Portugal Tourist Traps

  • Sunset cruise operated by
    Sunset cruise operated by "LS...
    by SWFC_Fan
  • LS Catamarans'
    LS Catamarans' "Miss Poes" catamaran
    by SWFC_Fan
  • Sailing out of Ponta Delgada in the early evening
    Sailing out of Ponta Delgada in the...
    by SWFC_Fan

Portugal Tourist Traps

  • Street crime

    Lisbon Tourist Traps

    It's true Lisbon can be dangerous at night (especially certain areas) mainly the downtown, but a lot of it is exagerated. I've been to Rossio many times at night (not alone obviously) and have never been mugged, robbed or even close to that. Ok so it was before 11pm... still it was already dark. After 11 would be a different story though, so alays...

  • Fado clubs

    Lisbon Tourist Traps

    Fado is definately an aquired taste as far as musical style, but its hard to find a house where true Fado exists. We had companions who went to an outing and liked it, but said the food was horrible and the whole evening a little overdone. The best piece of advice I've heard is to find a club that is owned by a Fado singer themselves and has a low...

  • Restaurant rip-offs

    Lisbon Tourist Traps

    This is the worst eating experience I ever had. The vegetarian dish tasted like nothing, after complaining, the waiter showed us the desserts card. Thinking it would be free, we ordered a pudding, but it was added to the bill as well. Very bad price-value relation. There’s Indian restaurants around the corner, and a very good Maroccan one, Ali A...

  • Taxi rip-offs

    Lisbon Tourist Traps

    I don't like to speak about this but some of them have shown us the entire city (which is not so big) trying to get one more euro... or even less I haven't complained about it as I had to recognise that for a lot of people the life is hard... You shall be anyway aware about it... even if the price of the taxi is not so high in Lisbon. We have spent...

  • Elevadores

    Lisbon Tourist Traps

    The Santa Justa Elevator starts from Rua de Santa Justa and finishes 45 metres up, skywards. Much as i found its "architecture" interesting, I felt no interest in taking that lift. Officially, on top there's a cafe, restaurant, viewing platform and a walkway alongside the ruins of the Carmo monastery. Do not trust the Lonely Planet when they tell...

  • Couvert

    "Couvert" was the reason for a strong controversy in Portugal, forcing the government to publish specific regulation, but it keeps originating some confusion. A few months ago someone alerted in VT for the risks of being charged "couvert" and another VTer showed her surprise, because "we are supposed to pay what we eat". Let´s clarify it:Many years...

  • No baggage fee in airport taxis!

    This happened to me in Lisbon, but it is a tip that might just as well apply in other airports in Portugal. I'm ashamed to say that in Lisbon, my own city, in the place where I've been in countless times (airport), and in the service I've used many times in the past, I or rather, we (as I was with my husband when it happened) could still fall...

  • Nazare.

    Nazare has a nice beach, so if that is what you want then i guess the place is ok.Apart from that i don´t find it very nice at all.It used to have a lot of charm because you had the fishermen pulling the boats up on the beach in the afternoon after a day at sea and the place had a real portugese feel to it.Today it has just become a place that...

  • Evora.

    Evora is a white town located in the Alentejo region.I think the only interesting thing in this town is the Cathedral and its museum.Accomodations in Evora are not cheap. After having visited the Cathedral and done some shopping you could head for Evoramonte. It is a village with a circular castle. Within its walls there are some white houses with...

  • Information Offices

    In Portugal, at times we tried to follow signs reading "Oficina de Turismo" - Tourist Information Office - over and over without finding any. In some cases, when we finally found it, it was off the opening hours. The point is that we never knew what are the opening hours, which may change from place to place.In small towns we gave up chasing such...

  • Car rental Lisbon Airport

    When you take over your rental car at Lisbon airport be aware of the following: The whole process takes time! Make sure that every scratch at the car is registred and marked in the papers. Very often the antenna is missing (sometimes hidden some where in the car).Make sure that the safety vest is on board - it is mandatory! Mostly fuel is only 9/10...

  • Travellers Cheques

    Don't even attempt to cash in your travellers cheques at the various banks.....the charge a commission upwards of 12-15 %! The various small currency exchange booths offer a much more reasonable rate. Don't bring travellers cheques at all. I found them to be more of a nuisance than anything. A credit card is all you really need. There are atm's...

  • Fado

    While in Lisbon most want to get a feel for Fado, which is the music of Lisbon, literally meaning "fate". If you can find the right place I've been told it can be one of the greatest experiences you will have in Lisbon.....however beware as MANY Fado places are tourist traps where they slap you with a hefty cover charge and over-priced dinners...

  • Brits abroad and time share apartments.

