Interactive map...

...click a destination or route for train times & fares.

Route map, london to portugal by train Route via Barcelona & Madrid

London to Lisbon by train...

It's easy to reach Portugal by train from London, by early morning Eurostar from London to Paris, a high-speed TGV from Paris to Irun on the Spanish frontier, then the famous Sud Express overnight to Lisbon, with sleeping-cars, restaurant & bar, the civilised way to reach Portugal.  Or you can take an evening Eurostar to Paris, stay overnight, then take TGV & AVE high-speed trains to Madrid, stay overnight, and travel across Spain to Lisbon.  This page explains the best train times, fares, and how to buy tickets.

COVID-19 update See COVID-19 updates & travel information.  Eurostar is running a much-reduced service.  The Sud Express & Lusitania Trenhotel to Lisbon have been suspended since March 2020 and it looks increasingly unlikely that they will ever resume.

Train times, fares, tickets...

small bullet point  London to Lisbon by Eurostar & the Sud Express (suspended)

small bullet point  London to Lisbon via Barcelona & Madrid (running)

small bullet point  London to Lisbon by day trains with hotel stops (running)

small bullet point  London to Porto

small bullet point  London to Faro & the Algarve via Sud Express (suspended)

small bullet point  London to Faro & the Algarve via bus from Seville (running)

small bullet point  London to Madeira

small bullet point  Starting from other UK towns & cities

small bullet point  Trains from Lisbon to other European cities

small bullet point  Trains to Lisbon from other European cities

small bullet point  Lisbon to Porto by train

small bullet point  Lisbon to Faro & the Algarve by train

small bullet point  Portugal's Douro Valley line, Porto to Pocinho

Other travel information...

small bullet point  Useful country information: currency, dial code...

small bullet point  General information for European train travel

small bullet point  How to change stations in Paris by metro or taxi   

small bullet point  Left luggage facilities in Paris & Madrid

small bullet point  Luggage on trains

small bullet point  Taking your bike   Taking your dog    

small bullet point  People with disabilities

small bullet point  Hotels & accommodation in Portugal

small bullet point  Holidays & tours to Portugal by train

small bullet point  Travel insurance, Curve Card & VPN

Interactive map:  Click a route...

Route via Barcelona & Madrid Route map, London to Portugal by train


large bullet pointUseful country information

Train operator in Portugal:

CP (Comboios de Portugal), www.cp.pt for times, fares & online booking.

 

Eurostar times & fares.  To check any European train time: http://bahn.hafas.de.  To check for any problems affecting trains from Paris to Spain & Portugal (in French only), see www.infolignes.com.

Railpasses:

 

Beginner's guide to European railpasses    Buy a rail pass online

Time zone:

GMT (GMT+1 from last Sunday in March to last Saturday in October).

Dialling code

+351

Currency:

£1 = approx 1.11 euros  Check current exchange rates

Tourist information:

www.visitportugal.com.     Recommended guidebooks

Hotels in Portugal:

Finding accommodation in Portugal   Hostels:  www.hostelworld.com

Page last updated:

6 September 2021.  Train times valid 13 Dec 2020 to 11 Dec 2021.


large bullet pointLondon to Lisbon by Sud Express

This is the direct option between London, Paris & Lisbon, using Eurostar to Paris, a morning high-speed TGV Duplex to the Spanish frontier, then the modern incarnation of one of Europe's famous trains, the Sud Express, overnight to Lisbon.  The Sud Express is a trainhotel featuring a restaurant, cafe-bar, and cosy sleepers including some Gran Clase sleepers with private toilet & shower.

Important COVID-19 update:  The Sud Express Trenhotel to Lisbon has been suspended since March 2020 and it looks increasingly likely that it won't ever resume.  Please use one of the other options.

London ► Lisbon

Lisbon ► London

How much does it cost?

 1. London to Paris

 by Eurostar...

 From £52 one-way, £78 return 2nd class.

 From £115 one-way, £199 return 1st class.  Child fares 

 

 2. Paris to Hendaye

 by TGV...

 From €25 each way 2nd class, €40 each way 1st class.

 Fare varies, book early for the cheapest fares.  Full price 2nd class is €93.

  

 3.  Hendaye to Lisbon

 by Sud Express, per person...

