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Lisbon to Lagos by Bus, Train or Rental Car

Lagos is a fantastic holiday destination that is situated on the western Algarve, and offers a stunning coastline, a charming historic centre and lively nightlife. Lisbon is the vibrant capital of Portugal and also the location of the country’s main international airport.

Lagos lies 250km south of Lisbon and both cities are connected by reliable and inexpensive public transport. This guide will detail how to travel from Lisbon to Lagos by bus, train or rental car, and includes ticket prices, links to timetables and station information. .

Bus or Train?

There are both bus and train services that connect Lisbon to Lagos, and there is very little to separate them. The express bus routes provide a direct service and use modern comfortable buses. Whereas the train is more relaxing and spacious, but a connection is required in the small town of Tunes. Both options have similar journey times; 3h30 for the train and around 3h45 for the bus (though there are multiple routes) and there are similar fares.

The choice between bus or train is really down to your own personal preference, as neither one is significantly better than the other. The bus is direct, but the train is more spacious and provides more leg room. The following section will detail both the bus and train services in greater depth.

Book your seats in advance!

If you take just one thing from this article, it should be to book your seats (for both train and bus) in advance of the jounrey, and this is especially true in the busy summer season.

The intercity train between Lisbon and Tunes has to be booked before travelling, as each ticket is designed a seat. The express bus services should be booked in-advance as seats are limited and certain routes pass through the popular resort towns of Portimao and Albufeira.

Eva buses

Eva buses are the main coach operator of the Algarve

The added advantage of booking well before the day of travel is that there can be significant discounts. Both the rail and bus tickets can be purchased online or at the corresponding bus or train station.


The remainder of the article will explain in depth traveling from Lisbon to Lagos, by first bus, then train and final by rental car.

Lisbon to Lagos by bus

Bus travel in Portugal is safe and inexpensive, and the buses are clean and modern. The main intercity bus company of Portugal is Rede Expresso, but they also own Eva, which is the largest bus operator in the Algarve. There is a third bus company, Renex, who were once a private company, but in 2016 were also acquired by Rede Expresso. So out of the appearance of three different buses companies, there is just one conglomerate; this does make checking timetables or purchasing tickets much easier.

Rede Expresso bus

Rede Expresso buses are smart, modern and safe

There are total of five different bus routes from Lisbon and Lagos, with a mixture of Rede Expresso, Eva or Renex buses, but all have similar journey times (around 3h45). An adult single ticket costs €19.00 and a return is €36.00 (prices correct Jan18). The latest timetable for all bus services can be viewed on the Rede Expresso websites:

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Annoyingly their website is not mobile friendly (just an app to download, great!) and they do not publish PDF copies of their timetables, so the search feature must be used (doubly annoying for mobile users). There are multiple bus stations in Lisbon, but Sete Rois is the main one - use “Lisboa Sete Rios” for the search feature.

Watch out: The former Renex services depart and terminate at the Gare do Oriente. Always confirm the departure location in Lisbon on your ticket!

Tickets during the high season should always be pre-booked, and you should take into account that all bus services get very busy on Sundays, when the Portuguese head back home after their weekend breaks to the Algarve.

 Sete Rois

Sete Rois in Lisbon is a busy bus station

The Eva and Rede Expresso buses depart Lisbon from the Sete Rios bus station, which is the main bus station of Lisbon. It is located on the blue metro line and connected to the Jardim Zoológico metro station. Some Renex buses depart Lisbon from the Gare do Oriente bus station, which is in the Parque das Nações district, and is connected to the red metro line.


Both Sete Rios and Gare do Oriente are large and modern bus stations with late opening ticket offices and generally good facilities. Lisbon bus stations are safe to travel from but always use common sense when passing through as pick-pockets are always on the search for easy opportunities.

Lagos bus station is much smaller and is 1.5km to the north of the city, on the Largo Rossio de Sao Joao road. Lagos bus station ticket office is open every day from 7:30 to 20:30. .

Lagos to Lisbon by Train

The train journey between Lisbon and Lagos requires a connection at Tunes and uses two very different trains. The train between Lagos and Tunes is a slow regional service while the journey from Tunes to Lisbon is by a fast and modern intercity train.

Lagos train station

The regional train in Lagos train station

The main consideration when traveling by train is finding a connection that works; the regional train has infrequent departures and there are only limited intercity trains to or from the Algarve. For the latest timetables please see the Combios de Portugal (CP) website, the timetable that lists all suitable connections from Lisbon to Lagos is found here:

Timetable with all trains from Lisbon to the Algarve (and all intercity trains):

Algarve regional timetable:

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Intercidades train

The Intercidades train in Faro station

The journey from Lisbon to Tunes takes three hours and there are two choices of intercity train; the Alfa-Pendular or the Intercidades. The Alfa-Pendular trains are modern and provide more luxurious carriages with a slightly faster journey, and are worthy of the extra expense. The intercity train between Tunes and Lisbon must be pre-booked and the tickets can be purchased from any train station or on the Comboios de Portugal (CP) website:

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A single from Lisbon to Lagos on the Alfa-Pendular costs €22.70 and the Intercidades costs €21.70. It is now possible on the CP website to book both trains in one transaction and payment can be via Paypal. Seats will be allocated on the intercity train but no revered seats are provided for the Tunes-Lagos regional train, this is no issue as seats are always available. The journey on the regional train can feel excruciatingly slow, taking 1 hour to travel the 45km from Tunes to Lagos.

Train Stations

Lagos train station is to the east of the city, on the opposite side of the estuary and is crossed via the footbridge. Lagos train station is big and modern but having only a single track and ten daily departures it is very easy to navigate around. At Tunes there will be the need to change platform but there is good signage and lots of other travellers will be making the same connection.

Oriente station

Oriente station is an iconic building

In Lisbon there are two intercity train stations; Gare do Oriente and Santa Apolonia. All trains from the Algarve pass through the Gare do Oriente and most stop in Santa Apolonia, (check train schedule). Gare do Oriente train station is connected to the red metro line and is closer to the airport, which is also on the red metro line.

Santa Apolonia is on the blue metro line and is within the historic centre of Lisbon, so for the majority of tourists this is the more convenient station to either depart from to travel to.

Please note: Not all trains depart from Santa Apolonia, always confirmdeparture loaction on the ticket or the CP website.

Lagos to Lisbon by car – The Quickest Method

The easiest method to travel between Lagos and Lisbon is to drive; the fastest route follows A2 toll expressway, which passes through the interior of southern Portugal. The expressway is always empty due to the tolls, and by car the journey takes two and half hours. If you are hiring a rental car and intend to drive on the toll expressways always ensure that the car has a transponder that automatically pays the tolls. Many sections of the toll expressway do not have manned or coin-operated toll gates and to pay the fees without a transponder involves an overly complicated method at limited shops.

Lagos lisbon bus

On the bus to Lagos......

Driving in Lagos and along the expressway is safe and easy, but driving in Lisbon is notoriously difficult. Lisbon’s traffic can be horrendous, the drivers are erratic, and there is poor signage, while car parking is very limited – there is no need for a rental car while exploring Lisbon.



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The best guide to Lagos


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