Which country is cheaper, Portugal or the Netherlands?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
Which country should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for the Netherlands and Portugal. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.
We'll start with a quick overview, and below we will go into all of the details.
|Museums & Attractions|
|Scuba Diving & Snorkeling|
The Netherlands is a historic, beautiful, and progressive country. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. Other popular activities here include food, water sports, shopping, and museums.
The relatively small country of the Netherlands is densely populated and is host to world-class cities, amazing history, and plenty of cultural attractions. Also commonly referred to as Holland, much of this country's land has been reclaimed by the sea and is crisscrossed by canals and man-made waterways historically used for shipping and trade. Today, the Netherlands is a modern, diverse, and developed nation that still offers plenty of historic and cultural charm with beautiful old buildings, windmills, farmland, cheese shops, and bike paths. Amsterdam is the most popular city for visitors, as it contains famous museums and historic architecture along canals and streets filled with bicycles. Rotterdam, The Hague, and Utrecht also have museums, history, and culture to explore, even though they see less tourists than Amsterdam.
Portugal is a captivating, coastal, and vibrant country. Many visitors also come because of it's amazing beauty. It's also popular because of the history and culture, nightlife, food, and scuba diving and snorkeling.
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 the Netherlands and Portugal. With this information, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.
People who enjoy wandering through museums and other attractions will appreciate a visit to The Netherlands a bit more than Portugal.
You'll find many recognizable landmarks that put The Netherlands on the map. With art, culture, history, science, nature, and more, this country has a large number of must-see museums that should be on everyone's itinerary. Amsterdam offers a number of famous art museums such as the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh museum. Also here you'll find the famous Anne Frank house, dedicated to the young girl that hid with her family in the attic during the Holocaust. Even more art museums, historic and modern, are found in the major cities such as the Mauritshuis, Escher in Het Paleis, the Groninger Museum, and the Stedelijk Museum and Rembrandt Museum in Amsterdam. If you're looking for some family-friendly activities, check out the Naturalis in Leiden (a natural science museum), the NEMO Science museum in Amsterdam, the Railway Museum in Utrecht, the Maritime Museum in Amsterdam, and the Open Air Museum of Arnhem. Also, many of the castles around the country have been turned into museums for exploration and historic purposes.
Portugal offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. 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 The Netherlands and Portugal.
The Netherlands has many famous historic and cultural sights and attractions worth visiting, and is one of the main reasons why poeple come here. With cities dating back thousands of years, a large collection of art and history museums, numerous historic sites such as castles, windmills, forts, and cathedrals, and historic architecture everywhere you look, it's no surprise that people visit the Netherlands for its deep history and unique culture. Historic cities such as Amsterdam, Utrecht, Leiden, Arnhem, and many others provide that quintessential Dutch vibe with historic buildings lining beautiful canals. You'll also find old castles and forts along with world-class art museums. Don't miss the Van Gogh museum, the Rijksmuseum, and the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam. Also, make sure you add the historic Open Air Museum of Arnhem to your list, as well as the Mauritshuis in the Hague. Just north of Amsterdam you can find the Zaanse Schans, a town with historic windmills along the river that showcases the life and history of this water-borne nation. No matter what your interests may be, you'll find something for everyone in this culturally rich country. Even if history isn't your passion, you can't miss the beauty in it.
See also Free Things to do in Amsterdam.
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.
You'll find a similar number of great big city activities in both The Netherlands and Portugal.
Because of the large cities in The Netherlands, visitors will find many sights and attractions. Amsterdam is a very popular destination for travelers coming to Europe because it offers historic architecture, world-class art museums, boat trips along the scenic canals, the infamous red light district, and more. Rotterdam and The Hague also offer plenty of big city activities such as museums, theater productions, and great cuisine. While Amsterdam is often included in many traveler's European tours, the other cities in the Netherlands get overlooked despite their terrific attractions.
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 great small towns and villages to explore in both The Netherlands and Portugal.
As The Netherlands is a destination with many small towns and villages, visitors also come to explore the sights and local activities. If you seek small towns with plenty of charm and history, Holland offers plenty of them. Many towns and smaller cities here have a historic vibe with canals, windmills, local agricultural products, museums, and more. Gouda, Leiden, Arnhem, Haarlem, Naarden, Edam, and Giethoorn are just some of the places worth visiting. They offer local cuisine, cute cobblestone lanes, historic churches, and friendly people.
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.
Overall, The Netherlands is considered to be a more popular choice for theater-goers.
