All About Portugal

112 - European Emergency Number
112 - European Emergency Number

112 is the single European emergency telephone number, available throughout the European Union, free of charge.

In the event of any emergency, 112 can be connected through fixed and mobile telephones. The call is free and will be answered immediately by the emergency centres that trigger the medical

Accessibility in Portugal
Accessibility in Portugal

While planning your trip, you will be able to find information and advice here about access, assistance and accessible transport during your journey and stay in Portugal. Before you travel, we suggest you obtain detailed information about the services you will be using.

In Portugal, you will find a range of accommodation with adapted rooms for people with special needs and some properties also offer fully adapted services and accommodation. However, it would be advisable to contact the establishment directly to obtain information about the facilities available. On the www.visitportugal.com website, the indication “Access for the Disabled” is given in the Characteristics and Services section of properties that are accessible to people with reduced mobility.

Public Transport
Public transport vehicles usually have reserved spaces for people with special needs although not all may be accessible to wheelchair users.

In Lisbon, Carris provides a Reduced Mobility Service on its Regular Public Service routes. Most of the buses are fitted with low floors between the entrance and exit doors, and about half are fully accessible to passengers with reduced mobility, offering space for a wheelchair, backrests and an access ramp. More information can be found at www.carris.pt.

In Oporto, the transport operator STCP has a fleet of accessible urban buses and offers buses fitted with a ramp and a reserved space for wheelchairs. All have a low floor and allow a baby buggy to travel without being folded. More information can be found at www.stcp.pt.

Lisbon and Oporto Metros
The Lisbon Metro has stations that are fully accessible to passengers with reduced mobility. Blind passengers may travel with their guide dogs as long as the animal is wearing a collar and muzzle. 
Contacts: Tel. + 351 213 500 115 / relacoes.publicas@metrolisboa.pt / www.metrolisboa.pt
The Oporto Metro is fully accessible to people with reduced mobility.
Contacts: Tel. +351 225 081 000 / metro@metro-porto.pt / www.metrodoporto.pt 

All Portuguese airports offer toilet facilities and transfers for people with special needs. Additionally, a personalised assistance service called MyWay can be provided on request for passengers with reduced mobility travelling in an EU member state. This service includes mechanical means to aid mobility, escalators and moving walkways, lifts and adequate signage and guidance, as well as staff who are qualified for the purpose and who will ensure that full assistance is provided.
More information can be found at www.ana.pt

Transtejo and Soflusa, which operate the boats across the River Tagus between Lisbon and the south bank, offer some vessels with facilities for people with special needs. For more information call: + 351 210 422 411 / 808 20 30 50.


The Portuguese Train Service, the CP-Comboios de Portugal, offers a centralised Integrated Mobility Service (SIM - Serviço Integrado de Mobilidade), accessed by telephone (+351) 707 210 746 (707 210 SIM), which is available 24 hours a day for 365 days a year, for both information and services. This service will enable passengers with special requirements to get information on accessibility on trains and at stations, assistance for embarking, during the journey and disembarking, among other services. For more information, go to www.cp.pt 

Fertagus, which serves the Greater Lisbon area, has carriages suitable for use by wheelchair passengers. At most railway stations, platforms can be accessed by lift and/or ramps.
Contact: Tel. +351 707 127 127.

Taxis adapted for use by passengers with reduced mobility operate in a number of Portuguese cities, including Lisbon, Faro and Oporto. The new taxis adapted to carry passengers with reduced mobility are fitted with boarding platforms, adapted seatbelts, devices to secure wheelchairs and a door with a wider opening angle. They can be found at airport taxi ranks or on request by telephoning the relevant dispatcher. Contacts can be found at www.antral.pt.

In Portugal, the driving regulations for disabled persons relate solely to their physical and mental fitness and may result in restrictions or adaptations that must be mentioned in the driving licence.
Disabled persons with a driving licence that is valid in Portugal may drive vehicles provided that they comply with the restrictions or adaptations relating to their situation.
Parking cards for people with disabilities, based on the standardised Community model and issued by any of the Member States, are recognised in Portugal. The spaces reserved for this purpose are clearly signposted. Parking is permitted in other places, in situations of absolute necessity, provided that this is only for short periods of time and does not interfere with the normal and free circulation of pedestrians and vehicles.

215 bathing zones – maritime and river beaches – are accessible for persons with restricted mobility. These beaches are identified with a white flag, including the respective symbol, and have reserved parking areas, pedestrian access, beach walkways and adapted toilet facilities. Several beaches also have equipment items that facilitate access to the sea, thus enabling persons with restricted mobility to go swimming, although assistance of another person is always required.

To help you organize your trip better, in addition to the suggestions you will find on Accessible Tourism you can check for services with a specialized offering in terms of accessibility issues at https://www.tur4all.pt/pt/organize-a-sua-viagem.
The platform "Tur4all" has been developed to promote Accessible Tourism for Everyone; it provides information on accessibility in tourist resources in Portugal.

For more information please contact: info.visit@turismodeportugal.pt.