Turista

seat

Turista

Sleeper

(4-berth)

 Preferente

 Sleeper

 Gran Clase

 Sleeper with shower

2-berth

1-berth

2-berth

1-berth

 Promo fare, one-way:

€28

€38

-

-

-

-

 Promo+ fare, one-way:

€32

€43

-

-

-

-

 Flexible one-way fare:

€71

€96

€135

€186

€150

€202

 Child 4-11 with own berth, one-way:

€42

€57

€82

€112

€111

€134

 Interrail or Eurail passholders, one way:

€7.60

€30

€45

€88

€58.50

€117

Promo = Advance-purchase fare, no refunds, no changes.  Promo+ = Advance-purchase, limited changes & refunds.

You can check fares at www.raileurope.com.

Passholder fares cannot be booked online.  If you have a 2nd class pass you cannot travel in Preferente or Gran Clase sleepers, only Turista.

How to buy tickets

  Meal in the cafe-bar of the Sud Express
 

A hot meal in the cafe-bar of the Sud Express on the way to Lisbon.  Courtesy of Ron Baker.

  The Sud Express arrives in Lisbon Oriente station.  London & Paris to Lisbon by train!
 

The Sud Express arrives in Lisbon Oriente:  The Sud Express has just arrived at Lisbon's new Oriente station.  Change here for InterCity trains to Faro & the Algarve, remain on board for the final stop, Lisbon's original Santa Apolonia Station for Lisbon city centre.  Photo courtesy of Ron Baker...

 

To book hotels...

www.booking.com allows you to book your accommodation before train bookings open, at no risk with free cancellation.  Any hotel with a review score over 8.0 is unlikely to disappoint.

Or buy at www.thetrainline.com

Or book each train separately...

How to buy tickets by phone...

Let Railbookers arrange it for you...

What's the journey like?

1. London to Paris by Eurostar...

Eurostar trains link London & Paris in 2h20, travelling at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).  There are two bar cars, power sockets at all seats and free WiFi.  Standard Premier and Business Premier fares include a light meal with wine (or breakfast, on departures before 11:00).  There's a 30-minute minimum check-in (10-minutes for business premier) as all border formalities are carried out before you board the train.  More information about Eurostar including check-in procedureSt Pancras station guide Paris Gare du Nord station guideHow to change trains & stations in Paris by metro or taxi.

Eurostar e320   Eurostar e320 first class seats

A Eurostar e320 train.  More about Eurostar.

 

Standard Premier/Business Premier.  Larger photo.

Eurostar e320 2nd class   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class seats.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, in cars 8 & 9.  Larger photo.

2. Paris to the Spanish border by TGV Duplex...

TGV Duplex Oceane arrived at Bordeaux

A TGV Duplex at Bordeaux St Jean on its way south from Paris.  Most of these double-decker high-speed trains on this route now have the all-new Océane interior as shown here and carry the latest grey, silver & red TGV colours.  Click the images below for larger photos...

TGV Duplex at Bordeaux

The TGV pauses at Bordeaux St Jean en route to Hendaye...

TGV Océane cafe-bar   TGV Océane 2nd class seats

TGV Océane cafe-bar, upper deck car 4 (or 14)

 

TGV Océane 2nd class seats...

TGV Océane 1st class seats   TGV Océane 1st class seat   TGV Océane 1st class drop-down table

TGV Océane 1st class seats.  An innovation on TGV Océane, all 1st class seats (except the very end ones) rotate to face the direction of travel, or can be rotated to make a face-to-face group of 2 or 4 seats.  The drop-down tables open to reveal USB and 2-pin power sockets.

3. Hendaye to Lisbon on the Sud Express...

In 2010 the Sud Express became an articulated Spanish trainhotel, complete with cafe-bar and cosy sleepers, including some Gran Clase sleepers with private toilet and shower.  There's now no restaurant car, only a cafe-bar.  See panorama photo of 4-berth tourist class sleeperSee the Sud Express guide.

