Ports of Call
- Port of Lisbon
Portugal Travel Information
Local time is GMT (GMT +1 from last Sunday in March to Saturday before last Sunday in October).
Electrical current is 230 volts, 50Hz. Round two-pin plugs are used.
Portuguese is the official language, but English is widely spoken and understood.
There are no health risks attached to travel to Portugal. A yellow fever vaccination certificate is necessary for entry for anyone travelling from an infected area and destined for the Azores or Madeira. Health facilities are good and reciprocal health agreements exist with most European countries, including the UK, whose citizens can receive low-cost emergency care at state hospitals. It is advisable that travellers obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before travel. Dental care and repatriation costs are not covered under this agreement, and medical insurance is therefore advised.
Service charges are not usually added to hotel and restaurant bills but it is customary to leave a 10 percent tip. Bar staff and taxi drivers also expect tips, which usually entails rounding up of the bill to the nearest Euro.
Generally, safety is not a problem for travel in Portugal but there is a rising incidence of petty theft and pick pocketing in tourist areas, so reasonable care should be taken. Portugal has a very poor road safety record so exercise caution and drive defensively when exploring in a rented car.
It is a legal requirement for foreigners to show some form of identification on request.
Business culture in Portugal observes a strict hierarchical 'top-down' approach to management and leadership. Subordinate employees are expected to do as they are told. Strong business relationships are built on trust between colleagues, and personal connections are important. Business etiquette is formal, yet relaxed. Use titles ('Señhor' and 'Señhora') until strictly instructed not to do so, and show deference to those in obvious positions of authority. Business meetings in Portugal must be made by appointment, and should not ordinarily be scheduled for times when they might conflict with important family or religious holidays (Christmas, Easter, etc.).
The dress code in Portugal is strictly smart and formal - with a strong emphasis placed on presentation. Business hours in Portugal vary, but are generally from 8.30am to 1pm, and 3pm to 6pm, from Monday to Friday.
The international access code for Portugal is +351. Pre-paid sim cards can be bought at airports and used in unlocked mobile phones.
Wifi is available in most hotels, cafes and some restaurants throughout Portugal.
Travellers over 17 years arriving from non-EU countries do not have to pay duty on 200 cigarettes, 100 cigarrilos, 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco; 4 litres of wine, 16 litres of beer and 1 litre of spirits over 22% or 2 litres of liquor less than 22% volume; 50g of perfume and 250ml of eau de toilette; other goods up to the value of €430 for air and sea travellers.
Our Travel Expert
Steve Masters first visited Portugal in 1989 and, later, lived in Porto for several years before returning to the UK. He speaks the language and is well versed in the culture of Portugal. He currently works on behalf of Rocha Brava, a holiday resort located in the Algarve.
Become our Portugal Travel Expert
We are looking for contributors for our Portugal travel guide. If you are a local, a regular traveller to Portugal or a travel professional with time to contribute and answer occasional forum questions, please contact us.