10 interesting facts about Portugal

Portugal

Portugal is currently one of the trendiest holiday destinations in the world.

We always knew and believed in the potential of this country by the sea, that’s why we have been dedicating ourselves to hotel management for over three decades and to the comfort and well-being of each one of the guests that visit us every day.

Besides our famous passion for cod, fado and fotball, Portugal is a country of nice and welcoming people, with a unique gastronomy, an enviable climate and a history filled with great achievements and victories.

On the other hand, we are a country with a wide offer of tourist experiences, suitable for all tastes and preferences. Because of all this, Portugal is a destination that raises more and more curiosity throughout the world – to the people that visit us and return home willing to come back.

  1. The first bookshop in the world opened in 1732, in Lisbon: Bertrand.

  2. The famous Japanese “tempura” dish originated in Portugal.

  3. Portugal has literally more than 1000 diferent cod recipes.

  4. With the Treaty of Tordesillas, signed in 1494, half of the world territory officialy belonged to Portugal.

  5. Portuguese is the official language of 9 countries: Portugal, Brazil, Cape Verde, Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, São Tomé and Principe, East Timor and Equatorial Guinea.

  6. Portugal is the oldest country in Europe.

  7. More than 50% of the cork production takes place in Portugal

  8. The biggest wave in the world was surfed in Nazaré by the Brazilian surfer Rodrigo Koxa.

  9. One of the oldest European universities is in Portugal, the University of Coimbra, built in 1290.

  10. Portuguese fado was considered intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

5 tips for travelling with kids

We can’t deny that travelling with kids is a challenge. But is it really that complicated? To be truly relaxed during your holidays, check out these five tips.

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We all spend the year thinking about our holidays. But when two become three (or more), plans can change a little bit! 

We can’t deny that travelling with kids is a challenge. But is it really that complicated? To be truly relaxed during your holidays, check out these five tips.

  1. Choose your seat on the plane

Unfortunately, there aren’t many airlines with specific seats for children or babies. If you fly with one of those companies, choose the back seats of the airplane. The seats are usually larger and that area is usually emptier. Besides, you will be closer to the bathrooms and there is always a flight attendant nearby.

  1. Choose a night schedule for long flights

If your flight is a long one, book it for the evening when the children are more tired. This way, the child will sleep during most of the flight. If the flight is short and during the day, take some small toys with you. Choose toys that don’t make noise, so as not to disturb the other passengers. Bring along some of their favourite toys or even new ones to surprise and grab their attention. Two or three are more than enough, you don’t need to bring them all!

 

  1. Talk to your children

Explain to the kids what will happen during the flight and how they should behave in this type of situation. If they are scared, comfort them and explain that you will always be by their side. Be sure to share the trip’s itinerary with them, which countries you will be visiting and what type of things you will be seeing and doing. This way, they will definitely feel like they are part of this journey and be much more motivated.

  1. Plan activities for the entire family

Choose the trip’s programme taking into account the entire family. Research the best places to visit in the city with children. If you travel to Porto, you must go to Sea Life; and in Lisbon, be sure to check out the Oceanarium.

  1. Choose the perfect hotel

If planning the places to visit and what to do during your trip is essential, making sure your children get proper rest is also a key factor for the success of your trip. Book family-friendly rooms, where there are toys and a place for the children to play and rest comfortably. At the HF Hotels, we have services and spaces dedicated to young children included in our HF Family rooms. In Lisbon or in Porto, choose what’s best for your needs as a family!

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With these tips, what are you waiting for to travel with your kids? Lisbon and Porto are two wonderful cities to visit with your family! We can’t wait to welcome you! And don’t forget: feel at home!

Learn more at www.hfhotels.com

Escape from tourist tours with a trip with your better-half

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An experience that has everything to go well (apart from a few arguments on the way)!

A group tour is not always the best way to discover a city during your holidays. Besides that, if you want the trip mood to be more romantic, there are alternatives to tours that certainly will remain in your memory as special moments.

  • Picnic in a park or garden

We love this idea in addition to providing a pleasant moment with your better-half, it is an excellent way to enjoy nature together.

