Simple Portuguese words and phrases for traveling in Portugal

Being able to say some simple Portuguese words and phrases will help you connect with locals more easily. When you attempt to use their language, it shows a level of respect for their culture. It’s also a lot easier to start a conversation with a local if you can say hello and introduce yourself in Portuguese.

Simple Portuguese Greetings

These words are simple enough for everyone to master.

  • Hi/Hello Oi/Olá 
  • Good morning Bom dia
  • Good afternoon Boa tarde
  • Good evening Boa noite
  • Bye Tchau

Polite phrases

Learn all of these – nobody likes to be rude.

  • Excuse me Com licença
  • I’m sorry Desculpa
  • Do you speak English? Fala inglês?
  • I only speak a little Portuguese – Só falo um pouco de português
  • Can you repeat that please? – Pode repetir, por favor?
  • Please Por favor
  • Thank you “Obrigada/o.” Use Obrigada if you are female, and Obrigado if you are male.
Belem food market

Shopping and dining in Portugal

  • How much does this cost? Quanto custa?
  • I’d like to make a reservation Queria fazer uma reserva
  • I’d like to book a table Queria reservar uma mesa
  • Do you have a table for 2? Queria uma mesa para 2 pessoas (just substitute “2” for the number of people you need a table for).
  • The menu, please O cardápio, por favor.
  • Do you have a vegetarian option? Você tem uma opção vegetariana?
  • Could you bring me some …… (towels, bread, sugar, etc.) Pode trazer (mais)… (add ‘mais’) if you want to add the word ‘more.’
  • We’d like….. Queríamos …
  • A bottle uma garrafa
  • Água — Water
  • Vinho — Wine
  • Cerveja — Beer
  • I’d like a beer – Uma cerveja, por favor
  • Could you bring me the bill, please? Queria pagar
  • Where is the bathroom? Onde fica a casa de banho?
Portugal Cafe
Being able to order a drink or simple snack will make you feel more like a local

Portuguese words to use for travel and tickets

  • Where does this train/bus go? Para onde vai esse trem/ônibus? 
  • How do I get to…? Como chego ao (à)…
  • Could you tell me how to get to the ___ Pode me dizer como chegar no/na_____ ? 
Portugual train station

Of course, these words and phrases are only a tiny number of those used in everyday greetings and conversations. But depending upon which other languages you speak, it can be easy to pick up a lot of Portuguese quickly.

If you would like to learn some more Portuguese before you visit, there are plenty of options from printed language guides to websites and apps.

Porto guide books

Learn Online

Convenient, simple, and provided to you in little bites – modern online learning apps and courses are often free – or at least to start out with. They are also created like games are -to quickly reward you for your successes to motivate you to keep learning.

Here are a few great options if you’d like to feel a little more comfortable in the Portuguese language before your trip:

  1. Duolingo – This is always where I start with a new language. Duolingo is free and it makes learning a language fun.
  2. Memrise – Also free, Memrise has tiny videos of people speaking the words so you can see their expressions and the way they say the words. It’s also true to the speed that Portuguese speak.
  3. PortuguesePod101.com – there are lots of free lessons to get you started with this well-structured course and you can then pay a small amount to keep learning.