Portugal is a beautiful country that borders Spain on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. If you are looking for a vibrant country full of culture and jaw dropping views, Portugal is the spot for you! It is not nearly as well known as France or Italy, making it great destination if your goal is to avoid the crowds. How do you get to this beautiful country? There are plenty of direct flights to Lisbon, Faro, and Porto from some US airports – New York, Boston, and Miami! However, there are cheaper options available that include a brief layover in London. Pro tip: Portugal has a very hilly terrain so it is best to consider packing comfortable shoes that you can explore in!
Best Times to Visit: It is best to avoid Portugal during the busy months of July and August. May, June, and September have great weather and less crowds.
Places to visit:
Take a port wine tour in Porto: Porto is a vibrant, coastal town that is most commonly known for it’s bright tiled buildings, cobblestone streets, and port wine production. This is a charming city with picturesque views and intricate architecture throughout. However, no trip to Porto is complete without trying their authentic port wine. There are plenty of local port houses where you can get a taste of the process, literally!
See the museums + monuments of Lisbon: Lisbon is the capital city of Portugal sitting atop seven iconic hills (i.e. comfortable shoes). There is no shortage of things to do in Lisbon. Explore the many monuments/museums like Padrāo dos Descobrimentos, the Popular Art Museum, Cultural Center of Belem, the Maritime Museum and dozens of others! Stroll the beautiful streets and take in the Spanish architecture. Or ride the iconic tram that takes visitors through Lisbon’s finest districts, including Baixa, Graça, Alfama and Estrela.
Road trip around Madeira: Madeira is composed of four islands just off the northwest coast of Africa. This beauty is a little under the radar but a beautiful destination to consider adding to your Portugal itinerary! Drive the countryside and take in the gorgeous mountains overlooking the cobalt blue Atlantic Ocean. Madiera has a sunny and warm climate year round with plenty to do – including shopping, fine dining, hiking, whale watching, and more!
Feature Hotels: Tivoli Avenida Liberdade Lisboa, Olissippo Lapa Palace Hotel, Pestana Vintage Porto Hotel
It’s standard for waiters to bring you little dishes of olives, bread, cheese and cold meats but they are not freebies unless they are part of a set menu. If you don’t want them, just politely send them back untouched and you won’t be charged.
Wear comfortable footwear. This may seem like common sense, but it’s a tip that needs to be highlighted. The cobblestone streets can also create unstable footing, and sometimes the roads are slippery.
Remember the number 112. This is Portugal’s 911 number that will get you in contact with the police and emergency medical services.