Some tips for Canadians to know before visiting Portugal:

In the last decade the tourism in Portugal has been rising a lot. Canadian citizens are visiting Portugal a lot more often. This country is one of the safest travel destinations in Europe and in Portugal there is a wonderful mix of amazing historical and natural sites.


Food and Accommodation

In Portugal you can find any kind of accommodation from luxurious to low-budget places. Despite the fact the country is still one of the cheapest in terms of food and accommodation, the prices could rise up in the biggest cities during particular dates around popular events.

If you are looking for healthy food, Portugal has it. Portuguese cuisine is one of the healthiest in the whole continent and prices are affordable for people traveling on tight budgets. The local food is just the right mix of fish, meat and vegetables. Every city has its specialities worth tasting.

Seafood is very popular in Portugal and among the most famous dishes are mariscos (seafood) and codfish (bacalhau), often prepared in the simplest of ways.

If you prefer meat, Posta Mirandesa is a delicious tenderloin beefsteak cooked on a big fire. It is simply delicious.

A typical cake Pastel de nata (egg tart pastry) is famous everywhere in the world, but we suggest travellers to try the original one in Lisbon.


What to visit in Portugal:

Canadian tourists can really enjoy the variety of this country’s possibilities; the cities, countryside and the coast. This mix has no equal in the continent.

For the past 5 years the capital city of Lisbon has been one of the primary destinations in Europe. The city is placed between the hills and the ocean and offers iconic monuments like Torre de Belem and Praça do Comércio. It's strongly suggested to spend time in the city centre or the city museums and to sit in one of the many bars where you can listen to the local music (Fado).

Quite close to Lisbon, there is the city of Sintra which is one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites. The town is full of amazing palaces like the Castelo dos Mouros, Palácio Nacional de Sintra, and the Palácio de Monserrate.

Porto is another excellent destination for its vibrant city life and a mix of medieval relics, extravagant churches and Beaux Arts buildings. Porto is also the second largest city in Portugal.

From Porto, a close destination is the Alto Douro, a hilly region covered with vines and vineyards commonly knows as quintas. It is strongly suggested to use public transportation. The Linha do Douro is one of the most suggestive railways in the whole Europe.

If you love outdoor activities, Portugal is an ideal destination for you. The variety of landscapes also includes rugged mountains that offers a vast set of choices for all hiking and climbing lovers. The Parque Natural da Serra da Estrela is the largest protected area of the countryside where it’s possible to find forests, waterfalls, rivers and also icy lakes nearby the county's highest mountain, the Torre.


Lisbon walk


The Algarve is an international hub for beach lovers and surfers. In particular, the Praia do Amado is one of the best-known surfing beaches worldwide. Praia de Bordeira is absolutely worth a visit. This beach location has a 3 km long golden sandy beach. It is surrounded by dunes and steep cliffs.

Azores Islands and Cabo Verde Islands are authentic paradises that merge Portuguese and North African traditions outside the mainland.


If you are a Canadian tourist, will you a need a Visa to go to Europe?

Canadian citizens traveling to Portugal for tourism do not need a visa as long as they spend 90 days or less in an Schengen Country. This is because Canadian passport holders are generally visa-exempted and for this reason, they can enter the Schengen area as long as the duration of stay does not exceed 90 days within a 6-month period. For longer duration of stay, an Schengen Visa is mandatory. The Visa is issued directly by the Government of Portugal. If you intend to visit the country for more than 90 days you should contact the local embassy and ask for further information about how to apply for a visa.

There will be a change that has an impact for all the Canadian tourists from 2021 once the European Union is planning to initiate an electronic travel authorization, which is pretty similar to our eTA.
All Canadians planning to visit an Schengen Area Country have to have this electronic visa.

The difference between an Schengen Visa and ETIAS travel authorization is that an Schengen visa is valid only inside the Portuguese borders but ETIAS can be used during its validation period also to cross the borders with other Schengen Countries.


Applying for ETIAS Visa

Tourist traveling in a group must all get a valid travel authorization. There are some requirements for having an authorization:

Canadian Passport:
As a Canadian citizen, you will need to double check that the validity of your passport extends 90 days after your arrival in Portugal.

Proof of funds:
You will need to bring documentation that proves you have sufficient finances to support your entire stay in the region.

Travel Itinerary:
You will need to provide a reason and documentation of your travel to the region. This documentation should support your travel itinerary.

Other info:
You might also need to show additional entry documents depending on the countries you will be traveling to. Be sure to investigate each destination country and any additional paperwork required.


Revocation or Annulment of ETIAS Travel Authorization

The Etias Travel Authorization is valid for a course of 3 to 5 years (this is currently under discussion and can be altered) and it can be denied at anytime. Because of this, it’s highly recommended to check the validity of the authorization for each traveler if traveling in a group before the departure date. If the validation is expired, it can result in a denied boarding on the day of traveling.


Immigration and Custom

When entering in Portugal, you will still need to show your passport and go through customs. If your entry is permitted, your passport will be stamped at the customs with the date indicating your arrival date into Portuguese territory.

When your entrance is clear and accepted, you will have free access to move within the Schengen region as long as you do not spend more than 90 days within a 180-day period.