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Portugal
Official Name:

Portuguese Republic

Last Updated: May 25, 2017

Embassy Messages

Further Safety and Security Information

Travel Warnings: Issued when Protracted situations make a country dangerous or unstable. Defer or reconsider travel.

Travel Alerts: Issued when short-term conditions pose imminent threats. Defer or reconsider travel.

Embassy Messages: Issued when local security issues arise.

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Lisbon

Av. das Forças Armadas, Sete-Rios
1600-081 Lisbon
Portugal

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Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

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3 months beyond the intended date of departure

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

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2 pages per stamp

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

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Not required for stays under 90 days

VACCINATIONS:

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None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

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10,000 Euros or equivalent

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

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10,000 Euros or equivalent

Country Map

U.S. Embassy Lisbon

Av. das Forças Armadas, Sete-Rios
1600-081 Lisbon
Portugal

Telephone: +(351) (21) 770-2122

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(351) (21)-770-2122 or +(351) (21) 727-3300

Fax: +(351) (21) 727-2354

Consulates

U.S. Consulate Ponta Delgada
Av. Príncipe do Mónaco No, 6-2 F
9500-237 Ponta Delgada, Açores
Portugal

Telephone: +(351) (296) 308-330

EmergencyAfter-Hours Telephone: +(351) (296) 282-216 (listen for the duty officer's cell phone number)

Fax: +(351) (296) 287-216

 

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Portugal for additional information on U.S.-Portugal relations.  

Visit the Embassy of Portugal website for the most current visa information, or the website for Portuguese consulates in the United States

Portugal is a party to the Schengen Agreement. This means that U.S. citizens may enter Portugal for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa within any 180-day period. Your passport should be valid for at least three months beyond the period of stay. You need sufficient funds and a return airline ticket. For additional details about travel into and within Schengen countries, please see our Schengen fact sheet.

If you transited through another Schengen country by air, sea or land enroute to Portugal without having registered your entry and you are not staying in a hotel or a similar tourist accommodation, you are subject to the requirement to register with local immigration officials within three working days of entering Portugal. You must document your entry to prove your length of stay. Request a stamp at an official point of entry, or download a declaracão de entrada” (declaration of entry) from the Portuguese Immigration Service’s (SEF) website, and submit it to a local SEF office or police station within three days of entry.

HIV/AIDS Restrictions: The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Portugal.

Find information on dual nationality, prevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

Portugal’s open borders with its Western European neighbors allow possible terrorist groups to enter and exit the country with anonymity. Credible information indicates terrorist groups continue plotting possibly near term attacks in Europe. All European countries remain potentially vulnerable to attacks from transnational terrorist organizations. U.S. citizens are reminded to remain vigilant with regard to their personal security.

General strikes and public protests against government austerity measures have occurred sporadically over the last four years. You should avoid areas where these public protests are taking place.

Crime: Crimes of opportunity, such as pickpocketing and purse snatchers, particularly at popular tourist sites, restaurants, or on public transportation are common. Pickpockets take advantage of crowds getting on and off all forms of public transportation, using the jostling of the crowd as a distraction.

  • Safeguard your passport and identity documents when traveling to or around Portugal. Foreigners who arrive in Portugal without a valid passport will be returned to their point of origin.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and take personal security measures to stay safe.
  • Thefts of backpacks, electronics and luggage occur regularly. Do not leave valuables in rental cars. Tourists are frequent victims of petty crime/car break-ins.
  • Avoid using automatic teller machines (ATMs) in isolated or poorly lit areas. Use the buddy system and indoor bank ATMs when possible.
  • Leave extra cash, credit cards, and personal documents at home or in a hotel safe.
  • Drug vending increases at night and travelers are often approached by drug dealers, in the downtown area, especially near the bars and restaurants.
  • Thieves are active on public transportation. Avoid standing near the doors on public transportation, as thieves will often strike just as the train/bus doors open and then dash onto the platform and disappear into the crowd.
  • Always use a taxi from the queue or kiosk. Do not go with someone who walks up to you and offers a ride.
  • Tourist should not leave personal items/valuables unattended while at the beach.

See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime: Report crime to the local police at 112. For social welfare emergencies such as domestic violence or child abuse, dial 144. English speaking operators are available. Contact the U.S. Embassy at +(351) (21) 770-2122 or the Emergency after-hours telephone : +(351) (21)-770-212 2 or +(351) (21) 727-3300. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

  • Portugal has a crime victim’s assistance program, administered through an organization known by its acronym,"APAV”. APAV – (Lisbon) can be reached by telephone at 21 358 79 00 or by email: apav.sede@apav.pt
  • APAV office hours in Lisbon are weekdays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and 2 to 5:30 p.m.; tel: 351 21 358 79 00, and in Estoril, near Cascais, the office hours are weekdays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and 2 to 7 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; tel: 21 466 42 71.  English speakers are available to help you. 
  • In Porto, the victims’ assistance program is called: Serviços de Sede (Porto) Rua Aurélio Paz dos Reis 351, 4250-068 Porto tel. 22 834 68 40 | fax 22 834 68 41

The U.S. Embassy can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical
  • support in cases of destitution
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.

