The official language is Portuguese.
During summer months, Portugal receives refreshing sea breezes, making for very pleasant conditions. Daytime maximum temperatures reach over 25°C (78°F) 11 or 12 hours of sunshine can be expected
The electric current in Portugal is 230/400 volts at a frequency of 50 hertz and sockets comply with European standards.
You will need a 230 volt transformer and an adaptor to use American-style flat-prong plugs.
Currency / Exchange
The currency unit in Portugal is Euro.
Banking and Changing Money
You can exchange money at banks, which are open from 8.30 a.m. to 3 p.m. five working days a week; at bureaux de change; and at automatic currency exchange machines (these are for currency sale transactions only).
Forms of Payment
Hotels, large shops and most restaurants accept all major credit cards.
Service is included in the bill in restaurants, though it is customary to leave an additional tip of about 5-10% of the total.
It is also normal to tip taxi drivers 5-10 % or rounding up the amount paid to the nearest euro.
Portugal is one of the countries with the highest number of mobile phone users.
There are three network service providers – MEO, NOS and Vodafone – that have roaming agreements with most international mobile phone companies and provide users with a good coverage nationwide.
The Portuguese Highway Code forbids the use of mobile phones while driving, unless you’re using hands-free equipment or an earphone, and there are established penalties that can be applied in the event of any infringement.
Internet access is available on payment in some cafés and in numerous post offices that have the Netpost service.
In various hotels and public facilities, like Airports, Conference centres, Restaurants, Service Areas in motor-ways and shopping centres, there are duly marked “wi-fi” areas where it is possible to access wireless Internet.
If you require medical assistance contact the local Health Centre.
Hospital emergency services should be used only in serious situations (serious injury, poisoning, burns, infarction, thromboses, breathing difficulties, etc.).
In case of illness or accident while visiting Portugal, Nationals from the 27 European Union countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland are entitled to free or reduced-cost healthcare (the same benefits as Portuguese citizens). In order to have access to health services, citizens from the above-mentioned countries, who are not resident in Portugal, must produce their European Health Insurance Cards (issued by the origin country) together with passports or identity cards.
In Portugal, the free of charge emergency telephone number for emergency medical service is the 112. When someone calls 1-1-2, the call is directed to a PSP Police dispatch center. Accordingly, to the type of emergency, the PSP dispatch center redirects the call to the appropriate emergency services.
As a rule, the Portuguese have three meals a day. Between 7:30 and 10 a.m. they have a light breakfast consisting of a drink – white or black coffee or fruit juice – and toast or a sandwich, often in their local café or cake shop. The main meals are lunch, between 12:00 and 2:30 p.m., which is often eaten at a restaurant near work, and dinner between 7:30 and 10:30 p.m.
Most people eat a full meal including soup, a main dish and dessert or fruit. They may also have a snack consisting of a drink and a cake between these two meals, around 5 p.m. Eating out is common practice in Portugal. Having lunch or dinner out, especially at the weekend, is always a good excuse for meeting friends or going for a drive.