Transport in Póvoa de Varzim
The city of Póvoa de Varzim is served by a developed transportation network that employs maritime, aerial and terrestrial travel. The terrestrial access infrastructure is composed of national motorways (freeways), the national roads system, and metro trains. These infrastructures and the airport, bus terminal, marina and harbour are used daily by thousands of people to travel to the city.
The city of Póvoa de Varzim is served by two motorways: The A28 (Valença-Porto Motorway) which links the city to other seaside cities in Portugal, and the A7 (Póvoa de Varzim-Vila Pouca de Aguiar Motorway) which links it to countryside cities and towns. Travellers from Braga and Barcelos must use the nearby A11 (Apúlia-Amarante Motorway).
The International Airport Sá Carneiro is located at 15 km south of the city, in the confluence of the municipalities of Maia, Matosinhos and Vila do Conde. It is the second biggest international airport in Portugal and serves all Greater Porto.
The Póvoa de Varzim Bus Central is a terminus for urban and long distance buses also used as an entrance for travellers arriving from national cities (especially from the Minho region), but also from other European cities. A municipal bus operator does not exist, but some companies have regular services within the city and its villages, such as the Linhares, AV Minho and Litoral Norte. For the summer Rodoviária D'Entre Douro e Minho provides a Braga/Póvoa de Varzim express service to the beaches via motorways. As of 2007, Litoral Norte is building a proper urban transportation network.
The Line B of Porto Metro links Póvoa de Varzim to Porto with two services, a standard and a shuttle (the Expresso). Due to the metro system using only a former railroad built in the 19th century, and to the growth of the city northwards in early 20th century, most of the population lives faraway from the closest metro station. Thus, there is an ongoing scheme to extend the line.
The traditional road system of the city, composed of roads that run parallel in the direction of the sea, can be seen in any of the following avenues: Avenida do Mar (entrance of the city by the A28 Motorway), Avenida Vasco da Gama, Avenida Mouzinho de Albuquerque, and Avenida Santos Graça. The Avenida dos Descobrimentos (sea-side south entrance) and Avenida dos Banhos, in other hand, run parallel to the coast.
The growth of the city inland and northwards made the ring organisation of roads more important, this can be seen in the setup of the Avenida Parque (the B way), a belt road throughout the inner part of the city, that aims to replace EN13, the C way (belt road throughout the outer part of the city) and in the upcoming expansion of Avenida Repatriamento dos Poveiros to Aver-o-Mar Parish.
Although it lost usefulness for average and long distances, the National Roads system has acquired municipal interest: EN13 (Porto-Valença) that cuts the city in half in a North-South direction, is used by commuters originating from the Northern parishes (Estela, Laundos de Baixo, Navais, Aguçadoura and Aver-o-Mar) and from the city of Vila do Conde, in the South, to travel downtown. The EN205 (Póvoa de Varzim-Barcelos) and the EN206(Vila do Conde –Vila Nova de Famalicão) are used by commuters starting from the interior of the municipality; the first one goes by the parishes of Amorim, Terroso, and Laundos de Baixo and second by Argivai, Beiriz, Rates, and Balasar.
In the near future, the Ecopista Famalicão - Póvoa de Varzim, a bicycle path of 18 kilometres (more than 11 miles), will make it possible to travel between both cities by bicycle. The bicycle path will have leisure purposes, going through woodland, rural and historical areas. Currently there's a bicycle path throw coast.
Former railways and streetcars
The Porto Metro Line B operates on a former metre gauge railway, which opened in 1875 and was closed in 2002 to give way for the metro. The former railway was unified to another line reaching Famalicão, closed in 1990 and now expected to become a rail trail. Streetcars, first pulled by mules, appeared in 1874 and endured until early 20th century and where known as Americano, as that was a popular transportation in North American cities. Americanos first linked Praça do Almada to Vila do Conde, and in the end of the 19th century were extended to the beach district.
- A Linha Vermelha chega à Póvoa — Metro do Porto