Portugal is our absolute favorite country in the world. It may sound biased since it’s where we born and grew up in, but it truly is! Despite being small, it is such a complete country with nature, landscapes and activities for every taste!

This Portugal travel guide is packed with helpful tips and recommendations to help you make the most of this beautiful country we proudly call home. (hopefully, that’s not too obvious)

If you don’t have time for the whole article, jump straight to:

Portugal Travel Guide
Óbidos, Portugal

First of all, let us say Portugal is too special to visit in only a few days so, if possible, make sure you reserve enough time in your schedule. Because one thing is for sure, you will want more anyway!

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Portugal became a very popular destination in the last decade, not only for tourists but also for expats. We believe this happened for a number of reasons:

  • It is the cheapest western European country
  • Intense and visible history (over 500 castles and iconic architecture)
  • Portuguese people are very welcoming and always willing to help
  • Awesome food (seriously, world-class)
  • High quality and cheap wine
  • Beautiful weather conditions all year long (kills the competition)
  • Great surf (for every skill level)
  • Low crime rate
  • Most Portuguese speak English and many speak a third language
  • Laidback atmosphere and society
  • Beautiful landscapes
  • Huge and beautiful nature diversity

Developing this last point, we believe diversity is one of the strongest factors of why Portugal became so popular. It has a 943 Km long coastline with epic beaches; it has mountains with awesome nature and activities;  Big metropolis, like Lisbon and Porto, with everything you can ask from the civilized world; And then it has some of the most beautiful and unique islands in the world!


Related: São Miguel Island, Azores – Full Guide


Regardless of what you look for when you travel, Portugal should be on your bucket list! Thank us later… 😉

Portugal Travel Guide - Azores
Lagoa do Fogo, in São Miguel, Azores

Portugal General Information

Portugal is divided into 18 districts and 2 autonomous regions (archipelagos) – Azores and Madeira.

The northern region is colder and normally visited because of the beautiful city of Porto and many fantastic landscapes linked to nature and wildlife.

The center is where the capital – Lisbon – is, as well as the very popular village of Sintra and many white-sand beautiful beaches.

The southern region is where the Alentejo and Algarve are located. Alentejo is known for its great plains, warm and dry weather and agricultural zones. Algarve, by far the most touristic area of Portugal, is known for its fantastic beaches and great weather all year long.

Before we jump to the history of Portugal and give you more practical information about this country, here are a few useful pieces of knowledge about Portugal:

What is the capital of Portugal?

The capital city of Portugal is the iconic city of Lisbon, but Porto, the second most popular city of this country, is known as the “North Capital”. Please do not confuse yourself, the ”alfacinhas” (Lisbon natives) do not like to hear people confusing Porto as the capital of Portugal.

What is the population of Portugal?

Portugal has a population of 10.3 million people. An intriguing fact: the population has been decreasing in the last few years.

Where is Portugal located?

Portugal is located in the south-west of Europe being the most western nation in the whole European continent. Portuguese territory lies in the western part of the Iberian Peninsula and in archipelagos in the North Atlantic.

Portugal Map
Portugal on a map – Mainland + Azores & Madeira archipelagos

How big is Portugal?

The Portuguese territory has a total area of 92 090 km², being delimited in the north and east by Spain and in the south and west by the Atlantic Ocean, plus the two autonomous regions: the archipelagos of Azores and Madeira.

What language is spoken in Portugal?

The Portuguese language is the official language of Portugal.

There are many accents throughout the country but don’t worry, many people speak English and Spanish, especially in the tourism sector. The elderly are more likely to speak french.

About the Brazilian Portuguese… Yes, it is the same language but, even though there are some grammar differences, the accent is where you will find the biggest differences. For foreigners who want to learn Portuguese, it is usually easier to start with the Brazilian Portuguese, as it is slower and with open vowels.

Not sure if this is related, but Portuguese people find it much easier to understand Brazilian Portuguese than the other way around. (by far)


Related: Is Travel Insurance worth it? Everything you need to know


What is the currency in Portugal?

