- Capital: Lisbon
- Political System: Semi-Presidential Republic
- Member State of the European Union and the Schengen Area
- Population: 10.3 million
- Official Language: Portuguese
- Currency: Euro (EUR)
- Time Zone: UTC, Summer Time: UTC + 1
- Portugal is 2 hours behind Romania
- Phone Prefix: +351, Internet Domain: .pt
The most western country of Continental Europe, Portugal boards with Spain in the north and east, and in the west and south with the Atlantic Ocean. The Azores and Madeira Archipelagos are part of Portugal as autonomous regions.
Among the most beautiful beaches we note Praia da Falesia which is bordered by red and orange cliffs, and renown as being one of the most spectacular beach in Europe.
Algarve area is a very impressive spot in Portugal, with dramatic cliff regions, picturesque villages, beaches and olive plantations. It is really easy to fall in love forever with this corner of the world.
Good to know
Portuguese people prefer respectful greetings and the use of formal titles such as Senhor (Mr.) and Senhora (Mrs.) should always be used, unless you have been specifically invited to use first names.
It is appropriate to shake hands with everyone present in formal situations. Will be well appreciated the use of simple expressions as “bom dia” (good Morning), “boa noite” (good night), “obrigado” (thank you), “de nada” (you welcome) and “adeus” (Goodbye) for example.
When invited to a Portuguese home for dinner, it is customary to bring a small, but thoughtful gift, such as good quality chocolates or flowers (do not give 13 flowers (unlucky number) or red ones (lover’s gift)). Do not begin eating until the hostess says “bom apetite”.
Wear comfortable footwear
This may seem like common sense, but it’s a tip that needs to be highlighted, especially when visiting a hilly city like Lisbon. The cobblestone streets can also create unstable footing, and sometimes the roads are slippery. Also, many coastal towns can be very windy, blowing sand onto the walkways and streets.
For the most part, Portugal can be an affordable destination. Food, accommodation, wine – it’s all very cheap, especially when compared to other EU countries. For example, here you enjoy free museum visits since on Sundays.
Don’t assume the starters are free
Most Portuguese restaurants will bring you a selection of starters to enjoy while you peruse the menu. These can be as simple as a bowl of olives, a basket of bread with butter, local cheeses, tuna or sardine paste, though smarter restaurants may serve prawns, crab paté, a variety of sausages, or even a selection of seafood. Don’t assume that these are free – anything you eat will be added to your bill.