7 Social Etiquettes in Portugal you should know about

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What is social etiquette?

Social etiquette is the rules and conventions governing our behavior in social situations. It covers everything from how we dress and groom ourselves to how we speak and interact with others.

Why is social etiquette important?

Adhering to social etiquette can make life more pleasant for everyone involved. It helps to create a more orderly and civil society and can prevent misunderstandings and hurt feelings. Good manners make us more likable and attractive to others, which can improve personal and professional relationships.

Of course, social etiquette isn't always easy to master. There are many rules to remember, which can vary depending on the situation. But it's worth making an effort, as it can make a big difference in our lives.

Good etiquette is especially important for those planning a relocation to Portugal. Things like tipping etiquette in Portugal and dining etiquette in Portugal might be more important than you realize.

Dining etiquette in Portugal

Food culture and dining etiquette in Portugal are huge. Not only is it one of the most delicious aspects of Portuguese life, but it's also full of dos and don'ts.

First, you must know that it's impolite to start eating before everyone at the table has been served. It's also considered impolite to reach across the table for something; instead, ask the person next to you to pass it.

Table manners in Portugal are very formal. For example, when at a formal dinner, men are expected to wait for the hostess to sit before taking their seats.

And it would help if you didn’t overlook the importance of the “Almoço de Familia,” the traditional family lunch on Sundays. These meals typically last all afternoon, so if you're invited to one, be honored, be on time and expect to stay awhile!

Tipping etiquette in Portugal

While eating at a restaurant, you should be aware of the tipping etiquette in Portugal. Generally, a service charge is included in the bill at most restaurants, so you don't need to tip extra.

However, if you feel like the service was exceptional, leaving a small tip (5-10%) is perfectly acceptable. Remember that Portugal is a cash-based society, so it's best to have some Euros on hand to give as a tip.

Dress code

Although Portugal is considered a more relaxed and laid-back country compared to its neighbors, there are still certain expectations regarding dress-code etiquette. It is known that Portuguese people like to dress nicely and will use their clothing as a display of wealth.

However, this can be considered a bit tacky when it comes to going overboard and wearing all luxury name-brand clothing to all kinds of events. One great way to describe the Portuguese dress code is laid back but classy and elegant.


In Portugal, greeting people with a warm and friendly attitude is considered good manners. The most common way to greet someone is by shaking their hand and saying "olá" (hello). If you are greeting someone you know well, you may kiss them on both cheeks. These kisses are called "beijinhos.”

Gift giving etiquettes

Gift-giving is a very important part of Portuguese culture and has several etiquettes that should be followed to show good manners. When giving a gift, it is important always to wrap it nicely and present it attractively. It is also considered polite to include a card with a personal message, even if you give the gift to someone you know well.

It is important to note that gender roles play a big part in Portuguese culture, which is reflected in gift-giving. For example, it is not considered proper for a man to give a woman jewelry unless they are married or engaged. Likewise, it is also considered rude to give someone a gift that is too expensive or lavish, as this could be seen as showing off.

Also, it's considered good manners to open your gift as soon as you receive it and thank the person who gave it to you, usually with a few of the friendly “beijinhos” we mentioned earlier.