Located in Southern Europe, Portugal takes up the southwest coast of the Iberian Peninsula. To the north and east, it is bordered by Spain, and to the south and west by the Atlantic Ocean.
The Portuguese territory also includes the Azores in the North Atlantic Ocean and Madeira just off the west coast of Africa (about 500km or 300mi from the Moroccan coast).
Capital and largest city: Lisbon
Area: 92,090 km²
Population: 10,309,573 (2016 estimate)
The official language is Portuguese.
UTC 0 | UTC+1 summer time (from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October)
Currency & Banks
Portugal has the euro (EUR) as its currency. Most hotels, restaurants and shops accept debit and credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express).
Automated Teller Machines (ATM), locally known as Multibancos (MB), can be found all over Portugal, including small towns. The maximum amount per withdrawal is €150-200, with a daily limit of €400. Banks are open from 8.30am to 3pm, Monday to Friday.
Electricity | Plug System
Electrical supply: 230 V | Frequency: 50 Hz
To make a call to Portugal from abroad dial +351 (the international country code).
Most mobile phone providers offer customers international roaming services, but in doubt contact your mobile provider to turn on this feature. It’s likely that you’ll have 4G service, or at least 3G, everywhere provided by Meo, Vodafone or Nos (the three main local mobile providers).
Visitors from inside the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway “roam like at home” in Portugal since 2017 when roaming charges were abolished.
If you’re coming from outside the EU and you know you’ll be using your phone frequently, there are other options you might want to consider to avoid roaming charges entirely – see our article on Buying a SIM Card in Lisbon and While Travelling in Portugal.
WiFi is available all over the country. The majority of hotels, many public spaces and large shops offer free WiFi.
Tap water is safe to drink and of good quality throughout Portugal. Local bottled mineral water is available from shops, supermarkets, restaurants and bars.
Health | Vaccination
Travellers do not normally require certificates of vaccination or immunisation to enter Portugal. Medical care in Portugal is available through both public and private hospitals.
Visitors from EU member states should bring their European Health Insurance card to be entitled to free medical and hospital care. Visitors from other countries are advised to take out a personal medical insurance policy.
Passport & Visa
Citizens of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein need only a valid ID card or passport.
Citizens from Canada, US, South America, Australia, New Zealand and from most Asian countries traveling to Portugal do not need a visa for stays under 90 days; only a valid passport is required.
Citizens from other countries should see Who needs a visa by the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs to find out if they are required to have a valid visa.
Portugal is a year-round destination. With essentially Mediterranean climate, winters are mild and summers are hot. If you’re visiting Lisbon, our monthly breakdown will get you an idea of what to expect from the weather throughout the year. It’s also pertinent for most of the country.
Plan your trip to Portugal with these dates in mind.
Tipping and Service Charges
Tipping in Portugal is not mandatory, even in restaurants and bars, being at the discretion of the visitor tipping for good service (5 to 10 percent is common). There aren’t really rules for who and how much you should tip in Portugal, but you can read our guide to tipping in Lisbon and Portugal so you don’t get it wrong.
Religion & Worship
The majority of the Portuguese are Roman Catholic, but other religious denominations are also represented in Portugal, including Islam, Judaism and Hinduism, having places where to conduct their rituals.