Famous for its wine, beaches, and seafood, Portugal is the ultimate European destination when you’re looking for culture, relaxation, and culinary delights. If you are planning a trip to Portugal, make sure to make the most of it by visiting at the best time.
You may be more familiar with the only country that Portugal shares its borders with, Spain, but Portugal is an amazing country to check out on its own.
Why You Should Visit Portugal
Overall Best Time to Visit Portugal
The best time to visit Portugal is during the shoulder seasons of May to June and September to October.
You will have the ultimate combination of good weather, fewer crowds, and plenty of local festivities to keep you busy. Like many places in Europe, tourists tend to flood the streets of Portugal during the peak summer months.
This means sky-high rates, high average temperatures, and lots and lots of crowds. Avoid that by booking your trip at the beginning or tail end of the summer months.
You will be able to grab some deals for accommodation and flights but still get to see Portugal at its sunniest best.
Make sure to check out the popular beaches, castles, and vineyards that will be more comfortable and less busy to explore in the spring and autumn warmth. Plus, Portugal is known for their festivals like St. Anthony’s Day, St. John’s Day, and the pilgrimages to Fatima. All of these either take place in May, June, or October. Going to these events is a whole new way to experience Portugal, so it is worth it to plan your trip around those dates.
The worst times to visit Portugal are in December or August.
In December, you will have rain, low temperatures, and lots of crowds there for the Christmas holidays. In August, you will have to deal with large crowds of visitors on their yearly vacation, hot and humid weather, and sky-high prices.
While these are the worst times to visit Portugal, you can still have an amazing time on your trip as long as you know what to expect.
Finally, follow these tips and tricks to have the ultimate Portuguese vacation:
Brush Up on Your Portuguese
You should practice some phrases in Portuguese (and no, Spanish is not going to be enough). The bigger cities have a lot of English speakers, but the smaller towns and villages do not.
Learning a few phrases like “bom die” (good morning), “onde fica o banheiro?” (where is the bathroom?), and “ajuda me” (help me) will help your trip run a lot smoother.
Watch Out for Pickpockets
In the well-visited cities like Lisbon and Porto, some people will try to take advantage of tourists. Keeping an eye on your items at all times will help prevent theft, but you should also keep your belongings in front pockets and bags.
Be Safe at the Beach
Wearing sunscreen will protect you from the sun’s UV rays, but you should also keep a careful watch on the ocean, especially if you have your kids with you.
Gigantic waves can come out of nowhere, produced by the large winds coming from the Atlantic Ocean. Never turn your back on the ocean, and make sure everyone in your party knows how to swim.
Bring Your Most Comfortable Shoes
Like many older European cities, the streets in Lisbon and Porto are made of cobblestone. It’s picturesque and adds to the beauty of Portugal, but it can make walking miserable if you don’t bring comfy footwear.
Say No to Drugs
Channel your inner middle-schooler and dig out that D.A.R.E. T-shirt. If you are walking through downtown Lisbon (usually when it starts to get dark out), you might encounter a man trying to quietly speak to you in Portuguese, trying to sell you drugs. Keep saying no and walk to wherever you are going.
Now that you know the best about Portugal, you might be ready to jump on a flight and start living it up!