Updated: Aug 6
Portugal has become a famous travel destination in the recent years, I have visited the country twice so far and I am planning on visiting again soon in the future. 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. 5 Top Places to Visit in Portugal
2. How to Get to 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!)
5 Top Places to Visit in Portugal
Lisbon is Portugal's coastal capital city, it is honestly one of my favourite cities to visit. Lisbon became very popular in recent years, and the reason for that are its authentic trams, its beautiful architecture, and its charming streets. A 3 days trip to Lisbon would be good enough to explore the city, you can of course stay more than that but 3 would be the minimum number of days to be able to explore the city of Lisbon.
The best times to travel Lisbon would be between September and November, or March and May. During these two periods the weather is nice and cool, and it is going to be less crowded compared to other times. High seasons months are July and August, which means the streets are much more crowded than usual and the accommodation prices are higher as well. If you are a fan of festival, then June is the month for you. June is the month of festivals in Lisbon so it would be a perfect time to visit.
Direct flights to Lisbon are available from all over Europe as well as Flix Buses, the metro also can be taken from the airport to the city centre. When it comes to getting a round Lisbon, public transportation such as the bus, the metro, and the train are available all over Lisbon, you can get a reusable paper VivaViagem card at a station and then top it up for every trip and it can be used through the entire city. It is also better to get a transportation when going uphill and then walk downhill to enjoy the city. Uber and Taxify are also a great option and not expensive, but public transportation is cheaper. Scooters are also available through apps such as Lime, Tier, or Wind and they are a quick way to get around the city, but you have to be 18 or older to use them.
The best neighbourhoods to stay in are Barrio Alto and Alfama when it comes to the old town, or Baixa and Chiado when it comes to the centre. The old town is quieter the entire day in comparison to the centre but is more hilly.
Sintra is a resort town in the foothills of Sintra Mountain in Portugal, it is a UNESCO site with hilltop castles and exotic gardens. It is so easy to get to Sintra from Lisbon by simply taking a 40 minute train ride, which is why it is easy to include it in things to do in Lisbon. You can spend half a day in Sintra and it would be enough, but if you want to stay for more time there are accommodation available there, you can easily find restaurants as well as transport to the castles and palaces there. It is better to buy tickets prior to going there as the ticket booths will be busy, you can either buy tickets for each palace or castle separately or you can simply book a day tour with a guide.
You can take a train from Lisbon's Rossio station, you can find a train that departs every 20 minutes from there, and the train ride only takes 40 minutes. Keep in mind that on Sundays the train leave every 1 hour instead. A one-way ticket from Lisbon to Sintra costs 2.25€ and it can be easily bought from a machine or a ticket booth or counter.
Once you arrive in Sintra, there are two bus lines that pass by the palaces and castles, these are line 434 and line 435. You will need to decide which bus line to take prior based on the sites you want to visit. If you are going on a day trip from Lisbon where you will spend half a day, then chose one bus line, but if you plan on staying longer then you can take both to explore more sites.
You can buy bus tickets at the bus itself or at the train station, buses run every 15-20 minutes starting from 9:15 am. You can return on a hop-on hop-off bus which would cost 6.90€.
In comparison to Lisbon, Sintra is a little bit cooler as it has its own microclimate. The best times to visit is from April to June, and from September to November, but keep in mind that Sintra will always be busy and crowded as it one of the best places to visit in Portugal.
Cascais is a coastal resort town near Lisbon, it is filled with beautiful white houses, flower filled streets, and amazing beaches. It is Lisbon's residents weekend or holiday escape. Cascais is connected to both Lisbon and Sintra, so it is easy to go on a day trip from any of them.
Cascais can be reached easily from Lisbon, you can take the train from Lisbon which takes around 30 minutes. Train leaves every 10 minutes so make sure to book your ticket at the station and hop-on as there is no seat reservation.
Once you reach Cascais you can explore on foot, there is no need for transportation inside Cascais, but if you love cycling then you can explore Cascais cycling. If you are arriving in Cascais by car then you will easily find a lot of suitable parking spots and continue exploring on foot.
Cascais is very busy during the summer times, which is why the best times to visit is during Spring specifically late spring, as well as early summer, before the holidays begin. During this time the weather will be warm and nice but the water will be cold all the time as Cascais sits at the mouth of river Tagus which is the opening of the Atlantic sea.
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Porto is a coastal city in the northwest of Portugal, Porto is known for its colourful houses and port cellars. A 2 days trip would be perfect to see most things in Porto, but of course if you have more time then you can stay there longer.
Porto has an airport with a lot of international flights arriving from different locations, so you can see if there is a flight available from where you are visiting. However most flights go into the capital, Lisbon, so it is also possible to get to Lisbon and then take a direct train or a bus from there to Porto.
A train ride takes around 3 hours and it cost between 26€ and 60€, take the train from Gare Oriente. A bus ride takes between 4 to 5 hours and it cost between 25€ and 37€, take the bus from either Sete Rios or Gare Oriente. I love to use Omio to book most train or bus rides in Europe in general.
When you make it Porto, it is easy to explore on foot as most sights are within a walking distance from each other so make sure to wear some good and comfortable walking shoes. Simply make sure to buy tickets for the trams and funicular railway in case you get tired of walking. Also, using Uber to get around Porto is a good idea as well as Uber is not expensive in Portugal in general.
Porto is a beautiful place to visit any time of the year but during the winter it rains a lot there. The best times to visit would be late spring or early autumn as it is sunny and the temperatures are much cooler, and also it won't be as crowded as during the summer as there are less tourists during these times.
Aveiro is a city located on the west coast of Portugal along Ria de Aveiro Lagoon known as the "Portuguese Venice". This city is distinguished by its canals that are navigated by colourful boats which are traditionally used to harvest seaweed.
Aveiro is located between Lisbon and porto, so you can easily take a bus from one of these cities to get to Aveiro, but keep in mind that Aveiro is closer to Porto that Lisbon. A bus ride from Lisbon to Aveiro takes around 3h 30mins and it costs around 22€. A Bus ride from Porto to Aveiro takes around an hour and it costs around 12€.
You can also take the train from Lisbon which would take 2h 20 min and the ticket price ranges between 29 and 40€. As mentioned, Aveiro is closer to Porto so a train ride from Porto would take 1h for 3.55€. In Porto take the train from Campanhã or São Bento stations and take the yellow line, trains run every hour.
It is easy to walk nearly everywhere in Aveiro as everything is located near the city centre. The only things you will need to take the bus for are Costa Nova and Praia Da Barra, Or if you love cycling then you can get a BUGA bike and explore the city that way, these are free bikes as well and you will only need to provide an identification document and then the bike is yours for 2 hours for free within the city limits. Also, if you feel like it you can explore the city by booking a tuk-tuk tour.
The best times to visit Aveiro would be between March and September, the weather is nice and sunny during that period. You need 2 days to stay in Aveiro so it would be great if you want to go during the weekend. If you plan to visit between September and March, be aware that it gets cold at night in Aveiro as well as windy.
Aveiro has gained a lot of international exposure during the past few years, most options can be found in the city centre but keep in mind that most hotels as well as family-run housings are a bit overpriced. You can find a lot of great Airbnbs in Aveiro and that would be my favorite option, but in comparison to Lisbon and Porto, Aveiro is slightly more expensive.