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Travel Insurance Portugal


Portugal Country Guide

  1. CountryFacts
  2. Health
  3. Media
  1. Intro
  2. Geography
  3. People
  4. Travel
  5. Embassies & Visas
  6. Finance
  7. Cities/Regions

Quick Facts

Region: Europe
Full Name: Portuguese Republic
Capital City: Lisbon
Language Spoken: Portuguese (official), Mirandese (official - but locally used)

Portugal Travel Insurance

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Geographic data

39 30 N, 8 00 W

Elevation Extremes

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m highest point: Ponta do Pico (Pico or Pico Alto) on Ilha do Pico in the Azores 2,351 m

Land boundaries

total: 1,214 km border countries: Spain 1,214 km

Natural hazards

Azores subject to severe earthquakes

Natural resources

fish, forests (cork), iron ore, copper, zinc, tin, tungsten, silver, gold, uranium, marble, clay, gypsum, salt, arable land, hydropower

Land use

arable land: 17.29% permanent crops: 7.84% other: 74.87% (2005)

Environmental current issues

soil erosion; air pollution caused by industrial and vehicle emissions; water pollution, especially in coastal areas


The northwest has mild winters with high levels of rainfall and fairly short summers. The northeast has longer winters and hot summers. In the south, summers (March to October) are warm with very little rain except in early spring and autumn. High temperatures are moderated by a permanent breeze in Estoril (July to August). Required clothing Light- to mediumweights and rainwear are advised.

Time difference

time difference: UTC 0 daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October


10,605,870 (July 2006 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 16.5% (male 915,604/female 839,004) 15-64 years: 66.3% (male 3,484,545/female 3,544,674) 65 years and over: 17.2% (male 751,899/female 1,070,144) (2006 est.)

Median age

total: 38.5 years male: 36.4 years female: 40.6 years (2006 est.)

Population growth rate

0.36% (2006 est.)

Birth rate

10.72 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death rate

10.5 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net migration rate

3.4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.09 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 77.7 years male: 74.43 years female: 81.2 years (2006 est.)

Total fertility rate

1.47 children born/woman (2006 est.)

Business Practices

Business people are expected to wear suit and tie for most business meetings and formal attire is expected in some dining rooms and for important social functions. In terms of everyday business the Portuguese are correct and civil. Business cards are generally only exchanged by more senior members of a company. They respect the time of their appointments and expect the same from others. They are thorough to a fault, often pouring over all the documents relative to a negotiation, and not too ready "to just hit the highlights". This is done partly to be careful (conservative) but also to demonstrate their grasp of the matter - - exhibiting pedantic merit rather than pragmatic merit. Many Portuguese speak two, often three languages, English being the preferred second language. Office hours are 0900-1300 and 1500-1900 Monday to Friday.


Pickpocketings, muggings, and purse snatchings are the most frequent occurrences. Visitors should take precautions to minimize the dangers of assault or theft, especially from hotel rooms. When out and about, visitors should bring only essentials; do not carry large amounts of money nor numerous credit cards or expensive cameras. Protect any externally carried bags and do not keep anything valuable in rear pockets. Leave nothing of value stored within a rental car or personally owned vehicle. A locked trunk is not a secure place for storage. Vehicular break-ins and vandalism are on the rise. The national emergency number is 112, for all police and medical emergencies. The professionalism and responsiveness of police have improved. Police communications systems have been vastly improved in recent years. However, police presence in rural areas is sparse, and the police have been undergoing a leadership crisis. Outside of the Lisbon area communicating with police in English may be difficult. Police response times to assistance calls outside of the Lisbon area can vary.


There is a wide range of accommodation available all over the country, ranging from luxury hotels, pensions, boarding houses and inns to simple guest-houses, manor houses, campsites and youth hostels. The government-run pousadas offer very good value and are often situated in places of scenic beauty in converted castles, palaces or old inns.


