Portuguese Phrases for Travel
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Portuguese Phrases for Travel | The Essentials (with PDF!)

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If you are planning to visit Brazil or Portugal, it is a good idea to learn a few essential phrases before your trip. You’ll find that outside of those who work directly in tourism, often English is not very widely spoken. And this is particularly true in Brazil. As a Latin Romance language, it may feel similar to those of you who speak or know some Spanish. I know that this fact (and this list) helped me a lot as I learned to speak Portuguese at the B1 level recently. This post will cover the essential Portuguese phrases for travel, so I recommend you save this post for your trip! 

Background Information on Portuguese

Believe it or not, the Portuguese language is the sixth most spoken language in the world, coming in right after Hindu and Bengali. There are 274 million speakers of Portuguese around the globe, and it is the official language of 9 countries across Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas.

The countries where Portuguese is an official language are:

  • Portugal
  • Brazil
  • Cape Verde
  • Angola
  • Mozambique
  • Guinea-Bissau 
  • São Tome and Príncipe 
  • East Timor
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Macau

As a Romance language, it is derived from Latin. And while Latin is the core of the language, it was influenced by the Hispano-Celtic languages that were there before the Romans, as well as the languages of the Germanic tribes that conquered the area after the Romans and the Arabs who followed them. 

An interesting fact about Portuguese is that while it is a syllable-timed language in Brazil (like most Romance languages), it is a stress-timed language in Portugal (like English). All of this essentially means that while every sound and syllable is pronounced in Brazilian Portuguese, in European Portuguese, the vowel sounds are often clipped, making it a bit harder to understand for the non-native speaker. Brazilian Portuguese sounds like a melodious romance language, but European Portuguese sounds honestly a bit like Russian. But, while words may sound a bit different, overall the core vocabulary of the language is the same across the world. 

Fun Fact: Speakers of Portuguese are referred to as Lusophones, as the area where Portugal is inhabited was called Lusitania by the ancient Romans. 

Portuguese Phrases for Travel PDF

This PDF of Portuguese Phrases is the ultimate guide for all the common phrases that you might use while traveling through a Portuguese-speaking country, like Brazil or Portugal. 

Grab my free Ebook

Portuguese Phrases PDF

This free download includes all the key Portuguese phrases that you will need for your travels to Brazil, Portugal, and other Portuguese-speaking countries. In addition, get details on the best resources to improve your speaking and listening skills as well.

The Essential Portuguese Phrases for Travel 

Below are the phrases that you’ll use most when traveling Brazil, Portugal, and more Portuguese-speaking countries.

Portuguese Greetings

Below are basic Portuguese greetings you’d use to greet or say goodbye to locals:   

  • Hello – Olá
  • Hi – Oi
  • Good morningBom dia
  • Good afternoon – Boa tarde
  • Good night / evening – Boa noite
  • Goodbye Tshau / adeus
  • What is your name? – Qual é o seu nome?
  • My name is… – Meu nome é…
  • Nice to meet you – Muito prazer 
  • Have a great day! – Tenha um ótimo dia
  • See you later – Até logo 
  • How are you? – Tudo bem? 
  • And you? – E você? 
  • I’m fine / I’m well – Tudo bem / Eu Estou bem
  • Very well – Muito bem
Rio De Janiero City Skyline
With your Portuguese, you’ll be able to easily get around places like Rio De Janeiro.

Basic Portuguese Phrases

Basic phrases are those you’d use most frequently, outside of greetings.

  • Yes – Sim
  • No – Não
  • Thank you – Obrigada (o)
  • Thanks a lot – Muito obrigada (o)
  • You’re welcome – De nada
  • Excuse me – Desculpe / Com licença
  • I’m sorry – Eu sinto muito
  • Do you speak English? – Você fala inglês? 
  • I don’t speak Portuguese – Eu não falo portugues. 
  • I don’t understand – Não entendo. 
  • Please – Por favor
  • Slowly – Devagar 
  • Repeat – Repita
  • Where is the bathroom? – Onde fica o banheiro? (Brazil); Onde é a casa de banho? (Portugal)
  • How much does it cost? – Quanto custa? 
  • Boa viagem – Have a nice trip!

