Portugal – country of fado, wine, and history with modern contrasts, amazing beaches and proud nation of Portuguese people can offer more than you expect!
My friend Michaela Struharova is sharing her travel tips for Portugal! The photos were taken by me during our travel with Michaela in Portugal.
- Portugal has been chosen as one of the best places to visit in world several times in row. I have visited country 3 times and it fascinates me every time I go there (even places I know very well).
As they say in portuguese „Perdi o meucoração em Lisboa“ (lost my heart in Lisbon), capital city is my top destination. Lisbon is cosmopolitan city with modern neighbourhoods e.g. Parque das Nações due to EXPO exhibition in 1998 a lot of attraction were built) mixed with narrow streets in Alfama, Baixa, Chiado and Bairro Alto full of small cafeterias, shops, bars.
- Do not forget to try traditional local liqueur called „Ginja“. It has delicious cherry flavour, but with hot weather you can get dizzy very easily J For dinner do not miss any speciality from wide offer of seafood with cup of „vinho verde“. To regain energy try „Pastel de Belém“ (the original one came from part of Lisbon called Belém) or „Pastel de Nata“ in some of the local patisseries.
- During hot nights the best start of every party is outside. In Lisbon everything starts in Bairro Alto (green or blue metro line, stop Baixa/Chiado). There are some commercial clubs (Urban beach or LUX), but I definitely recommend salsa music, it is everywhere.
- Few minutes by train departing from station Cais do Sodre (green metro line), you can reach beautiful beaches at coast of Atlantic Ocean. In summer water has around 20 degrees and it is very refreshing. My favourite is beach in Carcavelos. Following coastline you reach Estoril and Cascais which are also nice but in my opinion overcrowded.
- Portuguese people were huge surprise for me – they always try to help and if they do not know the answer, there is no problem to involve more people passing by and search answer together (once I was lost in Lisbon and suddenly I realized that I am standing over map in the middle of street with 8 more people looking for answer).
- In case you´re cakes lover, welcome to paradise! Dozens of sweet delight surprises will tease you around whole Portugal. Little bakeries and coffee shops are definitely worth stop.
- Porto is literally port of great food, wine and people with warm hearts. The most amazing thing about Porto is that you can reach all interesting places by walk.
- Discover secrets of narrow streets with tiled colourful houses, walk along riverside called Cais da Ribeira and enjoy the view of the monumental bridge “Ponte de Dom Luís I.” designed by Gustave Eiffel (yes, that Eiffel!). It´s love on first sight.
- It is worth to do a boat trip and see Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia from different perspective. Ticket also includes wine tasting in one of the wineries in Gaia.
- Here you can find very cheap and delicious “Francesinha” – speciality from Porto. Beware, I ate it for lunch and did not eat until breakfast next day! Very good and cheap one (approx. 7 €) you can find in Café Piolho close to Igreja do Carmo or in Tappas Caffé in Gaia (it is considered as a best francesinha made in traditional fire oven).
- Craving for some delicious seafood? Try restaurants at Ribeira (Mercearia is very nice) or close to beach Matosinhos.
- Porto is city of gardens and parks. My favourite are Jardim Minicipal do Horto das Virtudes or Jardim do Palácio do Cristal due to view over bridges and Gaia.
- Azulejos – special ceramic tiles are significant aspect of Portuguese architecture. São Bento Railway Station in Porto is beautiful example. Panels in vestibule depict the scenes of Portuguese history. In Lisbon you can visit Museu Nacional do Azulejo.
Thank you Miska – Michaela Struharova for sharing your travel tips for Portugal with us!
Do you want more information about Portugal? Read the 15 best places to visit in Portugal!
Do you want to share your travel tips with us in the Interview? Contact me or write a comment below!