Telephone IDD service is available in Portugal. The country code is 351 and the outgoing international code is 00. Portugal is a fully "wired" country with regard to communications, making available all the services found anywhere else in Europe: long-distance calls on Stateside credit cards; cellular telephones (can be rented from Telecel at the airport departures area); video-conferencing in state-of-the-art facilities; Internet services; e-mail, etc.


is a 220 volts AC, 50Hz, 110 volts in some areas and 220 DC in parts of the south. Continental 2-pin plugs are in use. Electricity 220 volts AC, 50Hz. 110 volts in some areas and 230 DC in parts of the south. Continental two-pin plugs are in use.

Plug Types


Food And Dining

Seafood is popular, especially in Lisbon. Soup is a main dish. Portugals' sweet pastries are also worth a try. Thinsg to know: Table service is normal. There are no licensing hours.
National specialties:
? Seafood is popular, especially in Lisbon, but can be expensive.
? Sopa de marisco (shellfish soup cooked and served with wine).
? Caldo verde (green soup made with finely shredded green kale leaves in broth).
? Bacalhau (dried cod, cooked in over 100 different ways).
? Caldeirada is a fish stew with as many as nine kinds of fish, cooked with onions and tomatoes.
? Carne de porco ? Alentejana, in which bits of fried pork are covered with a sauce of clams stewed with tomato and onions.
? Puddings include arroz doce (rice pudding), Madeira pudding and nuvens (egg custard).
? Portugal's sweet pastries (available in most cafes) are also worth a try. National drinks: Portuguese wines have changed beyond recognition over the past 10 years. Many of these new, modern wines are indigenous varieties with distinctive flavors. Sparkling ros? wines are mostly produced for export.
? Mateus Ros? is a famous lightweight ros?.
? Portuguese brandies are also good; the best are produced around Oporto, where Port wines originate.
Generally 10 to 15 per cent. Taxi drivers are tipped 10 per cent.
The large towns offer every kind of entertainment. There are many nightclubs, theaters, cinemas, stage shows, folk dancing and music performances. The traditional Fado can be heard in many restaurants, and performances begin at about 2200. Gambling is authorized and Espinho, Estoril, Figueira da Foz and Monte Gordo have casinos. The elegant Estoril Casino is the most renowned.

Entry departure requirements

Note Portugal is a signatory to the 1995 Schengen Agreement.

Visa immigration information


Passport valid for at least three months beyond length of stay required by all except:
1. EU/EEA nationals (EU + Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway) and Swiss nationals holding a valid national ID card.
Note: EU and EEA nationals are only required to produce evidence of their EU/EEA nationality and identity in order to be admitted to any EU/EEA Member State. This evidence can take the form of a valid national passport or national identity card. Either is acceptable. Possession of a return ticket, any length of validity on their document, sufficient funds for the length of their proposed visit should not be imposed.


Passport validity depends on nationality;
2. A return or onward ticket and funds of ?75 plus ?40 per day are obligatory for all except EU and EEA nationals.


Required by all except the following for stays of up to 90 days:
(a) nationals referred to in the chart and under passport exemptions above;
(b) nationals of Andorra, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, El Salvador, Estonia, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong (SAR), Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Korea (Rep), Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Macau (SAR), Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Poland, Romania, San Marino, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Switzerland, Uruguay, Vatican City and Venezuela;
(c) transit passengers continuing their journey by the same or first connecting aircraft, provided holding onward or return documentation and not leaving the airport. However, nationals of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Congo (Dem Rep), Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iran, Iraq, Liberia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Somalia and Sri Lanka always require a transit visa, even when not leaving the airport transit area; contact the Consulate (or Consular section at Embassy) for details.

Types of visa and cost

A uniform type of visa, the Schengen visa, is issued for tourist, private or business visits. There are three types of Schengen visa: Short-stay, Transit and Airport Transit. Visa costs are dependent on the tariff charges of the issuing country and prices may vary with exchange rates. Check with your local Embassy for the most up-to-date prices.


