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Portugal Travel Guide: Travel Tips for Visiting

Discover the hidden gems of Portugal with our comprehensive travel guide, your ultimate companion for exploring this breathtaking country. Portugal’s diverse landscapes and rich culture have captivated travelers worldwide for centuries.

From the sun-drenched beaches of the Algarve Region to the historic districts of Lisbon and Porto, our guide will take you on an exciting journey through each unique region.

Whether you’re a foodie seeking a fascinating place to indulge in Portugal’s culinary delights or an adventurous soul looking for uncharted trails, we’ve covered you in this full Portugal travel guide.

Unlike many other European countries, Portugal features affordability, beautiful beaches, and incredible views of the Atlantic Ocean from the furthest part of the Western Coast of Europe.

Explore Portugal’s beauty, traditions, and attractions with us and experience why it’s a must-visit destination on every traveler’s list.

Best Things to Do in Portugal

1. Visit Batalha Monastery

The facade of Batalha cathedral in Portugal
Francesco Scatena / Adobe Stock

Batalha is approximately a 90-minute drive from Lisbon, home to the official monastic site, St. Mary of Victory. Established around 1388, it has evolved into one of Europe’s most significant Gothic sites and has become a popular day trip from Lisbon.

The monastery’s construction took more than three thousand hours, and it is now recognized as one of the world’s oldest ruins by UNESCO and is also considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Walking through gigantic Gothic doorways into a vast interior decorated with 16th-century stained-glass windows is breathtaking. Admission costs six euros, and combination tickets are available for the Convent of Christ in Tomar and Santa Maria Abbey.

2. Admire Lisbon

Lisbon, Portugal skyline with Sao Jorge Castle
TTstudio / Adobe Stock

Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, is a beautiful and charming city that captures the hearts of visitors. There are many historical landmarks to see, such as St. George’s Castle and Belem Tower, as well as impressive churches like the Sé de Lisboa Cathedral.

Lisbon also has a rich cultural heritage with the soul-stirring Fado music genre and delicious local cuisine, including fresh seafood and traditional Portuguese desserts. Moreover, Lisbon is affordable compared to other European cities, making it an excellent destination and a hidden gem for travelers seeking an authentic cultural experience.

Read More: Affordable Cities in Europe to Visit

3. Enjoy Porto

Colorful buildings and boats in Porto, Portugal
anko_ter / Adobe Stock

If you’re planning a trip to Portugal, don’t miss out on the lively city of Porto. Take your time to explore the narrow alleys and steps of the old town leading to the breathtaking Douro River, and hop aboard the river cruises for a unique experience.

A visit to Lello and Irmo’s famous bookshop is also a must-do activity, as well as taking time to visit the surrounding Duoro Valley with its enchanting vineyards.

The park is an ideal starting point for the renowned Camino Português walk leading to Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Make the most of your trip to Porto and indulge in all this city offers.

4. Explore the Bom Jesus do Monte Sanctuary

Stairway to the church of Bom Jesus do Monte in Braga in Portugal
Henner Damke / Adobe Stock

Nestled outside the bustling city of Braga lies the serene and tranquil spiritual haven of the Church of Christ do Monte. This magnificent sanctuary is amidst picturesque mountains and boasts a stunningly beautiful garden and an awe-inspiring church.

Whether you ascend the magnificent staircase step by step with anticipation or opt for a more adventurous approach by taking the thrilling funicular ride, reaching the peak season, this divine destination on foot is both effortless and enjoyable.

As you ascend to the top via the enchanting funicular, immerse yourself in the beauty of your surroundings and prepare to be captivated by the grandeur of the majestic staircase leading to this sacred place upon taking your very first step.

5. Peniche & Berlengas Islands

Fort in Berlenga island - Portugal
Nikolai Sorokin / Adobe Stock

Peniche is a collection of quaint coastal towns on Portugal’s silver coast along the Atlantic Ocean. These towns boast a small fortress and several fascinating sites to explore. Moreover, Peniche is an excellent surf destination for experienced and novice surfers.

Sometimes, waves can be particularly strong on the island’s far north opposite end due to their size. The area is teeming with surfing camps, hotels, and schools in Peniche and neighboring Baleal. Berlengas Island, which can be reached by boat in 30 minutes, feels like something straight out of a pirate movie.

6. Learn about the Knights Templar in Tomar

Convent of Christ in Tomar, Portugal
frenta / Adobe Stock

Tomar boasts two of its most significant landmarks, the Templar Castle and the Christ’s Reformed church. The former was once the stronghold of the Knights Templar, a Catholic military organization established in 1118 to fight during the Crusades.

As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it served as a crucial defensive base in the battle against the Moors. You can purchase a single ticket for 15 euros or a combo ticket for 6 euros.

7. Douro Valley

Vineyards in Douro Valley, Portugal
Richard Semik / Adobe Stock

The Douro River runs from Porto in the west to the Spanish border in the east, making it an incredibly fertile region for vineyards within the Douro Valley. There are various ways to experience the area, including a road trip, the popular N222 route, or even splurging on a luxurious, all-inclusive river cruise departing from Porto.

Another great option is to take the breathtaking train ride through the Linhas da Douro, which boasts train stations and 20 tunnels.

For a unique stay in Douro Valley, visitors can opt for a rural Quinta, a traditional farm converted into a charming bed and breakfast. A must-see attraction in the Douro region is the variety of wine-terraced gardens, where you can witness the beauty and abundance of the vineyards up close.

Where to Stay in Portugal

Venturing into the Portuguese territory, one finds one’s senses bombarded by a heady blend of modern vibrance and time-hued grace. Simply stepping into Portugal is like diving head-first into a vibrant canvas splashed generously with colors of culture, history, and remarkable natural beauty.

Your dwelling significantly impacts the immersion into Portuguese charm. Here are a few accommodations, including boutique hotels, budget hotels, and luxury options that will find accommodation seamlessly merge comfort with a deep contact with the essence of Portugal:

How to Get Around in Portugal

When exploring Portugal, every route you take tells a unique story. Each intersection holds a hidden narrative waiting to be discovered.

Discovering the enchanting layers of this country becomes effortless when you fully embrace the experience of traveling on its roads. RentalCars.com provides extensive options catering to your needs and budget, ensuring you can explore Portugal at your own pace and rhythm.

With their wide range of vehicles available, you can easily find the perfect mode of public transportation to embark on your Portuguese adventure.

Whether you prefer the freedom of a car or the convenience of a rental, RentalCars.com has covered you. So go ahead, journey through Portugal’s captivating landscapes, and uncover its untold tales.

Read More: Europe Travel Guide

Travel Tips for Visiting Portugal

Being in Portugal is dining at the banquet of cultural hedonism. A realm where ancient cobbled paths make way to ultramodern cities, where rock-hard cliffs disappear into rhythmically pulsating oceans.

When you visit Portugal, it’s not about ticking off checklists. It’s about immersion, experiencing the textures, the tastes, and the sounds. To ensure a dreamy and hassle-free journey, you must not overlook obtaining the right travel insurance via VisitorsCoverage.com.

Stick to the Locals

Yellow tram on Lisbon, Portugal streets
Filip / Adobe Stock

When you “visit” Portugal, you’re not merely sightseeing but engaging in a tango with the country’s heart and soul. A heart that beats in the chest of its locals. The people of Portugal hold within their hearts the key to experiences untold, tastes unheard.

Embrace the Unexpected

Woman tourist on balcony looking at Lisboa Portugal Cityscape
M.studio / Adobe Stock

Tossing the itinerary and opening your doors to welcome the unplanned is the best way of visiting Portugal. Let the country take you by hand, leading you to hidden beaches, wildflower-crowned meadows, or underground speakeasies playing soulful Fado.

Trust the Tastes

Mixed portuguese traditional tapas and food
TravelPhotography / Adobe Stock

Your journey across Portugal isn’t complete without indulging in a culinary extravaganza. From the luscious Vinho Verde to the golden pastéis de nata, Portugal’s hefty table is draped with a constellation of tastes that electrify your senses.

Dress the Part

Young woman tourist in red dress exploring Porto city, Portugal
rh2010 / Adobe Stock

When dressing for different occasions, it’s important to balance feeling at ease and being mindful of the setting. For instance, opting for lightweight clothing that allows unrestricted movement when basking under the sun on a sandy beach is critical.

On the other hand, when exploring majestic churches adorned with breathtaking architecture, it’s crucial to consider the need for more modest attire that respects the sacredness of these spaces.

Considering comfort and context sensitivity, one can ensure that their clothing choices harmonize with their surroundings while allowing them to feel their best.

Read More: Ultimate Travel Guide to Spain

Learn the Lingo

Learn Portuguese Language Online
Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock

Portuguese is a beautiful language that holds great importance in the world. It is the 6th most spoken language globally, which makes it even more fascinating. When traveling to Portugal, it’s always appreciated when foreigners try to learn and speak a few phrases in Portuguese.

This enhances your travel experience and shows respect and appreciation for the local culture. Why not dive into the enchanting world of Portuguese and add a touch of depth to your Portugal travel guide adventure?

Overview and Travel Essentials
Overview
Location
Portugal
Time Zone
WET (UTC±0)
Driving Side
right
Measurement System
metric
Internet TLD
.pt
Travel Essentials
Currency
EUR €
Electrical Standards
Type C & F, 230V, 50Hz
Emergency Numbers
112
Language Codes
PT
Mobile Country Code
268
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Map

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