The official currency in Portugal is the euro (€). Portugal belongs to the eurozone with 18 other countries in the European Union. The official currency of every country in the eurozone is the euro.

Portugal currency

Religion in Portugal

The main religion is Christianity, although there are other religions, especially with the arrival of many emigrants from Brazil, Eastern Europe, Africa, and more recently from Muslim countries. 

Portugal Visa

Portugal is a member of the Schengen Agreement, so if you are a European Union citizen, the only requirement to enter Portugal is a valid national ID card.

If you are not European, you make a visa on arrival that allows you to stay in the whole European Union for 90 days.

You only need a few documents to be eligible to enter Portugal, as soon as you arrive, and receive a stamp valid for up to 90 days. The required documents are: 

  1. Your passport must be valid for at least more six months (depending on your nationality);
  2. Return flight tickets: Although it is not obligatory to have a return ticket, it is advisable to have one because, if you don’t, you may have to prove sufficient means of financial support to return.
  3. An accommodation address can be requested, such as a hostel reservation or a friend’s house;
  4. Travel insurance: is not obligatory to have travel insuranceIati seguros to enter Portugal, however, we always recommend you to do. Better play safe! Not only for your health but also for your valuable belongings.
Portugal travel guide - general information

A brief history of Portugal

On October 5th in 1143 D. Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal, signed the Treated of Zamora and declared the independence of Portugal from Hispânia (current Iberian Peninsula). This day is still a national holiday in Portugal, 767 years after.

Portugal was a pioneer and a reference in sea exploration in the Discoveries’ Age. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Portugal expanded it’s territories establishing the first global empire in history, with possessions in Africa, South America, Asia and Oceania.

In 1755, a very serious earthquake occurred in Lisbon and, allied to the Spanish and French invasions, resulted in a big political and economic instability.

In 1820 was approved the first Portuguese Constitution, initiating the constitutional monarchy that faced the loss of the largest colony, Brazil. 

In 1910 the First Portuguese Republic is consecrated, but the country was in great social conflict, corruption and confrontations with the Church. So, a coup d’état in 1926 gave way to a dictatorship. From 1961 there was a colonial war that lasted until 1974 when a military revolt knocked down the government.


Read also: How to deal with Jet Lag – Best strategies


The following year, Portugal declared independence from all its possessions in Africa. After a troubled revolutionary period, Portugal entered the path of democracy. The 1976 constitution defines Portugal as a semi-presidential republic and, since 1986, Portugal has strengthened its modernization and insertion into the European area by joining the European Economic Community (EEC).

Portugal history
Padrão dos Descobrimentos, Belém

We hope you are still awake. Exploring Portugal is always better when we know more about its foundation and culture of this country and its people, the Portuguese, which is based on Roman, Germanic, Iberian and Celtic cultures.

What is Portugal known for?

There are several very typical and traditional that Portugal is known for, namely:

  • Wine – Portugal has been a famous wine producer for over two millennia since the arrival of the Roman people with cultivation and production techniques. Nowhere else in Europe there so many grape varieties as in Portugal, that’s why we can produce such excellent (and cheap) Portuguese wines.
  • Gastronomy – Portuguese cuisine is very diverse and unique, also very related to the local climate. We dare to say, is one of the top world’s cuisines. Do not worry, we will give you more information about this including a list of some dishes that you can not miss on your trip to Portugal. 
  • Literature – Portugal is known for its writing skills and great texts. Since the publication of ‘Lusíadas’, by Luís de Camões. Then the famous Fernando Pessoa, the most translated Portuguese poet in history, and José Saramago, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1998.
  • Fado – The word fado comes from the Latin fatum, meaning “destiny”. It is a music style that only exists in Portugal and is a big part of Portuguese culture. It may sound sad because it normally represents suffering, but the fado beat transmits an upbeat mood and possibly is this contrast that contributes to the fascination of fado! Listen and delight yourself. You can always go to Alfama a neighborhood in Lisbon, to a fado house, it is an incredible experience.
  • Religion – Religion in Portugal still has a huge impact on the Portuguese’s lives and, mainly Christianity, is followed by a lot of people who still have the habit of going to the church on Sundays. As well as do peregrinations to sanctuaries, as in Fatima, to fulfill promises.
  • Traditional popular Portuguese festivals and ”Romarias” – Portugal is also known for the many traditional parties all year long and summer festivals. There are a lot of traditional parties/ceremonies in honor of various patron saints of each locality with music, dance and a lot of typical food and drinks.
  • Handicraft – From the 17th century onwards, handicrafts gained national relevance in areas such as tapestry, pottery, embroidery, jewelry and tile painting.
  • Sport – Portugal is a football (soccer) lover (or even fanatic) country. A visit to a stadium or a game can be a very fun time. The aquatic sports like surf are also very popular in Portugal as it has really great waves for its practice. Nazare waves are the biggest in the world, pay it a visit and you won’t regret.  
What is portugal known for?

