Emilia-Romagna, located in the northeast of the Italian peninsula, is one of our favorite places in Italy. With its rich heritage, centuries-old towns, and some of the best food, this region is a gem that should be checked out when in Italy. Emilia-Romagna is home to some of the culinary specialities that have led to Italy’s worldwide fame: Parmigiano Reggiano cheese from Regio Emilia, Ham and Culatello from Parma, Balsamic vinegar from Modena, and Tagliatelle pasta from Bologna. If you ask any Italian what their favorite place to eat is — the first answer would be “mamma’s kitchen”, and the second, “Emilia-Romagna”. We love food as much as we love travel, and to enjoy the local food when we travel makes it a dream vacation.

With its stunning medieval towns, amazing cultural heritage and incredible cuisine, Emilia-Romagna is a treasure trove that just begs to be explored. There’s no better route to follow than the Via Emilia, a road that has its origins in Roman times. Via Emilia is an ancient route that runs the length of Emilia-Romagna, completed by the Roman consul Marcus Aemilius Lepidus in 187 BC. Along the way are 10 fine cities — Piacenza, Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna, Ferrara, Ravenna, Forlì-Cesena, Rimini — all rich in art, architecture, history and some of the best food in Italy. Bologna is the epicentre of the region, but venture out and you’ll discover medieval towns, countless farms and vineyards.

“In Italy, food is an expression of love, it is how you show those around you that you care for them.” — Joe Bastianich

Each of these cities is a stopping-off point to discover the finest regional cuisine, the traditional wines such as Lambrusco and Sangiovese, the best balsamico vinegar, the best Parmigiano Reggiano, UNESCO world heritage sites, and the best automotive brands in the world. We carefully picked the best towns on this route, and started our adventure in Parma, followed by Modena and Bologna. This road trip was inspired by a book we got for Christmas from a very good friend. This is our ultimate foodie road trip from Parma to Modena to Bologna!

Continue reading “Parma, Modena, Bologna — The Ultimate Foodie road trip through Italy!”

Cinque Terre is a coastal area located in northwestern Italy, nestled among the cliffs of the Mediterranean Sea, in the Liguria region. It is a breathtakingly beautiful six-mile stretch of the Italian Riviera. Cinque Terre (pronounced cheen-kweh teh-rreh) means ‘Five Villages’  or ‘Five Lands’ and it is exactly that – five picturesque fishing villages tucked into the mountains with spectacular views of the sea. Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore are the five villages that make up Cinque Terre. Each town fills a ravine, and offers a unique mix of Italian culture, and nature at its best. Cinque Terre is filled with quaint pastel colored buildings, an abundance of sun, sea, turquoise blue waters, beaches, delicious seafood, good wine, pure unadulterated Italy — making this a relaxing destination.

“The Creator made Italy from designs by Michelangelo.” — Mark Twain

Italy is the country that captures your heart forever — with vibrant cities, gorgeous Italian lakes, rolling landscapes of Tuscany, Mediterranean coast, incredible food, the best wine, amazing and well-preserved history, there’s truly something to enchant everyone. It is no wonder that people dream of visiting Italy! Here are some photographs of the five picturesque villages of Cinque Terre.

Continue reading “Cinque Terre — The Italian Riviera!”

Marked by towering medieval castles and ancient fortified churches, Romania has no shortage of jaw-dropping architecture. It’s also home to some of the most dramatic landscapes on the planet, including the Carpathian Mountains, and the Danube River. If you’re looking for a country rich in history and full of outdoor adventure, then look no further than Romania. Known for its castles, fortified stone churches, monasteries, and beautiful medieval towns like Brasov and Sighişoara, the mysterious and alluring country of Romania is guaranteed to captivate you. Although many people link this relatively untouched destination to Transylvania and Dracula, there are so many more things to do in Romania.

