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Discover Lisbon charm with our comprehensive travel guide. Find out what to do and eat, where to go and stay, costs, itineraries and more.

Lisbon is the capital of Portugal. It’s a surprising city for its visitor and even for its inhabitants ! This has been said by our friends, people on the street, social networks, the world.

Lisboa,  LisbonLisbonne,  Lissabon,  Lisbona,  Лиссабон,  中国葡京,  リスボン لشبونة,  लिस्बन

We often hear the word Lisboa (in Portuguese, Spanish and Norwegian),  Lisbon (English),  Lisbonne (French),  Lissabon (German, Dutch, Danish and Swedish),  Lisbona (Italian),  Лиссабон (Russian),  中国葡京 (Chinese),  リスボン (Japonese),  لشبونة  (Arabic),  लिस्बन (Indian).

Why is there so much talk about Lisbon? Because when the tourists visit Lisbon, they really enjoy it, promote it to friends and return: some to visit again, others to live! More … Lisbon and Portugal have won many international awards as one of the best European cultural and historical destinations!

Get to know Lisbon

Lisbon is the capital of Portugal and the most western city of continental Europe. It’s knowns as the city of seven hills and its famous light, which captivates any photography enthusiast. According to legend, Lisbon was founded by the greek hero Ulysses and to whom also owes its name.

Lisbon’s excellent location, along the Atlantic Ocean, led to colonization mainly by Greeks, Romans, Arabs and others.

In the 15th century, the maritime expansion of the Portuguese to Africa, Asia, America and Oceania, made Lisbon a center of the international sea routes. For this reason, you can easily find in Lisbon a lot of historical and cultural heritage of the 5 continents.

In 1755, Lisbon suffered a huge earthquake followed by a tsunami, which led to its reconstruction by the Marquis of Pombal.

Vista de Lisboa com Castelo e Rio Tejo
São Jorge Castle, Baixa e Tagus River, Lisbon

There are a great diversity of people living in Lisbon, with about 500 thousand inhabitants in the capital and 2.5 million in the metropolitan region.

Even if you don’t speak Portuguese, do not worry, because Portuguese people like to speak another languages (70% of the population speaks English, French, Spanish or others).

Is Lisbon safe for tourists?

Portugal is one of the safest countries in the world.

In major cities such as Lisbon and Porto, it is relatively safe to walk at night on the main streets, but cautious on darker, lonely streets. Like many tourist cities, it is important to watch out for pickpockets, especially where it’s busy, such as in historical areas, public transport and belvederes.

When to visit Lisbon? (Climate and weather)

Portugal has one of the most moderate climates in Europe, as it has mild winters and hot summers but mild temperatures (because it is located by the Atlantic Ocean). Thus, it is known to average about 300 days of sunshine a year. So, to choose the best time to visit Lisbon, as far as climate and weather and the type of clothes are concerned, you do not have to care much about!

In the Spring (March to June) you will find sunny weather with mild temperatures and flower gardens. The accommodation is more reasonably priced. In that sense, maybe this is the best time to visit Lisbon!

In Summer (June to September) you have warm but moderate weather, given the proximity of the sea and river. For this reason, there are many outdoor events and festivals. The beach days are long. You can enjoy meals and drinks in the pleasant terraces. Due to the high season, the accommodation has higher prices and there are more tourists.

In Autumn (September to December) the days are sunny with pleasant temperatures, and the first drizzle may appear. At this time there are cultural events with small crowds.

Relvado do Jardim de Belém no Inverno em Lisboa com Ponte 25 de Abril ao fundo; Belém Garden in Winter, Lisbon
Belém Garden in Winter, Lisbon

In Winter (December to March), the weather tends to be rainy, interspersed with pleasant sunny days to stroll. The cold is moderate given the proximity of the sea. In fact, it is the low season, with fewer tourists and when the accommodation has lower prices.

The weather in lisbon

As for weather throughout the year, these are the temperatures and precipitation that is found when visiting Lisbon:

Lisboa: Gráfico Meteorologia Temperatura e Chuva

Do I need a visa to visit Portugal?

If you are a citizen of one of the countries of the Schengen Area, which includes the countries of the European Union, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland, you do not need a passport or a visa to enter Portugal.

