• Portuguese people are usually very friendly and hospitable towards foreigners.
  • Body gesture expressiveness is not one of Portuguese main characteristics.
  • Initial greetings are reserved, yet polite and kind. Usually, greetings in Portugal consist of a firm handshake, direct eye contact and the appropriate greeting for the time of day (bom dia, meaning good morning, boa tarde as good afternoon and boa noite, meaning both good evening and good night).
  • Once a personal relationship has developed, greetings become more personal: men may greet each other with a handshake and women kiss both the men and each other twice on the cheek, starting with the right.
  • It is common to see people hugging in public, couples kissing and women interlocking arms with men while walking in the street.  Public displays of affection are considered normal within certain limits.
  • When joining a queue, such as in the bus stop, people usually wait in line for their turn, showing respect for the others.
  • Portugal is a culture that respects hierarchy, either at social or business contexts. Although having become more informal in its rules of etiquette, formal polite terms of address are still used, so, anyone with a university degree is usually referred to with the honorific title, plus ‘Doutor( a)’ (Doctor) or ‘Eng.º/ª’ (Engineer), with or without their surname.
  • The family is the foundation of the social structure and forms the basis of stability.
  • Meal gathering is a large part of family and social life in Portugal.