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Portugal travel guide

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.

Portugal travel guide - Bica tram in Lisbon
Bica tram in Lisbon, Portugal
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Visa application

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.

Euro currency, coins and banknotes, Germany

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.

USA travel guide - language

Language

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.

Medicines

Health Information

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.

Germany Tour Vintage retro glass jar with hemp rope tie tip box tag and few coins inside on wood counter

Tipping

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.

Portugal travel guide

Getting Around

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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