“Where monsters come to get away from it all.” Peter Baynham and Robert Smigel in Hotel Transylvania

Bucharest is an awesome city — Grand and elegant and pulsating with style. It’s a very affordable European city, the food is delicious, and the people are absolutely lovely. Bucharest is known to some as “Little Paris”, and you’ll quickly see why. This city mixes renaissance palaces and gardens to provide something for everyone. When you are in Bucharest, you can feel the vibrant energy of the city, and when you visit the Transylvanian towns you feel like you have stepped back in time. We were in Bucharest for work, which gave us an opportunity to explore this amazing city, and also some of Romania! Before we get into the details, here are a few pictures of this beautiful country!

Continue reading “Romania — Explore the Carpathian Garden!”

Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia and one of the busiest cities in Spain, has won the hearts of many travelers due to its world-class Spanish food, golden beaches, vibrant bustling neighborhoods, and most importanly the glorious architecture of this city. Antoni Gaudí’s work is a huge attraction in this city, and he might very well be the city’s unofficial architect. While its roots stretch back to the Roman Empire, it was during the Middle Ages that Barcelona really grew into the economic and political center of the Western Europe. The locals consider themselves Catalonian rather than Spanish, you’ll see signs written in Catalan and in Castilian Spanish, and many restaurant menus are in Catalan vs. Spanish, but most locals in the city speak both languages. The combination of Spanish and Catalan cultures and traditions here is part of what makes Barcelona the unique city that it is!

“To travel across Spain and finally to reach Barcelona is like drinking a respectable red wine and finishing up with a bottle of champagne.” James A. Michener

We are excited to share the details of our trip and our recommendations. Before we get into the details, here are a few pictures of this beautiful city!

Continue reading “Barcelona — Dalí inspired Road trip!”

Vienna, Austria’s capital offers a unique blend of imperial traditions and stunning architecture. Vienna has something for everyone… For music lovers, it’s the home of Mozart. For foodies, it’s home to the Wiener Schnitzel. For outdoor lovers, you can hike in every corner of this picturesque city. It is famous for its cultural events, majestic sights, coffee houses, cozy wine taverns, and a very special Viennese charm. Vienna is among Europe’s most walkable cities, and each district has its own distinct vibe. Baroque streetscapes, regal palaces, beautiful churches, museums were all reasons to add Vienna to our bucket list. So when the opportunity came up to make a short trip from Romania to Austria, we made this trip happen.

“Dream on, but don’t imagine they’ll all come true. When will you realize… Vienna waits for you.” — Billy Joel

Vienna can be glorious in any weather, but it’s best in the spring and fall. There are plenty of reasons to fall in love with Vienna: the royal architecture, the gorgeous streets of the Innere Stadt or the First District, the music, literature, and art. Best of all, the city has a longstanding tradition of allowing music, opera, and philharmonic orchestra to be accessible to everyone from students to royalty. We were lucky to stumble upon ensemble 1756 play Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” as we were strolling down the streets in Vienna, and it ended up being one of the highlights of our trip.

We are excited to share the details of our trip and our recommendations with you. Here are suggestions on what to see, where to stay, what to eat and explore within Vienna in just a few days!

What to see?