Sud Express Trenhotel to Lisbon, at Hendaye

The Sud Express trainhotel on platform B at Hendaye station.  Hendaye only has 4 platforms, 1 & 2 (standard gauge), A & B (both standard and Iberian broad gauge).  After a dash across France at up to 186mph, the TGV arrives at the Spanish border.  The TGV usually arrives at platform 1.  Incidentally, Hendaye station is where Hitler met Franco on 23 October 1940.  You'll be treading the same platforms!  Photo courtesy of Alan Uxbridge.

To Morocco by train...   Gran classe 2-bed sleeper (day mode)   en route to Morocco by train: Gran Classes 2-bed sleeper (night mode)   Paris to Madrid & Barcelona by trainhotel: Gran Classe sleepers have a private shower and toilet

The Sud Express, about to leave Irun on the Franco-Spanish frontier, bound for Lisbon...  Courtesy of Ron Baker See panorama photo...

 

Gran Clase sleeper, in evening mode with seats folded out.

 

....return from the bar to find the beds made up...

 

Gran Clase private toilet & shower...

Sud Express trainhotel cafe-bar...   4-bed sleeper, night   4-bed sleeper, day

The trainhotel's café-bar serves drinks & food.  Grab a barstool early, it gets crowded later on!

 

4-berth sleepers (Turista Cama) are inexpensive & convert from beds to seats.  See 360º photo.

Lisbon Santa Apolonia station:  See map

For the city centre you want Santa Apolonia station, although if you're heading to/from Faro & the Algarve, these trains start at Lisbon Oriente so change there.

Lisbon Santa Apolonia station exterior   Lisbon Santa Apolonia station interior

Lisbon's central Santa Apolonia stationPhotos courtesy of Ian Moffat.

Traveller's reports...

Back to top


large bullet pointLondon to Lisbon via Barcelona

You can also reach Lisbon via Paris, Barcelona & Madrid.  This takes 2 nights with all travel by daytime train rather than sleeper.  Stop off in the Catalan & Spanish capitals if you like, it's up to you.

Covid-19 update:  Unfortunately, the sleeper train Trenhotel Lusitania between Madrid & Lisbon was suspended in March 2020 due to Covid-19 and this has been used by Renfe (Spanish Railways) to permanently discontinue it.  You now need to spend the night in Madrid and continue by daytime trains as shown below.

London ► Lisbon

Lisbon ► London

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets

How to buy tickets by phone

What's the journey like?

1. London to Paris by Eurostar:  See the Eurostar page...

2. Paris to Barcelona by TGV Duplex:  See the Paris to Barcelona TGV page.

3. Madrid to Lisbon by 3-train combo:  See the Madrid to Lisbon page.

Back to top


large bullet pointLondon to Lisbon via Vigo

London to Porto, Lisbon & Faro via Vigo...

This is a comfortable all-daytime travel through interesting scenery with overnight stops in a hotel at San Sebastian & Vigo.  The journey takes 2 nights, 2 days to Porto, and just a little longer to Lisbon.

London ► Portugal

Portugal ► London

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets

How to buy tickets by phone

What's the journey like?

1. London to Paris by Eurostar...

Eurostar trains link London & Paris in 2h20, travelling at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).  There are two bar cars, power sockets at all seats and free WiFi.  Standard Premier and Business Premier fares include a light meal with wine (or breakfast, on departures before 11:00).  There's a 30-minute minimum check-in (10-minutes for business premier) as all border formalities are carried out before you board the train.  More information about Eurostar including check-in procedureSt Pancras station guide Paris Gare du Nord station guideHow to change trains & stations in Paris by metro or taxi.

Eurostar e320   Eurostar e320 first class seats

A Eurostar e320 train.  More about Eurostar.

 

Standard Premier/Business Premier seats.  Larger photo.

Eurostar e320 2nd class   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class seats.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, in cars 8 & 9.  Larger photo.

2. Paris to Hendaye on the Spanish border by TGV...

Most TGVs between Paris and Hendaye on the Spanish border are now double-deck TGV Duplex, most with the stylish new Océane interior and free WiFi.  I recommend an upstairs seat for the best views.

TGV Duplex Oceane arrived at Bordeaux   TGV Duplex Oceane at Bordeaux

Boarding the TGV at Paris Montparnasse...  There are now automatic ticket gates at the entrance to the platforms at Paris Montparnasse, just scan the barcode on your ticket.

