8 Portuguese phrasebooks for your trip to Portugal

The small print: Portugalist may generate a commission from mentioned products or services. This is at no additional cost to you and it does not affect our editorial standards in any way. All content, including comments, should be treated as informational and not advice of any kind, including legal or financial advice. The author makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors or omissions or damages arising from its display or use. Links to external websites do not constitute an endorsement. [Disclaimer Policy]

Written by: | Last updated on March 5, 2024 | Est. Reading Time: 4 minutes
This article is available in: en_US

If you’re visiting Portugal, or you’re beginning to learn Portuguese, a Portuguese phrasebook will come in handy. English is spoken in Portugal, particularly in urban areas and amongst younger generations, but that isn’t always the case. And, it’s much more fun (and polite) to learn some basic Portuguese.

There are several Portuguese phrasebooks out there, but many focus on Brazilian Portuguese. In this list, we’ve rounded up all of the phrasebooks that focus on the Portuguese spoken in Portugal.

Want to learn via an app instead? Check out Practice Portuguese, which is one of the few apps that covers European Portuguese.

Rough Guide Phrasebook: Portuguese

  • Has audio
  • Paperback only

The Rough Guide Phrasebook: Portuguese covers topics like asking for directions, checking into a hotel, or asking when the train leaves. Although some readers have complained that this is quite a short book, it covers more than 5,000 words and phrases — more than most Portuguese learners ever end up learning, and more than most of the other phrasebooks on this list.

The real benefit of this book is that is comes with free audio downloads, which helps to ensure that you get the pronunciation right.

50 Languages – English: European Portuguese

50 Languages offers a free app, web app, or set of MP3s that cover pretty much all of the essential travel phrases that you need for visiting Portuguese. In fact, it goes a little deeper than most of the phrasebooks and is a really good starting place for learning Portuguese. Oh, and it’s free!

If you like Memrise, there’s also a supporting Memrise course.

Lonely Planet Portuguese Phrasebook & Dictionary

  • No Audio
  • Paperback only

The Lonely Planet Portuguese Phrasebook & Dictionary is probably the best-selling Portuguese phrasebook. It contains essential travel phrases, a menu decoder, and a 3500-word two-way dictionary. It has vocabulary and phrases for common situations like eating out, sightseeing, and business, as well as phrases for emergency situations. Unfortunately, it lacks a CD or MP3 component where you can listen to the words being pronounced.

Collins Easy Learning Portuguese Audio Course

  • Audio only

With only three hours of audio, Collins Easy Learning Portuguese Audio Course is a fairly simple course that covers the essentials that you need for getting by in Portugal. It’s more of a short course to prepare you for a trip to Portugal, rather than either a course in Portuguese or a travel phrasebook.

Collins Gem Portuguese Phrasebook and Dictionary

  • No audio
  • Paperback only

The Collins Gem Portuguese Phrasebook and Dictionary is a handy pocket-sized phrasebook and dictionary that covers thousands of essential phrases that you can use in situations like booking a hotel or choosing a bottle of wine. It also has a menu translator so you’ll always know what you’re ordering.

Unfortunately, while it’s a fantastic size for keeping on you, it lacks the audio features that The Rough Guide Phrasebook comes with.

WikiTravel Portuguese Phrasebook

WikiTravel has a free Portuguese phrasebook, which focuses on European and African Portuguese. It contains a few hundred phrases and useful words for situations that you might find yourself in. This isn’t quite as many as some of the other phrasebooks, which is its first downfall. The second is that it’s quite hard to navigate and, unless you have internet on your phone, take with you.

BBC Portuguese Phrase Book and Dictionary

  • No audio
  • Paperback & Kindle E-book

The BBC Portuguese Phrase Book and Dictionary is available in both paperback and Kindle format. If you don’t have a Kindle, you can also download the Kindle app to your phone or iPad. For phrasebooks and reference books, the app can sometimes be easier to use than the Kindle.

Unfortunately this book lacks an audio component, which is fairly essential to getting Portuguese pronunciation right.

DK Portuguese Phrasebook

  • Has audio
  • Paperback only

The DK Portuguese Phrasebook covers essential Portuguese phrases that you can use while shopping, at the doctor’s, or at your hotel. The book comes with an audio CD that’s 70 minutes long and has a small section on Portuguese pronunciation.

Rick Steves’ Portuguese Phrase Book and Dictionary

  • No audio
  • Paperback only

Rick Steves’ Portuguese Phrase Book and Dictionary provides phrases for common travel situations. It also includes a small dictionary that covers Portuguese-English and English-Portuguese.

Rapid Portuguese (European): Volumes 1 & 2

  • Audio only

Earworms’ Rapid Portuguese is a very unusual audio course that has combines audio lessons with a background music track. The makers of the course, Earworms mbt(c), describe it as a revolutionary accelerated technique so maybe there’s some science to it. Volume 1 covers tourist phrases (e.g. a beer please) while Volume 2 gets you talking about yourself.

You can listen to a sample on Amazon.

Written by

James Cave is the founder of Portugalist and the author of the bestselling book, Moving to Portugal Made Simple. He has visited just about every part of Portugal, including Madeira and all nine islands of the Azores, and lived in several parts of Portugal including Lisbon, the Algarve, and Northern Portugal.

Portugalist.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for website owners to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon (.es, .co.uk, .de etc) and any other website that may be affiliated with Amazon Service LLC.