Sums up this country pretty nice.
A culture filled with slow/ relaxed, patient people that enjoy each day. Really friendly when you ask for help and if they see you struggling, they'll offer help even if they don't speak english. Very timid people, whom are non violent which was a nice change of pace from America.
When I asked a local that I spent a few days with what he thought of their culture he said, "We have low self esteem as a country, because we separated ourselves from Spain. Also, we are a country of sailors, but afraid of the water. Lastly, we perform best when under stress, we aren't lazy, but we take it easy then realize oh shit we need to get going and then we really get things done." I found these very interesting and made sense as to why I felt they were non violent people, as they have low self esteem due to their historical mistakes. They still love Fado which is their nostalgia of the past, I highly recommend going to see a Fado live. I personally enjoyed their relax energy!
So I flew to Portugal by myself and met my dearest friend Bo, from the Netherlands for the second half of the trip. It was a fairly easy place to travel, even without speaking Portuguese. I always learn the basics when I arrive to a country to show my respect. Always ask "Fala English?" as it's rude to assume they speak english, as you are in their country. I made this mistake at first, so hopefully you can learn from me!
Thank you: Obrigado
How are you: Como voce esta
My week journey: Porto --> Aveiro --> Costa Nova --> Lisbon --> South of Lisbon
🌞Six bridge boat tour
🌞Porto cruz - try the local wine
🌞Igreja Do Carmo Porto - beautiful church
🌞Livraria Lello - Harry Potter library
🌞Majestic Cafe from 1921
🌞Matosinhos - fisher town for amazing fish on the beach
🌞Espaaco Porto Cruz - really cool rooftop bar
🌞Hotfive Blues & Jazz - Some funky live music
🌞Jardins do Palacio de Cristal - beautiful park
🌞Just simply walk around the city, it's a gorgeous place and speak to the locals they are all so friendly!
🌞The Yeatman Hotel for another great rooftop view
🌞Mirajazz another rooftop with good music
Healthy Food in Porto (Combida):
🌞Berry Trindade - my absolute favorite, menu changes daily, completely vegetarian w/ vegan options
🌞Noshi Cofee - vegan/ vego options and juices
🌞DUH! Vegan Donuts - small, hole in the way vegan sweet tooth fixer
🌞Da Terra - vegan buffet that's very affordable
🌞Lupin Restaurante Vegetariano - vegan
🌞Mercado Bom Sucesso - a big food court with lots of options for everyone
🌞Vegana by Tentugal
Spa in Porto (Treat Yo Self):
🌞Sheraton Porto Hotel & Spa - if you are able to stay here the spa is only 10 euros, not sure the price if you're a visitor, but it's STUNNING! Different sauna/ steam rooms, large hot tub with a variety of jets, relaxation room, himalayan salt room, and light refreshments. They also have a gym with brand new equipment and towels.
🌞Center for therapeutic Massage or called Porto Massage Center - lots of different kinds of massage and wonderful reviews!
🌞Well Domus Fitness & Spa great spot with hydrotherapy, massages and a gym
Averio/ Costa Nova:
🌞Riactiva (Costa Nova): If you want to learn how to windsurf, kite surf paddle board, surf, sail or bike this is the place to do it! The have really affordable prices and it's in a lagoon so I felt very safe learning there!
🌞This area is a quaint beach town, very quiet and relaxing, not that touristy and not upscale at all
🌞Bronze Seafood & Lounge (Costa Nova): incredible mushroom vegan burger & it's on the beach where I took the picture above. Also try their Sangria if you like alcohol
🌞Averio has nice shops and restaurants, as well as the little boats like they do in Italy in the canal
🌞Restaurante Musgo (Averio): Vegan and menu changes a lot
🌞Mercado da Ribeira - really cool market with lots of food
🌞Praca Luis de Camoes - large sculpture
🌞Praca do Comercio - historical landmark near the beach
🌞Fado in Chiado - go listen to the beautiful Fado live (traditional music)
🌞Santa Justa Lift - very old elevator and bridge at the top
🌞Monumento aos Restauradores - beautiful landmark and views of the city
🌞Miradouro de Santa Luzia - stunning garden, and beat view of the city, where my picture above was taken
🌞Castelo de S. Jorge - Castel
🌞Church of St. Dominic - large Roman Catholic Church
🌞Bela Vista Park
🌞I recommend walking all over Lisbon, we did it two different days and yes it's a bit hilly but so rewarding to see all the locations by foot, especially since there are so many places to stop
🌞PARK Bar - secret rooftop bar that's on top of a parking garage
🌞Sintra - it's more west, but a gorgeous city and castle
🌞Estroil and Cascais are great surf/ beach towns with some great restaurants & a lot more peaceful than Lisbon - nice place to get out of the city
🌞The Food Temple -vegan
🌞My Mothers Daughter
🌞Ladybug - delicious and extensive smoothie/ juice/ vego & vegan pastries
🌞Eight - Vegan
🌞The Green Affair
🌞Cafe Galeria House of Wonders Cascais
🌞Greenwish - Healthy Food and Bar Cascais
🌞Local - Your Healthy Kitchen Cascais
We rented a car and drove to the chunk of land just below Lisbon, but not down the coast all the way South. Next time!
South of Lisbon:
🌞Lighthouse Cabo Espichel - beautiful, not crowded and an old church and cafe there too. They had people selling crystals and stones outside the church, I got a really cool crystalized citrine!
🌞Castelo de Sesimbra - stunning castles, no cost to explore, not very touristy, & lovely views of the ocean
🌞Praia Portinho da Arrabida - You have to park up the hill, but it's a beautiful walk to a beach and some local fish restaurants (not cheap)
🌞Praia de Albarquel - there's some cool rock formations here and large beach area near a cute town
🌞 You need passport & license to rent car
🌞There are hidden speed cameras without signs, so be careful
🌞Make sure your rental car has a Via Verde device & then you just go down the green V lines. They save you lots of time if you can afford the couple extra euros
🌞Get a diesel car, we got the and had incredible gas mileage, we drove for a whole day and only used 1/4 of the tank, so it's worth spending extra on rental
🌞Over taking on the right is illegal, so if you're driving in left lane and someone is riding your bum, then move over to the right so they can pass
🌞Can't text and drive (just enjoy being disconnected)
🌞No parking signs are called Estacionamento Probido.
🌞A white and blue sign with a red line across it usually signifies a no parking zone.
I thought Portugal was a divine little country filled with relaxing beaches, kind hearted locals and loads of delicious healthy food! I hope these tips help you enjoy it as much as I did! If you have any questions, I'll try my best to answer them, but I only spent a week here so not as knowledgeable as some!