Tips, do’s, don’ts and tourist traps:
- Olives, bread, butter, etc are usually paid, eat one pay them all. You may ask for these to be removed from the table once they arrive.
- Always ask for the receipt detailing your consumption. Though less and less there are still a few owners make the bill in a piece of paper torn from the paper towel. Don’t be afraid of it, it’s your right and they are demanded to provide it.
- Distrust restaurants where you are approached by a waitress in the street offering you a traditional Portuguese meal.
- Avoid going into “Tourist” restaurants where tourist get enticed, by outside restaurant employers, to enter and enjoy a traditional “Portuguese meal”. Most probably you will end up eating French fries, hamburgers or any other (re)heated meal and miss out a nice real Portuguese meal.
- In “tourist” restaurants avoid asking “what is good”, you will be offered the most expensive plate.
- Always ask for the prices or menu before ordering.
- In restaurants eat the “prato do dia”, these are usually cheaper, traditional, faster served and tastier. The “prato do dia” will always be a good option.
- Restaurants are obliged to give the “complaints book”.
- Want a traditional or cheap meal? Just ask! Ask someone in the street, Portuguese people are very friendly, we like a good meal, we will be glad to give a good advice.
- In a sunny day you might get tempted to buy a “nice” pair of sunglasses, take good care of your eyes and avoid buying sunglasses of doubtable quality in the street.
- Avoid buying cellphones, cameras, gold etc from a total stranger in the street, a “good” bargain might end up with a piece of wood of a rust chain. This advices applies to a seller wearing a suit or whatever.
- Avoid riding a taxi without knowing the average time, distance and price for the ride. Ask at the hotel desk, a policeman, a couple of taxi drivers or, why not, to someone in the street. Another good option might be plan your travel (distance and time) using Google maps.
- In a taxi you pay for any luggage that you put in the trunk, you may want to keep with you your small luggage.