From the culture to the food, the history to the beaches, there are so many reasons to head over to Portugal. It would be an incredible, memorable vacation, the kind of trip where you tell your family and friends to go ASAP once you get home and catch up with them.
It's always fun to plan a trip and think about the ways to spend your days, what kind of local food to check out, if there are beaches, and also how people who live there interact with the place.
Here is a travel guide to Portugal and the 11 things that tourists should plan their trip around.
See The Torre de Belem And Go For A Cool Kayak Ride
The Crazy Tourist recommends going to the Torre de Belem, a tower that has been in Lisbon since 1521. The tower is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has ropes and a facade. As the website explains, "the building is considered a master class in how to build a successful fortress."
Planetware says that you can also go for a kayak ride when you're in Portugal. You'll be able to see the coast of Lisbon this way, including Serra da Arrábida Natural Park. You can also see the Ribeira do Cavalo beach marine reserve. This would be really fun since you would be getting outside in the beautiful fresh air while sightseeing.
Go To Portugal In The Spring And Fall
According to The Culture Trip, you'll want to go to Portugal in the spring and the fall. More specifically, you can go in March, April, May, or at the beginning of June. You could also plan a trip for November or the second half of September.
The website notes that if you want to surf, then September could be a good time because of the weather.
The Best Hotel Choice Is Hotel Ibis Lisboa Jose Malhoa
Check out Hotel Ibis Lisboa Jose Malhoa and it'll soon become clear that this is the best bet for a hotel in Lisbon. It's a very funky place with a gorgeous bar in the lobby and a lot of art. Located 5 km away from the airport, the hotel has 211 rooms and you can even eat at the bar 24/7. It's a walkable area and many Trip Advisor reviews say it's comfortable.
Base Yourself Out Of Lisbon
Where you should stay when you're in Portugal? The capital city of Lisbon would be great. According to Lisbonlisboaportugal.com, Lisbon is "a city that effortlessly blends traditional heritage, with striking modernism and progressive thinking."
It also seems like this is an amazing city for couples to travel to. In a discussion on Reddit, several people say the city has a romantic feeling, especially the gorgeous sunsets. The city is also known for having buildings of various colors, which is so cool.
Try Custard Tarts And Eat At Crisfama
Pasteis de Belem is the place to get custard tarts when you're in Lisbon. This bakery has tons of positive Trip Advisor reviews with tourists saying, "I thought that the pasteis de belem would be a bit overhyped, but I was so wrong. These things are amazing, and if you're in the area, I highly recommend trying one of them." You can try many other kinds of pastries, especially if you come here during the winter holidays since there are some seasonal treats.
Looking for a great restaurant in Lisbon? You'll want to go to Crisfama, an intimate, comfortable family-owned place that has really good fish. People are big fans of the owner and some tourists even said that they were able to enjoy a game of chess together. The desserts are also made at the restaurant.
Take Trains From Lisbon To Other Areas And Trams In Lisbon
Lonely Planet says that you can definitely travel through Portugal by train. You can buy a pass that allows you "unlimited" travel for three to eight days a month, which would be convenient. Make sure you look at the different trains: Intercidade (IC) which is fast/express, Alfa Pendular Deluxe which is more expensive and a bit quicker, Interregional (IR) which is fairly quick, and Regional (R) trains which will make many stops.
You might have seen pretty, colorful photos of the trams in Lisbon, and these are a great way to get around the city. If you see yellow trams, these are "Remodelado" trams, according to Lisbonlisboaportugal.com. The other trams are "Articulado." The website says that the 28 E route is one that many travelers enjoy.
See Landmarks The National Palace of Sintra And Mosteiro dos Jeronimos
When you're figuring out which landmarks to see in Portugal, you definitely want to see the National Palace of Sintra. According to Trip Advisor, it's in the center of town and it has served a variety of fascinating purposes over the year. It was a place for people to stay when there were too many people getting sick nearby and a "hunting retreat" in the Middle Ages. People even stayed here during the summertime since the weather is so nice. Someone posted on Reddit that Sintra is a really cool place: "Definitely take the train to Sintra (maybe 40 minutes away) and see some of the castles there. It's a beautiful town, super photogenic and was one of the highlights of our trip."
You can also see Monasterio dos Jeronimos which is a monastery. According to Libson.net, it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983. The place took quite a long time to be built -- from 1501 until the 17th century, to be exact. The design is Manuelien (or "Portuguese late Gothic") and the architect behind it was Diogo de Boitaca.
The Currency Is The Euro, Having Cash Is Smart, And A 10 Percent Tip Is Good
The currency in Portugal is the Euro. Lonely Planet says that you'll probably be able to pay with credit cards at many places in Portugal, but it's good to have cash for more intimate restaurants. You can find ATMs and take out cash there.
You might be wondering if you should tip. It's good to tip 10 percent at a restaurant, but if you're at a bar, you don't have to tip.
November Will Give You A Flight Deal
Cheap Flights recommends finding a flight deal to Portugal in November. That is perfect since that's considered an awesome time to go. A Thursday afternoon plane ticket is also what you want to go for.
Skyscanner says that looking for flights at least two months before you want to go to Portugal could help as well.
Praia de Carcavelos Is A Great Beach
Trip Advisor reviews love a beach called Praia de Carcavelos. You can get here by train when you're in Lisbon and it will only take around 20 minutes.
You can easily rent beach chairs here, and people say that you can even find some restaurants, which is great news.