Santa Apolonia was the first train station in Portugal. It opened along the riverside on land previously held by the Convento da Santa Apolónia and the army in 1865. The original intent was that the station would connect European trains to ships crossing the ocean.
The Santa Apolónia Metro Station opened in 2007. Santa Apolónia is the first stop on the blue line. The metro station is open from 6:30 am until 1:00 am. The fare is 1.50 per trip.
You can use your declining balance on a Viva Viagem transport card, or you can ride for free with a Lisboa card. For more information on Lisbon’s metro system, read my Lisbon Metro: A helpful guide to the Lisbon subway – lisbontravelideas.com
Until Covid, all international trains departed and arrived at Santa Apolonia. Currently there is no international service.
Which train station do I need in Lisbon?
If you want to travel to Porto, Fátima, or other points north, your train stops at Santa Apolónia Station.
Lisbon’s main train station, though, is Oriente Station. If your destination is Faro or the Algarve, take a train from Oriente Station.
Some express trains going north offer a choice between Oriente Station or Santa Apolónia Station. Oriente Station is closer to the airport, and Santa Apolonia is closer to downtown Lisbon’s tourist areas.
For trains to Sintra you can depart from Oriente Station, or the very central Rossio Station in the Baixa neighborhood.
If you are going to Belém, Estoril, or Cascais, that train departs from the Cais do Sodré Station. If you want to get to the beaches of Estoril or Cascais, check out my How to use public transportation to get to Lisbon’s beaches
It is important to know exactly which station you are departing from, as there are multiple stations in Lisbon. Your train does not stop at all of them.
Intercities and High-speed Alfa Pendulares trains
Comboios de Portugal offers Intercidades or Intercities trains going north to Coimbra, Aveiro, Porto, Braga, and Guimaraes. See the official Comboios de Portugal site for departure times:
Tickets can be purchased online at CP – Comboios de Portugal or at the ticket office at Santa Apolonia between the hours of 6:00 am and 9:45 pm.
High-speed Alfa Pendulares trains travel at speeds of 140 mph and are equipped with wifi. The high speed Alfa Pendular trains make fewer stops than the inter-cities trains. The price for an Alfa Pendular is a little higher, but not tremendously higher. It is worth taking the high speed train, if possible.
For smaller towns not connected by rail service, you will need to travel by bus. Rede Expressos is the national bus service, and most routes depart from the Sete Rios Bus Station.
How to get to Santa Apolónia Station
Location Avenida Dom Infante, 73
GPS Coordinates: 38.71456507929646, -9.122350002241854
Santa Apolónia is a fifteen minute (flat) walk from downtown. Buses 759 and 794 from Restauradores Square stop here, as does bus 728 from Cais do Sodré.
Santa Apolónia Station is located on flat land between the Tejo River and the bottom of the hill of Alfama neighborhood. Across the street is the Museu Militar, and nearby you will find the cruise terminal – Terminal de Passageiros de Santo Apolónia.
Facilities at Santa Apolónia Station
Santa Apolónia is a small railway station. Lockers are available for luggage storage. There is a ticket office where you can purchase tickets, ATM machine, and a car rental office.
Access the metro blue line is via the escalator.
There is a Pingo Doce supermarket, cafes and shops, and restrooms. There are lots of options for dining across the street in the Alfama neighborhood.
Lodging near Santa Apolónia Station
The Editory Riverside Santa Apolónia Hotel
Avenida Infante Dom Henrique, 1. This hotel is located on the south side of the Santa Apolónia Train Station. A five-star hotel, the Editory Riverside Santa Apolónia Hotel offers 24-hour service, room service, a buffet, or continental breakfast. The hotel has a bar and a restaurant as well as a fitness center. It is a great choice if you are taking a cruise, as the cruise terminal is just across the street.
A small double room with a railway station view, full size bed, air-conditioning, and in-room safe starts at $138 per night. To book: https://www.booking.com/hotel/pt/the-editory-riverside-santa-apolonia.en.html?aid=7930224&no_rooms=1&group_adults=2
Hotel Convento do Salvador
Rua do Salvador, 2B
From the train station, take a taxi to this hotel. It is located on the hillside overlooking the river.
This reasonably priced hotel is in a former convent directly below the Miradouro das Portas do Sol. From the viewpoint, you can actually take a short staircase down to the lane where the hotel is located.
A room with a queen bed can be had for as low as $100 per night. Although the building was once a convent, the rooms are both modern and comfortable.
The hotel is committed to sustainable practices, and a portion of each stay is donated to a local children’s community center. To book: https://www.booking.com/hotel/pt/convento-do-salvador-lisboa.en.html?aid=7930224&no_rooms=1&group_adults=2
Memmo Alfama Hotel
Travessa das Merceeiras, 27
Memmo Alfama has a rooftop pool and open-air lounge overlooking Alfama and the Tejo River.
Memmo Alfama is a quick walk from the Lisbon Cathedral and the Miradouro das Portas do Sol and Santa Luzia viewpoints. From the Santa Apolonia Train Station, you will want to take a taxi rather than roll your luggage uphill.
A double room in this four-star hotel in the high season can be had for $218.
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