Portugal. Travel and rest in quiet Portugal.


Portugal is a country in western Europe. It is located in the south-west. There is access to the Atlantic Ocean. The state also includes islands. It has borders with Spain.

The country consists of 18 districts and more than 300 municipal districts. Strong economic sides are textile industry (fabrics, clothes), winemaking, food industry, one of the main directions of which is olive oil production. Main trading partners are EU countries. Very well developed tourist direction, that brings considerable annual income.

Population 10 676 000 Portuguese territory 92 391 sq km located on continent Europe Capital city Lisbon Money in Portugal Euro (EUR) Domain area .pt Country phone code 351


One of the best countries for tourism is Portugal. It is a country that combines beautiful resorts with a high level of comfort during the vacation. The Algarve is the main resort area of Porugal. The strip of beaches stretches from Monte Gordo to Lagos. The western side is characterized by picturesque rocky beaches, while the eastern side has sandy beaches, ideal for a beach holiday. Cities in this resort area include Albufeira, Carvoeiro, Lagos, Monchique, Portimão, Sagres and Faro. The Costa do Sol is a series of resorts that stretch from the mouth of the Tagus River along the coast to the north. Favorite resort towns along the coast are: Cascais, a center of shopping and tourism, with a rich infrastructure and historical monuments, as well as the fashionable resort of Estoril. The Azores and Madeira are other beautiful resorts of Portugal.

Climate of Portugal: moderate sea climate, cool and rainy in the north, warmer and drier in the south


Portugal is a country with a rich culture. Previously it was a great maritime power with many conquered colonies. The country has picturesque landscapes with rich green valleys, and majestic mountain ranges. Tourists coming to Portugal want to get in touch with the amazing history of the country and rest comfortably on the ocean. Popular among tourists are the royal palaces in Lisbon or near the capital: Ajuda Palace, Belém Palace and Tower, Palacio de Queluz. The Sintra area is famous for the Pena Palace and the National Palace of Sintra.

Landscape of Portugal:: Mountainous to the north of the Tagus River, plains to the south.


The Portuguese Republic has a huge number of hotels in all parts of the country. Typically, all hotels are offered for settlement, good level, with a high degree of comfort and additional services. Room rates depend on the popularity of the resort and “stardom” of the hotel. Visiting the beautiful flowering island of Madeira, a popular European resort, you can stay at the hotels: “Buganvilia”, “Baia Azul” and “Galomar”. Deciding to stay in one of the hotels of the resort of Alagarve, distinguished by many kilometers of clean beaches, a good choice would be: “Alisios”, “Dona Filipa”, “Auramar”, “Dom Jose” or “Alcazar”. At the hotels: “Albatroz”, “Baia”, “Vila Bicuda” of Cascais, tourists will be welcomed by the staff.

Norfolk - Norfolk Island in the Pacific Ocean

Portugal has resources like: : Fish, forests (cork), iron ore, copper, zinc, tin, tungsten, silver, gold, uranium, marble, clay, gypsum, salts, arable land, hydropower.


Coming to Portugal, first of all tourists want to enjoy a perfect beach holiday, bask in the sun, swim in the sea, relax from the bustle of the city in a comfortable hotel. But after a few days of a nice measured rest, you want to readjust the program a little rest. Portugal, like no other country in the world, disposes to travel along the coast and sightseeing of the country.

It will be interesting to visit the capital of Portugal, which has a lot of historical monuments from different eras. Lisbon, the old city, breathes like a different era. There are palaces, churches, monasteries, monuments to prominent figures and much more. In the Azores islands will be fascinating to visit both eco-tourists and just fans of unusual places.

Portugal’s currency: The centavo has no longer been in circulation since the 1980s. Since 2002, the national currency was changed in favor of the monetary unit of the Eurozone countries. This situation persists in Portugal even now, which ensures a comfortable stay in the country.


Portugal, as a country with a rich history, has a large number of museums around the country. If you come to any major city you can visit several of them, because the Portuguese love their homeland and are proud of its history. When visiting the city of Lisbon, it will be interesting to get acquainted with the Portuguese art of the XII-XIX centuries, in the National Museum of Early Art, founded at the end of the nineteenth century.

The capital has a very unusual museum, the National Carriage Museum, founded more than a century ago. The collection consists of carriages used by the crowned heads of state, and there are examples more than 300 years old. Also in Lisbon you can visit museums: archaeology, ethnology, natural history, naval, theater and many others.


