Portugal: Useful Information

Portugal Useful Information

- The voltage supply is 220-240 volts as in the UK but European two-pin plugs are used.

- Portuguese time is the same as in the UK, (GMT), with the same daylight saving system used in March and September. The exception being the Azores, which are hour behind in the winter, but the same as GMT in the summer.

- Portugal is a predominantly Roman Catholic country with church services held most evenings and on Sundays, as well as religious holidays. In the larger towns and cities, churches of other denominations, such as Baptist and Church of England can be found.

- Tap water is generally safe to drink throughout Portugal, but it is good idea to buy some bottled water if you can.

- Shopping hours are generally from 9am to 1pm and 3pm to 7pm Monday to Friday, and 9am to 1pm on Saturday.

- Banks are usually open between 8.30am and 3pm, though some may stay open longer in larger towns and cities. Banks are closed at the weekends.

- Newspapers in English printed in Europe can be found at larger newsagents, either on the day of publication or the day after. There is also a weekly publication called Portugal News, which mainly caters for the expat population in Portugal, though can be useful in providing information about local happenings and events.

- Pharmacies can diagnose and suggest medication for simple health problems, can are allowed to dispense a range of drugs that are available on prescription in other countries. Opening hours are as those for general shops though each pharmacy will display a card in the window giving information about the nearest 24 pharmacy.

- Most Post Offices in Portugal are open between 9am and 6pm. Stamps can be bought either from the post office itself, or from one of the many vending machines which can be found in airports, train stations and on the streets of larger cities. First class letters should be posted in blue boxes, while second class posted in red ones. Post boxes may also be marked separately for national and international mail.

- Being a mainly Roman Catholic country, Portugal observes many of the public holidays as other European countries.


- Internet access can be found in many bars and cafés across Portugal. Most charge by the hour, though it is possible to find places where you can get free access as long as you buy something to eat or drink.