Drinking age in Portugal
There are countries all around the world that have lower drinking ages than the U.S., and the U.S. is one of the countries with one of the highest drinking ages. There are a handful of Muslim countries that have drinking ages that are just as high, but it’s unusual, in general, to see drinking ages that are as high as they are in the United States. It’s so fun to go to Portugal, and be able to drink, when you’re just 18 years old.
One of the most fun things about traveling to Europe, when you get out of high school in the U.S., is that you can drink when you’re over 18 years of age. It’s a great thing to feel so liberated that you’re able to drink, as an adult, when you’re in Europe. Portugal is definitely one of the most underrepresented countries, from a tourist perspective, that there is in all of Europe. It’s one of the most fun places to visit of any European country. Most tourists skip it on their tourist trip through Europe, but it’s one of the most interesting countries in all of Europe.
The legal drinking age in Portugal used to be 16, but they changed it to 18. However, anyone who gets accompanied by a parent or an older brother can drink, and they often do, especially at meals. One anecdotal story was that anyone under the age of 18 could buy as much alcohol as they wanted, and no one would say anything about it. The legal age limit in clubs and bars is a lot more enforced nowadays, but it’s nothing like the United States. Portugal is kind of a wine country similar to France, and wine is much more permissible in Portugal than it is in France. Everyone, culturally, begins to drink at a very young age. If you get into trouble, then police will have a real reason to take you away that night, and they often will do so, even if they wouldn’t have if you were just drinking.
The age is really just 16, if you’re asking informally, but no one will really bother you if you’re not making any trouble. It’s interesting that the drinking age in Portgula used to be 16, and it shows what kind of attitude that they had toward youth drinking before the law was change. The cultural perspective in Portugal is very unique, as far as underage drinking, and there are a lot of people who think it’s alright, and a normal part of growing up, to drink much earlier on. There are lots of events, occasions, chances, and opportunities for youth to drink growing up, and it’s not as culturally forbidden as it is in the United States. It’s a kind of a culture shock to see people drinking when they’re under the age of 21, if you’re from the U.S., and especially people that are 16 and older, but it’s a normal part of culture in Portugal.