WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW WHEN TRAVELLING TO PORTUGAL
• June to August – Summer
• September to October – Autumn
• November to March – Winter
• April to May – Spring
Portugal is a popular year-round destination with long hot summers and cool winters. Temperatures and climatic conditions vary from one side of Portugal to the other and travellers should be prepared for all weather conditions.
WHAT TO PACK
As you plan what to wear, keep in mind the season you are travelling in and pack and wear layers. We suggest layering like this: tank top or t-shirt, long sleeve shirt, jersey and then jacket. Always pack something to protect yourself against rain showers.
In general, there are no hard and fast rules for opening and closing times in Portugal.
Traditional shops may open from Monday to Friday between 9am or 10am and close around 7pm. Saturday opening, though, is becoming the norm. Many traditional shops in smaller towns and cities in Portugal will be closed on Sundays.
Shopping centres and shopping malls in the big cities usually open longer every day of the week.
Portugal is a member of the European Union with the Euro being the official currency.
Currency: Euro (EUR). EUR1 = 100 Cents.
Credit Cards are widely available and ATM’s are very prevalent.
You can drink the tap water in Portugal. It isn't as nice as tap water from other parts of the world but it's perfectly safe to drink. You'll see plenty of Portuguese people buying bottled water, but that's just because it tastes nicer.
TIPPING / PORTERAGE
• Porters Euro 1 to Euro 2 per bag
• Housekeepers Euro 1 to Euro 2 per night
• Taxi Drivers do not expect to be tipped but most people will round up to the nearest Euro.
• In restaurants 10% to 15% of the bill is very generous. It is uncommon for restaurants to add a service charge but if they do there is definitely no need to tip.
• Tour Guides and drivers are tipped around Euro 5 each per day.
• Learn a few words of the local language so you know what’s considered polite in terms of eating, greeting and local values.
• Appropriate behaviours by travellers helps ensure local communities continue to be hospital and friendly.
• Respect other people’s cultures and avoid imposing your beliefs.
• Adhere to the hotel’s water or energy conservation policies.
• Buy locally made crafts and support local skills.
• Portuguese is the official language. English is widely spoken.
• South African passport holders require a Schengen Visa.
• Portugal is on Western European Time which is the same as Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). During their winter months (November to March) they are 2 hours behind S.A and during their summer months (last Sunday in March to the Last Saturday in October) they are 1 hour behind South Africa.
• For Portugal there are two associated plug types, types C and F. Plug type C is the plug which has two round pins and plug type F is the plug which has two round pins with two earth clips on the side.
• Portugal operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.
WHAT THINGS COST
• Meal Inexpensive Restaurant : Euro 5.50 to Euro 10
• Meal for 2 people, midrange Restaurant 3 Course: Euro 20 to Euro 40
• McMeal at McDonalds (or equivalent): Euro 5 to Euro 6.50
• Domestic Beer (0.5 Lt Draught) : Euro 1 to Euro 2
• Imported Beer (0.33 Lt Bottle) : Euro 1.20 to Euro 3
• Cappuccino (Regular) : Euro 0.70 to Euro 2
• Coke/Pepsi (0.33 Lt Bottle) : Euro 1 to Euro 1.50
• Water (0.33 Lt Bottle) : Euro 0.50 to Euro 1.00
• A lot of public restrooms will charge you a small fee to use them, so just keep some change on hand to pay the fee.
• Lock valuables away while travelling and always be vigilant of your belongings. Never leave them unattended.
• Always be aware of pick pockets irrespective of where you are in the world.