Portugal

Lulled by the weaves of the Atlantic Ocean and by the melancholic notes of El Fado, Portugal is the best country to learn how to slow down and be grateful for all the little things that life has to offer.
Are you interested in the Portuguese culture, do you want to try some fresh fish and seafood or do you want to challenge yourself on the surfboard? It doesn’t matter, because in all cases, Portugal is the destination for you! Immerse into nature and situated right in front of the Atlantic Ocean, this country is the perfect place for nature lovers! You can go on a hike on one of the many mountain ranges situated in the North of the country or enjoy a relaxed day at one of Portugal’s sandy beaches in the South. If you’re looking for a culinary experience, Portugal has tons of specialties to offer! From the amazing selection of fresh seafood to the wonderful wine of Porto! Portuguese people speak relatively good English and you won’t even have to wait to apply for a Visa! Stop hesitating! Portugal is waiting for you!
Aerial from the city Lagos in the Algarve Portugal
Belem Tower or Tower of St Vincent on the bank of the Tagus River at scenic sunset, Lisbon, Portugal

Portugal is often referred to as the ‘Door through Europe’. The country is situated on the West side of the European continent and particularly on the Iberian peninsula. It confines Spain on the East and North and it faces the Atlantic ocean on the West and South. The capital, Lisbon, is situated on the West side of the country and the second-largest city, Sintra is just a few kilometers away from the capital. Other important cities are Porto, famous for its wine and colorful houses, and Faro in the South. The North of Portugal is mountainous while the South of the country is flat. The country is particularly green and one-third of it is covered in oaks, pines, and eucalyptus forests. 

Summer in portugal
Camilo Beach (Praia do Camilo) at Algarve, Portugal with turquoise sea in the background. Wooden footbridge to beach Praia do Camilo, Portugal. Wonderful view of Camilo Beach in Lagos, Algarve, Portugal.

The climate of Portugal can only be described in one word: amazing! The whole country enjoys Mediterranean weather all year round. Summers are warm and winters are mild. Even though in some areas summers can be unbearable, with the highest recorded temperatures in Algarve, most of the country enjoys the breeze of the nice wind coming from the Atlantic Ocean. As said, winters are mild and the country doesn’t normally experience snow except in some mountainous areas in the North. During the winter months, you may find some precipitation but in general, it doesn’t rain a lot.

Portuguese Meal

Typical portuguese dish boiled meat, smoked sausages and vegetables on ceramic dishMost Portuguese people would consider bacalao as the national dish.  Bacalao is a salt cold stew made with potatoes, onions, eggs, tons of olive oils, and olives. But what Portugal is most famous for is its seafood. Not by chance Portuguese are the top consumers of seafood in the whole of Europe. From octopuses to oysters, lobsters, crabs, and shrimps, if you love seafood Portugal is the perfect place for you! If you want to try a local sweet, you cannot miss Pastéis de Nata, a typical custard pastry crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside. Portugal is also particularly famous for its wine. The most famous is Port wine but also Madeira wine is great! 

 

Ideal summer wear
Playful casual family enjoying playing at beach during vacation.

If in doubt, opt for a smart-casual outfit and you’ll be fine. A t-shirt paired with a couple of jeans will be perfect most of the time. Obviously, shorts are better than long jeans during the summer months. Don’t underestimate the importance of a good and comfortable pair of shoes as streets in Portugal are frequently steep and made of slippery cobblestone. So, this is not the place to try out your new fancy heels! Don’t forget sunglasses as the sun can be pretty intense, especially during the summer. Smart layering is always a good idea. For instance, pack a light jacket and a warm sweater if you’re visiting the mountainous season during the winter. Also if you’re visiting the country during the summer, it’s a good idea to bring at least one wind jacket with you as temperatures at night drop and the wind never stop blowing! 