The Netherlands has a number of performance venues where you can see a variety of shows. Amsterdam has a vibrant theater scene with a huge number of venues such as the International Theater, Royal Theater Caree, DeLaMar Theater, and even De Kleine Komedie which is one of the oldest theaters and puts on a variety of comedy acts. Other cities such as Rotterdam, the Hague, Utrecht, and Leiden have terrific theater and musical venues with plays, concerts, comedy, and kid-friendly productions.
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 The Netherlands.
Portugal has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. 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.
The Netherlands offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. Traditional Dutch foods often include fried snacks such as krokets, small pancakes known as Poffertjes, fried fish, and world-famous cheeses. Furthermore, plenty of terrific restaurants serving a variety of European and global cuisine can be found across the country, especially in the larger cities. Food here tends to be fresh, and the dining and restaurant scene is very active.
The Netherlands has the better options when it comes to nightlife.
People head to The Netherlands just to party. Amsterdam is a haven for nightlife, as it attracts a large number of visitors looking for entertainment. The red light district is full of bars and nightclubs, as are other areas of the city. You can also find theater productions and fine dining experiences, too. Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht, Leiden, and other cities also offer plenty of nightlife options with a wide array of bars, cafes, clubs, and theaters.
Amsterdam: The city has some of the best nightlife in Europe. There are plenty of bars, dance clubs, and other activities that you can enjoy throughout the night.
See also Party Hostels in Amsterdam.
Portugal has plenty to do after the sun goes down. 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.
Portugal provides a better beach experience than The Netherlands.
Portugal offers stunning beaches that attract visitors from around the world. 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.
The Netherlands is a good spot to see the beach. While the weather is a bit cold most of the year, the beaches still attract a decent crowd. With wide stretches of sand, plenty of hotels, and many with easy accessibility by public transit, a trip to the beach here is quite fun and easy if the weather is good. One of the most popular beaches is Scheveningen, right near The Hague, where you can find a boardwalk and other beach activities. Surfing, the Pier, a Ferris Wheel, and plenty of great restaurants make this a fun day trip. Zandvoort aan Zee is the closest beach to Amsterdam where you'll find a good stretch of sand with dunes in the Zuid-Kennemerland National Park. Bloemendaal aan Zee is another very scenic beach with natural areas as well as cafes and restaurants. Egmond aan Zee is a gorgeous beach near an old fishing village with a lighthouse, and is worth the trip. Plenty of other beaches are also easy to reach, including the Hoek of Holland near Rotterdam and the barrier islands in the north.
Most people pick The Netherlands for the shopping over Portugal.
Browsing through shops is a popular activity in The Netherlands. Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and the Hague are all full of shops where visitors can find everything from fashion to gifts to local arts and crafts. And each of these cities are large enough that different neighborhoods offer a variety of personalities each with their own shopping vibe. Some of the historic areas tend to cater to tourists and sell gifts and crafts, while the fashion neighborhoods and malls offer the latest trends in local boutique shops. Art galleries are also quite common, as are chain clothing stores, tourist shops, and cheese shops, but there's something for everyone. Even smaller cities that attract tourists will offer good deals, trendy boutiques, and local crafts. Look for some interesting finds in Utrecht, Amersfoort, Leiden, Den Bosch, Haarlem or other smaller cities.
Portugal is a great destination for shopping. 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.
Most people pick The Netherlands to visit during Christmas than Portugal.
Many visitors go to The Netherlands during the Christmas season. Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht, Leiden, and many other Dutch cities decorate their historic city centers with Christmas lights, large trees, and other holiday decor. Additionally, many towns also host parades and festivals to celebrate the holiday season. One of the most popular is the arrival of Sinterklaas, a boat and horse parade that tours Dutch cities and excites the children with his arrival. Many shops also sell festive gifts and delicious treats. Some of the cities also host ice skating rinks and festivals with children's games to bring out the holiday crowds. And if you're looking for a fun Christmas market, check out those held in Dordrecht and Maastricht, or the cave-market in Valkenburg.
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.
Portugal is generally considered to be a better destination for hiking.
Portugal offers some nice hiking trails. 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.
The Netherlands has hiking trails for those that seek them out. Despite its smaller size and lack of mountains, plenty of beautiful hiking routes are found all over the country. With a variety of national parks and wildlife areas, many of these trails are easily accessible to the major cities. Some are found along the coastline where you'll hike among sand dunes and along the shore. Others are inland in the forest and follow rivers or canals with the occasional castle or historic ruins mixed in to the itinerary. So, if you're looking to get out of the city for some fresh air, a day hiking is a good option.