Portuguese culture and practical things you need to know

When we travel to another country, we have to be receptive to the cultural changes we are facing and Portugal is no exception. It’s a very relaxed country, but you should know a few things before you become a tourist in Portugal.

  • Portuguese people have hot blood. People interact with strangers and many regular conversations may sound like arguing.
  • When eating/drinking out, you are not required to tip, as in some countries around the world. You can tip if you want, but only if you want.
  • People drive on the right side of the road.
  • The electrical outlets in Portugal are the same as for the rest of Europe. A flat, two-pole, round-pin domestic AC power plug, rated for voltages up to 250 V and currents up to 2.5 A.
  • Fortunately, there isn’t much poverty or dirtiness on the streets of Portugal. However, in the big cities, you may see some people asking for money on the streets and also some people trying to sell you drugs (that are not real drugs) during the night. 
  • In big cities, you can see people from very different cultures and nationalities, due to emigration, as we explained earlier. Regarding the Portuguese, they are very friendly, communicative and super honest. 
  • You can say ”Olá” when you get somewhere, which means hello. To say thank you just say “Obrigada” if you are a girl, or ”Obrigado” if you are a boy. And to say goodbye you can say “Adeus” that, curiously, means ”to God”.
  • The country also has a stable infrastructure, with paved roads and highways, and widespread internet and phone signal. However, in some more remote areas the internet and phone signal can be not so effective. 
  • You may notice differences in people and lifestyle if you go to large cities or more rural areas. It’s normal, it’s the difference between countryside and city life that exists all over the world. In Portugal, in rural areas, agriculture is the most obvious work; while in urban centers are large companies. If you can, we totally advise you to take some time to explore the Portuguese rural areas, that’s where the pure Portuguese essence is.

By saying that, if you have more time during your trip, don’t just stay in Lisbon or Porto. Go to Alentejo, Algarve, Viseu or Aveiro to see that Portugal is much more than big cities. But be careful, Algarve is a very touristic area and in some cities, the Portuguese essence is almost gone (ex: Vilamoura & Albufeira).

Is Portugal safe? – Security tips

Portugal is considered the third most peaceful country in the world, according to the Global Peace Index (GPI). And overall a very safe country in terms of natural disasters, crime, wildlife, etc.


Related: Is Travel Insurance worth it? Everything you need to know


The crime rate is very low and most crimes are considered nonviolent.

With this being said, you can be calm when visiting Portugal. General knowledge and awareness should be enough to keep you safe in Portugal.

Anyway, we recommend you to play safe and buy travel insuranceIati seguros to avoid headaches. Why? Because sh*t happens… And in case it does, the last thing you want is to be worried about where to get good medical attention without exploding your wallet, or screw up your trip because your last-generation cell phone was stollen. We totally recommend Iati SegurosIati seguros, and we offer you an immediate 5% discount on any plan! Thank us later 😉

Either way, here are some basic security tips:

  • Be careful with your belongings in public transport;
  • Don’t leave valuables in the car and always lock your car doors;
  • Lock your valuables in a safe if you are at a public accommodation;
  • Find people you can trust, like your accommodation staff, and ask them what areas are safe and the ones are better to avoid;
  • Don’t walk alone at night in hidden areas;
  • Be careful with the fake drugs in the touristic areas. They are abundant!
  • Atlantic ocean can be brave. Be careful when near beaches.

