useful information for your trip to Portugal
To make a holiday trip to Portugal can be a delight. It is a smaller country to its neighbour Spain and therefore has a more personal and endearing character. The Lisbon area offers the holidaymaker as many attractions as anywhere in Europe. Throughout Portugal, there is a chain of Tourist Offices manned by bilingual staff to assist the tourist. As the Portuguese are hospitable by nature, they are keen and proud to share their country's best features with foreign visitors.
time to travel
It is safe to suggest that the whole year is a good period to visit. Mainland Portugal has an attractive climate with long hot summers and mild pleasant winters.
The local currency is Euros. Money can be exchanged at Banks, “Bureau de Change” (Câmbio) or at one of the currency exchange machines in the streets. These facilities offer a better rate than Hotels. Euro Cheque is a cheaper method than Travellers Cheque for obtaining cash. All well-known Credit Cards are usually accepted.
Cost of living: food & drinks
One of the Latin languages, Portuguese is the third most spoken European language in the world and the native tongue of about 200 million people. The Portuguese-speaking countries are scattered all over the world. Portuguese is spoken in Africa (Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and São Tomé e Príncipe), in South America (Brazil) and in Asia, (East Timor, the youngest nation in the world).
In Portugal, there are lots of people who are able to communicate in English, French and Spanish.
By calling anywhere in Portugal on 112 you will be connected to Fire, Police and Ambulance services. Every Fire Brigade also maintains one or more ambulances for emergencies. Pharmacies can give advice on simple health problems and suggest appropriate treatment. They are also permitted to sell many medicines without a doctors prescription. A green cross on a white background denotes a pharmacy. A red cross on a white background denotes a “Red Cross” station. In many towns, there are Emergency Treatment Centres (SAP) that will provide medical assistance 24 hours a day.
Security in cities and towns is handled by the “Polícia de Segurança Pública” (PSP) and in rural areas by the “Guarda Nacional Republicana” (GNR). Traffic is handled by “Brigada de Trânsito”. On motorways and several major roads, there are SOS phone boxes for you to call for help in case of an accident or breakdown.
- National Emergency Number: 112
- National Enquiries: 118
- International Enquiries: 171
- Pre-Paid Calls: 172