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Of course, there is no better way to learn língua portuguesa than to immerse yourself in the language in a Portuguese-speaking country. Your journey can begin with a couple of non-obvious travel destinations.
Best places in Portugal to learn Portuguese
For the cultural melting pot: Lisbon
With an average of 220 sunny days a year, Lisbon is called the City of Light for a reason. It’s no wonder that the warm yellow colour has become the symbol of the Portuguese capital since its sunny hue can be spotted frequently on buildings’ facades, tram cars, and azulejo tiles on the walls throughout the city.
There is also an exceptionally diverse art scene in Lisbon that blends seamlessly with its rich culture and striking architecture. Make sure to visit the Galeria de Arte Urbana (GAU), which allows street artists to exhibit their most daring works in a legal setting.
For medieval fans: Porto
A UNESCO World Heritage site nestled in the rolling hills of the Douro Valley, Porto offers the full set of popular city gems infused with a cosy village feel. It’s also famed for Vinho Do Porto, a Portuguese fortified wine. However, Porto’s views can easily get you in the mood without a single sip of alcohol.
Portugal’s second-largest city is a charming and colourful place with a medieval heart. To see it for yourself, take a stroll along the river in Ribeira, one of the oldest and liveliest areas in Porto.
For rediscovering your free spirit: Lagos
Lagos is a “forever young” city in the Barlavento region of the Algarve, in southern Portugal. A former trading port, it is famous for its stunning beaches outlined by jagged cliffs, rich Moorish architecture, and vibrant nightlife.
Bar-hopping is the best way to make new friends and practice Portuguese in Lagos. If dancing the night away is your cup of tea, check out the hottest spots recommended by locals — ZanziBar, Eddies, Three Monkeys Bar, and BARBOSA Bar & Kitchen.
Where to go to practice Portuguese other than Lisbon or Porto?
A colourful town offering a wealth of history, culture, and breathtaking views, Olinda is a must-see for anyone travelling through northern Brazil.
If you’re looking for a truly authentic experience, make sure to visit the Bodega de Véio, an old-fashioned bar in the heart of the city where you can have a glass of cachaça and sample codfish cakes at the ultimate Olinda locals’ meeting point.
With a laid-back, artsy vibe, the lifestyle of this Unesco World Heritage site is very inviting. Olinda boasts galleries, museums, quaint shops, colourful houses, and soul-lifting street music. Sometimes its beauty can leave you running out of words, even in English.
Macau (The Macao Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China)
In Macau, ornate temples stand side by side with Art Deco shophouses and Vegas-like casinos. This Portuguese-infused corner of Asia has a truly unique blend of architecture, gastronomy and culture which makes it distinct from other destinations.
Macau has over 30 galleries and museums so fellow art lovers will never be bored here. Macao Museum of Art, which hosts an expansive collection of traditional Chinese art, offers a glimpse into the history of the region.
Macau’s Art Space, for its part, promotes local cultural and creative industries. It is located in the heart of Taipa Village, one of the best-preserved areas of the city, which boasts architectural influences from China and Portugal.
Make sure to not miss out on Portuguese cobblestone paving! The wavy black and white mosaics of Macau’s central Senado Square are undoubtedly beautiful, but you’ll find striking calçada Portuguesa in many different forms and shapes throughout the entire city.
Maputo and Inhambane, Mozambique
With roughly 40% of the population speaking Portuguese, Mozambique has no other official language. However, people in this country also speak Swahili, Mwani, Chewa, Tsonga and other Bantu and Creole languages. Mozambique’s Portuguese has been greatly influenced by this melting pot of tongues. It borrows many exotic expressions from indigenous languages and slightly varies from the traditional European pronunciation.
Tempted to learn Portuguese in Africa’s urban jungle? Make Maputo your first stop. The city is vibrant yet relaxed, with bustling food stalls, wide tree-shaded avenues, and elegant Portuguese architecture scattered throughout.
Situated on Southeastern Africa’s coast, Mozambique boasts miles of gorgeous beaches and amazing diving spots. Its tropical climate makes Inhambane Province the ideal destination for learning Portuguese abroad while enjoying the beautiful weather all year round. Terra de Boa Gente, meaning Land of Good People in Portuguese, is the second name of Inhambane, and it aptly describes the city.
Diving in a new language gets only better when complemented with a real diving experience. Just 30 minutes drive from Inhambane lies Tofo, the scuba diving capital of the region. This spot is also popular with manta rays, white sharks, and humpback whales passing through the Mozambique Channel from the Antarctic. So make sure your GoPro is fully charged before heading out!
Learning Portuguese with Duolingo and Skyscanner FAQ
Duolingo is scientifically proven to help you improve your Portuguese, whether you are a beginner or a more advanced language user wishing to brush it up a bit while travelling.
Duolingo interactive game-like lessons are tailored to give you instant actionable feedback and expand your vocabulary in a fun way. You can achieve your Portuguese goals a few minutes at a time.
It is an official language in ten countries and territories, including Portugal, Brazil, Mozambique, Angola, Guinea-Bissau, East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, Macau, Cape Verde, and São Tomé and Príncipe.
It is estimated that there are 232 million native speakers of Portuguese around the world and about 258 million speakers in total. It’s the world’s ninth most spoken language, and the second most spoken Romance language (after Spanish).
With Duolingo Plus, you can learn Portuguese without ads while having full online and offline access to all lessons and keeping track of your progress.
Discover a brand new world of destinations and experiences through learning just one language with Duolingo!
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