November 28, 2017
You have decided to visit Portugal in winter, but you may need a little help. These handy tips will make you feel more at ease, especially if you’re a first timer in this excellent destination. Winter in Portugal can be slightly peculiar, so make sure you follow all of them, but please enjoy all the special tricks we’ve got for you.
Warm clothes and comfortable shoes: yes, yes, yes. Winter has lower temperatures that may vary from 5°C to 15°C, depending on the regions. Make sure you bring a comfy coat, waterproof boots, gloves, and a scarf. In this way, you’ll be ready to explore this winter getaway in its total essence.
Moisturisers: man or woman doesn’t matter. With a wet winter and a cold wind, it’s important to moisturise your skin to a 100%. Your lips and hands will thank you.
Guidebook: nowadays, there are really good guidebooks that tell where to go and what to do, and, most importantly, they teach some curiosities about the country and the language. As they are small they are easily portable.
Learn the language: no, nobody’s saying that you should learn Camoes’ language, but try to memorise some expressions such as obrigado (thank you) or bom dia (good morning). The Portuguese may use the English language quite well but they also love when tourists use their own language.
Tourist cards: if you don’t want to bother much about metro/bus tickets or if long queues make you feel depressed, definitely the tourist cards (Lisbon, Porto, Algarve, and Braga, for example) are going to be the best acquisition. There is a varied range of options that may go from free access to all means of transportation to free access in museums.
Money: if you are already familiar with the euro, so that’s not a big issue, but if not, try to exchange some local money but only small notes are needed. However, it’s always important to carry some money but don’t get too excited about it, otherwise, you will have the tendency to spend more than expected.
Rent a car: there are only two cities in Portugal that provide metro service (Lisbon and Porto), but Portugal in general provides good public bus service transportation. Still, if you are more like an adventurous person, renting a car is a wonderful idea once it allows you travel through Portugal and even to the small villages that are totally worth visiting.
Travel kettle: British or not, a travel kettle will make sure you feel warm at the end of an intense day and, most importantly, will keep you hydrated and always ready for the next days. A cup a tea or a hot coffee are always welcome, aren’t they?
Dish of the day: or menu do dia is an amazing tip for those who don’t want to spend a lot of money on eating. Try to look for restaurants that have signboards outside with the ‘dish of the day’ and the price. Normally you can have a comforting and complete meal for 8€ or 10€ and they are really delicious.
Couvert: there’s the Portuguese custom to send a basket with bread and butter packets to the tables, even if you haven’t ordered anything. Once you have to pay for them, you can always politely send it back. Nevertheless, the couvert is generally cheap and you can try the type of bread of the region you’re visiting with a thin layer of butter.
Umbrella: the Portuguese people never know if it’s going to rain tomorrow or not, but November and December can be rainy months, so we always carry an umbrella with us. In this way, you are prevented from unexpected showers.
Museums: opulent and worth visiting, the museums in Portugal are a bonus to your cultural knowledge and some are free on Sundays, but also be careful, because some are closed on Mondays. Wherever you go, always ask for this information.
Coffee: very important for the Portuguese, we normally like our coffee short and strong – we call it café - (expresso), but if you think this is a little bit too much, you can always ask for a meia de leite (half coffee, half milk) or a descafeinado (decaf coffee).
Amazing landscapes, friendly people, and nice food make this the best country to visit. If you’re planning a getaway in Portugal, it’s always important to take a look at all these details so that a surprise doesn’t catch you. Save all these travel tips in Portugal and make the most out of it.
Joana is Portuguese and she loves to share her passion about travelling.@Joana Cabo Read more posts written by Joana Cabo