The best independent guide to Lisbon
The best independent guide to Lisbon
The Estação do Oriente is a major train, bus and metro station located in the Parque das Nações district of Lisbon. Oriente is Lisbon’s primary intercity train station, with express services to the north (Porto), south (Algarve) and east (Evora), along with suburban train services that include regular departures to Sintra.
The Estação do Oriente bus station is the main terminus for all international coach services, and the departure location for private bus companies. (Note: Rede Expressos coaches depart from the Sete Rios bus station and not Oriente).
Oriente metro station, which on the lower level of the Estação do Oriente complex, is as equally busy, and is the main connection to the Parque das Nações district, with its numerous tourist sights, conference centres and the Altice Arena.
Luckily for tourists, the Estação do Oriente is safe, modern and easy to navigate around. Within the station, there are excellent facilities, and close by is the Vasco da Gama shopping centre. This article will provide a tourist guide to the Estação do Oriente station, including information about the services that depart from here, travel advice and facilities available.
Related Articles: Parque das Nações – Sete Rios bus station
Oriente station is to the northeast of Lisbon and is 2.5km from Lisbon airport and 7km from the Baixa district (the historic centre of Lisbon).
The Estação do Oriente is connected to the airport by the red metro line (€1.50 single, 5 minutes) and a taxi for this short journey will cost between €7-10.
Related articles: Travel from the airport to the city centre – Expo 98
The Estação do Oriente was constructed as one of the centrepieces for Expo ‘98, and its design is a fusion between classic Gothic architecture and striking modernism.
There are vast sweeping concrete arches inspired by gothic cathedrals, while the high vaulted metal latticework adds the futuristic element to the station’s appearance.
Being over 20 years, the Estação do Oriente is starting to show its age, but it is still a magnificent building and will impresses tourists passing through.
The Estação do Oriente is Portugal's busiest transport interchange and the combined bus, train and metro station handles more passengers than New York's Grand Central Station. Thankfully the station complex has been expertly designed, so that visitors pass through with the minimum of hassle.
The station extends over five levels; with the metro on the lowest floor and the train tracks at the top. On the level below the tracks are the rail ticket offices and waiting rooms, and on ground level is the exit for the bus station and Parque das Nações. The level between the ground and the metro provides the entrance to the Vasco da Gama shopping centre and the car parks.
Connecting all of the levels are escalators and lifts, and the entire station is easy to navigate, with clear signage and ample space. Within the station there are coin-operated luggage lockers for storage up to 24hours.
There is an excellent food court on the top floor of the Vasco da Gama shopping centre, so if you have a long wait for a train or bus, we would recommend heading here.
Intercity train travel in Portugal is of a very high standard and surprisingly inexpensive, although the number of cities that are served by regular departures is very limited.
The Estação do Oriente is the main intercity train station of Lisbon, and all express services depart or pass through here. This includes the Alfa Pendular high-speed intercity train services to the north of Portugal (Coimbra, Aveiro, Porto and Braga) or to the south (Faro, Tunes).
Intercidades (inter-city) trains are slightly slower and include the northern and southern routes, along with services to the east (Evora, Beja). Slow regional services connect Lisbon to Tomar, Castelo Branco, Santarem and Caldas da Rainha.
A full list of intercity services, timetables and the purchasing of tickets can be made on the Comboios de Portugal (CP) website: https://www.cp.pt
Note: Intercity train tickets must be purchased in advance, and in the summer popular train services do sell out.
Oriente ticket office is open from 05:30 to 22:10 (Mon-Fri), or 06:15 to 22:10 (Sat-Sun).
Lisbon has a second intercity train station, Santa Apolonia, and most (not all!) north/south services stop here also. This station is more convenient for visitors who are based in downtown Lisbon (Baixa, Alfama districts) as it is much closer.
Related articles: Lisbon to the Algarve - Lisbon to Porto - Lisbon and Evora - Santa Apolonia
There are two Suburban rail services departing from the Estação do Oriente; a northern route to the town of Azambuja and a westerly service to Sintra. The Azambuja line is of no interest to tourists, but Sintra is the best day trip from Lisbon and this rail service is recommended for visitors heading to Sintra from the airport.
The Oriente to Sintra train service takes 47 minutes, with a single costing €2.25 and there are up to three departures per hour. The latest timetable can be seen on the CP website:
There is a second train service to Sintra that departs from the Rossio train station, which is in the centre of the Baixa district, and this is suggested service for tourists who are based within the historic centre of Lisbon.
Related articles: Lisbon to Sintra - Lisbon airport to Sintra - Rossio station
Important: There are no urban train services from Estação do Oriente to Cascais or Estoril. For these train services head to the Cais do Sodré station
Related articles: Lisbon to Cascais - Cais do Sodré
Oriente bus station handles, international, intercity and regional bus services from a range of different operators. This varied selection of departures combined with the many departure bays combined and poor information system can make departures from Oriente bus station a confusing process. At each of the bus stops is a sign for the company but a lot of time can be wasted wandering around lost.
Oriente bus station is where the Spanish international services operated by Alsa and Avanza depart from, and more information can be found on their websites:
Transportes Sul do Tejo (TST) buses operate express bus service to Setubal and southern side of the Tejo Estuary; further details can be seen on their website:
The main national coach company of Portugal, Rede Expressos, uses the Sete Rios bus station as their main hub in Lisbon.
Related articles: Sete Rios bus station
The Oriente major metro station is one of the busiest metro stations in Lisbon and up until 2012 was the final stop on the red line. The metro is the recommended means of travel to or from the Estação do Oriente, but the red metro line does not extend to central Lisbon, and a change to either the yellow, blue or green is required. In the station, there is a ticket office and many ticket machines.
Related articles: Metro Guide
The Estação do Oriente train station was constructed as the main passenger terminus for Expo ‘98 show. The organizing committee invited designers to submit plans for the multi-tier station that could also act as an exhibit hall during the exposition; this is why the complex contains so much open space.
The Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava was selected in 1994 and construction started a year later. The station was officially opened on the 19th May 1998 two months before the start of Expo 98.
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