  • Schönbrunn Palace, the most famous Palace in Vienna No visit to Vienna is complete without a visit to the spectacular Schönbrunn Palace. The 1,441 room palace is one of the most important architectural, cultural, and historical monuments in the country. Schönbrunn Palace was the main summer residence of the Habsburg rulers in Vienna. This majestic palace, which was once home to the Empress Elisabeth, is now one of the top attractions in all of Vienna. The interior of the castle is like a museum, showcasing how the aristocrats used to live. The rooms have been beautifully restored to their former glory and it feels like you have been transported back in time. Make sure that you reserve enough time to visit the palace, the magnificent Palace Gardens, and also the Gloriette, which was the former imperial viewing terrace, situated up on the hill. This stunning open view with Schönbrunn Palace in the foreground and Vienna City in the background, is one you absolutely cannot miss.
  • St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna St. Stephen’s Cathedral is the main Roman catholic church in Vienna and the seat of the city’s Archbishop. This gothic church is an iconic building in Vienna. Saint Stephen’s Cathedral is located in Stephansplatz, which is the city’s geographical center. This area is packed with people at all times during the day or night, and it’s filled with lots of cafes and high end stores for some shopping. On the roof of St. Stephen’s Cathedral, colorful tiles were laid to create the Royal and Imperial double-headed eagle. The construction for this church originally commenced in the 12th century. It was completely destroyed during WWII and rebuilt by the people of Austria until the mid 1960’s. The tallest tower of the church is 446 feet high and it’s visible from almost anywhere in Vienna.
  • Prunksaal der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek The Prunksaal State Hall at the Austrian National Library, is one of the most beautiful historic library halls in the world. It is the biggest Baroque library in Europe that was built between 1723 and 1726, and contains an amazing collection of literature, maps and globes of the world. Today, the State Hall houses 200,000 valuable books published between 1501 and 1850. This library was beyond all our expectations. Just spectacular!
  • Danube River Cruise This river cruise is a wonderful way to discover the wonders of Vienna along the Danube Canal. The trip begins at Schwedenplatz and sets sail onto the Viennese Donaukanal. As you glide along the water, soak up the sights that surround you such as the city’s most iconic buildings, including the Uniqa Tower, Uranie Observatory, Jean Nouvel hotel and commercial building, the Schützenhaus by Otto Wagner, Ringturm, Roßauer Kaserne, Zaha Hadid House and the Spittelau waste incineration plant designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser.
  • Spanish Riding School at Hofburg Palace in Vienna Definitely visit the Spanish Hofreitschule or the Spanish Riding school to watch the “Tribute to Vienna” performance by the Lipizzaner Stallions at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna. The architecture of the venue was beautiful and the exhibition of horsemanship was amazing to watch.
  • Peterskirche (St. Peter’s Church), and Wiener Karlskirche (Charles Church) in Vienna — St. Peter’s Church or Peterskirche is a baroque Roman catholic church and it’s one of the oldest churches in Vienna! We went to Petersplatz square to check out St. Stephen’s cathedral. On the way we found an interesting green dome, so we made a quick detour and I’m so glad we did. The inside of the church was stunning! St. Charles Church or Karlskirche is a baroque church that’s built to impress. It was built in 1739 to give thanks for the passing of the black plague epidemic. We were very lucky to watch the ensemble 1756 play Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” inside the magnificent St. Charles church!
  • Hundertwasserhaus Hundertwasserhaus is a colorful and whimsical apartment building in Vienna, based on the idea of Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. The idea behind this building is to bring architecture and nature together. This is definitely a quirky one to visit.
  • Deli Naschmarkt Naschmarkt is Vienna’s most colorful, vibrant and popular outdoor market and this is a must-see destination in the Austrian capital. This market is about a mile long, and dates back to the late 16th century when the area was mostly reserved for farmers selling milk and other dairy products. Today, this market has more than 100 stalls and you can find fresh fruits, vegetables, bread, spices, wine, cheese and countless restaurants serving Austrian, Turkish, Polish, Chinese, Mediterranean and lots of other options.

Where to stay?

The Innere Stadt and Museumsquartier are two of the best overall neighborhoods to stay in Vienna, and also the best areas to stay for first time visitors. Innere Stadt is the 1st District, the heart of historic Vienna, where you’ll find some of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. When deciding where to stay in Vienna as a tourist, we recommend staying near a metro station. Vienna has one of the most efficient public transport systems in Europe. If you stay within walking distance of a stop, you can connect through to most of the city within 10 or 20 minutes.

We decided to stay at the MyPlace Premium Apartments Wien in the City Centre. This apartment is ideally set in the heart of Vienna, only a 5-minute walk from St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the Kärntner Straße shopping street, and it comes with a rooftop terrace and an on-site fitness lounge. This is a 4-star accommodation that was very spacious, well laid-out, luxuriously and elegantly furnished. The modern interiors are combined with exquisite designs and a warm color scheme.

