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Country Roads of Portugal - Insight Vacations

Portugal Travel Tips




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Banks are open 8.30am - 3.00pm Monday to Friday in Portugal and closed on official holidays. Foreign currencies and especially Travellers cheques are now a day's difficult to exchange in banks (unless depositing) just like travellers cheques in specialized stores called Foreign Exchange Bureaus in Portugal. You should consider purchasing the Euro currency at a more favorable exchange rate, at home before you arrive in Portugal. Most major credit cards are widely accepted and recommended but consult with your credit or debit card bank about the foreign exchange transaction fees charged for using your card in Portugal.

Climate & Clothing

The north of Portugal has a maritime climate, cool and often wet. The southern and inland regions are more continental with a warm drier climate. Temperatures can be very high here in mid-summer. Lisbon is generally mild and sunny but rain can be expected throughout the year. Portugal is usually warm from April to October - medium weight clothing is recommended and rainwear. Casual wear is acceptable; however, beachwear should be restricted to the beach and pool areas.


1 Euro (€) = 100 Cents

Notes: 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 & 5

Coins: Euros 2, 1 and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 & 1 Cents


220 volts with continental 2pin plugs.

Embassies & Consulates

AUS: Avenida da Liberdade, 200, 2nd floor 1250-147 Lisbon Portugal Tel: + 351 21 310 15 00

UK: Rua de São Bernardo 33 Lisboa 1249 - 082 Portugal Tel: +351 21 392 40 00

CAN: Avenida da Liberdade, Nº. 196-200, 3rd Floor, 1269-121 Lisbon, Portugal Tel: (011 351) 21 316 46 00

NZ: Av. António Augusto de Aguiar, 122 1050-019 Lisboa Lisbon Tel: 213509690

RSA: Avenida Luis Bivar, 10 1069-024 Lisboa Picoas, Parque São Sebastião Portugal Tel: +351 21 319 22 00

USA: Avenida das Forças Armadas 1600-081 Lisboa Tel: 351-21-727-3300

Food & Drink

Seafood is very popular in Portugal, however, it can be expensive. A typical Portuguese Seafood Rice dish (Arroz de Marisco, shellfish cooked and served with green wine a young semi-sparkling wine). A good meal in Portugal begins with a soup, perhaps ‘caldo verde’ (a thick soup made from shredded cabbage and potatoes with a sprinkling of olive-oil and a slice of chorizo). ‘Bacalhau’ (dried and salted cod) is the national dish and the Portuguese have invented 365 different ways of cooking it; the simplest is boiled with potatoes and cabbage. For dessert, a Unique Portuguese Meringue Pudding, (Molotoff made with egg-whites & egg-yolks for the covering) or a Portuguese custard tart or egg tart pastry, (Pastel de nata or de Belém) is also popular. Local wines and port are excellent and reasonably priced.


The country is divided into 18 districts in mainland Portugal, plus two autonomous regions (Azores and Madeira islands). North Portugal is quite mountainous. The Algarve is a popular resort area with wide sandy beaches and many attractive bays.


Free go to: BES Arte e Finança Praça do Marquês de Pombal 3 1250-161 Lisboa Phone: 213 597 358 Net cafés are everywhere, expect to pay €1.50 to €4 per hour.


Portuguese is the official language of Portugal.

Manners & Customs

The pace of life is leisurely and normal courtesies should be observed. Each district has its own folklore and traditions. Smoking is prohibited in doors.

Postal Services

Mail boxes in Portugal are bright red and post offices are open 9.00am - 6.00pm Monday to Friday. Postage stamps may be purchased from post offices, and machines on the streets.


The majority of Portuguese are Roman Catholic.


Most shops and stores are open 9.00am - 7.00pm (with one hour lunch in, between noon and 3.00pm) Monday to Friday and 9.00am - 1.00pm on Saturday. Shopping centers are usually open Mon-Sun 10.00am – 11.00pm. Moroccan invaders introduced the craft of filigree jewellery. Other characteristic souvenirs include painted tiles, embroidery from Madeira, carvings in cork and many styles of local pottery.


IDD services are available and the outgoing international code is 00. International calls can be made from public phones found in many towns and most villages. Public phones may also be found in cafes and bars, at more of a cost. The eKit access number for Portugal is: 800-812-993.

Time Difference at noon in Lisbon

Auckland - 1.00am following day

Jo'Burg - 2.00pm

London - Noon

New York - 7.00am

Sydney - 11.00pm


It is safe to drink tap water in all of Portugal, being effectively disinfected. Some irregular situations are found in small rural communities. Bottled water is widely available for the more sensitive stomachs.

Featured Trips

  • Sail the Baltic Sea, crossing rolling tundra and glassy fjords in your search for the midnight sun, all the while enjoying the local culture, history and striking scenery.

  • Embark on a colourful autumnal journey through this picturesque corner of North America and experience an Indian Summer in all its glory. Along the way you'll delve into Boston's transformative past as you follow part of the red-brick Freedom Trail. You'll visit the quintessential Vermont village of Woodstock and capture the Silver Cascade waterfall and Bretton Woods, which offers stunning views of Mount Washington, all while staying at the best addresses, with the best company.

  • Delve beneath the surface of these two amazing countries. Sample their signature dishes, share in their culture and marvel the legacy of their rich sea-faring history.

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