Which country is cheaper, Portugal or Belgium?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Belgium and Portugal can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.
We'll start with a quick overview, and below we will go into all of the details.
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Belgium is a prosperous, historic, and tranquil country. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. Other popular activities here include shopping, museums, theater, and history and culture.
Belgium is a smaller but diverse nation with a long history, lots of attractions, and a mix of cultures. As it's at a crossroads in Europe, visitors can see influences from the native Belgian and Flemish people as well as from nearby France, Germany, and Holland. Historic and world-class cities such as Brussels, Antwerp, and Ghent offer amazing cuisine, historic art and architecture, and fun activities for all types of travelers. Smaller cities such as Bruges, Liege, and Leuven let you delve into history in their historic old towns with cathedrals, charming cafes, art galleries, and carriage tours. And as a smaller country, it's easy to get around to see everything on the trains in just a few hours at the most between destinations.
Portugal is a captivating, coastal, and vibrant country. Many visitors also come because of it's amazing beauty. Other reasons to visit include water sports, beaches, hiking, and mountains.
At the western end of Europe, Portugal has a long history of exploration as well as beautiful countryside, gorgeous beaches, and fun cities. Lisbon and Porto are thriving cities with an active nightlife scene, museums, historic cathedrals, and terrific cuisine. And don't forget about the wine which you can enjoy in both the cities as well as in the vineyards of the countryside. In the south, the beautiful Algarve region has a unique coastal landscape with a mix of small towns and resort areas. Inland you'll find beautiful national parks with hiking, camping, and bicycling opportunities. And all along the coastline are small fishing villages along with larger towns rich in history and culture.
Below we will examine the differences and similarities between Belgium and Portugal. With this information, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.
Spend time exploring the great sights and museums in either Belgium or Portugal.
You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Belgium. From art to history to culture, you'll find something for everyone. Some of the most popular art museums include The Magritte Museum in Brussels, François Duesberg Museum in Mons, and the Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art (SMAK) in Ghent. But it's not all about art, as visitors also love the Museum aan de Stroom (MAS) in Antwerp which focuses on the city's history as a maritime port. Also, science lovers should check out the Euro Space Center and the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences. For interesting history lessons, visit the Gallo-Roman Museum, Dossin Casern, and the In Flanders Fields museum.
Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around Portugal. The big cities and smaller towns both offer plenty of museums of all types, from art and history to science and family-friendly museums. In Lisbon, don't miss the National Azulejo Museum to see the history and art of these unique glazed tiles. MUDE teaches visitors all about design, while MAAT covers art, architecture, and technology in a way that feels like a modern art museum mixed with modern science. For a local musical experience, check out the Fado Museum, or for international history don't miss the Maritime Museum which is dedicated to the famous Portuguese explorers who set sail across the oceans. Dozens more are found around the city, too. In Porto, don't miss the Serralves Contemporary Art Museum, the Museum of the Holocaust, the Tram Museum, and the World of Wine. This last one is actually 5 different museums focusing on not just wine, but also the agricultural production of wine, cork, and chocolate and their impacts on Portuguese society and history. The Pink Palace is fun for kids and adults alike, as the theme is Rose Wine with a variety of humorous selfie spots. The Chocolate Museum is always a favorite, too. Finally, a variety of port and wine cellars are found on the riverfront which offer museum-like tour experiences to see where and how the wines are made. Elsewhere in Portugal, you should see the astronomical observatory near Monsaraz, the Universo de Memorias Joao Carlos Abreu in Funchal, and the Museu de Portimao.
Lisbon: World renowned landmarks include St. George's Castle, Jerónimos monastery, the Belém Tower, Santa Justa Lift, and countless world class museums.
You'll find great culture, arts, and history when visiting both Belgium and Portugal.
Belgium is a terrific destination to visit for history, arts, and culture, as it has many sights worth visiting. Although it's a smaller country, the history and culture here is packed into its cities and small towns. You'll find museums that focus on art, history, science, and more in many of the cities and town. For example, visit the Grand Palace in Brussels, the Castle of the Counts in Ghent, or the grand cathedrals of Antwerp. Large castles dot the countryside, many with grand views such as the one in Bouillon. Theaters are everywhere, too, so you can take in a play, opera, or the ballet in addition to enjoying the cafe culture and the unique cuisine.
See also 14 Free Things to do in Brussels.
Portugal is an extremely popular destination for those that want to visit historical and cultural sights and attractions, as it offers plenty. You can see the deep and rich history around every corner, especially along the coastline where historic fishing villages, castles, and famous cities are found. Lisbon and Porto might be the largest cities with museums, fortresses, and historic homes, but plenty of other smaller towns have long history and unique culture, too. Sintra has a gorgeous castle, the Pena National Palace. Coimbra's historic library and university leaves visitors in awe. In Lisbon, check out Belem Tower and St. George’s Castle before wandering the old historic streets of the old town, dotted with churches and quaint viewpoints. Carmo Convent and Jeronimos Monastery are also two very popular sites that draw large crowds because of their beauty and rich history. In Porto, the Luis I bridge provides a great overview of everything before you visit the historic wine cellars, Porto Cathedral, and the narrow, weaving alleyways through the historic city center.
