Portugal Local Customs

  • Festivals
    by berenices
  • The bullring in Vila Franca de Xira.
    The bullring in Vila Franca de Xira.
    by cachaseiro
  • Festa Espirito Santo 2013 in Ponta Delgada.
    Festa Espirito Santo 2013 in Ponta...
    by cachaseiro

Portugal Local Customs

  • Food and drink

    Lisbon Local Customs

    Be sure to try the pasteis de Belem (or pasteis de nata) while you're in Lisbon. They are custard tarts and every bakery and cafe sells them. You can sprinkle some powdered sugar on them, and eat them with coffee/tea. They are absolutely delicious and make a great breakfast, snack, or dessert.

    more
  • local architecture

    Sintra Local Customs

    While the climate is described as Mediterranean, the low cloud descends the mountain, there is quite an eerie feel when walking the narrow streets and lanes. The rainy times are in autumn and spring but generally sunny from April to October.

    more
  • Events&Street Activities

    Évora Local Customs

    5th June 2003 on the Largo Luis de Camoes. From June the 3rd to the 8th it took place in Evora the BIME-Bienal International Marioneta of Evora. Only puppet show and related arts. Puppet manipulators: Eduardo R. Cunha and Miguel Borines. Since its fundation back on 1983, Tanxarina has made show all over the world: Galicia, Portugal, Spain, Astria,...

    more
  • Useful information about Lisbon

    Lisbon Local Customs

    Learn to say “Bom dia”, “Obrigado/Obrigada” and “Me desculpe” which mean “Good morning”, “Thank you” and “Excuse me”.These few words will get you far so learn to say them well because you will use them often. “Bom dia” to the downstairs neighbors, to the baker at the coffee shop you go to each morning for a sweet roll and café au lait, to the old...

    more
  • Fado music

    Sintra Local Customs

    Fado first appeared in Portugal at the end of the eighteenth century, as a nostalgic form of song favoured by sailors. Its name derives from the Latin word fatum, meaning 'fate' or 'destiny', being sure of one`s own existence, and of the suffering and happiness that guide our lives. In 1820, fado became popular in Lisbon and was best embodied in...

    more
  • Art-General

    Évora Local Customs

    Near Évora there is a small town called Estremoz. Estremoz is famous nationwide and also in other countries due to its white marble – it is called the “white gold of Estremoz”. I’ve read that Portugal is the second European supplier of white marble, after Italy. About 90% of Portugal’s white marble extraction is done in Estremoz area. So, in Évora...

    more
  • Festivals

    Lisbon Local Customs

    As in many parts of Europe in the month of Feburary, Lisbon too holds its carnival. It may be a far cry from Venice or Rio, but the locals have their share of fun too, young and old alike. Recently, though, the celebrations have become more simple, owing perhaps to the economic crisis which means less money to spend for this. Nowadays, less people...

    more
  • fountains

    Sintra Local Customs

    I decided to walk up the steep hill to the Moorish Castle and walked past the Sabuga Fountain and noticed a couple of people filling up large water bottles and placing them in a van. I’m sure it was for their own consumption and that they weren’t selling it on to the general public! There’s a local saying that says “anyone who drinks Sabuga water...

    more
  • Street scenes

    Évora Local Customs

    Don't be alarmed if you are stepping out from a restaurant or bar onto one of Evora's small, cobblestoned streets and suddenly you are confronted by a group of black-caped individuals. No, they are not vampires--they are university students. You will see them all over the city, day and night. I was so intrigued by the capes that I actually found a...

    more
  • Fado music

    Lisbon Local Customs

    I was not familiar with Fado music outside of what I read in a travel guide, until I arrived in Lisbon. Fado is a beautiful and emotional musical art form based in Portugal. Usually there are guitar players and a lady wearing a black shaw singing. Although I do not speak Portuguese, I was able to understand the emotion in the music. While in Lisbon...

    more
  • Fair of São Pedro

    Sintra Local Customs

    This Market dates back to the time of the Christian Reconquest. In the time of Dona Maria I it was subjected to municipal regulations and is the most characteristic event of the kind in the Borough of Sintra, owing to the quality and diversity of the products transacted. It is held on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of each month.

