Planning A Trip To Portugal
Portugal is a beautiful country located in the southwestern corner of Europe that is vastly underrated and overlooked. When planning a trip to Europe, planning a trip to Portugal is usually not on anyone’s radar. Albeit, it is starting to change.
From its stunning architecture, beach and rich history to its delicious food and amazing weather, not adding Portugal to your bucket list would be a huge mistake.
Best Time To Travel To Portugal
Portugal is a great destination for travellers looking to avoid crowds and save some money. March to May, is an ideal time to visit Portugal. Prices are lower than during peak season, and you’ll find fewer people at popular attractions.
Summer is considered the peak season for Portugal when prices are higher, and there are more tourists around. That said, with its relatively mild temperatures, Portugal can be enjoyed all year round.
History Of Portugal
The history of Portugal dates back to the 12th century when it was founded as a kingdom. Since then, Portugal has undergone many changes and ruled by different dynasties.
It was a major power in the 15th and 16th centuries, colonizing parts of Africa, Asia, and South America. In the 19th century, it became a republic and joined the European Union in 1986.
Today, Portugal is known for its vibrant culture, stunning landscapes, and delicious cuisine.
The capital of Portugal is Lisbon.
The currency in Portugal is the Euro.
Speaking of money, Travelling to Portugal can be one of the more affordable European vacations and your money will take you a bit further here when compared to other European countries.
Portugal has a rich culinary history, and its food is as varied as its landscape. Portuguese cuisine is known for its delicious seafood dishes, hearty stews, and savoury pastries.
Some of the most popular dishes you will find in Portugal include:
The Pastel De Nata aka Portugal Butter/Custard Tart
An iconic Portuguese dessert that has been around since the 18th century. It consists of a flaky pastry crust filled with creamy egg custard and dusted with cinnamon.
DO NOT LEAVE THIS COUNTRY without trying these. Rumour has it that the best are in Belem near Lisbon. Check out our Ultimate Lisbon Itinerary to find out more!
Pastéis de Bacalhau
Salty and savoury treats that can be found in almost any restaurant or cafe in Portugal.
A hearty soup made from kale or cabbage and potatoes that is often served as an appetizer before the main course.
Whether fresh or canned, sardines are a staple of Portuguese cuisine and are usually grilled over charcoal for maximum flavour.
Portugal also has a wide variety of wines to choose from, so don’t forget to sample some while you’re here
Best Way To Travel In Portugal
If you’re planning a trip to Portugal, it is important to note that Portugal is a relatively small country, but many sights and attractions exist. If you only have a week, stay in Lisbon and take day trips outside the city to popular places like Sintra and Belém. You could also drive, take a train or bus further into the countryside for more unique experiences.
Train Travel In Portugal
Train travel in Portugal is a great way to get around the country. The Portuguese rail network is extensive and covers most of the major cities, towns, and villages. Trains are comfortable, reliable, and relatively inexpensive.
To plan your train journey in Portugal, you can use the CP website (Comboios de Portugal). Here you can find timetables, routes, fares, and more information about train travel in Portugal. If you’re travelling with children under 12 years old they will be able to travel for free when accompanied by an adult.
It is important to arrive at least 15 minutes before departure time as trains tend to leave on time!
Driving In Portugal
When it comes to getting around Portugal, driving is a popular option. The highway infrastructure is well-developed and easy to follow, with the right side of the road driving
However, if you plan on visiting Lisbon or Porto, having a car may be more of a hindrance than a help due to parking and traffic issues. In addition, when it comes to navigating through cities and towns, things can get tricky. Many roads are extremely narrow, making it difficult for tourists to drive comfortably. I
Renting a car in Portugal is an excellent way to explore the Algarve region as you can get off the beaten path or discover some less crowded but equally beautiful beaches, not well connected with public transportation.
Is Portugal Safe
Yes, Portugal is a safe country to visit. The crime rate is low and the people are friendly and welcoming. However, be wary of pickpocketing and be aware of your surroundings at all times.