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GoWithGuideFind your perfect tour guide at GoWithGuide. Relax and cherish unforgettable tours with loved ones. Create personalized tours for a truly memorable trip!

Hiring A Guide In Portugal: Pros & Cons

Ajitsa A.

by GoWithGuide travel specialist:Ajitsa A.

Last updated : Jun 03, 20248 min read

Travel Tips

 

Portugal is the cork producing capital of the world. Seriously. You can get everything in cork-form, from fancy shoes to fabric and artwork. Now, if you’re wondering, "what does that have to do with hiring a guide?” Let me explain. Corks are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to everything there is to know about Portugal. 

 

When you add transportation, cultural etiquette, festival timelines, language and must-see sites, things can get overwhelming. You could get a Portugal tour guide, but is that really the best fit for you? To ease your burden, we’ve come up with a list of reasons for, and against, hiring a private tour guide in the Land of Explorers. Vamos!

 

 

The Pros: Why You Should Get Your Own Magellan

If you’re trying to kick off your own age of exploration, you’ll need a guide. Here’s how they can help; 

 

 

  1. Striking the Culture Balance: In a city as legendary as Lisbon, a guide can provide historical context to landmarks like the Tower of Belém, Jerónimos Monastery & more, explaining their significance then & now. Understanding the cultural context brings life to these Insta-famous sites, enriching your visit and boosting appreciation for Portuguese history.
  2. Locals Know Best (Street Safety & Guidance): Exploring Porto's narrow streets can be daunting, and a little intimidating if you’re not used to the flow of the city. A guide can help you navigate through hidden gems like Livraria Lello, or take on bigger sites, while keeping your safety in mind.  
  3. Leave The Language To The Experts: In rural Alentejo, where English may be less commonly spoken, a guide can facilitate communication with locals, ensuring you can fully engage in authentic experiences like wine tastings at family-owned vineyards. Nobody wants to miss out on those legendary stories, and our bilingual guides are great translators. 
  4. Keep The Time Flowing: When touring enchanting venues like the Douro Valley, a guide can optimize your tour, arranging visits to multiple vineyards, explaining the winemaking process, and ensuring you enjoy the breathtaking scenery without worrying about logistics, or running out of time. 

 

The Cons: Why You’re Better Off Solo Exploring 

Guides are great, but they aren't for everyone. Here’s why one might no suit you or your loved one's travel needs. 

 

 

  1. You Want To Stay Spontaneous: If you’d rather get lost in Monasteries & spend the day calculating the distance between Porto and Lisbon via train, a guide might not be appealing. You’re the type of traveler that isn't concerned with keeping time, or making solid plans on the ground. A guide would take the wind out of your sails. 
  2. You Want To Keep It Independent: If you’re a traveler searching for solitude, hanging out with a guide for an entire day might not sound like your definition of joy. Solo travel is a great way to connect with yourself, and a stranger might ruin your search for solitude. 
  3. Portugal Isn’t Written In Stone: Okay, so you know that Portugal is definitely in your future plans, but you’re not exactly sure how far into the future that plan will be. You could go in a month, or it could take a year for your plans to materialize. To avoid disappointment on you and your potential guide’s part, it’best to stay away from booking a tour until you’ve secured those flight tickets. 

 

The Type of Tour Matters: Traditional v.s GoWithGuide Private Tours 

Okay, so you’re thinking that a tour might be for you, but there’s one thing stopping you. The thought of being herded from the Jerónimos to the Oceanarium in a large, noisy crowd. Thankfully, GoWithGuide tours don’t follow the traditional model. Just take a look. 

 

 

Ready To Set Sail: Hiring A Guide in 3,2…1

If you’re sensing that a private tour is in your near future, and you need to know how to get the right one, we’ve got you covered. It’s as easy as…

 

 

  1. Head to our Portugal local guides page and, if you know where you’re headed (Porto, Lisbon, Sintra), select guides from those regions. Be on the lookout for good reviews, fun, lighthearted biographies, and a big smile!
  2. Alright, now that you’ve seen a guide you like, you’ve got a few options. You can book instantly and be done, but if you have some sites you’re excited to add, or see something you want to remove, just click the blue “Message” button. 
  3. Now comes the fun part, customization! Let your guide know when you’ll be traveling, who you’re traveling with, and what preferences you and your travel team has, and so on, then hit send. With those steps, you’ve started making your dream itinerary a reality. 

 

The Guide To Guide Etiquette: Dos & Don’ts On A Private Tour

If it’s your first time trying out a private guided tour, these tips should keep your tour running smoothly.

