Lonely Planet selected Portugal as the #3 country to visit in 2018. Here’s why:
‘Portugal has emerged from the long shadow cast by neighbouring Spain, seizing the spotlight as a dynamic centre for art, culture and cuisine. A spate of artfully designed museums have opened in the past two years, there’s now a celebrated microbrewery scene, and rock-star Portuguese chefs are creating culinary buzz from Lisbon to the glittering beaches of the Algarve (seven new restaurants received Michelin stars in 2017). Heightening Portugal’s appeal are its incredible affordability and its natural wonders: in 2016, more than 300 beaches earned the coveted Blue Flag rating and two new biosphere reserves were named. It’s no surprise everyone is talking about this small, seafaring nation.’ Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2018
Best for independent travellers to Portugal
While this is my top recommended guidebook for Portugal, you would need to accompany it with one of the guidebooks below, as Rick doesn’t cover every part of the country – just the places he suggests are worth seeing. Having said that, you can count on Rick Steves to tell you what you really need to know when traveling in Portugal. Rick's candid, humorous advice will guide you to good-value hotels and restaurants. He'll help you plan where to go and what to see, depending on the length of your trip. You'll get up-to-date recommendations about what is worth your time and money. More than just reviews and directions, a Rick Steves guidebook is a tour guide in your pocket.
- Detailed and informative self-guided walking tours through towns, museums and attractions
- Rick’s personal recommendations for accommodation and restaurants
Lonely Planet Portugal is the Aussie standard for a solid guidebook. It’s your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you.
- Colour maps and images throughout
- Highlights and itineraries help you tailor your trip to your personal needs and interests
- Insider tips to save time and money and get around like a local, avoiding crowds and trouble spots
- Essential info at your fingertips - hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, transit tips, prices
- Honest reviews for all budgets - eating, sleeping, sight-seeing, going out, shopping, hidden gems that most guidebooks miss
- Cultural insights give you a richer, more rewarding travel experience – architecture, arts, music, religion, history, wine, cuisine
- Over 70 maps
Written by locals, Fodor's travel guides have been offering expert advice for all tastes and budgets for more than 80 years. Fodor's Essential Portugal puts the best the country has to offer at your fingertips.
- Dozens of maps
- An 8-page colour insert with a brief introduction and spectacular photos that capture the top experiences and attractions throughout Prague
- Hundreds of hotel and restaurant recommendations, with Fodor's Choice designating our top picks
- Multiple itineraries to explore the top attractions and what's off the beaten path
- Major sights such as Sintra, Queluz National Palace and Lisbon
- Side trips from Evora including Guadalupe, Montemor-O-Novo and Monsaraz
- Side trips from Funchal including Monte, Porto Santo and Calheta
Best for families
You’ll never fall into tourist traps when you travel with Frommer's. Doing so is like having a trusted friend show you around, taking you to the places locals like best. That’s because their guidebooks, unlike much of the competition, are written by resident experts—like Celia Pedroso and Paul Ames, the authors of Frommer’s Portugal. Both are Portugal-based and highly respected travel journalists. In this proudly opinionated book, they will help you sort through all the options, so you can tailor a vacation that’s right for you. The book also includes helpful recommendations for families visiting attractions and eating out.
- Insider advice on avoiding crowds as you explore some of Portugal's greatest gems
- Where to discover the absolute best seafood in Lisbon, the tastiest fruit in Sintra and Alcobaça, and the finest wines that Portugal has to offer
- Insightful commentary on Portugal's dazzling array of architectural masterpieces,
- Opinionated reviews—no bland descriptions and lukewarm recommendations.
- Lodging, restaurant, and shopping recommendations in all ranges from luxe to moderately priced choices for real people
- User-friendly features including star ratings, detailed maps, and a pullout map of the country
Best for travellers on a tour group
Like the DK Eyewitness guide books, this Insight Guides book is lighter on logistics than the likes of Lonely Planet and Rough Guide, but its a heavy-weight when it comes to background features and stunning photography. Not the book I would take with me on a trip, but excellent for trip planning and reading up on the country before you go.
- Stunning photography brings this delightful country and its people to life.
- Highlights of the country's top attractions, such as the royal residence of Sintra and the Alentejo wine route, are covered in the Best of Portugal feature, while in-depth features on its cultural traditions, such as the unique musical tradition of fado, give insight into the soul of the country.
- Descriptive region-by-region accounts cover the whole country from the capital, Lisbon, equal parts hip and historic, to the glorious beaches of the Algarve and the off-shore isles of Madeira and the Azores.
Best for adventure-seekers
From the best-selling Wild Guide series (winner of travel guidebook of the year 2015). This guide to Portugal, one of Europe's fastest growing adventure holiday destinations, explores the hidden parts of its better known tourist areas, as well many more remote regions, rarely visited by tourists. Guiding you to over 800 wild swims, ancient forests, lost ruins and hidden beaches. Including traditional eateries, local festas and rustic places to stay.