Which country is cheaper, Portugal or France?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
Should I visit France or Portugal? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which country has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.
We'll start with a quick overview, and below we will go into all of the details.
|Museums & Attractions|
|Culture & History|
|Scuba Diving & Snorkeling|
France is a prosperous, historic, and beautiful country. You'll find world class beauty here as well. Other popular activities here include theater, adventure travel, national parks, and history and culture.
France is actually the most visited country in the world, and it's easy to see why. Offering amazing food, deep history, beautiful coastlines, wine regions, world-class cities, and small villages, this amazing and diverse country offers something for everyone.
Portugal is a coastal, vibrant, and charming country. You'll find world class beauty here as well. Other popular activities here include museums, theater, adventure travel, and history and culture.
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 France and Portugal. With this information, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.
For an educational experience, head to a museum or a notable sight in either France or Portugal.
You'll find many recognizable landmarks that put France on the map. Some of the world's best museums can be found in the major cities. The Louvre in Paris can't be missed, as it offers a huge collection of art, historical artifacts, and cultural items that would take several days to peruse. But it's only one of many museums in the city of lights, as it's also possible to see other major art exhibits around town. Additionally, other major cities offer plenty of museum options as well. Especially Lyon which has several marionette puppet museums, a cinema museum, and the large Musee de Confluences which focuses on humanity.
Paris: One of the most world famous landmarks is the Eiffel Tower. The city is also home to the world renowned Louvre, Notre-Dame, and Palais Garnier Opera House.
Lyon: There are many world class museums and historic landmarks in the city including Musée des Beaux Arts, Musée de la Civilisation Gallo-Romaine, and Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière.
Many visitors head to Portugal specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. 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.
Both France and Portugal offer similar levels of history and culture when visiting.
France is known for its world-famous historical and cultural sights and attractions. It's hard to find a country with more cultural and historical destinations. Starting with Paris, you'll find multiple museums, monuments, cathedrals, and other attractions that showcase the history and art of France as well as Europe as a whole. But Paris is not the only place, as other major cities such as Lyon and Marseille offer similar historical and artistic experiences in their museums, theatre productions, and architecture. Furthermore, even the small towns in the countryside have historic sights such as the numerous chateaus, castles, winery villages, and more.
Portugal is a terrific destination to visit for history, arts, and culture, as it has many sights worth visiting. 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.
France offers more big cities to explore than Portugal.
Visitors will also find so much to do in France, as the large cities offer many sights and attractions. With multiple large cities, anyone looking to explore museums, history, restaurants, and attractions will easily find it all in France. And Paris is just the beginning, as Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, and others offer charming streets filled with art, architecture, museums, nightlife, and more.
Since Portugal has large cities, you'll find plenty of things to do. 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.
You'll find a similar number of small towns and villages to explore in both France and Portugal.
Because France offers so many small towns with a variety of charming activities, it attracts plenty of visitors for a good reason. Travelers could easily spend their entire trip in the small towns in the French countryside. Many of the most charming small towns are in the wine regions of Burgundy, Bordeaux, the Loire Valley, Provence, and others. Visitors to these towns will find historic architecture surrounded by beautiful agricultural landscapes along with delicious food and friendly locals. Some have their own history dating back centuries, too.
Portugal is a great destination to visit small towns and villages just waiting to be explored. 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.
Both France and Portugal offer theater options for visitors.
While in town, many visitors enjoy seeing a show in France. In Paris, the opera and the ballet are very popular attractions. And if you're looking for something not as sophisticated, a number of review and musical shows provide fun options as well. Also, there's the theatre productions, too. Furthermore, you'll find many other great theatre productions all around France in the heart of Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Toulouse, Lille, Strasbourg, and more.
Paris: There are world class theaters as well as smaller local venues where you can enjoy a show.
You'll find a nice selection of shows in Portugal. 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.
There are opportunities to sample the local cuisine at great restaurants in both France and Portugal.
For foodies, France is an obvious choice, as it is one of the food capitals of the world. The food here is second to none. French food has earned its reputation over the centuries as being gourmet, elegant, delicious, diverse, and gluttonous. From the fine dining restaurants of Paris and Lyon to the farm-fresh cafes in the small towns, to the abundance of wine in Burgundy or Bordeaux, we promise that you won't go hungry. Every city is proud of the food they serve, and you'll find regional specials throughout the nation, too.
