Portugal is the oldest nation on the Iberian Peninsula and one of the oldest in all of Europe. It’s known for its lively markets, terraced vineyards, vibrant waters, and colorful plazas—making it the perfect place for anyone to visit.
Whether you’re interested in history, art, architecture, sea views, or delicious foods, this Portugal Travel Guide will bring you the best Portugal travel tips and recommendations. We’ve done all the research (and the traveling) to take you through where to go and what to do in Portugal. All you have to do is book your trip.
Currency: Portugal uses the euro as their main currency, but you may hear a few other terms during your trip, too. Before the euro was introduced, Portugal’s national currency was the escudo, and it’s still used at a lot of shops throughout the country (200 escudos = 1 euro). You may also hear people talking about the conto, which is equivalent to 1,000 escudos (5 euro).
Language: The main language spoken in Portugal is Portuguese, and a Portuguese-speaking person or nation is referred to as "lusófono” (lusophone).
Tip: While Spanish is very similar to Portuguese, keep in mind that some locals might consider it rude if you fall back on your español. The two languages may seem interchangeable, but the most polite thing to do is give the country’s actual language your best shot.
Getting around: The best way to get around Portugal is by bus or train. Portugal’s public transportation is very reliable and affordable. Buses run often, and the national train line, Comboios de Portugal (CP) is very modern. Lucky for you, your tour with us includes private motor coach transportation, so you’ll get to see the country as you pass through some pretty incredible scenery—without ever having to buy a bus or train ticket.
Phrases to know: One of the best Portugal travel tips is to learn a little of the language. Making an effort to communicate means a lot to the locals, and having a handle on the basics will help you get even more out of your cultural experience.
Olá means “hello”, and it’s a friendly way to greet anyone you meet on your adventure.
Prazer (pronounced: pra’zer) means “pleased to meet you,” and saying it will earn you bonus points when locals introduce themselves on your Portugal tour.
Obrigado and Obrigada are how you say “thank you.” Male speakers use obrigado, while women say obrigada.
Licença is the perfect way to say “excuse me” when you’d like someone to step out of your way in a crowd.
Onde está a means “where is the…” It’s a great term to know if you ever get lost.
Looking to learn more? Check out our list of essential Portuguese phrases to know before you go.
The best time to travel to Portugal is in March through May. Springtime in Portugal brings beautiful weather, blooming flowers, and a bunch of different festivals, like Freedom Day and Holy Week.
The next best time to visit Portugal is in September and October, which is considered the off-season. Temperatures begin to wind down from the hot summer, so you’ll find fewer crowds and more reasonable prices. “Lisbon is one of the warmer European capitals, so even in the off-season you’ll be treated to sunshine and warm temps,” said Go Ahead staffer Emily.
Of course, we can’t create a Portugal Travel Guide without sharing what to pack. There are so many incredible things to see in Portugal, so here’s what to bring so you can make the most of it.
Portugal is known for its iconic sites and spectacular views. It’s as rich in history as it is in artwork and architecture. Here are some of our travelers’ favorite things to see in Portugal:
What to do in Portugal ultimately depends on what you’re interested in. Whether you like learning about the land, diving deep into the history, or conquering the cuisine, there are places to visit in Portugal for everyone. Here are a few of our top Portugal attractions and activities.
One of the best things to do in Portugal is eat. In fact, we’re so in love with the food and wine in Portugal, we have an entire tour dedicated to it.
Tip: “If you’d like to grab a bite to eat and people-watch, Rua da Rosa [in Lisbon] is the place to go,” said staffer Rebecca. “It’s a bustling, pedestrian street where you can kick back on the mosaic sidewalks while trying traditional food.”
By this point, we’ve gone over all the different things to do in Portugal. But what happens when your trip comes to an end? Here are some ways to bring your Portugal memories back home with you.