Glossary

If you’re looking on Portuguese websites for accommodation, these are some of the words you might come across describing the various categories, types of accommodation etc:

  • Albergaria – literally ‘hostel‘ but can be anything from a small hotel to a ‘hostelry‘ attached to a restaurant
  • Albergue – hostel
  • Albergue de Peregrinos – pilgrim hostel (for Caminho de Santiago etc.)
  • Alojamento – accommodation
  • Casa – house
  • Como ficar – where to stay
  • Estabelecimento(s) – establishment(s)
  • Estalgem – a private inn/small hotel. Normally quite upmarket
  • Hospedagem – another word for accommodation
  • Hotéis – means ‘hotels’ but can also be used as a category that includes albergaria etc
  • Hotelaria – literally means ‘hospitality‘ but in this sense means hotels
  • Onde dormir – where to sleep
  • Pensão – guesthouse, often no different from a small hotel. Plural is pensões
  • Pousada – literal translation is ‘inn‘ but ‘Pousadas da Portugal’ are a chain of luxury and/or historic hotels (formerly state-owned). They tend to be in prime locations but can be a bit pricey for what you get compared to some independent options
  • Pousada de juventude – a youth hostel
  • Quarto – literally ‘room‘. This can mean a room in a hotel etc – or you may see a sign advertising a quarto, which is a room in a private house. These can be one of the cheaper accommodation options and tourist office will often have lists of places providing quartos
  • Quinta – literal translation is ‘farm‘ but are often more like an English manor or grand rural house than a working environment with animals/fields
  • Residencial – another type of guesthouse or pensão

Below are a number of official designations used to describe types of accommodation:

Agro Turismoaccommodation within a farm, may also include the opportunity to participate in activities on the farm.

Alojamento Local – whole houses for rent, or rooms in private homes/small guesthouses

Casas de Campo – literally ‘country houses’ – the new term for Turismo Rural – a designation for private houses in rural areas offering accommodation. The owner may or may not also live at the property.

Tourismo de Habitacão – accommodation in manor houses and other “residences of recognized architectural value, with appropriate dimensions, furnishings and quality decor“.

Tourismo no espaco rural – see Casas de Campo above.

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