Are you planning a trip to Portugal? READ THIS BEFORE YOU GO! I’m giving broad advice about where to go, what to eat, and how much to spend.
In all regards, Portugal exceeded my expectations.
I had an idea of how a country would be based on books, blogs, videos, information found on travel forums, and comments made by visitors to that destination.
I had a preconceived notion of what wonderful Portugal would be like. It turned out to be far superior than I imagined. I’ve been back obsessed with the cuisine, cities, beaches, mountains, and some of the kindest individuals I’ve ever met throughout my travels.
I have loved the country so much that I want to encourage you to make arrangements and visit. That is why I’ve compiled a list of my finest Portugal travel recommendations for travelers.
This is not intended to be a comprehensive tutorial. It’s nearly impossible to cram all there is to know about a nation into 3,000 words. These are the things I wish I knew before visiting, as well as things to keep in mind on my return trip that I wouldn’t normally do.
WHEN SHOULD YOU VISIT PORTUGAL?
In August, I went to Portugal. (I know, this was a poor decision.) After my trip, I can firmly advise against visiting the country during July and August. We did not experience extreme heat every day (let me make that clear).
However, temperatures in the city of Lisbon were over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. From noon until five o’clock each day, open-air sightseeing was practically impossible.
As a result, I am certain that spring and fall are the ideal times to visit. Summer may be a good option for those who are going on a beach vacation.
If you’re out of options and have to go to Portugal in July and August, I recommend checking the weather forecast first and making arrangements accordingly. On my visits north of Lisbon, I enjoyed pleasant weather throughout. In Lisbon, because the heat was intense, we began sightseeing early and planned indoor activities for when the temperature would be most bearable.
DEALING WITH THE CROWDS.
I learned about Portugal’s growing popularity and the large number of visitors that were coming to the country’s major cities before I went there.
I can verify that the crowds have gone down to the countryside after touring during the high season. Lisbon (of course) and Sintra had by far the most people. Lines at places like as Sao George Castle, Jeronimos Monastery, Belew Tower, Santa Justa Lift, and Pena Palace were enormous.
Get outside of Lisbon to avoid human congestion. The further north you go, the better. While in Lisbon, make a note of the sites you want to see and visit them as soon as possible. I discovered that 3:00 p.m. or 4:00 p.m is when it’s best to see certain places. Early is always preferable.
Also, determine if the site you want to see is worth the two hours of wait in the hot sun. You don’t have to go to every attraction.
Public transportation is inconvenient since there are so many people. Expect lengthy waiting times for buses or trams owing to the large number of passengers. Getting a seat may be difficult. Finally, arm yourself with patience and enjoy your day. Being surrounded by hundreds of individuals does not appear to be enjoyable, but it is a reality in some locations. Allow this information to spoil your pleasure rather than detract from it.
HOW LONG DO I STAY IN PORTUGAL DURING MY PLANNING A TRIP?
I spent a total of 12 days in Portugal. That was more than enough time to get an idea of the nation, but it wasn’t nearly enough to see everything I wanted to see. I could have stayed there for a month.
I know deciding on the length of a trip is a personal choice, but I believe at least a week is required to obtain an accurate sense of what Portugal has to offer. You may easily double or treble that amount of time, and you would not run out of things to do or sights to see.
Less is more. Leave time on your schedule to discover and enjoy the places you’ll be seeing.
ITINERARY AND PLACES TO VISIT.
This is a list of the places I visited and how long I spent in each, to give you an idea of how to structure your itinerary.
Porto (2 days) – The most prominent city on the north amazed me with its world-class cuisine, amazing wines, stunning scenery, magnificent bridges, and beautiful architecture. People suggest that you just need a day; I believe you’ll want at least two. One day should be dedicated to sightseeing while the other should be devoted to eating and drinking.
The Douro Valley (1 day) – is a must-see! The splendor of this location will astonish you! We took a guided tour of Porto. Although this was an expensive option, it was well worth the money spent. We didn’t have to worry about driving, logistics, or making reservations. Every stop was fantastic.
Portugal (half day) – The town is also known as “Portugal’s Venice” due to its numerous canals. A traditional boat called a “moliceiro” may be rented for excursions along the city’s waterways. You may also go salt pans, stroll around the town center, stop by the market to sample some of the region’s most famous sweets (such as ovos moles), and so on.
Coimbra (half day) – This lovely town, located on the banks of the Mondego River, is known for having one of Europe’s oldest universities. The university itself is a must-see (looks like a palace). In the late afternoon, stroll through the medieval district. There are several tiny restaurants, wine stores, and speciality shops.
The Monastery of Batalha (2 hours) – This is a stunning monastery that may be seen in a few hours. The Unfinished Chapels left me astonished.