Portugal – This week in the news

Here’s a look at the main headlines about Portugal this week.

Portugal tourist arrivals spike 12 pct to new record in 2017

“The number of foreign tourists visiting Portugal rose nearly 12 percent last year to a record 12.7 million people, contributing to the once-bailed out country‚Äôs strongest economic growth since 2000, official data showed on Wednesday. Tourism and all travel-related revenues account for about 10 percent of Portugal‚Äôs gross domestic product, which expanded 2.7 percent last year. The tourism sector is also a key source of employment and big component of exports of services.”

Algarve returns to Lisbon for BTL tourism fair

“The Algarve will be promoting more than ‚Äúsun and sea‚ÄĚ at Lisbon‚Äôs BTL tourism fair being held between February 28 and March 4. Nature, outdoor activities and sport, gastronomy and wines, and culture are just some of the ‚Äútourist products‚ÄĚ that will be showcased at the popular annual event by the Algarve Tourism Board (RTA).”

Ryanair expects Easter week strike in Ireland or Portugal

“Ryanair¬†expects staff to strike during Easter week in either¬†Ireland¬†or¬†Portugal, chief executive Michael O‚ÄôLeary said on Wednesday, as talks with some of the airline‚Äôs unions over formal recognition and improved conditions faltered.”

Portugal says it wants Jews and Jewish investment in country

‚ÄúThe Jewish communities have had crucial roles in the Portuguese history, namely Pedro √Ālvares Cabral, who discovered Brazil, and in the United States, the oldest synagogue, Shearith Israel, located in New York, was founded by Portuguese Jews. This is why we have created a special law to grant Portuguese nationality to descendants of Sephardic Jews, and we have been experiencing a very high demand.‚ÄĚ

Lisbon and Portuguese Resort Spots on the Rise

“Portugal, like several other European countries, has been going for gold in the last few years. Golden visas, that is… The program yielded more than ‚ā¨3 billion (US$3.8 billion) in Portuguese investments as of the end of last year, according to the Foreigners and Borders Service. Brazil, China and South Africa are the top three nationalities attracted through Portugal‚Äôs golden visa program, according to government statistics.”

Algarve Tourism Board slams extension of oil drilling licence

“The Algarve Tourism Board has spoken out against the extension of a licence allowing drilling for oil off the Vicentine coast.”

Why Portugal Is A Top Choice For Foreign Investors

“Where else could I have all this? In February?” asked the retired Swiss investment banker sitting inside Fabrica Coffee Roasters on Lisbon’s Rua da Flores, gesturing towards the sunny street outside. In 2016, he and his wife joined a steadily increasing trend of expatriates taking up Portuguese residency and bought a villa just outside Lisbon. Over coffee and pasteis nata, he described winters spent sailing and playing tennis, wining and dining, enjoying music, art and shopping and golf on the championship courses at¬†Penha Longa¬†in the Sintra foothills and¬†Oitavos Dunes¬†(see picture).¬†And, he added, almost as an afterthought, it helped that Portugal’s tax regime was so attractive.”

Portugal launches new film, TV rebates in bid to lure Hollywood

“With its grand castles and churches, picturesque cityscapes and long coastline, Portugal boasts the kind of scenery of that would make a Hollywood location scout salivate.”

“Staring out across the Atlantic from the westernmost point of Europe is a surreal experience only situationists can appreciate. Inspired by philosopher Guy Debord’s 1950s artistic movement d√©rive, we set off for a three-day escape in¬†Portugal‚Äôs verdant, moody and culinarily phenomenal Sintra region.”



11 Things You Should Learn Before Visiting A Portuguese Restaurant

Portugal is amazing, but, like any other¬†country, there are lots of weird or quirky things you will notice when you first visit us. I’ve compiled a list of the things you should look out for when eating at a Portuguese restaurant. Here’s your guide so you can navigate Portuguese restaurants hassle free.¬†

  1. You touch it, you pay for it
Touch them and you will have to pay

Imagine this, you just sat down at your table in a restaurant and, before even being handed the menu, someone is putting the most delicious bread, tuna pat√™,¬†cheeses, and pastries in front of you. If you’re thinking “Wow, they sure know how to treat a customer here” as you reach for the bread, give yourself a hand slap. None of this will be free. Doesn’t matter if you only took a slice of bread and some cheese, everything you touch will be paid for at the end. It’s not free, repeat after me, NOT FREE.¬†

¬† ¬† ¬†2. Chips, crisps, french fries, they’re all the same here

Chips or Fries?