If you are a citizen of a third-country to the Schengen Area you must have a valid passport to enter Portugal. And depending on your country of origin or the length of your stay in Portugal you must also have a valid visa that is appropriate for the purpose of your stay, such as studying, working or other purpose.

For more information, see:

  • Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (SEF)
  • Embassy / Portuguese Consulate in your country.

How to get to Lisbon?

Lisbon has good transport links with other regions of Portugal and European countries, Africa, North and South America. And in recent years, also with several countries in Asia and Oceania. In this sense, you can arrive in Lisbon by plane, cruise, train or car. Alternatively, you can arrive by boat, motorhome, motorbike, bicycle, in your own transport, rented or even hitchhiking!

Where to stay in Lisbon?

Lisbon offers a wide range of quality accommodation for all budgets. Here are the best places to stay:

Baixa and Chiado

Called the “heart of the city” is the most central area of ​​Lisbon. From here you can quickly visit the main places of interest such as monuments, museums, restaurants, cafes and shops. Given its central location, hotels and apartments may have higher prices, but you will find good opportunities in hostels and guesthouses.

In this area, we suggest the Hotel da Baixa and Lisboa Carmo Hotel, both 4-star. Also the Lisbon Arsenal Suites, that is in the same category, but is more accessible. Finally, for those who want to stay in a hostel, the Home Lisbon Hostel, the Yes Lisbon Hostel and the Lost Inn Lisbon Hostel are good options to take into account.

Bairro Alto and Cais do Sodré

Typical neighborhoods of old houses, more suited for young people, with traditional high-street retailers and alternative trade. In the evenings they are full of people with traditional restaurants and bars open to the public. At Cais do Sodré, hotels are cheaper, though well located.

Therefore, Hostel Lisbon Calling has a good relation between location, quality and price.

Avenida da Liberdade

Taking as a model the Champs Élysées (in Paris), Avenida da Liberdade is surrounded by luxurious hotels, important offices and shops of great international brands, many of them luxury. Here hotels are more expensive, but you can find cheap hostels and guesthouses.

We highlight in this area, the Hotel Britania of 4 stars and the Valverde Hotel of 5 stars.

Príncipe Real

This quarter has historic buildings and palaces, antique shops, brand stores, design shops, art galleries, cafes and restaurants. It is a place a lot fancier and more charming, where accommodation is quieter, although public transport is less accessible.

In this neighborhood, the 5 star hotels, Memmo Príncipe Real – Design Hotels and the B & B, 1869 Príncipe Real are good options.

Alfama

It is a neighborhood with its own identity, surrounded by history (streets of Arab and Jewish origin) and fado. Great local accommodation offer.

Memmo Alfama – Design Hotels, of 4 stars and Alfama 3B – Balby’s Bed & Breakfast are two good examples of accommodation in the area.

ARROIOS, Avenidas Novas and Parque das Nações

These zones have several great hotels, at more reasonable prices. Although a little bit more distant from the city center, they have good public transport (underground and bus).

In Arroios you will find the Empire Lisbon Hotel and the Fenicius Charme Hotel, both of 3 stars. In Avenida Novas, in Areeiro, Gaspar House is one of the best guest houses in Lisbon. In a higher segment you have in the Parque das Nações the Tivoli Oriente Lisboa Hotel of 4 stars and the Myriad By Sana Hotels of 5 stars.

Tivoli Oriente Lisboa Hotel
Hotel in Lisbon

Tips: We advise you to stay in the centre of Lisbon (or around), where you’ll find an offer of exquisite hotels, mostly in old buildings recovered, with an interesting atmosphere. With the extra advantage of being able to get around on foot to get to know the essentials of the city.

When you visit Lisbon, it is worth remembering that, due to the high demand, prices vary according to location, time of year, availability and services provided.

How to get around Lisbon

In Lisbon you will find various transportation solutions and modern infrastructures, which allow you to easily move in or out of the city.

within lisbon

To get to know the historical center, walking is the best way! However, Lisbon has several hills, so walking may require some physical effort. This is rewarded however by the excellent panoramic views over the city and the Tagus River and the interaction with residents.

