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


I have no easy means to check or update so please confirm through sources given below.

GUARDA (pop.42,000, urban area 55,000) is a city of Northeastern Portugal. It is not in the Algarve - I was visiting! The city is about 197 miles / 316 km by road from Lisbon and 126 miles /202km from Porto.

From Lisbon Airport and City to Guarda 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 now 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
If you are planning to spend time in Lisbon, all trains to Guarda start from the city centre SANTA APOLÓNIA station.

Check all details and buy your intercity tickets at nb tickets can only be bought a maximum of 60 days in advance.

From Lisbon Santa Apolónia there are three direct Intercity trains each day. Departures at 0730, 1230 and 1830. One way ticket without discount €21,20 second class, €29,40 1st class. Return journeys from Guarda to Lisbon leave at 0655, 1225 and 1755. There is an extra train at 1616 to .Coimbra-B daily with connections for Lisbon. On Sundays this train runs through to Lisbon.

These also stop at Lisbon Oriente (much closer to the airport) 9 minutes after leaving Santa Apolónia. Journey time to Guarda approx 4hrs 20 minutes.

Reservation is required on all InterCity trains. You can buy a ticket at the last minute, but if the train is full you will have to wait until the next one. There are one or two connections daily using regional trains, changing en route at Coimbra - B from Intercity or ALFA trains to regional trains. These journeys will take one or even two hours longer than the direct Intercity trains and can be more expensive.

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 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.

When the border is re.opened and the train restored to service, you can also travel to and from Guarda on the International train operated by RENFE (Spanish Railways) but at a much higher price. The train from Lisbon leaves Santa Apolónia at 21.25hrs arriving in Guarda at 01.40hrs. The train towards Lisbon leaves Guarda at 02.22hrs , arriving at Santa Apolónia at 07.30hrs. Both trains also stop at Lisbon Oriente for the airport. Tickets are NOT SOLD at the Portugal Railways website. Go to for ticket purchase. Reservations are essential. This train often sells out as it is the only cross border train between Lisbon and Madrid.

Lisbon - Guarda by bus (coach) - OPERATED BY CITI EXPRESS

You will probably 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

Consult the long distance bus website for Lisbon - Guarda times and tickets, remember it's LISBOA on the timetable search. All journeys are operated by Citi-Express. One-way fare is currently €19.00 and the journey takes about 4 hrs 30 minutes. There are four or five journeys each way every day, six on Fridays and Sundays during University terms. Some journeys may call at Lisbon Oriente bus station,which is much nearer the airport than Sete Rios.  Reservations are strongly recommended for travel on Friday and Sunday afternoons and evenings.

Porto to Guarda by train

There is no direct route by train. Travel by IC train from Porto Campanhã to Pampilhosa and change there. Shortest journey time is 2 hours 50 minutes, most other journeys around 4 hours. The latter option does compare badly with the coach (bus) services which take a more direct route. There are five or six trains available each day.

One way full price 2nd class ticket €20,90 using Intercity trains. Details and ticket purchase at

There is a metro connection between Porto Airport and Campanhã station - details at

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 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.

Porto to Guarda by coach (bus)

Rede-Expressos runs from Porto Campo 24 de Agosto Bus Station, journey is about 3 hours. There are currently five direct journeys every day, with additional faster journeys in both directions on Fridays and Sundays during University term times.

One way standard fare ticket is €14,40. Tickets can be purchased at the Rede Expressos website

The Campo 24 de Agosto bus terminal is a short distance outside Porto city centre, about two minutes walk from the Campo 24 de Agosto metro station and is served by numerous city bus routes.

SPAIN to / from Guarda by train or coach (bus)

The Sud Express International train is cancelled until further notice. There are no other rail connections across this area of the border.

Guarda is a stop for the International Sud Express train to and from Hendaye (France) via San Sebastian, Vallodolid and Salamanca and the Lusitania Hotel train from Madrid via Salamanca. These trains are combined as one train between Salamanca and Lisbon via Guarda. It runs overnight in both directions and is the ONLY train across the border. It is operated by RENFE (Spanish Railways) and for the essential reservations and further details visit their website - in both directions the stop at Guarda is made in the very early hours of the morning.

There is a once daily coach (long distance bus) passing through Guarda on its way between Porto and Madrid. See for times and tickets. There is also a service three times a week across north western Spain towards France with connections to all parts of Europe. Website for details and tickets.

Arriving in Guarda

The old city is on top of a tall hill. The railway station is  about 2 miles / 3km from the city centre. There is a bus service between the station and the city centre about every 30 - 60 minutes on weekdays, less often at weekends. See below for details. The bus station (Centro Coordenador de Transportes) is just outside the old city, in Rua António Sérgio next to the Municipal market.

Getting around in Guarda

Once you are up in the old city it is walkable if rather hilly. You cannot easily drive around there anyway! The city and suburbs have a network of five bus routes operated under the name  Transportes Urbanos da Guarda. The service is operated by Transdev. The website information is only in Portuguese. These all stop outside the bus station or the Mercado Municipal, which is adjacent.

Route 1 also stops at the railway station. This runs at irregular times, but about every 30 minutes on weekdays during busy times, every hour at other times with part of the route having buses until around 2300hrs. At weekends it runs only three times each way. Route 2 is the only other route with daily service, with two journeys each way on Saturdays and Sundays. The remaining three routes run only on weekdays.

Some of the buses used do not display the route number, just the destination. Ticket is €1,10 for any journey paid cash. A pre paid pass of ten tickets costs €8,50 and monthly pass €24,50. Further discounts are available for those under 18 and aged 19 - 22 i.e. university students.The pre pay tickets and passes are sold at the bus station ticket office.

Further afield from Guarda - local trains, local and regional buses

The railway from Guarda has local trains stopping at all the villages en route towards the border at Vilar Formoso. These trains run twice daily. There is no local passenger train service on the Spanish side. The only train to cross the border is the international train mentioned above.

In the other direction there are three local trains on weekdays and two on Saturdays and Sundays heading through the countryside to and from Coimbra. However some small stations are served only once a day, making and out and back trip almost impossible. Intercity trains can be used for trips between larger towns.

The railway line between Guarda and Covilhã re-opened to passengers on 2nd May. There are stops at Sabugal, Benespera, Maçainhas, Belmonte and Caria. There are six trains every day, at highly irregular intervals!

They are modern electric suburban type trains. The timetable can be downloaded here.

The Citi Express coach services mentioned above go to Covilhã,  Viseu, Celorico da Beira, Mangualde, Trancoso and other nearby towns in the region.

There are almost no bus services between Guarda and the surrounding area outside the city suburbs. There are no buses at all on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.  Buses do not have route / line numbers. There was a very messy display of timetables posted downstairs in the bus station. The information is too fragmented to be summarised here. Suffice it to say that most villages have only one bus a day, into Guarda in the morning and returning in the evening.

For Manteigas there are two buses each way on weekdays only. A day trip is not possible. Operator unknown - times here

Football Stadium in Guarda

The Guarda municipal stadium is within walking distance of the city centre. No buses pass nearby. Guarda however has no team in the top three levels of Portuguese football.

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 Guarda as a city, please see this Wikipedia article 

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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