Portuguese culture is very rich and even differs from location to location, within the country.
Here are a few fun facts about Portuguese people that will make your life in Portugal more peaceful.
- Let's start with what appears to be one of the biggest differences between Portuguese culture and other cultures, perhaps even one that you may notice more clearly: We apologize, but we have imprecise timekeeping. So, if you have an appointment scheduled with a technician, for example, don't worry if you're running 5 minutes late because they'll probably be 10-15 minutes late themselves.
- Let's talk about greetings. We always greet with two kisses with women and handshake between men or a hug if they are close friends. This is not that uncommon amongst Mediterranean countries. Yet, remember! Portuguese people never say a general goodbye. They have to say goodbye to everybody, even if there are a lot of people. Otherwise, it would be considered rude. So, it's best to prepare yourself for the Hello and Goodbye round.
- Carrying cash in Portugal is certainly more convenient. This becomes more of a habit when you're outside the major cities, where lots of the local shops/establishments have a "cash only" rule. Even in the Algarve, Lisbon, and Porto, some cafés and bars will require a minimum bill amount to pay with card (normally 5€).
- In most of the public services, pharmacies, butcher shops, bakeries or utility shops, you might need to take a ticket to be attended in number order. There are machines usually placed near the entrance so that you may take your ticket easily.
- As you might have already discovered, food is really good in Portugal, and it makes a considerable part of our life. But drinks don't stay behind. Big wine producers use the most important Portuguese red grape varieties, like Touriga Nacional, Baga, Castelão e Trincadeira. The most important Portuguese white grape varieties are Alvarinho, Loureiro, Arinto, Encruzado, Bical e Fernão Pires. And of course, we have lovely liqueur wines, and the most famous and known worldwide is the Porto Wine. Still, we also have Madeira Wine, Moscatel and Carcavelos Wine. Now, about beers: the two most popular Portuguese brands are Super Bock & Sagres. In Madeira Island, the most popular beer is Coral. In the south you must ask for an "Imperial"and, in the north, you ask for a "Fino" is just the term used for regular beer, or"Cerveja", sever in a glass.
- Portuguese parking: if you park in the streets of Lisbon, pay attention to Emel stations, and always have a few coins available for the parking meter. Or download the app EPark by Emel and pay the parking via online. You can also pay with "via verde" app, available in all app stores.
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