Portugal

During the 15th and 16th century Portugal was a world power but was reduced to rubbles during an earthquake in 1755 in connection with Napoleons Invasion and Brazil’s Independence. It is located in the Iberian Peninsula west of Spain bordering the Atlantic Ocean by both west and south coast. The country is popular for its long abd varied coastline, sunny climate and charming towns which make it a traveler’s paradise. The capital of Portugal is Lisbon.

One great thing about Portugal is that in face of being a modern European country one can still find rual dwellings which has stood by time and has preserved its tradition. One can find modern architectural marvels like high-rise resorts dot the coast in the southern province of the Algrave while Lisbon on the west coast is a crowded city and home to many fine tourist resorts. But one can still see scenic countryside still resemble mediveal villages and towns of early centuries after only a few minutes of traveling.


Beautiful view at a cliff in Portugal

Population & Languages

Portugal has a population of about 10.6 million and the official language being spoken is Portuguese but Mirandese is also an official language spoken in some parts of Portugal.

Electricity

The voltage is 230 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. The types of plug used are round pin with attachment and “Schuko” plug and receptacle with side grounding contacts.

Climate

Portugals climate can be classified into two, the oceanic in the north and the Mediteranien in the South. The average temperatures are about 15°C. Summers here are hot and dry as Portugal is one of the warmest countries of Europe. Winters instead are cold and wet, due to this fact the best time to visit Portugal is during spring or autumn.


Great picture of a church in Portugal

Local Customs

Dressing casual is acceptable but do not wear beachware in towns. Smoking is allowed in restaurants but prohibited in theatres, cinemas and buses. In restaurants and hotels tipping of 10 to15 percent is customary while it’s only 10 percent to taxis.

Attractions

During your stay in Portugal you should visit the following sights:

Castelo de Sao Jorge – Castle of St. George
Alfama – The oldest part of Lisbon
Sé (Cathedral) – first church in Lisbon
Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Museum
The Bairro Alto – The Bairro Alto district, an historic enclave dating back to 1513
Monument to the Discoveries – One of the popular attractions in Lisbon is the monument, situated on the riverbank in the Avenida de Brasilia in the district of Belem, which was designed to commemorate the Portuguese Age of Discovery
Tower of Belem – This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Parque das Nacoes
Fatima
Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis – dedicated to Soares dos Reis, the famous sculptor born and bred in Porto
Igreja de Sao Francisco
Solar Vinho do Porto
Vila Nova de Gaia
Frederico de Freitas Museum
Sao Vicente Caves
Cable Car
Cathedral
Whale Museum
Porto Santo
Setubal
Coimbra
Coimbra University
Guimaraes
Guimaraes church and palace
Braganca


Beautiful cathedral somewhere in Portugal

Travel

TAP Air Portugal is the national airline here operating direct flights to Portugal from a number of countries including Canada, Spain, France, the UK and USA and also from almost all major European cities. Other airlines operating flights to Portugal are British Airways, GB Airways, Monarch Airlines, Easyjet, bmibaby, Jet 2, MyTravelLite, Flybe, Flyglobespan and SATA. Lisbon International Airport is the biggest airport of the country located only 4.5 miles away from the city.

Main ports of Portugal are Lisbon, Leixes(Oporto), Funchai (Madeira) and Portimao (Algrave) where ferry lines like Cunard, Italia, Linea C, Olympia, P&O and Union Cas provide transport for travelers.

One can also come by rail for example from UK using the Eurostar train to Paris and the Sud-Express from Paris to Portugal.

Going by car one will have to cross Spain as it is the only country bordering Portugal but the major border posts are open most of the time.

Duty Free Items

The following items can be carried without customs duty being levied on them:
1. Up to 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g smoking tobacco for Non-European Union countries.
2. 1 liter spirits with alcohol greater than 22% or 2 liter spirits or aperitifs made of wine less than 22% or sparkling wines or liqueurs or a proportionate mix of these and 2 liters of wine
3. perfume up to 50g and 250ml eau de toilette
4. Gifts up to €175
5. 500g coffee or 100g tea or 40g of tea extract
6. Medicines for personal use

Prohibited Items

Birds and poultry arriving from countries infected with Avian influenza, un-canned goods, meat or dairy products, narcotics, firearms, ammunition, weapons, eggs, plants, endangered species, fireworks and alcoholic beverages that contain more than sixty per cent alcohol.