Are you thinking of heading out and want a Travel guide to Portugal? With so many different things to do in Portugal, it can be overwhelming to know where to begin. Don’t worry this free travel guide for Portugal will help.
With almost 30 million visitors a year, the things to do in Portugal are endless. Whether you are a big city lover, a wine connoisseur, a botanical garden lover or maybe just someone who loves new experiences. This is the best place for you to learn all about the culture, currency, and cities in Portugal. Now let’s take a look at this travel guide to Portugal.
A Complete Travel Guide To Portugal 2022
Where is Portugal?
Portugal is on the Iberian Peninsula and borders the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Cadiz, and Spain. Portugal also has two islands in the Atlantic Ocean they are Madeira and The Azores. Because of its southwestern location, many Europeans flock to Portugal to spend their beach holidays in the sun.
Where to stay in Portugal
Where to stay in Portugal depends on what kind of holiday you are looking for. Portugal is a perfect holiday destination for any type of person. For the big city, fast passed, dance party vibe tries out Lisbon. If you are a sun-seeker coming to Portugal to get those tan lines, The Algarve is for you. If are you a vino lover coming to Portugal, then Porto is the best place for you to start on your travel guide to Portugal.
When to Travel to Portugal
Portugal has mild winters, lovely autumns, a beautiful springtime, and summers full of sunshine. There are rays of sunshine in Portugal over 300 days a year. You can visit Portugal anytime and have a fantastic time, it all depends on what kind of holiday you are hoping for.
If you want a beach hopping, cave snorkeling, or flip-flop trip then you will want to visit anywhere from April to September. The southern Algarve region is the most popular destination in the summer months. The ocean will not warm up for swimming until June, but the spring has so many nice days that you can easily sunbathe on the beach.
If you are looking to travel to Portugal but are not really into beach days, then you should visit in the spring or autumn, the weather is still warm enough to spend the entire day outside. The cities of Porto, Lisbon, and Sintra are the prettiest place in Portugal to visit in the spring and autumn. This is also the best time to hike in Portugal, countless types of beautiful trees and plants are in full bloom.
Winter is a great time to visit Portugal, there are plenty of days full of sunshine. There are many Christmas markets and most city centers go all out on Christmas decorations. The Serra da Estrela mountain range, near Porto, in Portugal gets snow in the winter months. Transforming into the prettiest winter wonderland.
Things to do in Portugal
Lisbon Check List – Travel Guide to Portugal –
The Belem Tower
This UNESCO medieval tower in Lisbon is the most famous Portuguese icon. It was built as a defense tower on the Tagus rivers north side, during the 1500s. Walking tours in Lisbon are a great way to see and learn more about the Belem tower. The tower is open to guests every day of the year except for major Christian holidays.
Pena National Palace
The colorful caste in Portugal is the Pena National Palace, also known as the jewel in the crown of the Sintra Hills. Visiting the Pena Palace is an easy day trip from Lisbon the drive should only take you about 35 minutes. This colorful castle in Portugal was built in the Romanticism era. It will spark emotions of love and wonder in everyone who explores the grounds.
Ride the Tram in Lisbon
Jump on tram ride number 28 in Lisbon to explore Lisbon’s best districts. The historic sunshine yellow tram dates back to the 1930s and many of the original features are still on display today. Purchase an all-day ticket from any metro station in Lisbon.
The tram connects Martim Moniz to Campo, on your journey you will see the districts of Graca, Estrella, Baixa, and Alfama. Riding the tram in Lisbon is an inexpensive way to see all the best sites. Try riding the tram early in the day to beat the crowds.
If you want to cheer as the Portuguese do, order yourself a ginjinha. This traditional liqueur is in all regions of Portugal. Originally made by infusing ginja berries in sugar and alcohol with a piece of fruit in the bottom of your glass, this yummy drink is a crowd favorite.
Using cinnamon and ginger is the most common way to add some spice to the ginjinha cocktail. If that’s not in your taste pallet, don’t worry many places are putting their twist on the drink. Do yourself a favor and unwind with a ginjinha after your long day of exploring Portugal.
Places to visit in Portugal – Porto
Porto Old Town, Portugal
Old town Porto, or Porto Ribeira to the locals, has been Portugal’s biggest port town for over 2000 years. Located on the Duoro River you will discover why Porto is called the city of bridges. The Dom Luis I is one of Old Town Porto’s main attractions, it was built by the same architect that crafted the Effiel Tower, so you know it’s dreamy.
Walking through the squares and cobblestone streets of Old Town Porto you will be transported back in time. Grab a seat at one of the many cafes overlooking the water and enjoy a coffee and a pasteis de nata, it is one of the best things to do in Portugal. There are plenty of different places to stay in Porto, you can find some of the best here!
Douro Wine Region
This region is so beautiful, with its winding routes and rolling hills just the drive-in alone will take your breath away. Did you know that Port wine is originally from Porto? Porto’s Douro wine region has been growing grapes for over 2000 years making them the oldest documented wine-making region in the world, look out Jesus. This has earned them a UNESCO world heritage badge of honor.
Port table wines are normally sweet red dessert wines, but the Douro region has an epic variety to choose from. The dry red of Douro is the best-known table wine, but their whites deserve a seat at the bar. This region is divided into 3 mini-regions known as Baixo Corgo, Cima Corgo, and Douro Superior. On your majestic drive through the Douro wine region, you will pass many vineyards to choose from.
