 0042 every day. That will take about 35 minutes and costs €2.60 - a Z4 (four zone) ticket. More details at the METRO DO PORTO website. By the way, don't throw away your 'ANDANTE' ticket if you are coming back to Porto. It is rechargeable. You can use it until it wears out and saves you €0.60 on each subsequent ticket of the same type. Tickets are sold at the Airport tourist office, but if it's not open you will need some coins for the ticket machines. [The service to the Airport from Trindad starts at 0616 every day with last train at 0044 every night.]

At Campanhã walk from the Metro station round to the main railway station of CP, Portuguese Railways. That takes only a minute.

From there, local electric trains of the Porto Urbanos network run to Braga about once every hour every day, with extra, faster, trains in weekday rush hours. The normal journey takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes and will cost €3.25. There are simple to use ticket machines in the hall; there were long lines at the ticket office all three times I was there. The machines take notes as well as coins. Special note - all CP Porto Urbanos train tickets are now issued on a rechargeable card called SIGA. This costs 50 cents. Do not  throw it away as it can be used for second and subsequent ticket purchases on the Porto Urbanos network. NB these 'Urbanos' tickets are NOT VALID on Alfa Pendular or Intercity trains. Urbanos trains are (mostly) bright yellow!  bragamapIf you do use one of the Alfa Pendular or Intercity fast trains the trip to Braga will cost you 8 - 10 Euros more to save about 30 minutes.

First train from Porto Campanhã to Braga is at 0620 on weekdays, 0650 daily. The last trains are at 2310 then at 0055 daily. These start from Porto São Bento station five minutes earlier. Be sure to check timetables at the Portugal Railways Official website. First train from Braga to Porto runs daily at 0434 then at 0529 (except Sundays and Holidays), 0621on weekdays and 0629 Daily. Trains then run at least once each hour until 2039 daily, then at 2139 (weekends), 2239 (weekdays) with the last train at 2332 daily.

If you plan to spend some time in Porto before moving on, the trains to Braga start at the city centre SÃO BENTO station. This historic building is in the heart of the city (it has a Metro station also) and is worth a visit in its own right!

The national long distance bus (coach) network Rede-Expressos has frequent daily service between Porto's Campo 24 de Agosto bus station and Braga from 1000 until 2230 with a couple of earlier and later journeys on certain days of the week. Times at www.rede-expressos.pt - tickets cost €5 or 6 according to time of day etc - this is almost double the train fare. Tickets can be bought on line up to 30 days in advance at the Rede Expressos website www.rede-expressos.pt.  Journey time is 1 hour. Getbus runs six to eight direct buses every day between the airport and the city centre bus station. Details here.  You can get to the bus station on the metro, alighting at Campo 24 de Agosto station.

From Lisbon Airport and City to Braga by train  cplogo

If you are not planning to spend time in Lisbon, you will need to get from the Airport to LISBOA ORIENTE station. This is very simple using the Lisbon metro (subway) from the airport station. Trains run to Oriente station every few minutes from 0630 until 0100 every night. The journey takes about 5 minutes. There is also city bus 744 to Oriente. City bus details at http://www.carris.pt/
 
If you are planning to spend time in Lisbon, trains to Braga start from the city centre SANTA APOLÓNIA station. Check timetables and buy tickets at www.cp.pt

One way 'normal' tourist (2nd) class fare is €34,40 on the direct Alfa Pendular trains, €26,60 on others. Discounts available for advance booking - see below.

As of 26 April, Only about half the 'normal' direct Lisbon <> Braga service is currently operating. Please check the timetables before making firm travel plans. You will probably have to change trains at Porto Campanhã station.

Reservations for train trips in Portugal can only be made up to a MAXIMUM of 60 days in advance. You can reserve on line at www.cp.pt and print your own ticket. A big discount is available on many trains for tickets purchased more than 8 days in advance. DO NOT use RailEurope etc as they cannot issue the required seat reservation for which you will pay extra.

Lisbon - Braga by bus (coach) operated by REDE EXPRESSOS

You will need to make your way from the airport to the SETE RIOS bus terminal. This is about 3 miles/5km from the airport and is linked to it by the underground metro line. Take any train to the end of the line at São Sebastião then change to the Blue Line for a two stop ride to Jardim Zoológico station, which is adjacent to Sete Rios. Trains run every few minutes from 0630 daily. The journey will take around 25 minutes and cost €2.

There is also a direct bus, Aerobus 2, from the airport to Sete Rios but running only once each hour from 0800 to 1900hrs. Consult the Aerobus website for details. For your bus options from elsewhere in the city check the city bus website at http://www.carris.pt/

Consult the long distance bus website www.rede-expressos.pt for Lisbon - Braga times and tickets, remember it's LISBOA on the timetable search. One-way standard fare is currently €23.00 (some discounted tickets can be available for as little as €9,50) and the journey takes about 4hrs 30 minutes. There are about 12 journeys every day, from 0700 to 1900 with earlier and later journeys on certain days. Rede Expressos also covers journeys to Braga from many towns and cities through Portugal.