Another way to “live” the city is by bicycle. There are several dedicated cycle lanes and a rental system for sharing bikes and electric bikes, called “GIRA”.

Public transportation allows you to explore the whole city. The underground (metro in Portugal and subway in EUA) is a cheap and quick way to get around. The four metro lines cross and cover a good part of Lisbon.

Rede do Metro de Lisboa
Lisbon Metro network

Carris buses cover the entire city.

The typical tram, with its yellow color, is an ancient mode of transportation. They cross several historical districts and allow you to see picturesque details about Lisbon.

The elevators or funiculars, classified as national monuments, help you climb the hills of Lisbon. From there you can enjoy the views of the city and the Tagus River.

 Tuk tuks allow you to easily get to know the city, especially the city centre with tighter, steeper streets.

Finally, you also have an extensive offer of taxis and other providers of passenger transport services.

a trip outside lisbon

Driving gives you mobility and a good road network allows you to easily reach interesting sights, regardless of where you are, in Lisbon or other Regions of Portugal (such as the Algarve or Porto).

To travel outside of Lisbon, you can do it using public transport, either by bus, train or boat. The ferryboat crosses the Tagus River to the South Bank. This boat trip allows you to enjoy a different view of Lisbon and take great photos.

Cacilheiro no Rio Tejo com Lisboa ao fundo
Ferryboat (Cacilheiro) on the Tagus River, Lisbon

How to buy travel tickets in lisbon

To use public transportation (underground, buses, trams, elevators, trains or boats / ferries) in Lisbon or in its outskirts there are several transport tickets. So here are the most suitable options:

On-Board Fare

The Board Fare is valid for one trip and costs more than regular tickets and Zapping (detailed below). The board fare is purchased inside the bus.

Buy Tickets

Tickets are electronic tickets previously loaded into a “VIVA Viagem / 7 Colinas” card. They can be: “Bilhetes 24 horas“, with unlimited travel for 24 hours; or “Bilhete Único de Viagem” used in a single trip. They can be bought at the service stations or vending machines of transport operators.

Buy Zapping

Zapping are electronic titles previously loaded into a “VIVA Viagem / 7 Colinas” card. The travel amount is discounted to the card balance. They are purchased at the service stations and vending machines of the transport operators or at the Payshop agents and post offices (called CTT in Portugal).

Buy Lisboa Card  or  Cartão VIVA Viagem / 7 Colinas

There also exist two types of these cards:

  • Lisboa Card” is a discount card with many advantages for those visiting Lisbon. It allows you to save money (discounts and offers) on public transportation, in the main monuments, museums and other attractions of the city, as well as in shops of typical portuguese articles. This can be purchased in advance online or in person at a Tourist Office
  • Cartão VIVA Viagem / 7 Colinas” is an electronic card, reusable, used for occasional use on public transport in the Lisbon Region. You can load it with the above mentioned transport tickets “Tickets” and “Zapping”. They are purchased at the service stations and vending machines of the transport operators or at the Payshop agents and post offices (CTT).
Cartão Lisboa Viva
Cartão Lisboa Viva

Tips: – Consider buying the Lisboa Card, depending on the number of days and attractions you want to visit. This is a discount card with many advantages for those visiting Lisbon. Because it allows you to save money not only on public transportation, but also in the main attractions.

– For tours outside Lisbon, consider renting a car and taking a tour on your own. However, if you opt for an organized tour you will benefit from the information that the guide offers you, which can be a enriching experience.

Things to do in Lisbon

Lisbon has excellent weather and a great light, has ancient monuments and important museums, typical historical city districts, beautiful gardens and pleasant beaches, as well as numerous cultural attractions. To help you enjoy the visit to the capital of Portugal, see here the 10 Best Lisbon Attractions.

Do you want to take a day out of your Lisbon city break? Find here the definitive list of 6 Best Day Trips from Lisbon.

What to eat and drink in Lisbon

A highlight of your visit to Lisbon is its excellent cuisine. Why? Because of its fresh and flavorful ingredients, from the sea and the surrounding rural areas, with all the benefits of the Mediterranean diet.

