Thu. Jul 18th, 2024


Planning a trip to beautiful, sunny Portugal? With its gorgeous beaches, fabulous weather, delicious cuisine and vibrant local culture, Portugal should be on every traveller’s bucket list! Portuguese people are generally extremely friendly and welcoming – and English is widely spoken making it easy for non-Portuguese speakers to travel around the country. However, Portuguese is a fabulous language full of colourful expressions, so we highly recommend learning a few useful phrases to use on your next trip!

It becomes so much easier to immerse yourself in new cultures when you can communicate with locals. While it may not be possible to become fluent in the language of every place you travel to, locals always appreciate it when tourists at least try to use the local language. That’s why Expat Explore has put together a list of essential Portuguese phrases for travelling!

Here are some useful Portuguese phrases to use on your trip:


Oi/Olá – Hi/Hello

Bom Dia – Good Morning

Boa Tarde – Good Afterno on


Boa Noite – Good Night

Adeus – Goodbye

Algarve, Portugal, Portuguese phrases
Say bom dia to Portugal!

Let’s start with the basics! It shows a good deal of respect to greet people in their native tongue. When entering a store or restaurant, greet the staff with a casual oi (hi) or a classic olá! (hello). Likewise, when you leave, bid them adeus (goodbye)A friendly bom dia (good morning) will start the day off on a good note while a boa noite (good night) will bring your lovely day in Portugal to a close.

The magic words:

Por favor – Please

Obrigado/a – Thank you

De nada – You’re welcome

Saúde! – Cheers!

Com licença – Excuse me

Sim/não – Yes/no

Please and thank you, pastel de nata, Portuguese phrases
Um pastel de nata por favor!

Politeness and gratitude will go a long way! You can’t go wrong with a simple por favor (please) and obrigado (thank you) to a waitress or store keeper. One thing to keep in mind is that Portuguese is a gendered language. This means that nouns have different genders and certain words change according to the gender of the noun. However, with obrigado/a, it is a relatively simple rule. Regardless of who you are talking to, if you identify as male, you will use obrigado. If you identify as female, use obrigada! Before asking a question, or if you’re making your way through a crowd, say com licença (excuse me) to add that extra bit of courtesy.

Getting around:
Porto train station, Portugal
Make sure you get on the right train at Porto train station! Ask, “para onde vai esse trem?”

Onde fica a casa de banho? – Where is the bathroom? 

Que horas são? – What time is it?

Como chego ao (à)… – How do I get to…?

Para onde vai esse trem/ônibus? — Where does this train/bus go?

Restaurante – Restaurant

Quanto custa? – How much does this cost?

Estação de trem/metrô – Train/metro station

It’s annoyingly easy to get lost while travelling in a new place. When Google Maps fails you, you may have to rely on the kindness of strangers to get you where you need to go! Public transport can also be confusing, especially in a foreign language. To make sure you’re on the right train/bus, ask a fellow passenger para onde vai esse trem/ônibus? (where does this train/bus go?). If you’re hungry or need to find some free wifi, ask where the nearest restuarante (restaurant) is

Miscommunications, Lisbon, Portugal, Portuguese Phrases
Don’t be afraid to ask for help or to admit, “não falo português!”

Você fala inglês? – Do you speak English?

Eu não entendo – I do not understand

Não falo português – I don’t speak Portuguese

Não sei – I don’t know

Even if you take time to learn some Portuguese phrases before your trip, the chances are that miscommunications will still occur. After all, it can take years to become fluent in a language! If this happens, don’t panic – just let the person you’re speaking with know “eu não entendo” (I don’t understand). Also, don’t be afraid to ask them “você fala inglês?” (do you speak English?). We guarantee that most people won’t be upset, they will just appreciate that you tried your best!



By Lala