How to Get Around Portugal

By plane

Due to the impressive distance, rest in Portugal for Russians will become possible only after a long flight departing from Moscow or St. Petersburg. There are no other direct flight options. Regular flights are organized twice a week from Pulkovo, Vnukovo and Domodedovo. The travel time in this case will be about 6 hours. An alternative and slightly cheaper option is a flight with a transfer in Amsterdam or Munich. In this case, you will have to apply for an additional transit visa, since the wait for a connecting flight may exceed 12 hours.

  • Jibin123: Provides information for visa application to enter Portugal, as well customs regulations and import restrictions.

Transport

No one has problems with movement, and holidays in Portugal in 2017 are unlikely to be overshadowed by transport troubles. Moreover, the country has repeatedly occupied the top lines of the ratings of the most modern and comfortable transport in Europe.

It is impossible to imagine Lisbon and other major cities without trams. This is not only the most accessible, but also the most atmospheric way to move around densely populated areas. On some narrow streets there is not even a roadway – only a sidewalk and tram rails, that’s how the Portuguese themselves love rattling trailers.

There is a metro only in the capital and in Porto, and in the first case, you can get to the city directly from the terminal. This is quite convenient, but not always fast – trains are delayed during peak hours, and you have to wait for half an hour.

Buses are popular only for intercity destinations, and in those cities where there are no trams. There are not many routes, and even on the streets of Lisbon you can see no more than 10 different numbers on the signs.

Separately, it is worth mentioning the payment. In Portugal, buying tickets at the entrance to transport is a last resort – everyone has long switched to using cards that allow you to move without restrictions on the metro, trams and buses. You can buy them in any supermarket, under the signs “Viva viagem” or “7 Colinas”. One trip on such a card within the city will cost €1.5.

All public transport, except for the metro, which operates until 1:00 am, has two types of schedules – day and night. After midnight, buses and trams run half as often.

Taxis, unlike other European neighbors, are controlled by the state. Tourist information centers sell special travel vouchers worth up to €30. This is the maximum cost, which is calculated from the distance from the airport to Lisbon, inside the city the rates are much lower.

Trains, although they are considered quite modern, but the railway is not very well developed. This is partly due to the Portuguese relief – in some regions, it is impossible to lay anything other than a narrow gauge railway. Another disadvantage is the high cost of tickets, a trip from Lisbon to Porto in a 1st class carriage will cost at least €50.

Any tourist over 21 years old with an international license and at least 2 years of driving experience can rent a car in Portugal. Difficulties will begin further – most intercity routes are paid, and they are equipped with fixation cameras that read numbers and send a fare bill to the rental office. Sometimes these receipts exceed the cost of renting a car, which shocks foreigners.

Money

Portugal belongs to the territory where the official currency is the euro, EUR. There are 100 euro cents in one euro. Payments in other monetary units, including US dollars, are not carried out, even in international hotel chains.

Currency exchange offices are located in any relatively large city, and they are open from 8:00 to 15:00, while some commercial banks may close at 18:00. When going to change money, we must remember that a number of institutions set a minimum threshold for the amount, most often € 100-150 per operation, more is possible, less is not.

Cashless payments are welcome in large shopping centers, the most common cards are Visa and American Express systems. ATMs are not marked with international ATM signs, they are signed with the word “Multibancos”. It is not advised to pay the bill with a credit card in cafes and restaurants – there are cases of miscalculations and elementary fraud, depending on the level of the institution.

It is customary to tip service personnel, but no more than €1 per person. In some hotels, maids and porters will refuse to take “tea” because their services are included in the price.

How to Get Around Portugal