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Portugal: FAQs

Our frequently asked questions about travel to Portugal. If you have any other questions, please contact your travel designer or concierge.

Do I need to get a visa?

Visas are not required for visits not exceeding 90 days per six-month period for passport holders from the USA, Hong Kong, Singapore and the European Union.

A valid passport for 6 months beyond your return date is required to enter Portugal and at least one page for stamps. We recommend you check whether you require a visa for the countries you are visiting AND flying through (in-transit).

Will I need travel insurance?

It is vital that you take out valid comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical repatriation, cancellation and curtailment for you trip to Europe. This gives you peace of mind that you will not lose money should you be forced to cancel your trip due to illness before you travel or during your vacation.

Please ensure that your insurance covers you for medical evacuation and repatriation both internationally and locally, and we advise that your policy covers loss and theft of your possessions. It is your responsibility to ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all aspects of your vacation. You must ensure that you will be covered for activities such as walking, rafting, canoeing and horse riding.

Remember to carry your insurance details with you at all times.

What currency should I bring?

The official currency in Portugal is the Euro (€). If you haven’t exchanged money back home or you aren’t pulling funds out of an ATM machine in Portugal, exchanging money is more streamlined at the big banks in city centres.

The use of major credit cards is widespread among Portugal shops, making shopping easier. This is also the easiest way of having money without having to carry large amounts of cash, which minimizes your losses in case of loss or theft. You will be asked to show an ID with picture in order to pay with a credit card.

Change of foreign currency: ATMs—most with instructions in English—are located in all cities and most small towns, usually in or outside banks. Outside of normal banking hours, you gain access to ATMs by inserting your credit or cash card into a slot in the door. You can lock the door from inside.

What electrical plugs are used?

The electric current in Portugal is 230/400 volts at a frequency of 50 hertz and the electrical plug is Type F (two circular pins) which comply with European standards. You will need a 230-volt transformer and an adaptor to use American-style flat-prong plugs.

What is transport like in Portugal?

Taxis offer fair value over short distances, and are plentiful in large towns and cities. Ordinary taxis are usually marked with an ‘A’ (which stands for aluguer, for hire) on the door, number plate or elsewhere. They use meters and are available on the street and at taxi ranks, or by telephone for a surcharge

In larger cities, including Lisbon and Porto, meterless taxis marked with a T (for turismo) can be hired from private companies for excursions. Rates for these are higher but standardised; drivers are honest and polite, and speak foreign languages.

Portugal has an extensive railroad network, making for a scenic way of travelling between destinations; see www.cp.pt

What is the weather like in Portugal?

Portugal is mainly characterized by a warm temperate, Mediterranean climate with a distinct wet season in winter. During winter, Portugal experiences a similar temperature pattern to the Spanish coastal towns, i.e. average daytime maxima of about 16°C (61°F). However, the Portuguese resorts are much wetter, with only about 14 dry days on average. On average 5-6 hours of sunshine can be expected per day. A gradual warming-up process takes place during the spring months, daytime average maximum temperatures reaching up to 22°C (72°F) by May. The Atlantic-facing coast remains wetter than the Mediterranean-facing Spanish coast, with about 18 dry days per month. Daily sunshine hours number about 10 on average.

During summer months, Portugal receives refreshing sea breezes, making for very pleasant conditions. Daytime maximum temperatures reach 25°C (78°F), 11 or 12 hours of sunshine can be expected, and there are as many as 29 dry days per month on average. The northern region benefits from the Atlantic cyclones southern and eastern areas are dominated by the subtropical anticyclone that allows temperatures to rise up to 40°C during summer. As in other regions, September and the first part of October form an extension of summer. Daytime average maximum temperatures can still be as high as 26 °C (79 °F), but will have fallen back to about 17 °C (63 °F) by November.Daily sunshine hours fall back from about 9 hours in September to about 5 or 6 hours in November. The end of the autumn has reverted to being a wet period, with about 12-17 dry days on average per month.

Local restaurants

We highly recommend that you make restaurant reservations in advance of your trip. Once you receive your Jacada travel pack, you should begin thinking about restaurants that you would like to visit. Jacada offers a concierge service which can assist you with these reservations. If you are looking to reserve Michelin star restaurants, we advise you do this as soon as possible as some may even take reservations more than one year in advance.

Tipping

Tipping in Portugal is not mandatory. In every single establishment in Portugal, service is included with the price of the meal or drink. Tipping is a common practice at bars and restaurants, hotels, and taxis, depending on the total price for the service. It is usually around five to ten percent of the total price.

Please use the following guidelines but only if you have been fully satisfied with the services provided.

Taxis: round up to nearest Euro
Restaurants: 5-10%
Room service/ waiter: A couple of Euro
Guided tour: €20 to the guide half day/ €30 full day total
Private transfers: €10 to the driver total
Private car and driver: €20 to the driver half day/ €30 full day total
Full-time driver: €30 per day to the driver total