Transportation in the country is carried out by all types of transport: by air, land and sea. There are more than fifty airports in the country, but international-class airports are located in Lisbon, Faro, Porto, Funchal (Madeira Island), Ponta Delgada (Azores Islands). On the mainland of the country air travel is poorly developed, and between a group of islands and the mainland, much better. Between the cities of Portugal can be moved by buses and trains, the routes of which connect the important cities of the country and run according to a schedule, which is quite convenient. The country’s water transport is important, linking the mainland with the islands. Buses and streetcars are used as urban transport.

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Standard of living

The standard of living in the Portuguese Republic is high. It is a safe country with friendly people who lead an unhurried and measured life. Life expectancy in the country passes the eighty-year mark. The average salary, in the range of 1000 U.S. dollars, but the prices of products and other goods, quite low. Portugal is a country with a steadily growing economy. The important traditional industries are textile, clothing, olive oil, wine, cork bark processing. Metallurgy and mechanical engineering are also developed. The agricultural industry is dominated by agriculture, viticulture, fruit and olive plantations. Cattle breeding and fishing are also developed.


On the Iberian Peninsula, in the southwestern part, lies the state of Portugal, washed by the waters of the Atlantic. The capital of the Portuguese Republic is Lisbon, a city of half a million people, which is located on the banks of the Tagus River.

Second in size after the capital, is Porto – a major port city. Formerly the capital of Portugal, it is now the main city in the northern part of Portugal.

In the central part of Portugal, the main city is Coimbra, a commercial and cultural center, near which is the largest monument of antiquity in the country – the ruins of Conimbriga.

To the northwest of the capital, is Sintra, an ancient city with romantic gardens and palaces. The cities of Évora and Braga, also important cities of the republic.

A week-long solo trip to Portugal without a plan

Alena Petrovich, a translator of Harry Potter into Belarusian, already told us once about her week-long road trip through Transylvania. This time she decided to make a solo trip to Portugal (with a starting point in Warsaw). How to get there, what to see and where to eat (especially if you are a vegetarian). – a word to Aliona.

Preparing for the trip

On the eve of another lockdown and the bitter, shall we say, cold, I decided to recharge somewhere with vitamin D. I was too lazy to check on the tests and quarantine in the distant future, so I settled on Europe and its neighbors, where everything is more or less understandable. I immediately thought about the soul-sucking Istanbul, but then I forced myself to get acquainted with the new place. Malta and Portugal were the warmest of the two. I still have time to go to Malta, I thought, so Portugal is left (don’t ask, that’s the logic). I’m just one of those freaks, who does not like when it’s too hot, so all my life I have postponed Portugal in summer. And here +16 at the end of November turned out to be just the thing.

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I came up with this adventure three days before the supposed departure. I had no idea what I wanted to see – I was only sure of Porto and Lisbon. On Skyscanner I found a good option to fly from Warsaw to Porto, and to return back from Lisbon. It had to change flights in both directions, so the best variant looked like this: Warsaw – Lisbon – Porto and Lisbon – Barcelona – Warsaw (the last flight Barcelona – Warsaw was served by Wizzair, the others by TAP Portugal). All this joy cost about € 200. It was possible to find cheaper, but with less convenient departure time.

Before buying a ticket, the first thing I did was to check the coronavirus restrictions – that’s how every trip starts now. Portugal at that time let in travelers with a European passport for vaccination without quarantine and without a test (from December 1 in addition to vaccination became necessary to show a negative result of PCR test done no later than 72 hours before arrival in the country; but in general the situation may change any day). Also, before arriving in almost any country, you now need to fill out a traveler’s containment card. Usually the airline reminds you of this (even if the flight is connecting – yes, I filled out a separate card for Spain). Airports selectively check the QR code you get when you fill out this card, and the vaccination passport.

After all this, I sat down to study 34travel, where I found a guide to Lisbon, Porto and Coimbra. I had never heard of Coimbra, even though it is the first capital of Portugal, so I included it in my “plan” (which is not a plan, but an unknown what, and which I never implemented). After reading a lot of materials about Portugal in general, I realized that I would have to go here again, because a lot of places that I absolutely love to get to by car (and I’m afraid of serpentines, and super narrow streets, when I’m driving). And it would definitely take more than a week to see the country. But it will do for an introduction.