The overall health situation in Portugal is very stable. You won’t need any special attention or medication when visiting Portugal.

Tap water in Portugal is drinkable and there is no risk of disease.

Portugal is a fairly developed country. Pharmacies and hospitals are easily accessible. Buy travel insuranceIati seguros and reserve the best medical care you can get!

Is portugal safe?
Lisbon view from Graça Viewpoint

Cost of living in Portugal

Portugal is a fairly affordable country to live on, compared to many European countries. Probably one of the cheapest in the European Union.

Logically, the most touristic places like Lisbon, Porto or Algarve are a bit more expensive but, averagely speaking, these are the normal costs of traveling in Portugal:

  • Dormitory Bed: 10-25€
  • Double Room: 30-60€
  • Public City Bus: ~2€
  • City Average Taxi/Uber Drive: 7-10€
  • Rent-a-car: 15-30€/day
  • Long-Distance Bus: 20-30€
  • Fruit (average): ~ 1-2€/Kg
  • Coffee: ~ 0,60-1€
  • A meal in Local Restaurant: 6-10€
  • Beer at a store: 1-1,5€

Read also – Travel Asia on a budget – How we only spent 10€/day


Getting around in Portugal

The itinerary will depend on how many days you can stay in this country, but our suggestion is to stay at least 15 days.

To explore the various areas of Portugal you can rent a car, by public transport, which is easily accessible all over the country or, you can even try carpooling or hitchhiking, which are the cheapest ways!

Within the big cities, public transport, like the metro or bus are efficient and inexpensive or, if you want to see the views, you can try the famous city trams that roam around the city. Uber (and other similar apps) are also available and not expensive.

To get from Lisbon or Porto to other cities, you can go by train (Comboios de Portugal) or by bus (Rede Expressos).

If you want to save money, there is also another option, which is carpooling. For that, we use Blablacar, the most popular carpooling platform and there are Facebook groups for every route. It is a better option for your wallet, for the environment and you still have the opportunity to meet new people. Here are some of the popular groups: Lisbon-Porto and Lisbon-Faro.

To get to Portugal, you can fly to Lisbon, Porto or Faro, the main airports in the country. If you want to go to the islands (Azores and Madeira) you fly to Funchal (Madeira) or to Porto Santo (a paradisiac island of Madeira). For the Azores archipelago, you can fly to São Miguel or Terceira Islands (the most known and developed) and if you want to travel between islands you can do it by boat or by plane.


Read also: 7 Types of Accommodation for different Travel Styles


Best time to visit Portugal

There is not an ideal time to visit Portugal, as all seasons of the year are good and offer unique things. In spring and summer (and also in fall) temperatures are mild to hot and are conducive to going to the beach and sightseeing in the cities (July and August can get very hot).

In winter, despite the cold, it is also very pleasant to visit Portugal, especially at Christmas time, when the streets are all decorated and there are many Christmas markets. A very popular plan to do in Portugal during the winter is going to Serra da Estrela (the highest point in the mainland), and enjoy the snow. Between October and December, it is the giant waves season, and it might be a cool experience to visit the world-record village, Nazare.

Giant waves in Nazaré, Portugal
Giant waves in Nazaré, Portugal

The time of the year that you decide to go to Portugal should be in accordance with what you like to do. So, if you like the beach and heat, go during the summer (from July to September). If you like cooler temperatures and visit historic sites, go in spring or fall (March to June or September to November), and if you like cold snow and Christmas decorations go in winter (between November and January).


Read also: How to Volunteer Abroad and Travel for Free with Worldpackers


Things to do in Portugal

Portugal is a small country, but there is so much more to discover! In fact, regardless of how long your trip is, you’ll always have ideas on what to do in Portugal!

