10 Top Things to Know Before Visiting Portugal + Cultural Do’s & Don’ts🇵🇹
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.
Check Why You Should Visit Portugal: 10 Reasons Why You Should Visit 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.
If you are looking for an easy, quick, and reliable way to reach Portugal by plane, train, or bus, then Omio is your best option! Omio are my favourite app/website to move around Europe, and they have been changing the world of travel by empowering customers to go on journeys that move them. Their pioneering and practical platform helps travellers worldwide explore Europe, the United States and Canada via train, bus, flight and ferry. Choosing them means saving time and money while loving the journey you’re on.
Omio is a unique platform on which users can book travel tickets by comparing trains, buses, and flights in Europe on one search. Compare and book tickets for trains, buses, and flights in Europe, the US, and Canada with multiple search filters and time estimates.
All your travel options in one place, with more than 1,000 trusted travel partners across trains, buses, flights, ferries, and airport transfers, so that you can focus on the journey.
Here’s why you should choose Omio:
Support on your journey
Tickets on your phone
COVID-19 travel info
Updates & reminders
If you are arriving in Lisbon, Porto, or Faro and you are looking for an easy, quick and reliable way to get from the airport to your accommodation, then Welcome Pickups are your best option! Welcome Pickups are the safest way to travel as they provide airport and port transfer, sightseeing rides, and in-city rides. Welcome Pickups are one of the best, most trustworthy and convenient 5-star airport taxi companies for your airport transfer based on user reviews across various platforms such as Google, Tripadvisor and Trustpilot.
Welcome Pickups offers a great experience and safety to its travellers such as:
Local english-speaking drivers
Flat, pre-paid fee
Flight monitoring for delays
24/7 customer support
Here’s why you should choose Welcome Pickups:
20 minute gap between transfers - After each ride, their drivers have 20 minutes to clean the car and ventilate the cabin.
Contactless ride - You can request to have zero contact with the driver during the transfer with just one click.
Regular Car Sanitisation - They provide hand sanitisers and hand wipes for all their travellers and drivers.
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.
Check Portugal Travel Guide: The Ultimate 1-Week Travel Itinerary
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.
Check 5 Top Places to Visit in Portugal
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.
Check Lisbon Travel Guide: 15 Top Things to do in Lisbon, Portugal
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.
Check Sintra Travel Guide: 7 Top Things to do in Sintra, Portugal
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.
Check Cascais Travel Guide: 8 Top Things to do in Cascais, Portugal
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.
Check Aveiro Travel Guide: 13 Top Things to do in Aveiro, Portugal
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.
Check Porto Travel Guide: 16 Top Things to do in Porto, Portugal
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.
Check Porto Travel Guide: The Best 3 Days Travel Itinerary
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.
Check Lisbon Travel Guide: The Best 3 Days Travel Itinerary
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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