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10 things not to say in Porto

Updated: Apr 18, 2023

It is not easy to start a new life in a new country: learning a new language, new customs and traditions can be difficult, and we can all make mistakes and say the wrong thing at the wrong time or in the wrong place.

Since Porto is one of the most popular destinations in Portugal and the tripeiros (the people of Porto) take great pride in their lifestyle, we are here to help you make friends without difficulty. Here are 10 things not to say in Porto, so as not to offend the locals:

1. “You speak Spanish, right? "

It is well known that Spain and Portugal are two different countries with two different languages, but it is very easy to think that Portuguese and Spanish are related, especially portunhol (a mixture of Portuguese and Spanish ) is spoken in some places on the border. As Porto is not at the border, some people may be upset if you imply that they speak Spanish – they are so proud of their language. So to avoid trouble, if in doubt, remember that they speak Portuguese.

2. “Would not you rather live in Lisbon? "

Here is something you should know: There is a strong rivalry between the people of Porto and Lisbon, which ranges from culture to football (soccer) (Fc Porto, Boavista in Porto vs Benfica, Sporting Club in Lisbon). Porto is a great city of art, culture, gastronomy, business, science, and gastronomy. The very idea that any other city in Portugal (especially Lisbon) could be better than it can be very offensive.

3. Affirm that francesinha is the best dish in Porto.

We know that francesinha is a delicious and must-try dish if you are in Porto. But there are a lot more things you don't know about Porto cuisine. Instead of talking about francesinha to a tripeiro, ask him what his favourite dishes are, which ones he would recommend or what traditional Portuguese dishes you should not miss and you will be surprised by the incredible local gastronomic variety, ranging from enchidos (different types of sausage-like meats) with bacalhau (fish cod) through the traditional tripas à moda do Porto.

4. Forget the pints.

In Portugal, tall beer glasses do not mean beer is better. If you want to blend in with the locals, you better order a small draft beer, called fino, or a bottled beer.

5. Order a glass of Porto wine for dinner.

No is no. Porto wine is the pride and glory of tripeiros, but it should be drunk with dessert or on special occasions. If you do not want to horrify the locals, order a red wine from the Douro region or Vinho Verde to accompany your meal and then a glass of port at the end of the meal, with your dessert.

6. "I am on a diet"

In Porto, diets do not exist. And that is all. So, if you want to explore the flavours of the local gastronomy, get ready to run a few more km to the gym to make room for all that delicious food. Plus, the locals take great pride in their cuisine, so try to finish your plate.

7. "It's not expensive! "

In Portugal, everything seems inexpensive to tourists in general. But remember that the prices reflect the economy of the country and the purchasing power of the people. Something that at first glance seems very cheap to you may, but not for locals, so be quiet about it.

8. "Let's get drunk"

The people of Porto drink, and some even a lot, but think again, they do not go out to get drunk. Going out, especially on weekends, can sometimes last until the early hours of the morning and since everyone likes to have fun without overdoing the good stuff, do not get carried away (although it can happen).

9. "I don't drink"

"Nem oito, nem oitenta" - neither 8 nor 80, or "neither too much nor not enough". Here is the philosophy of the Portuguese and their way of life. You have to know how to appreciate good things without overdoing them, and this goes for the cuisine and the wine of the country. As we said before, the Portuguese don't have to be drunk to have fun, but they know how to have fun.

10. “He said a bad word! "

The inhabitants of Porto use a lot of profanity, it is a cultural fact. So if you are not a fan of it, it can create a bit of an awkward situation as they might feel criticized, thinking you think they are rude. If you do not like to swear words, do not, but we recommend that you do not point your finger at anyone who says a bad word. It is rude to swear.

Believe us, these tips will make your new life in Porto easier!

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