Basic information before visiting Portugal


You have decided to visit Portugal. You bought your plain tickets, you prepared a short itinerary with the places you want to see, you established the amount you are willing to spend and booked a room in a hotel. So everything seems perfect. If you do not want to experience any unpleasant surprises I suggest you should take into consideration some basic information before visiting Portugal. Here are some tips and advices that might come in handy to you while being in a foreign country.

Legal advices

Respecting the laws and legal requirements is a must, regardless of the country you are in, and thus, one must also be obliged to do so in Portugal. If you are a member of the EU visiting Portugal will not be a problem provided you have your identification card or passport with you, while if you are traveling from a non-EU country, one should get informed on the visa requirements. Presenting some forms of identification when asked by the police or other legal authorities is a must in Portugal. Also, drug consumption is punished with confiscation of the substances (and personal belongings) and even a fine, while selling or trafficking drugs represents a criminal offense. It is very important to get informed before leaving your country on the address of the consulate or the embassy.

Medical and financial services

A vacation does not always go as planned, sometimes, unexpected things may happen and in this case, one should know how to react. In case of emergency call 112 and an ambulance, the police or the firefighters, as required by situation, will assist you in a couple of moments. It is very important to have a yellow fever vaccination certificate if travelling to Madeira or Azores. Also, it would be wise to buy a European Health Insurance card that provides treatment and facilities at a low cost but you will also need medical and travel insurance.Portugal’s national currency is Euro, but there are also several banks in the main cities that offer currency exchange services. Credit cards are accepted in the Portuguese restaurants and bars but if you are thinking of visiting small towns or villages you might need to have cash on you.

Behaving in Portuguese society

Regardless of the purpose of your visit to Portugal, business or for holidays, getting in contact with the Portuguese people will be inevitable. So, you should be aware of some advices that might help you in engaging a conversation with the locals. Of course, it would be better if one knew Portuguese but I am sure you will find some nice people that speak English, too. First of all, one must understand that the Portuguese are a people that puts great importance on politeness, formality and respect. But don’t worry, they are far from being stiff. If in the beginning one must address the Portuguese man with “senhor” and the Portuguese women with the title “senhora”, after the atmosphere becomes more familiar, you will definitely be invited to call them by their surname. They also think that first impressions always count and that the first appearance and the way one is dressed provide a lot of information on one’s character and social status.


I hope these tips offered you the basic information before visiting Portugal and that will only make your stay more pleasant. For more details go to or contact your embassies and consulates in Portugal.

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