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Why rent a car in Porto?
Porto is a great place to rent a car. Full of history and landmarks, it also serves as a base from where to explore the rest of Northern Portugal.
Top ways to enter Porto
- Porto Airport: Second busiest in Portugal, Porto Airport serves many destinations all across Europe, as well as some in North Africa and North America.
- Vigo Airport: The city of Vigo in the Spanish region of Galicia is just next door to Portugal. Porto can be reached in about two hours. Note that if you’re coming from Vigo to Porto, you’ll have to cross a national border, so check with your car rental provider first to make sure they allow it.
- Santiago de Compostela Airport: Another Galician airport, located in the famous pilgrimage center Santiago, is about three hour ride from Porto. Note that if you’re coming from Vigo to Porto, you’ll have to cross a national border, so check with your car rental provider first to make sure they allow it.
- Lisbon Airport: Portugal’s busiest airport in the nation’s capital has connections to all the world continents, and is just about three hour ride south of Porto.
Useful city facts
- Second largest city in Portugal, Porto has the population of just 237,000 within city limits, but almost 2 million people live in the city’s metropolitan area.
- Warm, dry summers and mild, rainy winter. Winter temperatures typically range between 5 °C (41 °F) during morning and 15 °C (59 °F).
Top destinations and activities
- The Stock Exchange Palace. Perhaps the most well-known Porto landmark, Palácio da Bolsa has everything from the fabled Arab room to a port-wine tasting hall and artefacts of Portugal’s trading past.
- Porto Cathedral. First built in 13th century, this cathedral is a mix of architectural styles and an important place in city’s history. Thanks to its location, it provides an amazing view of the city.
- Livraria Lello. The old bookshop has often been voted as one of the most beautiful in Europe. Visitors admire its spiral staircase and unique design, but the book collection is not too shabby, either. You’ll have to buy a €5 voucher to enter, but you can spend in on books once you’re in.
Traffic and parking tips
- You can only enter the roundabout after giving way to cars already on it.
- The car documentation and insurance always has to be inside a vehicle.
- Drivers can only use a mobile phone if it is a hands free or an earpiece.
- The legal alcohol limit is 0.05% for experienced drivers and 0.2 for novice drivers.
- Safety cameras are in use.
- When parking in a street, your car must be parked facing the direction of travel.
A lot of motorways in Portugal are subject to toll fees. See the official site for maps and prices.
Ideas for a day-trip
- Braga. About an hour’s drive northeast, Braga justifies its reputation as a religious center with many beautiful churches and cathedrals. However, there’s also a more hip element, as the city recently had the title of European Youth Capital for a year.
- Beaches. Going up or down the coast will get you to beautiful secluded spots or surfing centers like Nazaré, but even in the near vicinity of Porto you can find great beaches like Granja, Miramar, and Aguda.
- Peneda-Gerês National Park. About an hour’s drive north of Porto, this nature park is home to such diverse wildlife as wolves, emerald lizards and honey buzzards, and a beautiful green area to explore and relax in.
Most popular rental types and cars
The most popular rental car in Portugal is the VW Polo, followed by the Ford Fiesta and the Fiat 500. The most popular rental car types are economy, mini, and compact.
- Lisbon. Nation’s capital and Porto’s great rival is just as charming, but different in lifestyle, architecture, and atmosphere. Some travelers prefer Porto, while others fall in love with Lisbon, but you can say you’ve truly been to Portugal only if you’ve visited them both.
- Coimbra. First settled by Romans and important during medieval times, Coimbra boasts having one of the world’s oldest universities and an impressively delicious local cuisine.
- Galicia. Just north of Porto, Spain’s westernmost region is home to wild nature more similar to Scotland than Barcelona, distinct local character, and beautiful cities like Santiago de Compostela, Vigo, and A Coruña.
How can I save money on my rental car?
There are things you can do to get a good rental car deal in Porto:
- Compare rates of different rental car providers
- Book your rental car well in advance
- Plan your route before you go
- Know your fuel and mileage requirements
- Visit on the month when the rental prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting Porto is the cheapest in March when renting a car is about 48% cheaper than the yearly average.
Which is the cheapest month to rent a car in Porto?
What’s the usual rental length in Porto?
What's the most popular month to rent a car in Porto?
Top 5 Cities near Porto
Top 7 Locations near Porto
Top 16 Best Porto Suppliers in 2019
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