Belgium and Portugal both are comparable with their great activities in larger cities.
Since Belgium has large cities, you'll find plenty of things to do. Brussels and Antwerp are both popular destinations for visitors because of the large number of attractions and activities. In both of these cities you'll find a wide array of hotels, restaurants, historical sites, museums, and activities for every type of traveler. In Brussels, tour the Grand Palace, climb the Atomium, and go shopping at the Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert. In Antwerp, after admiring the historic railway station, check out the Meir area for some shopping and chocolates, the Cathedral of Our Lady Antwerp, and the windows of the Diamond District.
Portugal has some large cities, so you'll find plenty of things to do when visiting. Lisbon and Porto are the largest cities in Portugal, and they each offer a unique atmosphere and vibe. Lisbon was built on seven hills, and you can find one of them topped with a castle overlooking the surrounding area. Much of the old town area is a winding path of streets made out of steps. Cathedrals, museums, restaurants, and a great transportation network are also mixed in. Porto is the wine capital and straddles the river Douro with high bridges and colorful houses. Check out the wine cellars and wine museums along with the historical sights.
Belgium and Portugal both are comparable with their great activities in villages and small towns.
Belgium is a great destination to visit small towns and villages just waiting to be explored. Some of the more popular small towns to visit draw large crowds to see the old cathedrals, local markets, narrow canals, historic homes, and delicious local cuisine. Bruges is one of the most popular towns for travelers because it has several gorgeous cathedrals, scenic canals, museums, and terrific restaurants all packed into a small walkable area. Other popular smaller towns include Spa, where you'll find relaxing hot springs; Bouillon, home of a beautiful castle; Durbuy, with its winding narrow streets; Dinant, with cliffs above a scenic river; and Rochefort, famous for its beer from the historic monastery. But dozens more small towns are dotted around the countryside, and if you have the time, are worth visiting.
Portugal offers plenty of small towns along with charming sights and activities, too. In addition to the charming towns inland, almost the entire coastline is dotted with charming small towns, many of which were fishing villages in the past. While some of these costal towns have grown into modern beach resorts, others still have their historical charm with nearby churches, castles, and harbors. Many inland towns in the hills still retain their charm, especially those located in beautiful mountain areas. Some of the best places to visit are Sintra with its castle, Marvão in the Alentejo, Amarante in the north, Monsanto with its castle ruins, and Pinhão in the Douro River valley surrounded by vineyards.
There are great theater venues available in both Belgium and Portugal.
If you have some extra time in Belgium, take in a show. While Brussels has the most theater productions, Antwerp, Ghent, and others host a variety of shows and concerts, too. The most popular theaters in Brussels include the Théâtre Royal du Parc, Vaux-Hall, and the KVS. For other interesting performances, don't miss the Royal Toone Theatre with its myriad of puppets or La Montagne Magique (Magic Mountain) which offers youth and children's productions in French. In Antwerp, a few of the most popular theaters are Koningin Elisabethzaal, De Roma, Stadsschouwburg, and Bourla, among others.
Portugal offers a number of shows and performances. In Lisbon, visitors can see popular Broadway-style plays, operas, musicals, concerts, and more. The most famous theaters include Campo Pequeno, Teatro Nacional Dona Maria II, Teatro Sao Charlos, and Teatro Maria Vitoria, among others. In Porto, you can take in a show or concert at the Casa da Musica and the Theatro Sa da Bandeira. Opera, orchestra concerts, ballet performances, and musicals are some of the most popular shows here, too.
Foodies will appreciated the dining options available in Portugal a bit more than Belgium.
The food selection at local restaurants is excellent in Portugal. As a coastal nation, seafood here is fantastic, but it's not the only type of cuisine available. Popular traditional dishes begin with the small but famous custard tart known as Pastel de Nata. It's easy to get them at bakeries and street vendors. If fish is what you're after, try the bacalhau (salted cod), or any of the other terrific cod dishes such as a bras where it is mixed in with potatoes and eggs in a casserole. It's also popular to have cod (or other fish) fried, sautéed, or boiled along with potatoes and other veggies. Octopus is another favorite which you should try, as it's usually boiled or steamed and served with olive oil and potatoes. If you seek land food, try the Iberian black pork, the duck rice, or the Francesinha, which is a meat and cheese sandwich with an interesting variety of ham and pork. In addition to the traditional dishes, you'll find plenty of other European cuisines in restaurants around the nation, as well as global dishes. So, there's something for everyone. The local breads and cheeses are terrific, and it's quite easy to grab a breakfast at a local bakery or sit down for an affordable, casual, and delicious meal almost anywhere in Portugal.
Lisbon: There are many local restaurants as well as food tours and cooking classes that you can enjoy. Make sure you try the local favorites like bacalhau à brás, frango no churrasco, and pastel de nata. Given the beautiful climate, outdoor seating is also popular. Head into the less touristy neighborhoods to try some local dishes or hit up a seafood market. There are also many cafes that offer great breakfasts with fresh ingredients.
Porto: The area's cuisine combines the ocean setting with the agriculture of the surrounding area, so you'll enjoy both seafood dishes as well as fresh meats and vegetables. The area is also famous for its Port wines and red wines. There are plenty of cellar tours as well was waterfront seafood restaurants to choose from.
