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ShermansTravel experts rely on years of collective travel experience to bring you the best money-saving tips for your vacation. We take a discerning look at all the attraction passes, public transportation options, and other local bargains to make sure you get the most bang for your buck while traveling.

Portugal Money-Saving Tips

Drive defensively

If you rent a car in Portugal, keep in mind that Portuguese drivers are infamously reckless and the accident rate on the road is high – so drive safely.


Most young people in Portugal, especially in Lisbon and Porto, speak at least some English and are best to approach if needing directions. Regardless, it’s always a good idea to carry a phrasebook.

Reset your body clock

Portugal is five hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time and eight hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time.

Tourist information

After you’ve arrived in Portugal, get tourist information on anything from lodging to transport to festivals by calling 808-781-212.

Stay safe

Muggings do occur, especially in Lisbon, so keep your belongings safe and go to the nearest police station should anything happen.

Save with Lisboa & Porto Card

With these discount cards, get unlimited travel around the two cities as well as free or reduced admission to museums and attractions.

Portuguese cuisine

Generally rich and with many spices, Portuguese cuisine features seafood aplenty, especially bacalhau (salted codfish) and sardines. Traditional dishes include açorda real (a shellfish and bread stew); tripa á moda do Porto (tripe stew with sausage, chicken, and beans); and feijoada (a bean stew with beef and/or pork meat). Typical drinks include green wines (vinhos verdes) and sweet port.

Portugal's golden age

An independent country since 1140, excluding a few stints under Spanish control, Portugal experienced its golden age as an economic and cultural powerhouse in the 15th and 16th centuries when Vasco da Gama’s discovery of a sea route to India kick-started the spice and African slave trade.

Portugal's recent history

The infamous 48-year-long Salazar dictatorship ended with the 1974 Revolution. In 1986, Portugal joined the European Union as one of its poorest members. Today, it’s a stable but economically struggling country.


The major architectural traits of Portugal include the Manueline style, Portugal’s late-Gothic style that incorporates maritime elements representing the Age of Discovery, and azulejos, the painted glazed ceramic tiles that are found in houses, churches, palaces, and subway stations.

Annual events

Early February is when Lisbon hosts its carnival, with Rio-style processions of floats, music, and costumes. The raucous party on St. John’s Eve (June 23-24) in Porto, in honor of the summer solstice and the martyr saint of São João, features a fun, night-time fiesta on the Ribeira.

Compare Rates to Portugal

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