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Portugal

Portugal

Entry formalities

Citizens of the European Union, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Romania and Switzerland need only an identity card to enter Portugal.

In addition to their identity card, minors must also present authorisation from their parents to travel.

For visits of less than 90 days, a passport valid for at least three months after the end of their stay is necessary for visitors from Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Guatemala, Holy See, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, United States of America, Uruguay, Venezuela, Special Administrative Regions of the People’s Republic of China in Hong Kong and Macao and Taiwan territorial Authority.

Citizens from countries not mentioned above need a visa to enter Portugal, which may be requested at the Portuguese Embassy or Consulate of their country for stays of up to 90 days.

Under the terms of the Convention Implementing the Schengen Agreement, flights between Schengen states are considered to be internal flights and passengers do not need to obtain another visa.

Transports

Air

Portugal’s excellent geographical position makes it a stopover point for many foreign airlines at airports all over the country:
Lisbon - Portela Airport - Phone: 218 413 500 
Oporto - Dr. Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport - Phone: 229 432 400
Faro - Faro Airport - Phone. 289 800 800
Funchal, Madeira - Funchal Airport - Phone: 291 520 700
Ponta Delgada, Azores - João Paulo II Airport - Phone: 296 205 406

Rail

CP - Comboios de Portugal (www.cp.pt), the Portuguese railway company, offers a vast rail network covering the whole of mainland Portugal and also offers international train services to Vigo, Madrid and Paris.
There are a number of options to meet your needs:
- The top-of-the-range "Alfa Pendular" trains offer the fastest and most comfortable rail link between Lisbon and the Algarve and, in the north, Oporto or Braga, with stops in Coimbra.
- The "Intercidades" or Intercity service covers the Lisbon-Oporto-Guimarães, Lisbon-Guarda, Lisbon-Covilhã, Lisbon-Évora-Beja and Lisbon-Faro routes.
- The international Sud-Express train and Lusitânia hotel-train leave from Lisbon.
- There is a vast network of regional, inter-regional and suburban trains covering the whole of the country.

Road

Portugal has a good road network composed of Motorways (AE), Main Trunk Routes (IP), Complementary Trunk Routes (IC), Main (National) Roads (EN) and Secondary (Municipal) Roads.
There are two types of motorways: 
– the traditional motorways with toll booths, where payment is made either in cash or by bank card. These motorways also have a Via Verde (green channel), which is an electronic toll system that allows drivers  to make the payment by bank debit and is intended for use solely  by those who have an electronic device identifying their vehicle, which they have previously acquired at one of the respective sales outlets (www.viaverde.pt)   
- and motorways that have an exclusively electronic toll system, where tolls are collected by exclusively electronic means. As vehicles pass through the toll gates, they are picked up by electronic detectors placed at the entry to the channels, which are identified with the words “Electronic toll only”. 

Coaches 

There are regular coach services between Portugal’s main towns and cities. For details of routes, timetables and fares visit www.rede-expressos.pt the website of Rede Nacional de Expressos.

Underground

The underground is an important addition to the traditional forms of public transport.
In Lisbon and Oporto it operates between 6 a.m. and 1 a.m. 
The Lisbon underground (www.metrolisboa.pt) is the older of the two and reaches a considerable part of the city. Its network has gradually been extended in recent years. Both the oldest and the most recent stations are decorated with panels of tiles by renowned Portuguese artists, making them true underground art galleries.
In Oporto, the underground (www.metro-porto.pt)  is new. There are six lines in operation - blue, red, green, yellow, violet and orange -, and most of their route is above ground.

Taxis

Taxis are usually cream in colour, although there are still some painted black with a green roof in the traditional Portuguese style. 
The fare is shown on the taximeter. The prices are affixed inside the car or you can ask the driver about them. 
If you phone for a taxi you have to pay an extra 0.80 euros. There is a charge of 1.60 euros for luggage, regardless of weight or the number of pieces. 
Carry cots, pushchairs, wheelchairs and walking aids are carried free of charge. 
Outside towns, transport by taxi is paid per kilometre, and the passenger is informed of the amount in advance. Where they exist, the passenger has to pay the road tolls there and back. 
Tipping is at the passenger’s discretion, though it is normal to tip 5-10% or round the amount up to the nearest euro.

Driving

Vehicles drive on the right in Portugal. Unless otherwise indicated, vehicles coming from the right have priority in squares and at intersections. At junctions with roundabouts, vehicles already on the roundabout have right of way.
Road signs comply with international rules.

Compulsory papers: 
- Personal ID
- Driving licence
- Motor insurance certificate
- Vehicle registration or equivalent
- Vehicle logbook (livrete)or equivalent

On the spot fines are issued.

Speed limits for cars without trailers and motorcycles:
  50 kph - in built-up areas
  90 kph - on normal roads
100 kph - on roads restricted to motor vehicles
120 kph - on motorways

All occupants must wear seat belts.

The Portuguese Highway Code forbids the use of mobile phones while driving, unless you’re using hands-free equipment or an earphone.

Driving for disabled persons
In Portugal, the driving regulations for disabled persons relate solely to their physical and mental fitness and may result in restrictions or adaptations that must be mentioned in the driving licence.
Disabled persons with a driving licence that is valid in Portugal may drive vehicles provided that they comply with the restrictions or adaptations relating to their situation.
Parking cards for people with disabilities, based on the standardised Community model and issued by any of the Member States, are recognised in Portugal. The spaces reserved for this purpose are clearly signposted. Parking is permitted in other places, in situations of absolute necessity, provided that this is only for short periods of time and does not interfere with the normal and free circulation of pedestrians and vehicles.

Alcohol, drinking and driving
It is against the law to drive with a blood alcohol level of 0.5 grams per litre or more.
- A blood alcohol level between 0,5 g/l and 0,8 g/l is considered a serious offence, and it is sanctioned with a driving inhibition between 1 month and a 1 year and a fee payment of an amount from 250 up to 1.250 euros. 
- A blood alcohol level between 0,8g/l and 1,2g/l is a very serious offence, sanctioned with a period of driving inhibition between 2 months and 2 years and the a fee payment of an amount from 1.250 up to 2.500 euros.  
- A blood alcohol level of 1,2g/l or more is considered a crime, that can be punished with imprisonment up to 1 year or fee penalty up to 120 days, and driving inhibition between 3 months and 3 years.

Car rentals
There are car rental services at airports, international rail terminuses and in the main towns and cities. 
Drivers with mobility difficulties, or anyone who prefers to, can rent automatic or adapted vehicles. 
To rent a car you must: 
- be at least between 21 and 25 years old, depending on the company’s rental policy 
- show identification (identity card for EU citizens or a valid passport for other nationalities) 
- have had a driving licence for more than one year.

Communications

Telephones 

In public telephone booths, coins and special cards can be used. They are sold in MEO shops, post offices and some kiosks and news-stands (with a sign indicating this). 
All telephone numbers in Portugal are composed of nine digits. To call from abroad to Portugal, it is necessary to dial the international access code 00 and the country code 351. 
To call abroad from Portugal, dial 00, the country code, the area code and then the number wanted. The dialling codes of the various countries are affixed in public telephone booths.

Mobile phones 

Portugal is one of the countries with the highest number of mobile phone users. 
There are three network service providers - TMN, MEO and Optimus – that have roaming agreements with most international mobile phone companies and provide users with a good coverage nationwide.
The Portuguese Highway Code forbids the use of mobile phones while driving, unless you’re using hands-free equipment or an earphone, and there are established penalties that can be applied in the event of any infringement.

Internet 

Internet access is available on payment in some cafés and in numerous post offices that have the Netpost service. 
In various hotels and public facilities, like Airports, Conference centres, Restaurants, Service Areas in motor-ways and shopping centres, there are duly marked "wi-fi" areas where it is possible to access wireless Internet.

Services

Banks

Banks are open from 8.30 a.m. to 3 p.m. five working days a week. 
Portugal has a national network of cash machines (ATMs) identified by the symbol MB (Multibanco), from which you can withdraw cash 24 hours a day.

Post Offices

In general, post offices are open from Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.Central and airport offices have extended opening hours and may be open on Saturdays and in some cases also on Sundays. 
Stamps are sold in post offices and vending-machines in the streets. 
Many post offices have the Netpost service that on payment allows access to personal e-mail and the Internet. 
More detailed information about opening hours and services available at each office can be found on www.ctt.pt

Pharmacies

In general, pharmacies are open on weekdays between 9am and 7pm (some close for lunch from 1 to 3 p.m.) and on Saturdays between 9am and 1pm.
They display an illuminated green cross outside when open at night. 
All of them have information posted on the door indicating the nearest pharmacies that are open at night.

Shops

Traditionally, shops are open from Monday to Friday, from 9 or 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Some close for lunch from 1 to 3 p.m. On Saturdays from January to November, shops generally close at 1 p.m. though in city centres some are open in the afternoon. 
Shops tend to stay open on Saturday afternoons and sometimes even on Sundays in December for Christmas shopping.
There are plenty of shopping centres inside and outside the cities that are usually open from 10 a.m. to midnight every day of the week. They generally have stores with the main international brands. 
However, traditional shops with Portuguese products can be found particularly in the streets of the older neighbourhoods of towns and cities.

