Don't Be the Ugly American

With views like this Algarve beachfront, you shouldn't ever tire. But if jetlag gets the best of you, trust us: stifle that yawn. (PhotoDisc)

The Portuguese are remarkable people, who also happen NOT to be Spanish. Don't confuse that simple fact, follow these tips, and you'll be fine:

  • Greeting people here is slightly different to neighboring Spain, and a bit confusing. So we'll tell you this: always extend your hand to shake the hand of the person you are greeting. If it is a woman, presume that you will kiss her cheek, but wait until she offers.
  • Do not yawn or stretch in public; it's considered extremely disrespectful and will garner glares from onlookers.
  • Never eat with your fingers or lick them no matter how tasty that sauce is. This rule changes slightly only if everyone else is doing so—which is extremely rare.

Published: 13 May 2005 | Last Updated: 7 Nov 2012
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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