The Lisbon cuisine is the result of the contact with several nations and cultures. Mainly due to the Portuguese Expansion, started in the 15th century, to distant regions in Africa, Asia and America.

One of the Portuguese favorite activities is eating out with family or friends. During your stay in Lisbon, try the best of the local cuisine and become a “Portuguese” for a few days :D…

In Lisbon you will find a wide variety of dishes and places to eat regional Portuguese or international cuisine, as well as traditional or modern.

Traditional lisbon food you need to try

Taste the typical entrees, dishes and desserts

In the entrees we suggest you try the famous cod fritters (pastéis de bacalhau), the cheese (fresh or dried) and the olives.

As main courses, given the proximity to the sea, we recommend the seafood (grilled shrimp or seafood rice). In addition, the grilled fish (sea bass or sea bream) or cooked. And since the Portuguese are fanatic about cod (called “faithful friend”), and prepare it in a thousand different ways, we advise “bacalhau à brás” or “meia desfeita de bacalhau”.

Shellfish rice

Then, as typical meat dishes of Lisbon region we suggest “iscas com elas” (liver), the suckling pigs, the “pregos” (steak sandwich) and the “bifanas” (pork steak sandwich).

For dessert, satisfy your sweet tooth with conventual sweets, namely “toucinho do céu“, “leite creme” (custard) or “arroz doce” (sweet rice). On the top of that a good coffee, but beware that coffees in Portugal are very strong!

Enjoy the Wines of Portugal

Portuguese wines are very special, therefore they have won a lot of awards. Tourists are talking about the amazing wine values they have found in Portugal.

Also taste the ginjinha (sweet cherry liqueur) in a place with the same name in Rossio Square.

Best restaurants in lisbon

In order to help you find a good restaurant, among the extensive offer, we present some of our favorite Restaurants in Lisbon. For each, we indicate its location (district) and the type of cuisine offer. The cost will obviously vary depending on your choice.

Bairro Alto

This district is a paradise of restaurants, where you can find options for all the tastes and budgets. The Cocheira Alentejana on Travessa do Poço da Cidade gives you a taste of the wonderful southern Portugal cuisine. At the Príncipe do Calhariz, on the Calçada do Combro or at the Antigo Primeiro de Maio, on Rua da Atalaia, you will find typical Portuguese food.

Baixa

In Pombalina downtown, on Rua de São Nicolau, you can enjoy a healthy and delicious brunch at Nicolau Lisboa, suitable for vegetarians and with vegan options.

Mouraria

In this district there are old traditional taverns with a family atmosphere and home cooking. Zé da Mouraria, on Rua João do Outeiro, and Zé dos Cornos, on Beco dos Surradores, are undeniably our favorites.

Alfama

In Beco de São Miguel, the Santo António de Alfama restaurant is our usual choice. We especially like to snack on the many different entrances of the menu.

Chiado

In this area we choose the Fábulas, on Calçada Nova de São Francisco, which, besides the fabulous decoration, presents a typical Portuguese cuisine. Our favorite dish is cod fritters (pasteis de bacalhau) with tomato rice.

Another good option is on Rua Nova da Trindade, the iconic Cervejaria Trindade (brewery), with its beautiful decorative tiles and where we like to enjoy the experience of eating a steak with special sauce and a beer.

Afterwards, we go for an ice cream in Gelados Santini, on Rua do Carmo.

Cais do Sodré

To admire the beautiful view of the river, the Portugália Cervejaria (brewery) in Cais do Sodré, is certainly a good choice for seafood, ‘bacalhau à brás’ (cod) or steaks, besides beer, of course :)! Also, Nogueira’s on Avenida 24 de Julho is another steakhouse to consider.

However, in order to have a more varied offer of dishes, you can also find on Avenida 24 de Julho, the Time Out Market Lisboa (in Mercado da Ribeira). There, in addition to the 30 restaurants, you can also buy Portuguese products, fruits, and more…

Time Out Market Lisboa no Mercado da Ribeira
Time Out Market Lisboa

Príncipe Real

In this district our favourite place is the Atalho Real restaurant, on the Calçada do Patriarcal, a small palace with garden that serves tasty meat.