TGV Océane cafe-bar   TGV Océane 2nd class seats

TGV Océane cafe-bar, upper deck car 4 (or 14)

 

TGV Océane 2nd class seats...

TGV Océane 1st class seats   TGV Océane 1st class seat   TGV Océane 1st class drop-down table

TGV Océane 1st class seats.  An innovation on TGV Océane, all 1st class seats (except the very end ones) rotate to face the direction of travel, or can be rotated to make a face-to-face group of 2 or 4 seats.  The drop-down tables open to reveal USB and 2-pin power sockets.

3. Hendaye to San Sebastian Amara by Euskotren...

Hendaye SNCF station   Hendaye station showing location of Euskotren to San Sebastian

At Hendaye, get off the TGV, walk off the platform and through the SNCF station ticket hall...

 

...walk out of Hendaye SNCF station exit & turn right.  There's the Euskotren station 50m across the forecourt.  Larger photo.

Hendaia Euskoten station, for trains to San Sebastian   Inside Euskotren station at Hendaye

This is the new Hendaye Euskotren station, opened in 2020.  Photo courtesy of Nicholas Brooke, taken soon after it opened.

 

Hendaye Euskotren station, looking back towards the station building.  Photo courtesy of Nicholas Brooke.

Euskotren train to San Sebastian at Hendaye   Inside Euskotren to San Sebastian

There are now two platforms.  It's where the trains start, so no worries, you can't get on the wrong train, they all go to San Sebastian-Donostia Amara!  These air-conditioned metro trains leave every 30 minutes, a turn-up-and-go metro service called Metro Donostialdea.  There's plenty of space for luggage and they even have a wheelchair-accessible toilet.

4. San Sebastian to Vitoria by Intercity and Vitoria to Galicia by Alvia...

Alvia & Intercity trains at Vittoria

The connection at Vitoria-Gasteiz:  On the right, the 12:21 Intercity train from San Sebastian has arrived at Vitoria/Gasteiz.  On the left, the Alvia train from Barcelona to Galicia picks up passengers.  These Alvia-S130 trains are nick-named Patito (little duck) by staff, no prizes for guessing why.  They have adjustable axles so can run on standard-gauge high-speed lines at up to 250 km/h or on Iberian broad gauge classic lines at lower speed. Photo courtesy of Ekain Munduate.

Turista seats on the intercity train   Turista Plus seats on an Alvia train

Standard class seats on the Intercity train, 2+2 across the car width.

Comfort class seats on an Alvia train, 1+2 across the car width.

Scenery in Galicia seen from the train

Scenery as the train enters Galicia on its way to Vigo.  Photo courtesy of Martin Hill.

5. Vigo to Porto by express regional train...

Vigo to Porto train   Inside the Vigo to Porto train

The local train between Vigo & Porto.  Photos courtesy of Martin Hill.

Back to top


large bullet pointLondon to Porto

Option 1, London to Porto via Vigo

Option 2, London to Porto via the Sud Express

This would normally be the most time-effective option.  However, the Sud Express Trenhotel to Lisbon was suspended in March 2020 and it looks increasingly likely that it won't ever resume.  Please use one of the other options.

London ► Porto

  • Follow the directions for London to Lisbon shown above, using Eurostar, TGV and the Sud Express

  • Get off the Sud Express at Entroncamento at 06:05, then take a daily InterCity train leaving Entroncamento at 07:30 arriving Porto Campanhã station at 09:36.  Check times from Entroncamento to Porto & buy tickets at the Portuguese Railways website www.cp.pt.

  • Or go via Lisbon as it won't make much or any difference to the price.  You can take any train between Lisbon and Porto after the arrival of the Sud, check times & buy tickets at the Portuguese Railways website www.cp.pt.

Porto ► London

  • Travel from Porto to Entroncamento by Intercity train, leaving Porto Campanhã at 17:45 and arriving Entroncamento at 20:00.  Check times from Entroncamento to Porto & buy tickets at the Portuguese Railways website www.cp.pt.  Have dinner in Entroncamento.

  • The Sud Express leaves Entroncamento at 22:30 overnight to Hendaye on the French frontier, with connections for Paris, see the Lisbon to London section above.

