Portugal travel guide

Portugal Tourism | Portugal Guide

You're Going to Love Portugal

With a vibrant and diverse culture, almost 300 days of sunshine a year, and mouthwatering cuisine, Portugal is one of the countries in Europe you can't miss.

What to do in Portugal

1. Discover Serra da Estrela

Regardless of the season, visit Serra da Estrela - mainland Portugal's highest mountain and home of the delicious cheese with the same name.

2. Drive Across the Country

Take a road trip down EN2. Dubbed as the Route 66 of Portugal, this road connects Chaves in the north to Faro in the south.

3. Enjoy Portugal's Biggest Street Party

Visit Lisbon during the St. Anthony's festivities in June to indulge in grilled sardines on bread in the streets of Alfama, one of the oldest neighborhoods in the Portuguese capital.

4. Experience the Wonders of the Algarve Region

Explore the Algarve by hiking down the Costa Vicentina from Odeceixe to Burgau. Mingle with local fishermen, surf, and lounge on golden-sand beaches.

5. Take a Wine Tour

From the Alentejo in the south to the Douro Valley in the north, find out what makes Portuguese wine worldwide famous.

When to visit Portugal

Portugal in January
Estimated hotel price
€90
1 night at 3-star hotel
Portugal in January
Estimated hotel price
€90
1 night at 3-star hotel

From December to February, there are fewer tourist crowds but also fewer events happening in Portugal. June to September are the busiest months to visit Portugal, but also the best to enjoy the wonderful beaches and attend summer music festivals if you prefer a more active vacation.

How to Get to Portugal

Entry Requirements

Portugal is a member of the European Union and the Schengen Zone. Travelers from other countries need to apply for a visa, except citizens from the United States, Canada, Australia, and Japan. For these countries, all you need is a valid passport to enter the country.

Plane

Mainland Portugal is served by three airports: Faro, Lisbon, and Porto. Three international airports serve the autonomous archipelagos: Funchal (on Madeira Island) and Ponta Delgada and Lajes, on the islands of São Miguel and Terceira respectively.

Train

Portugal has regular train connections with Spain. Trains from Madrid arrive in Lisbon and trains from Vigo arrive in Porto.

Car

You can travel to the two main cities in Portugal, Porto and Lisbon, from Madrid via the highways A25 and A5. Both routes take about 6h.

Bus

Portugal has regular connections to other European cities via Madrid, Sevilla, or Granada in Spain. Eurolines and Busabout are two of the Europe-based bus companies operating these routes.

Boat

Lisbon has the only cruise ship port in mainland Portugal, so this city is the only gateway into the country for passengers arriving by sea.

Popular airlines serving Portugal

United Airlines
Good (3,015 reviews)
Lufthansa
Good (2,433 reviews)
American Airlines
Good (4,566 reviews)
KLM
Good (366 reviews)
Air France
Good (450 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (1,425 reviews)
British Airways
Good (1,624 reviews)
Delta
Excellent (3,219 reviews)
SWISS
Good (499 reviews)
Iberia
Good (980 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (1,349 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (1,750 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (1,135 reviews)
Austrian Airlines
Good (298 reviews)
TAP AIR PORTUGAL
Good (613 reviews)
Brussels Airlines
Good (124 reviews)
Scandinavian Airlines
Good (464 reviews)
Finnair
Good (746 reviews)
Singapore Airlines
Good (411 reviews)
Etihad Airways
Good (358 reviews)
Show more

Where to stay in Portugal

In the main cities like Lisbon, Porto, Faro, Funchal, and Ponta Delgada, you will find a wide variety of accommodation types, from budget-friendly hostels to high-end luxury hotels. Short-term rentals are also a favorite option for accommodation in Portugal.

Where to stay in popular areas of Portugal

Most booked hotels in Portugal

Meliá Lisboa Aeroporto
Excellent (8.9, Excellent reviews)
€117+
Hotel Mundial
Excellent (8.4, Excellent reviews)
€107+
Lutecia Smart Design Hotel
Excellent (8.3, Excellent reviews)
€59+
Pestana Casino Park
Excellent (8.1, Excellent reviews)
€100+
Hotel Alba
Excellent (8, Excellent reviews)
€49+
Hotel Real Palacio
Excellent (8, Excellent reviews)
€102+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Portugal

Public Transportation

Most cities and towns in Portugal are served by an efficient network of local buses. Larger cities, like Lisbon and Porto, are served by trams, subways, and suburban trains.

Trains

There are three long-distance trains, all operated by CP - Comboios de Portugal: Alfa Pendular, which serves the main cities, InterCity, which serves some of the inland cities, and regional trains, which typically serve smaller towns.

Bus

All cities in Portugal are served by their local network of buses, usually city-run. For long-distance trips, book a ticket with bus company Rede Expresso.

Car

Portugal has a mix of well-kept highways and toll-free secondary roads. In main cities like Lisbon and Porto, avoid driving during rush hours between 8:00-9:30 am and from 5:00-7:30 pm.

Plane

Connections between mainland Portugal and the archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira are exclusively made by plane from Lisbon, Porto, or Faro. TAP Air Portugal, Azores Airlines, and Ryanair are the companies operating regular flights. You can also take domestic flights from Lisbon to Porto or Faro.

The Cost of Living in Portugal

Eating out is cheaper at lunchtime, with most restaurants serving special menus for approximately €10, on average, that includes a main dish, drink, and coffee or dessert. When using public transportation, a one-way ticket for a local bus or subway costs about €1.50 per person on average. Debit cards are widely accepted, while credit cards might only be accepted at local chains. In the main cities, ATMs are common, so you don't have to carry large sums of cash on you.