Simple Phrases To Learn Before Visiting Portugal

Simple Phrases To Learn Before Visiting Portugal

We often get messages from complete beginners who plan to visit the country and want to learn a few of the basic phrases.

In Portugal, the level of English is quite good, especially the younger generations in the main cities of Lisbon and Porto. But regardless of how well the locals speak your language, picking up a few Portuguese phrases can go a long way to show that you’re interested in the local culture.

It’s also worth noting that while most of the vocabulary is common between Brazilian and European Portuguese, the pronunciation is quite different in Portugal. That’s why we’ve provided audio clips to help you practice:

Here are a couple phrases you can use to greet someone in Portuguese.

Olá Hello Tudo bem? How are you doing? Everything good? Adeus Goodbye

You can add the following greetings, depending on the time of day.

Unlike English, you can use each of these whether you are just arriving or saying goodbye:

Bom dia Good morning Boa tarde Good afternoon Boa noite Good night

If you bump into somebody or want to get someone’s attention, you can say:

Desculpe Pardon me

And we can’t forget our manners!:

Por Favor Please De nada You're welcome Com licença Excuse me Obrigado Thank You Obrigada Thank You Senhor Sir Senhora Madam

Here are a few more phrases that will especially come in handy while exploring the city, or while dining:

Um café A coffee Água Water Vinho Wine Cerveja Beer Pequeno-almoço Breakfast Almoço Lunch Jantar Dinner Tenho uma reserva I have a reservation. Onde fica a casa de banho? Where is the bathroom? A conta, por favor The bill, please

Exploring the shops…

Quanto custa? How much is it? Estou só a ver, obrigado I’m just looking, thanks. Aceita cartão de crédito? Do you accept credit card?

Here’s a few more essentials:

Sim Yes Não No Um One Dois Two Três Three Quatro Four Cinco Five Seis Six Sete Seven Oito Eight Nove Nine Dez Ten

…And of course, if you get stuck:

Fala inglês? Do you speak English? Desculpe, não falo português Sorry, I don't speak Portuguese

Note: Select phrases from this page were featured (with our permission) at

10 Responses to Simple Phrases To Learn Before Visiting Portugal

  1. Obrigado Rui & Joel

    In regards to getting alongside the local people
    by using their language.
    I note you use Oporto.
    The locals call it Porto
    In my experience only the Poms (The English) call it Oporto
    I love Porto but hate tripe
    Porto natives are known as tripeiros (tripe-eaters), compared to Lisboans who’ve been dubbed “cabbage-eaters”

  2. I think a section for complete beginners who intend to travel to Portugal is a wonderful Idea You might consider adding a section of vocabulary , with flash card games and the like.
    . You might call it Traveler’s Crash Course , just for travelers
    I’m traveling to Portugal haven’t even gotten there and am already in love and planning to become fluent. My parents have gone twice and are planning to retire there and I plan to visit frequently. The more I learn The more I love it.
    Also not sure about other browsers but a few links for audio don’t work above.

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