  • Alternatively, go via Lisbon as this makes little difference to the price and gives you more sleep.  Take any train between Porto and Lisbon arriving at least 1 hour before the departure of the Sud, check times and buy tickets at www.cp.pt.  How about dinner in Lisbon?

Fares & how to buy tickets...

Alfa Pendular train from Lisbon to Porto

Alfa Pendular train from Lisbon to Porto.  Photo courtesy of Matt from www.youtube.com/c/nonstopeurotrip.

1st class on an Alfa Pendular

1st class on an Alfa Pendular train.  Photo courtesy of @rexybexy

Back to top


large bullet pointLondon to Faro & the Algarve

You can easily reach the Algarve by train from London, either by train all the way via Lisbon as shown below, or by train to Seville then bus (shown further below).  Train service from Lisbon to the Algarve has just been dramatically improved.  The line from Lisbon to Faro has been electrified and speeded up, and air-conditioned InterCity trains now run direct from Lisbon's new Oriente station, crossing the Tagus by bridge instead of requiring passengers to take a ferry to Barreiro station across the river from central Lisbon.  If you would prefer to use daytime trains with overnight stops in hotels, and don't mind it taking a bit longer, see the London to Portugal by daytime trains section above.

Option 1, London to Faro via Lisbon...

London ► Albufeira, Lagos, Faro

  • Step 1, travel from London to Lisbon as shown in the London to Lisbon section above, alighting at Lisbon Oriente station at 07:20.

  • Step 2, travel from Lisbon to the Algarve by modern air-conditioned InterCity train, leaving Lisbon Oriente station at 08:23 and arriving in Tunes at 10:54, Albufeira 11:01, and Faro at 11:23.  There are a range of trains daily between Lisbon and the Algarve, see www.cp.pt for the complete timetable and fare and to buy tickets online.

  • For Lagos, change at Tunes.  A connecting train leaves Tunes at 11:06 arriving Portimao at 11:50 & Lagos at 12:08.

Faro, Albufeira, Lagos ► London

Fares...

  • Lisbon to Faro costs €21 each way in 2nd class, €27 each way in 1st class, full price.  Discounted advance-purchase fares are often available at www.cp.pt.

  • For fares London to Lisbon, see the Lisbon section above.

How to buy tickets...

  • See the Lisbon section to buy tickets from London to Lisbon.

  • Buy Lisbon-Faro tickets online including the necessary reservation at www.cp.pt.  Remember that Lisbon is spelt 'Lisboa' and you should select 'Lisboa - Oriente' for trains to Faro.  You print your own ticket.

Portuguese Intercity train

Lisbon-Faro Intercity train.  Photos courtesy of Matt from www.youtube.com/c/nonstopeurotrip.

2nd class on a Portuguese Intercity train   1st class on a Portuguese Intercity train

2nd class seats...

 

1st class seats...

Option 2, London to the Algarve via Seville...

It's also possible to travel via Madrid and Seville, if you don't mind a 3-hour bus journey at the end.  This routing may be cheaper, and just as fast.

  • Step 1, travel from London to Seville as shown in the London to Seville section on the Spain page.  You take a Eurostar to Paris and high-speed TGV to Barcelona on day 1, stay overnight, then take a morning AVE train to Seville's impressive Santa Justa station arriving at lunchtime on day 2.  Buy tickets as shown on that page.  The Eurostar starts at £52 one-way or £78 return, the TGV starts at €39 each way, fares work like air fares so book ahead for the cheapest prices.

  • Step 2, travel from Seville to Faro by bus, journey time 2h30 to 3h15, with a departure roughly every 2-3 hours.  Several bus companies run on this route including Also, Damas, EuroLines and Iberobus, you can check times for all these companies and buy tickets at Omio.com (formerly GoEuro.com).  You print your own ticket.

    Buses typically leave at 08:30, 09:30, 11:30 & 16:00, and from Faro back to Seville at 08:20, 10:30 & 16:00, 18:30, but it varies by day.  The fare is around €17-€21 each way.  Look for buses that start from Seville Santa Justa station, where the trains arrive, so it's an easy same-station train-bus interchange.

    In fact, Spanish Railways www.renfe.com will sell through tickets from Barcelona to Faro if you select Faro-bus as your destination, although it's easier to buy tickets for the trains at www.raileurope.com and a separate ticket for the bus at Omio.com.