Paris: There are countless local restaurants, markets, and patisseries to explore. Make sure you try the steak tartare, pate, and macarons.
Marseille: It's famous for its bouillabaisse, which is a hearty seafood soup that was once affordable but is now quite pricey.
Lyon: Known as "the Gastronomic Capital of the World" this city stands above the rest when it comes to Michelin star restaurants (there are 17!), fresh ingredients, and unique local flavors. Favorite local dishes include pâté en croûte, rosette de Lyon, and saucisson brioché.
Nice: The cuisine brings together fresh regional ingredients and mixes Provençal and Niçoise flavors. You'll find a lot of Italian influence as well. Fresh seafood is the thing to try while you're in town, but other local favorites include socca, Ratatouille, and Salade niçoise.
Bordeaux: Both food and wine are a major draw to this culinary city, which is known for its pastries and rich flavors. Popular local dishes include grilled duck, duck foie gras, and canelés.
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.
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.
Both France and Portugal are comparable when it comes to partying.
France offers plenty to do in the evening. While Paris is the obvious choice for its bars, clubs, theatre, and shows, the rest of France offers plenty of nightlife, too. The other major cities each have their own vibe, especially along the southern coastal destinations of Marseille, Nice, and Biarritz where beach-goers turn towards nightclubs at sundown. Even some of the smaller cities in the wine regions offer then own nightlife experiences after a day of tastings.
Paris: Head to Pigalle or the Latin Quarter for some of the city's best nightlife. There are all-night parties, cabarets, and exclusive night clubs that you can experience.
Marseille: Much of the city's nightlife is centered around being outdoors. Whether you're on the beach or hanging out at a rooftop bar, Marseille is a magical place.
Nice: The city has some of the best nightlife on the Cote d'Azur. You'll find a number of nightclubs along the seaside as well a bars and pubs in the Old Town. Some of the best clubs are along Promenade des Anglais.
Saint-Tropez: It is a place to see and be seen, so if you're looking for A-list celebrities, glamourous yacht parties, and ritzy dance clubs, then this is your place. While the nightlife scene is filled with extravagance, there are still laid back clubs where you can sip a cocktail in style. The best season to come and party is during the summer months, but you'll still find plenty to do throughout the year.
See also Paris Party Hostels.
Portugal has a large number of nightlife venues. 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.
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.
France and Portugal offer a relatively similar set of luxury resort options.
France has a few great resort options. The beach areas on the southern and western coastline are home to numerous resorts, especially once you get away from the historic towns and move a bit further along the coast. Plenty more ski resorts can be found in the mountains, too, and are especially busy during the winter months. Numerous destinations in the interior of France also offer resort-like amenities, such as the options near Disneyland Paris or some of the historic castles which have been renovated into hotels.
Nice: The city has boutique hotels as well high end luxury resorts. Popular options include Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Méditerranée, Hôtel Suisse, and AC Hotel by Marriott.
Cannes: The city is filled with luxury resorts and elegant hotels. Among the best are Hôtel Martinez, Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic, and Five Seas Hotel.
Saint-Tropez: Luxury and extravagance is what this resort town is all about. If you have the money to spend, you'll have no trouble finding a glamourous villa or luxury hotel where you can relax, party, or soak up the French Riviera sun.
Vacationers can choose from a number of terrific resorts in Portugal. With such a long stretch of coastline, beach resorts are very common. Towns in the Algarve such as Portimao and Albufiera have smaller hotels, but if you travel out of the towns along the coastline you'll find larger beach resorts, some of which are all-inclusive. The same can be said for the smaller towns on the Atlantic coast, where historic fishing villages are mingled with larger resort properties. While some of these larger resorts are adult-only, most are family-friendly, and a range of prices and luxury is offered.
Faro: Popular resorts include Vila Vita Parc Resort and Spa, Conrad Algarve, and Tivoli Carvoeiro.