    more
  • People

    Évora Local Customs

    After a long day's drive north from the southern Algarve coast, followed by a hot afternoon walking the busy streets of Evora, my wife and I were enjoying a relaxing sitdown in our cool ground floor room at the Pensao Graca. We only heard the slightest noise at one of our open windows and, by the time we checked to see what it was, we simply found...

    more
  • Social interactions

    Lisbon Local Customs

    Portuguese are traditionally catholics, tradition that is fading, mainly in big cities. Here and there religion is mixed with popular beliefs with stronger manifestations than the official religion. A medical doctor from the second half of the 19th century, Sousa Martins, dedicated his life fighting tuberculosis, with such empathy with his...

    more
  • piriquitas

    Sintra Local Customs

    like many others portuguese locations Sintra has it's own and tipical pastry. at breakfast or in the afternoon on yur lunch time break yu should have to try - queijadinhas de sintra - or - travesseiros - right at the historic centre at "piriquita's". everybody tries and if you are the lovepastry type, (and even for those who aren't ) just go...

    more
  • Main Square Activities -Praça do Girlado

    Évora Local Customs

    ok, now I know this looks like in a movie. but every now and then the National Portuguese bank here in Evora needs to fill in with cash. So here's all the action you can actually see on the street in Giraldo's square. These Police men are special forces from The National Portuguese Guard GNR. You can see the big money truck after the Nissa 4x4, and...

    more
  • Coffee and cafes

    Lisbon Local Customs

    The Portuguese have a real sweet tooth so you will find some of the best pastries and cakes in all the little cafes. The 'national pastry' is considered to be pasteis de nata, which is a delicious custard filled tart. If you journey to Sintra you can find queijades de Sintra, which I foolishly thought would actually taste like cheese. They are very...

    more
  • Street and house decoration

    Évora Local Customs

    It was a surprise for me to see these wonderful tiles, that are used in order to indicate the streets-names. You will find them mostly in the old part of Evora, within the medieval townwalls. Something else that I enjoyed a lot in Evora was the great arcades on Praca de Giraldo, for easy shoping and walking protected against sun and rain (see them...

    more
  • The chimneys in the Algarve.

    In the Algarve you' ll surely notice the ornamental chimneys on the roof of the houses. There are not many information about these. It is said that the builders use to ask the customers how many days they wanted their chimneys building last. So that they could calculate the cost of the chimney they were about to make that was based on the time that...

    more
  • O GALO DE BARCELOS - Bird Symbol of...

    This is the unofficial symbol of Portugal and unfortunately, I was not able to photograph this colorful BIRD SYMBOL when my sister and I went to Portugal in 2009. And so, I vow to return and take a picture by this famous symbol when we get the chance to return to this beautiful country. You will see this bird in ceramic form in tourist shops and...

    more
  • FADO HOUSES - soulful songs of Portugal

    My sister and I went to Portugal in September 2009 and heard someone singing with some string instrument with so much passion in a restaurant - we did not know at the time that this was "Fado music", folk music of Portugal.The English guitar was introduced into Portugal by the British community in Porto in the 19th century and they also use the...

    more
  • PORTUGAL and FOOTBALL - "Força" song

    Portugal is also a football country (it was introduced to the country in 1875) and football is like a religion for this country, with Lisbon having 3 football teams which hold a total of 109 titles (maybe more now). The Sporting Clube de Portugal (also known as Sporting), Sport Lisboa e Benfica (Commonly known as Benfica) and the C.F. Os...

    more
  • Restaurant portions are enormous ...

    Portions are usually more than enough for two people unless one of you is a really big eater. We were walking for hours each day and still generally ordered one meal to share. This seems to be perfectly acceptable though we usually ordered an extra soup or salad to go with it (and, of course, wine). A little extra tip is a nice touch to show...

    more
  • Bolo rei.

