a VirtualTourist member
We are planing to travel to Portugal on March 25, just 1 week. We are renting a car and visit Vigo. Any travel advise? How safe is driving in Portugal. Also any recommendations about restaurant in Lisboa, Combria, and Porto. Is crossing to Vigo safe?
Driving in Portugal and Spain is very ok if you ask me and i see no dangers along that route as long as you drive sensible.
One restaurant i really enjoyed during one of my many visits to the city is this one:
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I drove in Spain a lot in the past but was not driving when I went through Vigo in 2009. Overall, driving in Spain was fine for me (I'm used to driving in Europe) and in 2009, I saw that roads had greatly improved.
I took a rapid bus from Santiago di Compostela to Porto, with a stop at Vigo Bus Station. Saw a lot of Vigo as the bus came into town and I was almost sorry that I had not chosen to stop overnight there. It looks lovely! Very lively, many nearby sights to explore.
The crossing into Portugal was quick and easy, no problem as far as I could see.
My old Lonely Plant to Portugal (2008) warns that it has the highest rate of car accidents per capita in Western Europe. Roads said to be difficult to negotiate, speed limits often ignored (I noticed this myself when riding with Portuguese friends in 2009), lighting can be inadequate, etc. This is info taken from a guidebook, for what it's worth. Better to be warned and be more careful than ever.
Didn't go to Coimbra. In Porto and Lisbon, restaurants are too numerous to list here. Most pleasant is to stop for a meal in a place that attracts you as you walk around.
Dining ("jantar") alfresco in either city is fantastic. I also enjoyed returning to local & often plain places for lunch (almoço). Keep your eyes open, look for places where locals eat regularly (you can tell, with practice), try local specialties, especially if offered as "prato do dia" (daily special.)
In Porto, among many others, I really enjoyed the apéritif with hors-d'oeuvres or small dishes, at Café Majestic, R. de Santa Catarina, 112, centre-town. Also had tea there a few times. Oldest restaurant in Porto, beautiful building, with terrace in front.
Have a good trip!
As you taking a Portuguese rental car into Spain, it is wise to check beforehand about any extra charges that the rental company may levy. Some do, some do not, charge a premium for cross-border travel.
Also, don't forget that March 29th is the Good Friday holiday also that March 31st is Easter Sunday. These are important religious holidays and you may find that some restaurants, shops etc will be closed.
Driving in Portugal is easier than you may think,compared with the U.K. its Quiet.
Just make sure you take out the Full Cover Including Accident waiver.