Visitors will find a budding food and restaurant scene in Belgium. While Belgium is famous for waffles, beer, and chocolate, plenty of other traditional dishes should be on your list as well. Furthermore, as a modern and diverse nation, you can find cuisine from all over the world in the big cities such as Brussels and Antwerp. World-class chefs have started terrific restaurants serving a wide variety of dishes. But if you're after some traditional fare, try the mussels (moules), fries with garlic-mayo, Flemish stew, or Croquettes, and Vol-au-vent.
If the nightlife is your priority, you'll find great options in both Belgium and Portugal.
The nightlife in Belgium has something for everybody. As the largest city, Brussels not only draws the biggest crowds in the evenings, but has also earned itself a reputation as a party-oriented city at night. With dozens of nightclubs offering every type of music, to the vibrant bar and pub scene, as well as the theater and fine dining offerings, Brussels has an active scene for both locals and visitors alike. Some of the best spots in Brussels include Madame Moustache, the Music Village, Fuse, and Spirito. Antwerp also offers its share of nightlife. Dozens of bars and clubs come alive at night here also. Ghent, Bruges, and other tourist destinations also offer plenty of bars and theaters, although the nightlife scene is not as active later in the night.
Ghent: With its young student population, you'll find plenty of lively bars and clubs around town. There are many places where you can party or dance into the early hours of the morning and some of the best places are around Oude Beestenmarkt, De Overpoort, and De Vlasmarkt. There's also the famous Ghent Festival every July.
Portugal offers plenty to do in the evening. Lisbon and Porto both have very active nightlife scenes. In Lisbon, the city center is full of bars and nightclubs that come alive after the crowds enjoy dinner at a variety of restaurants and cafes. Theater productions are also popular in Lisbon. In Porto, you'll find plenty of activities centered around wine and port, naturally. Also, the city center here has a large number of bars and dance clubs. The downtown area of Porto has seen a significant resurgence of bars and clubs at night in recent years. Other smaller cities, especially around resort areas, can have a vibrant nightlife scene, especially during the busy summer months.
Lisbon: It is a bustling city with a lot of energy late into the night. There are countless bars, clubs, and music venues that cater to every personality type and style. Whether you want a more relaxed vibe or a raging party, there is likely an place for you.
Albufeira: It's probably the most infamous party destination in the Algarve and it won't disappoint. During the peak summer months you'll find the streets around the popular "Strip" filled with tourists and party-goers. There are hen and stag parties, backpackers, and drunken travelers out for a good time. The Strip has become so popular that there are now bars and clubs on the adjacent streets as well. If you're not staying in the area, you'll likely want to take a taxi, as it's a couple kilometers outside of the town center.
While Belgium and Portugal are both popular beach destinations, overall the beaches at Portugal have more to offer.
Portugal is considered to be a world-class beach destination. With a huge stretch of coastline, you'll find plenty of fantastic beaches both on the Atlantic coast and the southern Algarve coast. Furthermore, the Azores and Madeira Islands are part Portugal, too, and offer even more terrific beach resort areas. The coastal landscapes are diverse and beautiful. The southern coast around Lagos, Portimao, and Albufiera has beautiful sea cliffs with unique beach coves. Along the Atlantic coast you'll find rocky hills and wide sandy beaches, such as in Praia da Adraga near Sintra or Praia de São Bernardino in Peniche. This seafaring nation has so many great beaches and something for everyone.
Portimao: The stunning beaches are a major draw to the area. They are sandy and feature a backdrop of dramatic red cliffs. The most popular beach in town is Praia da Rocha, which can get crowded during the summer months, but it is quite large so you should still be able to find a spot. The strip behind the beach is lined with shops, bars, restaurants, and a casino. If you want to avoid some of the crowds you can make the walk down to Praia do Vau. Families often enjoy Praia de Alvor, which has a boardwalk that leads to Ria de Alvor nature reserve.
Lagos: The beaches are long, flat and sandy with beautifully dramatic rock formations. The largest beach in the area is Meia Praia and arguably one of the best beaches is Praia Dona Ana. For convenience, Praia da Batata is the closest beach to town. Praia de Porto de Mós is one of the more quiet beaches, but it's still along a bus line. For beautiful nature head to either Praia dos Estudantes or Praia dos Pinheiros.
Albufeira: With their golden sands and blue waters, the beaches are world class. The area also has a diversity of beaches that are perfect for all types of vacationers. For water sports, head to Praia dos Alemaes but for relaxation and catching some rays check out Praia da Falesia. You'll find some interesting rock formations at Praia dos Olhos de Agua. One of the most convenient beaches to town is Praia dos Pescadores. For nightlife you'll want to head to Praia da Oura.
See also The 10 Best Algarve Beaches.
You can check out the beach in Belgium. The relatively short stretch of coastline here has some beautiful beaches which can be enjoyed during the warmer months. Some areas are more natural with sand dunes and open spaces, while others have stretches of hotels, restaurants, cafes, and seaside attractions. Knokke-Heist is a popular area with plenty of activities and hotels. De Panne and Nieuwpoort are also extremely popular with wide, white beaches and a diverse selection of dining options. On the other hand, Bredene is more secluded for those that want to escape the crowds.
