Passports and Visas
All passengers require a machine-readable passport valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip, with appropriate visas. You should carry your passport with you at all times to ensure against its loss or theft in hotels. Check with the Portuguese Consulate to determine if any visas are needed. Securing required documents is the responsibility of the traveler. This information is a guide only and it is essential that you check all current passport and visa rules with your travel agent before departure.
Portugal uses the euro. There are eight coins in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents and 1 and 2 euros. Notes are issued in 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 euros. You can change US dollars at banks and currency exchange agencies for the best rates. Hotels and some shops can also change them for you, but the rate will likely be much higher. ATMs are also an efficient way to get money in the local currency.
Portugal has 220-230 V at 50 Hz, with a type C or F socket. America's electrical currents are 120 V at 60 Hz, with a type A or B socket, so you'll need a converter and an adapter.
Wireless and wired Internet access is widely available in major cities throughout Portugal. Many of the hotels we use offer this service free or at a small charge. There are also Internet cafés in the main cities and resort areas that allow you access, usually for a small charge.
Phoning home from another country can be expensive. All hotels will add a service charge to the cost of any phone calls you make from your room. This charge can be very high. It is always cheaper for you to use public telephones (payphones) if your cell phone is not set for international calls. Your Travel Director can explain how to dial internationally if you are unsure.
Even beyond the practical and well-received souvenirs of locally produced olives, olive oil and wine, Portugal is a shopper's paradise. Treat yourself to beautiful leather goods (from shoes and boots to jackets and purses), jewelry, lace or embroidery. Several Portuguese independent fashion designers have boutiques in Lisbon. Or, pick up some reminders of your Portugal vacation to adorn your home: pottery, hand-crafted ceramic tiles or even cork items, of which Portugal has become a top exporter.
We suggest the following tipping rates: Taxi drivers won't expect a tip, but rounding up the fare on the meter is appreciated, Restaurants and bars 10-15% of the total bill.
As with most of Europe, traveling within cities and towns can be easily done on foot, by bus, train or taxi. If your travel plans include two or more cities, bus and rail networks will get you to and from, though it may take some time and effort. For the more adventurous, rental cars may be an option.
Generally, casual jeans or slacks, shirts, sweaters, a jacket and comfortable walking shoes are all you'll need. If you plan on an evening at a nicer venue, dressier clothes may be called for. Don't forget to pack good outdoor shoes, a swimming suit, hat and sunscreen. Depending on when you're traveling, an umbrella and rain jacket might come in handy.
Urban Portuguese of the middle and upper classes often dress quite formally and the culture prefers appropriate clothing per the occasion.