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Portugal guide
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Last updated : Nov 2009
Portugal Social Profile
Portugal Culture and Social Profile - TravelPuppy.com
Food & Drink

Seafood is very popular, especially in Lisbon, but can be quite expensive. Soup is a main dish and Typical Portuguese dishes include sopa de marisco , caldo verde (green soup made with finely shredded green kale leaves in broth) and bacalhau (dried cod, cooked in over 100 different ways). Caldeirada is a fish stew with as many as 9 kinds of fish, cooked with onions and tomatoes. Also typical is carne de porco á Alentejana, in which bits of fried pork are covered with a sauce of clams stewed with tomato and onions. Puddings include arroz doce (rice pudding), Madeira pudding and nuvens (egg custard). Portugal’s sweet pastries are also worth a try.

Portuguese wines have changed beyond recognition during the last 10 years. Many of the new, modern wines are indigenous varieties with distinctive flavours. Sparkling rosé wines are mainly produced for export. Mateus Rosé is a famous lightweight rosé. Portuguese brandies are also very good and the best are produced around Oporto, where Port wines originate. There are no licensing hours in Portugal.


Larger towns in Portugal offer every kind of entertainment with many nightclubs, theatres, cinemas, stage shows, folk dancing and music performances. The traditional Fado can be heard in many restaurants, and performances begin at about 2200 hrs. The theatre season runs from October to May. Gambling is authorised and Alvor, Espinho, Estoril, Figueira da Foz, Monte Gordo and Vilamoura have casinos. The elegant Estoril Casino is the most renowned.


Items include leather goods, copper, ceramics, handcrafted silver and gold, embroidery and tapestry, woodcarving, cork products, porcelain and china, crystal and glassware.

Shopping hours: Generally Monday-Friday 0900-1300 hrs and 1500-1900 hrs, Saturday 0900-1300 hrs.

Shopping centres are usually open Monday-Sunday 1000-0000 hrs.

Special Events

Portugal has many festivals and for a complete list, contact ICEP/Portuguese Trade and Tourism Office.

The following is a selection of special events occurring in Portugal in 2005:
January 20 Festa das Fogaceiras, Santa Maria da Feira.
February 5 - 8 Carnival, Torres Vedras, Sines, Loulé, Sesimbra, Nazaré and Funchal; Madeira Mardi Gras.
February 21 -
March 7
Fantasporto (International Fantastic Film Festival), Porto.
March 21-28 Holy Week Festivities, Braga
April 1-4 Algarve Portuguese Golf Open, Portimão.
April 9-10 Madeira Flower Festival
May 3 Feast of the Cross/Feast of our Lady of the Castle, Monsanto.
June 1-30 Atlantic Festival, Madeira
June 9-11 Super Bock Super Rock (music festival), Lisbon.
June 12-13 Feast of St Anthony, Lisbon
July 4-18 Almada International Theatre Festival, Lisbon
July 28-30 Vilar de Mouros Music Festival, Porto e Norte
August 17-20 Paredes de Coura Festival, Porto e Norte.
August 19-21 Our Lady of Agony Feast, Viana do Castelo
September 2-4 Madeira Wine Festival
September 5 Portuguese Moto GP, Estoril.
September-November Porto Jazz Festival
October-November National Horse Fair, Golegã.
November 17-20 2005 Algarve World Cup (golf tournament).
Social Conventions

The way of life in Portugal is leisurely, and old-fashioned politeness is essential. Warm, Latin hospitality is very much the norm. The country has a deeply individual national character with each province having its own traditions and folklore. Casual wear is widely acceptable, although beachwear should not be worn in the towns.

In restaurants, it is usual to smoke only at the end of the meal. Smoking is prohibited in cinemas, theatres and on the buses.


Generally 10 to 15 per cent. Taxi drivers are tipped 10 per cent.
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