How to travel to Portugal on your own | Elena Kazantseva's blog


In this short guide, I will summarize all the information about preparing for a trip to Portugal, share my experience and give links to more detailed articles. Save to bookmarks, share on social networks!

Article content:
Visa and insurance in Portugal
Currency in Portugal
Mobile communication in Portugal
How to get to Portugal
How to get from the airport to the city
Car hire in Portugal. Toll roads and gasoline
Sights of Portugal
Hotels and apartments in Portugal
Prices in Portugal
Tours in Portugal

So, Portugal is the most western country in Europe. The only thing I heard before the trip: it’s beautiful there, it’s cheap there, in Portugal there is the westernmost point of Europe, they speak Portuguese, azulejos. And, if the last three facts are undeniable, then the first two are relatively relative.

how to go to portugal

I’ll explain right away. As for the beautiful: yes, the beautiful Atlantic Ocean, there are beautiful sights and cozy corners in the cities. But the landscape along the roads is quite boring and uninteresting, the cities are rather poor, the houses are shabby (especially in the “colorful” Porto), it is dirty, there are many migrants who live right on the streets with all their belongings. Yes, such a Portugal! But to go and see everything with your own eyes is definitely worth it!

About prices: there are inexpensive places in Portugal, shops. Well, at prices in cafes / restaurants: an ordinary European country, prices are in Italy, Germany, Spain. Gas prices are higher than in Italy (and in Italy, gas is one of the most expensive in Europe), toll roads also spend a good budget. That is, this relative cheapness.

And now in more detail and more specifically.

Visa and insurance to Portugal

Portugal is included in the Schengen agreement, therefore, any Schengen multivisa is suitable for the trip.

A Portuguese Schengen visa is issued in a similar manner as other visas. The easiest way to apply is through the VFS Global Visa Application Centers. See the list of necessary documents on the official website of the visa center

To apply for a visa to Portugal, as well as to enter the country (they do not ask, but have the right), medical insurance is required. Exclusively for a visa, you can apply for the cheapest with insurance coverage of 30,000 euros. It will cost about 5 euros a week. For a trip, draw up a more expensive policy, read reviews about insurance companies and assistance (the company with which you will communicate if an insured event occurs).

Currency in Portugal

The Portugal currency is  euro. Therefore, problems in this regard should not arise. Come immediately with this currency so as not to waste time on exchangers. You can also withdraw money from the card. In large cities, cards are also accepted without problems.

Mobile Communications in Portugal

Major mobile operators in Portugal:

  • MEO (Meo)
  • Vodafone (Vodafone)
  • Nose
  • Lycamobile (Laykamobayl)

Sims can be bought in the salons of mobile operators directly in Portugal (bring your passport with you). The inhabitants of Portugal are advised to connect to MEO, because The most favorable tariffs: 1 GB – about 10 euros per month, 5 GB – 24 euros per month. You may have to pay extra for the SIM card itself.

You can also order a SIM card in advance and already fly to Portugal and be in touch. Let me remind you that roaming in Europe is canceled, therefore, you can use one SIM card almost throughout Europe.

How to get to Portugal

By plane 

Find the best flight to Lisbon

The budget option is to dock low-cost airlines, for example to Bergamo  + Bergamo – Porto / Faro (Ryan Air)

Of the many cities in Europe you can fly to Portugal at a price of up to 30 euros.

By car

to portugal on your own

I do not consider the option of traveling in my car, only rent. You can rent a car in any European country and arrange a European auto-trip. The most important thing is to specify when booking whether the rental agent permits leaving for Portugal, and how much it will cost (or will be free).

About car rental in Europe, I have a detailed article , if you have not rented a car earlier, read it.

Let me remind you, for a trip to Portugal, we rented a car in Valencia. Read more about our rent here , our route see here .

Buses and trains.

You can get to Portugal by public transport, and buses are popular for traveling around Europe: wide coverage, low price. Basically, these, of course, are flixbus buses , I used them repeatedly in Italy .

Here are some sample routes:

To Lisbon from Seville, Malaga, Madrid (from 10 euros), from Barcelona (from 20 euros), from Toulouse (from 20 euros), from Bordeaux (from 30 euros).

To the Port from Salamanca, Madrid (from 10 euros), Barcelona, ​​Zaragoza (from 20 euros), from Toulouse (from 25 euros), from Bordeaux (from 30 euros).


Buy a ticket on >>>


Also, routes from Madrid, Seville and other Spanish cities can be reached by buses from the Spanish carrier ALSA, or eurolines (Madrid – Lisbon from 18 euros, Seville – Lisbon from 35 euros).

Trains run longer, cost more. For example, a bus from Madrid takes about 8 hours (from 18 euros), a renfe train from 11 hours and from 63 euros.


You can buy tickets through the omio website  >>>


How to get from the airport to the city

The blog has articles on two airports in Portugal:


Lisbon Airport: how to get to the city center

Porto Airport: how to get to the city center


There I wrote in detail on which transport you can easily get to the center of tourist cities. If you need to get there quickly and without unnecessary hassle, then it is better to use the transfer service, in such cases I use a kiwitaxi transfer . They arrive on time, help with luggage, the price is fixed and there is no need to worry about payment already on the spot (I always make a 100% prepayment). My review is on the link .