    Bolo rei is a sweet bread usually eaten around Christmas. It is round with a hole in the centre and covered with crystallized and dried fruit.It is sold in several confectioneries and supermarkets in this country.

    more
  • Azulejos

    An important aspect of Portugal's cultural heritage, azulejos are painted blue-and-white tin-glazed ceramic tiles that can be seen all over the country. Its is common to see azulejos applied to the walls, floors, and even ceilings of churches, palaces, train stations, restaurants, public buildings, and private homes. Azulejos are not uniquely...

    more
  • Portunhol

    Portuguese are proud of their independence from Spain, and may get offended if CONFUSED with Spanish. However, Spanish people are well received in Portugal, and the attempts to communicate between both languages created a new concept: "Portunhol". That's what we call to the result of a Portuguese trying to speak Spanish.Both languages seem alike...

    more
  • Desenrascanço

    If you plan to go to Portugal, or to deal with Portuguese, there´s a word that you should understand - "Desenrascanço" or in its verbal form "Desenrascar". It has no translation in English, and browsing the net searching the best way to explain it, I found a silly text that, despite some nonsenses that shocked the few Portuguese that commented it,...

    more
  • Carnival time in Lisbon

    carnival is a festive grand celebration wherever, Lisboa is no exception. If you happenned to be there, its grand. yes busy even crowded but fun all around, recommended, see the official site in Englishhttp://www.visitlisboa.com/getdoc/6309a929-a5c0-4ee0-b13b-ef57dec1213f/NodeAliasPath.aspx

    more
  • Cork Trees

    Portugal produces a lot of cork. In the trendy shopping districts and tourist centers, you will find cork made into many products, like wallets, bags, book covers, tablets, etc. It is a renewable product which is waterproof and relatively durable.But what most people don't know is how the cork is harvested. Particularly in the south of Portugal,...

    more
  • Ameixas d´Elvas - rich, candied plums

    These Elvas plums, grown and preserved for centuries in the upper Alentejo is known the world over for their sweet and special richness. It is excellent to eat by itself, though it is often used as an accompaniment to cakes or eaten with cheese. There is a very good traditional Portuguese cake (again from the Alentejo region) called sericaia which...

    more
  • Bacalhau - a national passion

    Football and codfish wrestle for top position as a national passion in Portugal though perhaps it's more accurate to say both share top position. It goes a long way back, many centuries ago. Codfish is caught in the North Sea by hardy fishermen who would be gone for months, enduring the bitter cold and risking their lives. An entire industry and...

    more
  • The portugese love codfish.

    The portugese do in general love fish, but the really big passion of the portugese is codfish even if it´s not really caught in their waters, but comes from up north.they get most of their codfish from Norway as salted and dried fish and if you walk in to a portugese supermarket you will mostly see a whole counter that has nothing but salted and...

    more
  • Fishing industry in Portugal

    A question was asked regarding the local fishing village custom wherein the women in the villages carried the days catch in baskets on their head. Another member showed some photos in a link, from 1964 and I was compelled to comment. Here is my comment: I checked out the link above, - great historical record, - but those are really days gone by. I...

    more
  • Fado

    The most well-known style of Portuguese music is the Fado, which translated literally means "fate." It is difficult to describe or define fado, but it is certainly an evocative form of expression (musical poetry, if you will). It can be both melancholy or more upbeat and it is said to be better felt than understood. There are two styles of fado;...

    more
  • The Portuguese Guitar

    "The real name in Portugal is Guitarra, which comes from the old name "kitara" . This was used by the Romans to make the common medieval name of citara. The Portuguese Guitar is a very good example of tradition and modernity, resulting from the expertise and dedication of a set of extraordinary craftsmen who build it in this modern form, in the...

    more
  • Port Wines

    Portugal is famous for its port wines. Port wines are a red wine that is richer, sweeter, heavier, and has a higher alcoholic content than most other wines. Commonly served with dessert, port wine comes in dry, semi-dry, and white varieties. The wine was named in the seventeenth century after the city of Porto in northern Portugal. Porto is...

    more
  • Espigueiros - the granaries of Northern...

    Espigueiro is the Portuguese word (horreo in Spanish) for the stone granaries that are found in Nothern Portugal and Northwest Spain (Galicia). They are used for drying mainly corn by placing them across the lateral openings, and whose elevation prevents the rodents from entering and destroying the crop.These structures (which originated from the...

    more
  • Percebes - perfect with beer!

