Cost of Vacation in Portugal 2020, Top Places and When to Visit

Filed in Articles by on August 12, 2020

Cost of Vacation in Portugal 2020, Top Places and When to Visit.

Vacation in Portugal – Your vacation in Portugal will not be boring because there are tons of things that will keep you thrilled.  Portugal is on the Iberian Peninsula which it shares with Spain. It’s a diverse country that has its own unique culture and a variety of beautiful natural landscapes. In particular, Portugal has the cliff beaches of Algarve, beautiful rural countryside, energetic cities, a traditional culture, beautiful lush green vineyards, and so much more.

Vacation in Portugal

This beautiful country has managed to maintain its own unique rich culture while other nearby countries in Europe merge and modernize.

It has rural areas that still feel a world away from the nearby cosmopolitan cities. There are parts of the country that still feel like you’ve stepped back in time.

Even in the cosmopolitan city of Lisbon you can get lost off the back alleyways and catch a glimpse of a city that once was.

Cost of Vacation in Portugal - Top Places and when to Visit

Portugal was once one of the most economically poor countries in Western Europe, but when the dictatorship ended in 1974 and it later joined the European Union, its wealth and modern amenities grew and began to thrive.

Over the last few decades, it has grown in popularity amongst tourists.

International tourists frequently visit this fascinating city, but European tourists flock here, particularly during the cold winter months when they head south to escape the frigid temperatures. Here are other things that you need to know about a vacation in Portugal;

Language of Portugal

Portuguese is an Indo-European Romance language and the official language of Portugal. Portuguese is used in several other countries, which have had contact with Portugal over the years. A large population of Portugal’s population, about 96%, speaks Portuguese.

Most of these Portuguese speakers use the language as their mother tongue. In Portugal, the language has ten unique dialects. Portuguese is used in all spheres of life in the country, from writing to most of the communication in business and daily interactions. Portuguese is also used in former colonies and territories of Portugal.

Currency of Portugal

The currency used in Portugal is the EURO, introduced in 1999. Since 2002, the former currency Portuguese Escudo is no longer available and replaced by the Euro currency.

Climate of Portugal

Portugal is mainly characterized by a warm temperate, Mediterranean climate with a distinct wet season in winter. During winter, Portugal experiences a similar temperature pattern to the Spanish coastal towns, i.e. average daytime maxima of about 16°C (61°F).

Accommodation Cost in Portugal

Overall, you’ll find accommodation very affordable in Portugal, especially if you are staying in hostels. Most dorm rooms average 10 EUR (12 USD) per night. Private rooms at hostels cost around 40 EUR (45 USD) in a hostel. A double room in a hotel begins at 35 EUR (40 USD) for a cheap, 2-star hotel.

Shared rooms through Airbnb cost around 15 EUR (17 USD) per night, while entire homes average about 40 EUR (45 USD) per night. You also could couch surf or stay at a pensão (family-run inns) to save money.

Food in Portugal

You can find snacks in bakeries for around 2 EUR (3 USD), light meals and sandwiches for around 7 EUR (8 USD), and fast food for around the same price. If you want a sit-down meal with drinks, you’re looking at spending closer to around 18-20 EUR (20-25 USD) per meal.

After that, the sky is the limit. However, you can find some great bargains. I once had a full meal with wine for 13 EUR (15 USD). If you’re cooking, groceries will cost around 30-35 EUR (35-40 USD) for a week’s worth of food that includes items like pasta, vegetables, chicken, and other basic foodstuffs.

Activity Cost in Portugal

Activities aren’t that expensive in Portugal. Museums and UNESCO sites charge between 6-11 EUR (7-13 USD) entrance fees. Wine tours are about 50 EUR (55 USD) for a whole day tour. Most museums are closed on Mondays and have shorter hours in the winter.

Transportation Cost in Portugal

Public Transportation: The larger cities like Porto and Lisbon have great public transit options, including trains, trams, and buses.

Tickets start around 1.50 EUR (1.70 USD). In smaller communities, people generally use the public bus, and fares are about the same.

Taxis are affordable for short distances and are metered. Fares start at 3.25 EUR (4 USD) plus about 1 EUR (less than 2 USD) per kilometer.

A taxi trip shouldn’t cost you more than 12 EUR (14 USD). Locals like to get around by bike, and bike rentals are available in all the major cities.

You can rent a basic one for 15 EUR (17 USD) per day. On the islands like the Azores, there are public buses between most major towns but they’re unreliable and rarely on schedule.

While this is your cheapest option, most people rent a car since it’s more convenient. Rates start at around 42 EUR per day.

Trains: Portugal has a great rail system. Ticket prices are affordable, costing usually about 20-40 EUR (23-45 USD) to go from Porto to Lisbon.

