30 Things Portugal Is Known And Famous For

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Traveling to Southwestern Europe and wondering what is Portugal famous for?

Portugal is a beautiful country known for its stunning coastal views, delicious food, and rich culture. Portugal is also home to some famous people, places, and things. From the beautiful beaches of the Algarve to the stunning architecture of Lisbon, there is much to see in this fascinating country!

Whether you are planning to visit Portugal or just want to learn more about this amazing country, here are some things that are famous in Portugal.

Food Portugal Is Famous For

If you are a fan of seafood, then you will definitely enjoy Portuguese cuisine. Portuguese dishes are typically made with fresh, local ingredients and often include fish or shellfish. If you are feeling adventurous, try some of the more unusual seafood dishes such as barnacles or octopus.

Pasteis de Nata


Pasteis de Nata is a delicious Portuguese custard tart. It is made with puff pastry and egg yolks, and has a sweet and creamy taste. No trip to Portugal would be complete without trying pastel de nata. It is a popular snack and dessert option in Portugal.

These delicious custard tarts are a Portuguese specialty and you can easily find them in bakeries all over the country. Pasteis de Nata is best served warm with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top.

Bacalhau à Brás

Bacalhau à Brás is a traditional Portuguese dish that is made with salted codfish, onions, and potatoes. It is usually served as a side dish, but can also be eaten as a main course. This dish is popular in Portugal because it is inexpensive to make and very tasty. Bacalhau à Brás also freezes well, so it is a good option to take home with you if you are traveling from Portugal.



Francesinha is a sandwich with origins in the city of Porto. It is made with bread, sausage, ham, cheese, and a special tomato and beer sauce. The sandwich is then grilled and served with a fried egg on top. Francesinha is a popular dish in Portugal and can be found in most restaurants in Porto.

Piri Piri Chicken


Piri Piri Chicken is a Portuguese dish, originating from Angola and made with piri piri peppers. The dish was created by the Angolan chef João Oliveira Lima in 1969. The chicken has since become popular in Portugal, where it’s now one of the most popular dishes on restaurant menus.

Port Wine


Port wine is a traditional Portuguese drink originating from the Douro region. It is made by blending red wines and then adding white grape spirits (or brandy) after fermentation to stop the process.

This results in a strong, sweet wine with an alcohol content of around 20%. Port wine is usually served as a dessert wine, but it can also be drunk on its own or with food.


History, Culture, And Traditions Portugal Is Known For

Love for Seafood


The Portuguese are also known for their love of seafood. This is reflected in the country’s cuisine, which often features fish, shellfish, and other seafood dishes. Portugal is also one of the world’s largest exporters of canned fish, such as tuna, sardines, and mackerel.

Cork Trees


Portugal is also famous for its cork trees. These trees are native to the country and have been used to make cork stoppers for wine bottles for centuries. In fact, Portugal is the world’s largest producer of cork, with around 70% of the world’s cork coming from the country.

Beautiful Azulejo Tiles


Azulejo is a type of decorative tile that is common in Portugal. These tiles are usually blue and white, but can also be found in other colors. Azulejo was first introduced to Portugal by the Moors, who occupied the country from the eighth century until the eleventh century.

One of the best places to see an impressive display of Azulejo is the São Bento railway station in Porto. You can also visit the museum of Azulejo in Lisbon, which has a large collection of these beautiful tiles.

Rooster of Barcelos


The rooster of Barcelos is a symbol of Portugal that you will commonly see in souvenirs and Portuguese restaurants. There are many variations of the story, but the folklore generally goes that a man was falsely accused of stealing.

However, he claimed he was innocent. The judge said that the man could go free if the rooster crowed when he placed it on the ground. As the rooster crowed, the man was cleared of all charges and the rooster became a symbol of justice.

A Country of Explorers

Portugal is sometimes known as a country of explorers. Some of the most famous explorers in history, such as Vasco da Gama and Ferdinand Magellan, were Portuguese. These explorers helped to open up new trade routes and expand the Portuguese empire. They are a vital part of Portugal’s history and have helped to shape the country into what it is today.

