Top DO'S and DON'TS of Portugal

Feb 22nd, 2016, 10:23 PM
  #1  
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Top DO'S and DON'TS of Portugal

Hello all!

Is it okay to wear shorts when we're NOT at the beach? Should we tip at restaurants? Does the "thumbs up" sign mean something different than what it does in America?! Please help!

What should we do when traveling in Portugal? What is absolutely frowned upon?! Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!
WHunter89 is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2016, 10:25 PM
  #2  
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Also, what are some phrases we should try learning in Portuguese that would make everyone's lives easier?
WHunter89 is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2016, 11:23 PM
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Most Portuguese speak English, especially in the major cities and tourist areas, so language shouldn't be and issue, but do learn to say thank you, "obrigado" or thank you very much, "muito obrigado" And hell-o, "Olá". It helps.

If you use "thumbs up" (disregarding Donald Trump), it means the same, but not something you would normally use in a conversation.

Yes, you can tip in a restaurant, but generally no more then a few euros, €5 at the most. Service is included in all restaurant bills.

Like Spain, shorts are normally worn at the beach or in the mountains, but if it's warm, then there is no harm in wearing them. Note that some restaurants frown on people wearing shorts, but may not turn you away.
Robert2533 is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2016, 02:51 AM
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It's very ok to wear shorts in Portugal. The same for flip flops. Bath suits (one or 2 pieces) only on the beach or eventually in beach towns.
"thumbs up" means the same. Quotation signal means the same. Middle finger means the same.
Service is included in restaurants. Fast food service like McDonalds or Burger King is never tipped. In regular restaurants it is common to round up (examples: 4.5 --> 5 or 9.15 --> 10). If you didn't like the service, don't tip at all.
Ask anything you like.
lobo_mau is offline  
Feb 25th, 2016, 06:07 PM
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I'm going to piggyback a few questions!

Just out of curiosity, because I have never seen it mentioned, are Algave beaches commonly topless for women?

Are women joggers/runners using 'running shorts' (short shorts but not tights) or would it be awkward? I know that in Spain running skirts (mid thigh lenght) are certainly getting a lot of attention. And I did not see many running short-lenght pants there either. I'm not talking about walking the entire day with running shorts, just when you are actually running.

Are Portuguese women doing 'the nail thing'? I know that brightly colored nails (old ladies excepted) or patterend are seen as gaudy or downright crass in other EU areas, is it the same in Portugal?

I'm assuming a simple dress or a blouse and skirt combo will be good enough for 99.9% of restaurants or concert venues (not opening night galas or 3 Michelin star restos, of course!). Right? Polo shirts/Button down shirts and khakis for guys?

I'm not friends with direct sun, will I look like a total dork(ette) wearing a cap or pamela-thingie while site-seeing? (Not that I care enough not to wear it but I do like to know when I'm committing a faux pas.)
marigross is offline  
Feb 25th, 2016, 06:48 PM
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Top DO'S and DON'TS of Portugal
Posted by: WHunter89 on Feb 23, 16 at 1:23am


DO eat all the seafood you see.
spaarne is offline  
Feb 25th, 2016, 10:35 PM
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"Just out of curiosity, because I have never seen it mentioned, are Algave beaches commonly topless for women?"

Yes, it's quite common, but you shouldn't have to worry aout going topless if you don't want to.

http://wwd.com/eye/they-are-wearing/...tugal-7778873/
Robert2533 is offline  
Feb 26th, 2016, 02:24 AM
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"Are Portuguese women doing 'the nail thing'? I know that brightly colored nails (old ladies excepted) or patterend are seen as gaudy or downright crass in other EU areas, is it the same in Portugal? "

Just being curious...where does this come from? Did you have any problems elsewhere in Europe? and if yes, where?
clausar is offline  
Feb 26th, 2016, 03:48 AM
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Regarding topless, nails and caps, Portugal follows the "nobody cares" policy.
lobo_mau is offline  
Feb 26th, 2016, 04:11 AM
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Relax.

Anything goes.

I admit that in Europe, running skirts look awkward, but not undecent.In Europe, most women would wear very short shorts when running.