Belgium usually beats out Portugal for shopping.
Browsing through shops is a popular activity in Belgium. Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, and other major cities offer plenty of trendy shops, fashionable boutiques, art galleries, and chocolate shops. Also, you can't miss all of the diamond stores in Antwerp. Even if you're not buying, it's fun to peruse the window displays. In Brussels, make sure to visit the Royal Saint Hubert Galleries not just for the shops, but also for the architecture and history of the building. Another nice indoor spot is Passage du Nord, and Boulevard de Waterloo has plenty of upscale shops. In Antwerp, the diamond shops are located not far from the historic train station, while more of the clothing boutiques are found in De Modewijk, the fashion quarter of the city.
Brussels: Although it's famous for diamonds, the city also has many shopping streets where you can find designer brands, vintage shops, and other unique boutiques that are fun to explore.
Antwerp: The city has become known for its fashion scene. The main shopping street is Meir, which is where you'll find a variety of European fashion chains. It's also fun to buy chocolates, art, or other souvenirs around town. You'll find both locals and tourists perusing the main shopping areas around town.
Portugal offers some nice shopping areas. Lisbon and Porto both have a variety of shopping neighborhoods as well as malls and street markets. In Lisbon, you can find plenty of shops on the Avenida da Liberdade and the Chiado area. The Feira da Ladra is the best antique and flea market in the city, and is worth browsing through even if you're not planning to buy anything. In Porto, you'll find plenty of shopping along the streets in the historic center and downtown streets on the north side of the river, and more touristy shops on the south side of the river near the wine cellars. Rua de Santa Catarina has plenty of fashion boutiques, while the Mercado do Bolhão has a mix of food, souviniers, crafts, and more. Elsewhere in Portugal, smaller cities and towns will often have main shopping streets, and the beach resort cities will sometimes have fashion boutiques and local craft shops.
Lisbon: For high end shopping, head to The Avenida da Liberdade. It's lined with designer brands and luxury boutiques.
Belgium usually beats out Portugal for activites during the Christmas season.
Many visitors go to Belgium during the Christmas season. The large public squares of Brussels, Antwerp, and other historical cities raise large Christmas trees and decorate their town centers with lights and decorations. Many towns have festivals and parades, especially during the arrival of Sinterklaas or Pere Noel (depending on the region). Also, many small towns and big cities host Christmas markets with food, drinks, gifts, crafts, ice skating, and more. Brussels has a Winter Wonderland Christmas Market where the buildings are illuminated. Other touristy towns such as Bruges host special events with entire sections of town covered in lights and special market shops.
The Christmas holiday can be fun in Portugal. Porto, Lisbon, and other cities often decorate the large squares with lights and other festive decorations. While not known for Christmas markets as much as other European countries, you can still find some holiday markets in the public squares, such as Rossio in Lisbon. The larger cathedrals have special services, and many cities have evening festivals and holiday concerts leading up to the 25th of December. Generally, Christmas Eve in Portugal is more important than the actual day, as many areas gather crowds looking for evening meals, shopping, festivities, and decorations around town.
While Belgium and Portugal both offer hiking, overall Portugal is considered to have more to offer.
Plenty of visitors go hiking around Portugal. Hiking trails are found all over the country, along the coastline and in the mountains in the interior. Hiking along the coast in the Algarve is a unique experience, especially along the Seven Hanging Valleys trail where you'll take on the sea cliffs, caves, and the small coves. Near Lisbon in Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, you can't miss the trail from Cabo da Roca to Azenhas do Mar where you'll see gorgeous beaches, old houses on the hills, and beautiful landscapes. The Serra do Topo trail in the Azores takes you through steep green hills overlooking the ocean, and it's breathtaking. Inland, the Covao dos Conchos trail is found in Serra da Estrela natural park, and here you'll experience scenic mountain vistas.
A few hiking trails can be found near Belgium. Many hiking trails are within easy reach of nearby cities and towns, making them accessible. Many are also easy hikes since Belgium has a fairly low elevation. Some of the best areas to hike include Deux Ourthes Natural Park, Southern Ardennes Natural Park, or Eifel Natural Park.
While Belgium and Portugal both have national parks worth visiting, overall Portugal is considered to have more destinations.
Portugal is a good destination to visit the national parks. While it technically has only one national park, Portugal has a large number of Natural and Nature parks to protect scenic areas and native wildlife. Douro International Natural Park, at the border with Spain, has epic mountainous landscapes as the winding river cuts through deep canyons. On the other hand Ria Formosa Natural Park offers a wide stretch of beautiful coastline to explore. Serra da Estrela is in the mountains, and has hiking trails and great views over the stunning landscapes. Southwest Alentejo and Vicenti Coast is part of the Algarve. It has stunning cliffs, nice beaches, and plenty of outdoor activities. Peneda-Geres National Park is another mountainous park with hiking trails and a unique ecosystem.
Belgium has some national parks and wilderness areas for those that seek them out. With only two national parks and 10 other large natural protected areas, most visitors don't come here to see the wilderness. But a variety of beautiful scenery can still be found in this small country. Hiking trails and camping spots providing opportunities to see the rivers, hills, and native birds of the region. They make for a good escape from the cities if you're looking for somewhere nearby to get into nature.