What to eat?

Austria was once in the center of the Habsburg Empire, that covered everything from Russia to France. Which is why Austria has embraced many ethnic dishes when it comes to cuisines. The range of food from all across Europe showcases Vienna’s multicultural influence. If you are in Vienna, you should try the top three Viennese Foods to truly experience Vienna Wiener Schnitzel, Sachertorte, and Apfelstrudel.

  • Sachertorte at Cafe Sacher Vienna is known for its coffee houses, and we were on a quest for some good Viennese coffee every day. Cafe Central for breakfast, Cafe Sperl for lunch and Cafe Sacher for dinner. Finally, got the best Sacher torte and Viennese coffee at Cafe Sacher! The Sachertorte is an iconic cake that was invented in 1832, by Franz Sacher. Working as an apprentice cook at the tender age of 16, and after the head chef got ill, Sacher had to take over baking special desserts for Prince Klemens von Metternich, and his guests. The famous desert consists of a dense chocolate cake with a thin layer of apricot jam in the middle and coated in dark chocolate icing. The cake is served with a twirl of whipped cream.

  • Wiener Schnitzel at Schnitzelwirt We had Wiener Schnitzel almost every day and sometimes twice in a day. When in Vienna, eat like the Viennese. We had the best Viennese Scnitzel at a hole in the wall restaurant called Schnitzelwirt! We had to wait outside for a bit but it was totally worth it, and they only accept cash. The Wiener Schnitzel is one of the most famous dishes in Vienna, and was traditionally made using veal. The Wiener Schnitzel can be found on the menu in pretty much all restaurants in Vienna.
  • Apfelstrudel at Schönbrunn Palace When you visit Schönbrunn Palace, one of the must-do activities is to catch the Viennese Apple Strudel Show at the Café Residenz, where a master pastry chef shows how a hand-pulled original Viennese apple strudel is made. You’ll get to learn how this divine Viennese dessert is crafted, and the original Viennese Apple Strudel recipe to try out at home. You can taste the freshly baked apple strudel with coffee at one of the small tables in the imperial bakery. The Apfelstrudel features a super thin and crisp pastry, which is much like filo with a filling made of sugar, cooking apples, raisins, cinnamon, and bread crumbs. The final result is a perfect mixture of a flaky, crumbly topping, and a delicious filling. With each bite, you can taste the sweetness of the fresh apples, and the flaky pastry.

How to save money?

  • Vienna Pass Vienna Pass sightseeing ticket gives you one-time free entry to pretty much every main attraction, plus other bonuses like unlimited free sightseeing bus tours. With the Vienna Pass you get entry to over 60 attractions, museums, and monuments throughout the city. If you’re planning to visit several of Vienna’s most popular museums/galleries then getting the pass could save you a fair amount of money.
  • Breakfast from a grocery store Breakfast and brunch isn’t really a thing in Vienna. This is a great way to save money, and a general rule that we apply to any travels. There are plenty of bakeries and grocery shops all over Vienna, so pick up a croissant and some fruit and eat at your hotel or on the go. You’ll save both time and money.
  • Use Public Transport Walking around is the cheapest option, but public transport in Vienna is well organized and efficient too. Plan ahead and think about how often you will use public transport. If you plan on using lots of transport every day of your trip then consider purchasing a pass which is valid for a specific time period. These can be valid for 24 hours, 48 hours, 72 hours, or a week.
  • Take a free walking tour Vienna offers a handful of free walking tours which are great ways to get familiar with the city and the culture. Good Tours and The Original Free Vienna Walking Tour are great options. You need to make sure to tip your guide!