When you look at a Portuguese menu, you’re going to see a lot of grilled meat with a side of chips. Most people would expect a side of french fries but let me warn you, 50% of the time when you read chips on the menu, they will usually mean crisps. If you don’t want to be disappointed when your meal arrives to your table make sure you ask what kind of chips they are bringing before making your order.

   3. Parsley is massive here

Parsley on Fish
Parsley will be sprinkled on everything

They will add it to your rice, on your fish, on your meat, on your salad and I’ve even been served a Pad Thai with parsley sprinkled everywhere!

  4. House wine is usually good and very cheap

house wine
A jar of house wine can cost ‚ā¨2,50

Portuguese house wine tends to be good and the best of it all, it’s not expensive. If you’re looking for a bit of wine with your meal and you don’t want to spend too much money, ask for a “jarro de vinho tinto da casa” (a jar of red house wine).

5.¬†Where’s the wine list?

Wine Rack
They point and you choose

If you ever happen to¬†be off the beaten track and decide to have a nice meal at a more traditional restaurant, outside of Lisbon, there might be a chance, a big chance, that the restaurant doesn’t have a wine list. The best way to deal with this is to just overcome that first usual shyness and ask straight outright for the prices or tell the waiter your price range and work from there.

6. Beer is tiny

tiny portuguese beer
Tiny beer

If you order a beer in Portugal you will probably be given an “imperial”, a 20cl beer served in a conical or cylindrical glass. If you tend to be more thirsty than this, I would suggest you order a “caneca” (50cl) or a “girafa” (1l). You’re welcome!

7. Salads only have three ingredients

Tomate and Lettuce Salad

If you like lettuce,¬†tomato, and onion then you’re in for a treat with the typical Portuguese salad. It can be a bit difficult finding more original salad alternatives.

8. The bill comes slowly

Chilling out
Time to chill out

One of the best things about Portugal is how slow the pace is here. You can really disconnect from the real world and appreciate life in its full glory when sitting at a cafe sipping a nice glass of wine. But on days when you’re on a bit of a hurry and you just want to pay and get a move on, that’s when waiting for the bill can become frustrating. If you’re in a rush, it’s totally OK to get up and pay directly at the counter. Or ask for the bill with your coffee.

¬† 8. The tips are not mandatory but they’re nice


The salaries are low and although big tips are not expected here, the waiters will be happy if you leave some change behind.

  9. Tremoços or caracóis


Have you ever noticed people in cafes having a beer with what looks like some weird round yellow beans? Well, don’t diss it until you try it. In Portugal, it’s common to be served beer with lupini beans. They’re pickled, they’re salty and they’re delicious. In the summer, the Portuguese also enjoy carac√≥is, which are little snails, served with a very refreshing beer.

  10. They might not accept card payments 


In the big cities, you can pay with card in most places but when travelling to smaller cities in some places they might not accept card payments. Just be ready and have some money with you. Usually, there’s a sign at the entrance saying “No Multibanco” or “Cash Payments Only”.

11. Coffee is tiny and Portuguese love it

A national habit

Visitors are always surprised with how tiny our coffees are. They’re intense, strong and they’re part of the Portuguese culture and routine. Portuguese tend to drink one coffee at breakfast, sometimes one during the morning break, usually one after lunch and if they’re brave, another at night. If you ever visit us and want a big coffee, you can try and order an americano, a caf√© com leite (latte) or even a meia de leite (small stronger latte)

What To Do This Weekend in Lisbon: 18 and 19 November 2017

Saturday 18 November

Street Art Lisbon

STREET ART TOURS: Lisbon is one of the top places in Europe to see street art. Go for a tour around the city and learn about the different styles and techniques. This is a name-your-own-price tour. It starts at 3pm. Book your spot here.

Safarka Escape Room

AN ESCAPE ROOM WITH LIVE ACTION: There’s a brand new escape room in Lisbon. It’s called Safarka Escape Room, it has 4 different sets for you to explore and most exciting of it all, actors interacting with you. The adventure, with¬†a grade 7 difficulty level, starts¬†at Samuel Nathan’s office.¬†While he’s out you’ll have to find a way to get into the research lab. He will be home soon so you’ll have to be super quick and careful. The price is¬†‚ā¨75 and you can book 2 up to¬†5 people. The adventure takes up to 60 minutes to complete. Book it here.

Pop Up Book Workshop

MAKE A POP-UP BOOK: At this workshop, you will learn the basics of making a three-dimensional illustration pop up. By practising¬†the basic concepts of paper engineering, folding, glueing and cutting paper. The course lasts 180 minutes, starts at 3pm, and it’s ‚ā¨18 per participant. Sign-up at info@aldeia.com.pt


LEARN HOW TO DO YOUR MAKE UP:¬†Have you ever struggled with brushes, not knowing which ones to use for what? Or decided to buy foundation a few colours higher than you should be wearing? And what about that smoky eye effect? Can you do it without messing it up? Learn all the make-up trips with Sara Taborda at Metro Studio. 4 hours, ‚ā¨50, sign up here.

