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Portugal Travel Guide

Portugal is a land of glittering contrasts. From the rolling hills that line the Douro Valley to Roman ruins and medieval cobblestone streets in Porto, to the vibrant cosmopolitan spirit of Lisbon, it’s no wonder this European gem has piqued the interest of travellers from around the world. This year, the spotlight is well and truly on Portugal – and this dynamic destination will not disappoint.

The Highlights

The Basics

When to Visit

when to visit
  1. Peak Season

    June to September

    While there isn’t a bad time to visit Portugal, as it depends on what you want to see, but if you want to avoid large crowds and high prices it is best to avoid the months of July to August. During this time, you can expect sweltering temperatures and higher prices as this is when most Europeans take their summer holidays. July to September are the warmest months, with average temperatures of 28°C in some parts, meaning the water temperatures will be ideal for swimming. Unless you’re happy to laze by the beach all day, it would be best to visit during the shoulder season (May or October) when the weather is better to go hiking and exploring.

  2. Low Season

    December to March

    With average temperatures just 9°C in some parts of Portugal, the low season is much colder and is characterised by higher rainfall. Few travellers are found in the southern parts of Portugal as many resorts and beach towns close for the winter. Accommodation might also be limited in some parts, as seasonal properties and surrounding restaurants will close during this time. Notable festivals during the low season include Portugal’s Carnaval, Essência do Vinho (a wine gathering) and the Festival Internacional do Chocolate in Óbidos through March.

Portugal Tours

FAQs about Portugal

  • Do you tip in Portugal?

    It is recommended to leave a tip of 5% to 10% in a restaurant when in Portugal. In hotels, it is suggested to tip €1-2 for bellhops who carry your luggage up to the room, and for taxi drivers, it is always recommended to round your bill up from  €7 to  €10 and will always be appreciated. 
  • What is the internet access like?

    Internet connection is great across Portugal, and you should have no problem with day-to-day tasks like emailing or surfing the web. WiFi is available in many hostels and hotels for free. 
  • Is the tap water safe to drink?

    Yes, the tap water in Portugal is safe to drink and there is no issue with water. 
  • Can I use my credit cards?

    Yes, of course. ATMs are widely available and are the best source of accessing money, except in the smallest villages. Credit cards accepted in hotels and larger cafes across the country. Keep in mind that the ATM limit is €200 per withdrawal, and many banks charge a foreign transaction fee.
  • What are the public holidays?

    Along with common public holidays such as New Year’s Day, Christmas and Good Friday, Portugal has Freedom Day on April 25, May Day on May 1, Portugal National Day on June 10. Other holidays may vary between regions, so check your itinerary before you travel. 
  • is it safe to travel in Portugal?

    Absolutely! As a popular destination for travellers from across the world, Portugal is most certainly safe. Simple precautions such as avoiding walking home late at night and keeping an eye on your belongings will help to keep you out of trouble. 
A TRAVEL MAGAZINE BY TOURRADAR