Radio in Portugal

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In Portugal, radio is an important means of hearing about new music, the news (but you will need a high level of Portuguese to follow it as broadcasting tends to be in Portuguese) and events. There are several domestic radio stations in Portugal including the state owned Rádiodifusão Portuguesa (RDP) stations such as Antena 1 (available on MW and FM), and Antena 2 and Antena 3 (only available on FM). Antena 1 is a good station for news and football results. Antena 2 is the classical music station and Antena 3 has a broader spectrum of music. Rádio Comercial is a private station, as are Rádio Renascença, Rádio Nostalgia and RFM. Rádio Renascença is owned by the Church, has several stations nationally but all with slightly sedate content. Rádio Nostalgia plays, as the name suggests, golden oldies from the 60s, 70s and 80s.

There are numerous local stations as well. If you are specifically looking for music, Antena 1 has a jazz session in the evenings and Rádio Comercial blasts out rock at around the same time. Frequencies vary around the country but you should be able to get Antena 1 on MW 666kHz in Lisbon, 1377kHz in Porto or 720kHz in the Algarve. If you want the BBC World Service, with news on the hour, try 648kHz medium wave but don't expect the reception to be wonderful. Voice of America (VOA) is available from time to time on various medium and short wave frequencies in Portugal. Publications such as the Anglo Portuguese News (APN) list the wavelengths and programming details if you are interested.

People listen to a lot of radio in Portugal and the local stations tend to be very localized, often broadcasting to a single region or even to a specific town. The content is therefore very specialised, which is extremely useful if you are exploring the region, and it also has a propensity to be good quality content. Listening to Portugal's many radio stations will help your language skills come on in leaps and bounds as, after a couple of days, the meaningless masses of unfamiliar noises will solidify into concrete and recognisable sounds, and after a while you will be able to follow the gist of the topics and develop a comprehensive understanding of Portuguese.