Embark on one of the best trips of your lifetime to Portugal, a destination that is the perfect combination of history, culture, and natural beauty.  Portugal has more than Cristiano Ronaldo to offer and is the perfect holiday destination that South Europe has to offer. From its white sandy beaches to architecturally beautiful cities, Portugal is a treasure trove of diverse attractions.

With its capital city Lisbon enthralling tourists with its bustling streets and so much to explore, this is where most tourists touchdown. Beyond Lisbon’s borders, head down to the Algarve region whose major attraction is the pristine white sandy beaches and stunning coastline. Indulge in the breath-taking coastal views of Ponta da Piedade or laze under the warm sun at Praia da Marinha, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

Don’t miss out on Braga, a city steeped in history and known as the “Rome of Portugal” due to its countless churches and religious monuments. Explore the Bom Jesus do Monte sanctuary with its stunning baroque architecture or simply wander through the narrow streets of the historic city centre.

In addition to its plethora of attractions, Portugal proudly boasts a booming restaurant scene, offering delightful culinary experiences at affordable prices. Pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in Portugal. Whether you seek the sun-soaked beaches of the Algarve, the rugged coastlines, or the architecturally stunning cities, Portugal has it all for an incredible and authentic travel experience.

How to Get to Portugal?

When planning a trip to Portugal, it is important to consider the various methods of transportation available to you.

By Air

Air travel is the most convenient option for reaching Portugal. There are 5 international airports in Portugal:

Lisbon Portela Airport is the country’s largest airport and is well-connected to major cities worldwide. Travellers from these cities can find direct flights to Lisbon. Alternatively, travellers can also consider flying into Porto or Faro, which are served by several airlines from other cities in Europe.

For those looking to explore the islands of Portugal, there are also options to fly to the Azores and Madeira. These islands, located off the coast of Portugal, are known for their stunning natural beauty. Flights to the Azores and Madeira are available from various European cities and offer a unique travel experience.

Airlines that service Portugal from Lisbon International Airport include:

Airlines servicing Porto Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (OPO) include:

Airlines servicing the Faro Airport (FAO) include:

Airlines that service Madeira airport in Funchal (FNC) include:

Airlines that service João Paulo II Airport in Ponta Delgada (PDL) include:

Getting to Portugal by road

Getting to Portugal by road offers the flexibility and freedom of a road trip, allowing travellers to explore neighbouring countries and enjoy the scenic routes along the way. Portugal shares its borders with Spain but you can also plan to get here from Spain’s neighbouring countries such as France, and even Morocco (by ferry), there are several options for reaching Portugal.

Border crossings between Portugal and these countries are well-developed, making the journey seamless. However, it is important to note that certain documentation, such as a valid passport or visa may be required depending on your nationality.

Portugal has an extensive network of toll roads, known as “Autoestradas,” which are well-maintained and provide efficient connectivity to various regions within the country. It is essential to have the appropriate documentation and permits for using toll roads, such as an electronic toll device or a prepaid card.

For tourists traveling by car, it is crucial to familiarize themselves with the driving rules and regulations in Portugal, including speed limits and parking restrictions. Whether embarking on a road trip from a neighbouring country or exploring the diverse regions within Portugal itself, traveling by road offers a unique and immersive experience, allowing visitors to discover the country’s hidden gems at their own pace.

Getting to Portugal by sea

Getting to Portugal by sea is a popular and convenient option for travellers. There are several options available, including ferry services and cruises.

Ferry services provide a convenient way to reach Portugal from neighbouring countries such as Spain and Morocco. The ports of entry for these ferry services include Faro, Portimão, Lisbon, Porto, and Viana do Castelo. There are multiple routes available, allowing you to choose the most convenient and cost-effective option for your trip. However, there may be specific visa requirements depending on your passport, so make sure to enquire about these details beforehand.

Cruise ships also offer a luxurious and leisurely way to reach Portugal. Many major cruise lines include Portugal in their itineraries, making it easy to explore the country while enjoying the amenities and entertainment on board. When planning your trip to Portugal by sea, consider the various options available and choose the one that best suits your preferences and schedule. Whether you opt for a ferry service or a cruise, arriving in Portugal by sea offers a unique and memorable travel experience. Please do your homework regarding the paperwork before you pay for any of these service.