Forro Brasil

BRAZILIAN DANCE: The triangle, the drums and the accordion are the key elements of Forró, a type of music originally from Northeast Brasil. Couples hold each other tight, sometimes barefoot and move and spin at the rhythm of this happy dance. Entrance is free. The party starts at 8pm. The address is here.

Sunday 19 November

Farmers market lisbon

FARMERS MARKET: Try the regions’ best fresh and organic fruits and vegetables. Every Sunday, farmers descend to LX Lisbon with homemade bread, fresh vegetables, fruits, sausages, honey, compotes, all traditional and collected or made with love. Free entrance. Located here.¬†

santini chestnut

CHESTNUT ICE-CREAM: Taste the new chestnut ice cream at the best Italian¬†ice cream store in Portugal:¬†Santini. This particular flavour is a special edition and this weekend is your last chance to try it. Visit the Lisbon stores, there’s one in Bel√©m and another in Chiado, and discover the many other original tastes they have available. If you’re feeling lazy you can always have it delivered to your home, you can order it¬†here.

AQUA YOGA: Practice Kundalini Yoga in Campo de Ourique municipal pools. Movement, dynamic breathing techniques, meditation, and chanting mantras are the main features of this style of yoga. Its goal is to build physical vitality and increase consciousness. Starts at 12pm, price ‚ā¨3. Bookings:¬†Luadiaterapias@gmail.com

DO THE SWING:¬†Doesn’t matter if you already know this dance or if would like to learn it. Logradouro –¬†Aromatic Grocery and Living Room welcomes all the swing enthusiasts for a night of dancing, drinking and eating at a unique place infused with the most exciting aromas offering¬†liquors, wine, and delicacies such as goats’ cheese, smoked salmon, anchovies, cookies and crackers. It starts at 6pm. Free entrance. Details here.

WATCH MAD MAX:¬†In the third instalment of the movie, Max (Mel Gibson) drifts into an evil town ruled by Turner. There he becomes a gladiator and gets dumped in the desert where he is rescued by a band of feral orphans who have been looking for help for years.¬† Have fun watching this 1985 Australian, post-apocalyptic action-adventure film at Cine-Pop. Starts at 4pm, tickets are ‚ā¨4. The sessions are always in English.


Things To Do This Weekend In Lisbon: 28-29 October 2017

Saturday 28th October

PICNIC BRUNCH:¬†Nothing like a lazy Saturday morning in bed followed by a delicious brunch to¬†start your¬†day on a high note. Get your food basket and blanket at¬†Hotel da Estrela¬†and for ‚ā¨19 you can have a nice picnic in the hotel grounds. If you prefer, you can instead have the brunch inside the hotel.¬† It starts at 12.30pm ends at 3.00pm, children from 4 to 11 years old pay half and up to 3 go free. Free parking. More information¬†here.

AUTUMN¬†MARKET: If you live in the Cascais area, the Autumn market is also a great way to spend your morning. There will be loads of food to try, roasted chestnuts, dried fruits, compotes, different types of cheese and charcuterie, liqueurs and jeropiga, a Portuguese wine made with brandy and grapes. At the market, you’ll also find lots of food stalls including roasted pork with chestnuts. Entertainment wise, there will be music and traditional folk dancers performing. Entrance is free. More info here.

FREE TOUR OF THE LIGHTHOUSE:¬†If you’re not afraid of heights, take this free tour to the Farol Museu de Santa Marta. This is a free activity. To book you just have to¬†contact the city hall. The tour starts at 10am.

DRAW YOUR OWN CARTOON:¬†Learn how to draw a cartoon from scratch at the Funda√ß√£o Portuguesa das Telecomunica√ß√Ķes. This is a very practical workshop where you’ll learn the tricks of the trade as you draw. It starts at 10am and ends at 6pm, costs ‚ā¨30 per person. All the information you need is¬†here.

SURVIVAL COURSE IN MONSANTO:¬†Awaken your survival skills with this course in the wilderness. You’ll learn all about what plants to eat and which to avoid or learn how to build a shelter for you and your group. The survival course is open to adults and children. It costs ‚ā¨10 euros and includes covers a wilderness guide, cookies, tea and insurance. Children from 7 to 12 pay ‚ā¨5. Starts 1.30pm and has around 3h30m duration. Tickets here.

