The wonderful Portuguese culture

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10 Tips for your Portugal trip

"Tips for a successful Portugal trip"

"Dicas para fazer uma viagem sucedido em Portugal"

10 Tips for a successful Portugal trip

How to make a success of your trip to Portugal? Let me give you some good tips to make your trip in Portugal more enjoyable. You'll get good inside information to avoid unpleasant and uncomfortable situations in Portugal. It's always fine to be good informed. Read this post and learn more to make a successful Portugal trip.

Estimated read time: 10 minutes

How to make a successful Portugal trip?

Here is a short list of things to make your Portugal trip more enjoyable. In the content below you read the complete information about each topic. If you are good informed, then your trip will get a higher dimension. Find out this 10 tips for a successful Portugal trip.

1 - Good Shoes

walking shoes successful portugal trip good tip

First of all, if you plan to travel to Portugal, wear good shoes. With good shoes, I mean comfortable shoes to walk around. A lot of cities and villages are hilly. Also a lot of streets are paved with cobblestones, small paving stones or with marble. Indeed, marble. Even in the large cities as Lisboa and Porto. These street stones can become very slippery, also when it hasn't rain for a long time. So, wearing good shoes in Portugal is a good decision. Especially for women, avoid wearing shoes with heels. Even in Lisbon! Lisboa is built on 7 hills. Don't make a mistake, walking through the city is climbing on cobblestones. As already told above, this is the same for many other locations in Portugal. Have fun by wearing comfortable walking shoes. You will love it.

2 - Don't speak Spanish

Portugal is a country on its own. It is not a Spanish region as some may think. So, also the Portuguese language is different from Spanish. Portuguese also is one of the most spoken languages in the world. Learn more about this in our post about the Portuguese language.

tips for successful Portugal trip no spanish language flag spain
"Portuguese is not Spanish"

Due to historical troubles in the history between the Portuguese and Spanish, most Portuguese people don't like it if you speak Spanish to please them. Only if you are a native Spanish speaker, they accept it. Trust me, the locals in Portugal know the difference between a native and a tourist. My experience is that, to stay friendly, they don't will tell you that they don't like it, but you'll notice it in their attitude to you. Portuguese locals will like it more that you try to try to speak Portuguese with some errors. Most locals are very helpful to learn you some new things. Otherwise, the best way is to communicate with the locals is in English.

3 - Not everyone speaks English

successful Portugal trip tips english language flag british american

In the point above, I told you that the best way to communicate is in English in case you don't speak Portuguese very well. It is completely true. Following this rule, keep also in mind that not everyone is able to speak English. In the large tourist areas and the larger cities, like Lisboa, Porto, Faro, Évora and Coimbra, it is no problem to communicate in English. Also in the Algarve, many people speak good English. When you travel more inside the country, don't be wondered that this is not always the case. In many villages or smaller cities, it is not common that everyone speaks English. Especially by locals from the age of 45-50 years old and above. They always are friendly to help you out.

4 - Stay friendly

successful portugal trip stay friendly happy smiley smile

Portuguese are known as friendly and helpful. As long as you treat them that way. They also are open-minded, with a mind-set to the world and are proud to share their culture with you. So, always be friendly, thankful and open-minded. In the Portuguese culture is verbal communication still very common and important. From talking with family and friends to colleagues in your job. Even with a stranger at the bus stop, in the pastelaria or on a bench in the park. Don't be afraid to talk with others or ask something to a stranger to help you out. Stay friendly and the other will be happy to help you.

5 - Don't put authority in question

In line with stay friendly, is to not put authority in question. It is not a good idea to discuss about everything. If you do this or are not friendly, you will discover in a fast way where this will bring you. I promise you, you don't will like it. So, be honest, friendly and accept the rules. It will bring you a lot further.

successful portugal trip peace authority no question
"One line principle"

For example, in a pastelaria, a restaurant, a shop or at a bus stop, in most cases they follow the one line principle. The person who arrived first, is the first one in the row. They also patiently wait their turn. At bus stops, older and less mobile people may first enter the bus and have a reserved place. Don't try to brake this rule and make your own one, this is all about respect to the other.

6 - Also go out of the tourist areas

The famous monuments and places are wonderful to discover. Indeed, they are a must do on your trip. Also it is a good idea to leave these typical tourist places and discover some wonderful and more relaxed places by yourself. There mostly are less tourists and you will see maybe more interesting places as these of the famous tour guide books.

"A save country with a large history"

Portugal is a save country for locals and to travel. It also has a large history with so many wonderful places to discover. The Romans, Visigoths and Moors already lived in the area which is now Portugal. Already in the 12th century became Portugal a Kingdom. In the whole country, you still can discover a lot of this history.

