Faro Airport (IATA code FAO), located 56 miles from Lagos`s Old Town, is the main international airport link North America and Europe has with the Algarve. With over 6 million travelers in 2015, it is the third-busiest airport in Portugal. Ryanair, easyJet, and Monarch Airlines use Faro Airport as a hub.
Proximo, the bus system in Faro, runs a route (#14) from the airport`s arrivals terminal to Faro bus station. The bus ticket will cost under €4 and can be purchased directly from the driver. Buses run between the airport and the city at least three times an hour every day between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. (longer and more frequent service on weekdays). To learn more, visit www.proximo.pt/en.
EVA Transrapido buses leave from Faro bus station and take two hours and ten minutes to reach Lagos`s bus station. Buses leave Faro six times every weekday (between 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.) and twice on weekends and holidays (12:30 pm. and 5:25 p.m.). Rates on EVA buses are priced by the kilometer; for an accurate price, visit www.eva-bus.com. ONDA buses are available for travelers to take from Lagos`s bus station to the Old Town.
People taking the EVA Transrapido buses back to Faro Airport at the end of the trip are allowed to take Faro city buses for free as long as the ticketholders present a valid Transrapido ticket stamped for the current day.
A taxi rank is located just outside Faro Airport`s arrivals terminal, and you will notice a big sign that quotes taxi prices from Faro Airport to various locations throughout the Algarve. Be warned: Taking a taxi from Faro Airport straight to your hotel in Lagos will set you back at least €90 during a weekday and higher than €120 on weekends or holidays.How do I get from the train station to my hotel?
For those coming to Lagos by train, two ONDA city bus lines (red and blue) run from Lagos train station to Avenida dos Descobrimentos and the Esplanade in the Old Town. From there you can take any of the nine bus lines to anywhere in Lagos and environs. Also, there is a taxi rank outside Lagos train station, and the drivers will take you directly into town. Fares start at €4 for the first mile, with €1 added for each additional half-mile traveled. Expect a 20% price increase if you are traveling after 9 p.m., on weekends or during holidays. There is an upcharge of approximately €2 for each piece of luggage placed in the trunk.How do I get around using public transportation?
Bus travel in Lagos and environs is run by Transportes Urbanos de Lagos, whose fleet is branded with the name ONDA. ONDA buses run on nine different routes: Linha Vermelha (#1, red line); Linha Azul (#2, blue line); Linha Rosa (#3, pink line); Linha Amarela (#4, yellow line); Linha Laranja (#5, orange line); Linha Verde (#6, green line); Linha Castanha (#7, chestnut line); Linha Lilas (#8, lilac line); and Linha Turquesa (#9, turquoise line).
All nine ONDA lines can be accessed by going to the Marina/Avenida dos Descobrimentos stop. Every single line stops at the Praca do Infante. The city bus station is located on the lilac line. The red and blue lines stop at the train station on the other side of the Bensafrim River. Most beaches in Lagos can be reached by taking the blue line. (There is an additional line, Linha Verao, the summer line, which runs between downtown, Praia do Porto de Mos and Meia Praia until midnight during the months of July and August.)
By 8 a.m. each day, all nine bus routes are transporting residents and tourists throughout the city. The majority of the routes stop running around 7 p.m., with the exception of three. Lines #2 (blue), #3 (pink) and #4 (yellow) are active until the last bus begins its final run at 10:30 p.m. Buses run every 30 minutes daily except for weekends, when it is not uncommon for a 12:30 p.m. bus run to be followed up by another run more than five hours later. On holidays, ONDA lines #2, #3 and #4 run on a Sunday schedule (six daily buses as opposed to eight on a Saturday schedule, or 22 on a weekday schedule).
Line #9 (turquoise) is a circular offered for the benefit of tourists. The buses stop at a number of noteworthy spots around the city, leaving from Praca do Infante. Buses usually leave every 30 minutes between 7:50 a.m. and 7:20 p.m. on weekdays and every two hours on weekends and holidays, with the first bus leaving at 8:50 a.m. and the last leaving at 6:50 p.m.
Prices range from €1.20 if traveling on lines #1, #2 or #9 to €1.60 if traveling on lines #3-8. A three day ticket costs under €10 and can be bought at the Rede Nacional de Expressos (RENEX) bus stop located on Rua da Porta de Portugal. For more information on ONDA, visit www.aonda.pt (website in Portuguese).
Visitors to Lagos may also notice a `tourist train` (`comboio turistico` in Portuguese) that runs seven days a week, transporting travelers to certain destinations in Lagos. Like the one in Albufeira, the tourist train resembles a mini-steam-powered `choo choo` type of locomotive. The tourist train departs from the Marina, runs parallel to the waterfront, and stops at Praia Dona Ana and Ponta da Piedade before circling back to the Marina. The trip is 30 minutes in total, and you can hop on and hop off at any of the stops safe in the knowledge that another train will be along within a half-hour. The first train leaves the Marina at 10 a.m. and the last train leaves Ponta da Piedade at 7:25 p.m. Tickets are approximately €3 and you can buy your pass with the conductor (driver).How do I call/hail a taxi?