“De todos los libros en el mundo, las mejores historias se encuentran entre las paginas de un pasaporte, i.e., Out of all of the books in the world, the best stories are in the pages of a passport” — Unknown

So let your next adventure take you to this amazing city… Museums, palaces, shopping, food, architecture, music, opera, food, it’s all here. Vienna is one of the most romantic European cities and it is so much fun. This is a laid back city full of culture and a sense of style. Whether you’re just wandering the streets or enjoying the museums, you’re sure to find something you love about Vienna. You can easily spend weeks trying to see it all. Vienna is easy on the eye, and the architecture makes it a photographer’s dream! Vienna is magnificent and it definitely belongs on your travel bucket list. What are you waiting for?

And remember… Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer!

Portugal is a country blessed with old-world European charm, medieval castles, cobblestone villages, captivating cities, golden beaches, rugged coastline, incredible weather, delicious food, and plentiful wine — recipe for a perfect holiday destination! Portugal has consistently made the top 5 list for the most popular retirement destinations in the world due to good weather, healthcare, and mainly affordability. We’ve read so much about Portugal over the years, and my husband is in the process of getting his Portuguese citizenship, so these were all great reasons for us to make this trip happen. It was truly a magical experience, and we hope to visit again in the near future!

Located on the western coast of the Iberian peninsula, Portugal is one of Europe’s most visited countries due to its idyllic climate, affordable travel costs and exceptional attractions. The richness of Portugal’s heyday, when it used to rule a huge empire from Brazil to China, is something you can definitely see in its architecture. Elegant and drenched in opulence, the buildings of Lisbon and Porto – especially in their Old Towns – reflect the wealth of Portugal’s imperial days.

From friendly locals to world-class wine to sun-soaked beaches, there is a whole lot to love about Portugal. We visited Lisbon, Porto, Sintra and some of the smaller towns in Portugal during this trip, and we barely scratched the surface… There’s so much more to explore in this country such as the Madeira islands, Algarve, Faro, Lagos, etc.

Portugal blends old-world European charm, noteworthy landmarks, and delicious food all at relatively inexpensive prices when compared to nearby countries. If you’ve never been to Portugal, you’re in for a treat. You might even fall a little bit in love, especially if you know what to expect. Are you ready?

By day Lisbon has a naive theatrical quality that enchants and captivates, but by night it is a fairy-tale city, descending over lighted terraces to the sea, like a woman in festive garments going down to meet her dark lover.” — Erich Maria Remarque

We are excited to share the details of our trip and our recommendations with you. Here are suggestions on what to see, where to stay, what to eat and explore! Before we get into the details, here are a few pictures that were taken in the heart of Lisbon!

What to see in Lisbon?

Wandering through the winding cobblestone streets of Portugal’s vibrant capital, it’s easy to fall in love with Lisbon. With a rich history and fascinating culture, you could spend a lifetime discovering the wonders of this unique, red-roofed city. Lisbon is worth spending at least 3-4 days, and I promise you’ll fall in love with the pastel-colored tiled buildings, vintage trams, and cobblestone streets. Old Town Lisbon is built around seven hills, so walking up to one of the many viewpoints, gives you wonderful views of the city. Elevador de Santa Justa is a 19th century industrial age marvel that transports passengers up 45m from the Baixa district to the Largo do Carmo. Rua Nova do Carvalho or Lisbon’s Pink Street is in the Cais do Sodre neighborhood. Cais do Sodre used to be Lisbon’s Red-Light District. Wander the charming labyrinth-like streets of Alfama, lined with cafes and shops selling traditional crafts, before hopping on the Route 28 tram for a wonderfully scenic journey through many of Lisbon’s historic streets. The iconic Tower of Belém is one of the city’s most remarkable landmarks that sits near the mouth of River Tagus. There’s nothing more immersive than soaking in the city’s history through its architecture and old neighborhoods!

What to see in Sintra?

