Portugal tourist information

Essential Portugal tourist information so that you can plan ahead and have a hassle-free holiday! In this comprehensive guide, you will find everything you need to know about Passports & visas, coronavirus restrictions, customs regulations & airport taxes, time zones, money, tipping, SIM cards & public wi-fi, Portugal travel cards, electrical sockets, and weights & measures in Portugal.

Passports and Visas

In order to enter Portugal, your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the day you plan to leave Portugal. They may ask you for proof of funds to provide for your stay, but this is increasingly unlikely.

Visas are not required for passengers entering Portugal from the EU, the U.S., U.K, and Australia

If you are coming from a Schengen region of the EU, your passport must be valid for 3 months after the day you are planning on leaving and you will need to show your Identity Card to enter the country.

Coronavirus Restrictions

Changing almost monthly, it’s important to stay up to date with the latest COVID-19 restrictions and entry requirements. Entry requirements vary for travelers from different countries. You may require (a) to quarantine, (b) Proof of vaccination status, (c) to complete a Passenger Locator form, (d) evidence of recent negative COVID-19 tests, (e) masks, (f) social distancing.

Porto, Portugal - September 11, 2021: Group of people in protective masks cross the street in the center of Porto, Portugal.
A busy street in Porto during the mask mandate period

The Visit Portugal website has a section for the latest Coronavirus regulations.

Customs Regulations and Airport taxes

There are no airport taxes to pay when you arrive in Portugal. However, there are maximum limits to the amount of alcohol, cigarettes, and the currency you can bring into the country. This amount is higher for passengers who have purchased the items in EU countries. You can find out more about import limited at www.dgav.pt.

Time Zones

Portugal has two time zones and observes daylight saving time. Continental Portugal and Madeira use UTC+00:00, while the Azores use UTC–01:00.

Money in Portugal

The official currency of the Portuguese Republic is the euro, (EUR). One euro is divided into 100 cents (centavos). You may only be able to get 200 EUR from an ATM at one time.

Keep your belongings safely stored, and close to your body, and be extra alert around tourist sites, including beaches, castles, and cruise docks. Like anywhere, avoid dimly lit places at night. Bag snatching, car burglaries, pick-pocketing, drink spiking, and accommodation scams all occur in Portugal, as they do in almost if not all, other countries.

Portugal Clean and Safe a website by the Portuguese government has been created to help visitors travel safely and healthily.

Tipping in Portugal

Portugal’s wages, while high by global standards, are amongst the lowest in Western Europe. Tipping is not mandatory, but it is very common and usually in cash to make sure your waitstaff receives it.

Tip between 5-10% or round up the bill. If a 10% Service Charge is added to the bill, then there’s no need to tip.

For tour guides, tip €5-10 for a half-day, and €10-20 for a full day. On free tours €5-10 is the norm.

SIM cards and Public Wi-fi

If you’d like to phone home and keep in touch while you’re on holiday in Portugal, you’ll need a Portugal SIM. There are areas of public Wi-fi, but they are not extensive, especially outside the downtown areas of the major cities and towns.

MEO, Vodafone, and NOS are the three mobile providers, with MEO the largest.

You’ll see Vodafone shops in the major airports. It’s a cheap and simple solution to staying in touch. It’s also possible to pre-purchase a SIM and an e-SIM.

Portugal Travel Cards

City Cards such as the Lisbon Card and the Porto Card give you free transportation and some also offer discounts on activities. They can even be used for day trips, such as a day trip from Lisbon to Sintra.

Portugal sightseeing bus, Lisbon

These cards can be combined with hop-on hop-off sightseeing buses. See the range of all Portugal cards here.

Electrical Sockets

Portugal’s standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. Depending on where you are traveling from, you may need to purchase a travel adapter. The correct adapter type for Portugal is Type F.

Type-F-plug-socket
Type F plug socket

Weights & Measures

Portugal uses the metric system – so, for example, kilograms and not pounds, kilometers rather than miles, as well as the Celsius (rather than Fahrenheit) temperature scale.