If you're interested in visiting great national parks, The Netherlands and Portugal both offer plenty of spots.
The Netherlands has some good regions for those that want to go visit national parks. The 21 national parks are spread across the nation and serve to protect wildlife and cultural areas. Many of the parks are quite small compared to what other countries offer, but they are still beautiful and significant for what they provide. Some of the most popular include Weerribben-Wieden, De Biesbosch, and Zuid-Kennemerland.
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.
Portugal generally offers more adventure travel options for travelers than The Netherlands.
The adventure travel experiences in Portugal are worth exploring, even if they are limited to certain areas. 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.
The Netherlands has a few adventure travel activities for those that seek them out. Although it's a small country, visitors can still find adventurous activities along the coast and in some of the natural areas. The beaches offer kite surfing and wind surfing opportunities. Also, plenty of travelers like to go kayaking or canoeing on the many canals and waterways. Zip-lining and ropes courses can be found around the country, such as the Euromast in Rotterdam. Also, almost every city has a rock climbing gym. And if you're really interested in climbing, check out the tallest climbing wall ever built in Groningen.
Overall, Portugal is considered to offer more watersports activities and attractions to visitors.
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.
The Netherlands is a great destination for participating in watersports. With a fairly lengthy coastline, you'll find plenty of opportunities here for kite surfing, wind surfing, and normal surfing depending on the weather. Boating is very popular given the large number of rivers and canals in the Netherlands. Kayaking and Canoeing should be on anyone's itinerary whether you're in a city or out in the countryside. A large number of lakes dot the landscape, too, with opportunities for swimming, water skiing, boating, fishing, and more.
Overall, Portugal is considered to offer more outdoor activities and attractions to visitors.
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.
The Netherlands is a good destination to visit the outdoors, as there are some fun activities. A number of hiking trails, biking paths, and running trails can be found almost everywhere in the country. Boating, kayaking and canoeing are popular almost everywhere, too. Most cities and towns have kayak rentals if you're interested. The beaches are also popular spots for outdoor activities such as swimming, camping, and hiking. And with a variety of national parks and wilderness areas that are all easily accessible via public transit from the nearest city, the Netherlands makes it easy to get out and enjoy nature.
Portugal is usually considered to be a better destination to explore on a road trip than The Netherlands.
With many possiblities for a road trip, Portugal is a great place to take on the open road. 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.
The Netherlands is generally not the best destination for road trips, but it has a few options. Getting around by car is not difficult since the distances to drive are fairly short. On a road trip you can see the many small towns of the countryside, the agricultural regions, historic windmills, old castles and forts, and more. Also, a trip up and down the coastline is quite easy and very scenic, too.
Families may find more to do in Portugal than The Netherlands.
With a huge array of activities for kids, Portugal is very family-friendly. 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.
The Netherlands is a very family-friendly place to visit. Plenty of family-friendly activities can be found in the cities and countryside, such as amusement parks, the beach, historical attractions, biking, boating, and more. Numerous amusement parks are located throughout the country. Also, most of the cities have family-friendly museums such as the NEMO Science Museum or the Maritime Museum in Amsterdam, the Natural Science Museum in Leiden, the Railway Museum in Utrecht, or the Open Air Museum in Arnhem. Several zoos are also found throughout the country. And of course, don't forget about LegoLand and the Sea Life center in Scheveningen.
Couples will find a longer list of romantic activities in Portugal than The Netherlands.
Portugal is fantastic couple's destination with fun and romantic activities. 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.
The Netherlands is not the best destination for a couple to visit. Amsterdam is the most popular city to visit, and contains plenty of historic and charming hotels and B&B's which couples find to be very romantic. Elsewhere in the country, similar accommodations can be found that make for a terrific couple's getaway as you can enjoy romantic restaurants, outdoor cafes, scenic boat rides, and cultural activities.
For backpackers, both The Netherlands and Portugal are great places to visit.
Plenty of budget travelers and backpackers visit The Netherlands. With a large number of somewhat affordable hostels, cheap transportation, affordable food options, and low cost attractions, most major cities in the Netherlands are popular with backpackers and budget traveler. Keep in mind that travel costs here are fairly high, though. So, while hostels are less expensive than hotels, they are still not cheap. But with plenty of options and a party atmosphere, Amsterdam especially is very popular with the backpacker and budget-travel crowd.