Sintra is a fairytale-like place filled with resplendent palaces — one you definitely shouldn’t miss on your Portugal trip. Portugal’s royalty first set up in Sintra during Medieval times, constructing the Sintra National Palace. The town is shielded by the Sintra Mountains, which trap clouds creating a microclimate. Because Sintra is a bit cooler than Lisbon, it served as a perfect summer sanctuary for the royalty. In and around Sintra you’ll find several beautiful palaces… Pena Palace is the most iconic sight there. Standing atop a hill in the Sintra Mountains, its many red and yellow walls and turrets give this eclectic Romanticist castle the appearance of a majestic gingerbread house. Sintra is pretty easy to get to. It’s just 40 minutes by train from Lisbon, and this would be a perfect day trip!

What to see in Porto?

Portugal’s second-biggest city is rather different from Lisbon… it is a dream destination! The city’s world-famous Port wine is what really put this place on the map. The riverfront quarter of Ribeira is a fascinating place, with its medieval streets, colorful tiled building facades, and charming waterfront restaurants. Above it all looms the spectacular arched Dom Luis I bridge, built in the same period and style as the Eiffel Tower. Situated on the banks of the Duoro River, Porto forever captivates visitors with its maze of narrow cobbled streets next to beautiful plazas, historic churches, and picturesque homes. Your first stop in Porto (if you take the train), is the beautiful São Bento Train Station, where you can marvel at its blue azuelo tile ceilings. Lello Bookstore is one of the oldest and most beautiful bookstores in the world, and rumored to have inspired J.K. Rowling and her Harry Potter books. Vila Nova de Gaia district has many port cellars where we did a wine tour.

Where to stay?

Bustling city streets, sprawling vineyards, fishing villages, rivers, glistening coastlines — Portugal is a land of contrasts, a medley of landscapes and terrains. Finding the right place from where to explore it all is the trick. On this trip, we chose to stay at Airbnb’s in Portugal, so we would have more space and the comfort of a home. We choose our homes based on their location, design, reviews, and superhost status.

  • Elegant luxury apartment in Historical Baixa, Lisbon With gorgeous views of the historic streets, this apartment is literally steps away from the Tagus river, Praca do Commercio, the Santa Justa Elevator, restaurants, cafes and shops. This is a luxury apartment that features an open concept kitchen, new appliances, designer furniture, 2 spacious bedrooms, gorgeous spa bathroom, and large dining/living room.
  • River view apartment in Gaia, Porto Nestled in a secluded spot just across the Douro River, the apartment enjoys a private balcony that offers a scenic river-side view of Porto. It is furnished with modern amenities, fully-equipped kitchen with marble counter-tops that opens up to a spacious living room, marbled bathroom,  dedicated dining room, and 2 bedrooms.

What to eat?

Freshly baked bread, olives, cheese, wine, seafood, meats and Pastel de nata – the Portuguese have perfected the art of cooking simple, delicious meals. Sitting down to table means experiencing the richness of Portugal’s coastline and countryside. Here are a few of the restaurants that we visited during our trip.

  • Pastéis de Nata: You cannot leave Portugal without eating this delicious pastry. The Portuguese do food very well, and the Pastéis de Nata takes the prize for Portugal’s most delicious pastries. Only five people in the entire world know the recipe for these scrumptious egg-cream tarts, so you’ll want to enjoy these authentic treats in Lisbon. You’ll find the best ones at Pastéis de Belém and at Manteigaria.
  • Belcanto: Belcanto is a 2 Michelin star restaurant that has placed consistently in the top 50 restaurants in the world (ranked #42 currently). Saying that it was delicious is an understatement… it was truly an experience we will cherish forever. At Belcanto, chef Jośe Avillez prepares contemporary Portuguese food. Each menu and dish is intended to evoke a unique sensory and gastronomic voyage. The chef sent out so many surprise plates beyond what we had ordered, that it left our bellies plenty satisfied. The restaurant even made us a custom wax sealed letter with the menu items that we enjoyed that day. The Lisbon Menu is a collection of dishes that reflect the city’s transformations through time, with highlights like Tuna Belly Tartare with Oyster Cucumber and Apple Pearl, and Brioche with Cod Liver and Trout Roe.
  • A Cevicheria: Chef Kiko Martins, is a celebrated Portuguese chef who studied at the Cordon Bleu and honed his skills in Michelin-starred kitchens across Europe. He was featured in Gordon Ramsay’s Unchartered show on the National Geographic Channel recently. We saw the show just before our trip, and we had to check it out. The dinner at Chef Kiko’s A Cevicheria was spectacular, and the service truly exceptional!
  • Café Santiago: Porto’s legendary dish, Francesinhas — I’ve been waiting to taste Francesinhas since we arrived in Porto. Francesinha means “Frenchie” in Portuguese. This dish was created by Portuguese emigrants to France. They encountered the french snack, croque monsieur, and decided to take it to a whole new level, making it bigger, better and more delicious! The Francesinha is made with bread, ham, Portuguese sausage, steak, covered with melted cheese, special tomato and beer sauce, with a fried egg on top and french fries that you can dip in the sauce. It’s a messy dish, but a delicious mess!

