Medieval castles, cobblestone villages, captivating cities and golden beaches: the Portugal experience can be many things. History, great food and idyllic scenery are just the beginning…


At a glance


Plug combo cf



Capital (and Largest city): Lisbon
Official languages: Portuguese
EU accession: 1 January 1986
Currency: euro (EUR) | 1EUR = 0.93GBP (last updated on 12. March 2009)
Time zone: UTC+0
Calling code: +351
Area: 92,345 km² | 35,645 sq mi
Coastline: 1,793 km
Population: 10,617,575
Climate: maritime temperate; cool and rainy in north, warmer and drier in south
Terrain: mountainous north of the Tagus River, rolling plains in south


Women Traveller

  • Women travelling alone in Portugal report few serious problems. As when travelling anywhere, women should take care – be cautious where you walk after dark and don’t hitch.
  • If you’re travelling with a male partner, people will expect him to do all the talking and ordering, and pay the bill. In some conservative pockets of the north, unmarried couples will save hassle by saying they’re married.
  • If you’re a victim of violence or rape while you’re in Portugal, you can contact the Associação Portuguesa de Apoio à Vítima, which offers assistance for rape victims. Visit the website for office locations nationwide.

Travel with Children

The great thing about Portugal for children is its manageable size and the range of sights and activities on offer. There’s so much to explore and to catch the imagination, even for those with very short attention spans.

The Algarve has to be the best kid-pleasing destination in Portugal, with endless beaches, zoos, water parks, horse-riding outfitters and boat trips.

Kids will also be happy in Lisbon and its outlying provinces. There are trams, puppet shows, a huge aquarium, a toy museum, horse-drawn carriages, castles, parks and playgrounds.

As for fairy-tale places, Portugal has these in spades. Some children enjoy visiting churches if they can light a candle, and they’ll enjoy the make-believe of the castles and palaces sprinkled about the country.

In towns, hop-on, hop-off tours can be good for saving small legs, and miniature resort trains often cause more excitement than you would have thought possible.

Kids are welcome just about everywhere. They can even get literary: the late Nobel Prize–winning author José Saramago wrote a charming children’s fable, The Tale of the Unknown Island, available in English.

For an entertaining guide packed with information and tips, turn to Lonely Planet’s Travel with Children.




  • The Portuguese are generally quite laid-back about breast-feeding in public as long as some attempt at discretion is made.
  • Formula (including organic brands) and disposable nappies (diapers) are widely available at most pharmacies and grocery stores.
  • Turismos, as well as most hotels and guesthouses, can recommend babysitters.


ACCEPT COOKIESTo give you the best possible experience, this site uses cookies. Using this site means you agree to our use of cookies. We have published a cookies policy, which you should read to find out more about the cookies we use. View cookies policy.