Country Info: Portugal

Portugal

There is so much diversity in Portugal. Whether you're looking for a jam-packed stopover in Lisbon or to spend a week village hopping along the coast, a visit to Portugal has much to offer for any of you curious travelers.

There are so many eccentric places to Discover in Portugal by Private Tour. Here are some of the exciting things you can experience:

POPULATION

The current population of Portugal is 10,174,587 as of Tuesday, March 30, 2021, based on Worldometer elaboration of the latest United Nations data.

LOCAL TIME

Portugal and Madeira use Universal Time Coordinated (UTC+00) and has Daylights Saving Time (UTC+01:00) are observed usually from March to September.
While the Azores use (UTC-01:00) with a Daylights Saving Time of (UTC+00:00)

LANGUAGE

From a Latin root, Portuguese is spoken by about 250 million people in every continent and is the 5th most spoken language in the world and the 3rd, if we only consider the European languages.

The Portuguese-speaking countries are scattered all over the world. Portuguese is spoken in Africa (Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and São Tomé e Príncipe), in South America (Brazil) and in Asia, (East Timor, the youngest nation in the world), and it is also the official language in Macao Special Administrative Region of China.

In Portugal, there are lots of people who are able to communicate in English, French and Spanish.

RELIGION

The official religion in Portugal is Christianity, mainly Catholicism, accounting for the majority of its inhabitants.

VISA REQUIREMENTS

Passports should be valid for six months beyond the date of entry to Portugal. Tourist Visa is not required for stays under 90 days.

CURRENCY

Portugal is a Member-State of the European Union and uses its uniform currency – the Euro.
1 euro is divided into 100 cents. The coins come in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents, and 1 and 2 euros. The banknotes are issued in the following denominations: 5,10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 Euros

ELECTRICAL CURRENT

The electric current in Portugal is 230/400 volts at 50 hertz and sockets which comply with European standards. You will need a 230-volt transformer and an adaptor to use American-style flat-prong plugs. There are two associated plug types, C and F. Plug type C is the plug that has two round pins and type F has two round pins with two earth clips on the side. 

WEATHER

In general, Portugal boasts a temperate climate all year round with long hot summers, warm spring and autumn months, and relatively mild winters.

GETTING TO portugal

Portugal’s excellent geographical position makes it a stopover point for many foreign airlines at airports all over the country:
Lisbon - Portela Airport,Oporto - Dr. Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport, Faro - Faro Airport, Funchal, Madeira - Funchal Airport, Ponta Delgada, & Azores - João Paulo II Airport.

SHOPPING

Traditionally, shops are open from Monday to Friday, from 9 or 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Some close for lunch from 1 to 3 p.m. On Saturdays from January to November, shops generally close at 1 p.m. though in city centres some are open in the afternoon.
Shops tend to stay open on Saturday afternoons and sometimes even on Sundays in December for Christmas shopping.

There are plenty of shopping centres inside and outside the cities that are usually open from 10 a.m. to midnight every day of the week. They generally have stores with the main international brands.

However, traditional shops with Portuguese products can be found particularly in the streets of the older neighbourhoods of towns and cities.

Tipping

In Portugal, it's only really the tourist areas such as Lisbon and The Algarve where tipping will be commonplace. If you are staying in a less touristy area there won't be as much of an expectation for you to tip, in-fact over most of Portugal, the locals tend to only tip for exceptional service. However, it's unlikely that any tip you offer will be refused and people in the service industry may expect a tip from you if they realize you are a tourist.

 

TELEPHONE

In public telephone booths, coins and special cards can be used. They are sold in MEO shops, post offices and some kiosks and newsstands (with a sign indicating this).
All telephone numbers in Portugal are composed of nine digits. To call from abroad to Portugal, it is necessary to dial the international access code 00 and the country code 351.
To call abroad from Portugal, dial 00, the country code, the area code, and then the number wanted. The dialing codes of the various countries are affixed in public telephone booths.

Mobile phones
Portugal is one of the countries with the highest number of mobile phone users.
There are three network service providers - MEO, Vodafone, and NOS – that have roaming agreements with most international mobile phone companies and provide users with good coverage nationwide.
The Portuguese Highway Code forbids the use of mobile phones while driving, unless you’re using hands-free equipment or an earphone, and there are established penalties that can be applied in the event of any infringement.

Weights & Measures

1 cm = 0.39 inches
1 metre = 3.28 feet / 1.09 yards
1 km = 0.62 miles
1 litre = 0.26 gallons (USA) / 0.22 gallons (UK)
1 inch = 2.54 cm
1 foot = 0.39 metres
1 yard = 0.91 metres
1 mile = 1.6 km
1 gallon (USA) = 3.78 litres
1 gallon (UK) = 4.54 litres

THE NAME portugal

Portugal was named after the country’s second-largest city, called Porto. The Latin name for the city was Portus Cale. The word “Cale” is believed to have come from a Celtic word meaning “port.” In other contexts, it means “tranquil port.” Cale also referred to a group of early settlers who occupied the area around Douro River in present-day Portugal. The word was an ethnonym of the Castro people who were also called Callaeci or Gallaeci. Some historians believe that Cale originated from a Greek word meaning “beautiful.” The word described the magnificence of the Douro River. On the other hand, Hector Boece - a Scottish historian – argued that the name Portugal came from Porto Gartelli. Other people believe that Cale was a Latin word meaning warm. Consequently, “Portus Cale” means “warm port.” Portus Cale evolved into Portugale between the 7th and 9th Centuries.

Therefore, the name Portugal means tranquil, beautiful, or warm port as per the varied explanations of the root words Portus and Cale.

LOCATION, AREA AND FRONTIERS

Portugal is situated at the southwest point of Europe and also includes the Madeira and Azores archipelagos in the Atlantic Ocean. Mainland Portugal occupies an area of 88,889 km2. It is 218 km wide and 561 km long. It has 832 km of Atlantic coast and a 1,215 km border with Spain.

The Azores are situated in the Atlantic Ocean between Europe and North America. They have an area of 2,355 km2 and consist of nine islands - São Miguel and Santa Maria in the Eastern Group, Terceira, Graciosa, São Jorge, Pico and Faial in the Central Group and Flores and Corvo in the Western Group. It takes about two hours to get from the Azores to mainland Portugal by plane.

The Madeira Archipelago has an area of 741 km2 and lies in the Atlantic Ocean about 500 km from the African coast and 1,000 km from the European continent (1½ hours flying time from Lisbon). It consists of the islands of Madeira and Porto Santo and the uninhabited Desertas and Selvagens islands, which are nature reserves.

For more information: www.visitportugal.com

 

 

 

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