>>Polo shirts/Button down shirts and khakis for guys? <<

Would be "smart casual" and only required in posh restaurants.

I recently was in a Michelin-star restaurant in downtown Santander on a warm day and most of the patrons (the local upper class) wore shorts.
traveller1959 is offline  
Feb 26th, 2016, 06:55 AM
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I would not wear shorts in Lisboa.

Thin
Pepper_von_snoot is online now  
Feb 26th, 2016, 08:49 AM
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Why not Thin??? Your pudicity code is very strict!!!
lobo_mau is offline  
Feb 26th, 2016, 09:23 AM
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Thanks for the answers, I too follow the 'Nobody Cares' policy, lol!

I'm not worried about any of it at all, just curious. And I really have to pack tight for this trip.

Last time I was in Spain (Valencia) I noticed that most women wore capri lenght running pants. Even when it was hot. The guys did go for the ultra short shorts.

About the nails, no problem at all, also asked out of simple curiosity. I do not 'do' mine but all my friends do so it is something I notice. I have very seldom seen EU (non immigrant) women with acrylic, bold colors or patterns.
marigross is offline  
Feb 26th, 2016, 06:31 PM
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There is a difference between a provincial city like Valencia, which has a beach culture, and world capital cities like Lisboa and Madrid.

I just would not wear shorts in a world class city unless I were picnicking in a public park, doing some sport or bicycle riding.

My ex-husband is from Lapa and he would never wear shorts around Baixa or Belem.

By the way, is Fatima Lopes still in business?

Thin, reads Fernando Pessoa.
Pepper_von_snoot is online now  
Feb 26th, 2016, 07:24 PM
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Do buy cork- handbags, wallets, etc.

No to shorts. I agree with Thin. They are simply not elegant, particularly in world class cities. Likely no one would say anything but you will look out of place.
pirouette is offline  
Feb 27th, 2016, 05:35 AM
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I noticed that dress codes in USA/UK and continental Europe are completely different.

In USA/UK "shorts admitted" means that people think they can dress as ugly as possible - with bright colours, displaying fat pads, just like "People Of Walmart".

In continental Europe, people manage to look smart and elegant, even in (bermuda) shorts.

Look again here:

http://wwd.com/eye/they-are-wearing/...tugal-7778873/

Especially pictures no. 5 and 8 show guys wearing shorts in the heart of Lisbon, and they are natives, matching perfectly with the style of their hometown, although no. 5 even dares to wear a sleeveless shirt. But the colours are matching, and it has a certain amount of style.

In continental Europe, you do not have strict rules as in American or British hotels (like "a shirt with a collar is required") but it is the overall impression that counts.

But if you are foreign and unsure of style, then you may act as Thin suggested to be on the safe side. Although a guy with chinos and polo-shirt might be mistaken with a banker on casual Friday.
traveller1959 is offline  
Feb 27th, 2016, 06:02 AM
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Just as a clarification, my question and comments about shorts were in the actual context of exercising.

However, I will wear bermuda lenght, tailored and fitted shorts in many places. Including world capitals. Though I always prefer dresses in the heat. Nicer looking and cooler.

DH wears his shorts wherever he wants without fashion consideration. I love him enough to accept this, lol. The compromises of marriage.

BTW, the only place where he (himself) has ever felt out of place wearing shorts was in Athens. Not a single grown man was in shorts. And it was hot. He wore them anyway.
marigross is offline  
Feb 27th, 2016, 06:14 AM
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>>in Athens<<

My friend was driving with me through Kalamata. Suddenly he stopped to chat with a guy on the sidewalk who was overweight, wearing an undershirt, shorts and flip-flops. After they had finished their conversation, my friend explained to me, it was his tax advisor.
traveller1959 is offline  
Feb 27th, 2016, 06:52 AM
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"Polo shirts/Button down shirts and khakis for guys?"

Never like to see people in button-down shirts, look like staff. But really no one cares.
bilboburgler is offline  
Feb 27th, 2016, 08:04 AM
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vinho verde, drink a lot of this great wine.
flpab is offline  

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