HI Hostels Blog

Discover Portugal by Train – A Budget Adventure With Hostelling International


Portugal, with its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning landscapes, has always been a popular destination for travellers seeking an authentic European experience. There’s a unique charm in embarking on this adventure by train, coupled with the affordability and camaraderie offered by HI hostels. You will not only be saving money but also have more of a chance to share stories and make new friends along the way! From the bustling streets of Lisbon to the tranquil shores of Porto, the Portuguese rail network connects major cities and quaint towns, making it an ideal choice for adventurers looking to explore the country at their own pace.

Here are some must-visit destinations in Portugal, all conveniently reachable by train. Enhance your experience with exciting tours and activities from GetYourGuide* – they’ve got loads to offer in each destination, plus, HI members enjoy a 5% discount! Let’s go explore!

Porto – Where Tradition Meets Innovation

Porto is a city renowned for its historic architecture, Port wine cellars, and lively riverfront. Wander through the UNESCO-listed Ribeira district, cross the iconic Dom Luís I Bridge, and savour a traditional Francesinha sandwich in one of Porto’s cosy taverns. After your busy day, rest and relax at HI Porto while taking in the amazing view!

Coimbra – A Trip Through Academic History

Continue your rail adventure to Coimbra, home to one of Europe’s oldest universities and a treasure trove of medieval landmarks. Stroll along the scenic Mondego River, and immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant student culture. HI Coimbra will not disappoint, it’s ideally situated and brimming with youthful energy.

Evora – A Cultural Paradise

Evora leaves you spoilt for choice. A beautiful university town with one of the best-preserved Roman ruins on the Iberian Peninsula. Drop your things off at HI Evora and take a wander along the cobbled streets, a look in the artisan shops and savour some of the local delicacies in a local tavern.

Lisbon Streets
Lisbon – A Gateway to Portuguese Culture

The vibrant capital of Portugal effortlessly blends historical charm with contemporary flair. Explore the narrow alleyways of Alfama, visit the iconic Belém Tower, and indulge in delectable pastéis de nata while soaking in the city’s rich maritime heritage. Check out accommodation at HI Lisboa and HI Parque das Nações  

Faro – Gateway to the Algarve

Known as the bustling gateway to Portugal’s sun-kissed Algarve region, Faro has much to offer. HI Faro is a great base from which you can explore the charming Old Town, discover the serene Ria Formosa Natural Park, or unwind on the pristine beaches of Ilha Deserta. Enjoy!

Braga – A Baroque Immersion  

Braga is simply beautiful, with its ancient cathedrals, charming squares, historical streets. Make time to soak up the local ambience, the Baroque architecture and sample some local delicacies. HI Braga is a great place to stay and make new friends at the cafe/bar.


Embarking on a train travel trip around Portugal, while staying in Hostelling International hostels, offers a unique opportunity to explore this enchanting country on a budget. Whether you’re captivated by Lisbon’s historic charm, Porto’s riverside allure, Coimbra’s academic legacy, or Faro’s coastal splendour, the journey promises to be an unforgettable adventure filled with discovery and cultural exchange. So pack your bags, grab your rail pass, and embark on the ultimate Portuguese escapade with HI by your side.

*This blog contains affiliate links.

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