Hotel Accommodation

The vast supply of hotel establishments available all around the country provides tourists with accommodation, either with or without the provision of meals and other accessory services, according to the following classification:

HOTELS (H) – the supply of hotels is diversified, with a large number of such units on offer, classified from 1 to 5-star depending on their location and the quality of their facilities;
APARTHOTELS (HA) – classified from 1 to 5-star, these are the ideal choice for tourists seeking greater independence, but still wishing to enjoy all the services of a hotel;
POUSADAS – housed in historic buildings or located at sites of great natural beauty, these are classified under 4 categories: Historic, Historic Design, Nature and Charm.

Tourist Villages (A)
Classified from 3 to 5-star, tourist villages consist of interdependent accommodation units contained within a specially marked out area, where tourist support services are also provided.

Tourist Apartments (AT)
Classified from 3 to 5-star, tourist apartments are the ideal choice for those who prefer to stay in an independent accommodation unit with access to shared areas and services.

Resorts (CT)
Resorts are a good choice for those wishing to enjoy a variety of leisure services and equipment in the same area with access to different accommodation options, either in the form of a 4 or 5-star hotel or another type of tourist establishment.

Tourism in a Manor House (TH)
Those who prefer to receive accommodation in a family environment can choose to stay in manor houses, palace-like houses or residences of recognised architectural, historic or artistic value, in either a rural or urban setting.

Tourism in the Country (TER) 
Offering accommodation in country residences exhibiting the distinctive features of their particular rural setting, Tourism in the Country enables tourists to enjoy more direct contact with the local populations, their customs and habits, as well as with Nature itself. These accommodation units may be classified as:

COUNTRY HOUSES (CC) – these are houses located in villages and rural areas that still preserve the original design, building materials and other typical features of the local architecture;
AGRICULTURAL TOURISM (AG) – this consists of accommodation on a farm, where tourists can take part in the agricultural work if they so wish;
RURAL HOTELS (HR) – classified from 3 to 5-star, these hotels are to be found in rural areas, respecting the original layout and architectural characteristics of the surrounding region.

Scattered all around the country, Camping Sites enable tourists to enjoy direct contact with Nature. Camping Sites may be considered either public (if they are open to the general public) or private (if access is reserved to members or beneficiaries of the site’s operating body). These latter sites are identified with the letter "P", and the possibility of staying at the camping site must always be checked beforehand. Depending on the infrastructures and services provided, Camping Sites may be classified from 3 to 5-star, although such classification is not mandatory.

Nature Tourism
Whenever a tourist establishment is located in a nature protected area or in an area classified as being of natural value, it is included in the category of Nature Tourism, a practice that is recognised by the Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Biodiversity. In this case, equipment and services must be provided that enable tourists to enjoy and interpret nature.

Youth Hostels
Youth hostels are located close to beaches, in the countryside or in the main cities, offering accommodation at attractive prices. They are aimed above all at people who have a youthful spirit and enjoy sharing the same space in an atmosphere of conviviality, although some Youth Hostels also have double or family rooms, which are quieter and more private. Some hostels also serve meals.
Guests must present either a youth hostel membership card or a youth identity card.


To get the most from this kind of trip, it is essential to comply with the rules in force in each place, not staying in illegal spaces where you will be subject to the action of the authorities.  

Please note that the overnight stay of motor caravans or similar is forbidden in areas of the Natura 2000 Network, protected areas and areas covered by the Coastal Zone Management Plans (except in places where it is expressly authorised). 

In the remaining territory and in the absence of municipal regulations for the activity, motor caravans approved by the IMT - Institute for Mobility and Transport may stay overnight for a maximum period of 48 hours in the same municipality (except in places where overnight stays of motor caravans or similar are expressly authorised for a longer period).

You should also show the greatest civic awareness for the community that welcomes you, and for nature, respecting the space of others, so don’t make too much noise, and do leave the site as you found it.

Be responsible and contribute to the sustainability of campervanning.

Service Areas for motorhomes

There are motorhome service areas spread around the country, to support you during your trip. They have an overnight stay area (limited to 72 hours) and service stations with facilities that include drinking water supply point(s), and places to dump dirty water and the waste from chemical toilets, as well as solid waste. These areas could also have electricity power points for charging the batteries of camper vans and motorhomes.  


Camping and Caravanning Sites 

For camping you’ll find a huge network of Camping and Caravanning sites spread all around the country, and equipped with all the facilities and services you need during your stay. Here you can search by region and locality.

For specific information about the Algarve region please visit https://autocaravanalgarve.com


In public telephone booths, coins and special cards can be used. They are sold in MEO shops, post offices and some kiosks and news-stands (with a sign indicating this). 
All telephone numbers in Portugal are composed of nine digits. To call from abroad to Portugal, it is necessary to dial the international access code 00 and the country code 351. 
To call abroad from Portugal, dial 00, the country code, the area code and then the number wanted. The dialling codes of the various countries are affixed in public telephone booths.

Mobile phones 
Portugal is one of the countries with the highest number of mobile phone users. 
There are three network service providers - MEO, Vodafone and NOS – that have roaming agreements with most international mobile phone companies and provide users with a good coverage nationwide.
The Portuguese Highway Code forbids the use of mobile phones while driving, unless you’re using hands-free equipment or an earphone, and there are established penalties that can be applied in the event of any infringement.