It really depends on how much time you have to visit Portugal, and when, but these are some ideas of things to do in this country:

  • Hire a car or a van and go for a road trip (Costa Vicentina is a must)
  • Learn to surf (good surf all year long for all levels)
  • Visit Gerês National Park. It is an absolute pearl of our country.
  • Enjoy the thousands of white sand beaches along the gigantic coastline.
  • Take your breath away with the epic archipelagos: Azores & Madeira
  • Experience the giant wave season in Nazaré (Oct – Dez)
  • Dive in national history and explore some of the 500 castles.
  • Hunt beautiful little villages around the country (like Piodão or Sistelo).
  • Be happy with the immense gastronomical culture all over the country.

If you will only stay around the big cities – Lisbon & Porto – take a look into our more specific recommendations:

What to do in Lisbon?

The capital of the country is wonderful and must be visited and explored. Between architecture, art, history, people, and gastronomy, there are a number of reasons to visit this city. 

Things to do that can’t be missed:

  • Visit Alfama (typical Portuguese neighborhood) and downtown (Baixa Chiado & Terreiro do Paço)
  • Explore Belém & eat a Pastel de Belém (delicious! Bring us one please)
  • Get lost in Sintra (Popular but obligatory)
  • Experience a fado house night
  • Visit São Jorge Castle
  • Sunset in a viewpoint (Our favorite – Miradouro de Santa Catarina)
  • Enjoy the beautiful beaches of the Caparica (Lisbon south margin)
What to do in Lisbon, Portugal
Quinta da Regaleira, Sintra

What to do in Porto?

Porto is a coastal town in northwest Portugal known for it’s imposing bridges and port wine production. We could write a whole article about Porto, but these are our top recommendations on what to do in this beautiful city of Portugal:

  • Explore the Cais da Ribeira. It is the main attraction for a reason!
  • Get to know the Lelo library
  • Appreciate the Azulejo art around the city. (a traditional tile)
  • Check the São Bento train Station, it’s beautiful.
  • Cross the São Luís bridge and get some crazy views over Porto city.
  • Eat a francesinha (the most typical dish. Vegan option rare but available)
  • Visit the cellars where Port wine is made, and try it… Delicious!
  • Visit the beach in Matosinhos or in Gaia.

Best places to visit in Portugal

Portugal is not only Lisbon and Porto. There is so much more to explore and discover in this tiny little country.

You could dedicate years to explore this country, but these are some of the best places you can visit, with some tips and recommendations for each one:

Algarve

Algarve is the hottest area in the country. Even though it has a history, people visit it for the wonderful beaches and abundant parties. It’s ideal to visit between the months of July and September but, most of the time, the weather is better than in the rest of the country.

Faro is the main city of Algarve and Lagos (a very picturesque little village) is a very popular stop among tourists.

Algarve lost a bit of its essence due to mass tourism, but if you search deep enough, you are still able to find beautiful places with the original essence, far from the touristic centers.

Alentejo

When the Portuguese people think of Alentejo, they think of tranquility, countryside, peace of mind and nature.

Alentejo is a gigantic farming area of Portugal, full of wheat fields that feed the country for ages now. Used to be the main route between Portugal and Spain and that is possible to understand by watching the castles on the way.

Évora, the capital of Alentejo, is a very beautiful and historical city surrounded by 2000 years old walls. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with evidence of ancient civilization.

Best places to visit in Portugal - Évora
Roman Temple in Évora

Costa Vicentina is one of our favorite areas of the country. The Alentejo’s coast is a popular place among the Portuguese people. It is full of beautiful white-sand beaches, and small villages that breathe vacation mode.

There are many other smaller cities and villages that are worth a visit like Elvas, close to the Spanish border, and Montemor-o-Novo.

Best places to visit in Portugal - Montemor-o-Novo
View from Montemor-o-Novo castle

Aveiro 

Aveiro is a popular getaway destination for the Portuguese people. Known as the Venice of Portugal for its canals navigated by colorful gondola-style boats, called moliceiros, traditionally used to harvest algae.