Days, Months, and Time in Portuguese

The days of the week and all other phrases related to telling time. Something to note is that Monday – Friday are known as ordinal market days (feira). 

Days/Week in Portuguese

  • Day – Dia
  • Week – Semana
  • Sunday – Domingo
  • Monday – Segunda-feira
  • Tuesday – Terça-feira
  • Wednesday – Quarta-feira
  • Thursday – Quinta-feira
  • Friday – Sexta-feira
  • Saturday – Sábado

Months/Year in Portuguese

  • Month – Mes
  • Year – Ano
  • January – janeiro
  • February – fevereiro
  • March – março
  • April – abril
  • May – maio
  • June – junho
  • July – julho
  • August – agosto
  • September – setembro
  • October – outubro
  • November – novembro
  • December – dezembro

Telling Time in Portuguese

  • Minute – Minuto
  • Hour – Hora
  • Time – hora / Tempo
  • What time is it? – Que horas são? 
  • It is 1:00 – É uma hora. 
  • It is 2:00 / 3:00 – São duas horas/ três horas.
  • What day is today? – O que dia é hoje? 
  • What date? – O que data?
  • Tomorrow – Amanhã
  • Yesterday – Ontem
  • Day before yesterday – Anteontem
  • Morning – Manhã
  • Midday – Meio-dia
  • Midnight – Meia-noite
  • Night – Noite
  • (Three days) ago – Faz (três dias) 
  • Last week – A semana passada
  • Today – Hoje
  • Now – Agora

Numbers in Portuguese

One – Um / UmaSixteen – Dezesseis
Two – Dois/ DuasSeventeen – Dezessete
Three – TrêsEighteen – Dezoito
Four – QuatroNineteen – Dezenove
Five  – CincoTwenty – Vinte
Six – SeisTwenty-one – Vinte e um
Seven – SeteThirty – Trenta
Eight – OitoForty – Quarenta
Nine – NoveFifty – Cinquenta
Ten – DezSixty – Sesenta
Eleven – OnzeSeventy – Setenta
Twelve – DozeEighty – Oitenta
Thirteen – TrezeNinety – Noventa
Fourteen – QuatorzeOne hundred – Cem
Fifteen – QuinzeOne hundred and one – cento e um

Directions in Portuguese

Phrases and words for getting around town.

  • Where is…? – Onde fica….?
  • The bank – O banco
  • The museum – O museu 
  • The park – O parque
  • The hospital – O hospital
  • The airport – O aeroporto
  • The church – A igreja 
  • How do you get to…? – Como se vai a…?
  • Left – esquerda
  • Right – Dereita 
  • Straight – Dereito 
  • Turn to the... – Vire a…
  • How far away is…? – A que distância fica o hospital?
  • It is two blocks away – Fica a dois quateirões
  • It is five minutes away – Fica a cinco minutos
  • What is the address? – Qual é o endereço?
People walking through the streets in Lisbon.
Your new language skills will help you in places like Portugal as well!

Transportation-Related Phrases in Portuguese

Phrases and words for traveling to further destinations. 

  • By bus – De ônibus
  • By train  – De trem
  • By car  – De carro
  • By plane  – De avião
  • By subway/metro – De metrô
  • Where is the train station? – Onde fica a estação de trem? 

Phrases for Eating Out in Portuguese

Phrases and words to use when looking for or eating good food.

  • Restaurant – O restaurante
  • Breakfast – Café da manhã
  • Lunch – O almorço
  • Dinner – O Jantar
  • Appetizer – Aperitivo
  • Main Course – Prato principal
  • Desert – Sobremesa
  • What do you recommend? – O que você recomenda? 
  • I would like (to order) – Eu gostaria…
  • The bill please – A conta por favor

Pronunciation Tips for Brazilian Portuguese

There are some unique things about Brazilian Portuguese that will make things much easier as you start to learn a bit of the language. Correct pronunciation will be tough as a beginner, but with practice you will get better. Here are the tips that have helped me the most:

  • Pronouncing “di” and “de” – “Di” in words like “Dia” is pronounced as though it were spelled with a “gi”. The same goes for “de” in words like devegar and dereito
  • Pronouncing “ti” and “te”Both “ti” and “te” may sound like the “ch” sound (most often at least). You can  see examples of this in words like bastante (bastan-che) or tinha (cheen-ya)
  • Final “m” sound – The final “m” in a word is mainly silent, and is an indicator to make the penultimate syllable more nasal
  • Pronouncing “r” – When a word begins with “r” it will be pronounced more like a hard “h” sound in English. The same goes for the double “rr” in the middle of a word. A single “r” in the middle of the word is similar to the Spanish one with a slight roll, and the final “r” may be pronounced similarly, like an “h”, or in some regions, exactly like the American English final “r” sound. So you have a few options there!
  • Pronouncing “nh” – This should more or less equate to the ñ in Spanish or the “gn” we sometimes see in borrowed English words like “gnocchi” or lasagna. 
  • Final syllable ã – This is another indicator that the word is ending with a nasal sound. Seen in words like amanhã or irmã. 
  • Pronouncing “lh” – This is slightly similar to the “ll” in Spanish or “y” in English, but keeps more of the “l” sound. Seen in words like brilhante

Here is a video that talks about Portuguese pronunciation:

For more information, here is a webpage that explains this subject in more depth.

FAQs About Learning Portuguese

How much Portuguese do I need to know to visit Portugal?

While English is widely spoken in some tourist areas and major cities of Portugal, knowing some basic Portuguese can enhance your travel experience. Key phrases and common courtesies such as “Obrigado” (Thank you), and “Por favor” (Please) can be helpful. However, it is not necessary to be fluent in Portuguese to visit Portugal.

How much Portuguese do I need to know to visit Brazil?

Similar to Portugal, Brazil has some English speakers in major cities and touristic areas, but the average person is unlikely to speak English well. You should plan to learn basic phrases for navigation, dining, and emergencies. Fluency is not required, but you will have a better experience if you learn key phrases before your trip.

What is the difference between European and Brazilian Portuguese?

European and Brazilian Portuguese differ primarily in pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar. European Portuguese is a stress-timed language while Brazilian Portuguese is a syllable-timed language. Also, two dialects exhibit differences in colloquial speech and formal writing, making them distinct yet mutually intelligible.

How do you say hello in Lisbon?

In Lisbon, which is in Portugal, you can say hello by saying “Olá”. This is a standard greeting in Portuguese, applicable at any time of the day. If you want to specifically say “Good morning”, you can use “Bom dia”.

How do you say hello in Rio?

In Rio, which is in Brazil, you can say hello by saying “Oi”. This is a common informal greeting in Brazilian Portuguese. For a more formal greeting or to say “Good morning”, you can use “Bom dia”.

Why is Brazilian Portuguese easier?

Brazilian Portuguese is often perceived as nominally easier due to its more clear pronunciation and usage rules. There’s a greater allowance for pronunciation errors, as well as a simpler vocabulary in some respects.

Grab my free Ebook

Portuguese Phrases PDF

This free download includes all the key Portuguese phrases that you will need for your travels to Brazil, Portugal, and other Portuguese-speaking countries. In addition, get details on the best resources to improve your speaking and listening skills as well.

Portuguese Phrases for Travel | Final Thoughts….

That completes my list of the basic Portuguese phrases for travel. I hope that this list serves as a useful guide when you venture out to any of the 9 countries where Portuguese is the official language! To get the most out of this list, you should practice often before taking your trip. This practice helped me tremendously when preparing for my trip.

If you would like additional practice, here are a few resources that I recommend that you check out: 

  • If you want to practice speaking with a real person for a very affordable price,  check out my favorite language resource,  iTalki. You can use this site to practice with a tutor, formal teacher, or others just seeking to do a language exchange (for free!). The paid lessons have very cheap options, with some as low as $5 an hour. Check it out!
  • Another fun way to learn is through watching video. Lingopie offers ways to learn new languages by watching videos at all levels of understanding to improve you listening comprehension. Check it out here

Related Posts on Brazil:

Related Posts on Portugal:

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Portuguese Phrases for Travel | The Essentials (with PDF!)

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