LissbonPortuguese culture has developed over many thousands of years. Portugal is a country that has endured several invasions; as a result, the national identity has several influences from many different civilizations. Portugal is part of the Iberian peninsula in southern Europe, however, it has a very different culture to that of Spain.

The Arts

Portugal has been invaded by the Moorish, Romans and Germanic nations over the years, and it has developed a very unique culture over the centuries.It is home to some of the oldest and most significant architecture and history found anywhere in Europe. Escoural has a number of hugely significant ancient cave-paintings that were created several centuries ago. Visitors should ensure they visit the genuine Roman town of Conimbriga, Evora’s Temple of Diana and the stunning Moorish architecture found in the ancient settlements of Olhao and Tavira. Portugal has a rich history of exploration, and its culture has several influences from around the world. Portuguese explorers brought back a number of local cuisines, customs and art from the Orient and Latin America.
No visit to Portugal should pass without experiencing the beautiful Fado music that is an integral part of the country’s culture. The music involves a unique blend of melancholy melodies and mournful lyrics. However, more joyful Portuguese folk music and dancing are found far more readily in the tourist areas. The country has a very distinctive taste in music which simply isn’t found anywhere else in the world.


The dining experience in Portugal is very similar to that found in Spain. The locals prefer to take their time over a meal, and long lunches are a common sight in rural and coastal towns. The local cuisine relies heavily on an abundance of locally-caught seafood, fresh vegetables and olive oil. Portugal’s version of paella is called arroz de marisco, and it is made with rice and an assortment of shellfish. A very popular local meat dish is known as cozido a Portuguesa, and it is a unique combination of red meats and vegetables which are stewed for hours before serving. Portugal has its own unique culture that must be experienced to be fully appreciated.

Picture: foto.fritz – Fotolia

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