Portimao: The area has all types of resorts, from all-inclusive options to luxury or more family-friendly. Many of the resorts are surprisingly affordable and offer easy access to the beach.
Lagos: As a resort town, you'll find no shortage of places to stay in the area. If you don't have a car, your best options are in the historic center. If transportation isn't a concern, then you'll find plenty of great resorts in the Marina, Meia Praia, Dona Ana Beach, Camilo Beach, and Porto de Mós Beach.
There's scuba diving or snorkeling available in both France and Portugal.
Snorkeling is an option in France. The southern coastline, known as the French Riviera, is a nice place for snorkeling and scuba diving because of the clear waters and warm weather. Generally speaking, the diving here is easily accessible and generally affordable if you're right off the coast. Nice has some good locations such as Le Tombant Des Americains, and Marseille is close to Calanques National Park which encompasses a large area of protected coastline and the Riou Archipelago, a group of small islands with reefs and abundant marine life. Not far from St. Tropez you can find Port-Cros National Park which was specifically created as a marine sanctuary. There are some wrecks in this area, too. Corsica also offers a number of great spots for diving and snorkeling, many of which are right off of the beaches.
Saint-Tropez: The Gulf of Saint Tropez is one of the best places to snorkel and scuba dive along the French Riviera. There are wreck dives including the most famous, The Rubis, a submarine that is surrounded by marine life. Although you're not allowed to enter the vessel, there is still plenty to see. There are also plenty of dive spots that feature rock formations, schools of fish, and lobsters.
It's worth going snorkeling or scuba diving in Portugal. The Azores are an island chain to the west of Portugal in the Atlantic, and here visitors will have much better diving and snorkeling experiences. This is generally considered to be one of the best diving regions of Europe. Near Santa Maria Island, for example, divers can see manta rays, tuna, barracudas, and amberjack. The waters are clear and provide excellent visibility. Also, the Madeira Islands are part of Portugal and can be found to the west of Morocco. A number of terrific dive locations can be found here, too, such as those near Funchal. The Algarve coastline offers pretty good visibility in its clear waters, and a variety of dive shops provide boat trips out into the waters during the warmer months. Many spots have wrecks which are worth visiting, too. Some fish and wildlife can be seen in the shallower areas located a bit off of the shoreline. The cities of Lagos, Portimao, and Albufiera have dive centers.
For a relaxing beach holiday, both France and Portugal are good choices.
Travelers come from around the world to visit the beaches in France. The southern, Mediterranean coast of France offers plenty of beaches with gorgeous sand, blue water, warm weather, and historical towns. Whether you stay in a larger town with restaurants, hotels, history, and nightlife, or move further along to the quieter spots, you'll enjoy plenty of clear skies with equally clear water and that special French Riviera feeling. Some of the most popular beach destinations in this part of France include Nice, Saint-Tropez, Cannes, and Marseille. Along the Atlantic coast, you'll find even more diversity. The northern coastline is a bit colder and historic, while in the south you can find even more warm-weather beach vacation towns such as Biarritz and the surrounding resort towns close to Spain.
With world-famous beaches, Portugal is a very popular vacation 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.
Both France and Portugal are good shopping destinations.
Browsing through shops is a popular activity in France. Paris quickly comes to mind as one of the best shopping cities in the world, as it offers multiple neighborhoods each with their own vibe and personality. But other major cities, as well as the resort areas on the coast, showcase diverse and trendy boutiques where everyone can find something they like.
Paris: Some of the best areas for shopping are Boulevard Haussmann and the Grands Boulevards, the Marais, and Avenue Montaigne and the Champs-Elysées.
Lille: The city is filled with shopping opportunities. Almost any store you could want is in or around the old town and the two main shopping centers in town are McArthur Glen and A l'Usine. Also by the train station is a shopping mall.
Cannes: With its many affluent visitors, the shopping scene in town is filled with luxury brands and posh boutiques. Perfume and porcelain are both popular things to buy in the area.
Saint-Tropez: Surrounded by luxury, shopping is a must in this glamourous resort town. There are international luxury brands as well as local designer boutiques. Whether you're looking for yachting clothes, cigars, jewelry, or perfume, this is one of the best shopping destinations along the Cote d'Azur. Art is a particularly popular item to purchase while you're in town.
