After writing about “Why Portugal is the top tourist destination” we thought we needed to give you some information about the 16 things that you should know before visiting Portugal.
After reading this blog post you will be more confident and we assure that you will have a much better experience when visiting Portugal!
1. Portugal is a budget-friendly country
Portugal is very budget-friendly to tourists comparing with other European countries. Having a meal here will cost you between 5€-10€, you can get a room for two people for less than 50€ in central Lisbon, coffee is the best here and it is also the cheapest, public transportation is great and also inexpensive, etc.
2. Always wear comfortable footwear
Portugal is known for its amazing and beautiful cobblestone streets but they can also be dangerous. It can get very slippery and if not maintained well you can even trip over a piece that is sticking out and trust me, that happens a lot, even to locals! So forget about your high heels in Portugal, always bring comfortable footwear like good quality sneakers or just some basic hiking shoes.
3. Tip the man who “helped” you park the car
In some touristy places, you will find men that help people park their car, those men are not doing it for free, they expect a tip. If it happens to you just give them 50 cents and get on with your journey.
4. Don’t assume the starters are free
This is a big one, when in a restaurant in Portugal, everything that is on your table is NOT free, bread has a cost, starters have a cost, drinks and refills have a cost, so keep in mind that your bill can be higher than expected if you touch those starters or keep asking for more drinks.
Tipping in Portugal is not obligatory but you will make the employees happier if you do so.
6. Cash and ATMs in Portugal
You can use your cards in almost every place, even in the smaller towns. ATMs will be everywhere as well, especially the Multibanco, a banking system in Portugal where it lets people not just withdraw cash but also do other things such as paying bills. But if you will be paying in cash, use Euros.
7. Learn some basic words
If you’re coming to Portugal and you want to have an awesome experience, learn some basic words:
Olá – Hello
Bom dia – Good morning
Boa tarde – Good evening
Obrigado – Thank you (if you’re a male) Obrigada = Thank you )if you’re a female
Por favor – Please
Um café, por favor – One coffee, please
8. Be extremely careful at the beach
Portugal is known for its amazing beaches but you have to be very careful. Places like Nazaré, Cabo da Roca, Peniche and many more are extremely dangerous whether it is because of cliffsides where you can fall or because of the giant waves from the Atlantic Ocean. Always keep an eye on the ground and make sure you look at the flag before entering the water.
9. Watch out for wildfires
One thing that you should know if you’re visiting Portugal in the summertime is to make sure that you always check the wildfire map of Portugal before going to the countryside.
10. Football is a culture here
Football (soccer for our American friends) to the Portuguese is like a religion. Watching a football game in Portugal is also one hell of an experience. The locals are always rivaling between Benfica and Sporting (red vs green).
11. Ignore the drug dealers in big cities
In big cities like Lisbon and sometimes in Porto, people will offer fake drugs to tourists. Just ignore them or say “Não, obrigado” which means “No, thank you” and don’t let those people have a negative impact on your experience in Portugal.
12. Shopping is very popular, but don’t waste time with it
Although shopping in cities like Lisbon and Porto is very popular, we recommend you use your time wisely and instead of wasting it on shopping go out and explore more!
13. Don’t just stay in Lisbon (or Algarve)
Before visiting Portugal, you should know that it’s a very diverse country. A lot of people just come to Lisbon or Algarve, but as we said, Portugal has so much more to offer. If you’re in Lisbon, take a day trip to Sintra and Cabo da Roca, or a day trip to Fátima and Nazaré or Sesimbra. If you’re always coming to Algarve each year to enjoy the beautiful beaches, well, switch up a little bit, maybe go to the big cities or small towns in the countryside or go to Madeira or Azores to experience the beauty of the islands!
14. Public transportation and Renting a Car
If you’re thinking about renting a car in cities like Lisbon or Porto, don’t do it! It’s a nightmare driving in those places and public transportation is just a way better route to go. However, if you’re planning on going outside the major cities renting a car can be good but still, public transportation is amazing for the price that you’re paying.
15. Portugal is extremely safe
If you’re worried about safety in Portugal, don’t be. Portugal was ranked the 3rd most peaceful country in the world, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have to keep an eye on your luggage or when you’re walking down the street at night alone.
16. Ranked number 1 tourist destination
Portugal was also ranked number 1 tourist destination. It just has so much to offer. You can visit historical cities like Lisbon, Porto, Coimbra, Guimarães; or see the most beautiful beaches in Algarve or Sesimbra; see the mountains in Serra da Estrela and Peneda do Gerês; or if you want to experience the tropical islands go to Madeira and Azores; or taste the amazing wine and try some Portuguese food! There is just so much do here!
So now that you’ve read the things that you should know before visiting Portugal, you are now ready to finally come here. The tours that we suggest you take are the following: