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General Info about Porto, Portugal


Visa Requirements

All that residents of EU member states require to enter Portugal is an up to date passport. The same requirement applies to citizens of the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand but they will also require a visa if staying for longer than three months. Nationals of all other countries should contact the Portuguese Embassy in their home country before travelling.


Currency

The currency used in Portugal is the Euro which is made up of 100 Cent. Notes come in denominations of €100, €50, €20, €10 and €5 and the coins in use are €2, €1, 0.50C, 0.20C, 0.10C, 0.05C, 0.02C and 0.01C.


Language

The language spoken is Porto is Portuguese.


Climate

Thanks to its location, Porto generally boasts mild winters and warm summers. During the summer, the city tends to see a lot of sun, but this can be interrupted by periods of rain. In the winter, temperatures fall, but they don’t usually drop below freezing. July and August tend to be the hottest months, with temperatures averaging out at around 20˚C, while January tends to be the coldest month with an average low of 9˚C. December is generally the wettest month, while July sees the most sunshine.


Medical Care

Visitors from EU countries are entitled to medical treatment under the EU Reciprocal Medical Treatment agreement. Before you travel you should collect an E111 form from your local social security office. This form may also be obtained in post offices.


Time Zone

Porto is located in the Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) zone.


Opening Hours

Shops in Porto are generally open in the morning and late afternoon, with a siesta over lunchtime. Major stores and large malls tend to stay open from morning until evening, with some remaining open from 9akm to 11pm.


Tourist Offices

The city’s central tourist office is the City Council Tourism Office - Center, located on Rua Clube dos Fenianos 25.


Tax

Stores displaying a ‘Tax Free’ sticker will give you a Tax Free Shopping Check when you are paying for your purchases. When leaving the country you need to get this check stamped by the Customs officials as proof of legal export. Once you complete and return this check you will get your cash refund. Some of the major airports, train stations or ferry terminals will process this for you.


Currency Exchange

Travellers cheques are widely accepted in the city’s banks and currency can be exchanged here too. Banks tend to offer the best exchange rates and commission is sometimes charged for cashing travellers’ cheques in foreign currencies.

There are a huge number of cash points throughout the city too and all major credit cards are widely accepted. These can also be used to obtain cash advances from ATMs or banks. You can also use regular bankcards which are members of the bigger international networks including Cirrus, Plus and Link in machines which bear the symbol.


Electricity

The electrical current used in Porto is 220 Volts, AC50/Hz. A 2-pin round plug will have to be used while in Portugal.


Telephones

The international code for Portugal is +351 and the code for Porto is 022.


Post Office

The main post office is located at Praça General Humberto Delgado.


Tipping

Most restaurants in Porto don’t require a tip. However, unless you were unhappy with the service, it is customary to leave a tip of around 10%.


Public Holidays

It is worth noting what the public holidays are before you travel there as the majority of businesses, banks and shops usually shut for the day.

In Portugal they take place on January 1st (New Year’s Day), Mardi Gras (Carnival), Good Friday, Easter Monday, April 25th (Freedom Day), May 1st (Labour Day), Corpus Christi, June 10th (Portugal Day), August 15th (Assumption), October 5th (Republic Day), November 1st (All Saints’ Day), December 1st (Restoration of Independence Day), and December 25th (Christmas Day).

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