 

 

All Aboard: Some Tours To Inspire Your itinerary 

Now we’re finally at the good stuff, the tours! Need some pointers for your Portugal voyage? Here’s where you should start. 

 

 

  • Lovely Lisbon: The Ultimate Day Tour: Welcome to the capital city, Lisboa! This full day tour features Lisbon’s greatest attractions, from the current monument and former prison Tower of Belém, to the salty, spicy Bifana sandwich, to the romantically carved columns of the Jerónimos Monastery. Want to add something? Let your guide know and they’ll make room for it. Even if it is a full on Lampredottos sandwich tour. We won't judge!
  • Precious Porto: The Perfect Day Tour: The coastal town of Porto beautifully combines romantic architecture and deeply rooted culture. From the precious Carmelitas & Clerigos churches to the charming Livraria Lello Bookstore (oldest in the city, by the way), Porto’s streets will enchant you in just one day. 
  • Enchanting Sintra: Castles & Cottages: Let’s face it. You can’t go to Portugal and not visit this enchanting Disney-like castle-scape. Beyond the colorful and mythical structures, Sintra’s greenery, lush forests and whitewashed villages makes you feel like you’re in Narnia. And whose to say you aren’t! 
  • Discovering The Douro Valley: Wine lovers unite! The Douro is home to Portugal’s world-renowned Port wine manufacturing, and each vineyard offers its own legacy, making for some very tasty tours. Beyond the wine culture, the Douro has several hiking trails, suitable for nature sojourners from across the world. 

 

Conclusion 

Portugal waits for no one, but its guides do. Ready for an immersive locally guided experience? Check out our Portugal tour guides and kick off your own age of exploration today!

Lisbon Tour Guide - Gonçalo C.

Gonçalo C.

Portugal

I have been a tour guide for 7 years, working for some of the biggest tour operators in Lisbon. I have started from zero, and during these years, exploring, studying and showing others from north to south our paradise, brought me the experience to become a full time private guide. Studying history for the past 6 years while working as a tour guide has provided me with extensive knowledge of Portugal, and piqued my interest in learning about different cultures and traditions which makes me be always looking for unique, off the beaten track experiences. I strive to develope tours all over the country at the most beautiful and unique sites, providing local and authentic experiences for my customers. My job as I like to describe, it's give you the perfect day, tailor made to suit your own preferences, at the region or regions that you are interesting to visit in our small paradise.                                                                                                                                 

Lisbon Tour Guide - Filipe D.

Filipe D.

5.00 / 5
(1 reviews)
Portugal

Olá! I'm Filipe. I was born and raised in Lisbon and I’m really passionate about my city. I am very familiar with the city's many sights and attractions thanks to my long experience living in this city. I have been working in the tourism field for almost 10 years and have guided many foreign tourists as an English, French and Spanish speaking tour guide in recent years. I always like to guide all tourists with my best hospitality. I always try to adapt the tour to the interests and needs of my clients so that they have the best possible experience. I am very dynamic, fun and passionate about Lisbon and I love showing how unique my city is to everyone who visits Lisbon. When you have a chance to visit Lisbon, contact me anytime and join my tour! I look forward to spending a wonderful time with you. See you soon!                                                                                                                                 

Lisbon Tour Guide - Luis P.

Luis P.

5.00 / 5
(2 reviews)
Portugal

Hello My name is Luis and I'm your local guide from Lisbon. Welcome to my city and I will very happy to be your next GPS on your journey to Portugal. My curiosity for traveling and getting to know new cultures in the world was always evident. My life in tourism has already taken me to travel and get to know different realities, I started by going to the Highlands, where I worked in the various departments of Marriot Dalmahoy in Edinburgh, I also had the possibility to check out the madness of the Balearic Islands as a hotel animator for some seasons. But it was my country that I fell in love with, its history, traditions, gastronomy, the relaxed way we always find solutions to problems. I think the main feature on my tours is the enthusiasm. I am a local guide in the city of Lisbon, but I know Portugal and islands well and for this reason, if you need a guide and want to get to know Portugal in a more exciting, curious and historical way. Getting to know Lisbon in a relaxed way and telling you travel story. Storytellers, is one of the main objectives was Tour Guide. I make the difference because of my experience and knowledge of 11 years in this market of tour guiding. Unfortunately, the profession of official guide is not accredited in Portugal, making anyone who has historical knowledge, tour guides. There are only two entities accredited in Portugal Snatti and Agic. I am a member of Snatti. My business is due to 3 big sections: Walk Tours, Daytrips and multi days tours. I have a variety of themes in my tours: Cultural, gastronomic, historical, street art, nature, wineries, etc.                                                                                                                                  

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