After visiting Portugal for the first time back in college, I fell in love with everything about the country and the people. Only a few years later did it call me back, this time exploring more in-depth.
This southern European country certainly doesn't lack in natural or architectural beauty. It's no wonder you have a desire to visit 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 your first time.
What places should I check out in Portugal?
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!
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 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.
What are some of the most popular dishes and foods?
This delightful lunch includes sausage, typically prepared with french fries and fried eggs.
Bacalhau A Bras
Cod is shredded and sauteed to perfection and served with onion, straw fried potatoes, eggs, parsley, and garlic.
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 to the burst of flavor.
Pastel de nata
Originating in Lisbon, this custard tart is an indigenous staple, and you certainly can't leave the country without giving it a try. If in Lisbon, head to Pastéis de Belém where you can try the original pastries with a recipe that hasn't changed since the bakery began making them in 1837.
On a chilly night, treat yourself with this fantastic soup. It's merely potato, onions, and shredded kale, cooked in garlic and olive oil, and yet it certainly doesn't lack in flavor!
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!
These locations are just the tip of the iceberg of amazing destinations you’ll fall in love within Portugal. For a stress-free travel planning experience, contact Jennifer, your European Travel Specialist today to make these Portugese dream destinations a reality.