• A1 motorway Porto Lisbon sign

Driving from Porto to Lisbon – what are the toll charges on the A1 motorway?

The distance from Porto to Lisbon in Portugal is approximately 320 km (198 miles). For the airport in Porto, please add another 14 km (9 miles) by car.

When travelling by car to Lisbon, the toll road begins just south of Porto at Grijó, Vila Nova de Gaia. Please note that there is no toll when driving from the City Centre to Porto Airport by the IC1 and N107.

The total toll charges driving to Lisbon from Porto/Vila Nova de Gaia, per 2015/2016, is about €38, which is likely to increase with inflation.

A1 motorway Porto Lisbon

We recommend the A1 to save lots of time, but it is rather expensive driving from Porto to Lisbon by the A1 © Photo: Porto-Airport-car-rental.com 

You can expect to cover the distance Porto-Lisbon in 2,5 to 3 hours by using the excellent A1 motorway, and if you press on with a heavy foot in little traffic, a 2 hours drive to Lisbon is possible on the A1, but not advisable as the GNR police will be watching the road for speeding vehicles.

The A1 motorway in Portugal is also sometimnes referred to as the IP1 and is part of the E1.

Non-toll route Porto-Lisbon – the sometimes not so scenic N1 road

If you want to avoid the toll road A1/IP1/E1, use the old highway N1 – also referred to as the IC2 between Lisbon and Porto.

Be warned, however, that many locals and an abundance of truck drivers will do the same.

The idea to save nearly €40 in toll is appealing, but the old road is not really fit for the amount of traffic it frequently has to accomodate. The trip will easily take at least 1,5 hours longer and sometimes even much longer than that compared to driving between Porto and Lisbon by the A1 motorway.

N1IC2 highway Porto Lisbon

The N1/IC2 at the Pampilhosa do Botão exit 20 km north of Coimbra © Photo: Porto-Airport-car-rental.com 

Add to the experience of the N1 road the drab surroundings and poor state of the northern part of the road, and you are in for a time consuming stretch where queues and being stuck between polluting trucks on a single lane highway, are the order of the day.

If you want to venture away from the A1 and if you have some time to spare, the following strategy should be applied: Exit the A1 for a while – for instance at Coimbra – and make a stop at one of the many road-side inns and restaurants at the N1/IC2. Some are really good! – and all are reasonably priced.

Go where the locals go. If many cars are parked in front of a restaurant, it is probably both good and cheap.

Restaurante O Valdemar N1

The, from the outside, unassuming Restaurante O Valdemar at Avelãs de Caminho on the N1/IC2 old highway © Photo: Porto-Airport-car-rental.com 

Whatever you do, consider strongly to get back on the A1 motorway well before reaching Porto. The last 50 km on the old N1/IC2 approaching the capital of the North from Lisbon is a nightmare.

The same advise goes for driving towards Lisbon. N1/IC2 becomes tiresome around Leiria north of Lisbon. Approaching the capital from here, the Portuguese infrastructure also becomes much more developed, and for the last stretch to Lisbon or to the Cascais-Sintra area west of Lisbon, it is, usually, way better to use the modern roads and pay the toll charges.

Please note that between Porto and Lisbon, all road tolls are charged on the spot. You can use cash (€) or credit card.