Spain, first international destination for the Portuguese

  • Last year, 2.8 million Portuguese visited our country.
  • Galicia, the favorite destination with 26% of the total.

Spain continues to be the main tourist destination for Portuguese people abroad. In 2022, Spanish participation in Portuguese trips abroad reached 38.2%, exceeding the figure obtained in 2019 compared to other international destinations. France, Italy and the United Kingdom are the destinations that follow Spain.


During 2022, the flow of entries to Spain recovered compared to pre-pandemic levels, standing 0.53% below 2019, as confirmed by Turespaña. In the period from January to November 2023, admissions increased by 17.39% compared to the same period in 2022, and by 13.67% compared to the same period in 2019.


Regarding tourist spending, the 2022 data published by the Bank of Portugal places Spain as the main recipient of international tourist spending by the Portuguese, with an expenditure of 1,136.52 million euros. The year 2019 recorded the best figure in the historical series, with 1,151.61 million euros in tourist spending in Spain, according to the same source.


The preferred entry route is the road, representing around 75% of the total, and the Spanish destinations with the highest share of entries are the neighboring autonomous communities and Madrid.


In 2023, Spain was visited by 2.8 million Portuguese tourists, which represented 3.3% of the total number of tourists received, with an estimated expenditure of 1.5 million euros (1.5% of the total). The average expenses per person per day amounted to 557 and 144 euros, respectively, while the average stay was 3.9 nights. These figures reflect lower average expenses per person and average stay compared to other source markets, probably due to the ease and proximity of access, which favors short getaways.


The main motivation of Portuguese tourists who visited Spain in the previous year was leisure (75% of the total), followed by business trips (11%). Overnight stays in hotels predominated (70%) and, to a lesser extent, in the homes of family or friends (11%). The majority traveled without a tourist package (89%) and their favorite destinations were Galicia (26%), Andalusia (23%) and Catalonia (10%). The Portuguese tourists who visited Spain mainly had higher education (66%), belonged to the middle class (70%), and traveled mostly as a couple (37%) or with family members (24%).


The main activities carried out were visits to cities (62%), enjoying the beach (38%) and cultural visits (30%). The average age of Portuguese tourists was 44.9 years, slightly higher than the general average of tourists (44.1 years). 73% used road transport as the main means of access, while 26% opted for the plane.