A Schengen visa will be issued free of charge to the spouse and children of an EU national, upon presentation of the original marriage or birth certificate and a valid EU passport. For children, original full birth certificates are required.


Transit visas are valid for single or two entries of maximum five days, including the day of arrival. Visas cannot be extended; a new application must be made each time.

Application to

Consulate (or Consular section at Embassy) responsible for your place of residence; see Passport/Visa Information. Travelers visiting just one Schengen country should apply to the Consulate of that country; travelers visiting more than one Schengen country should apply to the Consulate of the country chosen as the main destination or the country they will enter first (if they have no main destination).

Application requirements

Tourism: (a) Passport or official travel documents accepted by Schengen countries, valid for at least three months longer than the validity of the visa, with blank page for attachment of visa sticker. (b) Application form. (c) One passport-size photo. (d) Proof of purpose of visit in the form of an official letter of invitation from host or business partner, provisional ticket booking and hotel booking where appropriate. (e) Proof of sufficient funds and medical insurance may also be required. (f) Fee (payable in cash or by postal order). (g) For postal applications, a large self-addressed envelope, stamped for registered or recorded delivery. (h) For applicants driving to Portugal, registration document, proof of legal ownership of the vehicle, driving license and insurance papers. Applicants entering Portugal by land must register with the Police within three days of arrival. Business: (a)-(g) and, (h) Letter from employer or, if self-employed, from solicitor, accountant, bank manager or local Chamber of Commerce stating purpose and duration of the visit. This should be faxed to the relevant Consulate at least 48 hours before submitting an application. References may also be required.

Working days required

From a few days to a few weeks. Apply in plenty of time.

Temporary residence

Contact the Consulate (or Consular section at Embassy) for further details; see Passport/Visa Information.

HIV entry requirements

No Test Required

Departure tax



Embassy of the Portuguese Republic in the UK

11 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8PP, UK
Tel: (020) 7235 5331.
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 0900-1300 and 1400-1730.

Portuguese Consulate General in the UK

3 Portland Place, London W1B 1HR, UK
Tel: (020) 7291 3770 or (0906) 550 8948 (recorded visa information; calls cost ?1 per minute).
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 0830-1330 (appointment only; closed UK and Portuguese public holidays).

Embassy of the Portuguese Republic in the USA

2012 Massachussetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20008, USA
Tel: (202) 328 8610.
Most visits to Portugal are trouble-free but you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate international terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.
Travelers should be aware of serious outbreaks of forest fires in Summer and take every care during their visit to rural areas.
This advice is based on information provided by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office in the UK. It is correct at time of publishing. As the situation can change rapidly, visitors are advised to contact the following organizations for the latest travel advice:

British Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

Tel: (0845) 850 2829.

US Department of State



The Euro is now the official currency of 12 EU member states (including Portugal). The first Euro coins and notes were introduced in January 2002; the Portuguese Escudo was still in circulation until 28 February 2002, when it was completely replaced by the Euro. Euro (?) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of ?500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Coins are in denominations of ?2 and 1, and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cents.

Currency restrictions

The import of local or foreign currency in cash or traveller's cheques is unlimited. However, there is an obligation to inform the customs authorities if foreign currencies exceed approximately ?4987.98/US$6000. The export of local currency is limited to ?498.80. There are no restrictions on the export of foreign currency although currency exchange receipts may be requested for amounts over ?4987.98. The export of gold, silver, jewelry and other valuables is limited to a value of ?149.64 and subject to special conditions. For details, contact the Embassy; see Passport/Visa Information.

Banking hours

Generally, Mon-Fri 0830-1500 (certain banks in Lisbon are open until 1800).

Currency exchange

Many banks offer differing exchange rates depending on the denominations of Portuguese currency being bought or sold. It is common practice for banks to charge 0.5 per cent commission with a minimum charge of approximately ?6/?10. However, some banks do not charge any commission on transactions of less than ?24.94. Check with banks for details and current rates. Additionally, ATMs, identified by the symbol MB (MultiBanco), are increasingly being installed and tend to be more efficient and only charge 2 per cent commission. There are also many bureaux de change available.

