Although many people fly to Faro, there are also many who first visit Lisbon and then head south. Sometimes there are even good deals on low-cost flights to Lisbon and, when doing the math, it’s cheaper to fly to Lisbon and then take the train or bus to Faro. There are more buses than trains, but we recommend the train, as it offers more room and the journey is more scenic. Both take about as long to reach Faro -- between 3 hours and 3 hours and 30 minutes.
If you’re driving, it takes just 2 hours and 30 minutes, crossing 25 de Abril Bridge, then following highway A2 and then the A22.
Train to Faro from Lisbon
There are just five daily train services between Lisbon and Faro, departing from Oriente Station -- two in the morning and three in the afternoon. The first one of the day and one in the afternoon are of the higher speed service “Alfa Pendular” (AP) which takes 3 hours, while the others are of the regular long-distance “Intercidades” (IC) service, which takes 3 hours and 30 minutes. A ticket for the AP is €23.50 (€31.40 for first class), while the IC is €22.15 (€28.95 for first class). There isn’t much difference between first and second/“tourist” class, except for the availability of power outlets and more spacious seats in the first. For the departure times, see the cp.pt website.
Tickets must be bought before boarding, online or at the ticket office at the station, and have an assigned seat. Keep them handy for inspection during your trip. The train station in Faro is in the city center, within walking distance of most hotels.
Bus to Faro from Lisbon
Over a dozen daily buses connect Lisbon to Faro. They’re from four different companies (Rede Expressos, Eva-Mundial Turismo and Renex, which are part of the same group, and FlixBus), and are all comfortable, modern buses. Most depart from the Sete Rios terminal, while another handful, of the Renex and FlixBus companies, depart from Oriente Station. Oriente Station is just three Metro stops from the airport, and is better for those heading straight to Faro from a flight to Lisbon, or for those staying at a hotel in the Parque das Nações district. For everyone else, Sete Rios is the more convenient terminal, as it’s right outside the Jardim Zoológico station of the Metro (blue line).
Depending on the service (how many stops it makes on the way) and time of day, the journey takes anywhere between 3 hours and 15 minutes and 4 hours and 25 minutes. Tickets are bought at the stations or online at rede-expressos.pt or www.flixbus.pt, and can range between 8 and 20 euros (there are often deals when bought in advance or last-minute discounts). The Rede Expressos website sells tickets and displays departure times for all three companies of the group. When buying your ticket from this website, you need to provide your national ID or passport number. In the high tourist season (from June to September), expect long lines at the stations’ ticket offices, so arrive some time in advance. The bus station in Faro is very central, down the road from the Old Town and the marina, and within walking distance of most hotels.