Essential Travel Tips for your First Travel to Portugal

travel portugal

Travel to Portugal, one of the most beautiful countries in Europe. In Portugal, your dreams come true on the ground, as it opens its doors to receive all visitors, whatever the purpose of the visit is. It is a wonderful tourist country that offers you a lot of entertainment, enjoyment, culture, and nature. Follow our guide for the best travel to Portugal ever.

1. When to travel to Portugal?

The Portuguese climate is temperate and very mild, so there is no ideal season to go to Portugal. The country is pleasant all year round. However, it is more pleasing to go there in the fall and spring. Indeed, winter can be cold inland, and summer is almost everywhere very hot and sees a large influx of tourists. To fully enjoy the country with mild temperatures, go in mid-season. The Algarve, the southernmost region of the country, is worth visiting throughout the year. It offers splendid beaches, and the temperatures do not drop below 10 degrees.

2. Where to sleep when you travel to Portugal?

2.1 Hotels and apartments

At the bottom of the scale are the local alojamentos (AL); in other words, small hotels are often very simple, sometimes a little less; some have air conditioning, and some don’t. In addition to classic hotels, there are also apartment hotels, fully-fledged apartments (from studios to T2 most often), and resorts, generally seaside.

2.2 The pousada

It is the Portuguese equivalent of the Spanish Parador: a chic establishment (managed by the State), installed either in a historical monument (former monastery, castle, etc.), or in a recent construction but valued by its exceptional site.

Prices vary significantly according to the category of the establishment and the season.

3. Travel to Portugal; transportation

3.1 Train

Mainly, take the train to get around Lisbon or connect the capital to Coimbra-Guarda, Porto, or Faro. There are several categories of trains; Intercidades (the fastest), Regionais / Urbano (Regional), which constitute the most extensive network, and Inter-Regionais (omnibus). We should also mention the Alfa Pendular, which links the Far South (Faro) to the Far North (Braga) via Lisbon, Coimbra, and Porto (among others).

For Alfa Pendular and Intercidades, reservation is required. You can find tickets at stations, travel agencies, Multibanco vending machines, and on the Internet. You can choose between the 1st class (Conforto) and 2nd class (turística). Always check the site in advance for schedules (including strike notices), and remember to book early enough; Portuguese trains are crowded at certain times.

3.2 Bus

Very practical, the Portuguese bus network is rather well organized and will allow you to make several trips. Several companies are offering regular departures, the best known of which is Rede Expressos.

Exploring Portugal by bus is the most economical way. The prices are very affordable, and by booking in advance on the Internet, you can benefit from a reduction in the ticket price.

The bus is a means of transport widely used in Portugal, both by students and residents of large cities, as well as by travelers exploring the country.

To give you an idea, a return trip Lisbon-Porto costs around 35 Dollars. The distance is 300 kilometers, and the travel time is 3 hours.

3.3: Metro (subway)

The metro is present in some cities in Portugal, such as Lisbon and Porto. It is a safe and fast way to visit the major cities of the country.

In Lisbon, as in Porto, the metro allows you to move from one end of the city to another. The price of a ticket for a trip varies from city to city, and service hours from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m.

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4. Travel to Portugal, food

A good meal bears the traces of all these territories that once belonged to Portugal, from the cinnamon essential for pastries to the essential curry powder. Tomatoes and potatoes from the new world are a real favorite, like garlic and onion.

The Moors planted lemon trees, orange trees and taught the Portuguese to mix fruit with fish and meat. They are also the cataplana inventors, a dish from the South that borrows its name from a typical copper tagine.

Here are some Portuguese dishes that you will enjoy.

4.1 La Francesinha

Literally, “la petite française” (the little French), is a dish found in Porto that is said to be inspired by the French Croque monsieur. It’s a big sandwich made from sandwich bread topped with linguiça (Portuguese sausages), fresh sausages, beef, and ham. Everything covered with melted cheese and a sauce made from tomato, beer, and chili. We accompany it with fries most often. It’s not a healthy dish, but it’s to taste!

4.2 Bacalhau (cod)

Here it is, dried or salted, bacalhau (cod) is inseparable from Portuguese cuisine.

In practice, it is always the same dishes that keep coming back; bacalhau cozido (porridge), assado (roasted), assado na Brasa (on the barbecue). Com nata (with cream), à brás (delicious “cod parmentière,” made from onions, finely chopped potatoes, scrambled eggs, black olives, parsley), a gomes of sá (cod, potatoes, onions, oil, garlic, black olives, milk, hard-boiled eggs, all baked).

4.3 Caldo Verde

Portugal’s most popular soup, Caldo Verde (green broth in French), looks like nothing, yet it is very good. It contains Portuguese cabbage, potatoes, and chouriço (chorizo). If you see it on the menu of a restaurant, don’t hesitate to taste it!

5. Travel to Portugal, safety

No surprise during your travel to Portugal, you will discover a country just as safe as where you already live. As in all world countries, you may encounter dishonest people, but certainly not more than anywhere else.

Thieves and pickpockets exercise their talents in tourist areas and in transport.

Cases of assault are rare but can also exist in certain neighborhoods where you have no reason to go anyway.

Like in all major European cities, pay attention to restaurant ratings.

You will find that the drivers are crazy about the mushroom and many people take to the road for racing circuits in the car. By parking, you will surely be approached by people asking you for a few euros to keep your car under penalty of vandalizing it.

6. Travel to Portugal, the best tourist places

Portugal is famous for its friendly inhabitants, rich history, innovative art, and stunning views. Here are some of the best tourist and archaeological places tourists can visit when they are in Portugal:

  • Evoraevora travel to Portugal

It is one of the World Heritage sites according to the classification of the UNESCO due to its ancient walls dating back to the Middle Ages and other monuments still protected until now; Like a Roman temple.

  • Madeira Islands

madeira travel to Portugal

The island is famous for its subtropical climate, providing tourists with a warm atmosphere on the seashore during the winter season, in addition to being a modern destination for hiking.

Iricera Village

lisbona travel to Portugal

The village of Iricera depends on fishing and is frequented by many tourists for surfing, and it is easily accessible from the capital Lisbon to this village, and despite it being one of the busiest coastal towns, tourists can spend their time sitting along the slopes that overlook the coast and enjoying Portuguese seafood in its high-end restaurants.

Originally published on Live Positively.