Top 10: Best Boutique Hotels in Lisbon

Are you looking for a chic and stylish luxury hotel where to stay on your next Lisbon holidays? Look no further. Here is a curated list of the most charming boutique hotels in Lisbon.

1. Lx Boutique Hotel

Guests say:The rooms were spacious and clean and I loved the decor of the hotel. The location is also amazing – it’s right down the block from Time Out Market which is foodie heaven. I also enjoyed the complementary pastel de nata in the evening.” 

2.Heritage Avenida da Liberdade

Guests say“Such a relaxing stay! Staff were all friendly and helpful. Room was lovely. Great choice of breakfast food. Tea, coffee, muscatel and port available all day for free! Good location within walking distance of city centre attractions. Not cheap but definitely worth it.”

📍Location 💵 Prices

3.Memmo Princípe Real

Guests say:“A gem of a hotel in a great district of Lisbon. Excellent design and the view over the city stunning. All the staff were excellent, friendly and very attentive also recommending and booking some lovely restaurants for us… Ate dinner at the hotel which good. Breakfast was great with a wide choice of lovely fresh fruit, pastries, cheese, meats etc as well as cooked options. The room was superb – a wonderful surprise as had been given an upgrade at no extra cost to a premier room which was really spacious overlooking the city with French windows in the bedroom and sitting area as well as the bathroom! Can’t wait to return ….”

📍Location 💵 Prices

4.Palacete Chafariz D’El Rey

Guests say: “The staff were amazing! Helpful every minute. Breakfast was superb! Beautiful remodelled historical home. Lots of restaurants just steps away. Excellent showers and rooms. Comfortable beds.” Rhonda USA USA

📍Location 💵 Prices

5. AlmaLusa Baixa/Chiado

Guests say: “This was by far one of the best boutique hotels I have ever stayed in. The staff especially Bernardo and Luisa was fantastic! They were so attentive, professional, accommodating and helpful that they made our experience in Lisbon amazing. They set up a bunch of activities for us which certainly made our trip. The hotel bed was the most comfortable hotel bed I have ever stayed in-overall BEST!!!!” Jennifer 🇺🇸 USA

6. As Janelas Verdes

Guests say: “Beautifully clean everywhere. Very hard working helpful staff. Reception always more than helpful. Breakfast fantastic, particularly the fresh fruit salad every day. Good size rooms with everything that we needed. Good size bathroom too and immaculately clean. Well stocked honesty bars. Great view from the library. I really couldn’t find fault. Thank you AJV.” Philip 🇫🇷 France

📍Location💵Prices

7. Corpo Santo Lisbon Historical Hotel

Guests say: “If I could give six stars out of five I would. The little extras such as pastries, pancakes and popcorn in the lobby various times was a nice touch. And the free walking tour was the highlight of our short stay.” Adrian  United Kingdom  United Kingdom

8. Solar do Castelo

Guests say: Solar do Castelo is located within the walls of Lisbon’s historic castle. It is mostly an old building constructed on the site of the castle’s original kitchen. Our room very comfortable, clean with a view to the inner walls of the castle. The welcome bottle of champagne was much appreciated. The breakfast area was a nice place to relax with a nice view of the courtyard where peacocks and peahens pose. The smorgasbord breakfast included juice, cereal, fresh fruits, yoghurts, cold meats, cheeses as well as bacon, eggs and sausages. A great start to each day! All of the staff were friendly and helpful. It is only a short walk to Alfama, Graca and Baixa areas. Solar do Castelo Hotel is an excellent accommodation that is both stylish and relaxing.” Colin 🇦🇺 Australia

📍Location 💵 Prices

9. Valverde Hotel

Guests say: “The location is fantastic, the staff couldn’t do enough to help, and were very courteous, the restaurant staff were very attentive, the breakfast was very good.” Marie 🇦🇺 Australia

📍Location 💵 Prices

10. Torel Palace

Guests say:Everything was very good. Very helpful stuff, good location and beautiful view of the city. Good quality bath products and comfortable bed. I loved their restaurant – really advise it to try. The “Cave” restaurant has a degustation menu, which is 60 Euro per person and it was really an incredible experience:)” Leyla 🇮🇹 Italy

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10 Best Summer Music Festivals In Portugal 2018

1. Rock in Rio Lisboa 2018

Rock in Rio is one of the biggest festivals in the world and this year it’s coming back to Portugal (this only happens every two years). Headlining the festival are Bruno Mars (tickets already sold out), MUSE, The Killers and Katy Perry.

