Traffic in Portugal

Transport and infrastructure in Portugal

Our listing of the primary types of transport compares the infrastructure of Portugal with the average of all countries in Europe. Overall, the main traffic and transport routes are well developed and in comparatively good condition.

In terms of the length of its rail network, Portugal ranks 58th in the world with 0.24 meters per inhabitant. In total, the rail network is 2,526 kilometers long. Freight traffic on the rails most recently totaled 2.70 billion tons and kilometers traveled. Passenger traffic reached 2.91 billion passenger-kilometers in 2021.

The waterways listed refer to inland traffic on rivers and canals. The number of ports includes those located on the 1,793 km of coastline. In 2021, about 3.28 million freight containers were transported.

Airports in Portugal

Back to overview: Portugal

Road traffic

The network of roads and highways has a total length of 82,900 km. For each of the country's 10.33 million inhabitants, this corresponds to 8.03 meters. This puts Portugal in 69th place in the global ranking. However, the country's size and population density of around 112 inhabitants per km² must also be taken into account. Countries with fewer inhabitants in the same or even larger area naturally achieve quite different values here and have to connect remote areas to the transport network despite a smaller population.

With an average of 846 traffic fatalities per year (2013 - 2019), road traffic in Portugal is considered relatively safe. This corresponds to 8.2 accident fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants per year. By comparison, this figure is 12.3 in the USA and 17.0 worldwide.

Traffic in PortugalIn Portugal, traffic drives on the right-hand side of the road, i.e. people drive in the right-hand lane and overtake on the left. Oncoming traffic comes toward you on the left side. This regulation was enforced on June 1st, 1928. Here you can also find an overview of all countries with left-hand traffic.



 totalper 1 mio
per km²
Roadways82,900 km8,028.94 km898.88 m
Railroads2,500 km244.65 km27.39 m
Waterways210 km20.34 km2.28 m
Commercial harbors72670.310.008


 total per 1 mio
per km²
Roadways6,708,900 km11,154.38 km1,111.71 m
Railroads258,600 km429.97 km42.85 m
Waterways54,800 km91.17 km9.09 m
Commercial harbors15,27325.390.003

Data sources used

Global Health Observatory Data Repository (World Health Organization)
Internation Union of Railways (UIC)
CIA Factbook
OECD Statistics
Wikipedia (german)
Portugal: AirportsLargest airports and airlines in PortugalThe 18 biggest airports and 6 airlines in Portugal with further information and data with further information on airlines and destinations
Portugal: ClimateClimate and temperature development in PortugalA climate analysis for Portugal incl. temperatures, humidity, rain days per month, hours of sunshine, water temperature, rainfalls
Ranking: MegacitiesMega cities - the biggest cities all over the worldRanking of the biggest cities worldwide. On top: Shanghai, Chongqing and Beijing