Best time to visit Portugal?

You can visit this part of Europe pretty much year-round; the weather is much milder than on other parts of the continent in the winter. The summer months are considered to be the high season in Portugal. Streets, beaches, and historical sites are often busy. The best time to visit Portugal is either in spring (March to June) or fall (September to mid-October) when there are fewer crowds, prices are lower, and the temperatures are warm. For the fewest crowds, you’ll want to visit in March-April or October-November. If you are visiting some of the smaller towns in the south during the low season, you may find a lot of places closed.

How to save money?

  • Walk, Walk, Walk… One of the best ways to explore Portugal is on foot. If you enjoy getting lost on purpose then Lisbon is the city for you, as it truly rewards random exploration.
  • Uber is very inexpensive in Lisbon, so if it’s too far, book a ride!
  • Get A Visitor Card – Larger cities like Porto and Lisbon offer visitor cards with unlimited access to public transportation and discounted access to many attractions and museums, such as Lisboa card or Viva Viagem transportation card for Lisbon, and Andante Card for Porto.
  • Go Off Season – As summer approaches, prices go up and availability goes down. To get the best value for your budget, we recommend visiting Portugal in the off season. We planned our trip in November during Thanksgiving. The weather was perfect, and the cost was low.
  • Drink House Wines in a country that produces so much wine.. You can’t go wrong.
  • Book a free walking tour. The guides work for tips, so they are motivated to provide a great experience.
  • Look out over Lisbon for free from a Miradouro. Lisbon is famous for its many miradouros, which are high viewpoints that give gorgeous panoramic views across the city.
  • When visiting Pena Palace in Sintra, use local transport instead of tourist buses! We took a train which was both economical and comfortable.

May we recommend?

Our recommendations for anyone hoping to travel to this spectacular destination:

  • Learn a few Portuguese words — It’s perfectly possible to get by with English in the major tourist areas however, learning a few simple phrases in Portuguese will go a long way and the locals will appreciate it. My husband learned to speak Portuguese using the free Duolingo app, which helped us tremendously!
  • Eat like the locals. Food is a foolproof way into the hearts, homes and history of the places you visit. Talk to the locals, get recommendations, and go where the locals go to eat. You can’t go wrong.
  • Download Google Maps for Offline Use Before you leave the USA, use your Google Maps App to go to the cities you plan to visit in Portugal . Hit the three bars on the top left and select “Offline Areas”. Select “Custom Area” and then “Download”. This will allow you to use Google maps even when you don’t have wifi or cellular service!

“Once a year go some place you’ve never been before.” — Dalai Lama

Let your next adventure take you to this beautiful destination… Medieval castles, cobblestone villages, captivating cities and golden beaches: the Portugal experience can be many things. History, great food and idyllic scenery are just the beginning… The Portuguese tourism slogan “Vá para fora, cá dentro” (take a staycation) has never been more apt. Are you ready to explore everything this country has to offer?

As we always say… Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer!