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General Information

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During winter time, i.e. from 1 a.m. on the last Sunday in October to 1 a.m. on the last Sunday in March, the official time in mainland Portugal and Madeira is the Universal Time Coordinated (UTC).

The rest of the year (between 1 a.m. on the last Sunday in March and 1 a.m. on the last Sunday in October), summer time is in effect and the official time in mainland Portugal and Madeira is Universal Time Coordinated plus one hour.

In the Azores, the time is one hour earlier than in the rest of Portugal and therefore one hour earlier than the Universal Time Coordinated during winter time and two hours earlier during summer time.

Portugal is one of 19 European Union countries whose common official currency is the euro.
1 euro is divided into 100 cents. The coins come in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents, and 1 and 2 euros.
The notes are differentiated by their size and colour and come in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 euros.
One side of the coins has a common design (the European side), and the other side has a national symbol. All euro coins can be used in any euro-zone country, irrespective of which national symbols they display.

ATMs – Automatic Teller Machines (Multibanco)
Portugal has a national network of cash machines (ATMs) identified by the symbol MB (Multibanco), from which you can withdraw cash 24 hours a day.

Currency Exchange
You can exchange money at banks, which are open from 8.30 a.m. to 3 p.m. five working days a week; at bureaux de change; and at automatic currency exchange machines (these are for currency sale transactions only).

Credit cards
In Portugal, the most commonly used credit cards are: Visa, American Express, Diners Club, Europay / MasterCard, JCB and Maestro.
If your Visa or MasterCard credit card is lost or stolen, contact the following telephone numbers for assistance:
– Visa: Tel. 800 811 107
– MasterCard: Tel. 800 811 272

Service is included in the bill in restaurants, though it is customary to leave an additional tip of about 5-10% of the total.
It is also normal to tip taxi drivers 5-10 % or rounding up the amount paid to the nearest euro.

The furthest west country in mainland Europe, Portugal has different weather depending on where you go. It’s on the Iberian Peninsula surrounded by Spain and the North Atlantic Ocean, and, generally speaking, has an inviting climate with pleasant temperatures in November.

Climatic variances

There’s differences in weather between the north and south, which has a Mediterranean climate. This includes the popular Algarve region where things never get too chilly, even in winter. You’ll be kept cool by sea breezes on the coast, while the Gulf Stream will warm you up further up the west coast.


The capital Lisbon gives a good idea of the kind of weather you can expect in Portugal. You’ll have an average high of 18ºC in November, so you can still look forward to being nice and warm. You should bring some things to wrap up in at night though as temperatures cool to 11ºC. The sea temperature’s 17ºC, while humidity’s low. The amount of rain picks up in October and there’s 111mm over 13 rainy days in November. You’ll usually get five hours of sunshine from ten daylight hours each day. UV levels will be moderate. Sunset’s around 5.30pm.

The electric current in Portugal is 230/400 volts at a frequency of 50 hertz and sockets comply with European standards.
You will need a 230 volt transformer and an adaptor to use American-style flat-prong plugs.

If you require medical assistance contact the local Health Centre.
Hospital emergency services should be used only in serious situations (serious injury, poisoning, burns, infarction, thromboses, breathing difficulties, etc.).

In case of illness or accident while visiting Portugal, Nationals from the 27 European Union countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland are entitled to free or reduced-cost healthcare (the same benefits as Portuguese citizens). In order to have access to health services, citizens from the above-mentioned countries, who are not resident in Portugal, must produce their European Health Insurance Cards (issued by the origin country) together with passports or identity cards.

Emergency Card
In case of emergency there is a card that will speak for you giving to the emergency response teams useful information such as identification data, contacts, health insurance, diseases, allergies and medication.
This document is intended to anyone who is in Portugal and can be obtained free of charge from the official websites of the promoting entities, where the user must fill-in the blank fields, cut to size and keep it in the wallet so that it is easily found in an emergency.

112 is the single European emergency telephone number, available throughout the European Union, free of charge.

In the event of any emergency, 112 can be connected through fixed and mobile telephones. The call is free and will be answered immediately by the emergency centres that trigger the medical