SELF DEFENSE FOR WOMEN: You don’t need a lot of strength to stop an aggressor from attacking you. Learn how to prevent potentially dangerous situations with this very practical self-defence course. The course takes¬†2h30, it’s for women only and it costs¬†20 euros. Link about the event¬†here. Tickets here.

PIZZA RODIZIO: From 1.3o to 3pm and again from 7pm to 10.30pm you can taste all the artisanal pizzas you want for only ‚ā¨9.99. Enjoy it here.

BRUNCHER THINGS: Take your best scary costume out of the wardrobe and get ready for Brunch Electronik’s¬† take on Halloween. The party starts at 10pm and ends at 4am and because clocks go back on Sunday, you’ll get an extra party hour. The entrance fee is ‚ā¨22. Get your ticket here.

Sunday 29th October

BAT HUNTING:Puzzle Room’s¬†team is taking you and your children on an adventure through the streets of Lisbon. They’re releasing 7 bats and your mission will be to find those cheeky things before anyone else. Each bat will have a prize attached. Clues will be given on their Facebook Page and will be written in Portuguese and English. The game starts at 10am. The event is free. Visit their page for more info.

FREE YOGA IN THE PARK: Wear comfortable clothes, take a yoga mat or, if you don’t have it, a blanket or towel will do. Get ready to expire all the negativity and inspire freedom. The open-air class will be open to everyone regardless of their fitness level. Free admission. Info and location of the event¬†here.

FAMILY MARKET: In England, you have Gumtree, in America you have Craigslist and in Portugal you have OLX. This Sunday, Portugal’s biggest online shop will be selling is running another live edition, this time focused on children and baby.¬†The fair is taking place in Avenida da Liberdade. And, from 10am to 6pm, you’ll be able to buy everything from children’s clothing to furniture. Throughout the day the Red Cross will be there collecting bedsheets, clothing and toiletries¬†for the victims of the fires. Event page here.

WATCH THE THING: This weekend¬†Cinepop brings you yet another classic movie, this time and because it’s Halloween, they will be showing a horror movie. Revisit The Thing from John Carpenter, the session starts at 4pm. Tickets are only sold at the box office. Location¬†here.

Things To Do This Weekend In Lisbon: 21-22 October 2017 – Children’s Edition


MUSIC FOR BABIES: It happens every third Saturday of the month and each time there’s a special guest. Through songs and musical games, your¬†kids will develop motor, cognitive and linguistic skills.¬† Starts at 4pm and ends at 5pm. For children from 9 months old to 4 years old. Price is ‚ā¨15 for one baby and two adults.¬†Sign up.

COLLAGE CREATIVE WORKSHOP: Visit the new MAAT Museum (Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology) while your children enjoy this creative workshop making collages with different materials. Starts at¬†4pm and ends at 6pm. For ages 9 to 12 years old. ‚ā¨5 per child. 50% off for the second child. Get tickets.

LASER TAG: Looking for a unique experience, filled with adrenaline? Discover the biggest laser tag in Lisbon and Spain. When you enter the¬† 300 m2 arena you’ll feel like you’ve entered another galaxy. Take your children and a group of their friends and have a fun adventure. Ticket prices start at ‚ā¨8 per game. Book your tickets¬†here.

RIDE ON A BUS/BOAT: HIPPOtrip, is both a bus and a boat tour that will surely marvel your children. Driving in the Lisbon streets or plunging into the Tagus river, while learning interesting stories about the city, all without¬†leaving their sits. Adults pay ‚ā¨25 and children and seniors ‚ā¨15. Tickets¬†here.


MUSICAL THEATRE FOR BABIES: Produced in the¬†Children’s Lisbon Theatre, this play introduces children to Mozart through sounds, lights, shapes and a lot of sensorial¬†experiences. You can see a small teaser here. The play is for children aged 6 months to 4 years old. Sessions start¬†at 11am and a family ticket is ‚ā¨20. Get tickets.

COOKING WITH SOLAR ENERGY: Learn how to cook a pizza and even a sweet apple dessert with solar energy. The class happens in S√£o Pedro do Estoril, 20 minutes train ride from Lisbon. From 11th to 17th and it’s free. More info here.

BOUNCE: Jump, jump, jump, jump around. Have a fun Sunday jumping around with your children at Bounce. A complex filled with 100 trampolines. For children aged 3 and above. Prices: ‚ā¨10 for the first session and ‚ā¨8 for the next ones. More info here.