Spend some time planning: what to take to eat and drink? Will the weather be nice? What is the best spot?

  • Bike trip through the city

At the Riverside, at the park or in the streets of the city centre, a bike trip is an excellent way to discover more about the city that you choose for your holidays. Get lost in time and space, and enjoy this moment with your better-half.

Tip: take a break and have a refreshing and relaxing drink!

  • Watch the sunset

The sunset is one of the most romantic moments of the day, no doubt about it! It is a thoughful moment, where we can dedicate ourselves to contemplating the beauty and calm of those magical minutes. Whether at the beach, on a rooftop – HF Hotel’s rooftops are an amazing choice! – or at the top of a mountain, don’t miss the opportunity to watch a sunset in your holidays, always with the best company possible.

  • Do an extreme activity

And why not taking a chance with an unconventional plan? Look for a extreme activities in the place of your holidays and experimente something new as a couple. Plenty of ideas: parachute jumping, climbing or sliding. Lokok for an adventure!

  • Share a gastronomic experience

Discovering a new place means, besides visiting monuments, also trying the local food. Book a restaurant where they serve typical food and choose the strangest dishes in the menu. It wil be a memorable moment on your trip!

 

Do you like our suggestions? Our recommendation it is to travel – a lot – in a romantic manner, with your love, but take some aspects into account. The most importante thing in a trips as a couple is to ensure that the choices are made by the two since the place, the hotels and the type of holidays that both want to have.

Have fun!

Learn more at www.hfhotels.com

Teresa Vieira | 26 years of dedication to the HF Hotels

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Part of the HF Hotels family since 1992, Teresa Vieira – or Teresa to us – is currently the general housekeeper of the HF Ipanema Park and HF Ipanema Porto hotels.

Teresa was only 18 years old when she started working as a hotel and laundry maid in a hotel in Switzerland.

Later on, she returned to Portugal and discovered the HF Ipanema Park, the hotel that quickly became her new home.

She soon stood out thanks to her effort and commitment and, after only 6 months, she took the position of night housekeeper, a job she held for 13 years.

In 2005, she was invited to be the general housekeeper of the HF Ipanema Park hotel, a job she still carries out today!

“I love what I do, no doubt about it! There are some good days and some bad days, as in every other job, but I really love what I do.”

In her current role, Teresa assures us that every day is an adventure and that her daily work is never boring.

Because she’s been following the evolution of this industry over many years, Teresa mentions that the level of demand is increasingly higher.

“The client is more and more demanding and we to answer to that reality, we cannot fail!”

Teresa feels proud for achieving all the challenges she faces, together with her team of “girls”, as she warmly calls them.

“Every morning, I do a briefing with the girls to discuss the previous day, what went wrong, what we need to improve… Or to congratulate them, because there are many positive things in their work and I like to acknowledge them. To me, that recognition is very important!”

Every day, Teresa arrives an hour early to the hotel, to silently organise and focus on her work.

“I put the laundry machines working, organise the schedules and, afterwards, I just need to distribute the tasks among the team.”

The rest of the day is spent in the common areas, the rooms and even the swimming pool. Every day, she goes through the hotel’s many spaces, in order to control and guarantee that everything is in top condition, whether in terms of cleanliness or maintenance.

Always aiming to provide a service of excellence to the HF guests, since 2013 she is also general housekeeper of the HF Ipanema Porto hotel.

Thank you for your dedication Mrs. Vieira!

6 bars for a night out in Lisbon

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If you’re in Lisbon and are spending the day exploring the city’s fantastic historical monuments and landscapes, don’t forget to save some energy for discovering all the diversity that the Lisbon’s nightlife has to offer.

With every visit, Lisbon, one of the most coveted European capitals, opens itself up like a little box of surprises.

With breathtaking landscapes and places that overflow with culture and history, the Portuguese capital has something for every tourist or resident – as long as there is a thirst for life!

