48 Interesting Facts About Portugal

Last updated on November 16th, 2017

#29. Portugal is best known for its distinctive Late-Gothic Manueline architecture.

#30. “Ar de Rock” by Rui Veloso, which was released in 1980, was the first popular Portuguese rock song.

#31. After the Carnation Revolution in 1974, Portugal regained its freedom of speech.

#32. More than 275,000 residents died in 1755 in an earthquake considered to be one of the biggest earthquakes that occurred in Lisbon. The earthquake was followed by a tsunami and devastating fires across the capital city.

#33. The average age of first-time mothers in Portugal is 29.2 years.

#34. Portugal had the biggest wave ever surfed. In 2011, Hawaiian Garret McNamara set a world record by surfing a wave that was 90 feet high.

#35. On May 31, 2010, same-sex marriage was legalized in Portugal. Thus, it became the sixth country in Europe to do so.

#36. The Anglo-Portuguese Alliance is the oldest alliance in the world that is still in force… Yeah, that’s true!

#37. Os Lusíadas (by Luís de Camões) is the national epic of Portugal.

#38. Christmas can be sunny and even warm in Portugal, as it receives more than 300 days of sunshine annually!

#39. In 1761, Portugal became the first colonial power to abolish slavery, doing so almost 50 years before Britain, France, Spain or the United States.

#40. Bertrand bookshop, located in Lisbon, Portugal, is the oldest operating bookshop. It has been in operation since 1732. The Portuguese also discovered Brazil. 

Facts about famous Portuguese people

#41. Christiano Ronaldo (world famous footballer) was born in Santo António, Portugal in 1985. No doubt, football is the most popular sport in the country.

#42. Vasco da Gama, a Portuguese explorer, was the first European to reach India by sea.

#43. The oldest director in the world–Manoel de Oliveira–who continued to make films until his death on April 2, 2015, was also Portuguese. He was 106 years old at the time of his death.

#44. In 1998, José Saramago, was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. There are a total of four Nobel Prize winners from the country. The other three are: Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo (Peace 1996), José Ramos-Horta (peace 1996) and António Caetano de Abreu Freire Egas Moniz (Physiology or Medicine, 1949).

#45. Some Pioneering Portuguese explorers include: Henry the Navigator, Vasco da Gama and Álvares Cabral. The work of these explorers helped the country become a political, economic and military power (during the 15th and 16th centuries).

#46. The first documented balloon flight in Europe was by the Brazilian-Portuguese priest Bartolomeu de Gusmão. On August 8, 1709, in Lisbon, Portugal.

#47. Gil Vicent–considered the first Portuguese playwright–is also called the father of Portuguese theater.

#48. Maria João Pires is a notable pianist from the country.

Portugal – country at a glance

Independence1143 (Kingdom of Portugal recognized); 5 October 1910 (republic proclaimed)
Capital CityLisbon
(38°46′N 9°9′W)
Largest CityLisbon
(38°46′N 9°9′W)
Total area92,090 sq km
Population10,833,816 (July 2016 est.)
Official LanguagePortuguese
CurrencyEuro (EUR)
ReligionRoman Catholicism
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Literacy rate95.7%
Life expectancy79.3 years (2016)
Life expectancy at birth indicates the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life.
Government typesemi-presidential republic
PresidentMarcelo Rebelo de Sousa
Prime MinisterAntónio Costa
Climatemaritime temperate; cool and rainy in north, warmer and drier in south
Terrainthe west-flowing Tagus River divides the country: the north is mountainous toward the interior, while the south is characterized by rolling plains
Natural resourcesfish, forests (cork), iron ore, copper, zinc, tin, tungsten, silver, gold, uranium, marble, clay, gypsum, salt, arable land, hydropower
Agricultural land39.7%
Birth rate9.1 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate11.1 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Sex ratio0.96 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
National symbolarmillary sphere (a spherical astrolabe modeling objects in the sky and representing the Republic)
National colorsred, green
National holidayPortugal Day (Dia de Portugal), 10 June (1580); note - also called Camoes Day, the day that revered national poet Luis de Camoes (1524-80) died
National anthem"A Portugesa" (The Song of the Portuguese)
Industriestextiles, clothing, footwear, wood and cork, paper and pulp, chemicals, lubricants, automobiles and auto parts, base metals, minerals, porcelain and ceramics, glassware, technology, telecommunications; dairy products, wine, other foodstuffs; ship construction and refurbishment; tourism, plastics, financial services, optics
Exports$52.2 billion (2016 est.)
agricultural products, foodstuffs, wine, oil products, chemical products, plastics and rubber, hides, leather, wood and cork, wood pulp and paper, textile materials, clothing, footwear, machinery and tools, base metals
Imports$61.7 billion (2016 est.)
agricultural products, chemical products, vehicles and other transport material, optical and precision instruments, computer accessories and parts, semiconductors and related devices, oil products, base metals, food products, textile materials
GDP - per capita (PPP)$28,500 (2016 est.)
Time ZoneWET (UTC)
Internet country code.pt
Calling Code+351
Drives on theRight
Data sourcesCIA, Wikipedia
Table last updatedAugust 26, 2017