How to get around Portugal?

Portugal has a robust network of public transport of buses and trains covering the entire country. Public transportation in Portugal is cheap, convenient, and easy to use. Other than buses and trains, you can also use the various bike and car rentals available throughout the country.

Getting around Portugal by trains

Getting around Portugal by train is an affordable and convenient way to explore the country. The train network system in Portugal is well-developed, with both regular and high-speed trains available.

Regular trains are a popular choice for traveling between major cities and for day trips to nearby destinations. They offer comfortable seating and beautiful views of the Portuguese countryside. The ticket prices for regular trains are relatively low, making it a budget-friendly option for travellers.

For those looking for a faster mode of transportation, high-speed trains are also available. These trains connect major cities like Lisbon, Porto, and Faro, allowing passengers to reach their destinations quickly and comfortably. Although the ticket prices for high-speed trains are slightly higher than regular trains, the time saved is well worth it.

Some popular train routes in Portugal include Lisbon to Porto, which offers stunning coastal views, and Lisbon to Faro, the gateway to beautiful beaches in the Algarve region. Additionally, day trips to places like Sintra, Cascais, and Coimbra are easily accessible by train. To plan your train journey, it’s recommended to visit the official train websites to check train times and purchase tickets. With the extensive regional train network, you can easily navigate through Portugal and explore its beautiful cities, beaches, and countryside. So hop on a train and enjoy the convenience and affordability of traveling around Portugal by rail.

Getting around Portugal by buses

Another option when it comes to getting around Portugal, bus travel is another option for exploring different cities and regions. The country has an extensive network of bus routes that connect major cities and towns, making it easy to navigate and explore.

One of the advantages of traveling by bus in Portugal is its affordability. Bus tickets are often cheaper compared to other modes of transport, such as trains or flights. This makes it an ideal choice for budget travellers or those looking to save some money while still enjoying their trip.

Additionally, buses offer a high level of convenience, as they provide direct connections to popular destinations. For example, if you’re planning to travel from Lisbon to Lagos or Braga to Faro, there are several bus routes available that can take you there without any hassle.  

The approximate costs of these bus journeys vary depending on the distance and the bus company you choose. On average, a bus ticket from Lisbon to Lagos can cost around €20-€25, while a trip from Braga to Faro may range from €15-€20. It’s important to note that prices may vary during peak travel seasons.

Overall, bus travel in Portugal is a great way to explore the country while staying within budget. With its affordable fares and convenient routes, it offers a reliable and efficient mode of transportation for both locals and tourists alike. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the scenic views as you travel across this beautiful country by bus.

Getting around Portugal by car/bike rentals

When planning a trip to Portugal, one of the most convenient ways to get around the country is by renting a car or bike. Renting a car gives you the freedom to explore at your own pace and venturing into the off-beaten path. However, we recommend you do this keeping safety in mind.

There are several car rental companies in Portugal, and it’s best to book in advance to secure the best rates and availability. Websites like RentalCars can help you compare prices and find the perfect car for your trip.

If you prefer a more eco-friendly option or want to experience Portugal from a different perspective, bike rentals are also available in major cities and tourist areas. Riding a bike allows you to immerse yourself in the local culture and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

To make your trip more convenient, consider flying into Porto and out of Faro. This way, you can explore the northern part of the country, including the vibrant city of Porto with its delicious food scene and iconic landmarks, such as the Ribeira district and Dom Luís I Bridge. From Porto, you can also take a day trip to the stunning Douro Valley and enjoy wine tastings and breath-taking views of the vineyards.

In Faro, you can relax on the beautiful beaches of the Algarve region or explore the charming old town with its narrow streets and historic buildings. Renting a car or bike in both cities will allow you to make the most of your time and experience the diverse attractions and landscapes that Portugal has to offer.

If you are planning to get a bike or car rental on your next trip to Portugal, make sure you have a valid license and all other necessary documents on you.

Best Time to Visit Portugal

Portugal can be enjoyed throughout all seasons so the best time to visit Portugal will entirely depend on your preferences and the purpose of your visit.

