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Professor Vincent Barletta Discusses Five Key Things to Know about Portugal Before Visiting

Professor Vincent Barletta Discusses Five Key Things to Know about Portugal Before Visiting

Palo Alto, CA – (Date) – Vincent Barletta recently shared key tips that can help you when planning to visit Portugal. As a professor of Comparative Literature and Lusophone Culture at Stanford University, he has an in-depth understanding of Portugal and Iberian cultures. Given this, it’s no surprise that he’s the right person to share five things you need to know before traveling to Portugal.

According to Professor Barletta, Portugal is not only home to some of Europe’s best beaches and weather. It also offers great music, outstanding cultural attractions, culinary delights, and deep history. With so much to offer, Professor Barletta thought to share some essential tips to help you make the most of any trip to this country on the western edge of Europe.

1. Hostels are an excellent accommodation option in Portugal

It’s no secret that Portugal is the home to some of the most fabulous hostels, Vincent Barletta explains. Hence, the professor recommends booking yourself into one of the hostels for a comfortable, memorable stay in Lisbon or other Portuguese towns and cities. Many of the establishments provide a warm and welcoming space. You shouldn’t be surprised that some hostels offer home-cooked meals, making you feel at home. Whether you prefer luxury or budget hostels, Portugal has all the options you could need.

2. Consider exploring places outside of Lisbon and Porto

The professor says there’s value in visiting smaller towns dotted around the Portuguese countryside. You’re sure to enjoy your stay in places like Sintra, Guimarães, Évora, and Óbidos. Day trips or overnight stays in any of these towns provide a surefire way to discover what makes the Portuguese countryside tick. The country has stunning landscapes and man-made features that’ll keep you coming back for more.

3. Affordable vacations to Portugal are possible

Another thing to remember when visiting Portugal is that it’s possible to explore the country on a budget. From budget hostels to affordable meals, Professor Barletta says this is one thing that many visitors like about Portugal. Your stay in any of these cities and towns will hardly break the bank. Entrance fees to popular attractions like the Quinta da Regaleira (a castle in Sintra) are very low. You can expect the same when traveling on public transport. Barletta recommends avoiding the usual tourist traps that could dent your budget.

4. There’s something for the wine lovers

The local wine scene is vibrant and interesting. You can explore a lot of offerings in the well-stocked wine bars or the countless Vineyards in the countryside. Portugal offers a long list of wine varieties and unique blends, such as the ubiquitous Vinho Verde – a white blend of local grapes. Professor Barletta recommends visiting the terraced vineyards in the Douro Valley. Here you’ll find small producers who’ve transformed the Dão red. Apart from the wines, you’re sure to love the scenic landscape around the vineyards.

5. Know the best time to travel

Like anywhere else, there are good and not-so-ideal times to travel to Portugal. The most obvious periods to avoid are the busiest, most expensive, and hottest months, like July and August. Vincent Barletta advises you to visit the country in the off-season to take advantage of fewer crowds, mild weather, and fantastic holiday deals. Typically, May, June, and September are warmer, and it can be rainy between October and April.

What you should know about Vincent Barletta

Professor Barletta is an associate professor of Comparative Literature and Iberian and Latin American Cultures at Stanford University. He’s also a research associate at Stanford’s Europe Center. At Stanford, he regularly lectures on Portuguese literature and culture, Iberian and Latin American cultures, and lyric poetry. His work in these fields has attracted recognition, most recently the prestigious John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in 2021.

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