Rent a car in Porto with Europcar
Around 300 kilometres north of Lisbon, Porto is the second largest city in Portugal. A UNESCO protected town, Porto is loved for the colourful Ribeira neighbourhood, mythic café culture, modern art galleries, and of course port wine.
Car hire in Porto allows you to see the most of the city and surrounding area, including the Douro Valley, enchanting coastline and Peneda-Gerês National Park.
The Europcar car rental experience in Porto
Visiting Porto in a small group or as a couple? Choose economy car hire options including Fiat 500 and Opel Astra to transport yourself around the city. Bigger groups and families have great hire cars such as Renault Megane and the Volkswagen Golf.
Moving heavier loads? Europcar Porto has a fleet of van hire, with small and large models available. And because renting with Europcar means complete freedom, both car hire and van hire in Lisbon is available for a short and long-term period.
Driving in Porto
When driving in Portugal, you should keep your photo ID or passport with you at all times, in addition to a valid driver’s licence.
In Porto and other cities across Portugal, the speed limit is 50 km/h, but can change depending on area. On rural roads it is 90 km/h and 120 km/h across motorways. Around residential areas and schools the speed limit usually lowers to 40 km/h.
On-street parking in the city centre is unadvised because of narrow and one-way streets. If you need to park in the very centre, it is advised to use one of the underground car parks. Paid parking hours are as follows: Monday to Friday, between 8am to 8pm; and on Saturdays from 8am to 6pm. On-street parking varies from 2 to 6 hours.
Porto is surrounded by the A20, or Via de Cintura Interna, which has good connections to motorways making it is useful for entering or leaving the city.
Toll roads exist across Portugal. These can be paid with cash, credit/debit cards or electronically. There are 3 types of electronic tolls: Easy Toll, Toll Card, Toll Service and Via Verde Visitors. Via Verde and Easy Toll. Easy Toll is connected to your credit card and charges you automatically; Toll Card and Toll Service use a pre-paid voucher system, while Via Verde is a wireless device you place inside your car. Be sure to use the lane that concerns your payment type when you approach toll stations.
Discover Porto and surroundings by car
Colourful, eclectic and vibrant, the spirit of Porto will enchant you. From the botanical gardens at Palácio de Cristal, a collection of horticultural designs with marvellous views of the city and River Douro; to Parque da Cidade, near the ‘SheChanges’ artwork, outside of the city - there are plenty of green spaces to enjoy in Porto.
There are some spectacular things to be seen within driving distance from Porto. Braga, around 40 minutes north of Porto, is an old town which has modernised thanks to the nearby university. Filled with Baroque churches and café-filled plazas, make sure you visit the otherworldly Bom Jesus do Monte - the oldest cathedral in Portugal.
Around 50 minutes south of Porto lies Aveiro, nicknamed ‘Venice of Portugal’ thanks to its romantic canals and gondolas. The striped buildings painted in bold primary colours are truly a sight to behold.
Use your hire car to travel along the Douro Valley and make the most of the wine reputation. The vineyards and scenery along the way are renowned for their beauty.
Further afield, there is Peneda-Gerês National Park (109 kilometres) filled with hiking opportunities and medieval remnants; and Vigo (154 kilometres), a Spanish seaside town with a rich heritage.
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Set on the eye-catching Serralves Estates, this contemporary art museum was started by the foundation of the same name to consolidate the art genre in Portugal. With over 4,300 works from international and local artists, the permanent and rotating exhibitions feature a sizeable collection of contemporary art. Despite being opened fairly recently, the museum has come to be an important cultural landmark in Porto and Portugal itself. The Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art is a 15-minute drive from the centre. The 1930s Art Deco style of the estate and beautiful gardens is worth a visit alone.
Around 10 kilometres north of Porto, the town of Matosinhos welcomes you with a 50-metre-high sculpture by American artist Janet Echelman. ‘SheChanges – Anemone’ is a giant circular net - a dedication to the fishing heritage of Porto. We suggest you try to visit at night when the piece lights up, even more magical when the semi-fixed structure moves in the wind.
Porto is a truly romantic city - a simple sunset drink in one of the cafés overlooking the Douro River is a great way to pass the time. There is plenty for an authentic Portuguese experience, including the Sao Francisco Church with its Baroque gold leaf interior, a historical tour in the neoclassical Palacio da Bolsa; and take photos from up high, on the walkway of the 19th century Dom Luis Bridge; and not forgetting something delicious to eat or drink, ranging from local tavernas, the popular Mercado do Bolhão, and Michelin starred experiences. Porto also is a festival hub, with gatherings dedicated to cooking, music or tradition throughout the year.
For reservations and quotes please call our team on 0871 384 9900*
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