    Percebes, or goose barnacles, look very ugly, and if you don't know better, you'd be disgusted. The first time I saw them, they looked to me like dead nails on short stubby fingers of some creature. Despite their inedible appearance, these things are considered a delicacy in Portugal (as well as Spain). They're not very common, and they are...

    more
  • Choriço - sausage on clay grill

    The Portuguese love sausages, and they have all kinds, from the blood sausages called morcela, to those filled with game meat called alheira, and everything in between. These sausages are produced all over the country, but some regions are noted for their fine meats. The enchidos (collective name for these sausages) from Transmontana (north of the...

    more
  • Caracóis - a summer delicacy

    With hotter days come trips to the beach, beers and plenty of these tasty little things to go with them. Caracóis, or caracol (singular), are snails -- yes, those crawlers which make a lot of folks cringe. But, here as in France (though they use another type of snail), these snails are a local favorite. This is great with plenty of oregano....

    more
  • Red carnation - a national symbol

    The red carnation, or cravo in Portuguese, is the symbol of the revolution against the 40-year dictatorship which took place in 25 April 1974, and which changed the regime from authoritarian dictatorship to a democracy. The Revolução dos Cravos (Carnation Revolution) was the name given to the military coup that toppled the fascist regime that...

    more
  • Bolo Rei -- a Portuguese Christmas...

    Literally translated as King Cake, this is a large round cake with a hole in the center filled and topped with raisins, nuts, and crystallized fruit. The cake is reminiscent of a king's crown with all the jewels and precious stones decorating it. Christmas celebration in a Portuguese home can never be without the bolo rei. The cake is usually eaten...

    more
  • Fado

    Fado is now a world wide known symbol of PortugalFado roughly translates as destiny or fate and is a music genre which can be traced from the 1820s in Portugal, but probably has much earlier origins and some enthusiasts claim that fado's origins are a mixture of African slave rhythms with the traditional music of Portuguese sailors and Arabic...

    more
  • Chicken Piri Piri Recipe

    Ingredients2 tablespoons grated fresh lemon rind 3 tablespoons lemon juice 10 cloves garlic, minced 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 teaspoons hot pepper flakes 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 (1 kg) lbs chicken pieces Directions1 In large glass bowl, combine all ingredients except chicken; mix well. 2 Add chicken, turning to coat. 3 Cover and refrigerate for 4...

    more
  • Portuguese Steak Recipe

    Ingredients:3 cloves of garlic2 bay leavesA large knob of butter with some olive oilA cup of white wine6 ozs of sirloin or rump steak2 slices of Parma ham or smoken bacon3 medium potatoesMethod:Put the crushed garlic into a flameproof terracotta dish together with butter, bay leaf, white wine and a splash of Port, boil.Slice potatoes and fry...

    more
  • Couvert

    When you go to eat at a restaurant most will bring you bread, butter, sardine pate, olives, small cheese etc. at the beginning of the meal without you ordering it. You will be charged separately per person for these, the price for these is at the beginning of the menu. If you don't want them just say no thank you or make a little no sign and they...

    more

Portugal Hotels

See all 2428 Hotels in Portugal

Top Portugal Hotels

Albufeira Hotels
361 Reviews - 675 Photos
Lisbon Hotels
5196 Reviews - 12853 Photos
Funchal Hotels
511 Reviews - 1065 Photos
Alvor Hotels
131 Reviews - 373 Photos
Quarteira Hotels
24 Reviews - 67 Photos
Cascais Hotels
452 Reviews - 2316 Photos
Lagos Hotels
244 Reviews - 631 Photos
Porto Hotels
1035 Reviews - 2672 Photos
Tavira Hotels
196 Reviews - 385 Photos
Ponta Delgada Hotels
133 Reviews - 344 Photos
Praia da Rocha Hotels
31 Reviews - 70 Photos
Estoril Hotels
61 Reviews - 351 Photos
Faro Hotels
231 Reviews - 769 Photos
Armação de Pêra Hotels
21 Reviews - 60 Photos
Ilha de São Miguel Hotels
191 Reviews - 626 Photos

Instant Answers: Portugal

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

103 travelers online now

Comments

Portugal Local Customs

Reviews and photos of Portugal local customs posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Portugal sightseeing.
Map of Portugal