"Expect the unexpected"

Every city and place has a lot of small and hidden spots. Or do you like them more at a larger place somewhere in the middle of nowhere. No problem. Portugal is reach of wonderful and undiscovered wonderful places. It is up to you, to discover them by yourself. Expect the unexpected. Keep in mind, Portugal is a save country, don't be shy or afraid to ask something and stay friendly. In that case, locals will help you with pleasure.

7 - Don't always travel by car

Of course, Portugal absolutely is a nice country for road trips. Doing this by car, camper or motorcycle is very comfortable. You have your freedom where to go and when. Indeed, for some hidden spots as tolled above it is essential to have this kind of transport. But did you knew that in Portugal you don't need especially your own transport to make wonderful trips, even to more hidden locations. In this tip you read more about how to make a successful Portugal trip without your own private transport.

"A nice bus network"

First of all, Portugal has a wonderful bus network. The busses of Rede Expressos bring you through almost the whole country in a very fast way and for cheap prices. You also are able to add your luggage. They have comfortable travel cars to bring you everywhere. In the Metropolitan area of Lisboa, you also find Carris Metropolitana to transport you in the whole region. Almost every city has his own great bus network, to transport you in and around the city. So, over there for a lot of transport a car is not needed. A lot of locals take these bus lines. By taking these kind of transport as well, you travel among the locals. This gives an extra dimension on your trip to discover the real culture of the country. Make your Portugal trip a success and take the bus. Combined transport also is always more ecological.

"Train connections"

Between many places are good train connections. You travel in a fast way to the larger cities in the country. Portugal has a good train network, but indeed there still are many locations or spots that are not easy to reach by train. Take a look at the website of CP for all possible connections and time tables.

"Comfortable public transport and mostly in time"

What I personally like about the public transport is that it is mostly in time. You can't afford it to be 5 minutes too late at the bus stop or train station. Most vehicles also are very comfortable. By some companies you have WiFi on board and are able to charge your electronic device over USB. Yes, also in the bus.

8 - Beautiful architecture

As already told above in some tips for a successful Portugal trip, Portugal has a large history. Also the country hasn't had many devastating historical facts, except the earthquake of 1755. Many monuments over the whole country still are intact. Don't leave the country to see the beautiful architecture and discover some of the many wonderful monuments of Portugal.

"The typical Manueline style"
Lisboa Belém tower portugal

A unique architecture in Portugal is the Manueline style. This only can be discovered in Portugal and maybe some of its old colonies. The Manueline building style is referred to King Dom Manuel I and is a mix of Gothic and Islamic build styles. It is a typical Portuguese build style and you find it at many wonderful monuments through the whole country. Some of them are part of the 7 Wonders of Portugal. You hardly can miss it. Don't leave Portugal without you discovered some of the buildings in this wonderful Manueline Style.

9 - Have time

Like a lot of cultures in southern countries, the people still have time. Inside the country it is even more noticeable as in the large cities. This is not different in Portugal. So, also if you travel to Portugal, have time. A rat race or a rush is not needed. Especially, when you want to arrange something administrative or work together with a local. Don't be worried that they tell you: "Amanhã" (Tomorrow). And the next day, maybe they tell you the same.

portugal have time relax hammock hangmat enjoy
"Wait for your turn"

Have time to wait your turn in the line. Do you go to the restaurant or stand at a ticket office, at an info desk, at a bus stop or in a shop? Have time and wait for your turn. Don't be stressed, there is no reason for it.

"Enjoy the moment"

Don't make a rush of your time in Portugal and your trip. People in southern countries, like Portugal, have a slower way of living. They always have time for a short coffee break and connect with each other. Especially more inland the country. Relax and follow this rhythm as well. Respect it, love it and enjoy it. So, you'll get the most successful Portugal trip.

10 - Don't drink too much alcohol

Take a seat on a nice terrace to relax in the sun with a wonderful view over the city, region or sea. Taste the delicious local alcoholic drinks or a large beer. Who doesn't like it? Of course, I do. But don't make the mistake to drink too much alcohol.

tips for a successful portugal trip drunk to much alcohol
"Drunk people mostly are irritant tourists"

Also the Portuguese locals like it. But they mostly don't drink too much alcohol. On my many Portugal trips, I haven't seen many drunk locals. Drunk people will mostly seen as irritant tourists and so handled. The locals don't like them. I understand that when you are on holiday, it could be attractive to drink some alcohol to relax and enjoy the moment. There is nothing wrong with this. But don't make the mistake to drink too much. Keep in mind that sitting in the sun increases the effect of alcohol to become drunk.

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