Internet access is available on payment in some cafés and in numerous post offices that have the Netpost service. 
In various hotels and public facilities, like Airports, Conference centres, Restaurants, Service Areas in motor-ways and shopping centres, there are duly marked "wi-fi" areas where it is possible to access wireless Internet.

Cost of living
Cost of living

Before travelling, consult the indicated average prices of certain products and services, in order to gain an idea of the cost of living in Portugal.

Food and drinks
Prices vary in function of the type of establishment and whether or not the cost includes a table service or esplanade service, as a result of which the prices presented are purely indicative.
An espresso coffee, which is so popular amongst the Portuguese and is normally referred to as a “bica”, costs around €0,60 to €0,70 at the counter of a traditional café. A galão (cup of coffee with milk) may cost between €1 and €1,50 and a cup of tea between €1 and €1,50.  A glass of natural orange juice costs around €2,50 and a beer or Coca-Cola costs between €1 and €1,50. A cheese or ham sandwich costs between €1,50 and €2,50 and a slice of toast or cake will be less than €2.
If you have a full meal it may be around €8 to €11 per person in a snack bar, between €13 and €20 in a restaurant and around €30 to €50 in a first-class restaurant or Fado house.

An entrance ticket to a Museum, National Monument or exhibition may cost between €2 and €10. A cinema ticket costs around €6,50. Theatre tickets may vary between €10 and €30 and tickets for concerts, opera or ballet performances between €10 and €75.
In order to watch a bull fight, (the bullfighting season is between Easter Sunday and All Saints day), tickets may vary between €15 and €75, depending on the bull-ring and participants.


The journey between Lisbon and Oporto on the Alfa Pendular train (the fastest and most comfortable train) may vary between €31,90 and €46,05 (2nd or 1st class) and on InterCity trains the price varies between €25,10 and €37,15.
From Lisbon to Faro the fare is between €23,50 and €31,40 on the Alfa Pendular train and between €22 and €28,80 on the InterCity train.
If you want to visit the sights on the outskirts of the capital, train tickets cost €1,35 from Cais Sodré to Belém and from Alcântara to Oriente, €1,65 from Rossio to Queluz-Belas and €2,25 from Lisbon to either Sintra or Cascais.


Express coaches
There are regular connections between the main Portuguese cities.  The journey between Lisbon and Oporto may cost around €19, between Lisbon and Faro, €20, between Faro and Oporto €32 and between Lisbon and Coimbra €15,50.

In the urban service, the minimum charge (initial price) during the daytime is €3,25 and €3,90 at nighttime, weekends and public holidays. The final fare will be determined in function of the distance travelled and the time.
Ordering a radio taxi results in an additional cost of €0,80 and transport of luggage requiring use of a roof rack or car boot implies a supplement of €1,60.
For transport outside urban areas, the service is paid on a per kilometre basis, and the cost of the return journey is also calculated, regardless of whether or not the passenger makes the return trip.  Normally the price is informed at the start of the trip.

Urban transport

The “Lisboa card” permits the use of all public transport facilities in the city and trains between Lisbon and Sintra or Cascais and also offers free entrance or discounts in monuments, museums or tourism circuits.  The prices are €20 for 24 hours, €34 for 48 hours and €42 for 72 hours. Prices for children aged between 5 and 11: 24h - €13; 48h - €19; 72h - €22,50
Carris: A ride on a bus costs €2,00, and on a tram €3,00. 

A simple metro ticket costs €1,50. (www.metrolisboa.pt
The “7 Colinas” and "Viva Viagem" card which is sold in the ticket kiosks of Carris and the Metro for €0.50, may be charged with a simple ticket, or combined ticket for the Carris and Metro networks that cost €6,40 for one day.

The ”Porto Card” enables unlimited use of all public transport and offers free entrance or discounts on tickets to various monuments and museums, and also for performance venues, cruises on the River Douro, tourism circuits, traditional shops and restaurants. The pass only for Walker costs: €6,00 -1 day, €10,00-2 days, €13,00-3 days and €15,00-4days; The pass that includes transportation costs €13,00-1 day, €20 euros-2 days, €25,00-3 days and €33,00-4 days.
A bus ride costs €2,00 and a simple metro ticket costs €1,60. Combined tickets for buses, Metro and train within the urban area of Oporto (Andante) cost €7 for one day and €15 for three days.

Petrol and diesel 
Prices are set in the free market and vary in accordance with the cost of a barrel of crude oil in the international markets.  At present (2021/09/14), petrol costs around €1.50 per litre, diesel €1,40 per litre and GPL €0,70 per litre.


Vehicles drive on the right in Portugal. Unless otherwise indicated, vehicles coming from the right have priority in squares and at intersections. At junctions with roundabouts, vehicles already on the roundabout have right of way.
Road signs comply with international rules.

Compulsory papers: 
- Personal ID
- Driving licence
- Motor insurance certificate
- Vehicle registration or equivalent
- Vehicle logbook (livrete)or equivalent

On the spot fines are issued.

Speed limits for cars without trailers and motorcycles:
  50 kph - in built-up areas
  90 kph - on normal roads
100 kph - on roads restricted to motor vehicles
120 kph - on motorways

All occupants must wear seat belts.

The Portuguese Highway Code forbids the use of mobile phones while driving, unless you’re using hands-free equipment or an earphone.