    If you want to avoid the above don't go toAlbufeira and many other places along the Algarve. These places have become tourist resorts like the Costa del Sol in Spain. You'll mainly find Brits here! British restaurants, food, adverts etc. This is not real Portugal there are better places to go. Travel around as much as you can. Try to speak...

  • fado - do not go to comercial one

    there are many posibilities to see fado, you really don't need to pay a lot and eat when the 'profesional' singer is singing just because of money don't expect too much go to barrio alto in lisbon at night and for shure you would find a bar with fado night, there u could enjoy amater singers singing for free - it's really a great experience

  • Something about the Gardens

    Those gorgeous gardens of Belem are worth a separated visit, as I said they are huge, and they are wonderful, each meter hides a statue or a fountain or a sculpture, if you think you will be satisfied in visiting those green wonders, you should organize a full day for them! so please keep this in your mind!

  • Beware the 'Sun bed' bandits

    Be careful when plonking your self down on a sunbed on the main beach at Albuferia, we made that mistake and it cost us 25 euros for the privilage! 3 beds and a parasol! Go further away from the main area, the prices are significantly better. An alternative? well the sand is free! and I dont know about you, but I want to use my money for other...

  • Fado Restaurant shows

    I was desperate to see Fado in Lisboa my first time there. I had heard that there were (shows) at restaurants and that they werenýt good, but as time passed and I didnýt see any other alternative to (seeing fado IN Portugal) I went..It was pretty bad, old off key singers, expensive mediocre food. At the end of each performance the singer walks...

  • Better off alone...

    I wouldn't tour Portugal with a tour group. Those organized groups are often expensive, overlook many good places, and never give enough time to see everything. The country is small enough to be seen using inexpensive public transportation, and this way you can go at your own pace and take time to take a closer look at what really interests you. In...

  • boat trip warning

    buying boat trips in lagos in the algave is a bit of circus because the competition drives the companies to sometimes promise more than they can keep.i would suggest that you buy your trips through an agency or book through your hotel, since there are a few bad companies in town that tries to sell their trips in the streets and are not very...

  • t-shirts euro championship football

    t-shirts for the euro championship 2004 are generally sold for euro 30,00 - a fixed price because a part goes to the organisation.you can buy the same shirt in supermarkets at 12,75 euro !!!and that is not a discount action but a fixed price ! Sorry for the bad pic but I will find a better alternativ soon, at least I hope so.

  • Algarve

    Although some of the stretches of the Algarve coast are simply spectacular, this region is overall a great tourist trap. The water is so cold, even in summer, that you cannot swim. The service was so bad, that if I say it is deficient I am doing them a favor. We felt that, unless you are German, you deserve no good treatment over there.All in all,...

  • A little overpriced

    In the Mercado da Ribeira in Lisbon there is a great tourist shop upstairs. "Great" in terms of the selection, but "not so grea" in terms of the prices. If you have money to burn, you'll be happy with this place, but if not, find what you want in the small shops of Alfama or elsewhere around town.

  • Hard to think of a real trap

    I didn't find any particular sight in Portugal that I would characterize as a ripoff or a cheesy tourist trap. Yes, I was disappointed by my experience with listening to Fado music but I'm chalking that up to just choosing the wrong place.

  • Roman Temple, Evora

    The Roman Temple in Evora is thought to have been a temple for Diana. It dates from approximately 2nd Century AD. . .if this is as close as you will get to Greece or Italy. . .it's worth a peek. If you have a bit more Roman ruin experience under your belt though, there is quite a bit else on offer in Evora. A wonderful walk can be followed by...

  • Palacio de Queluz

    Speed through the self-guided tour of the palace itself ~ the chandeliers look cheap and kitschy, as do the panelled mirrors in every room. It may have been impressive at one time, but it's somewhat depressing now. . .the only places worth slowing down are in the Don Quixote room (lovely wooden floor) and the hallway with the azulejos (tiles)...

  • Watch Tourist Fado Clubs

    Fado, the portuguese traditional music, is wonderful and a must see while in Portugal. But be aware of the Tourist Fado clubs they can be very expensive in an underhand way.We ran into several college students who "lost" over $100 in one night in a Fado Club. We were lucky to get out of ours for about $50 per person. The olives, butter, bread and...

  • Cascais - overcommericalised &...

    I visited this place, as it was sold to me as a traditional Portugese fishing village, but it was in actuality a full-blown tourist resort town with exorbidant prices to match! Unless you enjoy shopping for goods at higher prices than in Lisbon, this place is best avoided. This is the only time during my tour of Spain and Portugal that I felt truly...

  • i went to albufira in the...

    i went to albufira in the algarve, it wasn't very nice, it was cold in june and there were dogs running around that were strays, it seemed to me to be dirty too, beware of it. we stayed near a place called the 'strip'

  • We will make sure that you...

    We will make sure that you don't want to leave the country!!!And believe me.. we're very good at this!!!