Taxis can be flagged down from the street anywhere in town as long as the light on top is green (signifying a vacancy). Taxis in Lagos will be either white or black/green in color. Many locals recommend calling for cabs instead of waiting on the street to flag one down, although as previously mentioned, this is possible (just not always fast).
Lagos is a tourist town and many people speak English, but do not assume your driver will automatically speak it. Just so there is no confusion, write your destination (with street address) on a piece of paper and give it to your driver before departing.
There are a few taxi ranks in Lagos, but only the ones at the bus station, train station and Praca Gil Eanes are staffed regularly. Trying to get a cab at other taxi ranks could be hit or miss depending on the time of day.
As mentioned previously, fares start at €4 for the first mile, with €1 added for each half-mile traveled. Expect a 20% price increase if you are traveling after 9 p.m., on weekends or during holidays. There is an upcharge of approximately €2 for each piece of luggage placed in the trunk.Should I rent a car in Lagos?
If you only want to explore Lagos City, the beaches in the area, and the other parishes surrounding the city, a car is not necessary. If you`d like to explore and visit additional cities in the Algarve, such as Albufeira and Portimao, or sights further afield like the Autodromo or Slide & Splash, then a car may be what you need (although the Algarve is covered quite decently by rail, taxi, and ridesharing services).
If you would like to rent a car while in Lagos, TripMasters recommends that you reserve the car before arriving in Portugal. When you do arrive, you will be able to pick it up at Faro Airport (not in Lagos). If, for whatever reason, you decide to rent a car after arriving in Lagos, you will find that many agencies are located in town.Is Lagos a walking city?
Many of the sights in Lagos are within walking distance and the Old Town is particularly compact (1000 feet wide or less in many spots). To reach beaches like Meia Praia, you will need alternative transportation such as a bus or taxi.Is Lagos a dangerous city? Are there any areas I should avoid?
While coastal towns of the Algarve do have to worry about crime, this crime is usually directed toward residents (ex. home burglaries). As a tourist you should be quite safe in Lagos, whether it`s daytime or nighttime. All areas frequented by tourists (beaches, the Old Town) can be visited without incident. In the event that you may encounter vagrants, just ignore them if they ask you for money and walk in the other direction.
While out and about, stick to well-lit and well-populated routes, keep your wits about you, and always look like you know where you are going, even when you may not. Be sure to keep your valuables on your person at all times, and never keep all of your money in one place; split up your cash into various pockets in your clothes.Which areas are the best for shopping?
Lagos is a great place to shop. If you want trinkets for your friends back home, the Lagos Marina Gift Shop offers lots of Lagos-embossed merchandise, from keychains to T-shirts. If you are looking for more upscale clothing options, head to Candido dos Reis, where there are quite a few boutiques. If you want to bring back a more traditional gift, such as pottery or another type of handicraft, check out the Praca Gil Eanes and Rua 25 de Abril.Can I pay/tip in US dollars?
The currency of Portugal is the Euro and US dollars are not accepted for payment. Please be sure to have the correct currency on hand or be prepared to exchange your dollars for euros upon arrival. Currency exchange desks and ATMs can be found at the airport and many locations throughout Albufeira.I do not speak Portuguese. Do many people speak English?
It is more common to find English speakers in Portugal than it is in other southern European countries, such as Spain. A recent European Union language survey found that 32% of Portuguese people over the age of 18 can speak English on a conversational level or better.
Lagos caters heavily to tourists, many of whom only speak English. It is still recommended to brush up on basic Portuguese phrases before arriving, like basic pleasantries and numbers from 1 to 10. To ask someone if they speak English, say `Fala ingles?`
Note: Do not speak in Spanish to a Portuguese person, thinking they will understand you when you do so. Responses will range from stunned silence to outright hostility; the Portuguese people are proud of their culture and heritage, and such an act will cause nearly everyone to take personal offense. On another note, the vocabulary and pronunciation in Portuguese differs from Spanish more than you may realize.What are the drinking laws in Portugal?
The legal drinking age in Portugal is 18, whether you find yourself in a pub or a nightclub. Asking for proof of age upon ordering an alcoholic beverage or entering a nightclub is becoming more commonplace, especially if you appear younger. Keep your passport with you as it doubles as proof of age and identification.
If you are renting a car, do not drive after consuming alcohol. A blood alcohol content level of 0.05 is considered the legal limit; penalties can range from fines to a jail sentence of up to one year. Save yourself the potential trouble and heartache.What is nightlife like in Lagos?
Dozens of bars pack Lagos`s Old Town. If you want a place to drink, you don`t have to travel far. Check out Rua Silvia Lopes and Rua Lancarote de Freitas for two particularly popular clusters of bars. Keep in mind there is something for everyone in Lagos, ranging from dive bars to dance clubs to live music venues. Many of these places are open seven days a week but they definitely come to life on Friday and Saturday nights.