Aveiro is considered a very romantic city because many buildings, in the city center, were built and inspired in the romantic Art Nouveau era. If this doesn’t interest you, don’t worry, apart from canals, Aveiro is very close to good beaches as well!

Best cities to visit in Portugal - Aveiro
Aveiro canal

Douro

The Alto Douro Wine Region is an area in the north-east of Portugal with over 26000 hectares, classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, in the category of the cultural landscape.

This region, around the Douro River, is surrounded by mountains that give it a particular ecosystem and climatic characteristics. Maybe that why it has been producing wine for over 2000 years, including the world-famous Port wine.

The landscapes are amazing and you can see them through a boat trip on the Douro River. Unmissable!

Places to be visited in Portugal - Douro
Douro bridge

Coimbra

Coimbra is a riverside city in central Portugal and the country’s former capital. It is a popular city for its historical monuments and academic atmosphere. It has a preserved medieval old town and the historic University of Coimbra.

This city is full of interesting museums and historical monuments. If that’s something you care about, then a stop in Coimbra is an absolute must!

Cities in Portugal - Coimbra
Manga garden, Coimbra

Gerês

Gerês is one of our favorite places in Portugal, we call it the Portuguese pearl.

If you like nature, tranquility and breathing fresh air, you have to visit the Peneda-Gerês National Park, Portugal’s nature sanctuary.

There are 5 doors to enter this park and when you enter you discover a new world, with imposing mountains, paths to discover, unique waterfalls, villages lost in time and protected wildlife like wild horses and other animals you are not used to seeing in the wild.

Berlengas

This is one of the most untouched and wildest paradises in Portugal, situated approximately 6 miles west of Peniche.

It consists of three small islands, Berlenga Grande, Estelas and Farilhas, even though only Berlenga Grande is inhabited by a few fishermen.

Berlengas is a memorable day-trip to do. You can only reach it by taking a boat from Peniche. It can be tricky since the boats are limited and the trip can be very harsh (welcome to the Atlantic ocean).

Best places to go in Portugal - Berlengas
Berlengas Island

Serra da Estrela

If you like cold weather and snow, either to make a snowman or for extreme snow sports such as skiing or snowboarding, then you can’t miss Serra da Estrela.

It is Portugal’s biggest mountain in the mainland and it is beautiful all year long. It is the only place we have snow and infrastructures for snow sports. In addition, the cuisine is delicious and there are several beautiful places to visit around the mountains, such as Loriga, Covão da Ametade or Poço do Inferno.

Guimarães

We just got to explore very recently and we fell in love with it for a different number of reasons.

As the birthplace and homeplace of the Portuguese first king, Guimarães is known as the Portuguese cradle. Definitely a city where you can breathe the history and culture of the country.

The historic center, the castle, the palace and the typical houses are a World Heritage Site. Even if you are not into history, Guimarães has this ancient vibe that makes you feel you are in an imponent city a thousand years ago.

Azores & Madeira islands

Portuguese archipelagos are absolute treasures. The more we explore them, the more we love them!

Despite being both archipelagos and both Portuguese, they are absolutely different from each other. You’ll feel like you are in a different country. But they have 4 things in common: the views are breathtaking, people are awesome, the food is great and whales and dolphins are always close!

If you don’t have enough time, don’t try to explore them all. It just won’t be possible. If you really have to choose, we’ll give you a little help.

Madeira is bigger and more developed than any island in the Azores. Madeira’s nature is beautiful, but in the Azores everywhere you look will absolutely stun you! The people are super kind in both archipelagos but very different! The Açorianos (Azores inhabitants) are very humble and honest and Madeirenses (Madeira inhabitants) are very welcoming and warm-blooded. In Madeira there is nightlife, in the Azores, there is cattle life. LOTS of cattle roaming around, which are kinda the brand of the islands!

Portuguese food – What to eat in Portugal?

