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Travel On Train Intercidades (IC) (Portugal)
An Intercidades train at Lisboa-Santa Apolonia

Intercidades (IC) (Portugal)

The key things worth knowing about taking a journey on the Intercidades (IC) trains operated by the Portuguese national rail operator, CP.

These local hauled trains comprise coaches based on the French 'Corail' trains, which arguably set new standards of comfort when they were introduced back in the 1980s.
Though newer trains are used for the Beja ↔ Casa Branca shuttle service.

The info below references the more typical travel experience on the older trains.


At a Glance


Food services available

Bistro (bar food and take away meals)

Accessing the train

Bikes Allowed
Travel Pass Supplement

Rail Pass Reservation Fees
Travel Comforts


Time of Day

Travel Passes

Difference between 1st and 2nd class

The key differences when traveling in Turistica class (2nd class), compared to travelling in Conforto (1st class) on an Intercidades train, are:

  • narrower seats
  • less legroom
  • seats arranged 2+2 across the aisle, instead of 2 + 1
  • less storage for large items of luggage.

Though something which is common to both Turistica class and Conforto class, is that power sockets are only available at certain seats.
You can which seats have them on the seating plan, that you will see when booking tickets on the the CP website.

Good to know info:

Turistica Class seating saloon Turistica Class seating saloon

ShowMeTheJourney has anticipated what questions are most often asked about travelling on the Intercidades (IC) trains and answered them below.

If you can't find the information you are seeking, you can ask a question by using the Travel Planning Service.

The image above was taken by Rúdisicyon and downloaded from Wikimedia Commons

How fast does the train travel?

Intercidades travel at up to 220 km/h (125 mph).

Are seats allocated when booking tickets?


Can specific seats be selected from a seating plan?

Seating plans are integral to the booking path on the CP website.

Can I choose forward facing seats?

Yes, a direction of travel arrow in included on the seating plan.

Do Eurail / InterRail Pass users need to make reservations?

Yes, seat reservations are mandatory when travelling with rail passes on the Intercidades (IC) trains.

Note that the same rail pass reservation fees of €5 in both Conforto and Turistica class are charged to travel on the alternative, faster, Alfa Pendular (AP) trains.

How can Eurail / InterRail Pass users make reservations?

Holders of valid Eurail and InterRail passes (Global and One country passes) cannot book reservations for the Intercidades trains online, they can only be purchased prior to boarding at the ticket desks at the major stations.

What catering is available on the train?

The only catering on the train is the food and drink which can be ordered by visiting the bar / bistro counter

Are power sockets available?

Yes for standard E.U. 2-point plugs, but only at certain seats - be guided by the symbols on the seating plans.

Is Wi-Fi available?


What is the luggage policy?

Each passenger can carry one piece of luggage - not including laptop bags, handbags etc.

Can non-folding bicycles be taken on board?

  • Yes and there is no charge
  • The 2nd class carriages on these trains have proper supports for traditional bikes, allowing two bikes to be taken in each carriage - note that spaces are limited and they cannot be reserved in advance.
  • Places 15 and 17 in the 2nd class carriages on the northern route; Lisbon-Oporto/Guimarães/Braga/Valença
  • Places 12 and 18 in the 2nd class carriages on the Beira Alta, Alentejo Lisbon Oriente/Évora and Sul line
  • Only one bike per passenger;
  • The bike must weigh 15kg or less;

Can dogs be taken on board?

Tickets are required if the dog isn't transported in a pet-carrier.
These tickets must be booked at stations - the charge is a full price ticket at the Adult rate for travel on the AP trains:

The regulations which apply when NOT using a pet-carrier and travelling with a dog on any train are:

  • the dog must be muzzled
  • the dog must be on a short leash,
  • the owner must have the animal's vaccination card with them and a valid licence
  • the dog must stay on the floor.


Boarding an Intercidades train Boarding an Intercidades train

A key difference with the Alfa Pendular trains trains which share many routes with these Intercidades (IC) trains, is that on these IC trains, the large numbers on the exterior of the coaches do indicate the class of service per coach.

So on the image above a Conforto Class (1st class) coach is on the left and a Turistica (2nd) class coach is on the right.

The number of the specific coach /car / carrvagem is attached to a small panel to the the right of the doors.
On the image above the 2nd class coach is number 21.


  • Lisboa-Santa Apolónia - Lisboa-Oriente - Entroncamento - Pombal - Coimbra-B - Aveiro - Porto-Campanhã - Braga / Guimares / Valenca
  • Lisboa-Santa Apolónia - Lisboa-Oriente - Entroncamento - Castelo Branco - Covilhã - Guarda
  • Lisboa-Santa Apolónia - Lisboa-Oriente - Entroncamento - Pombal - Coimbra-B - Guarda - Vilar Formoso (currently replaced by bus between Coimbra and Guarda; and between Guarda and Vilar Formoso)
  • Lisboa-Oriente - Lisboa-Entrecampos - Tunes - Albufeira-Ferreiras - Faro
  • Lisboa-Oriente - Lisboa-Entrecampos - Casa Branca - Evora
  • Casa Branca - Beja - (connecting service)

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This is one of more than 100 train travel guides available on ShowMeTheJourney, which will make it easier to take the train journeys you want or need to make. As always, all images were captured on trips taken by ShowMeTheJourney.