Portugal is the western-most country in Europe and one of the oldest,was originally founded in 1128. It’s largest and Capital city is Lisbon with over 500,000 people living in the city and almost 3 million in the surrounding areas. The climate can vary quite a bit. Areas of the south can reach temperatures well into the 100’s while the mountain regions of the north can be below freezing.
Portugal set a record in 2017 with over 20 million visitors. It is also one of the cheapest destinations in Europe to travel to.
It has over 500 miles of coastline and is known for some of the best surfing in the world. In October 2011 a Hawaiian surfer named Garrett McNamara surfed the the highest wave ever over 90 feet.
Tips for traveling on a budget:
- Don’t waste your money on rental cars. The public transportation system that includes the three main tourist areas of Lisbon, Port and Algarve all have fantastic rail systems that are incredibly inexpensive. There are plenty of pedestrian walkways to make it easier to get around as well.
- Look to see where the locals eat. Small restaurants, food courts in the shopping centers and the occasional fast food establishment are your best bets to save money. Cafe’s, local markets and coffee shops are always less expensive than the full service restaurants. Don’t over tip either. Servers are paid a salary and don’t rely on tips like they do in the US. 10% gratuity is more than sufficient.
- Travel in the off-season. Like a lot of places, the summer time is the busiest and most expensive time to travel. The spring and fall are typically drier with less rain and less crowded as well. Here is a great list of travel guides that will help you plan your trip.
- When booking your flights book at least a month or two in advance or the last minute to find the best rates. Portugal’s main airline is TAP Portugal and they have some direct flights from the US. You can save even more by traveling to one of Europe’s other major hub cities coming from the US and then flying into Portugal.
- Many of the local museums that require payment have free mornings, afternoons or days so make sure to ask the locals when you get there. If you are in Lisbon the first Sunday of the month has free admission to the Tile Museum or the Jeronimos Monastery.
- Need a great calculator tool to see how much money you need to budget for your trip? Check out this link here.
There are tons of things to do in Portugal. Once you decide what cities you want to travel to see use some of these helpful links t plan your trip.