Capital city: Lisbon
International airport: Lisbon Portela (LIS)
Time zone: Western European Time (EST + 5)
Emergency services: Dial 112
passport & visa
A valid passport is required for entry to Portugal. A visa is not required for tourism visits of less than 3 months.
1 EUR: 1.51 CAD
Arriving in Portugal with some Euros/EUR/€ is highly recommended.
ATMs are readily available in Portugal, even in small towns. ATMs usually offer the best exchange rate when compared to commercial exchange bureaus and hotels. Your bank may add a surcharge for every withdrawal you make. Banks in Portugal are typically open from 8:30am to 3:00pm and closed on statutory holidays. Currency-exchange offices at airports and rail terminals are open longer hours, and the office at Lisbon Portela Airport is open 24 hours a day.
Major credit cards are widely accepted in Portugal. Prior to departure check with your credit or debit card provider regarding foreign exchange transaction fees associated with using your cards in Portugal.
LISBON: Daytime 21ºc - 25ºc, Overnight 16ºc
ALGARVE: Daytime 25ºc - 30ºc, Overnight 17ºc
SUNRISE: 06:10 SUNSET: 21:05
Portugal's high season is July and August with temperatures above 20ºc from June to September. Temperatures are an average of 5 - 10ºc warmer on the southern coast. During summer Portugal sees an average of 10 hours sunshine and around 15 hours daylight per day.
what to pack
- Important docs: passport, drivers license, travel insurance details, emergency contacts, credit cards and local currency (euros)
- City: loose light layers: shorts, t-shirts, skirts, sundresses, cardigans and light sweaters
- Beach: swimwear, beach bag, cover-up and sandals, skirts, dresses, pants and shirts for evenings
- Practical: day pack, reusable water bottle, comfortable walking shoes, raincoat and umbrella
- Toiletries & medicines: sunscreen, after-sun, insect repellant, aspirin and band-aids
- Electronics: travel adapters and chargers
- For fun: books, magazines, deck of cards
Round two pin 220 volts
There are no compulsory innoculations for entry to Portugal.
Pack prescription medications in their original containers with pharmacy labels in your carry-on luggage. Also bring along copies of your prescriptions in case you lose your medications or run out. Don't forget an extra pair of contact lenses or prescription glasses.
Use sunscreen and stay hydrated throughout your trip.
Portugal has a relatively low crime rate but petty crime is always a risk. Travellers should stay alert for pickpockets and purse-snatchers, particularly around tourist sites, in restaurants and on public transport.
Never leave luggage or valuables unattended in your rental car and always ensure the car is locked when parked.
Leave cash and credit cards when not needed in the hotel safe and only carry limited cash with you when you venture out for the day.
Avoid ATMs in isolated or poorly lit areas.
- Driving in Portugal is on the right side of the road with overtaking on the left
- Seat belts are mandatory when driving
- Drivers must carry photo identification when driving in Portugal
- Drivers must yield to disembarking tram passengers
- Dipped headlights must be used in tunnels and where there is poor daytime visibility
- Gas station in Portugal are open from 7am to 10pm with some open 24 hours on major highways
food & drink
Tap water is safe to drink in Portugal.
Seafood is very popular but can be expensive. A typical Portuguese seafood dish is Arroz de Marisco: shellfish cooked and served with a young semi-sparkling green wine. Molotoff: meringue pudding or Pasteis de Nata (Portuguese custard tarts) are popular desserts. The national dish of Portugal is Bacalhau: dried and salted cod.
Local wine and port are excellent and reasonably priced throughout the country.
Shops are typically open Monday through Friday from 9am to 1pm and from 3pm to 7pm, and Saturday from 9am to 1pm. Most restaurants serve lunch from 12pm to 3pm and dinner from 7:30 to 11pm; many close on Sunday. Most museums open at 10am, close at 5pm, and often close for lunch between 12:30 and 2pm. Larger museums remain open at midday.