Driving for disabled persons

In Portugal, the driving regulations for disabled persons relate solely to their physical and mental fitness and may result in restrictions or adaptations that must be mentioned in the driving licence.
Disabled persons with a driving licence that is valid in Portugal may drive vehicles provided that they comply with the restrictions or adaptations relating to their situation.
Parking cards for people with disabilities, based on the standardised Community model and issued by any of the Member States, are recognised in Portugal. The spaces reserved for this purpose are clearly signposted. Parking is permitted in other places, in situations of absolute necessity, provided that this is only for short periods of time and does not interfere with the normal and free circulation of pedestrians and vehicles.

Alcohol, drinking and driving
It is against the law to drive with a blood alcohol level of 0.5 grams per litre or more.
- A blood alcohol level between 0,5 g/l and 0,8 g/l is considered a serious offence, and it is sanctioned with a driving inhibition between 1 month and a 1 year and a fee payment of an amount from 250 up to 1.250 euros. 
- A blood alcohol level between 0,8g/l and 1,2g/l is a very serious offence, sanctioned with a period of driving inhibition between 2 months and 2 years and a fee payment of an amount from 1.250 up to 2.500 euros.  
- A blood alcohol level of 1,2g/l or more is considered a crime, that can be punished with imprisonment up to 1 year or fee penalty up to 120 days, and driving inhibition between 3 months and 3 years.

Car rentals
There are car rental services at airports, international rail terminuses and in the main towns and cities. 
Drivers with mobility difficulties, or anyone who prefers to, can rent automatic or adapted vehicles. 
To rent a car you must: 
- be at least between 21 and 25 years old, depending on the company’s rental policy 
- show identification (identity card for EU citizens or a valid passport for other nationalities) 
- have had a driving licence for more than one year

Duty and tax-free exemptions
Duty and tax-free exemptions

Travellers arriving from European Union countries can carry items for personal use in their luggage that do not exceed the following limits:

Tobacco products:
- 800 cigarettes
- 400 cigarillos (cigars weighing not more than 3 grammes each)
- 200 cigars
- 1 kg of loose tobacco.

Alcoholic beverages:
- 10 litres of distilled beverages and spirits with an alcohol content over 22% vol.
- 20 litres of distilled beverages and spirits, wine- or alcohol-based aperitifs, tafia, sake or similar drinks with an alcohol content of up to 22% vol.
- 90 litres of wine (including a maximum of 60 litres of sparkling wines)
- 110 litres of beer.

Transport and circulation of money

Travellers who enter or leave the European Union territory carrying amounts with them equal to or higher than €10,000, should declare this amount to the Customs authorities, in compliance with the stipulations of Regulation (EC) nº 1889/2005, that has been in force since June 15, 2007. This imposition aims to reinforce the EU’s efforts to counter criminal activity and reinforce safety, by combating money laundering, terrorism and other criminal practices.

Travellers coming from non-EU countries may only benefit from exemption from VAT and special duties liable on the goods transported within their baggage, provided that these are for personal use and do not exceed the following limits:

Tobacco products (1):
Cigarettes - 200 units
Cigarrillos (small cigars with a maximum weight of 3 g/unit) - 100 units
Cigars - 50 units
Smoking tobacco - 250 grams

Alcoholic beverages (2):
distilled drinks and spirits with strength over 22% vol. – total of 1 litre
Spirits and alcoholic beverages, aperitives with a basis of wine or of alcohol, tafia, saké or similar beverages of an alcoholic strength by volume not exceeding 22% vol; sparkling or fortified wines, liqueurs – total of 2 litres
still wines – total of 2 litres.

50 grams of perfume
250 ml toilet-water

Coffee (1):
500 grams
Coffee extracts and coffee essences - 200 grams

100 grams
Tea extracts and tea essences - 40 grams

Other goods:
Travellers benefit from an exemption provided that the value of the goods does not exceed 175 euros.
This amount is reduced to 90 euros for persons aged less than 15 years.

(1)  Travellers aged less than 15 years do not benefit from any exemption in relation to these products.
(2)  Travellers aged less than 17 years do not benefit from any exemption in relation to these products.

Transport and circulation of money
Travellers who enter or leave the European Union territory carrying amounts with them equal to or higher than €10,000, should declare this amount to the Customs authorities, in compliance with the stipulations of Regulation (EC) nº 1889/2005, that has been in force since June 15, 2007. This imposition aims to reinforce the EU’s efforts to counter criminal activity and reinforce safety, by combating money laundering, terrorism and other criminal practices.


The electric current in Portugal is 230/400 volts at a frequency of 50 hertz and sockets comply with European standards.
You will need a 230 volt transformer and an adaptor to use American-style flat-prong plugs.

Entry of pets
Entry of pets

Entry into Portugal of cats and dogs from other EU Member States
It is necessary to present a passport issued by a vet who has been accredited by the respective competent authority, which must:
- contain indication of the owner’s name and address;
- confirm that the animal is identified via a microchip (the device used should be in conformity with the ISO 11784 standard or Annex A to the ISO 11785 standard, otherwise, the owner must have equipment that enables the chip to be read), or a clearly legible tattoo (only permitted during a transitory period – up until 03/07/2011);
- confirmation of a valid anti-rabies vaccination, or revaccination if applicable, carried out when the animal was at least 3 months old, in accordance with the recommendations of the manufacturing laboratory, with an inactivated vaccine of at least one antigenic unit per dose (WHO standard).

