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Portugal travel tips on money saving, personal safety, sightseeing, and enjoying your trip to the fullest from InfoHub suppliers and community members.

Visas
Submitted by M19864 on 2009-11-28
European Union citizens only need a valid Identity Card to enter Portugal but if they stay more than six months they will need a residence permit. Nowadays American, Canadian, New Zealand and Australia citizens do not ... view more need a visa: They may stay for up to 90 days and may apply for a further stay of 90 days.

Tourists from outside the EU should contact the Portuguese Embassy or Consulate, since the rules for visas may be subject to alteration. Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (Aliens and Borders Department - 213 585 545; Rua São Sebastião da Pedreira, 15 – Lisbon; 9 am – 3 pm, closed at weekends)

Telephones in Portugal
Submitted by M19864 on 2009-11-28
In Portugal, calls can be made from public payphones using cards (which can be bought from newsagents, tobacconists, post offices or PT shops) or coins. Booths are located in streets, shopping centres and airports. If ... view more you prefer, you can also make calls from post offices and pay for them afterwards at the counter. These calls are cheaper than calls made from hotels.

The cheapest way to phone abroad is by using a pre-paid card. You can buy 5€ or 10€ cards from various operators and only need to enter the access code printed on the card in any telephone, then enter the PIN code.

Calls made after 9 pm usually cost less. If you use a mobile phone you will have good network coverage throughout the country. The are three mobile phone operators: TMN, Vodafone and Optimus.

To phone abroad from Portugal, enter 00 followed by the country code. If you are calling from abroad, the code for Portugal is 00351. If you want to reverse the charges, dial 171 and the operator will assist you.

Post Offices in Portugal
Submitted by M19864 on 2009-11-28
The symbol for the post office is a white horse and rider on a red background. The service is efficient: a letter sent to a destination within Europe by normal mail will take around 5 days to arrive and the same letter ... view more will reach a destination in the rest of the world within 7 days.

There is also a fast delivery service, known as correio azul (“blue mail”) which does not cost much more. Post offices are normally open Monday to Friday from 9 am to 6 pm.

Opening/Closing Times
Submitted by M19864 on 2009-11-28
During the week, ordinary shops are usually open from 9 am to 7 pm and are closed for lunch between 1 pm and 3 pm. They are also open on Saturday mornings but are closed on Sundays. A number of shopping centres can also ... view more be found throughout the country and these often stay open much longer, from 10 am to 11 pm or midnight, including weekends.

Banks are open Monday to Friday from 8.30 am to 3.30 pm. Museums are usually open from 10 am to 5 pm and the majority are closed on Mondays. Many may also close for lunch.

Almost all churches are open throughout the day with no fixed hours. In rural areas however, they may only open for services and you may need to find out who holds the key if you want to visit them.

Medical information
Submitted by M19864 on 2009-11-28
Visitors do not need to have any special vaccinations although it is advisable to make sure that your tetanus, diphtheria and measles vaccinations are up-to-date. Tap water can be drunk in almost all areas except the ... view more Algarve where the quality is not very good. If you visit Portugal in summer, bring an insect repellent. The mosquitoes can be annoying but do not pose any health risks.

The health care services in Portugal are good and not expensive. If you are a citizen of the EU do not forget your EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) which will be useful in the event of any emergency or repatriation.

Chemist’s shops are a good solution for complaints that are not serious, as the staff can diagnose minor health problems and suggest treatments. The symbol for a chemist’s shop is a green cross. If you find that the shop is closed, the name and address of the duty chemist’s will be displayed on the door.

Language
Submitted by M19864 on 2009-11-28
Portuguese is a Latin-based language which has similarities with Castilian Spanish and if you know this language you will not find it difficult to read Portuguese. However, the pronunciation is completely different and ... view more the Portuguese are not always amenable to being addressed in Spanish. Portuguese is spoken to some extent all over the world, due to the country’s history and its ties with Brazil and some African countries.
Embassies and Consulates
Submitted by M19864 on 2009-11-28
Your country’s embassy or consulate is best placed to assist you in an emergency. They can advise on medical assistance and help you if you lose your travel documents. The following is a list of some of the embassies ... view more and consulates in Portugal:
- Australia (213 101 500; Av. da Liberdade, 200 – Lisbon)
- Canada (213 164 600; Av. da Liberdade, 196 – Lisbon; 289 803 757; Rua Frei Lourenço de Santa Maria, 1 - Faro)
- United States of America (217 273 300; Av. das Forças Armadas – Lisbon; 226 172 384; Rua Marechal Saldanha 454-Porto)
- New Zealand (213 509 690; 9 am – 1 pm Monday to Friday. This is the number for the Consul, as there is no Embassy in Portugal and the nearest is in Rome.)
- United Kingdom (213 961 191; Rua de S. Bernardo, 33 – Lisbon; 226 184 789, Avenida da Boavista 3072 – Porto).

Driving in Portugal
Submitted by M19864 on 2009-11-28
The road network in Portugal includes several motorways and is still being expanded. It is possible to travel the entire length of the country by motorway (“A” roads), which is a great advantage for drivers. Don’t ... view more forget that you have to pay a toll on the motorway.

Be careful not to get onto the “Via Verde” lane as you join the motorway. “Via Verde” lanes are only for drivers who have a special agreement with the company that manages the motorway and pay tolls by a different method. The country is also served by a modern network of fast roads (“IP” or “IC” roads) which are free in most cases.

Some of the older roads are in poor condition and some minor roads may be uneven and winding. Traffic jams are common in major cities and their suburbs and can be avoided by not driving during rush hours (8.30 to 10 am and 5.30 to 7.320 pm).

Always carry your passport or identity card, driving licence, vehicle registration or car hire documents with you, together with your insurance documents. Failure to do so can result in a fine.

Currency and payments
Submitted by M19864 on 2009-11-28
The euro was first introduced on 1 January 1999 for bank transactions only. Euro notes and coins entered into circulation on 1 January 2002. There are 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 euro notes and € 2, 1, 0.50, 0.20, ... view more 0.10, 0.05, 0.02, 0.01 coins.

In the event of lost travellers cheques or cards, contact: American Express (800 204 050); MasterCard (800 811 272); Travelex (01 733 294 451 or 452 UK); Visa (800 811 824).

Listening to fado in Lisbon
Submitted by M14951 on 2011-03-02
There are several places for fado in Lisbon, but the most know are in Bairro Alto or Alfama. While Bairro Alto is also know for its nightlife (a must), Alfama is a more traditional neighborhood, where you may find small ... view more and cosy fado houses.

Try one of the famous "fado à desgarrada" nights at "Tasca do Chico", where several singers have 2 to 3 song to convince the audience. Don't be shy and if you are impressed with the singer, just yell "Ah fadista!" And who knows you may even be lucky to hear international artists such as Mariza or Carminho.

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