Credit cards

American Express, MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted, as well as Eurocheque cards. Check with your credit or debit card company for details of merchant acceptability and other services that may be available.

Travellers cheques

These are readily exchanged. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travelers are advised to take traveller's cheques in Euros, Pounds Sterling or US Dollars.

City/RegionCity/Area codeFollowed by
Abrantes241+ 6 digits
Angra do Heroksmo295+ 6 digits
Arganil235+ 6 digits
Aveiro234+ 6 digits
Beja284+ 6 digits
Braga253+ 6 digits
Braganea273+ 6 digits
Caldas da Rainha262+ 6 digits
Castelo Branco272+ 6 digits
Castro Verde286+ 6 digits
Chaves276+ 6 digits
Coimbra239+ 6 digits
Covilhc275+ 6 digits
Estremoz268+ 6 digits
?vora266+ 6 digits
Faro289+ 6 digits
Figueira da Foz233+ 6 digits
Funchal291+ 6 digits
Guarda271+ 6 digits
Horta292+ 6 digits
Idanha-a-Nova277+ 6 digits
Leiria244+ 6 digits
Lisboa21+ 7 digits
Mealhada231+ 6 digits
Mirandela278+ 6 digits
Moncorvo279+ 6 digits
Moura285+ 6 digits
Odemira283+ 6 digits
Penafiel255+ 6 digits
Peso da R?gua254+ 6 digits
Pombal236+ 6 digits
Ponta Delgada296+ 6 digits
Ponte de Sor242+ 6 digits
Portalegre245+ 6 digits
Portimco282+ 6 digits
Porto22+ 7 digits
Proenea-a-Nova274+ 6 digits
S. Joco da Madeira256+ 6 digits
Santar?m243+ 6 digits
Santiago do Cac?m269+ 6 digits
Seia238+ 6 digits
Setsbal265+ 6 digits
Tavira281+ 6 digits
Torres Novas249+ 6 digits
Torres Vedras261+ 6 digits
V. Franca de Xira263+ 6 digits
V. N. de Famalicco252+ 6 digits
Valenea251+ 6 digits
Viana do Castelo258+ 6 digits
Vila Real259+ 6 digits
Viseu232+ 6 digits
  1. Health Information
  2. Recent Disease Outbreak
  3. Hospital Database

Dental care

A high standard of dental care is available in Portugal

Medication Availability

International medication is available via pharmacies throughout Portugal

Blood supplies

Blood supplies are considered safe and screened to international standards

Medical facilities

Medical facilities are available in Portugal, but in some cases they may not meet Western standards.

General caution

Recent medical and dental exams should ensure that the traveler is in good health. Carry appropriate health and accident insurance documents and copies of any important medical records. Bring an adequate supply of all prescription and other medications as well as any necessary personal hygiene items, including a spare pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses if necessary. Take personal protective measures against insects. Drink only bottled beverages (including water) or beverages made with boiled water. Do not use ice cubes or eat raw seafood or rare meat. Eat well-cooked foods while they are still hot and fruits that can be peeled without contamination. Avoid roadside stands and street vendors. Only pasteurized dairy products should be consumed.

Specific concerns

The damp, chilly weather aggravates rheumatism, sinusitis and bronchial problems. Unrefined olive oil commonly used in Portugal is hard to digest. The high mineral content of tap water may cause digestive upsets.


Hepatitis A: Consider active immunization with hepatitis A vaccine or passive immunization with immune globulin (IG) for all susceptible travelers. Especially consider choosing active immunization for persons planning to reside for a long period or for persons who take frequent short-term trips to risk areas. The importance of protection against hepatitis A increases as length of stay increases. It is particularly important for persons who will be living in or visiting rural areas, eating or drinking in settings of poor or uncertain sanitation, or who will have close contact with local persons (especially young children) in settings with poor sanitary conditions. Hepatitis B: Vaccination is advised for health care workers, persons anticipating direct contact with blood from or sexual contact with inhabitants, and persons planning extended stays of 6 months or greater (especially those who anticipate using local health care facilities, staying in rural areas, or having intimate contact with the local population). Typhoid: Vaccination should be considered for persons staying longer than 3 weeks, adventurous eaters, and those who will venture off the usual tourist routes into small cities, villages and rural areas. Importance of vaccination increases as access to reasonable medical care becomes limited. Contraindications depend on vaccine type. Note: All routine vaccines (such as DTP or Td, Hib, MMR, polio, varicella, influenza and pneumococcal) should be kept up-to-date as a matter of good health practice unrelated to travel.

Disease risk summary

Bacillary dysentery and other diarrheas and typhoid fever are more common in the summer and autumn in southeastern and southwestern areas. A mild form of typhoid is common, as are dysentery, chicken pox and flu. Brucellosis occurs. High levels of immunization coverage have reduced the incidence of diseases such as measles and diphtheria. Influenza risk extends from November to April.

Entry requirements

Yellow fever: A certificate is required only from passengers over 1 year of age arriving from infected areas who are destined for the Azores and Madeira. No certificate is required from transit passengers at Funchal, Porto Santo and Santa Maria.

Recent disease outbreaks

No recent disease outbreaks

British HospitalRua Saraiva de Carvalho 49 Lisbon 200
Centro Hospitalar do Funchal HospitalAvenida Luis de Camoes Funchal Madeira
Clinica Medica InternationalRua do Regimento Dezanove 67-2 Largo Luis de Cameos Cascais 2750
Hospital CUFTravessa do Castro, 3 Lisboa 1350-070
Hospital Da Cruz Vermelha PortuguesaRua Duarte Galvao, 54 Lisbon 500
Hospital da HortaEstrada Principe Alberto do Monaco Granja Hora 9900 Faial Island Azores
Hospital de Santa MariaAvenue Prof .Egas Moniz 1699 Lisboa Codex Lisboa
Hospital de Santo Espirito de AngraCanada do Barreiro Angra do Heroismo 9701-856 Terceira Island Azores
Hospital Dos MarmeleirosEstrada dos Marmeleiros Funchal Madeira
Hospital Doutor Joao AlmadaQuinta Santana Monte Funchal Madeira
Hospital Particular do AlgarveSitia da Cruz Bota, Lote 27 Lote 27 Estrada de Alvor, 8500-322 Portimao Algave
Hospital Privado S. Goncalo de LagosAmeijeira de Cima Av. D. Sebastiao Lagos 800-502
Hospital Privado Santa Maria de FaroLargo Camoes 11 Faro 8000-140
MedilagosAmeijeira de Cima Bela Vista Lote 2 r/c Apartado 272 Lagos 8600


Public TV services are operated by RTP, which enjoyed a monopoly until the launch of commercial channel SIC in 1992. Today, Portugal's commercial TV stations provide tough competition for the public broadcaster.
Press: Each region has its own Portuguese-language dailies. The English-language newspapers published in Portugal include: Anglo Portuguese News (Lisbon) and The Portugal News (Algarve). Portugese dailies include: Diario Noticias, Publico and Expresso.
TV: R?dio e Televis?o de Portugal (RTP) is Portugal's public broadcasting organization. It operates public radio networks in the country. Radio Comercial and Radio Clube Portugues are two of the commercial channels. Radio Renascenca is very popular and owned by the Roman Catholic Church. Around 300 local and regional radio stations operate in Portugal.
Radio: RTP operates two domestic channels and external services RTP Africa and RTP Internacional. It had a monopoly position until the commercial channel Sociedade Independente de Comunica??o (SIC) was launched in 1992. TVI is another commercial channel, while TV Cabo is the main pay-TV operator. A wide range of domestic and foreign channels are available through Multichannel TV - via cable and satellite - in Portugal.