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Essential Portugal Travel Guide

Portugal is a highly popular holiday destination that attracts people across the world with its busy event calendar, mesmerizing natural views, stunning beaches, and perfect climate.

In fact, a holiday in this country offers something unique to everyone. Starting from the sun-drenched beautiful Algarve coast to the bustling capital of Lisbon and the gorgeous Azores islands, you will enjoy your every moment here.

The country has lively cities, unique & vibrant culture, and fantastic countryside. Portugal has become a value destination for the European Union. The reason is it offers incredible landscape diversity.

Take a break from your busy life and visit Portugal to experience something exciting, fresh, and new. It has everything that will ignite the vitality of life as well as energy.

Useful Travel Information About Portugal

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❖ Rent a car with the best discounts at Discover Cars

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Important Facts When Traveling To Portugal

Capital: Lisbon

Official language(s) and general knowledge of English: Portuguese, around 32 percent of the citizens of Portugal, can understand and speak English. Some can also speak French

Official religion(s): Christianity, primarily Catholicism

Currency: Euro (EUR)

Climate: Temperate maritime climate with wet winters and hot summers. It has Continental, Mediterranean, and Atlantic influences.

Power voltage and socket type: 230V, 50Hz standard frequency and plug type is F

Safety rating: Portugal is quite safe for travelers. But it has some cities that tourists should avoid visiting.

Female solo traveler: Portugal is fantastic for female solo travelers. With low chances of insult and sexual harassment. The country has low crime and harassment rates.

Do I need a Visa to Travel to Portugal?

Fast Track: Get Schengen visa in advance

It may be noted that citizens of EU countries don’t require a Portugal Visa to travel to the country. However, if they want to stay there for more than 90 days, they should obtain a visa.

Besides, EU citizens who want to live in the country for an indefinite period should register themselves with local authorities by the end of three months of their stay.

For citizens of countries that don’t come under the Schengen system, they should obtain Portugal’s Schengen visa before traveling to the country. Well, the legal requirements related to entry to Portugal can vary from one country to another. So, don’t forget to check the requirements with your government and embassy.

Citizens of Australia, EEA, Belgium, the US, Spain, Greece, Germany, Luxembourg, Iceland, and other countries who are part of the Schengen system don’t need a visa to roam around Portugal, but only for nine days.

Accommodation in Portugal

No matter which part of the country you are visiting, you can easily find various accommodation options. Whether your factors are amenities, budget, friendliness, or location, the country has something for you.

Budget: If you are running on a tight budget, well, the hostel network is quite vast in Portugal. You can find a hostel in any place in the country.  You can get dormitory-style accommodation with a bathroom. If you want to witness a typical-Portuguese experience, you can try out Residencias. They are home-like hostels, and for a double room, you need to pay around 20 to 50 Euros. – Check hostels in Portugal here

Mid-Range: In Portugal, you can also hire a room in private homes or can rent a guest house. Under the basic budget option, you may not get breakfast or a bathroom.  But under a high-budget, you can get breakfast and the en-suite bathroom. The cost can go up to Euro 100 per night. – Check rates & reviews here

High-End: Some people can prefer to stay in villas or a self-catering apartments. If you are traveling in a group, you can book a multi-bedroomed holiday house in Lisbon, Porto and the Algarve. You will get all the required facilities in such villas. Besides, you can also stay in luxurious hotels to enjoy a unique living experience. The cost per night would be around Euro 150 to Euro 300. Well, while planning about your accommodation, consider the time of year you are visiting and go for advance booking. – Check rates & reviews here

Best Time to Visit Portugal

Low-Season (December – March) – During this time, Portugal experiences summer. Summer in Portugal is quite hot, especially in the central Portugal area.  The temperature can go up to 30 degrees Celsius. However, if you are a beach lover, you can choose this as your traveling time

Mid-Season (September, November, April) – The weather is sunny as well as pleasant.  You can expect short hours, fewer activities, and more lunch breaks at various sights.

High-Season (June to September) – During this time, the weather remains pleasant. Most of the events and festivals are celebrated during this time. You will enjoy exploring various hills of Lisbon and Sintra

Transportation in Portugal

By Flight – Most of the airlines fly to the country. Three international airports are located on the mainland. The Azores and Madeira Island also have their own international airports. You can also find some international flights into airports like Pico and Porto Santo. From all the airports you can easily find buses and cabs that can take you to different cities. – Check cheap flights here

By Train – Almost all the most significant cities are well-connected with train networks. Starting from Lisbon to Aveiro, Porto, Coimbra, Braga, and Faro, you quickly reach the areas by train. On the south side, you can’t enter the country by train, mainly from Spain. Here you will have to use buses. In Portugal, CP- Comboios de Portugal runs the trains. – Buy tickets here in advance

By Boat – Portugal is served by various seat ports that always stay crowded with foreign traffic. The ports receive passengers as well as merchant boats.

Getting Around in Portugal- There is no doubt that Portugal is a world-famous tourist destination. So, the country has a well-developed public transport option. To roam around the cities, you can choose bus services. The bus services in Portugal are clean and super comfortable. Just grab a window seat, and you are ready to witness a pleasant journey. – Buy tickets in advance

Food in Portugal

One of the best parts of traveling to new countries is tasting the local cuisines. Portugal’s cuisines are super tasty as well as exciting.  You can easily find many restaurants and cafes across the country, offering international dishes. But don’t forget to try out the local dishes.

For example, soup, bacalhau, fish, grilled sardines, Portuguese boiled dinner, Arroz de tamboril, and more. The best place to try out authentic Portuguese food is in Lisbon. You should also taste the black and thick espresso coffee called “Bica.”

Don’t forget to taste the wines. Red and white wines are quite popular among locals. You can drink Vinho Verde. It is very crisp and generally served with fish dishes. Having wine with meals is quite common in this country.

Best Things to Do in Portugal

Go For Surfing – Covering around 1,800 kilometers of coastline, Portugal offers a lot of surf spots to visitors. Some of the most popular surfing spots where you can enjoy a unique surfing experience are Peniche, Ericeira, Algarve, Nazare, Lisbon, and more. Ericeira houses six famous surfing beaches. So, go on and enjoy the thrill.

Taste The Wines – Douro Valley in Northern Portugal got its UNESCO World Heritage status award in the year 2001 and became the first wine region in the world. Visit the place during the grape harvest season. Enjoy the unique taste of wines while cycling through the valley. Besides, you can participate in various activities like participating in grape harvesting, harvest tours, and producing wine. You will definitely like those activities.

Explore The Stunning Cave Beaches – Portugal’s southernmost region, the Algarve house some world-famous beaches. With a fantastic combination of clear water, glittering sand, and pleasant weather, the beaches located in the Algarve will never fail to surprise you. Besides, there you can explore the beauty of some hidden caves. Some popular caves are The Zorreira Cave, The Captain’s Cave, The Benagil Cave, The Elephant Cave, and The Arches of Marinha. There are more than 150 beaches in the area where you can enjoy diving, lounging, and surfing. Read more about where to stay in Algarve.

Explore The Sea Creature – Oceanário de Lisboa is a place where you will witness the fantastic combination of art, beauty, and nature. It houses more than 8,000 sea creatures, including coral reefs, sea otters, rays, sharks, and more. If you are in search of some exciting things to do in the country, you can visit Oceanário de Lisboa.

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