Overall, Portugal is considered to offer more watersports activities and attractions to visitors.
Portugal is famous for its exciting and thrilling watersports activities. Surfing is very popular all along the coast. In some areas of the Atlantic coast, you can find some of the largest waves in the world. Kite surfing and wind surfing are also popular, as is kayaking, canoeing, and boating both on the coast and inland on the rivers. The Algarve region in the south is especially popular with kayakers who wish to explore the unique sea caves and cliffs, such as those at Benegil. Scuba diving and snorkeling is also popular in some areas along the southern coast, too.
Belgium offers some fun watersports activities and attractions for travelers who seek them out. The beach along the coastline offers surfing, kite surfing, wind surfing, and swimming during the warmer months. Also, plenty of the canals and rivers through the country are great spots for kayaking, boating, or swimming, too. While you can explore the waterways of the countryside by kayak or canoe, don't forget that you can often do this in the cities and towns as well, which offer a fun perspective on the historic urban areas.
Overall, Portugal is considered to offer more outdoor activities and attractions to visitors.
Portugal is famous for its exciting and adventurous outdoor activities. With a mix of coastline and mountains, visitors will find a diverse array of options here. Hiking and camping in the natural parks is very popular because the mountains offer great views, river valleys, and unique ecosystems. Zip-lining and ropes courses are found throughout the country, and rock climbing or bouldering are commonplace, too. Horseback riding through the mountains or on the beach is also a fun activity, especially for couples. For those looking for something more relaxed, you can take a walk through the vineyards or a jeep tour around the mountain regions.
Belgium offers some fun outdoor activities and attractions for travelers who seek them out. Wildlife areas and parks are very accessible to the larger cities and towns, many by public transit. So, if you're looking to get out of the urban areas, these parks are a good option. Hiking trails, boating, swimming, and other fun activities are found all over the country. And while the country is smaller than many others, it still has scenic outdoor spots such as the West Coast (Westkust) cycling route from De Panne or the Zwin walking route in Knokke-Heist, or the Eifel Nature Park.
Overall Portugal is considered to be better for road trips, as it has more opportunities.
Portugal is a great place to take a road trip. With a long coastline and gorgeous mountain ranges, plenty of opportunities for road trips can be found here. Take a drive from Porto south along the coast to Lisbon, then keep heading south all the way to the Algarve. Or, just focus on one particular stretch of coastline such as the dramatic cliffs along the southern coastline, or the historic towns and castles on the Atlantic. Inland you'll find natural park areas, mountain ranges, small villages, vineyards and wineries, ancient ruins, adventure sports, and cozy cottages.
Belgium is generally not the best destination for road trips, but it has a few options. To see some of the small towns in the countryside, taking a road trip might be a good option. Since the distances between cities and towns are not large, driving can be quite quick between destinations. The roads are great, and having your own car means that you can see some of the small and quaint places that are not as easy to reach by train or bus. Don't miss some of the castles (such as in Bouillon, or the monasteries that produce beer such as the one in Rochefort. Keep in mind that visiting the big cities with a car is generally not recommended since parking is limited.
Portugal is considered to a better choice for families.
Portugal is an extremely popular country to visit for families. Just to get started, you'll have a combination of amazing beaches, historical cities, castles, national parks, mountains, and more. Family-friendly beach resorts in the Algarve offer more than just a beach vacation, as you can also explore the cliffs and sea caves as well as old fishing villages, and even take a dolphin watching cruise. Up the Atlantic coast are more beach towns such as Praia da Costa Nova, Figueira da Foz, or Peniche, all with rich cultural and outdoor experiences. Sintra has castles to explore and public gardens, and the big cities of Lisbon and Porto offer family friendly museums, amazing viewpoints, fun trams, tuk tuk tours, and yummy foods. The interior of the country is home to fun national park and wildlife areas with camping, hiking, and scenic viewpoints. You can also tour monasteries, uncover ancient ruins, and explore old castles that dot the landscape. Kids will love every bit of it.
Portimao: Kids will love the wide range of activities available near Portimao. They can kayak through caves, see an underwater world snorkeling, learn to surf, visit waterparks, explore nature parks, and more. There are activities that the whole family can enjoy, making this stretch of coastline the perfect option for those traveling with kids.
Lagos: You can spend days hanging out on the beautiful beaches, but there are so many other activities that the whole family will enjoy. Explore the caves in kayaks, take surfing lessons, head for the zoo, or go dolphin watching. There are also plenty of playgrounds and kid-friendly restaurants around town.
Belgium is a very kid-friendly country. From fairy-tale cities such as Bruges to the large cathedrals filled with lights, and from the horse-drawn carriage rides and playgrounds to the old Castle of the Counts in Ghent, kids will be very entertained here. After all, this is the country of waffles and chocolate, and the adults can have a Belgian beer on the side, too. Many of the cities are also bike-friendly, which adds to the fun if you want to take a tour on two wheels. Or hop on a boat tour as Ghent, Bruges, and many others have canals and rivers with scenic views, too. And Brussels offers the Pixel Museum which is all about gaming and technology, as well as a puppet theater and various other art and history museums. You can also get into the outdoors to visit hiking trails and national parks, as well as interesting caves. And any kids interested in military history should visit Waterloo as well as the trenches of Ypres
Couples will find a longer list of romantic activities in Portugal than Belgium.