Plenty of visitors enjoy shopping while in Portugal. 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.
France usually beats out Portugal for activites during the Christmas season.
France is an extremely popular place to visit during the Christmas season. Plenty of cities and towns put up lights and trees with Christmas decorations, host festivals and shows, and organize festive markets. While larger cities such as Paris are always popular, smaller towns are equally as beautiful and visited. Strasbourg, Dijon, Reims, Tours, and Lille are just a few of the destinations which organize extravagant holiday celebrations for residents and visitors alike.
Paris: The city of lights really proves itself around the holiday season. In addition to checking out the Christmas lights, it's fun to go window shopping or check out one of the city's Christmas markets.
Portugal has some seasonal activities during Christmas. 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.
If you're looking to go hiking, France and Portugal both have various trails.
France is a good destination for hiking. A diverse set of hiking options is available for travelers here, as you'll find great trails from the Alps to the Pyrenees to the hills in the wine regions to the beautiful coastlines. In the summer months, the Alps and Pyrenees are especially welcoming to hikers, as these winter ski areas become warm and active with visitors. Also, when exploring the wine regions of Bordeaux, Burgundy, or the Loire Valley, don't forget to take a break from wine and history to admire the beautiful landscapes on foot.
Many people include a hike when visiting 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.
Both France and Portugal are good destinations for visiting national parks.
Many visitors go to France to see the national parks. Visitors looking to escape to the wilderness can find plenty of parks to see, especially in the rugged mountainous regions. A few of the best include Pyrenees national park and Vanoise national park, both of which are known for their hiking and beautiful mountain scenery. Elsewhere in France, Le Perche natural regional park in Normandy and Armorique natural regional park in Brittany offer beautiful natural landscapes with a touch of history.
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.
Both France and Portugal offer adventure travel opportunities for visitors.
France is a pretty good destination for adventure travel with a good array of experiences. Across this diverse country, you can find plenty of adventurous activities if you're looking for a break from the history, wine, and food that brings in most travelers. Horseback riding, hiking, canyoning, rock climbing, rafting, and snow skiing are popular activities in the mountain regions, especially around the Alps in the east. Skydiving and bungee jumping are also popular in the countryside. Water sports, surfing, and kayaking are popular along the coastline as well.
Adventure travel experiences in Portugal are quite popular with travelers. Along the coast, surfing is very popular, as some areas of the Atlantic coast have massive waves. Kite surfing and wind surfing are also popular in many areas, too. Inland, you can find mountain biking trails, zip lines and ropes courses, bungee jumping from high bridges, kayaking in the rivers and along the coast, just to name a few. Rock climbing and canyoning area also popular as the landscape offers plenty of great opportunities. Horseback riding along the coast or in the mountains is also a popular way to see the gorgeous landscapes, too. Adventure seekers can find exciting activities almost anywhere in Portugal.
Both France and Portugal offer an similar amount of mountain activities for visitors.
France is an extremely popular destination for those interested in visiting the mountains. The two main mountain ranges are the Alps in the southeast and the Pyrenees in the southwest. Furthermore, you'll find more hilly areas with great scenery along the southern coast and also near the German border on the east. While the Alps are the highest, the Pyrenees and other regions still offer plenty of amazing views as well as activities such as hiking, horseback riding, and adventure sports.
Visiting the mountains in Portugal is a very popular activity. The interior of the country has plenty of mountain ranges for those looking to explore. Many of the natural park areas are found in the mountains as well, and offer hiking, camping, horseback riding, cozy cabins, and more. The Serra da Estrela range is where you'll find the nation's highest peak as well as a unique ecosystem, a large network of trails (Trilhos Verdes), and beautiful valleys. You'll also find quaint mountain villages with hotels and restaurants where you can relax. Other mountain ranges worth visiting include the Montanhas Magicas (Magic Mountains), the Serra da Freita, and the Montemuro range.
While France and Portugal both have plenty of watersports, overall Portugal is considered to be better for travelers seeking these activities.
The huge number of watersports activities in Portugal is one of the main reasons people come to visit. 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.