Entry into Portugal of cats and dogs from countries outside the European Union
It is necessary to present a Sanitary Certificate issued/validated by the Official Veterinary Authority of the country of origin (accompanied by confirmatory documents of vaccinations, and if appropriate an antibody titration). The certificate should confirm the following:
- identification via a microchip (the device used should be in conformity with the ISO 11784 standard or Annex A to the ISO 11785 standard, otherwise, the owner must have equipment that enables the chip to be read), or a clearly legible tattoo (only permitted during a transitory period – up until 03/07/2011)
- confirmation of a valid anti-rabies vaccination, or revaccination if applicable, carried out when the animal was at least 3 months old, in accordance with the recommendations of the manufacturing laboratory, with an inactivated vaccine of at least one antigenic unit per dose (WHO standard).

In relation to certain countries it is also necessary that the certificate confirms a neutralising antibody titration, of at least 0,5 UI/ml. This requirement does not apply to several countries such as Andorra, Canada, USA, the Russian Federation, Japan, Norway and Switzerland, amongst others, and we therefore suggest that you search for further information on this matter from the Directorate General for Veterinary Practices at https://www.dgav.pt or at https://europa.eu.

Circulation of pets
Portuguese people love animals and often keep cats or dogs in their homes. Nonetheless, animals are not permitted to enter in some restaurants, shops, supermarkets and certain beaches.

Animals are allowed to enter public transport services provided that they are of good health and hygiene and are transported in clean, well-preserved carrying cases or if they are guide dogs for persons with visual impairments. The transport operator may refuse to transport animals during rush-hour periods and the transport of dangerous or potentially dangerous animals is expressly prohibited.


If you require medical assistance contact the local Health Centre.
Hospital emergency services should be used only in serious situations (serious injury, poisoning, burns, infarction, thromboses, breathing difficulties, etc.).

In case of illness or accident while visiting Portugal, Nationals from the 27 European Union countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland are entitled to free or reduced-cost healthcare (the same benefits as Portuguese citizens). In order to have access to health services, citizens from the above-mentioned countries, who are not resident in Portugal, must produce their European Health Insurance Cards (issued by the origin country) together with passports or identity cards.

Emergency Card
In case of emergency there is a card that will speak for you giving to the emergency response teams useful information such as identification data, contacts, health insurance, diseases, allergies and medication.
This document is intended to anyone who is in Portugal and can be obtained free of charge from the official websites of the promoting entities, where the user must fill-in the blank fields, cut to size and keep it in the wallet so that it is easily found in an emergency.

Access of foreign citizens to the Portuguese National Health Service
Tourists, non-resident students, non-resident posted workers or persons in another temporary stay situation

  • Nationals of Member States of the European Union, European Economic Area and Switzerland
    Citizens of Member States of the European Union who need unscheduled health care and are on holiday, studying or on temporary stays that do not imply permanent residence will have to present a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
    If you do not have the European card, you should immediately apply for a provisional EHIC replacement card from your country of residence and hand it in to the care unit before returning home.
    The Community Regulations on the Coordination of Social Security Systems (No. 883/2004 and No. 987/2009) establish a situation of equality between nationals and foreign citizens in situations of stay and residence in another Member State, in the case of social security and disease situations.

  • Nationals of Third Countries with which Portugal has Bilateral Agreements
    Citizens of countries outside the European Union with bilateral agreements with Portugal will have to present the certificate of entitlement valid at the time they access the health care units of the National Health Service. The certificate of entitlement must be requested in the country of residence.
    The presentation of the certificate of entitlement will enable the provision of all necessary health care, with the respective bill presented by Portugal to the country of residence for payment. This document will only be accepted in public units of the National Health Service (SNS).
    If you do not hold a certificate of entitlement at the time of providing health care in SNS units, you will be asked to pay the total amount of care provided.
    It is clarified that bilateral agreements do not include the figure of reimbursement, meaning that the reimbursement of this amount will depend on the legislation and procedures established in the country of residence.
    Portugal has bilateral agreements in force that cover the protection of the disease and the provision of health care with the following countries: Andorra, Brazil, Cape Verde, Quebec, Morocco and Tunisia. These agreements establish conditions of reciprocity and equal treatment between nationals and foreigners in a situation of stay and residence in Portugal, in the case of social security and disease situations.

  • Citizens of other member states who are staying in Portugal
    Foreign citizens, citizens of countries outside the European Union or with which there are no bilateral agreements, who need to resort to the National Health Service's care network in Portugal, should take into account the following procedures:
    a) To have an identification document (valid passport or identity card in the country of origin;
    b) To have a document proving valid health insurance;
    If the foreign national does not present proof of health insurance, the foreign national must be informed that will have to pay in full for the health care provided.


As a rule, the Portuguese have three meals a day. Between 7:30 and 10 a.m. they have a light breakfast consisting of a drink - white or black coffee or fruit juice - and toast or a sandwich, often in their local café or cake shop.

