We've compiled our list of most frequently asked questions to help you get prepared before your big adventure to Portugal. Please read through the questions, using the navigation bar on the left hand side of your page to move easily between the different sections.
Please note that requirements and advice can change so we do recommend you check in with your own travel insurer, doctor and relevant local embassies before embarking on your adventure.
Are there any entry requirements for Portugal?
For US, Canadian and EU passport holders a visa is not required for stays of up to 90 days as Portugal is part of the Schengen border free zone.
For any other nationalities who do require a visa before arrival please make sure you have enough time to complete the process before arrival. We can help you to obtain hotel vouchers and a confirmed itinerary which are usually the documents required by the embassy to issue visas. All travellers should have at least one blank page for immigration stamps and should check the requirements of the countries they will transit through to reach Portugal.
Please note that requirements can change and we recommend that our guests contact the local embassy in the country where you live for the most recent and up to date information.
UK, US and Canadian passport holders will need more than 3 months left on your passport from your intended departure date. UK passport holders cannot travel if their passport is more than 10 years old, regardless of the expiry date.
We will confirm certain elements of your trip such as domestic flights, permits or train tickets using your current passport details. If a member of your party changes their name in their passport after booking (for example, through marriage or adoption) this could mean having to reissue important parts of the trip at an extra cost and subject to availability.
Do I need travel insurance?
Yes, once your trip is confirmed it is essential that you take out comprehensive travel insurance to cover you in case anything unexpected happens.
We always recommend that our guests get the maximum level of coverage that you feel comfortable investing in. Read more about travel insurance for US travellers here and for travellers from other countries here.
Do I need to visit a travel doctor before my trip?
Yes, it is always recommended to talk to your Travel Doctor before taking a trip. You should discuss your itinerary and international travel arrangements to hear any recommendations or advice they may have.
No vaccinations are required for travel to any part of Portugal.
What do I need to know about my regional flights?
Flights within Europe are usually with standard commercial airlines and airports are generally large and easy to transit. Two hours is the recommended time needed before check in for European flights. Most airlines will allow seat selection up to 48 hours prior to departure although seats are subject to change on most airlines. If you do have flights within your trip we will be sure to share the relevant ticket information with you before travel.
What will I receive from Jacada before I depart?
Before you head off on your adventure you will be sent a travel pack. The travel pack is full of great information and is also a beautiful keepsake. It is not necessary to travel with vouchers or confirmations on your trip but we do recommend having a printed copy of your travel itinerary to hand when you arrive into Portugal.
Bon Voyage email
Around 2 weeks before you depart we will email you an electronic version of your travel pack including your domestic flight tickets. Once you’ve received this email your Travel Designer will reach out to arrange a time for you to talk on the phone to go over any last minute questions and talk you through the information we’ve sent over.
Do I need to bring the local currency?
The currency in Portugal is the Euro and no other currency will be accepted. ATMs are generally easy to find (they will often charge a small fee for withdrawals) and credit cards are accepted widely in the main cities and larger shops and restaurants.
Large towns, cities and international airports will have currency exchange facilities where you can exchange US Dollars and other currencies, you will need to show ID (typically a passport) when you exchange currency in Portugal.
If you’re travelling to very remote areas then ATMs become less frequent so we recommend making sure you have the cash you need before leaving larger cities or towns.
Can you tell me about tipping and etiquette in Portugal?
Tipping is now fairly common practice in Portugal and can use the details below as a rough guide to help you plan how much you will tip during your trip. Please tip in Euros and cash is preferred, rather than adding the tip to a card in a restaurant.
- Tipping 10% in restaurants is standard for tourists for good service. Tipping is not expected for some smaller purchases such as a coffee, espresso or soft drink, although some people might leave the change or round up to the closest Euro. We recommend the same if paying for tapas or a sandwich in a bar
- For high-level restaurants, such as Michelin Star or similar you can tip up to 20% for excellent service.
- For a full day tour, with excellent service €50 is a rough guide
- For help with luggage at a hotel €1 – €5 per item
- Concierge services or room services €1 –€ 5 per service
- Housekeeping in a hotel should receive around €1 – €5 per day
- Tips to cab drivers are normally expected and you can roundup the fare to the nearest round number. For a short ride €1 – € 2 is fine, more for excellent service.
What’s the weather like and how should I pack?
Portugal follows a classic mediterranean climate with warm and dry summers and colder winters that do see some rain. Peak summer time can see very hot conditions so if you’re planning to visit cities or beach areas you should be sure to bring plenty of sun protection from a good SPF to wide brim hats and some thin cotton long sleeved shirts and pants.
What to pack depends on where you travel, your excursions and activities and the time of year you go. It’s best to speak with your travel designer or concierge for a personalised list of travel essentials we recommend packing.
Should I make restaurant reservations?
We highly recommend that you make restaurant reservations in advance of your trip. Once your trip is confirmed you will be introduced to your concierge who will be able to assist you in not only making the reservations but also making recommendations based on your preferences.
What’s the transport like?
Taxis are easy to find in the cities and commonly used. Hotels and restaurants will be happy to help you flag down a taxi. Trains are easy to use both within cities and for day trips out of the city, and generally reasonably prompt. We don’t recommend taking buses in cities.
How can I keep connected on my trip?
Portugal uses plugs C and F so you will most likely need a plug adapter for your trip to Croatia if you’re coming from overseas.
Wifi is generally easy to find in hotels, cafes and major restaurants. Cell phone coverage can be a little patchy in remote areas. It’s recommended to speak with your cell phone provider to ask about roaming charges.