The closest international airport to Lagos is that of Faro. It’s located 90km (56 miles) away and connected by bus. A better alternative to the bus is a transfer or you can take a taxi (these are your only options if you arrive at the airport at any time in the evening, as the last bus is shortly before 7pm). The most popular option, however, is renting a car at the airport, although that’s more expensive than public transportation. You can also go by train, but you need to go to the station in the center of Faro from the airport (complete details below).
Renting a Car at Faro Airport
There are car rental services outside the arrivals hall at the airport (just follow the signs). To go to Lagos from there, head west and take highway A22. This road charges a toll, so if you want to save a few euros, take the N125 instead, which is free. However, this alternative road goes through several towns and there can be traffic, so the journey is longer. It’s highly recommended that you take the A22 highway instead.
Transfers from Faro Airport to Lagos
There are private transfer services from Faro Airport to Lagos. You need to book in advance and it’s not the cheapest option, but when you add up the price of the car rental, gas and tolls (or split the cost in a group) it just may be a good deal -- and it’s also quite convenient! These are the available options:
Bus from Faro Airport to Lagos
The bus from the airport to Lagos is number 56, also called the “Aerobus”. It runs just twice a day between November and April, and five times between May and October, seven days a week. It’s operated by Vamus, and you can check the times on its website.
Another bus, the 57, also operated by Vamus, connects the center of Faro to Lagos. However, there are just two buses on weekends and half a dozen on weekdays. To go from the airport to the bus station in central Faro, take a bus (number 14 or 16 of the local "Próximo" network) that stops outside the arrivals hall about once or twice per hour. You buy the ticket from the driver and it takes 15 to 20 minutes to reach the station (alternatively, take a taxi to the station -- it should cost between 10 and 15 euros). Once at the station, head inside and buy your ticket to Lagos, as you can’t buy it from the driver. Each passenger is assigned a seat number, which is printed on the ticket. If you have large or bulky luggage, you have to store it in the compartment. The entire journey is 2 hours and 20 minutes, terminating at the bus station in the center of Lagos (by Avenida dos Descobrimentos, the avenue on the waterfront that leads to the Old Town). You can walk from the station to anywhere in central Lagos, but if your hotel is farther away, you may want to take a taxi — there’s a taxi rank on Avenida dos Descobrimentos (about a 10-minute walk from the station, a few steps from the Mercado Municipal building).
Taxi or Uber from Faro Airport to Lagos
There are taxis outside the airport (just cross the road outside the arrivals hall) which take you to Lagos, but the fare comes to about 100 euros. Unless you’re in a group willing to split the cost, this isn’t the most economical option. It does, however, have the advantage of being faster than public transportation, and you’re in Lagos in about one hour. Yes, there is Uber in Algarve, and the cost to Lagos will be slightly lower than the taxi.
Train from Faro to Lagos
The train station in Faro is conveniently located close to the bus station (down the road; about a 5-minute walk) in the city center. There are about 10 daily trains to Lagos, taking about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Tickets are €7.50, and can be bought at the station or online at the cp.pt website (even if you prefer to buy your tickets at the station, check out the website for the departure times). It’s not possible to book seats on this train, but there is always plenty of space. The train station in Lagos is by the marina, about a 15-minute walk to the Old Town.