The main meals are lunch, between 12:00 and 2:30 p.m., which is often eaten at a restaurant near work, and dinner between 7:30 and 10:30 p.m.

Most people eat a full meal including soup, a main dish and dessert or fruit. They may also have a snack consisting of a drink and a cake between these two meals, around 5 p.m.

Eating out is common practice in Portugal. Having lunch or dinner out, especially at the weekend, is always a good excuse for meeting friends or going for a drive.

There is a great variety of restaurants and they cater to all kinds of tastes and palates.

While restaurants are usually open for lunch between midday and 3 p.m. and for dinner between 7 and 10 p.m. many of them have longer opening hours, especially in the big cities and areas with a busy nightlife.

They usually close one day a week, sometimes at the weekend in city centres, though restaurants in shopping centres are open every day.


Portugal is one of 19 European Union countries whose common official currency is the euro. 
1 euro is divided into 100 cents. The coins come in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents, and 1 and 2 euros. 
The notes are differentiated by their size and colour and come in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 euros. 
One side of the coins has a common design (the European side), and the other side has a national symbol. All euro coins can be used in any euro-zone country, irrespective of which national symbols they display. 

ATMs - Automatic Teller Machines (Multibanco)
Portugal has a national network of cash machines (ATMs) identified by the symbol MB (Multibanco), from which you can withdraw cash 24 hours a day.

Currency Exchange
You can exchange money at banks, which are open from 8.30 a.m. to 3 p.m. five working days a week; at bureaux de change; and at automatic currency exchange machines (these are for currency sale transactions only).

Credit cards
In Portugal, the most commonly used credit cards are: Visa, American Express, Diners Club, Europay / MasterCard, JCB and Maestro. 
If your Visa or MasterCard credit card is lost or stolen, contact the following telephone numbers for assistance: 
- Visa: Tel. 800 811 107 
- MasterCard: Tel. 800 811 272

Service is included in the bill in restaurants, though it is customary to leave an additional tip of about 5-10% of the total.
It is also normal to tip taxi drivers 5-10 % or rounding up the amount paid to the nearest euro.

Official time
Official time

During winter time, i.e. from 1 a.m. on the last Sunday in October to 1 a.m. on the last Sunday in March, the official time in mainland Portugal and Madeira is the Universal Time Coordinated (UTC).

The rest of the year (between 1 a.m. on the last Sunday in March and 1 a.m. on the last Sunday in October), summer time is in effect and the official time in mainland Portugal and Madeira is Universal Time Coordinated plus one hour.

In the Azores, the time is one hour earlier than in the rest of Portugal and therefore one hour earlier than the Universal Time Coordinated during winter time and two hours earlier during summer time.

PSP - Tourism Police Stations
PSP - Tourism Police Stations

In the Tourism Police Stations, you will find Police Officers that are trained to provide support to all Tourists in multiple languages and situations.

-Esquadra de Turismo de Lisboa | Palácio Foz
Praça dos Restauradores - Palácio Foz 
1200-000 Lisboa
Tel: +(+351) 213 421 623 

-Esquadra de Turismo de Lisboa | Santa Apolónia
 Stª Apolónia - Largo Museu da Artilharia, nº1
 1100-366 Lisboa
 Tel: (+351) 218 804 030

-Esquadra de Turismo de Cascais 
 Largo Mestre Henriques Anjos, s/n
 2750-414 Cascais
 Tel: (+351) 214 839 116

- Esquadra de Turismo do Porto
 Rua Clube dos Fenianos, 11
4000-172 Porto
Tel: (+351) 222 081 833

More information: www.psp.pt/turismo | lsbetur@psp.pt 

Passports and Visas
Passports and Visas

Citizens of the European Union, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland only need their identity document to enter Portugal.

Minors, in addition to their identity document, must present parental authorisation to travel.

For countries that are exempt from visa requirements to enter the Schengen Area (see list), for stays that do not exceed 90 days, a passport valid for a period of more than three months after the end of the stay is required.

In accordance with the Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement, passengers travelling to or from another Schengen State do not need a new visa as this is considered to be an internal flight.

Citizens from other States need a visa to enter Portugal, which may be requested from the Portuguese Consulate or Embassy in the respective country, for stays of up to 90 days.

Further information at:
Visas - https://vistos.mne.gov.pt
Consular Network - https://portaldascomunidades.mne.gov.pt/pt/rede-consular
Agência para a Integração, MIgrações e Asilo  - https://aima.gov.pt/

Public holidays
Public holidays

National holidays
New Year’s Day - 1 January 
Freedom Day - 25 April 
Worker’s Day - 1 May 
Portugal Day - 10 June 
Feast of the Assumption - 15 August 
Implantation of the Republic - 5 October
All Saints Day - 1 November
Restoration of Independence - 1 December
Immaculate Conception - 8 December 
Christmas Day - 25 December 

Moveable public holidays:
Good Friday 
Corpus Christi


Banks are open from 8.30 a.m. to 3 p.m. five working days a week. 
Portugal has a national network of cash machines (ATMs) identified by the symbol MB (Multibanco), from which you can withdraw cash 24 hours a day.

