Portugal Travel Guide

Explore Portugal

Portugal Travel Guide A Vagabond Life

Portugal Travel Guide

Portugal is on the Iberian peninsula in southern Europe. Portugal has a rich and diverse history with pretty cities, a stunning mountain range and lovely popular beaches.

Get away from the beaches and explore the less populated and visited interior of this lovely country.

Portugal Travel Guide
Portugal Travel Map Placeholder
Portugal Travel Map
Top 5 Things To See & Do In Portugal
Lisbon the capital of Portugal and is known as the city of seven hills.Sitting on the Atlantic Lisbon is has great food, cultural sites and is an easy city to get around.
The Algarve is in far southern Portugal and is known for its sunny climate and golden beaches. The Algarve is a popular holiday destination for locals and international visitors and is very busy in high season.
Porto is in Northern Portugal built on the hills over looking Douro river estuary, the old historic centre is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1996. Porto is a pretty, friendly city and well worth a visit.
Douro Valley
A beautiful wine growing valley and river that flows from the Eastern mountains to the Atlantic and Porto. It is popular to drive the Douro as well as take river cruises on the Douro river.
Northern Portugal
Think beautiful beaches, ancient towns serving delicious food and a relaxed vibe and you have far northern Portugal.
Need To Know - Portugal Travel Guide

Five Quick Facts About Travelling In Portugal

  1. Portugal is a safe country to travel in with a low crime rate however do apply common sense when travelling.
  2. Portugal has a train network servicing the coastal towns and a reasonably good bus system to get around the country.  It is important to understand while a relatively small country Portugal has large areas that are sparsely populated and remote and as such if travelling on PT you will need to have a bit of a plan. If you are wanting to explore the Portuguese interior hiring a car might be the best idea. See Getting Around Tab for more information
  3. English is spoken in main cities and tourist areas however inland and in less populated areas English is not as common. As always it is polite to learn a few basic works of the language.
  4. Portugal is part of the Schengen Visa Area. See the Visa Tab for further details.
  5. Health in Portugal is good so by exercising a normal hygiene regime, staying away from stray animals and eating well the risk to health while travelling in Portugal is low (although always have travel insurance just in case).

Portugal is a great place to travel to at any time of the year. Here is a guide to the different seasons and times of year.

High Season (July & August)

  • The weather is hot.
  • The Algarve and beach areas are heaving with people.
  • Prices increase for accommodation.

Shoulder Season (April to June & September to November)

  • Milder weather
  • Wildflowers are in bloom in spring.
  • Busy but less crowded.

Low Season (November to March)

  • Cold rainy weather with freezing temperatures in the mountains.
  • Fewer people around and no crowds.
  • Some attractions are open shorter hours or are closed.

Portugal Currency

The currency in Portugal is the Euro which is the currency of the 24 other EU member states plus Andorra, Kosovo, Monarco, Montenegro, San Marino and the Vatican.

ATMs can be found throughout Portugal. It is advisable to always carry a small amount of cash as no all eftpos maching accept foreign cards.

Portugal Visa Policy

Portugal is part of the Schengen Area Visa Policy.

Nationals / Citizens from Schengen States have right of movement and entry without a visa but will need a passport as proof of identity.

The policy applies to the Schengen Area which is 22 E.U member states and 4 non E.U states which are part of the EFTA – Iceland, Liechenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia and Romania are not part of the Schengen Area but have visa policies based on Schengen acquis.

Schengen Visa Policy Map

 Schengen Area
 Other EU member states outside the Schengen Area but bound by the same visa policy and legally obliged to join the Area when they meet the criteria, and special territories of Schengen member states (freedom of movement in the Schengen Area)
 Members of the EU single market with independent visa policies (freedom of movement in the Schengen Area)
 Visa-free access to the Schengen states for short stays, usually 90 days in any 180-day period (
 Visa required to enter the Schengen states, and to transit some Schengen states in some circumstance
  Visa required to transit any Schengen state
 Travel documents not accepted

Schengen Area Map

 Member state
 Countries de facto participating
 Members of the EU legally obliged to join the Schengen area, but not yet members

Source: Wikipedia


Portugal has a limited train network. Areas around Lisbon and Porto have good services and the coast is serviced by a high speed train as shown in the below photo.

Trains also run from Lisbon and Porto to Spain.

Portugal Train Route


The main intercity bus company is Rede Expresso which has buses running between main towns and cities and into more remote villages.

What To Pack In Portugal

Packing List


1 pair jeans – I know they are heavy and take ages to dry but I wear them constantly and find them comfortable
1 pair black travel type pants – Black pants are little smarter than jeans so good if going somewhere a little dressier. Mine is the lightweight fabric in the style of jean,
2 x pair of shorts. 1 denim and one lightweight travel fabric
2 x singlets – good for layering and sleeping in
4 x short sleeve cotton shirts, lightweight and breathable
1 x long sleeve sloppy joe.
1 x zip-up shell jacket
1 x lightweight raincoat – packable version that packs down into a small bag.
5 x socks
5 x underpants
2 x bras


1 x pair walking or hiking shoes.
1 x pair slip on flats
1 x pair flip flops (great for hostel showers)

Shampoo & Conditioner
Bar of Soap
Brush / Comb
Hair Ties


1 x Earbud headphones.Light and small,
1 x IPad
1 x 6S iPhone
Charging leads for above
2 x USB
1 x power bank
1 x Cable organiser which keeps everything tidy
1 x 14” laptop – we run a business so this is essential for us.


This year I have left behind my DSLR and lenses to travel only with a GoPro and a LUMIX TZ80. At the end of the day it came down to weight when travelling a long way and having to carry a pack – so let’s see how we go….

1 x GoPro Hero 5
2 x Spare GoPro Batteries
1 x LUMIX TZ80
Spare micro SD Cards

Other Stuff

1 x padlock
1 x headlight or torch
1 x Swiss knife
1 x medical kit
Ziplock bags

World Destination Guide 

There are 195 countries in the world stretching across seven continents – so there is an awful lot to see.Where to begin? Many people are inspired by a movie they have seen or a story they have heard, or a desire to see the land of their ancestors. 

Use the drop-down on the right to explore the world.

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