Stunning Coast and Beaches


Portugal is famous for its stunning coastal views and has some of the best beaches in Europe. With over 850 miles of coastline, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the beautiful Portuguese scenery. Whether you want to relax on the beach, surf the waves, or take a hike along the coast, there’s a beach in Portugal that’s perfect for you.

Sports And Dance Portugal Is Famous For


Football (or soccer) is the most popular sport in Portugal. The Portuguese national team, affectionately known as the Red Devils, has won the European Championship twice, in 2016 and 2019. Portugal is also home to some of the world’s best football players, including Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Figo.



Golf is also a popular sport in Portugal, with the country being home to several world-famous golf courses. These include the Praia d’El Rey Golf & Beach Resort, which was ranked as one of the best golf courses in Europe by Golf World magazine.



Boasting beautiful beaches and a great climate, it is no surprise that surfing is a popular activity in Portugal, especially around the town of Nazaré. This town is famous for its giant waves, which attract surfers from all over the world.

Every year, the Nazaré Challenge is held here, which is a surfing competition that features some of the biggest waves in the world, going as high as 100ft.


Fado is a type of Portuguese music and dance that is characterized by its sad and melancholic lyrics. This music is often about the sea, love, and loss. The dance is slow and sensual. Fado is typically sung by a woman accompanied by a guitar.

The origins of Fado trace back to the 18th century when it began as a genre of music sung by urban folks. Fado gained international recognition in the 20th century when it was popularized by singers such as Amália Rodrigues. Today, Fado is an important part of Portuguese culture and identity.

Cities And Travel Destinations Portugal Is Famous For

Portugal’s capital – Lisbon


Lisbon is Portugal’s capital city and largest metropolis. The city is on the Atlantic coast of Portugal and is known for its picturesque views, vibrant culture, and friendly locals.

Lisbon is a great city to visit for its architecture, museums, and delicious food. Visitors can also enjoy plenty of outdoor activities such as walking or cycling through the city’s hilly streets, or taking a boat ride on the River Tagus.

The city is a popular tourist destination due to its Mediterranean climate, historic sites, and architecture.

Lisbon is also home to many museums and art galleries. Some of the most famous landmarks in Lisbon include the Jerónimos Monastery, the Belém Tower, and the Castelo de São Jorge.

Portugal’s Second City – Porto

Porto is the second largest city in Portugal and sits on the Douro River. The city is known for its port wine production, stunning medieval architecture, and lively nightlife scene.

There are many things to do in Porto. You can enjoy plenty of activities such as touring the port wine cellars, exploring the historic center, or enjoying some of the city’s many excellent restaurants and bars.

Some of the most famous landmarks in Porto include the São Bento railway station, the Palácio da Bolsa, and the Igreja de São Francisco.

The Azores


The Azores are a group of nine volcanic islands in the Atlantic Ocean. They are about 950 kilometers (590 miles) west of Lisbon.

The islands are known for their dramatic landscapes, which include mountains, crater lakes, and hot springs. The Azores are also a popular tourist destination for whale watching and birdwatching.

There are also many historical sites and landmarks to see on the islands, making them a great destination for history buffs and nature lovers alike.

Some of the most famous landmarks in the Azores include the Ponta Delgada Cathedral, the Capelinhos Volcano, and the Furnas hot springs.


Madeira is another Portuguese island in the Atlantic Ocean. The island is known for its mild climate, lush vegetation, and dramatic scenery. Madeira is also a popular tourist destination for its beaches, golf courses, and wine.

You can enjoy plenty of activities such as hiking, cycling, golfing, and more in Madeira. There are also many historical sites and landmarks

The Algarve


The Algarve is Portugal’s southernmost region and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. It is known for its beautiful beaches, stunning coastal scenery, and lively nightlife.

Visitors to the Algarve can enjoy plenty of activities such as swimming, sunbathing, windsurfing, golfing, and more. There are also many historical landmarks and sites to see in the Algarve, making it a great destination for both beach lovers and history buffs alike.

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Famous People Of Portugal

Portugal is also home to many famous figures, including writers, artists, and football players. Here are some prominent people from Portugal.

Fernando Pessoa

Fernando Pessoa is a famous Portuguese poet, writer, and philosopher. He is considered to be one of the most important literary figures of the 20th century. Pessoa was born in Lisbon in 1888 and died in 1935.

