Top tips for a great first visit to Portugal.

This southern European country certainly doesn’t lack natural or architectural beauty. It’s no wonder you have the desire to visit Portugal. We snapshot some of our top tips for your first amazing visit to Portugal…

There’s a never-ending number of things to do and see.

So, where should you even begin? Here are some top recommendations for visiting this magnificent nation for the first time. Don’t forget, as a Travel Club member, you can secure up to 80% off hotel accommodation rates in Portugal and worldwide!

1. What places should I check out?

  • Lisbon

As the capital of Portugal, Lisbon is full of vibrant culture, historical sights, and friendly natives.

Also, Lisbon is an ideal place in the nation to take delight in authentic Portuguese cuisine and to enjoy live entertainment.

Lisbon is known for its traditional Fado performances.

Don’t miss out on an opportunity to listen to some of the best Portuguese folk music!

  • Porto

There are many things to do in Porto, and this list is just a sampling of the top attractions and activities. From exploring the city’s charming architecture and vibrant culture, to enjoying its delicious food and wine, there is something for everyone in Porto. So whether you’re visiting for a day or staying for a week, be sure to add this city (Portugal’s second city) to your itinerary.

Porto is one of the oldest European cities, with a history spanning over 2,000 years. Founded by the Celts in the late 4th century BC, Porto rapidly grew into an important trade center and capital of the region. Over the centuries, it has been ruled by Phoenicians, Romans, Suevi, Visigoths, Moors, and finally, Portuguese kings. Today, Porto is a vibrant city with a rich culture and history that visitors can explore while enjoying its beautiful architecture and delicious food.

  • Batalha

One of the most phenomenal Gothic churches in all of Europe.

The church preserve is protected as a World Heritage Monument due to its significance.

As you enter the grand doors of the church, you’ll immediately take notice to all of its architectural details and picturesque 16th Century stained glass windows.

  • The Abbey of Santa Maria

As Europe’s most significant building of the Cistercian order, wander through this historical site for hours if you wish.

There certainly is a lot to see, including a monastery, seven dormitories, the library, the kitchen, and of course, the church.

  • The Beaches

The coastline of Portugal provides some of the most stunning beaches you’ll ever see.

Don’t shy away, take a break from your explorations to relax on the shorelines of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf Stream.

Some of the most popular beaches are in the Algarve region, Sagres, Aveiro, and the Praia da Adraga.

2. What are some of the most popular dishes and foods?

  • Arroz de Cabidela

It might seem daunting once you know what this dish derives from, but this chicken blood rice is a native favorite in Portugal.

You can also get this dish made with rabbit and rabbit blood.

  • Alheira

This delightful lunch includes sausage, typically prepared with french fries and fried eggs.

  • Bacalhau A Bras

Cod is shredded, sauteed to perfection, and served with onion, straw fried potatoes, eggs, parsley, and garlic.

  • Arroz Doce

As an authentic Portuguese dessert, this dish is a must-try for anyone with a sweet tooth.

This creamy rice pudding is topped with cinnamon and caramel custard to add a burst of flavor.

  • Caldo Verde

On a chilly night, treat yourself to this fantastic soup.

It’s merely potato, onions, and shredded kale, cooked in garlic and olive oil, yet it certainly doesn’t lack flavor!

  • Pastel de nata

Originating in Lisbon, this custard tart is an indigenous staple, and you can’t leave the country without trying it.

Now that you have some of our top tips for your first trip to Portugal let’s start planning your stay!

You’ll be amazed by the nation’s delicious food options and breathtaking sights!

Learn more about Portugal with our post HERE about its Highlights

If you’re looking for the best rates for accommodation in Portugal (or anywhere else in the world), the Travel Club can help you with up to 80% discounts off of typical retail rates. Our members also travel for free and get paid to travel. To find out more, visit