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I didn’t book lodging in advance, and I didn’t buy train tickets between cities – and this was a very good decision for me. (But if you know your plan exactly, then it’s better to buy train tickets in advance – it’s cheaper by 30-50%, you can check the prices here).

My original pseudo-plan included Porto, Coimbra, Faro (in question), Lisbon, Sintra and Cape Roca. What I didn’t consider when I chose to travel in November was the early sunset. So Faro, which is in the very south of the country, had to be excluded, otherwise the trip there would have taken most of the daylight hours. Coimbra was then also out. But first things first.

Maybe because it was the first city in Portugal I saw, or maybe because there are a bunch of other reasons, but Porto is love. Generally, I found out that all the people of the world are divided into two groups: Lisbon fans and Porto fans. Something like “Minsk or Grodno”, “Kiev or Lviv”, “Warsaw or Krakow”, “Friends or How I Met Your Mother”. (Okay, in fact, of course, there are a bunch of polyamores to whom both Kiev, and Lvov, and also Odessa, please wrap it up).

Now comes the most subjective comparison in the world: Porto reminded me of Istanbul. Perhaps the atmosphere of an unobtrusive melancholy over the former greatness, but perhaps some of the individual features, not so much relief as the cityscape itself: paved streets, on which you are constantly going up and down, high bridges, old streetcars, the great water, endless street art, inexpensive and delicious food and a general relaxed atmosphere. (Spoiler: all of this can also apply to Lisbon, it’s just that Porto was my first).

I booked my accommodation in Porto the morning before my flight from Warsaw. For the first two nights I chose a small mansion in the center (about € 45 per night; all other nights cost about the same amount). The funny thing was that the hostess would bring a bunch of food directly to the room, so in the morning I would watch some Eagle and Tails on YouTube about Portugal for breakfast and plan where I would go today.

I arrived in Porto when it started to get dark, and I didn’t really know what to do beforehand. I only remembered that from the airport I could get to the city by subway or bus. At the exit of the terminal I saw a bus, asked if it went to the center of Porto, and the lady driver told me in Portuguese, “Yes, don’t worry” (I think that’s what she said). So I got there for €2, but it took almost an hour, with lots of stops. Perhaps the subway would have been a smarter solution.

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On the first evening in any city I usually walk without a plan and suddenly stumble into some cool place, especially since in Porto it is not difficult. And the next days I walk through some standard tourist locations, meet locals or other travelers through the “hangout” option in Couchsurfing. Basically, I followed that tradition here too. So besides the churches with the traditional blue and white azulejo tiles and the São Bento train station (Estação ferroviária de São Bento), the interior walls of which are decorated with huge panels of these tiles with scenes, Besides taking a walk in one of the most beautiful parks (Jardins do Palácio de Cristal) , except for taking selfies in the “most beautiful McDonald’s in the world” with its stained glass and crystal chandeliers (Praça da Liberdade 126) , except the most fun in the world stores with canned food, except the 40-minute-long queue and € 5 admission fee to the bookstore that became the prototype of the “innards” of Hogwarts (Livraria Lello) , except the expensive coffee in the posh but really beautiful Majestic Café where Rowling wrote “Harry Potter”, except the excellent and at the same time free Photography Museum with really cool exhibitions, which used to be a prison (Centro Português de Fotografia) , apart from meeting the sunset on the most famous bridge over the Duoro, Ponte Luís I, which, by the way, connects two cities – Porto and Vila Nova di Gaia (it’s also cool, and you should traditionally taste port wine there), apart from tons of some space cakes in any café, apart from a successful hunt for street art, which results in having to clean the phone memory during the breaks, – Such solo trips give you a chance to get to know people, the “spirit of the city” that usually lives not among the crowds of tourists, but in hidden bars and creepy-looking restaurants where you yourself would never think to go and where the locals dine, and then one of your new acquaintances tells the bartender or his friends that you are from Belarus, and then someone asks: “But how’re you now guys?” And you try to talk briefly about what happened over the past year, but you can’t, and the whole bar listens to you.

Well, after that evening (probably somehow influenced by the port) it turned out that I just couldn’t leave the next day, so I postponed Coimbra until the next time and booked a new apartment for two more nights.

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