  • So for example, you could leave London mid-morning by Eurostar to Paris and high-speed TGV train to Barcelona, stay overnight in Barcelona, catch the morning high-speed AVE train to Seville then an afternoon bus to Faro, and be in Faro around 17:30.

  • Similarly in the return direction, you could catch a morning bus from Faro and the afternoon AVE train to Barcelona, stay overnight, then take a TGV to Paris and Eurostar to London next day, arriving in the evening.

Back to top


large bullet pointLondon to Madeira

A weekly summer-only ferry service links southern Portugal (Portimao in the Algarve) with Funchal on Madeira.  The ferry crossing takes 24 hours.  See https://madeira-ferry.pt.

 Back to top


large bullet pointGuidebooks

Make sure you take a good guidebook, even in the age of the internet.  I think the best ones out there for the independent traveller are the Lonely Planets and the Rough Guides.  Both books provide an excellent level of practical information and cultural and historical background. You won't regret buying one of these!Amazon logo  My own book, an essential handbook for train travel to Europe based on this website called "The Man in Seat 61", is due to be published in June 2008, and Amazon will let you pre-order now.

Click the images to buy at Amazon.co.uk

Rough Guide to Portugal - click to buy online at Amazon   Lonely Planet Western Europe - click to buy online   Lonely Planet Portugal - click to buy online

Back to top


large bullet pointEuropean Rail Timetable & maps

Thomas Cook European Timetable -  click to buy onlineTraveller's Railway Map of Europe - buy onlineThe European Rail Timetable (formerly the Thomas Cook European Timetable) has train & ferry times for every country in Europe plus currency & climate information.  It is essential for regular European train travellers and an inspiration for armchair travellers.  Published since 1873, it had just celebrated 140 years of publication when Thomas Cook decided to pull the plug on their entire publishing department, but the dedicated ex-Thomas Cook team set up a private venture and resumed publication of the famous European Rail Timetable in March 2014.  You can buy it online at www.amazon.co.uk (UK addresses) or www.europeanrailtimetable.eu (shipping worldwide).  More information on what the European Rail Timetable contains.

Rail Map Europe is the map I recommend, covering all of Europe from Portugal in the west to Moscow & Istanbul in the east, Finland in the north to Sicily & Athens in the south.  Scenic routes & high-speed lines are highlighted.  See an extract from the map.  Buy online at www.europeanrailtimetable.eu (shipping worldwide) or for £9.67 at www.amazon.co.uk (UK addresses).

Back to top


large bullet pointHotels in Lisbon, Porto, the Algarve

Find hotels at Booking.comMy favourite hotel search site: www.booking.com

www.booking.com is my favourite hotel booking site and I generally prefer booking my hotels all in one place here.  You can usually book with free cancellation - this allows you to confirm your accommodation at no risk before train booking opens.  It also means you can hold accommodation while you finalise your itinerary, and alter your plans as they evolve - a feature I use all the time when putting a trip together.  I never book hotels non-refundably.  I have also come to trust their review scores - you won't be disappointed with anything over 8.0.

Tip:  It can pay to compare prices across multiple hotel sites:  HotelsCombined.com is a price comparison site which compares hotel prices on Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, Accor, Agoda and many others.  Though if there's not much in it, I prefer keeping all my bookings together in one place at www.booking.com.

Other hotel sites worth trying...

www.tripadvisor.com is the place to find independent travellers' reviews of all the main hotels.

Backpacker hostels: www.hostelworld.com...

www.hostelworld.com:  If you're on a tight budget, don't forget about backpacker hostels.  Hostelworld offers online booking of cheap private rooms or dorm beds in backpacker hostels in Paris and most other European cities at rock-bottom prices.

Back to top


large bullet pointHolidays to Portugal by train

 

Railbookers logo

0207 864 4600 (UK)

1-888-829-4775 (USA)

1-855-882-2910 (Canada)

1300 971 526 (Aus)

0800 000 554 (NZ)

 

Great Rail Journeys logo

01904 527120

If you want a holiday to Portugal by train not plane, but want someone else to organise all the train tickets & hotels for you, several specialist companies do just that, for a holiday without airport hassles or whole days in cramped coach seats on motorways.  Railbookers offer tailor-made individual holidays with departure on any date you like, whereas Rail Discoveries & Great Rail Journeys offer escorted tours with specific departure dates.