After dinner, then go to the Pavilhão Chinês, on Rua D. Pedro V, a vintage bar where you can drink and admire the numerous collections and decorative objects.

Marquês de Pombal

Close to this area, you will find the Cacho Dourado restaurant, on Rua Eça de Queiroz, with typical Portuguese food. Here our suggestion is the grilled grouper head accompanied with sautéed potatoes and greens.

Avenidas Novas

In this area we highlight the Ti Lurdes, on Avenida Óscar Monteiro Torres, a local restaurant, with Portuguese food. Nearby and more sophisticated, there is People at Campo Pequeno Square or Gula’s for Kitchen Lovers at Rua Dona Filipa de Vilhena. However, for a lighter meal, we recommend on the Avenida de Roma, Frutaria Almeidas. Here you can eat the best “Pastel de Massa Tenra” of Lisbon (a kind of deep fried dumpling), accompanied by natural juice. For dessert, the strawberry cake is a must.

Pastéis de Massa Tenra at Frutalmeidas

Our suggested four-day Lisbon itinerary with expenses breakdown

Our four days in Lisbon itinerary offers up the best experiences, monuments, restaurants, how to get around and a breakdown of costs. For this number of days, we recommend the online purchase of the Lisbon Card, which allows you to access to public transport as well to a lot of attractions.
(We indicate with “◊” the activities in which the Lisboa Card gives free access or discounts).

4 day Lisbon itinerary

DAY 1 – ARRIVAL IN LISBON, KNOW HISTORICAL DISTRICTS

08:30 – Arrival to the Humberto Delgado Airport
09:30 – Buy SIM card with mobile data – internet and at the tourist office (Airport) pick up the Lisbon Card (for 72 hours)
– Take a Uber, Taxi or underground ◊ to the city centre
10:30 – Check-in at a hotel in Baixa (or close to that area)
– Rest a little

11:00 – Baixa (Restauradores, Rossio, Praça da Figueira, Baixa streets up to Praça do Comércio and up the Arco Monumental on Rua Augusta ◊)
12:30 – Go up in the Elevador de Santa Justa to Chiado (district), visit Largo do Carmo and consider visiting the Carmo’s Convent ◊
13:30 – LUNCH at the Cervejaria Trindade (brewery)
15:00 – Take the Tram 28 ◊ in Praça Luís de Camões to the Graça district
– Visit the Graça Viewpoint, Saint George Castle ◊, descend to Largo Portas do Sol and Santa Luzia Viewpoint
17:00 – Explore Alfama district
20:30 – DINNER at a fado house in Alfama
– Return to hotel

DAY 2 – EXPLORE BELÉM

08:30 – BREAKFAST in the hotel
09:00 – Take the Tram 15E ◊ in Praça da Figueira to Belém (district)
09:30 – In Belém, visit the National Coach Museum ◊
10:30 – Try the Pastéis de Belém (in the Antiga Confeitaria de Belém)

11:00 – Visit Monastery of Jerónimos ◊
12:30 – Belém Gardens
– LUNCH on the restaurant terrace (overlooking the garden or Tagus River)
14:30 – Take pictures to Monument to the Discoveries and its Compass Rose
15:30 – Visit Tour of Belém ◊
16:30 – Stroll along the Tagus River
17:00 – Visit the MAAT ◊ and photograph from its terrace the Tagus River and the 25 de Abril Bridge
18:00 – Take the Tram 15E ◊ from Belém to Cais do Sodré (district)
19:00 – DINNER at the Ribeira Market (and buy traditional Portuguese products)
21:30 – Explore the night in Bairro Alto (district) or Cais do Sodré
– Return to hotel

DAY 3 –DISCOVER LISBON OUTSIDE THE HISTORIC CENTRE

08:30 – BREAKFAST in the hotel
09:00 – Walk down the Avenida da Liberdade to Marquês de Pombal roundabout
10:00 – Take the underground ◊ (Marquês de Pombal station) to Praça de Espanha
10:30 – Visit Calouste Gulbenkian Museum ◊ (closed on Tuesday) and its gardens
13:00 – LUNCH in the Museum’s self-service restaurant
14:30 – Take the underground to Oriente Station ◊, in Parque das Nações (district)
15:00 – In Parque das Nações, visit Oceanário de Lisboa ◊
17:30 – Take a trip in the Parque das Nações Gondola Lift
– Visit EXPO’98 gardens
19:00 – DINNER In Parque das Nações overlooking the Tagus River
– Return to hotel

