Portugal. The country is located in the south of Europe bordering Spain. Being placed next to the Atlantic Ocean has influenced the people and culture of the country. From sardine dishes and bacalhau. It’s diverse land with the north characterised by its hilly landscape, vineyards and cooler weather with more rainfall compared to the south.
With well known cities such as Algarve characterised for its dry sunny days, fishing, picturesque coastal towns and beautiful beaches. Portugal's 1,800km of coastline is vast and distinct.
Portuguese people are known to be very warm, welcoming and friendly. This is very much true and you will experience it as soon as you set foot in the country with people willing to help at all times. Entering a new country can be exhilarating especially if the culture, land and people are so different from your native culture. This is where mistakes and accidental offences may occur while you are in your host country. We decided to ask a few Portuguese for their opinions and insight. We asked so we can save you the trouble and embarrassment before you enter the charming country of Portugal.
So without further ado here we will let you know the quickest ways to anger a Portuguese person so that you can avoid making any enemies during your stay.
If you are a native English speaker, do not rock up in the country and just speak English to everyone, it is incredibly disrespectful. If you are in a major city there is a high chance Portuguese natives speak English especially the younger generation but, even though it is common not everyone does speak English. Learn a few phrases such as please, thank you, hello, good morning etc. One phrase that really helps, “Desculpe, você fala inglês?” which means “excuse me, do you speak English?” It goes a long way and is incredibly appreciated by natives.
People Who Make No Effort To Learn Some Portuguese Words
If you decide to stay in Portugal long term it is advised you not only make an effort with a few Portuguese words but try and become fluent. This is not easy but if you want to make Portugal your home and assimilate to the culture, feel included, even make some bureaucracy issues easier for yourself, it goes a long way to know the language and be able to speak with people on a daily basis.
People Who Speak Spanish To The Portuguese
Despite the close geographical proximity Spain and Portugal are very different. Both countries speak Latin languages but this does not help them understand each other. If you speak Portuguese to a Spanish person do not expect them to understand what you are saying, the two languages are distinctly different and you may seriously offend someone.
Brazilian Portuguese and European Portuguese Are Basically The Same Right!
No. No. No. NO. ABSOLUTLEY NO. If you value your life and want to have a good time in Portugal, never ever utter these words to a Portuguese person. It is not the same. That is all, end of conversation.
The Tram Is Always Full Of Tourists While Natives Are Going To Work
This is specific to Lisbon. Believe it or not people work in Portugal and some have to take the famous trams for their daily commute. This can be hard when visitors use the trams while people need to board to get to their destination. Of course the trams are beautiful and historic and definitely something you should experience!
But, be mindful of workers and during the weekdays around the hours of 7:00-9:30 am and 16:30-19:30 pm. During these hours avoid the trams to make space and room for working commuters. The benefit is that it leaves more space for full enjoyment during quieter hours so you can fully enjoy the experience!
People Who Don't Respect The Culture
You have to immerse yourself and embrace Portuguese culture for all it is. Make Portuguese friends learn from them, absorb the complex and beautiful history of the country that has led it to become how it is today.
If there is an aspect you do not understand or like, be respectful. Take time to learn or if it is something that really goes against your beliefs remove yourself from the occasion.
Complaining Places Like Lisbon and Algarve Are Too Touristy
There is life outside of these areas with beautiful landscapes. Lisbon and Algarve are absolutely beautiful. Amazing food, people and culture but there are many other beautiful cities, towns and villages scattered around Portugal. We urge you if you end up in Portugal take the time to explore the country. Cities like Evora, Viseu, Braga, Chaves and Coimbra have so much culture and history to explore and even fantastic apartments like this one in Coimbra.
Don’t Criticise Portuguese Bureaucracy Issues
Once you’ve lived in the country for a while you start to understand how the country works for better and worse. There are many amazing things about Portugal and some annoying things. As they say you have to take the good with the bad. Once you notice some of the lets say annoying things about living in the country, keep it to yourself.
The Portuguese are very aware of these things and have been for many years before you got annoyed with it but, these issues are only allowed to be criticised by insiders. When I say insiders I mean the Portuguese. Trust me they are just as annoyed as you but if you complain about it to them don’t be surprised if you get the side eye.
Most Importantly, Football
The Portuguese are VERY protective over their teams and especially their national team. NEVER say anything bad about the national team or even any Portuguese team if you value your life and time in Portugal seriously! Any negative comments will cause arguments that you will not win no matter the amazing arguments you have lined up. Don’t even joke about it, only say positive things and praise their football teams or nothing at all!
Are you thinking about moving to Portugal? Spotahome has 1,000 of apartments in the country that you can book in a safe and secure manner virtually! No matter your personal home preferences and needs there is a home for you to check out these beautiful apartments in the gorgeous city of Porto.