The seasons of spring, which lasts from March to May and autumn, which lasts through September to October, are highly recommended for visiting Portugal. You will find fewer crowds and enjoy mild temperatures during this time.

Witness the blooming landscapes and the re-opening of the many attractions in Portugal during Spring, as the quieter cold months come to an end. During Autumn, you can explore Portugal’s countryside and the plethora of winery activities Portugal has to offer.

However, if you don’t mind the cold months, you can visit Portugal in December and January and enjoy the festive revelries of the season.

If you are visiting Portugal to surfing along the many surf spots it has to offer, the ideal time to visit would be between May and September for beginner surfers and between September and April for experienced surfers.

No matter when you choose to visit Portugal, Portugal has a lot of things to offer all year round. From the stunning beaches along the coast to the charming cities like Lisbon and Porto, there is plenty to see and do. So, plan your trip accordingly and make the most of your time in this beautiful country.

Food in Portugal

Get ready for a delightful journey that Portuguese cuisine will take you on when you are here. The Portuguese cuisine leans more towards seafood and meat-based dishes, showcasing the richness of their local produce and traditional cooking techniques. This would mean that vegetarian and vegan travellers may sometimes find it difficult to find something to suit their dietary preferences. However, having said that it is not impossible to find good plant-based meals in Portugal as the options are now growing.

One must-try treat in Portugal is the iconic Pastel de Nata, a delicious custard tart with a crispy puff pastry shell. These delectable pastries, often enjoyed with a sprinkle of cinnamon and powdered sugar, can be found in bakeries and cafes across the country.

Another popular dish to savor is Migas, a comforting blend of bread, garlic, olive oil, and regional spices. This traditional dish varies from region to region, offering a unique taste experience wherever you go.

To add a bit of sweetness and kick to your culinary exploration, make sure to try Ginja liqueur. This cherry liqueur is typically served in small chocolate cups and is commonly enjoyed as an aperitif or digestive. Whether you indulge in the meat and fish-based dishes that Portugal is renowned for, or opt for the vegetarian-friendly options available, exploring the country’s rich and diverse culinary traditions is a journey worth savouring.

Accommodation in Portugal

Since, Portugal is a hot tourist destination, you will find a variety of options. From luxury hotels to cosy guesthouses to surf camps in Portugal, there is something to suit every traveller’s needs.

Tourists can easily find hotels as they are widely available throughout the country, in a diverse range of cost brackets – from budget friendly options to high-end rooms. Hotels offer convenience and amenities, especially in major cities and popular tourist areas. Private rentals, such as apartments and villas, provide a more intimate and home-like experience.

To find the perfect place to stay in Portugal, there are various booking platforms that can be used. Booking.com is one of the most popular websites, offering a wide range of options and competitive prices. Other platforms like Airbnb and HomeAway also provide private rentals for those seeking a more unique and personalized experience.

If you are visiting during the cold months, we recommend that you enquire if your accommodation has heating options as the temperature can fall quite a bit during the nights in cold months. Irrespective of that, make sure you conduct a thorough research into the places you are booking to ensure that all the amenities you are looking for are available.

Currency in Portugal

The official currency accepted throughout Portugal is the Euro, from the bustling city centres to the countryside. If you need to exchange your currency for Euro, you can easily find currency exchange offices in major cities and tourist areas. Just ask, “Where is the nearest currency exchange office?” and the locals will be happy to help. It’s also worth noting that credit cards are widely accepted in most establishments, so you can conveniently pay with your card if you prefer.

When planning your trip to Portugal, it’s always useful to know some basic phrases related to currency exchange. Here are a few examples: “Onde fica o câmbio mais próximo?” (Where is the nearest currency exchange?) and “Posso pagar com cartão de crédito?” (Can I pay with a credit card?).With the Euro as the currency of Portugal, you can enjoy a hassle-free trip, knowing that you’ll have no trouble using your money throughout the country.

Top 5 Cities to Visit in Portugal

We are not saying that there are only 5 cities that are worth visiting when travelling to Portugal, but if at all you are short on time, here are the 5 cities you should not miss:

1. Porto

Situated along the Douro River, Porto is the second largest city in Portugal and is known for its charming and colourful houses, medieval streets, and exquisite port wine. Visit the Ribeira district and explore the riverside promenade or take a boat tour to admire the city’s stunning architecture. Don’t miss the iconic Clerigos Tower or the beautiful Livraria Lello bookstore, which is said to have inspired J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.