🎼 Line-up 🗓 23/24-29/30 June📍 Lisbon     🛏 Where to Stay  🎟 Tickets

2. Nos Alive 2018

This is one of the most famous festivals in Portugal. Its proximity to Lisbon and the big names it consistently brings on stage have contributed to making it so popular. Pearl Jam, Queens of Stone Age and Artic Monkeys are some of the bands playing this year.

🎼 Line-up 🗓 7 to 9 July 📍 Passeio Marítimo de Algés   🛏 Where to Stay  🎟 Tickets

3. Super Bock Super Rock 2018

This festival has changed location a few times but, nonetheless, it’s still one of the most popular festivals in Portugal mainly for hosting some of the biggest rock stars in the world.  This year they will be hosting a more eclectic mix of musical styles and bands like The XX,  Justice, Travis Scott and Julian Casablancas & the Voidz.

🎼 Line-up 🗓 19 to 21 July 📍 Lisbon     🛏 Where to Stay  🎟 Tickets

4. Boom Festival 2018

Boom Festival is the biggest psytrance festival in the world. It features live music performances and a broad variety of visual art exhibits. It happens bi-annually, during August’s full moon, in Idanha-a-Nova and although it’s been sold out for ages now, you can either try to get tickets through other means a.k.a forums and facebook groups or just start planning for the next one.

🎼 Line-up 🗓 22 to 29 July 📍 Idanha-a-Nova     🛏 Where to Stay  🎟 Tickets

5. MEO Sudoeste 2018

MEO Sudoeste is one of the biggest Portuguese summer festivals and it happens in the coastal town of Zambujeira do Mar, in Alentejo. Electronic music is the Queen at this festival but worry not, if this is not your style there are always other types of music being played on the different stages around the festival. J Balvin, Hardwell, Marshmello and Shawn Mendes are some of the artists performing this year.

🎼 Line-up 🗓 7 to 11 August 📍 Zambujeira do Mar     🛏 Where to Stay  🎟 Tickets

6. Vodafone Paredes de Coura 2018

It’s all the way up north, by Praia do Taboão in Paredes de Coura, that one of the biggest festivals, together with NOS ALIVE and Sudoeste, takes place. This festival is known for bringing into the limelight bands on the brink of worldwide success. This year Big Thief, Fleet Foxes, Skepta and Arcade Fire are the headliners at the festival.

🎼 Line-up 🗓 15 to 18 August 📍 Paredes de Coura     🛏 Where to Stay  🎟 Tickets

7. Vilar de Mouros 2018

Vilar de Mouros is the oldest rock festival in Portugal and it’s still one of the cheapest to attend, €70 for three days. It happens in Caminha, northwestern Portugal, and it was organized for the first time in 1965. When it was first launched, Portugal was still under a dictatorship regime so the government police would walk around the venue compiling the names of the forbidden songs being played.  Elton John, U2, Neil Young, Ben Harper have all played in Vilar de Mouros. This year you can see Human League, The Pretenders, Los Lobos and Public Image Limited.

🎼 Line-up 🗓 23 to 25 August 📍 Vilar de Mouros     🛏 Where to Stay   🎟 Tickets

8. NOS Primavera Sound 2018

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, LORDE, A$AP Rocky, Tyler the Creator are just some of the artists and bands performing at NOS Primavera Sound.  This eclectic and alternative music festival takes place in Porto’s urban park and it’s the youngest sibling of a festival with the same name in Barcelona.

🎼 Line-up 🗓 7 to 9 June 📍 Porto     🛏 Where to Stay   🎟 Tickets

Festivals Starting to Get Noticed

9. Sumol Summer Fest

Joey Bada$$, French Montana, Vic Mensa will be taking the stage in Ericeira, a beach and surf destination where famous hip-hop names converge for a two-night festival. You can buy a two-day pass with camping included.

🎼 Line-up 🗓 6 to 7 July 📍 Ericeira     🛏 Where to Stay   🎟 Tickets

10. Meo Marés Vivas

David Guetta, Rita Ora, LP, Goo Goo Dolls, Joss Stone, Jamiroquai and many more artists will be bringing the house down with incredible performances at this urban festival located in Vila Nova de Gaia, Porto.

🎼 Line-up 🗓 20 to 22 July 📍Vila Nova de Gaia     🛏 Where to Stay   🎟 Tickets


Looking for something different?

¤ Check out the best music festivals you won’t want to miss this summer!

¤ Make the best of your trip to Portugal by booking some of these tours.

