The best independent guide to Setubal
The best independent guide to Setubal
Setubal is a historic fishing port that makes for an enjoyable day trip from Lisbon. Setubal harbour is also the departure location for the ferries to the beautiful Troia Peninsular, with its paradise beaches.
Lisbon is the main gateway to central Portugal, with the country’s largest international airport and the hub for all intercity trains and buses.
Setubal is 30km to the south of Lisbon and is connected by excellent public transport, which includes express buses services and a regular train service. This guide will detail how best to travel from Lisbon to Setubal by bus and train.
Related articles: Setubal introduction - Setubal beaches - The Troia Peninsular
The Praça de Bocage is the heart of Setubal
There are both frequent bus and train services between Setubal and Lisbon, and there is not much to separate them.
They both have similar journey times (1-hour), have comparable fares (€4.50/(€4.55) and an equal number of departures (at least one departure every hour during daylight hours – links to timetables are later in this article). With the moving of the TST bus station to Sete Rios (in June2020), the train and bus also depart from the same area of Lisbon.
We personally prefer travelling by train to Setubal. The train journey is more relaxed and spacious, and is not impacted by traffic around the Ponte 25 de Abril bridge. The main advantage of the bus, is that Setubal bus station is closer to the historic centre than the train station.
If you are new to Lisbon, the train to Setubal (and certain bus services) cross the Ponte 25 de Abril suspension bridge and the Tejo Estuary.
The TST bus to Setubal
The train line from Lisbon to Setubal is the only privately-operated railway in Portugal, and is run by the company Fergus. All other Portuguese train services are operated by CP (Comboios de Portugal), the state-run organisation.
In Lisbon, the train to Setubal departs from the Roma-Areeiro station and passes through Entrecampos, Sete Rios and Campolide. The most convenient of these train stations is Sete-Rios, which is connected to the blue metro line by the Jardim Zoológico metro station. There is clear signage between the metro and the train station.
A single ticket from Lisbon to Setubal costs €4.55 and is charged to the reusable Viva Viagem card. This is the same card used for the whole of the Lisbon public transport network, but annoyingly it can only store one type of ticket (metro/train/bus). The initial purchase of the Viva Viagem card is €0.50. A separate Viva Viagem card is required per passenger and the Fertagus railway is not included in the unlimited 24-hour public transport ticket.
As this is an urban rail service, seats cannot be reserved, and tickets cannot be pre-booked. Outside of rush hour, there are ample seats and sufficient space for luggage. Bikes can be taken on board (if there is space, so avoid rush hour), and there is no extra charge.
The journey from Lisbon to Setubal takes under an hour. There are hourly departures to Setubal and the services start early in the day and continue late into the night. For the latest timetable, please see the Fertagus website:
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Setubal is the final stop of the railway and the main train station is to the north of the city (GPS: 38.53104, -8.88491). It is 1km (14min walk) to Praça de Bocage (the main plaza of Setubal) or 1.3km to the catamaran ferry terminal called Cais 3 (GPS: 38.52059, -8.88927).
The Lisbon - Setubal bus service is operated by TST (Transportes Sul do Tejo). There are two express routes, either departing from the Sete-Rios bus station (route 561) or Gare do Oriente (route 562). The bus from Sete-Rios heads south across the Ponte 25 de Abril bridge, while the Gare do Oriente route heads east from Lisbon across the Ponte Vasco da Gama bridge.
For both routes the fares and journey times are similar. The Gare do Oriente is more convenient for passengers who are heading to/from the airport (as it is closer) or are based within the Parque das Nações area of Lisbon. For all other travellers, the Sete Rios is the better choice.
Note: The TST bus used to depart from Praça de Espanha but was changed in June2020 to Set Rios bus station. This change has been designated an “experiment” by Lisbon council, so there is a possibility it may change back to the Praça de Espanha. If you plan to catch this bus, always confirm the departure location on the timetable (link given below)
Sete Rios is the main bus station in Lisbon, and a hub for all intercity buses. Sete Rios is to the north of the city and is connected to the blue metro line by the Jardim Zoologico metro station. The TST bus stops are not in the main bus station building but on the Avenida das Forças Armadas street (underneath the IP7 expressway). Sete Rios is a busy bus station, so give yourself ample time to find the bus stop. Also, while in the bus station, use your common sense and do not flash valuables, as there have been cases of theft. Sete Rios bus station is only a short walk from the train station.
Gare do Oriente is a major bus/train/metro station, which is served by the red metro line and Oriente metro station. Gare do Oriente is the international bus station of Lisbon and the main train station for the capital, with services north to Porto and South to the Algarve. Gare do Oriente is a large bus station, but every company has its own set of bays, and the bus stand for Setubal will be indicated by a TST logo and departure number.
Bus tickets are purchased from the driver, and a single ticket cost €4.50. Both routes take around an hour, but this can be longer if there is heavy traffic (especially around the Ponte 25 de Abril bridge). The latest timetables can be seen on the TST website: https://www.tsuldotejo.pt/
Setubal bus station is just to the north of the historic centre, on the Avenida 5th Outubro avenue, and this is much closer than the train station.
The buses are clean and well maintained and provide air-conditioning. The Setubal Lisbon route is a popular commuter route with workers travelling into Lisbon in the morning and leaving at night, try to avoid these times, especially on Friday night.
Rede Expressos is the main intercity bus company of Portugal, which also provide express buses between Lisbon and Setubal. These buses are more comfortable, and services are quicker but are more expensive with fewer departures. Rede Expressos buses depart Lisbon from Sete Rois bus station, and more information can be found on their website:
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