bird s eye view of houses during daytime

Picture Perfect Portugal

Portugal is the very first international holiday that I did with my parents when I was still a child. We spent two weeks in the beautiful Algarve region and ever since then I’ve been absolutely in love with this wonderful country.

Portugal is the perfect mix of beaches, historic cities and spectacular nature. There’s the rugged coastlines of the Algarve but one thing that Portugal is especially famous for is its delicious food!

Indulge in fresh ceviche or try Portugal’s most famous food: pastel de nata. It’s best to compare it to a small custard tart but it’s fingerlicking good!

Portugal is also one of the more affordable countries in Europe when it comes to food and hotels in general. It’s also a very safe country which makes it the ideal place to discover as a solo female traveler.

Lisbon is one of the most beautiful cities in entire Europe and if you happen to visit it make sure to calculate in enough time to make a day trip to Sintra! Here you can admire some of the most beautiful and colorful castles in the entire world!

Another favorite destination of mine that is close to Portugal is the tropical island of Madeira! This lush island in the Atlantic Ocean is a true hikers paradise and your perfect destination if you love an active and outdoorsy holiday.

THE BEST TIME TO VISIT PORTUGAL

The best time to visit Portugal is either during Spring (March to May) or in Fall (September to November). You’ll be greeted by nice temperatures which aren’t yet scorching hot, lower prices and fewer people.

In spite of this high season in Portugal is definitely during the summer months of June, July and August! But prepare yourself for crowded cities, fully packed beaches and accommodations that can have a price increase of up to 40%!

WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN TRAVELING TO PORTUGAL

Language – The official language of Portugal is Portuguese. But approximately 32% of Portuguese people can speak and understand English, while 24% can speak and understand French.

Currency – The official currency of Portugal is the Euro (EUR).

Credit Card & ATM’s – Just like in many countries in Europe you can pretty much pay with your credit card in most restaurants and shops. Especially if you’re visiting one of the bigger cities. Do keep in mind that if you want to buy something from a local market that it’s always best to have some cash on hand. An ATM in Portugal is commonly referred to as “multibanco” or “caixa automatica.” These ATMs in Portugal are not only used to withdraw money but also used to pay bills, buy movie tickets, or make transfers. 

Safety – Portugal is one of the safest countries to visit in Europe! But like in many places you need to be careful for petty theft. Do know that in Lisbon the drug scene is pretty big and you’ll often come across someone who wil ask if you want drugs.

Plugs – The plugs in Portugal are type F, the standard voltage is 230 V, and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.

TIPS FOR YOUR FIRST VISIT TO PORTUGAL

Restaurants – Bread and water are often not included and will be added to your final restaurant bill.

Wear good shoes – Yes, even if you’re visiting one of the cities! There’s a lot of cobblestones and Lisbon even has 7 hills throughout its city.

Miradouro – Places that are marked as miradouro’s are usually accompanied by stunning views. They will pop up on your Google Maps when you’re navigating your way through the country. It’s always a good idea to stop here and spare a minute to enjoy the view.

Appetizers – A lot of times waiters will bring out a small plate of appetizers. These aren’t for free. If you eat them they will be added to your final bill. If you don’t want them simply say no thank you. Cause you pay what you eat.

sea landscape sunset beach

🚘 ROAD TRIPPING THROUGH PORTUGAL

When it comes to choosing a rental car company things can get a little confusing cause there’s a lot of companies out there ready to rip you off.

Horror Story: In South Africa the rental car company that I booked with actually copied my credit card details and 1 day later my card was blocked. So there I was, in the middle of South Africa and without a credit card. Luckily we would switch to a different company the next day for the further duration of our trip but you really don’t want this to happen on your holiday.

You also don’t want any hidden costs added to your bill.

A good rental car company should include the following in your rental price: unlimited mileage and a fair fuel arrangement, third-party insurance of at least €7.5 million, damage insurance, theft insurance, towing cost if your car breaks down and cancel or change your reservation without any hassle.

For my road trips I always prefer booking with SunnyCars. Here you can already rent a car for as little as €27 per day and every single cost is included upon check out. Oh, and all of the things that I mentioned above that should be included are also included with them!

💡 TIP – Sometimes the local rental company will try to make you pay for additional insurance. This is in no way necessary cause SunnyCars offers you full coverage.

CHECK OUT THE RATES AT SUNNY CARS

photo of train in railroad

PORTUGAL TRAVEL GUIDES

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