While tourism in Iceland grows cold, Portugal is slowly becoming a hot destination.
This country in Southern Europe is gaining travelers’ attentions for good reasons.
Portugal has been popping up lately as a popular summer travel destination for several reasons. First, Delta Airlines, United, TAP Air Portugal and other major airlines offer direct flights to Lisbon, Portugal’s capital city. Second, recent economic trends show a stable dollar to euro exchange rates. Lastly, but might as well the prime reason, the country offers colorful and picturesque views that are nothing short of breathtaking.
Lisbon landed on the 18th spot of TripAdvisor’s 25 best destinations in the world for 2019 and was also included in GOBankingRates.com’s list of cities that you can visit for less than $100 a day.
The country of Portugal as a whole is also in USA Today’s list of hottest destinations for 2019 and was declared as Europe’s Leading Destination during the 26th World Travel Awards.
So, what really allures travelers to visit Portugal?
Portugal is every Instagrammer’s dream
Among the must-dos in Lisbon is to visit their miradouros or viewpoints. Lisbon is a hilly city with small and winding streets that take you to staircases you need to climb to get to the lookouts.
At sunset, the miradouros can get insanely crowded with people getting their best shots of the bright colored buildings and the Tagus River nearby.
The Sintra World Heritage Landscape is located near the capital while the coastal city of Porto, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a few hours by train from Lisbon.
The brightly-painted Pena Palace located atop a hill in Sintra boasts of an exotic architecture that makes it the best backdrop for Instagram photos.
There is a total of 15 UNESCO World Heritage sites in Portugal, including the wine region of Douro.
It doesn’t break the bank
GoBankingRates.com states that flights to Lisbon would cost you about $566 while hotel and AirBnB rates would cost you an average of $42.67 for one night.
Food in Lisbon is also reasonably priced. You can get a meal for two around the neighborhood for $30, and a cup of coffee for only $1.25.
It’s expanding its tourist offerings
There are plenty of tour options offered not only in Lisbon but also in other cities like Porto, where tourists can join a three-hour walking tour for free. Porto also offers cruises to the wine region of Douro Valley.
Majority of the cities in Portugal are walkable, but public transportation and Uber are also available for a fair price.
According to hotel data gathered by the National Statistics Institute, Portugal received a total of 12.8 million visitors last year.
According to Reuters, Portugal might see a decline this year due to the UK’s exit from the EU. Nevertheless, tourism’s contribution to Portugal’s 2017 GDP was almost $40 billion. So for now, there’s no reason for the country to be worried over losing their spot as one of the world’s hottest destinations.