Car rental in Portugal. Toll roads and gasoline.

car hire in portugal

Renting a car in Portugal is no more difficult than in any other country in Europe. I usually do not postpone the reservation for later, I book in advance, while there is plenty to choose from (the closer to the reservation date, the fewer inexpensive good cars).

I book through reliable services where I can compare conditions from different distributors. Usually these services are cheaper than directly from the rental company, and sometimes some bonuses are still included (for example, an additional driver is free). Here are two services that I use: ( my review of booking with them in the Czech Republic ) ( my review on booking autoeurope in Spain )

Documents required for rental:

  • Driver’s passport
  • Driver’s license
  • Credit card in the name of the main driver 
  • Voucher if booked online

The longer you rent, the cheaper the cost of one day. The rental price for 7 days at the Lisbon airport starts from 48 euros. Of course, it’s worth looking at what pitfalls are offered for this price. And they offer the smallest fiatik on mechanics from centauro with a rating of only 6.6 points. But, for example, Renault Megane on a machine from thrifty (rating 7.5) will cost from 273 euros per week.


car hire portugal Price


The damage excess for this rental will be 2500 euros, the security deposit is also 2500 euros.

Full insurance is not included.

This is just an example, to find the most suitable conditions for you, you need to study the conditions, compare prices and conditions.


Go to car selection >>>


The cost of gasoline in Portugal is one of the highest in Europe, even higher than in Italy. If you are coming from Spain, refuel a full tank at the border.

We refuel with an average price of 1.479 euros. Gasoline 95 from 1.5 euros per 1 liter.

Roads in Portugal are paid (an average of 10 euros per 100 km), as well as tolls on some bridges, including on the bridge on April 25 in Lisbon (1.80 euros for a passenger car) and the Vasco da Gama bridge.

portugal roads
Bridge travel April 25 toll

Some roads (their number will grow every year) can only be paid electronically. I wrote a detailed article about this , I hope she clarifies the situation a bit.

Most parking lots are also paid. Ground parking is paid in the machine for a certain time, the ticket is placed under the windshield. Underground parking is paid prior to departure at the actual time (of course, with rounding). On average, parking prices are 1-2 euros per hour, if the hotel does not have its own parking, then you will have to bet on the public (which is 10-24 euros per day).

I chose hotels and even an apartment in Lisbon with parking , so I spent almost no money on parking.

Sights of Portugal.

sights of portugal

Of course, in Portugal, a huge number of attractions! You will find the following articles on my blog:


TOP 30 Lisbon Attractions

TOP 20 Porto Attractions

Cape Roca: the westernmost point of Europe

Pena Palace in Sintra

Bussaco Palace Hotel in the Bussaco National Forest.


Hotels and apartments in Portugal

portugal hotels
Castle Hotel Busacco

In Portugal, there is a lot of housing. In large cities, for example, in Lisbon there are also classic (including luxury 5-star) hotels ( districts and hotels of Lisbon ), in the old areas there are a huge number of apartments ( about our apartments in Lisbon ), in the countryside of the agricultural hotel ( review about the agricultural hotel Monte Oliva ), a lot of Portugal and unusual housing, for example, the hotel is the palace Palace do Bussaco, the former hunting castle of the Portuguese kings ( my review ). There are many interesting options on airbnb: a secluded villa , a wooden cabin with a pool,  and others. If you want something unusual, look! Get the coupon for the first booking!

Prices in Portugal

I did not write a detailed article about prices, therefore, below are some prices that I could recall and at which I had entries.

Cafes and restaurants

  • The average price of a dinner for two is 25-30 euros
  • The average price of a dinner is 35-40 euros for two with alcohol (a mid-level cafe).
  • Breakfasts 3-4 euros
  • Soups 4-6 euros
  • Second courses (meat) 10-12 evo
  • Cataplana 35-40 euros
  • Sangria 2.80
  • Car 1.80
  • Fresh juice 1,5-2.50
  • Beer 1.70
  • Cakes in a pastry shop 1-2 euros
prices in portugal
The price of a huge meat dish is 10 euros
product prices in portugal
A portion of sardines with potatoes and salad is also about 10 euros
food prices in portugal
A huge cake in the confectionery Aveiro: 1 euro apiece


  • Juice 0.70 (0.33)
  • Beer 0.8-1.59
  • Water 0.34-0.55 per 1.5l
  • Baking 0.7-0.9
  • Freshly squeezed juice 1.90 per 0.5l
  • Cheese, ham 7.80-7.99 per 1kg
  • Cookies 1 euro

And here is a couple of cafe / bar menus

prices in restaurants of portugalPortugal cafe prices

Guided tours in Portugal

excursions in portugal

Lisbon and Porto are tourist cities, so the choice of excursions there is great. The cost of group tours starts from 15 euros, individual – from 50 euros.

At the moment, this is all the information I possess! If you have additions, or clarifications, leave comments! Do not forget to repost in social networks and like the post if you really do!

Have a great trip to Portugal!

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