Arriving in Braga

The railway station in Braga is on the western edge of the city centre, a few minutes walk along a mainly pedestrian street will get you there. Taxis are outside, as are local buses. None of the city buses directly connect the railway station and main bus station!

The bus station (Central de Camionagem) in Braga is a closer to the city centre, in Avenida General Norton do Matos. Taxis outside if you need one. It is in the centre of this Map. The tourist office is right in the city centre, almost opposite McDonalds, at Avenida da Liberdade, number 1.

Getting around in Braga

tub_logoBraga is a walkable city, if a bit hilly! If you need local buses around the city and immediate suburbs, consult the city bus company website at www.tub.pt

Bus service generally runs between 0700 and 2100hrs, but many routes do not run at all at weekends or on holidays. The website is only in Portuguese. There are some late buses, in particular between the railway station and the University campus. There is a zonal ticket system. Cash fares range from €1,55 to €2,00 according to the number of zones travelled. These are valid for 1 hour from first use, so you can use more than one bus for your journey.Tourist tickets are available for 1, 2 and 3 days offering discounted travel on all city bus routes. The one day tourist pass all zones is €3,35 - these are also available, with discount, for 5 and 10 people as a group.They have a very good city street and bus map on their website here and also good maps of individual routes showing all stops.

Further afield from Braga - local and regional buses

DURING THE CURRENT 'CRISIS' THESE BUS TIMES MAY ALTERED AT VERY SHORT NOTICE.
PLEASE CHECK AT THE OFFICIAL WEBSITES FOR THE TIMES ON THE EXACT DATE YOU PLAN TO TRAVEL.

Braga is at the end of the railway line, so the train does not give many options apart from getting back to Porto or Lisbon. You can, with a change of train at Nine (pronounced NEEN) get to the Spanish border at Valença do Minho in around 2 hrs 30 minutes. From there, two trains a day and a few buses (www.autna.com) run to the Spanish city of Vigo. There are a few direct coaches (buses) between Braga and Vigo operated by Flixbus (www.flixbus.pt) and ALSA (www.alsa.es) with connections to and from Santiago de Compostela.

Several bus companies operate from Braga bus station to a variety of nearby destinations. I recommend that if you are intending to roam the area or make an onward journey by bus, you visit the bus terminal as soon as possible after your arrival. Each bus company has its own office, so you my need to make several enquiries, which is why I didn't.

Buses are reasonably frequent on weekdays, but few run on Saturdays and on many routes there are none on Sundays or Holidays. Interurban and local buses finish between 2000hrs and 2100hrs. Please bear these things in mind before making your plans too firm.

Bus companies operating from the terminal include:

TransDev - buses to Guimarães, Viana do Castelo, Póvoa de Varzim, Famaliçao, Ponte de Lima and Barcelos

Arriva - Guimarães, Famaliçao, Fafe, Póvoa de Varzim

EBA - runs jointly with TransDev to Guimarães and Ponte de Lima. The current timetable for buses between Braga and Guimarães can be viewed and downloaded here.

How to get to the Gerês National Park area from Braga

There are buses between Braga and Gerês, operating seven times a day on weekdays, three times on Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays. Journey is 1 hr 25 minutes, price unknown.  Details here, will open a new window to an external link.

Transdev has a limited service between Braga and Campo de Gerês (Vale Furnas), but which does include Sunday trips especially timed for a day out. Website for times is www.transdev.pt only in Portuguese.

Braga < > Guimarães

Buses to Guimarães are a joint operation between TransDev, Arriva and EBA. Buses run about every hour on weekdays until 8pm, but less frequently on Saturdays and only about every 90 minutes on Sundays and holidays. They run through Morreira and Caldas Taipas, the latter a well-known spa resort.  The timetable is available on line here

There is also a fast bus once each hour on weekdays only via the motorway, timetable here - look for Bus Plus 05. This bus basically operates only when the schools and universities are open; check the timetable calendar carefully. On that timetable (CC) means the main bus station in the two cities.

There are also international links through Spain available through some of those above.

Football Stadium in Braga

The stadium of SC Braga is within walking distance of the city centre, you will be pleased to know. It's about a mile (1.6km) outside, on the northern edge. Local bus routes 05 and 22 stop nearby. Additional buses to and from the suburbs are provided for matches.

Comments and updates

If you have any comments or updates for this page, I will be pleased to receive them by email. For more about Braga as a city, please see this article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Braga

I take no responsibility for any inconvenience caused as a result of later changes to times etc. This page is for general guidance only and you must check details before making commitments and decisions!

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