Architectural triumph or passenger nightmare?

Designed by celebrity architect Santiago Calatrava, Lisbon Oriente is an architectural masterpiece and winner of the 1998 Brunel Award.  On the other hand, a friend calls it "All fur coat and no knickers" and he may have a point:  The platforms are wind-swept and featureless, the undercroft dark, dingy, draughty, poorly-signed and confusing.  In other words, great when viewed from a distance, poor close up when used as a passenger.  If your train to/from Entroncamento (for Madrid), Coimbra or Porto starts from or terminates at the lovely Lisbon Santa Apolonia much nearer the city centre, I'd use that instead.  Then again, why not see what you think?

Lisbon Oriente:

small bullet point  Overview

small bullet point  Platforms

small bullet point  Tickets & reservations

small bullet point  Luggage lockers

small bullet point  Somewhere to eat & drink

small bullet point  Local transport: Walking, metro


On other pages:

small bullet point  Santa Apolonia station

small bullet point  Rossio station & trains to Sintra

small bullet point  Cais do Sodre for Belém & Cascais

small bullet point  Monument to the Discoveries & Belém tower

small bullet point  Lisbon's 28 tram

small bullet point  Trains from Lisbon to other European cities

small bullet point  Trains from other European cities to Lisbon

Which station in Lisbon?  See map

Oriente is some 8 km northeast of the city centre, an 8-minute suburban train ride from Santa Apolonia.  Trains to Faro & the Algarve start from here.

Santa Apolonia is the main terminus in the city centre, trains to Porto usually start here before calling at Lisbon Oriente.

Rossio is the terminus for local trains to the coastal town of Sintra, a classic station in Lisbon's old city (there are also trains from Oriente to Sintra).

Cais do Sodre is the terminus for local trains to Belém (for the Monument to the Discoveries & Belém Tower) and Cascais.

Station overview

The tracks and platforms are on an elevated viaduct.  Passenger facilities are on multiple levels in a draughty concrete warren below.

Lisbon Oriente station exterior

Main hall

Below, a central hall spans the width of the station, from the eastern exit facing the Vasco de Gama shopping centre to the western exit with the taxi rank & bus station.  The photo is taken from ground level looking east.  Note the bridge in the background between north and south mezzanine levels.  Note the retail levels below ground.

Lisbon Oriente station main hall

Below, another view of the main hall, taken from the mezzanine level.

Inside Lisbon Oriente station

Mezzanine level

There's a mezzanine level above ground, divided into north and south mezzanine areas linked by two narrow bridges, one at each end of the main hall.  From both north and south mezzanine areas, escalators and steps lead up to each platform.  You'll find ticket offices, seating & food outlets on this level.  Note the summary of departures screen and Next train from this platform screen, there's one of each type at the foot of the escalators up to each island platform.

Mezzanine level


Lisbon Oriente has 4 island platforms serving 8 platforms/tracks, numbered from west to east as 1 & 2, 3 & 4, 5 & 6 and 7 & 8.

The platforms are wind-swept with limited seating and no waiting shelters, cafes or food outlets so don't head up here until your train is due.

Trains to Faro leave from platforms 5-8, check the departure screens.

Lisbon Oriente platforms

Tickets & reservations

There's no central ticket office at Oriente, just a number of small ticket offices heavily disguised as pillboxes, located on both north & south mezzanine levels.  They're poorly-signed, it took a while to find them and they might not all be open.  Some ticket windows are for suburban tickets, others for mainline tickets & reservations.  If you have any problems, there's a CP (Portuguese Railways) customer service office on the southern mezzanine floor near the escalators up to platform 5 & 6.

Lisbon Oriente ticket office

Luggage lockers

There are luggage lockers, so badly signed that I never found them.  From ground level in the main hall, go down one level and look for a broad passageway on the northern side.  The lockers are in an easy-to-miss room next to the police office.  They're similar to the lockers at Santa Apolonia, payment is with coins (but there's a change machine which accepts notes), you pay up front for the first hour and pay the remainder when retrieving your bag, see how to use the lockers.  Make sure you set aside enough coins for this and don't assume every coin will successfully work the mechanism.  See the left luggage page for pricesPhotos courtesy of P. Worldwide & Fabian Hunkeler, click the images for larger photos.

Luggage lockers at Lisbon Oriente   Luggage lockers at Lisbon Oriente

Somewhere to eat & drink

There are various self-service cafes around the main hall on the ground floor, and various food outlets on all levels.  I have yet to find anywhere offering a decent sit-down meal at Lisbon Oriente, if you find one, let me know!

Local transport


The station is some 8 km from Lisbon's old city centre, so walking isn't a popular option.


The taxi rank is outside the western exit from the main hall.  Taxi fare calculator:

Suburban trains to Lisbon Santa Apolonia

The easiest way to reach Santa Apolonia is by suburban train, these run every 20-60 minutes taking 8 minutes.  Check times at or using the CP app on your phone.  It's just 1 stop by InterRegional train (IR), 2 stops by suburban train (U for Urbano).

If you have a ticket for an Alfa Pendular or Intercity arriving at Oriente, you can take an Urbano to Santa Apolonia free of charge in the hour after your train arrives.

If you have a ticket for an Alfa Pendular or Intercity starting from Oriente, you can take an Urbano from Santa Apolonia free of charge in the hour before your train leaves.


Lisbon Oriente is on the metro's red line, the escalators down to the metro are in the main hall.  The metro is an easy way to get around, you can now simply touch in at the ticket gates with any contactless bank card and your account will be debited with the fare.  Alternatively, metro ticket machines accept cash or cards and sell one-way tickets and a good-value all-day ticket.  They have a touch screen with English language button.  For a metro map & information see

To Rossio station:  Take the metro red line 6 stops to Alameda, then the green line 5 stops to Rossio.

To Martim Moniz for the 28 tramTake the metro red line 6 stops to Alameda, then the green line 4 stops to Martim Moniz.

To Cais do Sodre station for suburban trains to Belém (for the Belém Tower) and Caiscais:  Take the metro red line 6 stops to Alameda, then the green line 7 stops to Cais do SodreHow to reach the Belem tower & Monument to the Discoveries.

To Santa Apolonia by metro:  Take the metro red line 8 stops to S. Sebastião, then the blue line 7 stops to Santa Apolonia station.

Lisbon metro train at Santa Apolonia station

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