Portsmouth is an island city on England’s south coast and a major UK port. World renowned as the home of the Royal Navy base, Portsmouth has undergone a major transformation and is now a modern and dynamic center attracting international visitors.
On Ferryhopper, you can take a look at available ferry routes from the port of Portsmouth, find travel tips for your holiday and book your tickets online with no additional fees!
Read our suggestions for your stay in Portsmouth and find useful information about its port:
Clarence Esplanade at Southsea seafront, Portsmouth
Portsmouth ferry port
An important port in the UK, Portsmouth International Port is responsible for handling millions of passengers and cargo from all over the world. In fact, it is known as Britain’s best connected port, since it offers more ferry routes than any other port in the UK.
The Port has great passenger amenities, including stores ideal for last-minute purchases, travel essentials and a variety of souvenirs, as well as a bright, pleasant café and comfortable seating.
Ferries from Portsmouth port: schedules and tickets
Ferries from Portsmouth usually travel to France, Spain and the Channel Islands.
The majority of the ferry routes from Portsmouth are operated by large ferries that have a garage for the transfer of vehicles.
We have collected here some useful information about Portsmouth ferries in order to plan your trip in the best possible way:
- Ferry from Portsmouth to Caen: the ferry crossing between Portsmouth and Caen, in Normandy, France, is operated by Brittany Ferries with up to 3 daily crossings all year round. The crossings last around 5 hr 45 min.
- Ferry from Portsmouth to Saint-Malo: there are 8 weekly ferry connections between Portsmouth and St Malo, in Brittany, France. The ferry trip is operated by Brittany Ferries and it takes about 11 hours.
- Ferry from Portsmouth to Cherbourg: the ferry route from Portsmouth to Cherbourg, in Normandy, France, runs up to 5 times a week. The crossing lasts approximately 8 hours, but there is a 3 hour high speed service operating in the summer.
- Ferry from Portsmouth to Bilbao: the ferry from Portsmouth to Bilbao in Spain is served 2 times a week. The crossing takes between 30 hr and 36 hr.
- Ferry from Portsmouth to Santander: there are 2 weekly ferry connections between Portsmouth and Santander in Spain and the journey lasts between 28 hr and 30 hr.
Where is the ferry port in Portsmouth?
Portsmouth International Port is located in the city of Portsmouth, on Gunwharf Road, only a short walk from the Gunwharf Quays shopping outlet.
How to get to Portsmouth port?
The M275 motorway runs right to the port’s door, with a long stay multi-storey car park available.
Portsmouth also has 2 stations: Portsmouth & Southsea and Portsmouth Harbour, both of which are close to the port. Train services between Portsmouth and London take a bit more than 1 hour.
It takes approximately 30 minutes to walk to the ferry terminal from Portsmouth & Southsea train station, 10 minutes from Portsmouth Harbour Railway Station and 20 minutes from the town center.
Useful info: note that vehicles need to check in 30 minutes before departure and foot passengers 15 minutes before departure.
View to the port of Portsmouth with the Spinnaker Tower in the background
Vacation in Portsmouth
A UK and European gateway city, Portsmouth is one of the best places to visit in England for those interested in maritime history.
Fans of the countryside can also find plenty to enjoy in Portsmouth. Discover the city’s parks, marshlands and commons, as well as the places just a short distance off Portsea Island. You can also explore Portsmouth’s protected areas, which are home to several species of plants and animals.
Therefore, whether you’re seeking a romantic getaway or are visiting the city with your family, one thing is for sure: Portsmouth will keep everyone happy.
How to get to Portsmouth
You can drive to Portsmouth from London via the A3(M) road, or the M27 connecting Southampton, Bournemouth and the west. Alternatively, National Express and Megabus operate from the coach and bus interchange at The Hard in Portsea, next to Portsmouth Harbour train station.
You can also reach Portsmouth by rail from London, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, and more cities.
What to do in Portsmouth
When you visit Portsmouth, you’ll be impressed by the 3 km long Millennium Promenade, the soaring Spinnaker Tower and the lively shops and restaurants of the Gunwharf Quays district. If you’d prefer to shop from independent stores, head to the seaside resort of Southsea at the southernmost tip of the town.
Those who are interested in the city’s maritime history should definitely visit the Historic Dockyard, home to 3 famous ships: the Mary Rose, HMS Victory and HMS Warrior. If the weather allows, signing up for stand-up paddleboarding or kite surfing lessons is a must!