Amsterdam: With it's party-hard personality and countless low price hostels, this city attracts its share of backpackers. Do note that many of the hostels aren't focused on quality, so make sure you understand what you're paying for. It may be worth booking a slightly more expensive room in a hotel.
Backpackers come from all over to visit Portugal. 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.
For students, both The Netherlands and Portugal are great places to visit.
It's common for students to visit The Netherlands. With large universities in the major cities and a great infrastructure for younger budget travelers, students will find plenty of opportunities to explore the country and meet up with others. Many of the university areas of the major cities offer extensive nightlife scenes and affordable activities. Utrecht has one of the largest in the nation, as as such the city has a young and vibrant vibe. Amsterdam, Leiden, and Groningen also have large student populations and the accompanying atmosphere for student life, too.
The Hague: This is a very popular study abroad destination so you'll find plenty of international students living here. It's an internationally oriented city so everyone feels right at home.
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 The Netherlands both offer transportation options, overall the system in The Netherlands is considered to be better.
With a huge network, the transit system in The Netherlands can get you around easily. As a relatively small country with a high population density, getting around in the Netherlands feels like traveling around a city instead of a country. The national train system operates routes on a regular schedule so that you can find a train anywhere at least every hour if not more frequently. And when you're in a city, the bus and tram systems are fantastic, efficient, affordable, and frequent. You won't need a car as a visitor, but if you choose to hire one, you'll find high-quality roads, too. Finally, many of the islands in the north are accessible with public ferries running on frequent schedules. As you probably know, much of the infrastructure in the Netherlands is built around bicycles, so don't be afraid to grab some fietsen and make your way around town on the dedicated bike lanes. It's common to rent bikes at the station if you arrive in a different city by train or bus, or bike rentals are available at many shops around the cities, too. Overall, the transit system in the Netherlands is amazing.
Is it easy to travel around the Netherlands?
Many visitors rely on the effecient and affordable public transportation in Portugal. 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?
The Netherlands and Portugal are both modern and comfortable places to visit.
People often come to The Netherlands because it is such a comfortable and luxurious destination. Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, and other cities in the country all offer high-end, luxurious accommodations, fine dining restaurants, and extensive tour options for anyone wishing to travel in style. Even if you don't want to spend large amounts of money, this country is very modern with a high standard of living, and that is reflected in the mid-range and budget hotels, too. It's hard to find an uncomfortable place here, as the tourist infrastructure is vast and thorough.
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.
The Netherlands is considered to be much more touristy than Portugal.
The Netherlands is very touristy. Amsterdam in particular is extremely popular with tourists, and many parts of the city can be quite crowded most of the year. From the red light district to the museums and boat tours on the canals, it's often hard to avoid tourists here. On the other hand, other cities in the Netherlands enjoy significantly less visitors and offer similar cultural and historic activities without the crowds. It's quite easy to get around by train, so take the time to visit another city or two during your trip to avoid the crowds.
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.
the Netherlands and Portugal both offer a nice selection of activities for visitors. Many travelers usually spend more of their time in Portugal than the Netherlands because of the number of activities and things to do in the area. Usually, 3-7 days is a good amount of time for the Netherlands, and 3-14 days is enough time in Portugal.
Families should spend more time in Portugal than the Netherlands. 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 the Netherlands. 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 the Netherlands 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.
The Netherlands 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.
The country of Portugal offers hiking, mountains, and shopping. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.
The Netherlands is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in the Netherlands, 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's also a great beach destination, too. This destination offers something for everyone. It is common to spend five days here. Five days is often enough time to do most activities.
The Netherlands 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 the Netherlands has to offer. This country offers something for everyone.
The coastal country of Portugal offers shopping, museums, and theater. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. For many, it makes a great getaway for one week. Because of this, one week is usually enough time for a trip here.
The Netherlands 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.
The vibrant country of Portugal offers shopping, museums, and theater. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. For many, it makes a great getaway for two weeks. Two weeks is often enough time to do most activities.
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in the Netherlands is €175, 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 the Netherlands and Portugal in more detail.
Looking for a hotel in the Netherlands 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.
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Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in the Netherlands:
Also for the Netherlands, 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 the Netherlands 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 the Netherlands:
For the Netherlands, 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 the Netherlands, 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 the Netherlands.
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Portugal are as follows:
Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in the Netherlands:
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 the Netherlands and Portugal, we can see that the Netherlands 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 the Netherlands would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in the Netherlands than you might in Portugal.
