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Visit Portugal: What makes the country so unique?

12 April 2018 at 10:00 CEST
Lisbon, November 2017 Stijn Smulders
With just over two weeks to go until the first rehearsals for the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest take place in Lisbon, we want to give you an insight in what Portugal has to offer. Today: An introduction to what makes Portugal so unique?

When you think of Portugal, you probably think of the famous custard tarts pastel de nata, also known as pastéis de Belém. But the country has much more to offer: History and culture, gastronomy and wines, the beaches, surfing, music festivals and, above all, the Portuguese people, who are generally affable, open and sincere.

This year's Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Lisbon, a city with historic neighbourhoods to get to know, along with modern architecture and urban art. It is a city with a special radiance, which comes from the Tagus river and the proximity of the sea.  

Portugal is not only a great country to visit in May, during the Eurovision Song Contest. It is also a great holiday destination renowned for sun, sea and walks on the beach throughout the year. In fact, the Portuguese coast is almost a single beach extending more than 850 kilometers. It offers a diversity of landscapes that allow you to choose between the rougher and cooler sea in the north and the warm, placid waters of the south.

What to do between the Semi-Finals?

When you are not at the arena to see a show or watching your favourite artist perform at the Eurovision Village, there is plenty to do in and around Lisbon

READ MORE: Visit Portugal's 10 things to do in Lisbon

Portuguese culture and heritage have unique characteristics stemming from historical events and the outlook of a people who, as they learned from the rest of the world, adapted this new knowledge to their way of living and their land.

As you travel through the country, you will discover the ingredients of the Portuguese character. You will find them in cities, monuments and landscapes that, each in their own way, tell a part of the history of the world. 

For this reason, many of these sites were listed as UNESCO World Heritage. UNESCO has already granted World Heritage status to 21 sites, including historic centres, archaeological sites, cultural landscapes, natural parks and intangible heritage. These Portuguese contributions to world history are unmissable and the perfect excuse to know the country from north to south.

Next week, we will teach you some useful phrases that may come in handy during your stay in Lisbon.

This story is brought to you with the support of Visit Portugal, Official Partner of the 2018 Eurovision Song contest.