Why It May Be More Expensive To Travel To This Popular Tourist Destination In 2024

One of the most visited countries in Europe, Portugal, shines for its rich history, stunning landscapes, vibrant culture, and mouthwatering cuisine. With sprawling coastlines in the south, lush vineyards in the north, and beautiful cities bustling with authenticity and energy, the country attracted more than 22 million tourists in 2022. All of this together made it a go-to destination for travelers from across the globe who wanted to learn, eat well, explore, and live out their digital nomad fantasies all in one place.

However, this popularity might change in 2024 for travelers who prefer a good deal over a luxury — and it's all because of mounting airport fees. According to Euro News, popular low-cost airline RyanAir is cutting down on flights from the UK to Portugal amidst a nearly 15% increase in airport fees imposed by the country's airport authority, ANA Aeroportos de Portugal.

Specifically, RyanAir will be decreasing its number of flights — and, therefore, increasing prices — into some of Portugal's most popular destinations, including Porto, Faro, and Madeira. There's even the possibility that flights into Madeira might stop altogether.

Increased fares are to blame

Per RyanAir's CEO, Michael O'Leary, ANA's decision to drastically increase prices and fees won't do anyone any good. On the contrary, these will only contribute to a decrease in visitors to destinations that rely heavily on tourism. Because let's face it: no one likes to pay more than they need to when it comes to traveling.

Luckily, though, there are other ways to skip around these price hikes and still enjoy everything that Portugal has to offer. For example, taking the train. With stations dotted around the country, there are plenty of entry points into Portugal if you're traveling from other destinations in Europe. One of Lisbon's main train stations, located in Santa Apolónia, welcomes trains from other major European cities such as Paris, Madrid, and even London. Prices vary depending on class and the time of your booking, but you can expect to pay roughly $450 for a train from London (keep in mind, however, that the journey is roughly 36 hours long), while a train from Madrid will only set you back around $30 for a 12-hour trip.

Once in Lisbon, local trains are also affordable and incredibly comfortable — with prices ranging from $21 for a Tourist Class ticket to $50 for a First Class ride into Porto. Comboios de Portugal is one of the most popular companies that offers railway services throughout the country and serves more than 450 stations. Basically, you'll be spoiled for choice.