Watersports and aquatic activities in France are quite popular with travelers. With a very long stretch of coastline on both the Atlantic and Mediterranean, as well as a huge array of rivers and lakes, there's no shortage of watersports here. Surfing is popular along both coasts, and not just where the water is clear and blue. Snorkeling and scuba diving are popular, as is kayaking, canoeing, and boating on the ocean, sea, and rivers.
While France and Portugal both have plenty of outdoor activities, overall Portugal is considered to be better for travelers seeking outdoor adventures.
The huge number of outdoor activities in Portugal is one of the main reasons people come to visit. 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.
Outdoor activities in France are quite popular with travelers. The countryside that normally draws a crowd to see the vineyards and castles also offers plenty of other activities for visitors. From hiking through the beautiful landscapes to horseback riding to rafting and kayaking, there's something for everyone here. Many of these activities are also kid-friendly, and it's easy to find a day tour or rent equipment on your own for whatever you choose.
Both France and Portugal offer plenty of great road trip opportunities.
Taking a road trip through France is very good way to see the countryside and smaller destinations. As the roads and highways here can take you anywhere fairly quickly, many visitors to France will hire a car and leave the major cities to venture into the countryside. The wine regions of Burgundy, the Loire Valley, Bordeaux, and Alsace are popular destinations, as you can see the vineyards, chateaus, castles, and historic towns intermixed with beautiful mountains, rivers, and the French countryside.
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.
Kids will enjoy a visit to either France or Portugal.
As it has a large number of activities for kids, France is a very family-friendly destination. Plenty of activities for families and kids can be found in almost every corner of the country. The coastal areas in the south draw families for the beaches and resorts, while the mountains bring families for outdoor activities mixed with history and culture. The larger cities offer plenty of fun as well in the form of museums, theme parks, great food, and large parks.
Saint-Tropez: With great beaches, several amusement parks, waterparks, and even Marineland, there are an endless supply of activities for kids. There's also a zoo and nature reserve for wildlife enthusiasts. For adventure lovers, there are a number of different watersports to try and if the weather isn't cooperating, there are a few good museums and other indoor activities as well.
Portugal is one of the most popular family destinations. 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.
With fun activities for couples, both France and Portugal make for a good place to visit.
France makes for a terrific place to visit as a couple. So many destinations in this large country are perfect for couples looking to get away on a romantic trip, or even a honeymoon. Paris is the obvious choice, as the city of lights oozes romance with fine restaurants, historic architecture, theatre productions, and hidden alleyways. But other destinations are terrific for couples as well, such as the coast, the mountains, the wine regions, and the small towns.
Paris: A city filled with romance, you really can't find a more ideal destination for a European honeymoon or a couple's getaway.
Nice: The old town is filled with romance and charm. You can also take a walk along the Promenade Des Anglais or soak up the romantic countryside that surrounds the town.
Cannes: It's grand hotels and luxury beach clubs make this a perfect romantic destination. There are world class restaurants, a vibrant nightlife scene, and many romantic spots around town that make for a memorable honeymoon or couple's getaway.
Saint-Tropez: Whether you're honeymooning or taking a short getaway to the French Riviera, this is a great option for couples. You can take a stroll at sunset, relax on one of the beautiful beaches, dine on local seafood, and soak up the rich local culture. The romance and beauty of this French Riviera city make it a world class romantic destination.
For those traveling as a couple, Portugal 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.
Both France and Portugal are popular destinations for backpackers.
France is a good country to visit for backpackers. It's easy to find budget accommodation in most cities and towns, although the overall in this Western European country tend to be high. But the sheer diversity of sights and destinations means that budget travelers or backpackers can find low cost food, activities, and accommodations in most places around the country.
Paris: It's a big city, so it's easy to get lost in the chaos, but there are many hostels and other backpacker hangouts around town.
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.
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.
France and Portugal are both good destinations for students and younger travelers.
France is a very popular country for students and younger travelers. With multiple large universities, this country hosts many students every year as both tourists and study-abroad participants. From the large cities to the small towns, it's easy to get around as a student, especially since many hostels and museums offer discounts for anyone under 26. Also, the nightlife is terrific in many of the major cities such as Paris, Lyon, and Nice.