DIA 4 – EXPLORE LISBON REGION

– BREAKFAST in the hotel
– Take a TOUR to Estoril, Cascais, Cabo da Roca and Sintra.
(Visit the National Palace of Sintra ◊, National Palace of Pena ◊ and Sintra Mountain)
(LUNCH in Cascais or Sintra during the TOUR)
– DINNER near the hotel
– Return to hotel

Tip: Usually, public monuments and museums are closed on Monday and therefore avoid doing on that day of the week the suggested route for Day 2 (exchanges with Day 1 or 3)

BREAKDOWN OF COSTS TO A 4 DAY LISBON ITINERARY

Consider the following costs, for our suggested 4 Day Lisbon itinerary with the assumptions:
– The stay takes place in a hotel in the Baixa district or nearby, for 2 adults; – The costs of air fare, accommodation, travel insurance and visa are not included.

Breakdown of Expenses (for 2 persons):

4 € Mobile data card MEO Top Total 500 minute / SMS for all networks with 3GB of internet
2p x 40€ – Lisboa Card
2p x 9-13€ – Uber Transport from the Airport to the hotel (in Baixa) and return on the last day
2p x 4€ – Carmo’s Convent with Lisboa Card discount
2p x 10€ – Saint George Castle
2p x 8€ – Calouste Gulbenkian Museum with Lisboa Card discount
2p x 17€ – Oceanário with Lisboa Card discount
2p x 3,95€ – Parque das Nações Gondola Lift
2p x 75€ – Sintra Tour
2p x 10€ – National Palace of Sintra with Lisboa Card discount
2p x 14€ – National Palace of Pena with Lisboa Card discount
2p x 200€ – Food (4 lunches, 4 snacks, 3 dinners e 1 dinner at a restaurant featuring Fado)
This itinerary for 2 persons will cost you a total of: 799,9€

How to reduce costs in the Itinerary?

Tips: In meals you can save in various ways:

– In restaurants, at lunch, the daily dishes or the menus are usually cheaper than the other options;

– At the beginning of the meal if you do not want entrees, ask the employee to pick them up immediately from the table;

– If you want to drink wine, choose the house wine, as it is generally good value for money;

– In desserts, you can order only one to share;

You can switch between a trip to a restaurant and a trip to self-services, bars, cafes, fast food or street food that offer cheaper food;

You can also buy food at supermarkets, mini markets, convenience stores and fruit shops spread throughout the city and then have a picnic, enjoying the sun in the many gardens of the city.

Other important tips about Lisbon

Find other essential information about Lisbon that you should know, such as health, internet and communications, money and bank cards, opening hours, holidays, electricity, tourist offices and savings tips.

EMERGENCY AND HEALTH in Lisbon

In case of emergency in Portugal, if you need to call the Police, Fire or Ambulance, always call the European Emergency Number: 112.

To have access to the Public Health Services in Portugal (National Health Service):

  • The Portuguese must have the citizen’s card;
  • Other citizens of the European Union, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein must bring a citizen’s card, passport or other identification document and the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC); 
  • Brazilians 🇧🇷 (born or naturalized and foreigners residing in Brazil and Social Security taxpayers) must be informed about the Certificado de Direito à Assistência Médica (CDAM) and its respective conditions, in a Núcleo Estadual of the Ministério da Saúde brasileiro or in a Distrito Federal.

In other cases, we recommend purchasing a travel insurance that covers health expenses abroad.

Medicines and other health and personal care products are sold at pharmacies and parapharmacies, which are spread throughout the streets of Lisbon, shopping malls and the airport.

VACCINES AND IMMUNIZATIONS – Lisbon

Given that Portugal is a country with good sanitary conditions, you are not required to take specific vaccines. However, if at the time of travel, your country of origin is infected with a contagious or dangerous disease, upon arriving in Portugal you may have to prove that you have taken the respective vaccine.

