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What cultural faux pas should I try to avoid making in Portugal?

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We asked people in Portugal if they could share any humorous cultural blunders they commited. For new expats, keep in mind that these incidents are an inevitable part of expat life. Learning to laugh about them is the key!...

"It is important to show respect for Portuguese culture by avoiding certain activities that could be considered rude or inappropriate. When visiting, it is best to dress conservatively, avoid discussing religion or politics in public, and maintain eye contact when engaging in conversation. Likewise, visitors should avoid pointing with their finger and try to learn some basic phrases in Portuguese, as a gesture of respect. Additionally, it is important to remember that physical contact between strangers, such as shaking hands and hugging, is not common in certain parts of Portugal," said another expat in Portugal.

"We were yelled at by a check out staffer at Lidl because we did not know or understand where to put the empty shopping cart. We know now," wrote a member who made the move to Porto, Portugal.

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Other Questions:

What cultural faux pas should I try to avoid making in Portugal?

If you live in Portugal, newcomers to Portugal would love to hear your answer to this question.

If your answer relates to a specific city or town in Portugal, please include the name of the city/town below:


About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

Guincho beach in Cascais, Portugal

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Turn relocation stress into success with AnchorLess. From obtaining your NIF to a complete VISA support, we will be your guide through Portuguese administrative.
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Turn relocation stress into success with AnchorLess. From obtaining your NIF to a complete VISA support, we will be your guide through Portuguese administrative.
Learn More

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