Portugal - Traveling
Organizing your trip
Means of transport recommended in town
There are two large public metro networks: that of Lisbon (and its suburbs) and that of Porto (and its suburbs). The metro south of the Tagus is private. The completion of the Sul do Tejo (MTS) Metro is expected in 2009; it will serve the towns situated on Lisbon's south bank.
The other towns have their own municipal transport systems (buses and/or trams).
When you arrive at Lisbon airport, at the tourist counter, there are taxi "vouchers" and a table showing journeys and their respective costs. Nevertheless, it is safer to take taxis which are parked near the departure zone; there is much less risk of paying more. In town, there are not usually problems of this sort. Be careful, too, that the official cost of baggage in the trunk is adhered to: according to the law, the cost is 1.6 EUR for all the baggage (and not for each suitcase or bag) carried in the trunk of the taxi.
Means of transport recommended in the rest of the country
Although there is still no high speed train for the journey between Lisbon and Braga (including Porto), the train remains the most convenient and fastest means of transport. Train tickets can be bought at automatic ticket machines.
South of the Tagus:
Especially for the Algarve, the bus was the means of transport favoured by most people. But, since 2005, the railway has crossed the Tagus and ensures good links with the south of the country.
|Name||Type||Domestic flights||International flights|
|TAP AIR PORTUGAL||Major||Yes||Yes|
|SATA Air Açores||Major||Yes||Yes|
Traveling by yourself
It is easy to rent a car all over the country, especially at airports.
Different forms of tourism
- cobblestones (especially in Lisbon and the south) and the azulejos which cover the façades of buildings and churches such as the Madre de Deus Convent or the Palácio Marquês de Fronteira;
- fado, the national song: Camané, Marisa, Cristina Branco and Porto and all it represents: the city, the valley of the Douro (World Heritage Site);
- and, of course, wine.
More and more, people are looking for alternatives: the beaches of Alentejo, especially the Toia peninsula, which is under development, the beaches of the island of Porto Santo, the beaches of the Cascais shoreline.
There are also surfing beaches: Ericeira, Guincho, Peniche which are national/international championship venues.
- Portuguese wines (there are more than 30 appellations d'origine - "DOC" in Portuguese). Wine from Porto had the first appellation d'origine in the world. The Viniportugal institution is in charge of distribution.
- cheeses; the king of Portuguese cheeses is the "queijo da serra", a melt-in-the-mouth ewe's milk cheese.
Health and safety
Time difference and climate
- "Arroz de marisco" : rice with seafood.
- "Caldeirada" : fish soup.
- "Pastel de nata" : custard in puff pastry.