Portugal is one of my favourite countries to visit and it has become a famous travel destination in the recent years, Portugal has historic cities, world-renowned cuisine, natural landscapes, and spectacular beaches. The weather and the variety of landscapes is why you should visit, this is a great vacation location.
1. How to Get Your Visa for Portugal
3. Cultural Do's & Don'ts
2. How to Get to Portugal
4. 10 Top Things to Know Before Visiting Portugal
How to Get Your Visa for Portugal
You can get the visa by going to the embassy, or visiting the official website, or getting it with an agency like iVisa. iVisa provides 100% online travel documents such as: Visas, health declaration forms, embassy registrations, passport photos, passport renewals, tourist cards, and other travel documents. It is the simplest solution to process your travel visa.
Here’s why you should choose iVisa:
Speed and Simplicity - Easy, traveler-friendly application process. Simple and much less complicated than dealing with foreign governments.
Get Approved - All documents are reviewed by a team of immigration experts. Their staff is well-trained and offers years of experience.
Secure and Safe - World-class data centres and state-of-the-art security. Your credit card information will never be exposed to any government websites!
Awesome support - Their customer support is ready to help 24/7. They want you to enjoy your travels and avoid the stress of getting a visa!
How to Get to Portugal
Portugal’s biggest airport is Humberto Delgado Airport a.k.a. Lisbon’s airport, you will be able to find a lot of international flights that goes there. You can also find other international flights to Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport a.k.a. Porto’s airport. I like to use Omio to find either buses or trains, and if you are looking for cheap flights to get to Prague, then your best option would be to use WayAway. You can also use this promo code - TP-385219 - for WayAway Plus or you can directly visit this link! (You will get 10% off WayAway Plus subscription!)
Cultural Do's & Don'ts
Dress modestly: You can wear whatever you want in cities like Lisbon, but Portuguese people ten to dress modestly and elegantly, so make sure to dress in a respectful manner especially when going to visit a religious site. Avoid wearing flip flops or sandals as you will instantly be labeled as a tourist and you will stand out.
Learn Portuguese: People don't speak English so you will struggle, make sure to know a few words in Portuguese to be able to speak with people. Also, people will appreciate your effort and will help you.
Respect history: You must respect the Portuguese history and traditions, Portuguese history is deeply connected to religion, so be respectful.
Tip: In general, tipping is not expected but it is welcomed, but you shouldn't feel any pressure to tip. Portugal doesn't have a tipping culture unlike some countries, and some people do tip but usually it's in mid to high priced restaurants.
Keep an eye on your items: Portugal is a safe country, but in touristy areas you should keep an eye on your belongings, this is not just in Portugal but in any touristy country.
Compare Portugal to Spain: Do not compare these two countries as well as their languages. Yes they are close to one another, but they are very distinct, so be aware of the differences in both countries as well as their languages. A Portuguese person doesn't necessarily speak Spanish and vice versa.
Talk about taboo topics: Avoid speaking about topics related to religion, politics, and colonial wars, these topics are taboo and it is preferable to avoid them.
Gloat: Do not talk very highly about your achievements, status, or wealth. Portuguese people are modest and you should be too, so do not exaggerate anything.
Raise your voice: Do not raise your voice in public, gentleness in speech is common and appreciated.
Walk alone at night: It is never a good idea to walk alone anywhere alone at night, but it is still worth mentioning here. Portugal's nightlife is amazing but walking alone late at night in a dark street is not a good idea.
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10 Top Things to Know Before Visiting Portugal
1. Learn Some Portuguese
As mentioned above, you do need to learn a few words in Portuguese, since people outside of the major cities such as Lisbon and Porto will most probably not speak English. Learn some basic words to be able to ask for something and communicate with locals, they will appreciate the effort. Be aware that Portuguese is the 9th most spoken language in the world.
2. Portuguese are Friendly
Portuguese people are very friendly and helpful, trust me I know from experience. They welcome tourists and are always there to help if you need any.
3. Wear Comfortable Shoes
Portugal is a hilly country, so it is a good idea to wear comfortable shoes especially in cities like Lisbon and Sintra. Since the best way to explore Portugal is on foot, you need to be comfortable.
4. Be Aware of Tourist Traps
In general, Portugal is a budget friendly destination, but there are definitely some hotels and restaurants that will charge more than normal. Make sure to check the prices and compare them with similar spots, but know that prices change depending on the season as well.
5. Pack a Range of Clothes
When I visited Portugal in the Summer, it got cold in some areas, but I was lucky since I always have a hoodie with me whenever I travel. So check the weather before visiting a pack a range of clothes in case of any change in weather.
6. Use SPF
If you are going to the beach, you will need to use SPF if you do not want to get burned by the sun. Since most of the country is blessed with sunny days, you will need to use SPF.
7. Use GPS in the Countryside
A lot of beautiful places in Portugal are in the countryside and you might need to rent a car to get there. Make sure to use a GPS because you do not want to get lost in the middle of nowhere, especially if you are not used to driving in Europe.
911 has no meaning in Portugal, but 112 does. In case you get in trouble or you need to contact the police, then call 112, and it is free from all phones.
9. Portugal is Surf Paradise
If you love surfing; then you will love Portugal. You will find beaches with beginners waves as well so don't worry, Portugal has some of the best waves in Europe.
10. Portugal is a Safe Country
Portugal is a great country to travel to since it is one of the most peaceful and safest countries in the world. So, this makes it a great destination for solo travellers as well as families. You still should be aware of pickpocketing and scams, but this applied to anywhere in the world.
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