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I'm planning to arrive to Madrid soon and make a short 3-4 day trip to Portugal (Lisbon+Porto). Can anyone point me to some budget means of transport (hitch-hiking is out of the question) - websites, company names, anything would be welcome.

More specifics:

I can drive but there will be only 2 of us going so I don't think it will pay off.

Ideal option would be getting there overnight so as not to lose the day on travelling.

International trains can be expensive so I'd rather not take them. I checked flights - Ryanair Madrid-Porto is around 40 euro but flights have to be booked couple of weeks earlier and I'd rather be flexible until let's say a week before the journey when the final plan gets clarified :)

In many countries there is some kind of a bus service - really cheap one (like meinfernbus in Germany or OrangeWays in Hungary) - which for example offers tickets more cheaply if you book them in advance (and these are really a bargain). Does something like this function in Spain?

  • I edited the post :) Porto & Lisbon – kch Dec 2 '14 at 23:23
  • Can you drive, or do you require transport? Have you looked at RyanAir as they often have cheap flights? – Mark Mayo Dec 3 '14 at 2:00
  • Also it'd be great if you could be more specific at all - there's no specific question (see the help center on how to form questions here), so some may close as too many possible answers. – Mark Mayo Dec 3 '14 at 2:01
  • eurolines.es could be useful if you are making a journey at close notice this is generally the cheapest – skv Dec 3 '14 at 4:04
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Bus is around 80-90 € (return). I think that there is very expensive and only an option if

Flight depends on the day and company. The cheapest companies are Ryanair and EasyJet. Expect to pay at least 40 € for a return ticket to Porto and 60 € to Lisbon. Anyway, you can find one way tickets from 15 € to Porto or 27 € to Lisbon if you plan in advance. I think this is a good option (may be the cheapest) to get to Porto.

You can book a sit in a RENFE train to get to Lisbon from 50-60 € (return), but it's really slow (night train). Your best bet is to try the high speed train, but then the price is higher than 100 €.

The cheapest way to reach Portugal from Madrid is using a shared car service. Specifically, in Spain the most used is BlaBlaCar, but there are a lot more (Carpooling, Amovens and some non-international more). In your case, Madrid ↔ Lisbon is 25-30 € each way and Madrid ↔ Porto is around 30 € (it seems easier to find a shared car to Lisbon than to Porto, and both are easier in weekends). You must take into account that these services are not as reliables as a train or bus and are usually booked one week in advance (before, the drivers don't register their routes).

  • Thanks for your reply. How about finding the way to get to the border by some budget Spanish buses, crossing it on your own and then continuing with Portugese transport? I know it tends to be cheaper in many countries but of course also more cumbersome... would you say it's worth it? – kch Dec 4 '14 at 13:04
  • Definitively not. Transport between Spain and Portugal operate as local transport in most of cases and doing so is like to buy two tickets to make a unique trip: normally it will be slower and more expensive. – Ivan Dec 5 '14 at 15:17

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