Traveling to Portugal
We spent 10 days in Portugal and these are things that we found helpful prior to our trip.
Arrival in Portugal
Most international flights will arrive at Lisbon International Airport (LIS). The airport is relatively close to the city center and you could Uber for about €12 to most parts. The cheapest way is to take the red line of the metro from the Aeroporto stop. From the red line you can transfer to the other lines to get all over Lisbon. As of 2019 metro tickets cost €1.95 (€.50 for the viva viagem card and €1.45 for a single journey). Either way should take about 20 minutes to the city center.
Porto (OPO) is probably the second most popular arrival airport. We started our trip in Porto. The Porto Airport is a stop on the Porto light rail system and for €2.60 you can get to the city center via the Purple E line. The trip will take about 17 minutes to the city center.
The unit of currency in Portugal is the euro. Find the current exchange rates.
Keep your money safe
Electricity in Portugal is 230 volts and uses standard European plugs and sockets. Laptops and cell phones are designed to operate on 110 volts or 220 volts so those should be fine. If you come from the United States, all you need is an adaptor.
However, if you come from a country that operates on 110 volts (like the United States), for other appliances you will need a voltage converter.
The official language in Portugal is Portuguese. I expected it to be similar to Spanish, but it’s not. I can kind of get by in Spanish speaking countries, but I was clueless when trying to understand someone speaking Portuguese.
Be sure to learn basic phrases in Portuguese. Google Translate
Hello – Ola’
Please – Por Favor
Thank you – Obrigado
You’re welcome – de nada
Yes, three of those look like Spanish, but that’s about the only thing I understood.
Transportation around Portugal
We are fans of using trains around Europe. Here is the Portuguese Railways website.
If you don’t mind taking a little extra time, Regional trains are a little cheaper. Plus the cost is the same whether you book in advance or the same day. Kiosks at the stations are easy to use and available in numerous languages, just by clicking on the country flaf. High speed trains are more expensive the day of travel.
No visa is required for stays under 90 days. Passports must be valid for 6 months after the intended departure from Portugal.
The tap water is safe, but many locals prefer bottled water, as in the past, there were some problems with the water. Also, apparently they prefer the taste of bottled water.
Current Temp in Portugal :
Temperature can be quite high during the summer months (90+ F/30+ C). Winters are milder than much of Europe – highs in the 60s F/15 C. December and January have the most rain (we traveled in early January). If you can go in the spring or fall, temperatures are more moderate and pleasant.