Railbookers custom-made tours, holidays & breaks by train...

Railbookers can tailor-make a holiday or city break to Portugal for you, with train travel, transfers & hotels, leaving on any date you like.  If you tell them what you want, they'll advise you on the best trains, routes & hotels and sort it all out for you.  They get a lot of repeat business!

UK flag  UK call 0207 864 4600, www.railbookers.co.uk

US flag  US call free 1-888-829-4775, see website.

Canadian flag  Canada call free 1-855-882-2910, see website.

Australian flag  Australia call toll-free 1300 971 526, see website

New Zealand flag  New Zealand call toll-free 0800 000 554 or see website.

Great Rail Journeys, www.greatrail.com, 01904 527120:  Escorted tours...

GRJ offers five-star upmarket rail-based escorted tours to various European countries, with travel from London by train and a range of departure dates.  Check holiday details online, then call 01904 527120 to book or use their online booking form.

Back to top


large bullet pointTravel insurance & VPN

 

Staysure travel insurance

 

Confused.com logo

Always take out travel insurance...

You should take out travel insurance with at least £1m or preferably £5m medical cover from a reliable insurer.  It should cover trip cancellation and loss of cash & belongings up to a reasonable limit.  These days, check you're covered for covid-19-related issues, and use an insurer whose cover isn't invalidated by well-meant but excessive Foreign Office travel advice against non-essential travel. An annual policy is usually cheapest even for just 2 or 3 trips a year, I use an annual policy myself.  Don't expect travel insurance to bail you out of every missed connection, see the advice on missed connections here.  Here are some suggested insurers, I get a little commission if you buy through these links, feedback always welcome.

UK flagwww.staysure.co.uk offers enhanced Covid-19 protection & covers you even if the FCDO advises against non-essential travel.

UK flag

If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over 65, see www.JustTravelCover.com - 10% discount with code seat61.

UK flagYou can use www.confused.com to compare prices & policy features across major insurance companies.

 Australian flag New Zealand flag  Irish flag    If you live in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland or the EU, try Columbus Direct.

 US flag If you live in the USA try Travel Guard USA.

 

Curve card

Get a Curve card to save on foreign transaction fees...

Banks often give a poor exchange rate, then charge a currency conversion fee as well.  A Curve MasterCard means no foreign transaction fees and gives you the mid-market exchange rate, at least up to a certain limit, £500 per month as I write this.  The balance goes straight onto one of your existing debit or credit cards.  And you can get a Curve card for free.

How it works:  1. Download the app for iPhone or Android.  2. Enter your details & they'll send you a Curve MasterCard - they send to most European addresses including the UK.  3. Link your existing credit & debit cards to the app.  4. Now use the Curve MasterCard to buy things online or in person or take cash from ATMs, just like a normal MasterCard. Curve does the currency conversion and puts the balance onto whichever of your debit or credit cards you choose.  You can even change your mind about which card it goes onto, within 14 days of the transaction.

I use a Curve Blue card myself - I get a little commission if you sign up to Curve, but I'm recommending it here because I think it's great.  See details, download the app and get a Curve card - they'll give you £5 cashback through that link, too.

 

Express VPN

Get a VPN for safe browsing.  VPNs & why you need one explained...

When you're travelling you often use free WiFi in public places which may not be secure.  A VPN means your connection to the internet is encrypted & always secure, even using unsecured WiFi.  In countries such as China where access to Twitter & Facebook is restricted, a VPN gets around these restrictions.  And lastly, you can select the geographic location of the IP address you browse with, to get around geographic restrictions which some websites apply - for example one booking site charges a booking fee to non-European visitors but none to European visitors, so if you're not located in Europe you can avoid this fee by browsing with a UK IP address using a VPN.  VPNs & why you need one explainedExpressVPN is a best buy and I use it myself - I've signed up as an ExpressVPN affiliate, and if you go with expressvpn.com using the links on this page, you should see a special deal, 3 months free with an annual subscription, and I get a small commission to help support this site.


Back to top

Back to home page