And because at night Lisbon is even more unique, if you really want to get to know this capital’s true mystique, you must have a drink at one of these (practically) mandatory spots in the city:

Lux Frágil

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Where? Avenida Infante D. Henrique, Armazém A, Lisbon

Opening hours: Thursdays and Fridays from 11.00 pm to 6.00 pm; Saturdays from 11.00 pm to 7.00 am

One of oldest nightclubs in Lisbon, Lux Frágil is a must-stop for fans of a great night out.

In 2014, The Guardian considered it one of the 25 best clubs in Europe. It is located on the banks of the Tagus river and offers 2 floors of electronic music and a magnificent balcony that invites anyone who can handle it, to dance until sunrise!

Onair

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Where? Rua Joaquim António de Aguiar, 5, Lisbon

Opening hours: Thursdays and Fridays from 11.00 pm to 6.00 pm; Saturdays from 11.00 pm to 7.00 am

Right in front of the emblematic Marquês de Pombal, on the 8th floor of HF Fénix Music, the rooftop bar Onair features a swimming pool and a lounge bar, with the best panoramic view over the city.

Although the swimming pool is only for the use of guests, this oasis is also open to the public starting at 7.30 pm and allows you to watch the sunset to the sound of concerts that occur from Thursday to Sunday, accompanied by Onair’s signature cocktails.

Red Frog

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Where? Rua do Salitre, 5A, Lisbon

Opening hours: Mondays to Thursdays, from 6.00 pm to 2.00 am; Fridays and Saturdays, from 6.00 pm to 3.00 am

Behind a discreet wooden door with a red frog hanging from it and a bell that says “Press for cocktail”, you’ll find the place that was considered the best bar in the country, the Red Frog!

Completely inspired by the clandestine bars of the United States during the 20th century – due to the Prohibition ban – this “speakeasy” is also an ode to cocktails, where all of them are signature.

This is the only Portuguese bar on the list of the best bars in the world and it’s located in a basement, without any natural light and almost no cell phone reception, which means mingling is key and where it is expected that, more than just a simple night out, the customer enjoys a true experience.

Lust in Rio

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Where? Rua da Cintura do Porto de Lisboa, Lisbon

Opening hours: Thursdays to Saturdays from midnight to 6.00 am

In the Tagus riverside, Lust in Rio comes to life during the bathing season.

Open from Thursday to Sunday during the summer months, Lust in Rio is an outdoor space in the Cais do Sodré area that attracts crowds, thanks to its theme parties and all night long animation.

It is currently one of the most sought out night spots in Lisbon and has a varied agenda with DJs and guests that make every night even more fun than the last.

Cinco Lounge

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Where? Rua Ruben A. Leitão, 17 A, Lisbon

Opening hours: Mondays to Sundays from 9.00 pm to 2.00 am

Located in Príncipe Real, is the classic – but not out of style! – Cinco Lounge.

With a London vibe and low lighting, you’ll find cocktails for everyone, alcoholic and non-alcoholic. In a quiet atmosphere with calm background music, Cinco Lounge creates a serene environment where everyone can enjoy their drink until the last drop, without having to rush.

Perfect for all ages, it’s the ideal place to start off your night or to simply enjoy a quieter evening.

Maria Caxuxa

Where? Rua da Barroca 6-12, Lisbon

Opening hours: Mondays to Thursdays, from 6.00 pm to 2.00 am; Fridays and Saturdays, from 6.00 pm to 3.00 am

Opening hours: Mondays to Thursdays, from 6.00 pm to 2.00 am; Fridays and Saturdays, from 6.00 pm to 3.00 am

What was once a cake factory is now one of the busiest bars in the mythical Bairro Alto. With a calm, relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, Maria Caxuxa is the ideal place for those looking for something a little less intrusive or for those who just want to start the night off right. It has a retro décor with antique furniture, including a wood-burning oven that belonged to the old factory, and its main stars are cocktails and caipirinhas.

At the end of a long day of sightseeing and after an evening filled with emotions, be sure that at the HF Hotels you’ll find the comfort and relaxing atmosphere you need to rest and recover your energy. Benefit from a late check-out (subject to availability) and feel ready for one more day in this addicting city!

Learn more at www.hfhotels.com