Alternatively, you enjoy a romantic stroll along the seafront, or head to the cobbled and lamp-lit streets of historic Old Portsmouth. After all this exploring, you'll want to treat yourself. With locally produced rum, gin and ale, Portsmouth's breweries and distilleries are a fantastic spot to do just that.
In the evening, you can watch a show at one of the city's numerous theaters or skulk around Spice Island's quiet pubs.
Sightseeing in Portsmouth
Most of the city's popular attractions are located around the spectacular harbor area and are related to naval history. Here are some must-see attractions and monuments in Portsmouth if you’re up for some exciting cultural sightseeing:
- The Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, with several historic buildings and ships
- The National Museum of the Royal Navy
- The Portsmouth Museum and Art Gallery
- The Round and Square Towers, used to guard the entrance to Portsmouth harbor
- The Southsea Castle, an artillery fort originally constructed in 1544
- The Spinnaker Tower, 170-meter high observation tower with spectacular views of the harbor and the Solent
- The Portsmouth Cathedral
- The Portsmouth Distillery
The historic HMS Victory placed at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
Nightlife in Portsmouth
Portsmouth is a lively town, with a variety of options. The city’s nightlife is concentrated in 3 key areas: the Gunwharf Quays, Guildhall Walk and Palmerston Road.
If you're starting your night out or looking to spend a relaxing evening at the pub, most are located near the Guildhall, Osborne Road, Palmerston Road, and Albert Road. Besides bars and pubs, the Gunwharf Quays are also home to a casino and a fun nightclub.
Guildhall Walk is a particularly popular night out destination for students. Many of the clubs and bars along the walk have dedicated student nights. Portsmouth's hottest nightclub, the Astoria, is also located here.
Tip: for an alternative night out, you can attend comedy nights at the Portsmouth Guildhall or Spinnaker Tower.
Food in Portsmouth
Portsmouth is a foodie paradise, with top-notch cuisine from all over the world. There are recipes to satisfy everyone's tastes, whether you prefer elegant French cuisine, or trendy street food.
When it comes to local delicacies, make sure to try fish and chips, and battered cod before leaving Portsmouth.
Tip: the Southsea Food Festival is held every July on Palmerston Road. This is a free 2-day celebration of street food, artisan beer, live music, and entertainment.
Here are 4 tips that we hope will be useful to you during your stay in Portsmouth:
- If you are planning to visit Portsmouth during the summer months, we recommend attending the Victorious Festival at Southsea Common, one of the most family-friendly events.
- To find the most authentic food, head to the Commercial Road Market that runs every week in the city center, on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 09:00 to 17:00.
- For a unique cinema experience, watch a film set in the Grade II-listed boathouse, in the Historic Dockyard, built in 1846.
- Portsdown Hill is a great place to chill out and have a picnic with the most fascinating views over Portsmouth.
Magnificent view over Portsmouth from Portsdown Hill
Useful information about Portsmouth
While Portsmouth has everything you might need for perfect holidays, we recommend planning your trip well in advance to find good and budget-friendly accommodation options.
If you want to stay in Portsmouth overnight before catching a ferry to France or Spain the next day, we would recommend staying close to the water or the historic old dockyards.
As for medical services, there are plenty of pharmacies and medical amenities in Portsmouth.
Important phone numbers for your stay in Portsmouth
Here are some phone numbers that might prove useful during your stay in Portsmouth:
- Queen Alexandra Hospital: +442392286000
- Portsmouth Port Authority: +442392297391
- Hampshire Constabulary: +441962841534
- Portsmouth Tourist Information Center: +44 23 9282 6722
- European emergency number: 112
Transportation in Portsmouth
The best way to get around Portsmouth is by bicycle. The city is simple to navigate on 2 wheels because it is flat and compact. Another sustainable way to travel around the city is to hire a Voi rental escooter.
Alternatively, 2 main bus operators, Stagecoach and First Bus, provide regular services to all parts of Portsmouth and the surrounding area. You can also bring along your car and explore the countryside around Portsmouth at your leisure or order a taxi/private car.
Note that Portsmouth recently launched the Clean Air Zone to make the air cleaner for locals and visitors alike. This means certain vehicles will be charged to drive in this zone.
Tip: the Shipwrights Way, which terminates at the Historic Dockyard, is one of the city's most well-known cycling routes.
Stunning view of Portsmouth after sunset
Where to book Portsmouth ferry tickets online
Don’t miss out on the beautiful town of Portsmouth! Find all ferry connections from Portsmouth on our interactive Map of ferries, browse schedules and fares, and plan your trip online on Ferryhopper.