THE TROUBADOR, A PUPPET OPERA: An opera, that’s also a love story told with masterfully¬†done puppetry. You can find some samples of the Compagnia Marionettistica Carlo Colla & figli¬†work¬†here. The music is from Giuseppe Verdi, the opera is in Italian but with Portuguese¬†subtitles.¬†Sunday at 4pm in Teatro Trindade (there are tickets for this¬†Friday and Saturday at 8pm if you prefer). Tickets start at ‚ā¨10, they also sell family packages. Ages 6 and above. Tickets here.

What To Do This Weekend in Lisbon: 15 to 17 September 2017

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All Weekend

The Lisbon Busking Festival starts Friday 15th September and will go on until Sunday on Largo do Intendente in Lisbon. Circus performers, jugglers, acrobats, clowns, puppeteers, living statues, improvised poetry, dance and theater, there will be something for everyone. It starts at 5pm on Friday but it goes on the whole weekend and it’s free. Performances will take place in Intendente, Chapit√ī or in the Mercado de Arroios. Find the program and more info here.


Go underground this weekend and take a guided tour of the Roman Galleries. They were discovered soon after the Great Earthquake of 1771 and consist of an intricate underground tunnel system built by the Romans¬†in the 1st century¬†AD. The Galleries only open once or twice a year because they’re usually flooded so this is your chance to see them. Sign up here¬†for the very much coveted tickets, they cost ‚ā¨2. If they are sold out, don’t worry, tickets that aren’t collected become available again on the website so keep checking. Learn more about the galleries here.

Have you have wondered what it would be to go back to medieval times? Well, this is your chance, the Alameda Medieval Channel takes place under a military camp. There will be food, falconry shows, horse tournaments and so much more. Find out what’s in store here. Entrance is free.

Friday, 15 September

Bel√©m Art Fest is a festival that¬†gives you the chance to go inside the most beautiful, iconic monuments and museums in Bel√©m and watch artists perform in their secluded, beautiful¬†rooms. A day ticket costs ‚ā¨20 and it will also give you access to night guided museum tours. Tickets here and more info here. ¬†If you’re not feeling musical you can visit the street food market in Jardins do Imp√©rio. Entrance is free.

Party at Forr√≥ de S√£o Bento. If you want to delve into the Brazilian¬†culture nothing like trying to dance a little forr√≥. Take a date or some friends and dance the night away in the Forr√≥ de S√£o Bento. It’s free, it happens every Friday and it starts at 9pm. Sign up here.

Saturday, 16 September

If you’re already a fan or happen to be curious about Lucha Libre Mexicana, you can have a little fix if you visit the gardens of the Museu de Lisboa, and watch a real wrestling shown organized in partnership with¬†WP Wrestling Portugal. Three combats and six fighters and all free on Saturday 16th. Entrance is free.

Queer Lisboa is the biggest LGBT film festival in Lisbon and will end on 23rd September. There will be lots of amazing films premiering and competing, short movies, documentaries, talks, and art. Discover the program here. Tickets can be bought at Cinema S√£o Jorge.

Sunday, 17 September

If you like to party and you like to brunch, well this is the place to be this Sunday. Brunch Electronik happens in Tapada da Ajuda, one of the most beautiful botanic parks in Lisbon. There will be music with many Djs¬†playing, sets start at 2pm and end at 22pm. There will be plenty of food trucks with delicious meals to have on the go while you finish your Sunday dancing away. Tickets go for ‚ā¨11 and children are welcome! More info and tickets here.

Online shopping in Portugal

One of the things I miss most about the UK is how quick it used to be to order something online and have it delivered home or at the office the next day. In Portugal the alternatives to buying online tend to be a bit diminished, I wonder if it’s because people¬†in Portugal dislike giving their credit card details online. Regardless of the motive, you must not despair, here’s some of the stores where you can order groceries, sports gear or even furniture. Some have free delivery, others charge a small fee.



Either if you’re looking for sneakers, a backpack or gym apparel this is the place to go.

Free delivery when you order above ‚ā¨14,99.


This is another great option for home delivery when it comes to buying sports gear. The best part is that you can get things delivered at home for free when you make a purchase of more than ‚ā¨10.



This is one of my favorite supermarkets because it’s French which means it has loads of French cookies on offer, not as much as ELECLERC as I’ve recently discovered but still, there’s a great selection. So the catch is that you have to pay delivery, regardless of how much you buy.

Delivery will cost you a mere ‚ā¨5,90.


This is the biggest supermarket chain in Portugal and it sells anything from home decoration, to books, and to meat and vegetables.

Delivery prices start at ‚ā¨4,90.



Beautiful, modern designs at sometimes unbelievable prices. What’s not to like about this Swedish superstore?

Delivery is not cheap but if you live far from an IKEA or don’t own a car then this could be the perfect solution.

Prices for delivery start at ‚ā¨25.