Well, Portugal may appear small on the world map but it is by far one of the greatest countries to visit when you want to get something good for your hard-earned money. Varying topography, great people, unparalleled coffee and more – these are the things that describe Portugal the most. So, before you hit the road, read these top six things to know about the fair country of Vasco de Gama (wink)!
If you long for the best European weather, then you have chosen well, for Portugal is most indubitably the sunniest and the warmest country of them all. Basking in more than 3,000 sunny hours annually, Portugal has become a tourist hotspot during and off season. Temperatures rarely drop below 5 degrees Celsius and this means that you should not worry too much about thick clothes. Months like April, May, October and November are still warm and many locals can be seen swimming in the ocean. This is why most people will tell you to visit the country off season because it is less crowded and less hot for those who do not like the mid-30s (Celsius).
And, finally, we can give the budget-backpackers some good news: Portugal is one of the most affordable countries of the ones pertaining to the European Union and who have adopted the Euro as currency. From cheap meals and drinks to affordable tuk-tuks, you can get anything there. Note that some beers will only cost you around 2 Euros – if that isn’t cheap, we have no idea what is! Oh, and did we mention that the beaches are always free (wink)?
Recent studies have shown that human eyes tend to love symmetry and this can go as far as unknowingly looking for Golden Mean rations in the bodies of people that they behold. To balance out the latent longing for systematicness, Portugal is riddled with cobbled streets, squares and alleys for you to walk on. Whenever you look down, you see an intricate web of mosaics decorating the ground – that is the kind of treatment that everyone loves. Here’s the downside, though: it can be a nuisance to fair ladies in high heels (wink).
4. Language barriers… or not:
You read that right: most people in Portugal speak English fluently and those who do not, speak it more modestly. Like in Romania, for example, most films and TV shows are subtitled instead of being dubbed and this enables people from all generations to learn English effortlessly. Since Portuguese is considered a Romance language, it is great to hear such a great English accent no matter where you might go. Hell, if you are not a native English speaker, they might even speak with a better accent than you. Do not get intimidated, though, for the people there are extremely helpful and friendly. Is it all the sun?
This is one of the main reasons why Lisbon, for example, is considered the southern Amsterdam. If you truly want to get a taste of what kind of parties go down in Portugal, just hit Lisbon’s Bairro Alto at night and see for yourself. Bars and clubs will be abundant there but the great number of party-goers also draws in a graffiti problem. To some, this might mean more authenticity while others do not particularly enjoy them. Since 2009, even crime is little due to the large number of policemen patrolling the area.
6. Bakeries and markets:
Those of you who enjoy buying things, know that there is a market in every neighbourhood in the cities of Portugal. If you want get yourself a souvenir or some food, you are bound to find these places enjoyable and time-worthy. Also, if you think London is full of bakeries, think again for Lisbon beats all European cities in that regard (not to mention the rest of the country). There is literally a bakery on every corner in Portugal and this is another plus for the budget-savvy travellers for the food that they sell is as cheap as it can get.
Did you enjoy our list? What experiences have you had in Portugal and what aftertaste have they left you with? Tell us all about it below, in the comment section, for we are eager to read about each and every perspective! Safe travels and enjoy the sunshine (wink)!