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Portugal

Destination Guide

It took us 25 years to finally visit Portugal – if only we knew earlier what we were missing! This paradise on the Iberian peninsula is perhaps the best all-round destination in Europe. If you think that is a bold claim, let us tell you why we are certain that you will soon agree.

From great weather and stunning beaches, to culture soaked cities and exquisite local cuisine – Portugal has something to offer everyone. You can fly to Portugal in under 3 hours from the UK and have a fantastic range of beautiful and reasonably-priced destinations to choose from. Whether it is exploring the capital of Lisbon, to sampling port by the Douro River in Porto or relaxing on the stunning Algarve coastline, we can practically guarantee that you will have an incredible trip. It was our last trip before lockdown and we can’t wait to go back!

Things to See and Do in Portugal

Explore the stunning coastline of the Algarve
Try the Bacalhau in Lisbon and the Francesinha in Porto
Look out to the Atlantic from the Belem Tower
Visit the Time Out Market in Lisbon
Go on a port tasting tour in Porto
Sample the original custard tarts at the Cafe de Belem
Soak up the atmosphere in the Ribeira district of Porto
Check out the view from the Castelo de São Jorge in Lisbon
Lisbon

“A Tram in Lisbon”

Lisbon cityscape

“The View from the Castelo de São Jorge”

What to Expect in Portugal

Currency – Euro.

Best Time to Visit – Portugal is a wonderful destination all year round but for a truly special trip, we would recommend travelling anytime between April and June. You’ll get fantastic weather but avoid the worst of the summer crowds.

Accommodation – Portugal has a wide range of accommodation options to suit all budgets. From cute Airbnbs in the Bairra Alto district of Lisbon to fantastic mid-range hotels like the House Ribeira in Porto. For a taste of luxury, why not check in to the Maison Albar Monumental Palace in Porto which is easily one of the best hotels we have ever stayed in.

Food – If there is a reason to keep going back to Portugal, it’s the food. We have had some of the best food we have ever tasted during our trips to Portugal. There also so many local delicacies to try but we would recommend the Balcalhau (salt cod), the original Pasteis de Belem (custard tarts) and the Francesinha (a sandwich that needs to be seen to be believed). Portugal also has a good range of affordable restaurants that don’t skimp on the quality. Our particular favourite was the Cantinho do Avillez in Porto which was simply one of the best meals we have had in a very long time.

Transport – we have always found the public transport system in Portugal very easy to use and definitely worth using if you want to explore your destination. It was quick  and easy to use to get from the airport into the city centre in both Lisbon and Porto and we loved taking the tram out to Belem during our trip to Lisbon. Check out the incredible cable car in Porto too!

Porto Train Station

How much will it cost me – Portugal is a great mid-range option for travellers in Europe who are looking for affordable luxury. It is not quite as cheap as Hungary or the Czech Republic but it is definitely cheaper than the UK or France! You can expect to pay between €30-50 for a nice two-course meal for two and €2-3 for a pint of local beer.

Clock Out Check In’s Top Tips

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Eat like a local Portugal is a dream destination for foodies. The local cuisine is simply incredible and there are so many traditional Portuguese delicacies for you to try. From the Pasteis de Belem and Bacalhau in Lisbon to the port and Francesinha in Porto - you are in for the tastiest of trips.
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Take a free walking tour Portugal has such an amazing history and culture which we as Brits were completely unaware of. Did you know Portugal supposedly gave us the word 'tea'? A free walking tour is the perfect way to start your trip so make sure to plan one into your itinerary.
3
Don't forget that life starts later If you're travelling from the UK, it is sometimes easy to forget that the Continent runs to a more relaxed timetable. Dinner time in Portugal is definitely not 6pm! Relax and immerse yourself into the Portuguese way of life. Things come to life a bit later in the evening but it is worth the wait. Explore the bars in Bairra Alto to soak up the nightlife.
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Enjoy a spot of luxury At the end of our trip to Porto, we tagged on an extra night at the stunning Maison Albar Monumental Palace Hotel and it was so worth it! The hotel was stunning and we had an incredible massage at the onsite spa. If you're looking for a little bit of luxury on your next trip - then look no further!

Any Portuguese town looks like a brides finery something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.

Mary McCarthy

Ready to start planning?

Ready to start planning? Check out the rest of our fantastic Portugal content and get dreaming about that first Pasteis de Nata.

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Alex is a solicitor at an international law firm based in London. He has always loved travelling and loves to eat like a local. His favourite destination is Peru where he spent a month travelling in 2009 with World Challenge.

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