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 express trains, the station also serves slower regional services and suburban train routes, which include regular departures to Sintra.
Oriente bus station is as busy and important as the train station, as it is the departure point for many intercity routes and almost all international coach services.
Oriente station is the primary departure location for Flixbus in Lisbon. In addition to the intercity routes, Carris Metropolitana provides services to the greater Lisbon region that depart from Oriente.
Note: Services run by Rede Expressos, the main intercity bus company of Portugal, depart from Sete Rios bus station, with only a few routes passing through Oriente.
On the lowest level of the station complex is the Oriente metro station. This is a major metro station, serving the entire Parque das Nações district, with its numerous tourist sights, conference centres and the Altice Arena.
Fortunately, the Estação do Oriente is safe, modern and relatively easy to pass through. There are excellent facilities within the station, and the Vasco da Gama shopping centre is close by, which contains a large food court and supermarket.
This article will provide an independent 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
An Intercidades train to Evora departing from Oriente station
Oriente station is spread over five levels: the metro is on the lowest level, the railway on the upper level, and buses are found on the middle level
Oriente station is located to the northeast of Lisbon, GPS 38.76891,-9.10002. This is 2.5km east of the airport and 7km from the Baixa district and the historic centre of Lisbon.
The Estação do Oriente is well served by public transport, and the metro is the best way to travel to or from the station. Oriente metro station is connected to the red metro line, and a single ticket costs €1.80.
Insight: The metro is the best way to travel between the airport and Oriente station. It is just three stops and a five-minute journey, which is often quicker than catching a taxi or Uber.
If you are arriving in Lisbon via Oriente station, you may prefer to take an Uber or taxi to your accommodation or final destination. On the ground level, there is a taxi rank, where there are always lots of taxis waiting. However, ride-hailing apps like Uber and Bolt are often cheaper, with fares around €9 to the city centre.
Related articles: Travel from the airport to the city centre
The Vasco da Gama shopping centre is opposite Oriente train station, and inside is a large food court
As the busiest transport hub in Portugal, a wide range of companies offering various services depart from here. This section provides links to the main transport companies, where you can view timetables or purchase tickets.
Insight: In Portugal, it's advised to purchase tickets directly from the transport companies instead of third-party sellers. Third-party sellers will always be more expensive, with additional booking fees. Transport companies will also be more helpful if you have issues (such as missed buses or cancellations) when you have booked directly with them.
Comboios de Portugal (CP) - All train services from Oriente station are operated by CP. This covers the express intercity trains, the regional trains and the suburban train routes. Later in this article are details about the most important departures from Oriente. The Comboios de Portugal website is: www.cp.pt
FlixBus – A low-cost bus operator that provides many intercity routes throughout Portugal. They are known for their cut-price fares and are often the cheapest way to travel around Portugal. If you are travelling by FlixBus to Lisbon, your bus will terminate at Oriente station. To get the best price, tickets must be purchased far in advance, with popular routes often selling out: FlixBus
Carris Metropolitana – Bus company that provides services to the towns and cities near Lisbon. There are many routes departing from Oriente, but the most useful for visitors are the buses to Setubal (services 4715 and 4720): www.carrismetropolitana.pt/
Carris – Bus company providing all bus services within Lisbon. There are a confusing number of different routes and multiple departure locations all around Oriente station, which makes it difficult for tourists to use. It's easier to catch the metro for onward travel. The only real useful route from Oriente station is the 728, which follows the Tejo Estuary all the way to Belem (via Baixa): www.carris.pt/
Gipsyy – Another low-cost bus operator with routes to Porto, the Algarve and Madrid: gipsyy.com/
Rede Expressos – The main intercity bus operator in Portugal, but with only a few services passing through Oriente station. Almost anywhere in Portugal can be reached from Lisbon via their extensive network of bus services. Rede Expressos' main bus hub is at Sete Rios and not Oriente. rede-expressos.pt/
FlixBus and Rede Expressos buses at Oriente bus station
Express 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 (intercity) 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 and timetables can be found on the Comboios de Portugal (CP) website, where you can also purchase tickets: https://www.cp.pt
Oriente ticket office is open from 5.30am to 10.10pm (Mon to Fri) or 6.15am to 10.10pm (Sat to Sun).
Intercity train tickets should be purchased well in advance, especially during the summer when popular train services sell out. There is no standing on intercity services; once all of the seats are sold, there is no more space.
Lisbon has a second intercity train station, Santa Apolonia, and most (not all!) north/south services also stop here. This station is more convenient for visitors who are based in downtown Lisbon (Baixa and Alfama districts) as it is much closer.
Related articles: Lisbon to the Algarve - Lisbon to Porto - Lisbon to Evora
There are two suburban rail services departing from Oriente station - a northern route to the town of Azambuja and a westerly service to Sintra. The Azambuja line is of little interest to tourists, but the Sintra line is much more useful. Sintra is the best day trip from Lisbon, and the train is the recommended means of travel.
The Oriente to Sintra line is the ideal route to Sintra if you are coming from the airport or from another connecting train service. The train to Sintra takes 47 minutes, with a single costing €2.30, 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 between Lisbon and Sintra that departs from Rossio train station. This route is better for many visitors as Rossio train station is situated in the Baixa district, close to where the majority of tourists are based.
The inside of Oriente station does have a lot of concrete structures
The Estação do Oriente was designed as one of the centrepieces for Expo '98, and its design is a fusion of classic Gothic architecture and striking modernism.
There are vast, sweeping concrete arches inspired by Gothic cathedrals, while the high-vaulted metal latticework adds a futuristic element to the station's appearance.
Being over 20 years old, the Estação do Oriente is starting to show its age, but it is still a magnificent building and will impress tourists passing through.
The Gothic-inspired roof arches of the main train station
The Estação do Oriente is Portugal's busiest transport interchange, combining bus, train and metro stations. 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 the 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 24 hours.
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 recommend heading here.
If you have time, the Parque das Nações is an interesting area of Lisbon to explore
Oriente bus station handles international, intercity and regional bus services from a range of different operators.
The many departures, combined with numerous bays and an inadequate information system, can make navigating the station a bit confusing. At each of the bus stops is a sign for the company, but a lot of time can be wasted wandering around lost.
The low-cost bus operator FlixBus use the Oriente bus station as their main hub in Lisbon. Many of their services depart from and terminate at this location. FlixBus offer very affordable bus fares, and details of all of their routes can be found on their website: FlixBus
Carris Metropolitana buses operate express bus services to Setubal and the southern side of the Tejo Estuary; further details can be seen on their website: www.carris
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 bus bays of Carris Metropolitana at Oriente station
The Oriente metro station is one of the busiest 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 line 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 the Expo '98 show. The organising 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 May 19, 1998, two months before the start of Expo 98.
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