Even the high-speed rail is affordable, unlike other European countries – it’s about the same price between Porto and Lisbon as the regular train.

A train trip between Braga (in the far north) to Faro (at the southern tip) will cost about 40-50 EUR (45-55 USD) for both high-speed and regular rail options.

Buses: Buses are the cheapest of all the options, and since Portugal is on the smaller side, it’s also not too time-consuming. A cross-country bus from Lisbon to Lagos will cost between 20-40 EUR (25-45 USD), while an eight-hour journey from Braga to Faro starts at 30 EUR (35 USD).

Lisbon is the main spot for Flixbus routes. It’s the best line to take you out of Portugal and into the rest of Europe. To head into Spain, a bus or train to Madrid costs around 50 EUR (55 USD).

Budget Airlines: Flying is also the best way to get to the islands, like the Azores and Madeira Island. A flight from Lisbon to the Azores costs as little as 30 EUR (35 USD), while Lisbon to Madeira Island starts at about 35 EUR (40 USD).

TAP Air is Portugal’s official airline, but other budget airlines like Ryanair and EasyJet also service Portugal.

Ferries: You can ferry between the Portugal mainland and the islands as well. The Porto Santo Line services Madeira Island while Atlânticoline services the Azores islands.

You can find routes for as little as 20 EUR (22 USD), while other popular routes like Funchal in the Madeira Islands to Porto Santo Island starts around 35 EUR (40 USD).

Top Places to Visit for Vacation in Portugal:

1. Aveiro


Hugging the country’s Atlantic Coast in Central Portugal, Aveiro is a bustling city often called “the Venice of Portugal” due to its picturesque setting of scenic canals connected by charming bridges and dotted with colorful gondolas and speed boats.

Historic sites, gorgeous beaches, and tasty cuisine also make Aveiro a popular tourist destination. Aveiro’s many sightseeing gems include the Aveiro Cathedral, the São Gonçalinho Chapel, and the Convento de Jesus. These all offer lovely architecture and artworks.

2. Evora


Evora may be a small town in the Alentejo plains region of southern Portugal, but it packs huge tourist appeal. With a history dating back more than 2,000 years, Evora was once a flourishing city under Roman rule.

Today, Evora is the capital of the Alentejo region, regarded for its well-preserved Old Town, which shelters more than 4,000 historic structures including the old Roman walls and temples. Another highlight is the 13th-century Cathedral of Evora, one of Portugal’s most important Gothic structures.

3. Lagos


One of the premier resort towns in Portugal, Lagos basks in the warmth of the Algarve sun and is the preferred vacation destination for thousands of visitors, who flock to the country’s south coast every year.

Known for the fabulous beaches that flank the town either side of its international marina, Lagos is also home to some truly magical rock formations, sandstone cliffs that tower over a series of sea caves, and weirdly shaped grottoes.

If you can lure yourself away from the sand, these can be visited as part of a fun-filled sightseeing cruise, among numerous other water sports options.

Back on terra firma, Lagos’ cultural draws include the remarkable Museu Municipal and its adjoining Igreja de Santo António, the interior of which is one of the most lavishly decorated in the entire region.

4. Penha de Santa Catarina

Penha de Santa Catarina

Reached by a picturesque mountain road that twists and turns through verdant sloping woodland, the Penha de Santa Catarina Park is an ideal excursion for those tourists seeking respite from the city, especially during the often stifling summer heat.

Rising to a height of 620 meters and yet only seven kilometers southeast from the center of Guimarães, the green space forms part of a National Ecological Reserve and covers 50 hectares.

A veritable oasis of flora and fauna, the park is a serious picnic territory and is a favorite destination for families.

5. Algarve



The Algarve, in the south of Portugal, is famous for its stunning beaches ­– there are 150 – and spectacular waves. Steer clear of the crowded south coast and head west to the less developed part of the Algarve where huge Atlantic rollers make for awesome surfing for experts and beginners alike.

Praia does Amado, on the Costa Vicentina, is Portugal’s best-known surfing beach. While its big waves have attracted international body-boarding and surfing competitions, it’s also family-friendly with sand dunes, cliffs, rock pools at low tide and its own surf school.

When to Visit Portugal

Peak season in Portugal is during the summer months of June – August, where temperatures are around 33ºC (92ºF), and popular destinations like Porto and Lisbon experience a huge influx of visitors.

Prices increase during this time as well. But the overall atmosphere and weather is great, so it’s still worth visiting during peak season.

However, the best time to visit Portugal is shoulder season in the spring and fall (March to May and September to October, respectively). It’s still warm during this time but there aren’t as many crowds and prices are cheaper. It’s also easier to meet locals!

Winter is from November to February. It gets cold, and tourist crowds have thinned out considerably. Temperatures vary quite a bit from place to place, but overall the temperature averages around 17 °C (53 °F).

CSN Team.

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