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 northern European climate of the Netherlands experiences four seasons, with rainy winters and mild summers. While the temperatures are often cold in the winter, it only snows periodically. Summers can be quite comfortable as they are not too hot.
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.
The summer brings many poeple to the Netherlands as well as Portugal. Many visitors come to the Netherlands in the summer for the beaches and the family-friendly experiences. Also, most visitors come to Portugal for the beaches, snorkeling, the hiking, and the family-friendly experiences during these months.
Amsterdam is cooler than Lisbon in the summer. The daily temperature in Amsterdam averages around 17°C (62°F) in July, and Lisbon fluctuates around 23°C (73°F).
The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Lisbon. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Amsterdam this time of the year. In the summer, Amsterdam often gets less sunshine than Lisbon. Amsterdam gets 204 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Lisbon receives 352 hours of full sun.
Amsterdam usually gets more rain in July than Lisbon. Amsterdam gets 75 mm (3 in) of rain, while Lisbon receives 5 mm (0.2 in) of rain this time of the year.
Both Portugal and the Netherlands are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to the Netherlands for the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area during these months. Also, the autumn months attract visitors to Portugal because of the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area.
In the autumn, Amsterdam is much colder than Lisbon. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Amsterdam in October average around 11°C (51°F), and Lisbon averages at about 19°C (66°F).
It's quite sunny in Lisbon. Amsterdam usually receives less sunshine than Lisbon during autumn. Amsterdam gets 99 hours of sunny skies, while Lisbon receives 213 hours of full sun in the autumn.
In October, Amsterdam usually receives less rain than Lisbon. Amsterdam gets 72 mm (2.8 in) of rain, while Lisbon receives 80 mm (3.1 in) of rain each month for the autumn.
Both Portugal and the Netherlands during the winter are popular places to visit. The winter months attract visitors to the Netherlands because of the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine. Furthermore, the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine are the main draw to Portugal this time of year.
The weather in Amsterdam can be very cold. In January, Amsterdam is generally much colder than Lisbon. Daily temperatures in Amsterdam average around 2°C (36°F), and Lisbon fluctuates around 12°C (53°F).
In the winter, Amsterdam often gets less sunshine than Lisbon. Amsterdam gets 46 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Lisbon receives 144 hours of full sun.
Lisbon gets a good bit of rain this time of year. Amsterdam usually gets less rain in January than Lisbon. Amsterdam gets 66 mm (2.6 in) of rain, while Lisbon receives 110 mm (4.3 in) of rain this time of the year.
The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both the Netherlands and Portugal. The beaches and the natural beauty are the main draw to the Netherlands this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to Portugal for the beaches and the natural beauty.
Amsterdam is much colder than Lisbon in the spring. The daily temperature in Amsterdam averages around 8°C (46°F) in April, and Lisbon fluctuates around 16°C (60°F).
People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Lisbon this time of the year. Amsterdam usually receives less sunshine than Lisbon during spring. Amsterdam gets 166 hours of sunny skies, while Lisbon receives 235 hours of full sun in the spring.
In April, Amsterdam usually receives less rain than Lisbon. Amsterdam gets 52 mm (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||2°C (36°F)||66 mm (2.6 in)||12°C (53°F)||110 mm (4.3 in)|
|Feb||3°C (37°F)||49 mm (1.9 in)||13°C (55°F)||111 mm (4.4 in)|
|Mar||5°C (41°F)||63 mm (2.5 in)||14°C (58°F)||69 mm (2.7 in)|
|Apr||8°C (46°F)||52 mm (2 in)||16°C (60°F)||64 mm (2.5 in)|
|May||12°C (54°F)||61 mm (2.4 in)||18°C (64°F)||39 mm (1.5 in)|
|Jun||15°C (59°F)||68 mm (2.7 in)||21°C (69°F)||21 mm (0.8 in)|
|Jul||17°C (62°F)||75 mm (3 in)||23°C (73°F)||5 mm (0.2 in)|
|Aug||17°C (62°F)||71 mm (2.8 in)||23°C (74°F)||6 mm (0.2 in)|
|Sep||14°C (57°F)||67 mm (2.6 in)||22°C (72°F)||26 mm (1 in)|
|Oct||11°C (51°F)||72 mm (2.8 in)||19°C (66°F)||80 mm (3.1 in)|
|Nov||6°C (43°F)||81 mm (3.2 in)||15°C (59°F)||114 mm (4.5 in)|
|Dec||3°C (38°F)||80 mm (3.1 in)||12°C (54°F)||108 mm (4.3 in)|
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