¤ Book a mini break in Alentejo and sleep inside a convent

Top 10 Best Tours, Excursions and Activities in Lisbon

I’ve recently travelled to Rome and since I was only staying for a few days I wanted to avoid wasting any time queuing to get into the main touristic spots. While researching for tickets online I ended up discovering the best app from where to buy skip-the-line tickets. No queues, no endless waiting in the cold. As soon as I returned to Portugal I started looking for a similar service in Portugal, and there it was. The same service I used in Italy. An app and website dedicated to selling tickets for Portuguese tours, excursions and activities.

Check out the 10 top tours recommended in every guide about Lisbon now accessible at the tip of your fingers. Most of the tickets can be cancelled in the 24h before the trip, also, after buying the tickets on your phone, all you’ll have to worry is showing up since your phone voucher is usually enough.

  1. Book a private airport transfer for only €18.50

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Start your holiday hassle free with this private transfer.  This is a 45-minute service (usually you can get everywhere in Lisbon in 20m), the car can fit up to 3 people and there’s also have a bigger car available if you’re travelling with a bigger group. Book your private driver here.

2. Take an exciting walking and tram tour through Lisbon’s iconic neighbourhoods for €18

 

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Take a tour through Lisbon’s most famous and historic neighbourhoods. The tour starts in Bairro Alto and lasts 3-hours, you will walk and also take one of the famous city trams. Tickets for the Lisbon Essential Tour: History, Stories & Lifestyle can be bought here.

3. No sweat tour around Lisbon with an electric bike for €35

 

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Discover the city of 7 hills at the “helm” of an electric bike. Cruise with comfort around Lisbon’s hilly neighbourhoods and have fun discovering the city. You can book your ticket for Lisbon: 2.5-Hour Hills Tour by Electric Bike here. There’s also a tour on a sitting down segway if you prefer something even more relaxing.

4. Sail in Tagus River on your own private boat for €35

 

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Relax in the Tagus river with a drink while your skipper tells you all about Lisbon’s history. You might even get the chance to direct the boat and trim the sails under the careful guidance of your guide. This is a 2-hour tour, and it’s €35 person. Book your ticket here.

5. Ticket and Skip-the-line in the Pena Palace for €11.50

 

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Skip the lines and discover one of the best-preserved medieval royal residences in the world, Palácio da Pena, which stands on the top of a hill in the Sintra Mountains. “The palace is a hedonistic mix of vividly painted terraces, decorative battlements and mythological statues, all of which stand in stark contrast to the lush greens of the forests that encircle Pena.” Reserve your tickets now.

6. Sintra: Wine Tasting Tour, Regaleira & Monserrate Experience for €34.50

 

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If you’re visiting Lisbon for a few days you should definitely take a day to visit Sintra and enjoy its many wonders. Included in this tours price is the hotel pick up, skip the line tickets, a guide who can speak your language and a visit to a wine cellar, where you’ll get the chance to do some wine tasting. You will also be taken to one of the most emblematic parks of Sintra: the enigmatic Quinta da Regaleira with its wonderful lakes, caves and gardens. All combined you can buy this tour for €34.50. Interested? You can buy it here.

7. Tasting Lisbon Flavours During an Evening Walk Tour for €84

 

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Get out of the beaten track with this culinary journey around Lisbon’s most typical neighbourhoods. Sample delicious Portuguese specialities when you buy your Lisbon: 4-Hour Culinary Evening Walk.

8. Discover Some of the Best Street Art in Lisbon for €34

 

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Take a private guided tour around Lisbon and discover today’s most innovative urban street artists. See graffiti and sophisticated murals, and look at some of the best street art in Europe. Book your tour here.

9. Pub and VIP Club Tour for €15 

 

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Make friends while taking part in one of the biggest pub crawls in Lisbon. Party at some of the city’s best bars and clubs, skip the long lines to all venues and enjoy the free drinks. A local guide will take you on a 5 hours trip you will never forget. This experience includes a 1-hour open bar for beer and sangria, plus drinking games and entry to clubs and bars. Reserve your tour here.

10. Knights Templar Day Tour from Lisbon for €64

 

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You won’t believe how cheap these 5-star hotels are in the Algarve

With a mild and sunny climate all year round, the Algarve is one of Portuguese’s favourite beach destinations. But that’s not all you’ll find this region. As described by Lonely Planet: “The alluring coast of the Algarve receives much exposure for its breathtaking cliffs, golden beaches, scalloped bays and sandy islands. But ‘sun, surf and sand’ is far from the end of the Algarve story; there’s no shortage of other attractions – activities, beach bars (and discos), castles (both sand and real), diving, entertainment, fun…” So hurry and book your next summer holiday, I’ve selected the best and cheapest top 5-star hotels where you can stay in the Algarve in the first week of June.