2. Sintra

Sintra is famous for its fairy tale-like Pena Palace, an enchanting blend of architectural styles and vibrant colours and small forests. Other must-see attractions include the Moorish Castle and the mysterious Initiation Well at Quinta da Regaleira. Take a stroll through the historic centre to discover charming cafés and boutique shops.

3. Coimbra

As Portugal’s university city, Coimbra offers a unique blend of youthful energy and rich history. Explore the University of Coimbra, one of the oldest universities in the world, and visit the stunning Joanina Library. Take a walk through the picturesque streets of the historic centre and marvel at the intricate azulejo tiles. For a tranquil experience, visit the breath taking Mondego River and enjoy the panoramic views.

4. Faro

Located in the sunny Algarve region, Faro offers beautiful beaches and captivating coastal views. Explore the historic center, with its charming cobblestone streets and medieval walls. Visit the beautiful Faro Cathedral and enjoy panoramic views from its tower. Take a boat trip to the nearby Ria Formosa Natural Park, a paradise for bird-watching and nature lovers.

5. Évora

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Évora is a charming and well-preserved medieval city. Stroll through the narrow streets of the historic center and admire the impressive Roman Temple. Visit the bone chapel, known as Capela dos Ossos, with its macabre but fascinating interior covered in human skulls and bones. Don’t miss the stunning Évora Cathedral or the picturesque Giraldo Square.Each of these cities in Portugal offers unique experiences and attractions, making them must-visit destinations for any traveller.

5 Best Things to Do in Portugal

Portugal is a country rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. From the vibrant city of Lisbon to the stunning coastal areas, there is no shortage of things to do and see in this remarkable destination. Here are some top activities to include in your itinerary:

1. Immerse yourself in the culture of Lisbon

Begin your ultimate trip to Portugal by exploring the vibrant capital city, Lisbon. Wander through the charming streets of Alfama, the oldest district, and listen to the melancholic melodies of Fado music, a traditional genre deeply rooted in Portuguese culture. Discover iconic landmarks like the Jerónimos Monastery, which showcase the country’s rich history. Don’t miss the chance to indulge in the delectable local cuisine, sampling pastéis de nata (custard tarts) and fresh seafood dishes.

2. Embark on an ‘Age of Discovery’ tour

Feel the spirit of Portugal’s maritime past by visiting historic sites connected to the Age of Discovery. Head to Belém, where you can explore the Monument to the Discoveries, a tribute to the country’s famous explorers. Visit the awe-inspiring Belém Tower, a fortress overlooking the Tagus River, and step inside the majestic Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, a symbol of Portugal’s golden era.

3. Explore Sintra, the castle town of Portugal

Just a short train ride from Lisbon lies the enchanting town of Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage site dotted with fairytale-like castles and palaces. Marvel at the colorful façade of the Pena Palace, perched on a hilltop, and wander through the lush gardens of Quinta da Regaleira. Don’t miss the opportunity to try the local specialty, queijadas de Sintra, delicious cheesecakes that have been enjoyed for centuries.

4. Discover the pristine beaches

Portugal is renowned for its stunning coastline and beautiful beaches. Visit the picturesque town of Cascais, situated on the Atlantic Ocean, and soak up the sun on its sandy shores. For a more adventurous beach experience, head to the Algarve region, known for its hidden beaches and dramatic cliffs. Explore the breath-taking rock formations in Ponta da Piedade and relax on the pristine sand of Praia da Marinha, often regarded as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

5. Surf your heart out in Portugal

With its consistent waves and ideal weather, Portugal is a surfer’s paradise. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced surfer, there are plenty of surf camps and schools along the coast to cater to your needs. From the famous breaks of Ericeira to the laid-back vibe of Sagres, you’ll find surf spots to suit every level.

Experience the thrill of riding the waves and immerse yourself in Portugal’s vibrant surf culture. In a nutshell, Portugal offers a myriad of activities for every traveler. From soaking in the history and culture of Lisbon to exploring fairy tale castles in Sintra, and from basking on stunning beaches to riding the waves along the coast, a trip to Portugal is an incredible adventure filled with unforgettable experiences.