Portugal is a great country for couples, as it has plenty to offer. Whether it's a honeymoon or just a weekend getaway, this country offers so many diverse opportunities for a couple's trip. The beach is always an obvious choice for a romantic destination, and you'll find plenty here. The Algarve region in the south has stunning landscapes along the coast with cliffs forming intimate beach coves, as well as hiking trails, fishing villages, and boat rides. Up the Atlantic coast you'll find more beaches with castles, historic towns to explore such as Sintra and Praia da Costa Nova, along with the cultural centers of Lisbon and Porto. These large cities offer amazing food, nightlife, historical tours, old cathedrals, museums, and epic views. Plenty of luxurious romantic hotels and fine dining options await, as does the fantastic local wine selection. More gorgeous inland areas should also be on a romantic itinerary such as Coimbra, the vineyards of the Douro Valley in the north, the mountains of Serra da Estrela Natural Park, and the Valley of Guadiana. It's hard to find such diverse romantic attractions packed into a small country anywhere else in the world.
Portimao: This beautiful stretch of coastline offers unique beaches and stunning outdoor activities. It makes a wonderful honeymoon destination for couples who enjoy adventure, pampering, and romantic resorts. There are great restaurants as well as places to relax or activities for thrill seekers.
Lagos: The beaches and hotels in the area offer a truly romantic setting for couples, whether you're on a honeymoon or a couple's weekend getaway. Spend some time on the beach or go kayaking through the caves. Get a spa treatment at a luxury hotel or go wine tasting through the countryside. You can also enjoy the beautiful sunsets on a sunset boat cruise while sipping a glass of local wine.
Albufeira: For an active honeymoon or couple's retreat, this resort town has it all. Beautiful beaches, adventure-filled activities, a wild nightlife scene, and excellent resorts and restaurants all make for a memorable couple's getaway.
Belgium makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. While it might not be the first place that couples think of, the big cities such as Brussels and Antwerp offer plenty of charming and romantic activities. Furthermore, many of the castles and chateaus in the countryside have been turned into luxury hotels, so you can experience history and luxury together. Hikes from some of the small villages to nearby castles are common any time of the year, especially in the spring and fall. And whether you're in a small town or one of the big cities, you'll find chocolate, waffles, and beer all over, not to mention plenty of other gourmet food options for that romantic evening out on the town. Theaters are also common, so take in a show or a concert after dinner.
Travelers usually think of Portugal as a better destination for backpackers than Belgium.
Portugal is very popular with the backpacker crowd. Fairly affordable by European standards, budget travelers will find plenty of opportunities here to explore the cities and countryside without breaking the bank. Hostels and budget-friendly hotels can be found in the major cities, at the beaches, and in smaller towns. Lisbon and Porto offer plenty of low cost attractions, affordable street food, and cheap transit. The national transportation system makes getting around easy and affordable, too. While some of the attractions have high entry fees, and some of the beach areas have expensive resorts, plenty of alternatives are available if certain spots are beyond your budget.
Lisbon: Hostels are abundant, and you'll have no trouble finding other backpackers to hang out with. Many hostels even organize activities and group meals for travelers. Prices are also reasonable for a large and vibrant city.
Porto: By combining world-class activities with affordability, this city has become a popular stop off for backpackers in the area.
Lagos: The area is a favorite for backpackers who come to hang out on the beaches during the day or party late into the night after the sun goes down. There are plenty of hostels around town and many offer a social vibe where it's easy to meet other travelers.
Plenty of backpackers visit Belgium. Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, and other major tourist destinations might not be the most budget-friendly places, but plenty of hostels and low-cost accommodations can be found in and around the cities. Furthermore, food at most restaurants is reasonably priced, especially if you avoid the touristy areas and the higher-end establishments. In generally, there's plenty of activities which are free or low in price. And younger travelers tend to enjoy Belgium's vibrant nightlife and bar scene, which is especially popular in Brussels as well as Antwerp, Ghent, and elsewhere. Transportation is also cheap and readily available.
For students, both Belgium and Portugal are great places to visit.
It's common for students to visit Belgium. With major universities attracting students from all over the world, along with an active nightlife and bar scene, as well as affordable travel options, this country is a pretty good place for students. You'll find hostels, affordable food, fun cafes, and cheap activities in Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, and other cities. The largest university areas are found in Brussels, Leuven, Liege, Ghent, and Antwerp, so you might want to focus on these areas if you're visiting or are interested in studying abroad.
Ghent: The city is very popular with international students so it has a young and energetic vibe with plenty to do throughout the year.
Portugal is a good country to visit for students. The larger cities of Lisbon and Porto are great for students, as they have major universities along with affordable travel accommodations, an active nightlife scene, and low cost food options. Other smaller university towns include Coimbra, Braga, Aveiro, and Faro. All of these towns are within easy reach to other major destinations in Portugal such as the beaches, big cities, castles, national parks, and more. They also offer nightlife and fun student activities for visitors and locals alike.
While Portugal and Belgium both offer transportation options, overall the system in Belgium is considered to be better.