Post Offices
In general, post offices are open from Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.Central and airport offices have extended opening hours and may be open on Saturdays and in some cases also on Sundays. 
Stamps are sold in post offices and vending-machines in the streets. 
Many post offices have the Netpost service that on payment allows access to personal e-mail and the Internet. 
More detailed information about opening hours and services available at each office can be found on www.ctt.pt

In general, pharmacies are open on weekdays between 9am and 7pm (some close for lunch from 1 to 3 p.m.) and on Saturdays between 9am and 1pm.
They display an illuminated green cross outside when open at night. 
All of them have information posted on the door indicating the nearest pharmacies that are open at night.

Traditionally, shops are open from Monday to Friday, from 9 or 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Some close for lunch from 1 to 3 p.m. On Saturdays from January to November, shops generally close at 1 p.m. though in city centres some are open in the afternoon. 
Shops tend to stay open on Saturday afternoons and sometimes even on Sundays in December for Christmas shopping.
There are plenty of shopping centres inside and outside the cities that are usually open from 10 a.m. to midnight every day of the week. They generally have stores with the main international brands. 
However, traditional shops with Portuguese products can be found particularly in the streets of the older neighbourhoods of towns and cities.

Smoking in public places
Smoking in public places

Since 1 January 2008, smoking has been prohibited in enclosed public spaces in Portugal. 

This ban extends to all government buildings, work places, public transport, healthcare establishments, laboratories and pharmacies, schools and other educational establishments, indoor sports facilities, museums, shops selling food and drink, indoor car parks, concert and theatre halls, libraries, hotels, and service stations.

Restaurants, bars and discotheques with a floor area of more than 100 m2 must clearly mark out areas where smoking is allowed, which must have adequate ventilation and may not amount to more than 30% of the total area. 

The owners of restaurants, bars and discotheques with a floor area of less than 100 m2 can choose whether these are to be smoking or non-smoking areas, and must clearly display this information so that it is visible outside the building. These areas must have good ventilation.

Penalties for infringements:
- From €50 to €750 euros for smokers who do not respect smoking bans.
- From €50 to €1,000 for the owners of private establishments; 
- From €2,500 to €10,000, from €10,000 to €30,000 or from €30,000 to €250,000, depending on the nature of the offence, for corporations, companies or associations, governing bodies or heads of organisations, establishments or government services that are in breach of the regulations.

Tax free - VAT Reimbursement
Tax free - VAT Reimbursement

Visitors to Portugal who are not resident in any of the European Union member states can be reimbursed for the VAT (Value Added Tax) paid on purchases that they have made in Portugal and are being transported in their personal luggage. Only private individuals can benefit from this reimbursement. 

In order to obtain repayment of the tax, the minimum value of purchases must be € 49.88 (net amount without VAT), and, depending on the VAT rate charged, the minimum value of the receipt for goods purchased must be as follows:
- € 61.35 – VAT rate of 23% (general goods)
- € 57.86 – VAT rate of 16% (Madeira and the Azores)
- € 56.36 – VAT rate of 13% (Wines)
- € 52.87 – VAT rate of 6% (books, lenses…) 

When you make your purchases, you must ask the shop to provide you with a receipt, itemising the amounts paid, the goods that were purchased and the amount that is due for reimbursement. 

You can receive the repayment of your tax in cash at the main European airports or in the centres of major European cities, or by credit card or international cheque, provided that the goods in question have previously been shown and declared at the customs.

You can obtain more information at:
- Portal das Finanças - www.portaldasfinancas.gov.pt  -  E-mail
- Premier Tax Free - www.premiertaxfree.com - info@pt.premiertaxfree.com
- Global Blue - www.globalblue.com - info@globalblue.com
- Innova Taxfree Portugal - www.innovataxfree.com - info@innovataxfree.com


Portugal has a good road network made up of motorways (Autoestradas – AE), main routes (Itinerários Principais - IP), complementary roads (Itinerários Complementares - IC), national roads (Estradas nacionais - EN) and municipal roads (Estradas Municipais).

Travel on the motorways is subject to tolls, which in Portugal may be of two distinct kinds – conventional tolls with booths and those that are exclusively electronic.

At toll booths, payment is made with currency or by bank card, or through an alternative form of payment, the Via Verde (Green Lane), an electronic toll system where the fee is debited directly from the bank, intended solely for use by those in possession of a Via Verde identifier tag, obtained in advance at respective points of sale (www.viaverde.pt).
This system is also available for foreign-registered vehicles through the Via Verde Visitors, a device which, upon rental, allows the circulation and payment in all road infrastructures with a toll collection system (including electronic toll lanes and bridges). There is no loyalty or expiry date for this type of membership and the identifier is guaranteed for life. More information and subscription is available at https://visitors.viaverde.pt/en/, with payment made using an international credit card and only for the months in which the service is used.

Electronic Tolls

Lanes with electronic tolls are duly identified. There are no toll booths on these roadways, employing instead a collection system that is exclusively electronic, in which the passage of vehicles is detected by means of electronic gateways. 

