Portugal Travel Guide
Portugal is a vibrant country, filled with friendly people and fascinating sights. But like any country, it has a particular way of doing things that you may not expect. So, if you are planning a trip to Portugal and want to be as prepared as possible, this Portugal travel guide will help answer all your questions.
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Visa and Entry
Visitors from the United States or Canada will be able to freely stay in Portugal for up to three months visa-free, provided you have a passport valid for at least three months after you leave the country. So, unless you are planning to stay in the country for an unusually long time, entry to Portugal is relatively simple.
As Portugal is part of the EU, citizens of any other country in the European Union are free to enter and stay in Portugal as they wish, provided they can evidence EU citizenship such as an identity card or passport. At the moment this also applies to UK citizens until January 1, 2021, so make the most of it while you can!
For more information, visit the US Department of State website.
Cash and Currency
Like most countries in the EU, the main currency of Portugal is the Euro. Because of this, if you are planning to travel to other countries in Europe, like neighboring Spain, be sure to keep any bills or loose change you might have as they will still be valid. Every Euro has a symbol depicting a famous figure or landmark from a particular European country. Don’t worry though, this is merely an interesting design feature and has no influence on where the currency can be used.
You will be able to withdraw Euros without any trouble as there is a large network of ATMs (called Multibanco) all over the country that are open around the clock. If you have any of your home country’s currency and wish to exchange it for Euros, you’ll be able to do so at most banks or at a Bureaux De Change.
If you prefer to use your credit or debit card while travelling, you should have no problems whatsoever. Visa, American Express, MasterCard, JCB, and Maestro cards are used and accepted widely, though in some more rural areas you might find shops or cafes only accept cash.
Due to British English being taught in schools, and the popularity of American film, television, and music, English is generally well understood across Portugal, particularly with the younger generation. So, you are unlikely to experience too many issues when communicating, especially if you plan to stay in areas popular with international visitors.
In the event that you require medical assistance, bear in mind that some aspects of healthcare can differ from what you expect back home. For example, legal residents of Portugal, and Europeans with an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) have access to their National Health Service, and with it, free or highly subsidised care. If you are a non-resident or are not European, then it is advisable that you research other methods of health insurance (US Medicare, for example, does not apply overseas).
If, for any reason, you require emergency help, call 112, which will put you in touch with ambulance, fire, or police services, though it is important to remember that this number should be reserved for emergencies only.
When going to a cafe or restaurant, you will find that a service charge is often included in the bill, however, it is considered polite to tip an additional 5-10% of the overall cost. Don’t worry about tipping for coffees or other drinks, but if you feel inclined to show your appreciation, rounding the amount to the next full euro will be welcome.
If you plan to experience areas of Portugal through the eyes of a local tour guide, consider tipping between €10 – €20 for a day or half-day’s tour.
Travelling around Portugal is a breeze. Given its relatively small size, there is no need to worry about booking cross-country domestic flights. Instead, all of Portugal is connected by a complex network of intercity, inter-region, and international trains.
For city transport, you can choose to travel either by public taxis, which are usually either cream in color, or black with green roofs, or with private companies like Uber. Alternatively, your Enchanting Travels team can arrange for continuous transportation during your tour, all you need to do is speak to your Travel Consultant.
For a more traditional and enjoyable means of transportation, the cities of Sintra, Lisbon, and Porto have tram networks that have been in operation for over a century, and are enjoyable experiences in themselves. In addition, Lisbon and Porto have quality underground metro networks.
Whatever you choose, you’ll find travelling around Portugal to be comfortable and easy. If you wish to experience it first hand, get in touch with us to book a luxury, tailor-made tour.
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Alentejo is an expansive region where cork oaks, olive groves and vineyards grow, and several historic towns including the colorful Alentejo village, dot the picturesque landscape.
Cascais, voted European Youth Capital 2018, once a traditional Portuguese fishing town, is located 38 miles west of Lisbon.
Furnas is located on the eastern side of Sao Miguel Island in Azores, a 45-minute drive from the Ponta Delgada.
Furnas, São Miguel Island
Faial Island, jutting out of the magnificent Atlantic Ocean, is a part of the Azores archipelago located off the west coast of the Portuguese mainland.
Horta, Faial Island
One of the very best travel experiences I have ever had. We even got updates once at 3 am! He also made one change in one day’s itinerary to accommodate our wishes which was very wonderful. For business, I have traveled to Europe, Russia, all over Asia and South Africa but was blown away by all the beautiful sites in Argentina and Chile.
All the little touches made by our Enchanting Travel consultant, Amelia Edwards, were noticed and recognized by my wife and I. Thank you for making our milestone trip (25th wedding anniversary) such a memorable one! We look forward to engaging Enchanting Travels again for our next South American adventure!!
This was my first adventure as a solo traveler. But while I may have traveled on my own, I was never alone. I was well taken care of by a superb team of planners, trip coordinators, guides and drivers.
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