 

portugal currency
Euro banknotes and coins in front of the national flag of Portugal

In comparison to other Western European countries, Portugal is very cheap. You will easily find an Airbnb in the center of the capital for 50per couple, about 25 each. Hostels and dormitories are even cheaper and you’ll be able to pay from 15 to 25 for a night here. Public transportation, especially from city to city, is not very well organized so it’s advisable to rent a car. This will probably be your biggest expense however, it’s still relatively cheap if compared to other European countries. You may expect to pay about 235 for a week of rent plus 130 for petrol and 65 for tolls. Public transportation inside the cities is slightly more efficient. A 24-hour public transport ticket in Lisbon will cost you only 6.40. The price for food is also extremely low and you will be impressed to see how cheap seafood is!  

a chalkboard with the question falas Portugues? do you speak Portuguese? written in Portuguese, a pot with pencils, some books and the flag of Portugal, on a wooden desk

Obviously, the official language of Portugal is Portuguese. However, the country also has a second regional official language, Mirandese. But don’t worry about learning it, it’s only spoken by approximately 15,000 people in the country. English is widely spoken in big tourist sites like Lisbon, Porto, and Algarve. However, if you visit the little villages of Portugal you may have more difficulties communicating. On average, it must be said that it will be way easier to find people speaking English in Portugal than in France or Spain. Learn a few Portuguese words before your trip just to be sure to be able to communicate basic things in every situation.

Nazaré
Church Lady of Nazaré , Nazaré , Portugal

The best moment to visit the country and to get to know its culture and traditions is in June, during the three saints festival taking place all over the country. During the celebrations, you will be able to drink good wine, eat sardines and even see fireworks! Eighty percent of the population identifies as Roman Catholic and for this reason, Portugal has many ancient religious sites worth visiting such as the sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte and the Convent of Christ in Tomar. The most popular sport is football however, Portugal is also one of the best destinations for surfers. Despite what many believe, the highest waves in the world aren’t in Australia, but on the coasts of Portugal! The city of Nazaré is particularly famous for its gigantic waves and surfers come here often to challenge themselves. If you want to learn how to surf, Portugal is the perfect place as here you will find plenty of places where to rent a surfboard or where to take classes!

Portugal Visa
Flag of Portugal, visa application form and passport on table

Portugal is in the Schengen area and therefore traveling here is incredibly easy. Generally speaking, you can travel to any country in the Schengen area for 90 days within a period of 180 days without applying for a Visa. So, unless you’re planning for a super long trip, you’ll be ok. However, make sure that your passport has a six-month validity on the day of your arrival or you may be refused entry into the country. You may also be asked to show a return ticket and that you have enough money for your stay in the country, so be prepared. 

type C electric plug

Associated plug types C and F are in use in Portugal. The former is characterized by two round pins while the latter also has two earth clips on the side. The country operated on 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.

Why travel to Portugal?
Aerial from the city Lagos in the Algarve Portugal
Location and Geography
Belem Tower or Tower of St Vincent on the bank of the Tagus River at scenic sunset, Lisbon, Portugal

Portugal is often referred to as the ‘Door through Europe’. The country is situated on the West side of the European continent and particularly on the Iberian peninsula. It confines Spain on the East and North and it faces the Atlantic ocean on the West and South. The capital, Lisbon, is situated on the West side of the country and the second-largest city, Sintra is just a few kilometers away from the capital. Other important cities are Porto, famous for its wine and colorful houses, and Faro in the South. The North of Portugal is mountainous while the South of the country is flat. The country is particularly green and one-third of it is covered in oaks, pines, and eucalyptus forests. 

Climate and weather
Summer in portugal
Camilo Beach (Praia do Camilo) at Algarve, Portugal with turquoise sea in the background. Wooden footbridge to beach Praia do Camilo, Portugal. Wonderful view of Camilo Beach in Lagos, Algarve, Portugal.

The climate of Portugal can only be described in one word: amazing! The whole country enjoys Mediterranean weather all year round. Summers are warm and winters are mild. Even though in some areas summers can be unbearable, with the highest recorded temperatures in Algarve, most of the country enjoys the breeze of the nice wind coming from the Atlantic Ocean. As said, winters are mild and the country doesn’t normally experience snow except in some mountainous areas in the North. During the winter months, you may find some precipitation but in general, it doesn’t rain a lot.

