What does a typical day in Portugal look like?
Portugal has everything you could wish for! Colorful, romantic towns, cute villages, beautiful beaches, a rich history and fabulous landscapes. Wonder what it would be like to live in sunny Lisbon or breathtaking Porto? Here’s a little peek into what a typical day could be like, giving you a taste of the adventure that awaits you! 🇵🇹🌞
Morning kick-off 🧖♀️
In Portugal, there are no “set” breakfast traditions but there is a theme to what the Portuguese eat for breakfast. Surprisingly, it’s not something sweet like pastéis de nata,. These can be featured later on, around 11 am for lanche da manhã. Often breakfast will be a tosta mista, a toast with ham & cheese. Alternatively, if you want something that's between sweet and savory, try a pão de deus, which is a bread topped with sweet desiccated coconut. Usually breakfast is consumed with a delicious galão or a meia de leite, which is a milky coffee.
When getting ready for work, remember that a casual dress code is still a bit unusual in Portuguese companies and your outfit should make a better impression, even in modern or creative industries. However, most companies allow their staff to dress down on Fridays! Then around 10 to 11 am, it’s time for lanche da manhã, which is basically a coffee break paired with a sweet pastry like a pastel de nata or bolo de arroz (rice cake).
Getting around 🚇
Portugal is not a very large country, so you can get almost anywhere easily and efficiently by train or bus. Regional trains are often cheaper and some lines are very scenic, but it’s almost always quicker to go by bus - especially on shorter routes. Sticking to the main cities? Go for the train. Heading to the beach? The Vamus Algarve bus network has you covered. Exploring remote parks and nature reserves? You’re going to need a car. It all depends on your travel plans, so make sure to do some research before-hand on where you want to go. Want to know a bit more about living in Portugal? Check out our blog about the pros and cons of living in Portugal!
In Portugal, the typical workday consists of 8 hours, amounting to a 40-hour workweek spread across 5 productive days. This reflects the commitment that Portuguese employees bring to their professional endeavors. Portuguese culture places value not only on the time spent in the workplace but also on the moments cherished in one's personal life. Free time, family bonds, and nurturing social connections hold significant importance. This balance harmonizes career aspirations with personal well-being.
The work rhythm in Portugal aligns with that of most Western European countries and is likely familiar to many. The work culture in Portugal is characterized by vigor, dedication, and a strong sense of community. Worried about the language barrier? No worries! Check out our blog on finding a job in Portugal as an English speaker.
After work 👯♀️
Imagine leaving your office and getting ready to explore Lisbon, a stunning city filled with beauty and interesting things to discover. It's got everything you could want: old landmarks, delicious local food, charming neighborhoods with music, and lots of sunshine. There's a ton to explore here, especially if you're into history and culture! Lisbon, one of Europe's oldest cities, has a vibe that immediately transports you to ancient times as you stroll through its narrow streets. Don't miss Alfama, known for its maze-like streets, historic buildings, colorful Portuguese tiles, and traditional fado music.
Lisbon is packed with famous sights. There's the striking red bridge over the Tagus River, the ancient Belém Tower, the iconic tram 28, and the National Tile Museum—just a taste of what the city offers. Don’t miss out on Cascais, an authentic fishing village. Its charming old streets, lively squares, colorful houses, rugged coastlines, and eateries serving up the freshest fish make it a beloved seaside spot for the locals. Want to get some food but don’t know what to choose? Head to the Time Out Market which is a real highlight for food lovers. In this market hall, you will find various types of food stalls serving different kinds of dishes and delicacies, perfect for the indecisive types 😉.
The sunny city is well known and considered to be among the best in Europe, when it comes to nightlife. You can head over to Pink Street for trendy bars & clubs, Bairro Alto that has over 100 bars and nightclubs, or Alfama if you’re looking for a more relaxing night out.
Or maybe you ended up in Porto, although often overlooked, Porto is a top-pick for travelers who appreciate a walkable city, love port wine, and those hoping to explore the douro valley. Porto is a vital port of trade between the fertile valleys of Northern Portugal and the rest of the world. The Douro River trickles its way down from the mountains, flowing through the city and out into the Atlantic.
Porto's historic center has many charming buildings, including the well-known Sao Bento Railway Station. The 19th-century railway station is instantly recognisable for its elaborate “azulejo” tilework. Porto is smaller than Lisbon and therefore 100% accessible by foot, though, prepare for some hills and steps. If you appreciate smaller cities that aren’t overwhelming, this is your choice! The Douro encompasses not just a river, but also a valley and a wine-producing region. This river winds its way from the heart of Spain to the Atlantic Ocean, where it meets the city of Porto in Portugal. Known for its Port wine, river cruises, and the terraced vineyards that embrace the valley's steep contours, the Douro Valley has the power to enchant your heart.
In the mood for some drinks? Port drinkers and wine enthusiasts will appreciate the Port lodges and tasting rooms. Many have adorable patios and terraces offering memorable views.
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