COMMUNICATIONS AND INTERNET in portugal

In Portugal to connect to a landline or mobile phone, enter the country code +351, followed by the Portuguese number (with 9 digits).

To make and receive calls on your mobile phone in Portugal you can use the roaming of the operator’s card of your home country. Alternatively, for more intensive use, you can buy a card from an operator in Portugal.

To use the internet the best option will be to use free wifi in the growing number of hotspots in Portugal. In case of unavailability of wifi, we suggest the purchase of a data card for mobile phone, a hotspot / router for tablets and mobile phones or a pen for computer. The main mobile operators in Portugal are MEO, Vodafone and NOS and offer prepaid internet tariffs without monthly payment.

OPERATING hours in portugal

Usually, these are the opening hours in Portugal:

  • Public museums close on Monday and open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., with the last admission around 5.30 p.m.;
  • Restaurants open daily for lunch from 12 noon to 3:00 pm and dinner from 7:00 p.m. to 12:00 p.m. Some restaurants close one day a week;
  • Street stores open from Monday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Small shops can close at lunchtime, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. They close on Sunday and some stores close early on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. In the city center some shops are open on Saturday afternoons and / or on Sundays;
  • The shopping center stores are open every day from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. or until midnight;
  • Pharmacies will run from Monday to Friday, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., but may decide to be open 24 hours a day, every day of the week. Access to the service is guaranteed, so when a pharmacy is closed, it indicates the closest one that is open;
  • Banks are open from Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.;
  • The post office will run from Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The Restauradores post office opens on Saturday and the Airport post opens on Saturday and Sunday;
  • Embassies normally open from Monday to Friday, from 09:00 a.m. to 03:00 p.m..

MONEY AND CARDS in portugal

The Euro (€) is the official Portuguese currency and of the European Union: 1 euro is divided into 100 cents; There are notes of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 euros and 1 and 2 euro coins and 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents.

Payments can be made with debit card or credit card. Many payment terminals require a chip card and a PIN code. Visa is the most common payment system in Portugal and Mastercard is less frequent but in increasing use.

Cash withdrawals are mainly done at Multibanco (ATM), which is the easiest way to access your bank account or to make automatic payments (purchase of tickets and others). For this you need a bank card with chip and PIN code.

Bank branches are in large numbers and are spread throughout the country. Currency exchange bureaux are concentrated mainly in the most important cities, in the areas with the highest influx of tourists and in the Airports.

Tips: Since some small shops, restaurants and others accept only cash payments and not bank cards, it is best to ask them the means of payment before buying.

In restaurants and cafes usually it’s not charged a service fee. However, if a good service has been delivered then you can give a tip, which varies from € 1.00 up to 5-10% of the restaurant bill.

ELECTRICITY in portugal

The electric current used in Portugal has a frequency of 230 Volts / 50 Hertz. The electrical outlets follow the European standard, so the use of equipment that follows another standard (such as the American standard) should be combined with the use of a 230 Volt transformer and a power adapter.

TOURIST OFFICES

If you need more information when visiting Portugal, you can get it at the tourism information offices. These are spread throughout the main cities and tourist areas of the country, offering maps and leaflets. Some tourist offices also provide other services, such as accommodation reservations or car rentals.

In Terreiro do Paço (Praça do Comércio) in the centre of Lisbon, you will find the main tourist office “Lisboa Welcome Center”. In addition to this, there are other official tourism offices “Ask Me”. We highlight the ones located in Humberto Delgado Airport, Foz-Restauradores Palace, Belém, Parque das Nações and the Santa Apolónia and Rossio train stations.

language

The Portugal official language is Portuguese, derived from the Latin.

The Portuguese language has about 250 million native speakers and is listed as the 4th most spoken language in the world, following Chinese (Mandarin), Spanish (Spanish) and English. It is spread over 5 continents, following the expansion of the Portuguese Discoveries of the 15th-16th centuries.

Portuguese is also an official language in Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe, Guinea-Bissau and Timor-Leste. Additionally Portuguese is spoken in some parts of the globe, such as Macau (China) and Goa, Daman and Diu (India).

If you do not speak the Portuguese language you do not have to worry, because portuguese love to welcome foreigners and are eager to communicate with them!

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