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Attractions

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Electric Plug

Type F
Voltage : 220 V | Frequency : 50 Hz

Comments : This socket also works with plug C and E

Source : Power-plugs-sockets.com




Tipping Ettiquette

Here's a brief guide to tipping in Spain and Portugal. Tipping 5% - 10% maximum in restaurants is standard, although tipping is only done if you are happy with the service. No tip is expected for a cup of coffee or a drink, although some people will leave the change rounding up from the nearest Euro.

Tipping in Portugal is just as important as in other parts of the world.

All waiting staff, attendants and clerks earn a wage, but  wages are low and many do rely on tips to supplement their income. In addition, many, many such workers rely on social security out of season, so they have to work very long hours during the summer.

A service charge or serviço is NOT usually added to hotel and restaurant bills in Portugal. However, it is customary to tip an additional 10 % if the service warrants.

The bill at the restaurant only charges for what you eat; it is customary to leave a tip 10% + (the amount depending on the quality of the service you receive ).

In hotels, tip €1-2 for bellhops who carry your luggage up to the room.

You may also add €1 per day for the maid who provides extra service - such as bringing breakfast to the room. (You may also consider leaving them your holiday toiletries. It's less weight for you to carry, makes more room in your luggage for souvenirs and the maids are always very grateful.) 

Taxi drivers can be tipped by any amount you wish, although some people round the fare up to the nearest five euro (ie. your fare comes to 7 euro, you may wish to pay the driver 10 euro). This is particularly true in Lisboa, the capital.  Some people add 10% of the fare as the tip. 

In the North, tipping of taxi drivers is less common or generous-- in Braga, a 10% tip is considered generous unless the driver has helped carry bags, etc., and in some restaurants and cafés, you may find the owner chasing you down the street to return change he thinks you've inadvertently left on the table!

Etiquette

The Portuguese and their language are very polite - you will hear 'please' (por favor or se faz favor), 'thank you' (obrigado/obrigada) and 'my pleasure' (de nada) as much as you will hear  similar in England for example. It's customary to say good morning (bom dia), good afternoon/evening (boa tarde) and good night (boa noite) as well as good-bye, cheers etc etc!

Snapping your fingers or shouting at waiting staff or bar staff will usually have just one result - you will be considered rude and be ignored for a while! As it would be in most countries.

The people are very helpful, especially in the tourist areas, eg. the Algarve. Their living depends on it. English is widely spoken, especially by younger people, but it is polite to first ask  "Fala inglês?" (Do you speak English?).  Don't speak to Portuguese people in Spanish. Many don't like it, for historical reasons.

French is often a second language.

But, on the downside, Portuguese don't normally form queues (stand in line) as do some nationalities and when it comes to car parking, it's a free-for-all except for in Lisboa, where it's simply impossible.

Some side notes-- the Portuguese are very honest, as well as very helpful-- outside of big tourist areas such as the Algarve and Lisboa, people routinely leave their umbrellas outside store doors to keep from dripping on the floor, knowing that they won't be stolen, and a woman can leave her purse on the table when she goes to the restroom and expect to find it there on her return... not true everywhere in the world. Still, crime is on the rise. It is best to not leave your things unattended.

Do not take risks which you would not do at home such as walking around alone at night ,as it is not unusual to be followed by unsavoury men,  witness violence or be approached by drug dealers and prostitutes in tourist areas. If you ask directions on the street, you are likely to be walked to the place you're going if the Portuguese person doesn't think you understood the answer-- even if he or she was headed in the other direction!  [That may explain why the American/northern European's expectation that a 3 p.m. meeting will actually start before 3:10 or 3:15 is frequently not met...]

Entertainment starts late here.  A concert (and not just about rock-- also piano concertos and plays, etc,) will routinely be scheduled for 9:30 p.m.... and may not start on time.  No one minds, and it's important not to act impatient as a visitor, as it may appear to be critical.  This comes as a shock to North Americans, but this is a country where people don't go to bed until much later-- many restaurants don't even open until after seven in the evening! 


