How to Plan a Portugal Trip Right in 2024

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We get it; planning a visit to a new country can get exciting. From booking the tickets and the hotel accommodations, the anticipation of new scenic experiences really puts you in a tizzy!

But, when your destination this year is Portugal, things are slightly different – more… special, if you will. You won’t just be packing, booking, and going; Trust us, visitors to Portugal are living witnesses to a truly memorable experience. 

With that said, there’s a method to this Portuguese goodness. It’s a popular tourist spot, and thousands of others seek the same good time that you do.  So, if you plan the trip right, you get to beat the rush, stay ahead of the crowd, and get the most out of your budget. This guide helps you put the best foot forward as to planning a Portugal trip right in 2024.

1. Picking the Right Portuguese Location

When packing your bags for Portugal, chances are that you’ve got a location in mind to visit. But the country’s got lots of great destinations, and sometimes it gets tough trying to choose to visit! But we’re here to help: You can pick your Portuguese location based on your travel preferences at the moment. 

Visiting Portugal for the first time? Make sure to visit its capital, Lisbon. We can testify that it’s a vibrant and modern aggregate of what the country has to offer. Another great option is Porto, more suited to lovers of nature and fine wines.

Are you more interested in wildlife watching? Faro should be your first port of call. The famous Ria Formosa Park is particularly worth your time: a morning walk here is sublime!

2. How Long to Stay in Portugal?

No matter where you decide to visit in the beautiful country of Portugal, you’ll need time to bask in the landscapes and take in all that goodness. It won’t be a two-day breeze-in-and-out travel affair – far from it, we’ll tell you that much. 

We’d wager that 7 days is more suitable, but that’s really only the baseline. If you’d be traveling with family, 12 days allows you to visit the beaches and all the family-friendly locations in Lisbon and the Algarve region.

You’d need even more time for expansive destinations like the Madeira Islands or Azores Islands. It’s best to spread the tour over two weeks for the best experience.

3. Picking the Right Time to Travel

Most travel destinations are open to visitors all year round, but with Portugal, there is indeed a thing as the right time to visit. Not that there are any official restrictions at some times in the country, but you’ll be getting the best experience only during select times and seasons.

If you’ve got some wiggle room in your schedule, why not visit Portugal in the spring (March to May) or autumn (September to November)? These seasons offer fantastic weather with comfortable temperatures. 

Plus, in spring, you’ll see the countryside blooming with flowers, while autumn treats you to stunning golden leaves. Another perk? Fewer tourists, so you can soak in the sights without the crowds.

June is a sweet spot too. The weather’s still great, and the tourist numbers are relatively low, making it a perfect time to explore.

Come July and August, brace yourself for the summer rush. Families with school-age kids flood into Portugal for their vacation, leading to longer lines and bigger crowds at popular spots. If you don’t mind that, it’s a good idea to book your tickets and accommodation ahead of time.

Winter (December to February) in Portugal is mild but rainy, so pack an umbrella or raincoat. On the bright side, you’ll enjoy peaceful streets and shorter waits at attractions. Just note that some places might have reduced hours for tours.

4. Planning your Budget

Portugal is generally easier on the wallet compared to other popular European spots like the UK, France, Germany, or Switzerland.

As far as expenses go, your big-ticket items will be international flights and accommodation. If you’re traveling during the off-peak seasons, you can snag direct return flights for around $600 to $900. But keep in mind, that prices will shoot up during the busy season from June to August.

For places to stay, mid-range hotels usually run between $100 and $200 per night. You’ll get all the comforts like private bathrooms, Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, and often a breakfast buffet. If you’re looking to splurge, luxury hotels can go up to $500 a night or more, depending on where you are and the level of luxury.

5. How to Get Around Portugal

When traveling between the major Portuguese cities – Lisbon, Porto, and Faro – you’ve got plenty of options, including trains, flights, and buses.

From our experience, the most popular and comfy way to get around is by train. It takes about 2–3 hours to travel from Porto to Lisbon, and around 4–6 hours from Porto to Faro, depending on the train station from where you’re boarding. 

If you’re looking to explore charming small towns or the stunning Portuguese countryside, renting a car is the way to go.

Wrapping Up

Planning a trip to Portugal in 2024 promises to be a memorable adventure. However, you’ll need some sort of plan to best tailor the trip to your preferences. By choosing the right locations and deciding on the length of your stay, you could give yourself ample time to soak in all Portugal offers. 

The rest of the guide offers useful tips on getting around Portugal with minimum faff. Planning a trip to Portugal doesn’t have to be a hit-or-miss, and we’re here to help.

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