Portugal may not be the first country that comes to mind when you think about your travel bucket list, but it should be. With a mild climate, delicious food, and a combination of old traditions and a modern lifestyle, it makes a perfect vacation destination.
Chances are, not many in your immediate circle will have traveled to Portugal yet, so you get to be the first to give the recommendations! That may make planning tough for you, so consider taking a few tips with this unofficial Portugal Travel Guide.
From necessary traveling essentials such as Lisbon luggage service and knowing all the best destinations in Portugal, it will help make your first trip go a little smoother. Keep reading, and you’ll even get answers to some common questions travelers have when visiting Portugal for the first time.
Lisbon is an excellent destination city in Portugal. It is less than a 2-hour flight to most major European cities and is also one of the safest areas. What better location to base your hub than the country’s capital?
One of the last things you want to worry about is carrying your luggage around if you hope to explore the city, but also use it as a central traveling location. Using a reliable and efficient luggage storage service right in Lisbon will save you a lot of time and worry.
This beautiful city has many sites to behold, one being Lisbon’s Bairro Alto. This historic little town rivals even those in Europe with its cobblestoned streets and abundance of character. The location makes exploring the bustling nightlife an easy walk, while the town itself remains original and resonates with a peaceful ambiance.
2. The Algarve
If breathtaking beaches suit your vacation style, Portugal’s seacoast area called the Algarve should be on your must-see list. This area boasts beautiful beaches and some of the finest cuisine in the country.
With its beautiful year-round weather, the Algarve’s water is ideal for surfers. The charm of the area is a visitor favorite as well, with beautiful caves, alcoves, and fantastical archways to keep your phone full of photos.
In this area you’ll also find something for everyone. There is a zesty nightlife, fine dining, and even a world-famous aquarium! This destination is extremely family friendly and only one of the many activities for kids and parents available in The Algarve.
If you know or are a professional surfer, then you have heard of Nazare. Although a small town, this area has the largest waves in the world reaching between 65 and 100 feet high.
The small seaside town is a challenge for any expert surfer and has a lot of character itself. A gorgeous view and rich cultural heritage make this a famous destination spot in Portugal.
4. When in Portugal
Some travelers may avoid Portugal feeling they don’t know as much as they do about some of the more popular European countries. You may be relieved to know that the country is great for expats since most of the country speaks English.
It is also one of the least expensive destinations in all of Western Europe, making it a great choice for vacationing families. Another way to save in Portugal, is that it is not a tipping country. There is no need to tip waiters, personal servers, or at hotels.
As already mentioned, the ideal location of capital city, Lisbon, also makes Portugal a perfect travel hub. Another interesting fact – Portugal has free, state-provided healthcare for all its citizens and legal residents.
5. Basic Tips
There are some basic travel tips to keep in mind when visiting Portugal. Since most of the streets are old, cobble stoned and uneven, be sure to wear comfortable footwear.
If you have an emergency in Portugal, their equivalent to the U.S. 911, is 112. As with most tourist rich areas in all parts of Europe, if you look like a visitor, you may be an easy target for pickpockets. Stay aware and focused so your trip remains crime-free.
Exercise extreme caution when visiting Portugal’s beaches. While it may be fascinating to watch professional surfers riding 100-foot waves, the rest of us need to be careful. Always follow the advice of local officials and signage.
As usual, the best way to get to know a country is to visit, talk to locals, and experience it for yourself. However, it’s always good to have a few helpful tips. Portugal is a beautiful country and should be moved up on everyone’s bucket list.