  • The Strip is not really a...

    The Strip is not really a tourist trap, but terrible enough to mention in this section. The restaurants aren't half as good as elsewhere in Albufeira, and it is crowded with young tourists, dutch and english bars and proppers. Nice if you are looking for a Benidorm-kind-of-atmosphere but there is nothing portuguese about it.The bar on the photo is...

  • Be especially careful when you...

    Be especially careful when you use the camera's remote control functions. Take your time - plan the picture - well, dont take too much time.

  • When travelling by train,...

    When travelling by train, there mostly are people on board, that will try to sell you pencils or other small things. Most of the time they are children descending from gypsy's. On the square near the monument for the world discoverers, there is a chance, that you will be approched by a friendly man or woman, who is very willing to tell you...

  • Be aware that public transport...

    Be aware that public transport is an adventure itself!! It's absolutely not reliable. There are busses but they won't take you far. The train, if it leaves it will leave with delay (sometimes a few hours).If you have enough time it's an option to go by public transport. If not, rent a car.

  • As in many other countries,...

    As in many other countries, taxi drivers may tend to take a longer path. If you more or less know the way, make some suggestions, although it might annoy some drivers (nevermind, it's your money).Nevertheless they are cheap and you may even enjoy the extra sights, so who knows if it's worth after all?

  • Well, in Algarve the best...

    Well, in Algarve the best months are all except August, because all the people have their hollidays in August. And sometimes it is very very hot. I prefer Juin, Jully, September to enjoy the beaches, and the others months to enjoy the relaxing, the calm life and the superb climate.This is me in the street where I was born, near the house where I...



  • The small private motorboats...

    The small private motorboats which tout for business travelling between Tavira and the Ilha de Tavira are overpriced. It is much better to get familiar with the timetable for the larger ferry which makes the same journey.

  • Coming from Canada, North...

    Coming from Canada, North America, I do not want to see a McDonald's, Subway or Pizza Hut when in a European country. I know they feel the same way when they visit us in Canada! But I must admit that their McChickens taste a lot better! Even their chips (fries) have a coating that is different than those of McDo's here. Typical tourist traps, are...

  • In places like Albufeira and...

    In places like Albufeira and Villamoura, you will find time-share touts. They will give you a card and ask you to scratch it, and express great delight when they find you have won a free holiday or some such. They'll beg you to listen to a presentation for just 'half-an-hour or so' because if you will be so kind as to do so, they will get paid by...

  • If you expect to bronze your...

    If you expect to bronze your skin on the beaches of Algarve (south cost) in October you may be disappointed. I was there at the beginning of October - it was warm and sunny but the sun most of the day was behind white, delicate fog. The summer season really ends here on 30th of September. In October you better go Eastern Mediterranean region if you...

  • The Algarve is located in the...

    The Algarve is located in the south of Portugal and it truly is wonderful. Its great beaches and nightlife attract thousands of tourists all year. It makes you feel like just staying there for the entire vacation. For this reason alone, I am calling it a 'tourist trap.' Not because it is over rated or a waste of time (it certainly is worth a...

  • All larger cities have...

    All larger cities have souvenir shops. When visiting these shops, it is very rude to leave without buying anything. However, don't let the shopkeeper talk you into buying anything you don't want. If your budget is small, buy post-cards or pictures. For larger budgets, only buy that which you are certain you want, for many shops will not let you...

  • I personally was not involved,...

    I personally was not involved, but refuse to go on any organized trip to hear fado (Lisbon' s traditional music). This will cost you a lot of money, while the few real fado bars remaining are elsewhere!

  • Ask a Question

    Got a question about Portugal? Get an answer from our Location locals and frequent travelers

Portugal Hotels

See all 2468 Hotels in Portugal

Top Portugal Hotels

Albufeira Hotels
363 Reviews - 685 Photos
Lisbon Hotels
5277 Reviews - 13103 Photos
Ponta Delgada Hotels
163 Reviews - 492 Photos
Lagos Hotels
246 Reviews - 639 Photos
Tavira Hotels
208 Reviews - 433 Photos
Porto Hotels
1064 Reviews - 2816 Photos
Carvoeiro Hotels
25 Reviews - 63 Photos
Faro Hotels
233 Reviews - 773 Photos
Praia da Rocha Hotels
31 Reviews - 70 Photos
Quarteira Hotels
24 Reviews - 67 Photos
Estoril Hotels
62 Reviews - 353 Photos
Alvor Hotels
131 Reviews - 373 Photos
Armação de Pêra Hotels
21 Reviews - 60 Photos
Porto Santo Island Hotels
69 Reviews - 170 Photos
Pinhão Hotels
56 Reviews - 190 Photos

Instant Answers: Portugal

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

43 travelers online now


Portugal Tourist Traps

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