Portugal Fast Facts

Viana do Castelo, Portugal

Population: 10,833,816

Capital City: Lisbon

Climate: Maritime temperate; cool and rainy in north, warmer and drier in south

Time Zone: GMT+00

Language: Portuguese

Country Code: 351

Coastline: 1,793km

Explore the Old World in Laidback Portugal

Rocky, rugged Atlantic coasts where salt spray mists the air…green hills and winding country roads…medieval towns perched above deep river gorges…graceful cities of broad boulevards and bustling cafés…

Portugal, continental Europe’s westernmost country, lies quietly in the shadow of the larger, more boisterous Spain. With a sliver of coastline and an interior that can take you back centuries in time, Portugal in many ways still belongs to an earlier era. People are friendly and courteous, with an almost courtly manner. Family and friends are important, and people know their neighbors and the local shopkeepers. Ancient buildings look worn and lived-in, and quiet, cobbled lanes wind through seaside villages.

This is Europe as it used to be. And though modernity is overtaking Portugal quickly, you can still enjoy an old-style, Old-World life here. Cascais, Portugal

Though its coast is the Atlantic, Portugal is typically Mediterranean, with the warm weather and lifestyle that you tend to find in Mediterranean countries. The sea, which forms the country’s western border, still plays a strong role in Portuguese life and diet: You’ll find fish and seafood on menus throughout the country.

Like countries around the Mediterranean, Portugal also produces good food, wine, and olive oil, at inexpensive prices. Try its slightly fizzy vinho verde or its port, the fortified wine that took its name from Portugal’s second city, Porto. Shop in modern supermarkets, or—as many Portuguese do—in the traditional markets found in cities throughout the country.

Overall, Portugal is arguably Western Europe’s most affordable country. Even in the capital, Lisbon—one of Europe’s most charming and underrated cities—a couple can live comfortably from about $2,200 a month in residential neighborhoods just a half-hour’s walk from Lisbon’s central, most tourist-driven areas. (And you’ll leave the tourists behind.) In Portugal’s smaller cities and in the country’s interior, a couple’s budget can run from $1,700 a month.

Enjoy all this…and yet have First-World amenities at hand, including road and highway systems, good telecommunications and high-speed internet, museums and concert halls, chic restaurants, cafés, bars, and much more. Portugal has extensive bus and metro services in cities like Lisbon and Porto. Long distance bus and train services carry you throughout Portugal and beyond, so you don’t need a car here. And modern airports can take you throughout Europe.

From the Archives of Portugal

Seeing the World Three Months at a Time: My Life as a Roving Retiree

Seeing the World Three Months at a Time: My Life as a Roving Retiree

Daily Postcard
By |
September 22, 2017

I look out my bedroom window to watch seagulls soaring below me; what an interesting perspective to view these graceful white birds from above. How my life has changed in the past year. My current apartment in Porto, Portugal, is located on the fourth floor of a building...

Europe In The Fall

Europe In The Fall

September…Italy’s Perfect Month By Valerie Fortney-Schneider When our family and friends ask when the best time to visit Italy is, our answer is invariably, “September”. While we love summer with its frenzy of activities, concerts and festivals, it can be overwhelming; the heat can be oppressive and the prices are higher for visitors too. But Read more...: Europe In The Fall

Enjoy Low Costs and Low Rent in Portugal

Enjoy Low Costs and Low Rent in Portugal

Internet research and guide books are useful for learning about new locales. But nothing compares to the experience of spending time in them. Sights like terracotta roofs topping white-washed cottages, aromas of fragrant wildflowers or your neighbor’s grilled chicken on an outdoor barbeque (churrasqueira), and the sounds of crashing ocean surf or the lilting trill of your local bird population are all characteristics of Portugal that you could never experience from reading a book.

[if gte mso 9]
[if gte mso 9]
[if gte mso 9]
[if gte mso 9]
[if gte mso 9]
[if gte mso 9]
[if gte mso 10]
[if gte mso 10]
[if gte mso 9]
[if gte mso 9]
[if gte mso 9]
[if gte mso 9]
[if gte mso 9]
[if gte mso 9]
[if gte mso 10]
[if gte mso 10]
[if gte mso 9]
[if gte mso 9]
[if gte mso 9]
[if gte mso 9]
[if gte mso 9]
[if gte mso 9]
[if gte mso 10]
[if gte mso 10]
[if gte mso 9]
[if gte mso 9]
[if gte mso 9]
[if gte mso 9]
[if gte mso 9]
[if gte mso 9]
[if gte mso 10]
[if gte mso 10]
[if gte mso 9]
[if gte mso 9]
[if gte mso 9]
[if gte mso 9]
[if gte mso 9]
[if gte mso 9]
[if gte mso 10]
[if gte mso 10]
Artboard 1Artboard 14Artboard 1Artboard 1down-arrowdown-arrowArtboard 1facebook-roundfacebook-squareArtboard 12Artboard 1googleplus-roundgoogle-squareheadphoneshealthcarehousehouseArtboard 2Artboard 1Artboard 1locksearch-mag3Artboard 1Artboard 15Artboard 1next-largenextArtboard 1plusprev-largeprevread-more-arrowread-more-arrowsearch-magSlider Arrowto-toptwitter-roundtwitter-squareyoutube-roundyoutube-square