Transport and infrastructure in PortugalOur listing of the primary kinds 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 0.25 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 4.49 billion passenger-kilometers in 2018.
The waterways listed refer to inland traffic on rivers and canals. The number of ports includes those located on the total 1,793 km of coastline. In 2020, about 2.80 million freight containers were transported.
› Airports in Portugal
Back to overview: Portugal
Road trafficThe network of roads and highways has a total length of 82,900 km. For each of the country's 10.30 million inhabitants, this corresponds to 8.05 meters. This puts Portugal in 67th 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 on 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 845 traffic fatalities per year (2012 - 2019), road traffic in Portugal is considered relatively safe. This corresponds to around 4.3 accident fatalities per 8.2 inhabitants per year. By comparison, this figure is 5.9 in the European Union as a whole and 17.1 worldwide.
In 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 rule was introduced at the end of the 18th century during the Napoleonic Wars. Here you can also find an overview of all countries with left-hand traffic.
|total||per 1 mio|
|Roadways||82,900 km||8,050.83 km||898.88 m|
|Railroads||2,500 km||245.31 km||27.39 m|
|Waterways||210 km||20.39 km||2.28 m|
|total||per 1 mio|
|Roadways||6,708,300 km||11,142.23 km||1,111.61 m|
|Railroads||258,600 km||429.54 km||42.85 m|
|Waterways||53,100 km||88.26 km||8.81 m|
Data sources used• Global Health Observatory Data Repository (World Health Organization)
• Internation Union of Railways (UIC)
• CIA Factbook
• OECD Statistics
• Wikipedia (german)