Entrance to Oriente Station
Built to be Lisbon’s main train station, Oriente was inaugurated in 1998, in time to bring visitors to the World Fair which took place in the Portuguese capital that year. It was designed by renowned architect Santiago Calatrava, who nearly two decades later was responsible for the new World Trade Center station in New York, using the same materials and his signature design.
Suburban and long-distance trains depart from or stop at Oriente Station
Oriente literally means “orient” and refers to the station’s location in the eastern part of the city, in the Parque das Nações district. That’s the former site of the World Fair, and now a modern business and residential district.
Oriente Station is the gateway to the Parque das Nações district and the closest to the airport
This is the closest train station to the airport. It faces the Parque das Nações waterfront and also houses a metro station below it and a bus terminal behind it. Most buses are from the public Carris company that provides services within Lisbon and to the suburbs, but there are also those of private companies providing long-distance travel (mainly to Spain -- the buses of the Rede Expressos company that links Lisbon to cities around Portugal depart from the Sete Rios terminal). The buses of the TST company to the city of Setúbal also depart from here.
The Oriente bus terminal
The metro station is on the red line which terminates at the airport. It’s decorated with huge contemporary tile panels by international artists. A particularly eye-catching piece is the cartoon-like creation of Icelandic artist Erró, with images of mythological figures and legends, and allusions to the Portuguese Discoveries and the Titanic disaster. Other noteworthy murals are by the Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama and Argentine postmodernist Antonio Segui.
Contemporary tile panels decorate the Oriente metro platforms
Destinations of trains departing from Oriente include Sintra, which is the most popular day trip from Lisbon (there’s another Lisbon-Sintra service departing from Rossio Station). The long-distance destinations originating in Oriente are Faro (in the Algarve region, in the south of the country) and Évora (this is a rather infrequent service, so those wishing to visit this historic city may want to take the express bus instead). Trains to Porto and Braga in northern Portugal depart from Santa Apolónia Station but stop in Oriente (these are the “Intercidades” and high-speed “Alfa Pendular” services).
There are no trains from Oriente to Cascais and the beaches west of Lisbon. For that, you’ll have to head to Cais do Sodré Station.
The Vasco da Gama shopping mall is located across from Oriente Station
Across the street from Oriente Station (or connected through the underground level) is the Vasco da Gama shopping mall, home to dozens of stores and a good food court. It’s a convenient destination for those with a long wait for a train or bus, although the station also has shops and eateries. Within the station are also luggage lockers for storage up to 24 hours.
Oriente Station seen from the top floor of the Vasco da Gama mall
The outdoor train platforms are covered by futuristic arches inspired by Gothic cathedrals, and are the most striking features of the station’s architecture. They’re best admired from outside the Vasco da Gama mall.