Belgium has a world-class transit network to take passengers everywhere in the country. The combination of the national train system, city trams and buses, great roads, and a good network of bike paths makes this one of the easiest countries to get around. Belgium is fairly small as a country, so the major cities and towns are not too far apart. The trains run frequently and efficiently, as do the local city trams and buses. Roads are well built for those that want to drive, too.
Is it easy to travel around Belgium?
The public transit in Portugal can get you around easily. Since Portugal is not too large, getting around is fairly easy. The train system is very effecient and convenient, and connects major cities such as Lisbon and Porto to smaller towns and coastal resort areas on the Algarve coast and elsewhere. The highway system is also terrific, and long distance bus companies can get you to most places in half a day or so. When in cities and larger towns, the public buses and trams are clean, safe, and affordable, too. Getting around this country without a car is quite easy, although you might want your own vehicle if you're planning to visit some of the natural areas in the interior.
Is it easy to travel around Portugal?
Both Belgium and Portugal are very comfortable to travel around, and offer plenty of amenities for visitors.
People often come to Belgium because it is such a comfortable and luxurious destination. Modern European comforts and luxuries are found everywhere here, so whether you're traveling to the cities or the countryside, you can expect modern conveniences. The larger cities have the most variation in price ranges for accommodations and restaurants, but at any price range you can expect modern facilities and quality service. Transportation is efficient and safe, and a large network of infrastructure for both locals and tourists alike can be found everywhere. The food is also excellent, clean, and safe no matter where you visit in Belgium. So, whether your a family looking for comfortable places for the kids, a couple on a romantic break, or a younger backpacker on a tight budget, everyone can expect to travel around efficiently and in comfort.
Portugal is extremely comfortable for travelers as it is a modern destination with plenty of amenities. As a modern and developed European country, it's very easy to find comfortable places to stay along with easy means to travel around. At any price range visitors will have modern comforts, clean and healthy food, affordable and efficient public transit, and more. While luxury hotels are available which provide every comfort available, even the budget-friendly options have modern conveniences that are expected in a developed nation.
Both Belgium and Portugal are very touristy.
Belgium is somewhat touristy. Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, Bruges, and Liege are the most popular destinations for visitors. They each see fairly large numbers of travelers, especially in the summer months. However, the cities themselves are large enough so that any particular area isn't overcrowded and the cities are easily manageable. Bruges is an especially popular place to visit, as this smaller city offers many attractions, so it can feel much more touristy than other places. Also, specific areas of each city are popular, such as the Castle of Counts in Ghent which sometimes has a long queue to enter. Other popular attractions include the Grand Palace in Brussels, the Belfry in Ghent, Bouillon Castle, and Waterloo. It's common to experience crowds at these locations and other popular spots, but again, it's usually manageable.
Portugal has a reasonable number of visitors. Some of the most popular places for tourists can attract large crowds, especially the major sites in Lisbon and Porto, as well as some of the more popular beach resort areas along the coast. Otherwise, most of Portugal is easily visited without dealing with large hordes of other travelers, making it quite enjoyable. In Lisbon, you can often expect large crowds at the castle, in the winding stairs through the old town, and at the museums in Belem. In Portugal, the riverfront area and its wineries can get quite busy as the crowds gather for wine tours, visit the shops, and eat at the restaurants along the riverfront. In the Algarve, some of the town centers can be very busy in the summer months, especially Lagos and Albufeira. However, it's easy to find less crowded beach areas along the coastline. Generally, summer is the busy travel season for the entire country, and visiting in the off-season will let you avoid the crowds, and uncover lower prices, too.
Belgium and Portugal both offer a nice selection of activities for visitors. Many travelers usually spend more of their time in Portugal than Belgium because of the number of activities and things to do in the area. Usually, 3-7 days is a good amount of time for Belgium, and 3-14 days is enough time in Portugal.
Families should spend more time in Portugal than Belgium. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Portugal, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.
Couples should spend more time in Portugal than Belgium. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Portugal that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.
Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Portugal than Belgium if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Portugal.
Belgium is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.
In Portugal, you'll find theater, adventure travel, and history and culture. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Most people come for the beaches. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.
Belgium is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Belgium, five days is sufficent for most. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.
Portugal is a great place to explore. It is common to spend five days here. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. Five days is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Portugal has to offer. Anyone can find something fun to do here.
Belgium is a great place to explore. It is common to spend one week here. One week is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Belgium has to offer. This country offers something for everyone.
It's hard to know how much time to spend in Portugal. In Portugal, you'll find history and culture, nightlife, and food. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one week here.
Belgium is a great place to explore. Two weeks is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. This country offers something for everyone.
It's hard to know how much time to spend in Portugal. In Portugal, you'll find history and culture, nightlife, and food. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. Two weeks is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Portugal has to offer.
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Belgium is €142, while the average daily cost in Portugal is €136. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each country. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Belgium and Portugal in more detail.
Looking for a hotel in Belgium or Portugal? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.
Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.
Some typical examples of transportation costs in Belgium are as follows:
Also for Belgium, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Portugal:
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Portugal:
Prices for flights to both Portugal and Belgium change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.
Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Belgium:
For Belgium, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
Some typical examples of dining costs in Portugal are as follows:
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Portugal.
