Portugal Travel Guide: Travel tips for foreigners & backpackers, Lisbon tourist information, Portugal food average prices, eating on a budget, accommodation in Lisbon Find discount hotels, cheap accommodation, vacation deals, holiday packages.
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Portugal Travel Guide

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Full country name: Portuguese Republic
Area: 92,090 sq km
Population: 10,7 million (July 2010 est.)
Capital City: Lisbon (pop 535,740)
Language: Portuguese
Religion: Roman Catholic 84.5%, other Christian 2.2%, other 0.3%, unknown 9%, none 3.9%
Government: Parliamentary Democracy, EU Member
Time Zone: GMT/UTC 0 (daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October )
Dialling Code: 351
Electricity: 220V, 50Hz
Weights & measures: Metric

Money & Costs:
Currency: Euro
Average Yearly Salary: USD 21,700

Budget: €4-7
Mid-range: €7-20
High: €20-50
Top: €50+
Budget: €8-20
Mid-range: €20-40
High: €40-120
Top: €120+

Portugal is still one of the least expensive places to travel in Europe. Budget travellers can get by on about €25-30 a day in the high season, and with the occasional inexpensive restaurant meal, daily costs would hover around €30-45. Travelling with a companion and timing your trip to take advantage of off-season discounts, you could eat and sleep in relative style for about €50-70 for two per day. A reasonable restaurant tip is about 10%. For a snack, a bit of loose change is enough. Taxi drivers appreciate about 10% on top of the fare.

Geography: Portugal is a country of astonishing beauty and diversity situated in south-western Europe, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Spain, on the Iberian Peninsula. The country is crossed by three large rivers that rise in Spain, flow into the Atlantic, and divide the country into three geographic areas. The Minho River, part of the northern boundary, cuts through a mountainous area that extends south to the vicinity of the Douro River. South of the Douro, the mountains slope to the plains around the Tejo River. The remaining division is the southern one of Alentejo. The Azores stretch over 340 mi (547 km) in the Atlantic, and consist of nine islands with a total area of 902 square mi (2,335 sq km). Madeira, consisting of two inhabited islands, Madeira and Porto Santo, and two groups of uninhabited islands, lie in the Atlantic about 535 mi (861 km) southwest of Lisbon.

Climate: The northwest has mild winters with high levels of rainfall and fairly short summers. The northeast has longer winters and hot summers. In the south, summers (March to October) are warm with very little rain except in early spring and autumn. High temperatures are moderated by a permanent breeze in Estoril (July to August).

Recommended clothing: Light- to medium weight clothes are recommended when going to Portugal in summer. Warmer clothes and rainwear are advised for winter months. Windbreaker would be useful to have when visiting Atlantic ocean's coastal regions. Beachwear should not be worn outside the beaches and pools.

Social conventions: Portuguese are very friendly and hospitable. They will always show the road and guide you if lost. Smoking is prohibited in cinemas, theaters, public transport and some other public places, look for signs.

Health: There are no special health risks or immunizations required when traveling to Portugal. A yellow fever vaccination certificate is, however, necessary for anyone coming from an infected area and destined for the Azores or Madeira. Health facilities are of a good quality, but travel health insurance is advised, particularly European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for European travelers, to get free or lower-cost treatment.

Food & Drink: Portuguese cuisine is known for its rich, full-flavored and filling dishes, and it is similar to Mediterranean cuisine. Fresh seafood is plentiful and very popular, particularly in Lisbon. Since soup is considered to be the main dish, there are various typical Portuguese soups; sopa de marisco (seafood soup), caldo verde (green soup made with finely shredded green kale leaves in broth) and bacalhau (dried cod soup) are the most common. An impressive local dish is called Caldeirada; it is a fish stew with 9 kinds of fish, cooked with onions and tomatoes. Another typical dish is carne de porco á Alentejana - bits of fried pork covered with a sauce of clams and stewed with tomato and onions. Puddings are the most popular local desserts, they include arroz doce (rice pudding), Nuvens (egg custard), and Madeira pudding. Portugal’s sweet pastries are also worth a try, and can be found in every bigger or smaller town. Portuguese wines are very popular all around the world. Sparkling rosé wines are mainly produced for export. Mateus Rosé is a famous lightweight rosé. Vino verde is a green sparkling wine, very popular between the locals. Portuguese brandies are also very good; the best are produced around Oporto. There are no licensing hours for buying alcohol in Portugal.

Public Holidays:
Jan 1
New Year's Day
Feb 8 Mardi Gras (Carnival)
Mar 24 Maundy Thursday
Varies between Mar 22 & Apr 25 Good Friday
Apr 25 Freedom Day
May 1 Labour Day
May 26 Corpus Christi
Jun 10 Portugal Day
Aug 15 Assumption
Oct 5 Republic Day
Nov 1 All Saint's Day
Dec 1 Restoration of Independence Day
Dec 8 Immaculate Conception
Dec 25 Christmas Day

Note: Holidays falling on Sunday are not observed on the following Monday.

Disclaimer: The above information is for reference purposes only. The content of this page is not intended to substitute for advice given by the user's own government travel departments or a licensed travel health advisor. The viewer/user of this web page should always contact the user's own government representatives in that area for the most up-to-date information at that time, before making a final decision to travel to that country or destination.

Latest Portuguese schools & colleges to join us: Location
Portuguese Course in Portugal - Languages in Action is an international organization of language schools providing opportunities to learn a language of your choice, at language schools around the world. Learn Portuguese in Portugal with Languages in Action at our language schools in Lisbon and Porto. Join us in one of the warmest European countries, a beautiful country where the sea and a historical site is never far away.

Courses: Our schools provide individual or group courses for all levels, semi-intensive & intensive Portuguese courses, private Portuguese lessons, a Homestay Program, Business Portuguese courses, courses for companies, Exam preparation, Bildungsurlaub for German employees as well as University Credits for American students. Also Cultural Portuguese and Wine courses.

Lisbon and Porto
ISEG - Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestão - ISEG School of Economics and Management (Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestão) is part of the Technical University of Lisbon (Universidade Técnica de Lisboa – UTL).

Programs - Undergraduate Degree, Post-graduate Degree, Master Degree, Doctorate Degree courses. As most lectures are given in Portuguese; a reasonable knowledge of the language is essential. However, language competence is not an entrance requirement. There are different Portuguese language courses in Lisbon for which you may apply. In recent years ISEG has provided students with a Portuguese language course, which was given on the school premises.

School of Economics and Management (FCEE) Lisbon
EGP - Escola de Gestao do Porto Porto
KOSMUS Language School Lisbon
Portuguese Course in Porto Porto
Margarida's School Lisbon
Business Portuguese Courses, Lisbon Lisbon
Fast Forward Language Courses, Porto Porto

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