Source : Tripadvisor.com




Visa Requirement

Below are the traveling visa requirements for United States citizens :

Business:
No visa is required for a stay of up to 90 days
Tourist: No visa is required for a stay of up to 90 days

Source : TravelVisaPro.com




Alerts and Warnings

State Department


Updated travel alerts and warnings

Vaccinations

All travelers

You should be up to date on routine vaccinations while traveling to any destination. Some vaccines may also be required for travel.

Routine vaccines

Make sure you are up-to-date on routine vaccines before every trip. These vaccines include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot.

Some travelers

Ask your doctor what vaccines and medicines you need based on where you are going, how long you are staying, what you will be doing, and if you are traveling from a country other than the US.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A outbreaks occur throughout the world and sometimes in countries with a low risk for hepatitis A (including the US). You can get hepatitis A through contaminated food or water in Portugal, so talk to your doctor to see if the hepatitis A vaccine is right for you.

Traveling with Children

This vaccine should not be given to children younger than 1 year.

Immune-Compromised Travelers

Talk to your doctor about whether you should get a dose of immunoglobulin before your trip, in addition to hepatitis A vaccine.

Pregnant Women

Talk to your doctor about whether you should get this vaccine if you are pregnant.

Hepatitis B

You can get hepatitis B through sexual contact, contaminated needles, and blood products, so CDC recommends this vaccine if you might have sex with a new partner, get a tattoo or piercing, or have any medical procedures.

Rabies

Rabies is present in bats in Portugal. However, it is not a major risk to most travelers. CDC recommends rabies vaccine for only these groups:

  • Travelers involved in outdoor and other activities in remote areas that put them at risk for bat bites (such as adventure travel and caving).
  • People who will be working with or around bats (such as wildlife professionals and researchers).

Traveling Advice
Get vaccinated Keep away from animals Avoid sharing body fluids
Eat and drink safely Reduce your exposure to germs Avoid non-sterile medical or cosmetic equipment

Source : CDC.gov




Exchange Rates

Currency Converter

Eurpean Union Members


VAT - Value added tax refund
(
For travellers leaving the EU)
Visitors from outside the EU are entitled to get a refund of VAT paid on goods they have purchased during their stay in the EU provided that the goods are produced to Customs on departure from the EU together with the VAT refund documents. These documents are normally prepared by the merchant from whom the goods have been purchased, and the refund is made directly by the merchant, rather than the customs service.

In many countries, commercial firms act as agents for the merchants. Generally, merchants or the commercial companies charge for this service by making a deduction from the refund. As the refund scheme is voluntary, travellers should check that the merchant participates in the scheme before the goods are purchased.

Conditions:

Tax and duty free sales
Travellers holding a valid ticket for a destination outside the EU (and certain areas within the EU, such as the Canary Islands ) can buy goods free of duty and tax in so-called "tax-free shops" in airports and ports. There are no limits as to the quantity or value of the goods that can be purchased duty and tax free. Travellers should however bear in mind that the importation of these goods in the country of destination will be subject to duty and tax allowances, similar to those applying to travellers that enter the EU from a non Member State.

Travelling with € 10 000 or more in cash
As from 15 June 2007, travellers entering or leaving the EU and carrying €10 000 or more in cash (or its equivalent in other currencies or easily convertible assets such as cheques drawn on a third party) have to make a declaration to the customs authorities.

This follows the entry into force of a new European Regulation aimed at fighting money laundering, and the financing of terrorism. Customs authorities are empowered under the Regulation to undertake controls on individuals, their baggage and their means of transport and detain cash that has not been declared.

Travellers must be aware that all Member States apply penalties in the event of failure to comply with the obligation to declare as laid down in the Regulation. Some Member States may apply additional measures according to their national legislation (e.g. intra-community cash controls).

Source : ec.europa.eu




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