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​An A to Z of Travel: Portugal

Maddy Faulkner by Maddy Faulkner

Monday, 21st May 2018

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​An A to Z of Travel: Portugal

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As well as incredible weather during the Summer months, Portugal is blessed with sandy beaches, quaint towns and captivating cities. Throw in a short flight from the UK, great food and plenty of wine, and there you have it - the perfect family-friendly holiday destination!

If you’re thinking of heading to the country, we’re here to provide all you need to know including what do do, where to eat, where to drink and where to stay.

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What to Do:

You can explore the great outdoors, visit historic monuments, sample the delicious cuisine, do some shopping or just simply chill out on the beach in this fantastic county.

We’d recommend visiting the coastal city of Porto, which is known for its stately bridges and port wine production. The iconic Ponte Dom Luis I bridge is well worth a visit to take in the spectacular views down the river from the 60 metre high deck.

Porto's riverside quarter, known as the Ribeira, is one of the city's oldest neighbourhoods and certainly one of its highlights. Along the waterfront you will find bustling cafes, bars and restaurants in centuries-old buildings. Slightly beyond this you will find a maze of narrow cobbled streets that are well worth exploring - we guarantee you’ll stumble upon some hidden gems.


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Porto comes alive during festival season with music, outdoor dining and plenty of parties. Check out the local events before visiting to see if there is one nearby that you can attend. It’s a great way to get a taste of authentic Portuguese culture.

Further down the coastline lies the country’s capital, Lisbon. It’s the perfect mix of irresistible charm, charismatic locals and a dramatic landscape.To see as much of the city as possible, we’d recommend joining a walking tour. It’s not for the faint-hearted, however, as you’ll have to tackle Lisbon’s infamous seven hills!

Visitors can indulge in a spot of shopping in the Feira de Ladra (flea market) which takes place on Saturdays and Tuesdays in the Campo de Santa Clara. You’ll find a multitude of items, from antiques to bric-a-brac. You’ll probably need an extra suitcase on the flight home!

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Where to Eat:

Regardless of your food cravings, or the atmosphere you’re looking for, Porto will have the perfect restaurant to match your requirements. It’s known as the best city for food in the country for its proximity to freshly-caught fish, locally-grown produce and traditional cheeses.

Bacalhau is situated along the Douro River, and serves bacalhau (cod) in a whole variety of ways. Grilled, fried, you name it! There are also fresh salads, hearty soups and delicious pasta dishes available. Due to its prime location it can get extremely busy, so try to visit during late afternoon to bag yourself a table by the riverside.

Mercado da Ribiera is a traditional food market in Lisbon, with over 35 individual stalls led by some of the country’s most renowned chefs. From seafood to steak, sushi and ice cream, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

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Where to Drink:

From intimate bars playing the best of Portuguese music, to clubs open all night long, Porto has a great offering of watering holes where you can mix with the locals.

Miradourno Ignez is a casual bar made for laid-back evenings in the city. Overlooking the river and the rooftops of the old town, you can enjoy a delicious cocktail or glass of port and watch the magical sunset.

Lisbon is home to Lost in Esplanada bar, which is a rooftop bar decked out with colourful furniture and bright pink chairs. With overhanging trees providing much needed shade under the beating sun, it’s a tranquil spot where you can hang out all day long.

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Where to Stay:

Generally accommodation is very affordable in Portugal, especially if you are staying in a hostel.

In the heart of Porto’s downtown area, Flores Village Hotel offers stylish accommodation, attentive service, a spa and a spectacular on-site wine and tapas bar. What more could you possibly need? Rooms from £93 per night.


The Independente Hostel & Suites in Lisbon offers affordable glamour in a beautiful 19th-century building, once home to the Swiss Ambassador. You can choose from bargain dorms or luxurious suites in the adjoining building. Guests can take part in activities such as cookery lessons, karaoke and city tours. Doubles from €15.

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