Tips for Traveling to Portugal


With cosmopolitan cities like Lisbon and Porto, the stunning coastline of the Algarve, and remote island retreats such as Madeira, traveling to Portugal shows you a country of captivating contrasts.

Explore Roman ruins and Moorish castles, relax on secluded sandy beaches surrounded by imposing cliff faces, or wander down narrow side streets where bohemian cafes burst into life when the sun sets.

Here are some tips to use for your next trip to Portugal. 

Beware of Pickpockets

Just like other major European cities, Lisbon and Porto have their fair share of pickpockets. So, you will need to keep your wits about you when traveling on public transport and at popular tourist spots. Always keep an eye on where your phone is, and never leave it it in your back pocket. Travel using a purse that has a zipper and make sure to keep it zipped with the zipper closest to you. 

It might not be fashionable, but a money belt is extremely functional and will keep your travel cash safe.

You can also check out our handy tips on where to stash your cash while traveling.

Pack Comfortable Footwear

From slick cobblestones to steep inclines, the varied terrain of Portugal’s towns and cities means you will need to wear sensible shoes when exploring by foot. Planning a night out with the girls? Think twice before putting on a pair of high heels. Your ankles will thank you! 

Learn a Little of the Language

You don’t need to know Portuguese to get by in Portugal, as most people working in tourism have a good grasp of English, it doesn’t hurt to learn a few words and phrases. Just remember that saying thank you as a woman is ‘obrigada’ rather than ‘obrigado’ for men. Check out these basic Portuguese phrases for travelers.

Explore the Beaches

Did you know that Portugal has some of Europe’s best beaches? Pack some sunscreen and head out to visit the islands of Madeira, which includes Porto Santo, Desertas, and Selvagens.

This archipelago is situated off the northwest coast of Africa, meaning its UV index is much higher than the rest of Europe. Be sure to block up! 

Don’t Assume You’ll have a Toilet Seat

Truth time: a large number of toilets in Portugal don’t actually have a seat. Whether they start like that or are the victim of a curious crime remains unclear, but you should be prepared for this as we were not and it was quite a surprise! 

There are many getaway options for solo travelers and families to Portugal which are worth checking out. 

From Lisbon to the islands, you could spend an entire European vacation traveling to Portugal and never get bored. 

Have you been to Portugal? What are your favorite tips? 


About Author

Kelly Lewis is the founder of Go! Girl Guides, the Women's Travel Fest and Damesly. She's an optimist, an adventurer, an author and works to help women travel the world.

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