No visas required from EU country nationals
The Euro was adopted in Portugal on January 1st, 2002. The currency used before this was the Escudo. The Euro is the common currency of twelve of the twenty-five EU countries: Portugal, Spain, France, Luxembourg, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Belgium, Netherlands, Finland, Austria and Greece.
All payments are made in Euro bank notes and coins. There are 8 coins: 1 cent, 2 cent, 5 cent, 10 cent, 20 cent, 50 cent, 1 euro and 2 euros.
There are 7 bank notes: 5 euros, 10 euros, 20 euros, 50 euros, 100 euros, 200 euros and 500 euros.
The Portuguese side of the Euro coins features the royal stamp of Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal.
Seven architectonic periods of European history are represented on the Euro bank notes.
The bridges and the doors symbolize the dynamics of cooperation and the open spirit of the peoples of Europe.
Weather in Lisbon in May:
Lisbon's climate is generally warm and sunny. The city's seven hills, the typical old houses harmoniously mixed with modern buildings, and the great number of green parks and gardens give Lisbon a fresh and fragrant air and a certain languor. The Atlantic breeze fans the city and prevents the heat from becoming too insufferable during July and August. The temperature averages for May are 13-23ºC (55-71ºF) and there are minimum chances of rain (average rain chances 38 mm/1,5 inc.).
220 volts AC all over Portugal.
Two-pin power plug and socket systems (A European adaptor will be suitable for different power plug and socket systems).
Safe to drink
Shops usually open from 9:00 to 1:00 pm and from 3:00 to 7:00 pm. They are usually closed on Sundays. Large shopping centres such as Colombo (beside the Colegio Militar/Luz metro station), the Armazens do Chiado (near the Baixa/Chiado metro station), the Vasco da Gama (beside the Oriente metro station), and Amoreiras (not far from the Marquês de Pombal metro station), however, are open on Sundays. Grocery stores are usually closed on Sundays.
From Praça do Comércio (at the bank of river Tagus) to Restauradores, the Baixa (downtown) is the best shopping district in the city. Stroll along the pedestrian Rua Augusta, with everything from tourist stores to European chain clothing stores or Avenida da Liberdade, home of the major “haute couture” brand shops and galleries. All major credit and debit cards are widely accepted.
Favourite shopping items: jewellery, shoes, purses, wines (among which the world favourite Port wine and “Vinho Verde”, a fruity sparkling wine from the North of the country – the best one is the white one of the "Alvarinho" kind ), tiles, ceramic, embroidery and ironworks.
Portuguese are considered to be one of the world’s biggest fish consumers, not surprisingly due both to the country’s rich past as a seafaring nation and to the largest sea economic zone in Europe. So fresh fish and seafood are a must. However, the nation’s favourite is 'bacalhau', the dried, salted codfish, which is considered the national dish, one that Portuguese don’t do without on Christmas Eve – rumor has it that there are a thousand different ways to cook it.
Restaurants and "tascas" (small taverns) offer a wide variety of snacks and appetizers, much in the neighboring Spanish tradition of "tapas" – salted raw ham, cheese, all kinds of seafood and small fish, "pasteis de bacalhau" (fried codfish, as above, pies) small chunks of meat among others are served at any time at "tascas". One popular snack is "prego" or "bifana", a fried small beef or pork steak served in a roll.
Other local favorites are all meat varieties, the most famous of which is "porco preto", or Iberian pork, famous for its exquisite taste, due to its breeding in nature, specially in the Alentejo region (south of the country), eating only fruit and other natural feedings.
In the sweets department, Portugal is also famous for the "pastel de nata", a custard tart made from whipped milk cream and usually served with a cinnamon powder topping – the most renown variety of this kind of custard is "Pastel de Belém", sold by the thousands at the Belém area. Other favourite delicatessen include the traditional monastery sweets.
Although famous for its wines, among which Portuguese prefer the wide variety of national brands, beer has in recent years gained a great popularity, and is considered to have overcome wine consumption. One drink, however that is undisputable in the Portuguese taste is "bica", coffee served in small cups, usually black (although you can also ask for a "garoto", a "bica" with milk, or "galão" a large cup or glass of coffee with milk).
Lisbon has plenty of places to visit, ranging from monuments to natural or man-made scenarios. Visitors to Lisboa should not miss: Praça do Comércio (The Commerce Square, also known as Terreiro do Paço, in the old centre by the river Tagus); Castelo de S. Jorge (Saint Jorge’s Castle, the ancient fortress overlooking the whole city), Torre de Belém (Belém Tower, marking the spot where “caravelas”, or old discovery ships, sailed away in the Portuguese adventure of the discoveries); the old traditional quarters of Alfama, Mouraria or Bairro Alto (now a busy night life district); Parque das Nações (Nations Park, the most recent and modern architectural quarter, with the stunning Gare do Oriente, the newest rain station); Elevador da Glória or Elevador de Santa Justa (old Elevators, although the former is more a tram, connecting downtown to uptown Lisboa); Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (Jerónimos Monastery, close to Belém, an impressive building, considered to be the “jewel of the Manueline style, which combines architectural elements from the Gothic and from the Renaissance periods); Docas (old pier store houses transformed into the city’s most famous night life spots, with a large variety of bars, pubs, discos and restaurants).
Want to speak Portoguse?:
Good morning: Bom dia
Good evening: Boar tarde/noite
How are you?: Como está(s)? (the former more formal)
Very well: Muito bem
Please: Por favor/Se faz favor
Thank you: Obrigado(a) (the former if you are male)
Excuse me: Desculpe
What? O quê?
How much?: Quanto (custa)?
I don't understand: Não percebo/entendo
I don't know: Não sei