When people move to Portugal — either permanently or for prolonged stays — there are a lot of common priorities. People want to see the sights, enjoy the beautiful coastal towns, take in the history, and of course partake of the delicious food. There are also plenty of more specific attractions that appeal to expats in Portugal though, and for many (particularly in the younger crowds) the casinos are among them.
While Portugal is by no means thought of as major casino destination, it is home to a number of professional gaming venues that make for an excellent time out.
For those visiting or moving to Portugal to whom these types of venues appeal, we’ve written up some tips for how to get the most out of them.
1. Try a Few Venues
Again, Portugal does not have a reputation as a massive casino hub. But it is home to a number of enjoyable venues, and if you plan to stay in Portugal a while you have time to try a few of them out, and find out which one you enjoy most. Casino Vilamoura and Casino Lisboa are typically the options that will come up first, and they may well be the two most impressive casinos in the country by most standards. Then again, many expats and tourists will opt instead to visit Casino Espinho. It’s another excellent venue, and one right on the outskirts of Porto — a common stop for visitors, and a city Condé Nast ranks among the prettiest in all of Europe.
2. Refresh Your Understanding of Table Games
This is more of a general tip for live casino entertainment. But it certainly stands for casinos in Portugal as well. Before you visit a place like this, it’s wise to refresh your understanding of all relevant table games — from roulette and craps to blackjack and poker. It’s not a whole lot of fun to have to stop while you’re there and look up the rules, and depending on the dealer you may not even be allowed to stand and watch a game too long to get the hang of it. If you’re sharp with your understanding heading in though, you’ll be able to enjoy the games to the fullest.
3. Check Out Slots in Advance
If you’re interested in the slot machines at the Portugal casinos, you may want to check out online alternatives first, so that you can get an idea of the types of machines you enjoy beforehand. Leading European portal Gala Casino offers the closest approximation of the real-world slots you’ll find in Portugal, with titles like Cleopatra, Hot Shot, Goddess of Wisdom, and more being available at both the online and in-person venues. It’s not essential, but giving these and other games a look online can save you some time browsing once you’re at a real casino. You can head straight to the real version of whatever online game you liked most.
4. Have a Plan for the Bars
There are a lot of excellent drinking and drinking options at the Portuguese casinos. We’ll touch on the dining below, but we also want to note that it’s a good idea to have a plan for the bars. While they’re not necessarily the best bars you’ll find in the country, some are among the biggest and most well stocked — meaning if you’re aware of some of the signature drinks of Portugal you’ll likely be able to order one. From local wines to special cocktails, there’s a lot to enjoy.
5. Be Prepared to Eat
We made note of Portugal’s delicious food as a common attraction for expats, and rest assured you will find some of this at the country’s biggest and best casino venues as well. For this reason, it’s best to think of a visit to a casino as more of a prolonged event — a whole day or night to enjoy the facility, including an excellent meal or two. In particular, Casino Vilamoura’s Salão Miralago (a dinner show venue) and Casino Lisboa’s Beletejo (a traditional Portuguese restaurant with sensational views) should make your list. But the truth, again, is that there are phenomenal stops for food and drink at all of the major casinos.
We hope these tips will be helpful to anyone with an eye on the country’s casinos! Feel free to have a look around Expats Portugal for more information that may come in handy.
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