What you should know before you rent a car
Where can travelers rent a car in Portugal?
The European country of Portugal offers plenty of opportunity for visitors to rent a car and explore on four wheels. The main airport in Portugal is Lisbon Portela Airport, while Porto Airport and Faro Airport are two more international airports to be found in Portugal. These airports serve three popular tourist destinations in Portugal. Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal, is home to attractions such as São Jorge Castle and Belém Tower; the city is also known for its charming cobblestone streets and traditional trams. When it comes to exploring Portugal as a whole, visitors can choose from a number of transport options. A rail network connects some of Portugal's most popular towns and cities, while bus and coach services will transport passengers across the country. However, the latter can be slow while both are restricted by their timetables and routes. For those wishing to explore Portugal at their own pace, while designing their own itinerary, rental car is the way to go! Car rental services are available at each of the airports mentioned previously, as well as from cities across the country. Choose from car rental companies such as Cael Rent a Car, Bravacar, Europcar, Firefly Car Rental, and Sixt.
What are the driving rules in Portugal?
You've decided to rent a car in Portugal? Great! To help you drive safely (and legally), we've run through a few of the must-know road rules in Portugal – from speed limits to how much you can drink before you drive. In Portugal, drive on the right-hand side of the road. Always overtake on the left when safe and legal to do so. Speed limits are shown in km/h (this is also the unit of measurement of the speedometer in your rental car). These are usually 50 km/h in urban areas; 90 km/h outside of urban areas; and 120 km/h on the highways. Seat belts must be worn by all passengers, at all times. The blood alcohol limit is 50 mg per 100 ml of blood. The minimum age to rent a car in Portugal is 23 years.
When parking, there are a few rules to be aware of. It is prohibited to park anywhere which may block access to a property, while no-parking zones are marked in a number of ways: white or blue signs featuring a red line indicate a no parking zone, as do yellow or red lines on the curb.
Road trips in Portugal
From coastal roads to city-to-city road trips, Portugal is a dream destination for drivers looking for a trip to remember. With a number of great cities from which to rent a car, it's time to get out and see the country at your own pace. Happy driving!
A road trip from Lisbon
What trip to Portugal would be complete without a visit to its capital city of Lisbon? As well as being a popular point of entry for visitors to Portugal, it's also home to some of the country's most iconic points of interest – so explore on two feet (or by tram!) before renting a car and hitting the open road. From Lisbon, drive the three hours north to the city of Porto. Famous for port wine and its historic Ribeira district, it's a great choice for a road trip from Lisbon.
Located in Portugal's Algarve region, Faro is a coastal escape in the south of the country as well as a bustling city which boasts a number of historic sights. These include the 13th-century Faro Cathedral, and the city's charming Old Town. Rent a car in Lisbon and drive the two and a half hour route to Faro; or rent a car in Faro to explore the surrounding areas at your own pace.
From Lisbon to the Sintra Mountains
The Sintra Mountains are a popular destination for those looking for an accessible day trip from Portugal's capital city of Lisbon: just a half-hour drive away, the area is home to beautiful green hills, historic sights, and beautiful viewpoints. Pena Palace, the Quinta da Regaleira, and the Sintra National Palace are just a few of the many stunning points of interest in the area.