1. Macdonald Monchique Resort & Spa for €825

Macdonald Hotel Algarve

If you book right now you will still be able to get the patio suite which includes a separate bedroom with a king-sized bed and a big living room, two bathrooms and a terrace with splendid sea and mountain views.

 

 

The Macdonald Monchique Resort & Spa has four different restaurants with options ranging from the typical petiscos (Portuguese tapas) to a pizzeria and even a fine-dining restaurant specialised in fish and wine. If you prefer you can also sit and enjoy one of the two pool bars or relax with a more exotic drink at their cocktail bar.  The hotel has a gym and a spa and there are activities which they can arrange for you, like jeep safaris, bird watching trips, boat cave trips, dolphin watching and horse riding. If you have children there’s also a kids club. The best part of it all? You can book it now for €836, a week for two in June.

Price for 1st week of June: €825 | £729 | $1025

Location: Monchique

Book it now, pay it later.

2 – Penina Hotel & Golf Hotel for €1,030

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This 5-star resort is in Portimão, one of my favourite cities in the Algarve. It still keeps the Portuguese essence of the Algarve with its typical cafes and restaurants, with our strip filled with cotton candy and popcorn sellers, the henna stalls, the caricaturists. But then, there’s also the Irish pubs, the international cuisine, the boat tours.

 

 

If you want to enjoy this eclectic city mix of old and new, you should stay in the Penina Hotel and Golf Resort.  There are 3 golf courses on the grounds of the hotel, a swimming pool, a spa, a kids club, 5 restaurants with Portuguese, Italian and international cuisine, 4 bars serving cocktails from where you can relax and admire the amazing sea views. This hotel is 5 minutes away from Alvor beach.

Book it now, pay it later.

Prices for 1st week of June: €1,030 | £899| $1,265

Location: Portimão

3. Grande Real Santa Eulalia Resort & Hotel  Spa for €1,109

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You can stay in a room, a suite or an apartment at this 5-star hotel in Albufeira. At the Grande Real Santa Eulália Resort & Hotel Spa, there’s something for everyone, whether you’re planning to go on a family holiday or a couples holiday.

 

 

There are 4 restaurants on location with an array of different cuisines. There’s also 4 outdoor swimming pools plus 3 for children, 3 swimming pool bars, a Spa and a kids club with music, games and entertainment for children of all ages. In the summer there’s also a disco called Le Club where some of the world’s best DJs come to play.

Price for 1st week of June: € 1109 | £968 | $1,362

Location: Albufeira

Book it now, pay it later.

4. Ria Park Hotel & Spa for €1,272

 

 

 

It’s between Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo, the uber fashionable area of the Algarve, that you’ll find the Ria Park Hotel & Spa. This hotel has its own private beach, Praia Garrão. The hotel has a lagoon-style swimming pool, a restaurant serving Portuguese contemporary cuisine with chef Gerhard Poz at the helm. There’s a health club, a spa, a life-sized football court and two tennis courts in the hotel. If you love gold, the famous Vale do Lobo, Quinta do Lago and Oceanico golf courses are very close to the hotel.

Prices for 1st week of June: €1,272 | £1,111| $1,562

Location: Vale do Lobo, 20 minutes from Faro’s Airport

Book it now, pay it later.

5. Pousada Palácio de Estói – Small Luxury Hotels of the World for €700

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And finally, this beautiful amazing hotel located in Estói, a village far from the hustle and bustle of Algarve’s main towns.

 

 

This hotel used to be a XIX century palace and you can still find the luxury of other times in the architecture, the paintings and antique furniture. If you book it now you will be able to get a balcony with a view.

Prices for 5 days in June: €700 | £611 | $860

Location: Estói

Book it now, pay it later.

 

 

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’s strongest economic growth since 2000, official data showed on Wednesday. Tourism and all travel-related revenues account for about 10 percent of Portugal’s 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 “sun and sea” at Lisbon’s 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 “tourist products” 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’Leary said on Wednesday, as talks with some of the airline’s unions over formal recognition and improved conditions faltered.”

Portugal says it wants Jews and Jewish investment in country

“The Jewish communities have had crucial roles in the Portuguese history, namely Pedro Álvares 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.”

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 €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’s 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 dérive, we set off for a three-day escape in Portugal’s 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
Entrees
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 patê, 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

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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

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A jar of house wine can cost €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

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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

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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

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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 caracóis, which are little snails, served with a very refreshing beer.

  10. They might not accept card payments 

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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

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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 café com leite (latte) or even a meia de leite (small stronger latte)