Paris: The city is one of the most popular destinations for international and study abroad students.
Lyon: It is a very livable city with many fun cultural activities for students. There are many different entertainment options during the day, and during the evening there are plenty of places to hang out.
Montpellier: Montpellier is a popular university town that is home to many trendy university students. It's also where you'll find the youngest population of any city in France.
See also Free Things to do in Paris.
Plenty of students visit Portugal. 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.
Both France and Portugal offer a very good transportation system.
France has a great public transit system. The French rail system is a terrific way to move around the country quickly and easily. Most small towns are connected to the larger cities by rail, and the larger cities are connected with high-speed rail, too. The airports are also modern and efficient, and offer connections to everywhere in the world. The roads are also great for driving, too.
See also How to Visit the Loire Valley from Paris.
Is it easy to travel around France?
Visitors to Portugal can move around easily with public transportation. 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?
France and Portugal are both modern and comfortable places to visit.
France is extremely comfortable for travelers as it is a modern destination with plenty of amenities. If you're looking to explore in comfort and luxury, then you'll have no trouble here. As the most visited country in the world, travelers will find a huge number of modern and luxurious hotels, along with great public transport, plenty of taxis and tour companies, and an amazing selection of restaurants and cafes. Even if you're traveling on a budget, the level of comfort and amenities in France is very high.
Portugal is a very comfortable and luxurious destination with plenty of hotels, restaurants, and activities. 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.
France is considered to be much more touristy than Portugal.
France is known for being extremely touristy. Since it's the most visited country in the world, no one should be surprised with the number of tourists around major sights and attractions, especially in the more popular areas. Paris, Lyon, the southern coastline, the wine regions, and the French Alps are all quite busy with tourists year-round. So, when visiting, you won't be alone. However, it's also not too hard to escape the crowds as this country is fairly large.
Portugal is somewhat touristy. 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.
France and Portugal both offer a nice selection of activities for visitors. Many people usually spend more of their time in France than Portugal.
The ideal length of time for a trip to France is 7-21 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Portugal is 3-14 days.
France is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. 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.
Portugal is a great place to explore. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.
France is a popular choice for travelers. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than five days exploring. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.
It's hard to know how much time to spend in Portugal. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. Most people come for the beaches. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.
France is a great place to explore. It is common to spend one week here. It's also a great beach destination, too. One week is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that France has to offer. This country offers something for everyone.
Many travelers enjoy the adventure travel, history and culture, and nightlife when visiting the coastal destination of Portugal. This country offers a variety of activities to choose from. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. If you have one week, this is a great place to go. This would be the perfect place to spend one week, as it has just the right amount of activities.
France is a great place to explore. It is common to spend two weeks here. It's also a great beach destination, too. While some people choose to spend more or less time in France, two weeks is sufficent for most. This country offers something for everyone.
Many travelers enjoy the adventure travel, history and culture, and nightlife when visiting the vibrant destination of Portugal. This country offers a variety of activities to choose from. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. If you have two weeks, this is a great place to go. With all of its activities, you can easily fill two weeks here.
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in France is €186, while the average daily cost in Portugal is €109. 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 France and Portugal in more detail.
Looking for a hotel in France 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.
Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in France:
Some specific examples of transportation prices in France:
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 France 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.
Some typical examples of dining costs in France are as follows:
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in France.
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.
Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in France are as follows:
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for France are as follows:
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Portugal are as follows:
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in France:
Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in France:
Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Portugal:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between France and Portugal, we can see that France is more expensive. And not only is Portugal much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Portugal would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Portugal and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in France would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in France than you might in Portugal.
Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.
The weather in France is fairly predictable, as it sees four seasons. Summers are warm all over, and winters can be cold, especially in the northern areas. The southern coastal areas are not quite as cold in the winter, but they can still be a bit chilly at times. The summer, fall, and spring tend to be the busier times for travelers to visit, with summer being the peak time of year for most of the country.
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 France are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to France for the beaches, snorkeling, the hiking, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences. Also, many visitors come to Portugal in the summer for the beaches, snorkeling, the hiking, and the family-friendly experiences.
