Portugal in Brief
Area: 92,391 sq. km
Capital city: Lisbon
Official Language: Portuguese
Electricity: The current is 220 volts AC, with a continental round pin plug.
Time Zone: GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)
Currency and Banking: The unit of currency is the Euro (€).
Some banks have automatic exchange machines. Reception in most hotels will change money and they are entitled to charge a small extra amount to cover fluctuation exchange rates. Visa, Amex, Eurocard, Diner Club and Master Card are the most useful credit cards.
Lisbon - Your Host City
Population: 2.5 million
Lisbon International Airport, 7 km from the city centre Direct local bus, subway or taxi service between airport and city centre.
Climate and Clothing
Portugal has a mild climate without extremes of temperature. Winters are never too cold and summers are always moderately hot. Lisbon climate is strongly influenced by the Gulf Stream and is one of the warmest European capitals. Spring and summer months are usually sunny.
For the latest weather click on www.meteo.pt.
Passport and Visa Information
No visa requirements for EU passport holders. All non-EU citizens should contact their local embassies for specific requirements.
Getting Around Lisbon
One of the quickest ways to travel in Lisboa is by Metro operating from 06:00 a.m. – 01:00 a.m. It covers almost the whole city and next to most hotels you will find a metro station. Besides the comfort, you will be surprised when admiring true chefs d'oeuvre in each station. An extensive network of 90 bus routes covers the entire city and outskirts. Inside Lisbon you may also use a traditional public transportation: the tram.
There are special tourist tickets at Carris - www.carris.pt, at Lisbon Underground and information kiosks, open from 08:00 a.m. to 08:00 p.m.
The taxi: Plentiful and inexpensive, they are painted beige. They have an illuminated taxi sign at the top. In the city they charge a standard meter fare; outside the city's limits they charge per kilometre and are entitled to charge for the return fare. In cities, luggage travelling in the boot adds a surcharge. From 10:00 p.m. to 06:00 a.m. there is a surcharge of about 20%. The usual amount to tip is 10% of the fare.
With effect from 1 January 2008, smoking is forbidden in almost all indoor public places, with the exception of some restaurants and bars that can designate 30 percent of their space for smokers if they are larger than 100 square metres.
Smoking will not be permitted indoors in the meeting area.
For Police and Ambulance emergency dial 112.
Banks: Are open from 08:30 a.m. to 03:00 p.m. Monday to Friday, closing on public holidays.
Shops: From 09:00 a.m. to 01:00 p.m. and 03:00 p.m. to 07:00 p.m. (working days). On Saturdays most shops close at 01:00 p.m., even though there are some open in the afternoon.
Shopping Centres: are open from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. or midnight, every day of the week.