During his lifetime, Pessoa published over 30 books of poetry, prose, and drama. His most famous work is The Book of Disquiet, which was posthumously published in 1982.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo is a Portuguese football player who is widely considered to be one of the best players in the world. He has played for some of the biggest clubs in Europe, including Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Juventus.

Ronaldo was born in Funchal, Madeira, Portugal. He started his professional career with Sporting Lisbon before moving to Manchester United in 2003. In 2009, Ronaldo moved to Real Madrid for a then world-record fee of £80 million (€94 million). He spent nine seasons at the club, winning four Champions League titles and scoring 450 goals in 436 appearances.

Amália Rodrigues

Amália Rodrigues was a Portuguese singer and actress. She is considered to be the greatest exponent of Fado, the traditional music of Portugal.

Rodrigues began her singing career in 1935. She quickly gained popularity in Portugal and abroad. In 1999, she was awarded the title of “Commander of the Order of Prince Henry” by the president of Portugal.

José Saramago

José Saramago was a Portuguese writer and Nobel Prize winner. Saramago’s first novel, The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis, was published in Portuguese in 1984. He gained international fame with the publication of his novel Blindness in 1995. Saramago was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1998.

Vasco da Gama

Vasco da Gama was a Portuguese explorer and the first person to sail from Europe to India. He was born in Sines, Portugal, in 1469. In 1497, da Gama set sail from Lisbon with four ships and 170 crew members.

After a perilous journey that lasted over two years, he arrived in India in 1499. Da Gama’s voyage was a major achievement and helped establish the Portuguese Empire in India.

Architecture And Landmarks Portugal Is Famous For

Portugal is known for many of its amazing historic and natural landmarks. Here are some of the most famous ones.

Torre de Belém


The Torre de Belém is a 16th-century tower in Lisbon. It is one of the most iconic landmarks in Portugal and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The tower was built as a defensive fortification to protect the city from attacks by sea.

Today, the Torre de Belém is one of Lisbon’s most popular tourist attractions. You can climb to the top of the tower for panoramic views of the city.

Bairro Alto


Bairro Alto is a neighborhood in Lisbon that is known for its nightlife. This area is full of bars, nightclubs, and restaurants, and is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike. Bairro Alto is also home to many of Lisbon’s best-known landmarks, such as the Elevador de Santa Justa and the Igreja de São Roque.

Praça do Comércio and Rua Augusta Arch


The Praça do Comércio is a square in Lisbon. It is one of the largest squares in Europe and is a popular tourist destination. The square is home to some important landmarks, such as the Rua Augusta Arch and the statue of King José I.


The Rua Augusta Arch is an archway that commemorates the city’s reconstruction after the 1755 earthquake. The archway is one of the most iconic landmarks in Lisbon.

Pico Mountain


Pico Mountain at 2351m is the highest mountain in Portugal. It is on the island of Pico, in the Azores. The mountain is an active volcano and last erupted in 1720.

Pico Mountain is a popular destination for nature lovers. You can hike to the summit for stunning views of the island and the surrounding ocean.

Pena Palace


Pena Palace is a 19th-century palace in Sintra, Portugal. The palace is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Portugal. It is known for its dramatic location and Gothic architecture.

The Pena Palace was built by King Ferdinand II as a summer retreat for the Portuguese royal family. Today, the palace is open to the public and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Many More Things Portugal Is Known And Famous For

These are just some of the things that Portugal is known and famous for. From its stunning architecture to its delicious food, there is much to discover in this beautiful country.

The country is home to many historical landmarks and tourist attractions, you are bound to discover more things that Portugal is known for when you visit. When traveling to Portugal, be sure to keep an eye out for these things so you can get a better understanding of the country and its culture.



Book Your Flight

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Find Your Accommodation

Booking.com is my usual platform for finding accommodation options as they have one of the largest selections. Hostelworld is great for booking hostels. For more private or long term accommodation, Airbnb is my go-to platform.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is important for to protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances. I usually look at a few insurance companies depending on my travel needs.
  • SafetyWings for Travel Health Insurance
  • IMG Global for added Insurance when doing activities outside of usual coverage
Packing for your trip? Check out the packing list for ideas on what to bring

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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


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