This is one of the hardest points to write about. Why? Because food is a very strong factor in the whole country, it is easy to eat a lot and eat well.

Food is definitely one of the reasons people love Portugal, and we are no exceptions! It may change from town to town, but there’s a list below with dishes and desserts that can’t be missed.

Note 1: Portuguese food is great, but the crimes (starters) that come to the table before the actual dishes it’s a big part of our food tradition.

Note 2: We reduced substantially the consumption of meat for environmental reasons, but Portugal is a very carnivore country.

Portuguese Soups

  • Açorda à Alentejana (is a typical Alentejo soup made with bread)
  • Caldo Verde (You can eat anywhere)
  • Sopa da Pedra (Typical of the Ribatejo region)
Portugal food - what to eat in Portugal
Açorda Alentejana

Meat

  • Leitão Assado (Roasted piglet – typical of Bairrada region)
  • Alheira (A meat sausage, typical from Trás os Montes region, but served everywhere)
  • Cozido à Portuguesa (meat, sausages and vegetables, a very typical dish of Portugal)
  • Feijoada (Meat and beans)
  • Francesinha (The typical dish from Porto – meat, cheese and bread tower served with a special sauce and fries)

Fish

  • Bacalhau (The famous codfish that has 1000 delicious recipes)
  • Sardinhas assadas (Roasted sardines – you can eat anywhere in the country)
  • Arroz de Marisco (Seafood rice – Portuguese love seafood, but would be better to eat in areas closer to the sea)
  • Choco frito (Fried cuttlefish- the most typical is from Setúbal)
  • Arroz or Pataniscas de Polvo (Rice or fried octopus- anywhere in the country)
  • Caracóis (Snails- a typical summer snack accompanied by a cold beer)
Portuguese codfish - Bacalhau

Sweets and Desserts

  • Pastel de Nata (The country’s brand. Heaven’s invention, DELICIOUS!)
  • Travesseiro de Sintra (Egg pastry -Typical of Sintra area)
  • Doce Fino (Almond candy – Typical of the Algarve Region)
Portuguese traditional food
Pastel de Nata + Bica (Portuguese expresso coffee)

Travel Portugal on a budget – Backpackers tips

There are many ways to save money while traveling and Portugal is no exception. Even though Portugal is one of the cheapest countries in Europe, it can easily get very expensive.


Related: Travel Asia on a Budget – How we only spent 10€/day!


These are our top tips to travel in Portugal on a budget:

  • Search for cheap or free accommodation. Learn more about how to save money on accommodation with these 7 accommodation types.
  • In cities, use public transport, abundant and inexpensive.
  • Between cities use buses, carpooling platforms (like BlaBlaCar) or hitchhike.
  • Tap water is good for human consumption. Instead of buying 2 bottles per day refill yours. The environment and your wallet appreciate it!
  • Take advantage of the free walking tours in the big cities. They are based in tips but we believe you’ll compensate after when you can travel non-budget.
  • To save money on shopping in Lisbon or Porto, shop at the cheapest stores, and don’t shop at the most touristy, downtown shops with souvenirs and souvenirs. There are some outlets in Portugal, for example,  the Freeport Outlet (in Alcochete, Lisbon) or Vila do Conde Porto Fashion Outlet (in Porto).
  • If you are renting a car, use the national toll-free roads and/or share your trip in blablacar and split costs.
  • Before you travel, please check that your bank does not charge additional fees for foreign transactions. Get your Revolut card FOR FREE and avoid all money taxes overseas.

Related: How to Volunteer Abroad and Travel for Free with Worldpackers


Portugal was elected, for the second consecutive time, the World’s Leading Destination at World Travel Awards. So, what else are you waiting for to visit this beautiful country?

We really hope this ultimate Portugal travel guide inspires you to take the next step towards creating your own Portuguese journey! We truly hope it helps you get an amazing experience in this country and that it makes you love this country at least as we do!
Leave your comments or suggestions on the comments section.

With love,

Matilde & Miguel

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