Portugal is truly a magical place because it has an incredible variety of landscape, history, culture, and cuisine. This isn’t even mentioning the generous hospitality of the people and the beaches that are considered some of the most preferred destinations in all of Europe. Portugal is also rich in terms of the medieval cities, monasteries and castles that recall its prosperous past. One example of this is that you will see a particular type of decorations on the buildings and houses called azulejos: an Arabic technique that uses square tiles of glazed and then decorated ceramic.

The most northern part of Portugal still maintains a rural atmosphere that seems like a step into the past because it is so closely linked to its local traditions. And in this area you will find Porto, the second largest city after the capital, Lisbon. Ironically, Porto still comes out on top because the wine that has made Lisbon famous is called the Porto.

Farther south you will find Lisbon, the capital, which is also called the “White City” for the predominate use of the color on the buildings and houses. And although the city was hit by a devastating earthquake in 1755, the city has been able to maintain an intriguing and melancholic atmosphere at the same time, just like its Fado (their genre of music). The best part about this town is that all of the tourist attractions are located in the historic center and there individuals. Maybe this would be a perfect vacation spot if your parents wanted to visit you.

To check out Fado music, click here.

If you’d rather relax by the sea instead of going farther south: there is the area of the Algarve, famous for beaches and a mild climate all year long.

The delicious cuisine is the “cherry on the top” to this amazing country, and above all you must try bacalhau (codfish). This is a dish that can be cooked in a plethora of dressing options and it always leaves you wanting more. But of course you should check out the other typical Portuguese dishes for yourself (click here).

And for more general information on Portugal, click here.