Cost of living


Before travelling, consult the indicated average prices of certain products and services, in order to gain an idea of the cost of living in Portugal.

Food and drinks

Prices vary in function of the type of establishment and whether or not the cost includes a table service or esplanade service, as a result of which the prices presented are purely indicative.
An espresso coffee, which is so popular amongst the Portuguese and is normally referred to as a “bica”, costs around €0.60 to €0.70 at the counter of a traditional café. A galão (cup of coffee with milk) may cost between €0.70 and €1.20 and a cup of tea between €1 and €1.50.  A glass of natural orange juice costs around €2.50 and a beer or Coca-Cola costs between €1 and €1.50. A cheese or ham sandwich costs between €1.50 and €2.50 and a slice of toast or cake will be less than €2.
If you have a full meal it may be around €8 to €11 per person in a snack bar, between €13 and €20 in a restaurant and around €30 to €50 in a first-class restaurant or Fado house.

Culture

An entrance ticket to a Museum, National Monument or exhibition may cost between €1.50 and €8.50. A cinema ticket costs around €6,50. Theatre tickets may vary between €10 and €30 and tickets for concerts, opera or ballet performances between €10 and €75.
In order to watch a bull fight, (the bullfighting season is between Easter Sunday and All Saints day), tickets may vary between €15 and €75, depending on the bull-ring and participants.

Transport

Trains

The journey between Lisbon and Oporto on the Alfa Pendular train (the fastest and most comfortable train) may vary between €30,30 and €42,40 (2nd or 1st class) and on InterCity trains the price varies between €24,30 and €35.90.
From Lisbon to Faro the fare is between €22,20 and €29.80 on the Alfa Pendular train and between €21 and €27.80 on the InterCity train.
If you want to visit the sights on the outskirts of the capital, train tickets cost €1.25 from Cais Sodré to Belém or from Rossio to Queluz-Belas, €1.55 from Alcântara to Oriente, and €2.15 from Lisbon to either Sintra or Cascais.
www.cp.pt 

Express coaches

There are regular connections between the main Portuguese cities.  The journey between Lisbon and Oporto may cost around €19, between Lisbon and Faro, €20, between Faro and Oporto €31 and between Lisbon and Coimbra €14,50.
www.rede-expressos.pt 

Taxis

In the urban service, the minimum charge (initial price) during the daytime is €3,25 and €3.90 at nighttime, weekends and public holidays. The final fare will be determined in function of the distance travelled and the time.
Ordering a radio taxi results in an additional cost of €0.80 and transport of luggage requiring use of a roof rack or car boot implies a supplement of €1.60.
For transport outside urban areas, the service is paid on a per kilometre basis, and the cost of the return journey is also calculated, regardless of whether or not the passenger makes the return trip.  Normally the price is informed at the start of the trip.

Urban transport

Lisbon

The “Lisboa card” permits the use of all public transport facilities in the city and trains between Lisbon and Sintra or Cascais and also offers free entrance or discounts in monuments, museums or tourism circuits.  The prices are €18.50 for 24 hours, €31.50 for 48 hours and €39 for 72 hours. Prices for children aged between 5 and 11: 24h - €11,50; 48h - €17,50; 72h - €20,50
www.askmelisboa.com
 
Carris: A ride on a bus costs €1.80, and on a  tram €2.85. 
www.carris.pt 

A simple metro ticket costs €1.40. (www.metrolisboa.pt) 
The “Sete Colinas” card which is sold in the ticket kiosks of Carris and the Metro for €0.50, may be charged with a simple ticket, or combined ticket for the Carris and Metro networks that cost €6.00 for one day.

Oporto

The ”Porto Card” enables unlimited use of all public transport and offers free entrance or discounts on tickets to various monuments and museums, and also for performance venues, cruises on the River Douro, tourism circuits, traditional shops and restaurants.  The pass costs: €5.00 for Walker-1 day,  €10.50 for one day (general), €17.50 for two days and €21.50 for three days.
http://short.visitporto.travel/portocard 
A bus ride costs €1.80 and a simple metro ticket costs €1.70. Combined tickets for buses, Metro and train within the urban area of Oporto (Andante) cost €7 for one day and €15 for three days.
www.stcp.pt 
www.metrodoporto.pt

Petrol and diesel 

Prices are set in the free market and vary in accordance with the cost of a barrel of crude oil in the international markets.  At present (2013/02/05), petrol costs around €1.60 per litre, diesel €1,47 per litre and GPL €0,80/litre.

 

Information Courtesy Of Portugal Tourism

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