For Belgium, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Belgium.
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Portugal are as follows:
Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Belgium are as follows:
Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Belgium:
Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Portugal:
When comparing the travel costs between Belgium and Portugal, we can see that Belgium is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Europe, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.
Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.
The Belgian climate in northern Europe experiences four seasons with cooler summers and cold wet winters. While the temperatures are often cold in the winter, it only snows periodically near the coast. And because the summers are not too hot, the weather is very pleasant during this popular time to visit.
While most of the country experiences four seasons, the weather tends to be warmer in Portugal than in the rest of Europe, especially along the southern coastal areas. This is one of the reasons why so many people are attracted to the beaches of the Algarve almost year-round. The coastal and inland areas can get quite hot during the summer months. In the colder months, he northern areas see a good bit of rain and cooler weather from autumn through winter and into the spring, with only a touch of snow in the mountain regions in winter.
Both Portugal and Belgium during the summer are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Belgium for the family-friendly experiences during these months. Furthermore, the summer months attract visitors to Portugal because of the beaches, snorkeling, the hiking, and the family-friendly experiences.
In July, Brussels is generally cooler than Lisbon. Daily temperatures in Brussels average around 18°C (65°F), and Lisbon fluctuates around 23°C (73°F).
In Lisbon, it's very sunny this time of the year. In the summer, Brussels often gets less sunshine than Lisbon. Brussels gets 186 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Lisbon receives 352 hours of full sun.
Brussels usually gets more rain in July than Lisbon. Brussels gets 75 mm (3 in) of rain, while Lisbon receives 5 mm (0.2 in) of rain this time of the year.
The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Belgium and Portugal. The autumn months attract visitors to Belgium because of the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area. Furthermore, the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to Portugal this time of year.
Brussels is much colder than Lisbon in the autumn. The daily temperature in Brussels averages around 12°C (54°F) in October, and Lisbon fluctuates around 19°C (66°F).
People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Lisbon this time of the year. Brussels usually receives less sunshine than Lisbon during autumn. Brussels gets 114 hours of sunny skies, while Lisbon receives 213 hours of full sun in the autumn.
In October, Brussels usually receives less rain than Lisbon. Brussels gets 70 mm (2.8 in) of rain, while Lisbon receives 80 mm (3.1 in) of rain each month for the autumn.
The winter brings many poeple to Belgium as well as Portugal. The museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine are the main draw to Belgium this time of year. Additionally, many travelers come to Portugal for the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine.
It's quite cold in Brussels in the winter. In the winter, Brussels is much colder than Lisbon. Typically, the winter temperatures in Brussels in January average around 3°C (38°F), and Lisbon averages at about 12°C (53°F).
In the winter, Brussels often gets less sunshine than Lisbon. Brussels gets 49 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Lisbon receives 144 hours of full sun.
It's quite rainy in Lisbon. Brussels usually gets less rain in January than Lisbon. Brussels gets 67 mm (2.6 in) of rain, while Lisbon receives 110 mm (4.3 in) of rain this time of the year.
Both Portugal and Belgium are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Belgium for the natural beauty. Also, many visitors come to Portugal in the spring for the beaches and the natural beauty.
In April, Brussels is generally much colder than Lisbon. Daily temperatures in Brussels average around 10°C (49°F), and Lisbon fluctuates around 16°C (60°F).
It's quite sunny in Lisbon. Brussels usually receives less sunshine than Lisbon during spring. Brussels gets 147 hours of sunny skies, while Lisbon receives 235 hours of full sun in the spring.
In April, Brussels usually receives less rain than Lisbon. Brussels gets 57 mm (2.2 in) of rain, while Lisbon receives 64 mm (2.5 in) of rain each month for the spring.
|Temp (°C)||Rain (mm)||Temp (°C)||Rain (mm)|
|Jan||3°C (38°F)||67 mm (2.6 in)||12°C (53°F)||110 mm (4.3 in)|
|Feb||4°C (39°F)||53 mm (2.1 in)||13°C (55°F)||111 mm (4.4 in)|
|Mar||6°C (43°F)||72 mm (2.8 in)||14°C (58°F)||69 mm (2.7 in)|
|Apr||10°C (49°F)||57 mm (2.2 in)||16°C (60°F)||64 mm (2.5 in)|
|May||14°C (57°F)||71 mm (2.8 in)||18°C (64°F)||39 mm (1.5 in)|
|Jun||17°C (62°F)||79 mm (3.1 in)||21°C (69°F)||21 mm (0.8 in)|
|Jul||18°C (65°F)||75 mm (3 in)||23°C (73°F)||5 mm (0.2 in)|
|Aug||18°C (65°F)||63 mm (2.5 in)||23°C (74°F)||6 mm (0.2 in)|
|Sep||16°C (60°F)||59 mm (2.3 in)||22°C (72°F)||26 mm (1 in)|
|Oct||12°C (54°F)||70 mm (2.8 in)||19°C (66°F)||80 mm (3.1 in)|
|Nov||7°C (45°F)||76 mm (3 in)||15°C (59°F)||114 mm (4.5 in)|
|Dec||4°C (40°F)||76 mm (3 in)||12°C (54°F)||108 mm (4.3 in)|
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