Portugal is brimming with traditions and charming customs that you may like to experience while holidaying here to make your visit much more authentic. To help you enjoy a taste of the ‘real’ Portugal, portugal Live recommends sampling a few of the following during your stay.
Food and Drinks
Every country has its traditions, especially when it comes to cooking! Portugal has some superb gastronomy guaranteed to delight your taste buds. Among the customary specialities are the famous pastéis de nata (custard tarts), regional cheeses, bacalhau (salted cod) and a great variety of meat and seafood dishes, as well as great wines. For more information about Portugal’s fantastic gastronomy, click here.
From literature to architecture, theatre to dance, Portugal has a thriving arts scene offering an insight into Portuguese culture. Whether you are looking for music, a vibrant nightlife scene, museums or exhibitions, you will find plenty of interesting places to visit, especially in the capital, Lisbon. Have a look at the Lisbon Cultural Agenda for more detailed information about what’s on.
Romarias (pilgrimages) are local religious festivals that honour the patron saint of a particular area throughout Portugal. If you happen to be in an area during these celebrations, be sure to check them out! Watch a solemn procession, observe the local religious gowns and absorb the pious atmosphere before taking part in the festivities that follow.
Traditional garments such as the red and the green stocking cap of the Alentejo cattleman still exist and the samarra (a short jacket with a collar of fox fur) still survive.
Regional costumes can also be seen in the northern Minho province at weddings and other festivals. Women dress in extremely colourful and rich costumes, often in red and white, and wear several long ornate gold necklaces, covering their heads with a scarf.
In Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro shepherds wear straw cloaks, while the wearing of black for protracted periods of mourning is common especially in villages in the interior of Portugal.
In Madeira, the regional dresses can often be seen at local markets and flower stalls.