The Livraira Lello is the prettiest bookstore in the world, and one of the best places to visit so add it to your list for your travel guide to Portugal.
in Portugal. Built back in the early 1900s this famous neo-gothic style bookstore is one of the most visited sites in all of Portugal. Do yourself a favor and get a free ticket online before visiting Porto. Admire the stained glass window on the ceiling and view the Gemma room where all the top-secret books are kept.
The staircase at the Livraira Lello is one of the first things you will see when you arrive. Thousands of Instagrammers have climbed the stairs to strike their best poses, and you will be inspired to do the same when you see the vibrant colors and symmetry that these iconic stairs have.
Tiles in Porto
One of the favorite past times for travelers looking for things to do in Portugal is to admire the tiles or azulejos in Portuguese. You can thank King Manuel 1 for the beautifully tiled buildings in Porto. Many of these buildings date back to the 18th century when tile manufacturing became full-time in Portugal.
One of the best places to see tiles in Porto is the Sao Bento train station. Here you can find over 20,000 tiles beautifully telling the history of Portugal through art. Porto Cathedral is another popular destination in Porto to see the tiles, and it will cost you 3 euros. Walking through Cais da Ribeira is another way to see all the city tiles.
Travel Guide to Portugal Regions – The Algarve
The Capela dos Ossos is located in Faro, the capital of the Algarve. This tiny but mighty chapel is made of human remains. These bones are from Carmelite Monks that were removed from an overcrowded cemetery in Faro.
As you walk up to the rod iron door of the chapels bone room you will be greeted by hundreds of human skulls staring back at you. It is an overwhelming feeling that is worth the short walk from the city center.
The town of Albufeira is the best beach holiday in Portugal. You will find dramatic coastal landscapes at all of the beaches here and Albufeira is worth visiting for the 26 beaches alone. You can find some of the best nightlife in all of Portugal here. The strip of Albufeira has hundreds of bars, restaurants, cafes, and dance clubs to choose from.
Old town Albufeira has a romantic vibe with cobble-stoned streets and beautiful architecture. Once a fishing community, it has turned into a summer holiday destination for everyone in the family to love. As you walk through the city center with street vendors and performers you will be so grateful you visited Albufeira.
Arco da Vila
Arco da Vila or the archway is a medieval gateway to Faro. Dating back to the 4th century Faro, Portugal has been under many different rulers, this is all present in the architecture of the Arco da Vila. You can see the Italian, Muslim, and Medieval details that have been added over time.
The bengail caves, or Gruta de Benagil, are worth visiting while in the Algarve. These natural sea caves are located near the beach Praia de Benagil. You can reach these caves any time of the year by boat, paddleboard or if you are a good swimmer it is only 200 meters from the shore. This should be on the top of your list on your travel guide to Portugal.
What to Eat in Portugal
Eating is one of the best things to do in Portugal. Their yummy cuisine is a toast to the history of the country.
The first dish you must try is the Piri Piri Chicken. You will see Piri Piri at almost every place you dine, it is the hot sauce for the country. It comes in many flavors and isn’t too hot to enjoy the taste.
Chourico Assado is a must-try, such a fun way to eat Portugal’s take on chorizo. When ordered at a restaurant it will come in a traditional clay dish lit on fire. You will be able to cook the chorizo at your table paired with delicious local cheese and bread you will be full before you know it. Be careful not to burn your fingers, they don’t play around.
Next but not least is the famous Pasteis de Natal or cream pastries. You will find these little cutie custard tarts everywhere you look. These pastries have been enjoyed in Portugal since the 18th century. They are the perfect size for a quick snack, pro tip eats the inside first then eat the butter flaky crust. Pair it with a coffee and you will be living your best life.
How to save Money in Portugal
Portugal is one of the most affordable countries to visit in Western Europe. Because of that, here are some tips to make your holiday budget-friendly.
One of the first things you can do is come in the off-season. The late fall and winters are typically slow tourist seasons in Portugal. Accommodation can range from hostels for 5 dollars a night, to 5-star hotels for 100. Airbnb has so many different types of lodging available for 15-30 a night. You can easily find a monthly stay in the off-season in Portugal for 600 a month.
The next way to save on your trip to Portugal is to cook your food. The budget-friendly grocery shopping stores are Aldi, Lidl, and Continente. If you to eat out try these options first, they all have bakeries offering fresh baked bread and sweets.
When you are out exploring Portugal try and eat at the local snack bars because you will easily find dollar coffees and snacks. If you like to go out for the night try ordering local beers, depending on where you are you can get a draft Portugal beer for around 2 dollars.
Try local transportation and walking. The local buses in Portugal are very efficient and a great way to save some money. Try finding local restaurants and bars that you can walk to. There is also the ride-sharing app called Bolt which is very popular because it is cheaper than renting a car for the whole day. If you do end up renting a car try Centro. They often have flash sales and offer the best deals around.
Do yourself the favor of booking your plane ticket to Portugal now. You will fall in love with the romantic vibes and beautiful landscape. If you are a budget traveler or luxury resort type of person you will find everything you need in Portugal. Save this Travel guide to Portugal Please let us know down below if you are planning your trip to Portugal, or if you have been and we missed your favorite thing!!