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Spain or Portugal? Both or just one? American travelers ask this when planning a trip. Here’s our take:

Spain or Portugal? Both or just one? American travelers ask this when planning a trip.

Here’s our take:


Food – Spain has tapas! Jamon, queso, and croquetas. And it is good! Portugal has regional cuisine – cod fish, grilled fish, and lots of veggies. Dining out cost less in Portugal, though. With variety and greens – we have to give the advantage to Portugal!

Language – Many Americans speak a little Spanish, and while pronunciation varies from province to province, it is easy to get by. Portuguese is a much harder language to pronounce – and while a few words will help, understanding takes some serious study. But, while English is widely spoke across Portugal, it is less common in Spain, so we have to say advantage to Portugal!

Wines – Spain has rioja and lots of great reads, whites and sparking cava. Portugal has more than 200 indigenous grapes and 20-regions - advantage to Portugal!

Roads –Spain has very good highways, and a lot fewer tolls than Portugal. Both nations have extensive road networks, but it costs less to drive on highways in Spain… advantage to Spain!

Beer – There is only one way to put this; Spanish beer is awful – metallic and flat, sorry but advantage to Portugal!

Rail network – Spain has more high-speed rail, and both nations have very good affordable networks of rail. But, train in Portugal cost less, and you can usually get tickets the day of travel, not the case in Spain, so advantage to Portugal!

Coffee – The best coffee is Spain is by Delta, a Portuguese company, and so advantage to Portugal!

Shopping – both nation have great regional products, lot of local pride and tradition– this ahs to be a tie.

So, our informal poll seems to give the advantage to Portugal! What do you think? Weigh in!


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Edouard Bustin

Lisbon easily beats Madrid (or Barcelona) for charm - but not for museums. And Portugal has no match for Granada, Cordoba, Sevilla or Toledo. Both countries, however, are worth visiting (and returning to!) - and can be on a single (extended) driving trip.

ps: I will refrain from commenting on the food (although Spain probably has an edge on that score)

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