Paris is cooler than Lisbon in the summer. The temperature in Paris is usually 20°C (68°F) in July, and Lisbon stays around 23°C (73°F).
It's quite sunny in Lisbon. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Paris. Paris usually receives less sunshine than Lisbon during summer. Paris gets 241 hours of sunny skies, while Lisbon receives 352 hours of full sun in the summer.
In July, Paris usually receives more rain than Lisbon. Paris gets 58 mm (2.3 in) of rain, while Lisbon receives 5 mm (0.2 in) of rain each month for the summer.
Both Portugal and France during the autumn are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to France in the autumn for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area. Furthermore, most visitors come to Portugal for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months.
In the autumn, Paris is cooler than Lisbon. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Paris in October are around 13°C (56°F), and Lisbon is about 19°C (66°F).
In Lisbon, it's very sunny this time of the year. In the autumn, Paris often gets less sunshine than Lisbon. Paris gets 127 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Lisbon receives 213 hours of full sun.
Paris usually gets less rain in October than Lisbon. Paris gets 55 mm (2.2 in) of rain, while Lisbon receives 80 mm (3.1 in) of rain this time of the year.
The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both France and Portugal. Most visitors come to France for the skiing, the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine during these months. Furthermore, the winter months attract visitors to Portugal because of the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine.
Paris can be very cold during winter. In January, Paris is generally much colder than Lisbon. Temperatures in Paris average around 5°C (40°F), and Lisbon stays around 12°C (53°F).
Paris usually receives less sunshine than Lisbon during winter. Paris gets 62 hours of sunny skies, while Lisbon receives 144 hours of full sun in the winter.
Lisbon receives a lot of rain in the winter. In January, Paris usually receives less rain than Lisbon. Paris gets 55 mm (2.2 in) of rain, while Lisbon receives 110 mm (4.3 in) of rain each month for the winter.
The spring brings many poeple to France as well as Portugal. The spring months attract visitors to France because of the beaches and the natural beauty. Additionally, the beaches and the natural beauty are the main draw to Portugal this time of year.
Paris is cooler than Lisbon in the spring. The temperature in Paris is usually 11°C (52°F) in April, and Lisbon stays around 16°C (60°F).
The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Lisbon. In the spring, Paris often gets less sunshine than Lisbon. Paris gets 172 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Lisbon receives 235 hours of full sun.
Paris usually gets less rain in April than Lisbon. Paris gets 50 mm (1.9 in) of rain, while Lisbon receives 64 mm (2.5 in) of rain this time of the year.
|Temp (°C)||Rain (mm)||Temp (°C)||Rain (mm)|
|Jan||5°C (40°F)||55 mm (2.2 in)||12°C (53°F)||110 mm (4.3 in)|
|Feb||6°C (42°F)||45 mm (1.8 in)||13°C (55°F)||111 mm (4.4 in)|
|Mar||8°C (47°F)||52 mm (2.1 in)||14°C (58°F)||69 mm (2.7 in)|
|Apr||11°C (52°F)||50 mm (1.9 in)||16°C (60°F)||64 mm (2.5 in)|
|May||15°C (59°F)||62 mm (2.4 in)||18°C (64°F)||39 mm (1.5 in)|
|Jun||18°C (64°F)||53 mm (2.1 in)||21°C (69°F)||21 mm (0.8 in)|
|Jul||20°C (68°F)||58 mm (2.3 in)||23°C (73°F)||5 mm (0.2 in)|
|Aug||20°C (67°F)||46 mm (1.8 in)||23°C (74°F)||6 mm (0.2 in)|
|Sep||17°C (63°F)||53 mm (2.1 in)||22°C (72°F)||26 mm (1 in)|
|Oct||13°C (56°F)||55 mm (2.2 in)||19°C (66°F)||80 mm (3.1 in)|
|Nov||8°C (47°F)||57 mm (2.2 in)||15°C (59°F)||114 mm (4.5 in)|
|Dec||5°C (42°F)||55 mm (2.2 in)||12°C (54°F)||108 mm (4.3 in)|
Some of the links on this website are sponsored or affiliate links which help to financially support this site. By clicking the link and making a purchase, we may receive a small commission, but this does not affect the price of your purchase.