Cuisine

Portuguese Meal

Typical portuguese dish boiled meat, smoked sausages and vegetables on ceramic dishMost Portuguese people would consider bacalao as the national dish.  Bacalao is a salt cold stew made with potatoes, onions, eggs, tons of olive oils, and olives. But what Portugal is most famous for is its seafood. Not by chance Portuguese are the top consumers of seafood in the whole of Europe. From octopuses to oysters, lobsters, crabs, and shrimps, if you love seafood Portugal is the perfect place for you! If you want to try a local sweet, you cannot miss Pastéis de Nata, a typical custard pastry crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside. Portugal is also particularly famous for its wine. The most famous is Port wine but also Madeira wine is great! 

Clothing and Dress

 

Ideal summer wear
Playful casual family enjoying playing at beach during vacation.

If in doubt, opt for a smart-casual outfit and you’ll be fine. A t-shirt paired with a couple of jeans will be perfect most of the time. Obviously, shorts are better than long jeans during the summer months. Don’t underestimate the importance of a good and comfortable pair of shoes as streets in Portugal are frequently steep and made of slippery cobblestone. So, this is not the place to try out your new fancy heels! Don’t forget sunglasses as the sun can be pretty intense, especially during the summer. Smart layering is always a good idea. For instance, pack a light jacket and a warm sweater if you’re visiting the mountainous season during the winter. Also if you’re visiting the country during the summer, it’s a good idea to bring at least one wind jacket with you as temperatures at night drop and the wind never stop blowing! 

 

Currency
portugal currency
Euro banknotes and coins in front of the national flag of Portugal

In comparison to other Western European countries, Portugal is very cheap. You will easily find an Airbnb in the center of the capital for 50per couple, about 25 each. Hostels and dormitories are even cheaper and you’ll be able to pay from 15 to 25 for a night here. Public transportation, especially from city to city, is not very well organized so it’s advisable to rent a car. This will probably be your biggest expense however, it’s still relatively cheap if compared to other European countries. You may expect to pay about 235 for a week of rent plus 130 for petrol and 65 for tolls. Public transportation inside the cities is slightly more efficient. A 24-hour public transport ticket in Lisbon will cost you only 6.40. The price for food is also extremely low and you will be impressed to see how cheap seafood is!  

Language
a chalkboard with the question falas Portugues? do you speak Portuguese? written in Portuguese, a pot with pencils, some books and the flag of Portugal, on a wooden desk

Obviously, the official language of Portugal is Portuguese. However, the country also has a second regional official language, Mirandese. But don’t worry about learning it, it’s only spoken by approximately 15,000 people in the country. English is widely spoken in big tourist sites like Lisbon, Porto, and Algarve. However, if you visit the little villages of Portugal you may have more difficulties communicating. On average, it must be said that it will be way easier to find people speaking English in Portugal than in France or Spain. Learn a few Portuguese words before your trip just to be sure to be able to communicate basic things in every situation.

Culture
Nazaré
Church Lady of Nazaré , Nazaré , Portugal

The best moment to visit the country and to get to know its culture and traditions is in June, during the three saints festival taking place all over the country. During the celebrations, you will be able to drink good wine, eat sardines and even see fireworks! Eighty percent of the population identifies as Roman Catholic and for this reason, Portugal has many ancient religious sites worth visiting such as the sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte and the Convent of Christ in Tomar. The most popular sport is football however, Portugal is also one of the best destinations for surfers. Despite what many believe, the highest waves in the world aren’t in Australia, but on the coasts of Portugal! The city of Nazaré is particularly famous for its gigantic waves and surfers come here often to challenge themselves. If you want to learn how to surf, Portugal is the perfect place as here you will find plenty of places where to rent a surfboard or where to take classes!

Passport & Visa
Portugal Visa
Flag of Portugal, visa application form and passport on table

Portugal is in the Schengen area and therefore traveling here is incredibly easy. Generally speaking, you can travel to any country in the Schengen area for 90 days within a period of 180 days without applying for a Visa. So, unless you’re planning for a super long trip, you’ll be ok. However, make sure that your passport has a six-month validity on the day of your arrival or you may be refused entry into the country. You may also be asked to show a return ticket and that you have enough money for your stay in the country, so be prepared. 

Electricity & Plugs

type C electric plug

Associated plug types C and F are in use in Portugal. The former is characterized by two round pins while the latter also has two earth clips on the side. The country operated on 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.

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