Experience the thrill of surfing on your trip to Portugal with Rapture Surfcamps! Join us for an unforgettable adventure on the waves. Book now and ride the perfect wave of your Portuguese adventure.

10 Things to Know for your Trip to Portugal (summarized)

Planning a trip to Portugal? Here are the top 10 things you should know and not miss on your trip to Portugal:

1. Travel Insurance: It’s crucial to purchase travel insurance before your trip. This ensures you are covered for any unexpected events or emergencies.

2. Lisbon: Make sure to visit Portugal’s capital city, Lisbon. Explore the charming neighbourhoods, indulge in delicious cuisine, and enjoy the vibrant nightlife.

3. Sintra: Don’t miss the enchanting town of Sintra, known for its fairy tale-like palaces, such as the famous Pena Palace. Take a day trip from Lisbon to experience its magical atmosphere.

4. Benagil Caves: Discover the stunning Benagil caves in the Algarve region. These natural wonders can only be accessed by boat and offer breath-taking views.

5. Costa Nova Beach: Head to Costa Nova Beach, located near Aveiro, to admire its colorful striped houses and relax on its pristine sandy shores.

6. Porto: Explore the vibrant city of Porto, renowned for its port wine production. Visit the cellars, stroll along the Douro River, and soak up the city’s rich history.

7. Douro Valley: Take a trip to the picturesque Douro Valley, known for its vineyards and scenic landscapes. Enjoy wine tastings and river cruises as you explore this beautiful region.

8. Porto Wine: Indulge in the world-famous Porto wine and discover its unique flavors. Take a tour of the cellars and learn about its production process.

9. Fado Music: Experience the soul-stirring sounds of Fado music, Portugal’s traditional music genre. Enjoy live performances at local bars and restaurants in Lisbon and Porto.

10. Pastel de Nata: Don’t leave Portugal without trying the delicious Pastel de Nata, a famous Portuguese custard tart. Sample these sweet treats at local bakeries throughout the country.Whether you’re exploring Lisbon’s narrow streets, getting lost in the beauty of Sintra, or savoring the flavors of Porto, Portugal offers a diverse range of experiences that will leave you wanting to return for more.

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Guest Reviews


What is the best time to visit Portugal?

Portugal is a year-round destination, but the spring (April to June) and fall (September to October) months offer pleasant weather with fewer crowds. Summer (July to August) is ideal for beach lovers.

How can I get around in Portugal?

Portugal has an efficient public transportation system, including trains and buses. Renting a car is a popular option for exploring more remote areas, and major cities also have well-connected metro systems.

Are there visa requirements for visiting Portugal?

Portugal is part of the Schengen Area, and travelers from many countries, including the US and EU member states, do not need a visa for short stays (up to 90 days). Check visa requirements based on your nationality.

What are the must-visit places in Portugal?

Explore the historic charm of Lisbon, the picturesque Douro Valley, the coastal beauty of the Algarve, and the cultural richness of Porto. Each region offers a unique experience.

Is English widely spoken in Portugal?

While Portuguese is the official language, English is widely spoken, especially in tourist areas. Most locals in the hospitality industry understand and communicate in English.

What outdoor activities are popular in Portugal?

Portugal offers diverse outdoor activities, including surfing, hiking, wine tasting in the Douro Valley, and exploring historic sites. The Algarve is known for its stunning beaches and water activities.

Are there surfing opportunities in Portugal?

Yes, Portugal is a renowned surf destination with consistent waves along the coast. Popular surf spots include Ericeira, Peniche, and the Algarve. Surf schools and camps cater to all skill levels.

Are surf camps in Portugal suitable for all skill levels?

Yes, surf camps in Portugal cater to surfers of all levels, from beginners to advanced. Experienced instructors provide lessons, and the diverse coastline offers a variety of waves suitable for different skill levels.

What is the best time of year to book a surf camp in Portugal?

The surf season in Portugal typically runs from September to April, with the autumn and winter months providing optimal conditions for larger swells. However, surf camps operate year-round, offering lessons and experiences tailored to seasonal conditions.