To make the corresponding payment, vehicles with foreign number plates may use the forms of payment listed at www.portugaltolls.com. There are several possibilities that are intended specifically and solely for the electronic lanes, whose purchase may also be done online:
- Easytoll - associates the bankcard to the vehicle’s license plate and the fee is debited directly from the bank account; it is valid for 30 days;
- Tollcard - pre-paid card with a fixed amount (5, 10, 20 or 40 euros) to be consumed depending on its usage and it is valid for one year after being activated;
- 3 Day Virtual Card - Valid for 3 days with unlimited journeys and only available for Class 1 (including motorcycles) and Class 2 vehicles;
- Multi Journey Virtual Card - For predefined routes starting from or terminating at the airports in Porto and Faro.

It is also possible to use the CTT Temporary device which, after pre-loading, is only valid on highways with an exclusively electronic collection system and Via Verde devices valid on all tolls, electronic or not, and on bridges.

Interoperability with other countries' systems
Currently, all Via-T devices (Spain) and some French devices are accepted on the national highway network, both in the exclusively electronic systems and in the traditional barriers, where lanes dedicated to Via Verde customers can be used.
The use of the service will depend on the issuer of your device, so we recommend that, before using it on Portuguese highways, you contact your issuer and confirm that the service is active. 

Vehicles with Portuguese number plates
As for vehicles with Portuguese number plates, in the case of rental vehicles, some companies, for the convenience of their customers, have installed electronic toll-payment devices, rolling the cost into the prices charged. If the vehicles do not have devices installed, customers usually make the payment afterwards at Post Offices (Estações de Correio - CTT) or shops belonging to the Payshop network, as of the second day after passing through the tollgate. The deadline for payment is 15 working days, after which the driver will be in violation and subject to a fine.


Portugal’s excellent geographical position makes it a stopover point for many foreign airlines at airports all over the country:
Lisbon - Portela Airport - Phone: 218 413 500 
Oporto - Dr. Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport - Phone: 229 432 400
Faro - Faro Airport - Phone. 289 800 800
Funchal, Madeira - Funchal Airport - Phone: 291 520 700
Ponta Delgada, Azores - João Paulo II Airport - Phone: 296 205 406

ANA - Aeroportos de Portugal, SA is the Portuguese airport authority and provides departure and arrival information on www.ana.pt 

There are several Portuguese airlines offering regular domestic and international flights. 
TAP - Air Portugal (www.tap.pt) is the country’s "flagship" airline and has scheduled flights to more than 50 international destinations and domestic flights between Lisbon, Oporto, Faro, Madeira and the Azores, and also between Madeira and Porto Santo.
SATA  (www.sata.pt) has regular flights between all the islands of the Azores and from the Azores to Madeira and mainland Portugal. SATA also offers regular flights to a number of international destinations. 
Aerovip (www.aerovip.pt) - Scheduled flights between Funchal and Porto Santo (Madeira). Scheduled flights between Bragança, Vila Real, Viseu, Cascais and Portimão (Mainland Portugal).

CP - Comboios de Portugal (www.cp.pt), the Portuguese railway company, offers a vast rail network covering the whole of mainland Portugal and also offers international train services to Vigo.
There are a number of options to meet your needs:
- The top-of-the-range "Alfa Pendular" trains offer the fastest and most comfortable rail link between Lisbon and the Algarve and, in the north, Oporto or Braga, with stops in Coimbra.
- The "Intercidades" or Intercity service covers the Lisbon-Oporto-Guimarães, Lisbon-Guarda, Lisbon-Covilhã, Lisbon-Évora-Beja and Lisbon-Faro routes.
- There is a vast network of regional, inter-regional and suburban trains covering the whole of the country.

There are regular coach services between Portugal’s main towns and cities. For details of routes, timetables and fares visit www.rede-expressos.pt the website of Rede Nacional de Expressos.

Taxis are usually cream in colour, although there are still some painted black with a green roof in the traditional Portuguese style. 
The fare is shown on the taximeter. The prices are affixed inside the car or you can ask the driver about them. 
If you phone for a taxi you have to pay an extra 0.80 euros. There is a charge of 1.60 euros for luggage, regardless of weight or the number of pieces. 
Carry cots, pushchairs, wheelchairs and walking aids are carried free of charge. 
Outside towns, transport by taxi is paid per kilometre, and the passenger is informed of the amount in advance. Where they exist, the passenger has to pay the road tolls there and back. 
Tipping is at the passenger’s discretion, though it is normal to tip 5-10% or round the amount up to the nearest euro.

The underground is an important addition to the traditional forms of public transport.
In Lisbon and Oporto it operates between 6 a.m. and 1 a.m. 
The Lisbon underground (www.metrolisboa.pt) is the older of the two and reaches a considerable part of the city. Its network has gradually been extended in recent years. Both the oldest and the most recent stations are decorated with panels of tiles by renowned Portuguese artists, making them true underground art galleries.
In Oporto, the underground (www.metro-porto.pt)  is new. There are six lines in operation - blue, red, green, yellow, violet and orange -, and most of their route is above ground.

Weights and measures
Weights and measures

1 cm = 0.39 inches
1 metre = 3.28 feet / 1.09 yards
1 km = 0.62 miles
1 litre = 0.26 gallons (USA) / 0.22 gallons (UK)
1 inch = 2.54 cm
1 foot = 0.39 metres
1 yard = 0.91 metres
1 mile = 1.6 km
1 gallon (USA) = 3.78 litres
1 gallon (UK) = 4.54 litres

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