A SOS immigrant line with English speaking operators who are ready to help you in case of emergency. You may contact them at 351 808 257 257 between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m.

Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.

For further information:

Good medical care is available, but facilities may be limited outside urban areas. Public hospitals offer services at costs lower than private hospitals.

  • You should obtain insurance that covers medical services from a private Portuguese hospital or clinic.
  • Payment is expected upon admission at private hospitals.
  • Call the national emergency response for an ambulance at 112 for life-threatening emergencies. Note that the responsiveness of emergency services is not up to U.S. standards.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments.  See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance (our webpage) to cover medical evacuation.

If traveling with prescription medication, check with the government of Portugal, to ensure the medication is legal in Portugal. Always, carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription.

  • Portuguese law prohibits the mailing of prescription medicines from the United States to Portugal. Any prescription medications mailed to Portugal will be impounded by the Portuguese customs office.
  • You must bring a sufficient supply of medication with you to cover your anticipated stay in Portugal, along with a copy of your physician's prescription.
  • Portuguese pharmacies generally carry equivalent medications to those found in the United States; however, they may be sold under a different brand name, may not be available in the same dosage, or may require a prescription from a local doctor.

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Criminal Penalties:  You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification:  If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

  • Filming and photographing the police or military and certain buildings in Portugal is illegal, and could lead to arrest or detention.
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol could land you immediately in jail.
  • Your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution.
  • Possession and use of narcotic drugs is an administrative offense. You can face mandatory drug treatment.
  • Penalties for trafficking in illegal drugs are severe, and offenders can expect long jail sentences.
  • Pepper spray is illegal in Portugal, and will be confiscated. Violators may be subject to a fine.

Disaster Preparedness: Portugal is in an earthquake zone and is at risk of tsunamis. See the U.S. Embassy’s American Citizen Services (ACS) website for Crisis Preparedness and Response information

Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:

LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Portugal. 

See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: General information on accessibility and accommodations is available on the website of the Portugal Tourism Board.

  • Public transportation: Public transportation vehicles in general have specially reserved seats for individuals with disabilities, but some vehicles may not be equipped to load and secure wheelchairs mechanically.
  • Trains: The State Railway Operator, Caminhos do Ferro Portugueses, has a service called “integrated mobility service” (SIM). English-speaking customer service representatives can be reached by phone at 351 808 208 746 (7 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Monday-Friday). SIM staff provides train and station accessibility; assistance during boarding/exiting or during the train ride. SIM staff will also assist with trip planning. Some train stations are equipped with elevators. SIM service is free of charge. Requests for information or assistance must be made at least 48 hours before travel. For additional information, please visit Caminho’s do Ferro Portugueses website.
  • Subway (Metro): Thirty-one of Lisbon Metro’s 52 stations offer full accessibility to people with disabilities. Elevators and moving walkways at main stations provide access from the platform to street level, as well as payment machines adapted for passengers with disabilities and/or visual impairment.
    • Passengers with visual disabilities can travel with their guide dogs as long as their service animals are leashed and muzzled. Check Lisbon Metro’s website for more information.
       
  • Porto’s new metro system affords accessibility for passengers system-wide with a network of elevators, ramps, and spaces for wheelchairs onboard metro cars. Check Porto Metro’s website for more information about accessibility. 
  • Airports: All Portuguese airports provide wheelchairs and bathrooms to accommodate disabilities. 

  • Parking: Designated parking with a wheelchair symbol, is available in most supermarkets and commercial centers. The National Help Line for the Disabled (Linha Nacional de Apoio à Deficiência) can be reached by phone at 35121 795-9545 (10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. Monday – Friday). Assistance is only available in Portuguese.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Road Conditions and Safety: While Portugal has significantly expanded its motorway network with well-constructed roads, leading to a resulting decrease in accidents and fatalities, its road-accident fatality rate is still high.

  • Use caution when driving, as aggressive driving habits and high speeds pose special hazards.
  • Use appropriate care and caution while on the roadways, practice safe driving habits, and adhere to the applicable speed limits. 

Traffic Laws:  It is against the law to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, speed, and use a mobile phones while driving. Fines for traffic offenses are substantial.

  • Seatbelts are mandatory for drivers and all passengers. Small children must be in a child safety seat in the rear seat with the seatbelts fastened.
  • Portuguese law requires you to leave your vehicle where it is and immediately notify the police when involved in a traffic accident.
  • Police in Portugal have the authority to fine on-the-spot and most of their vehicles have portable ATM machines to facilitate immediate payment
  • You may drive with a valid U.S. driver's license for up to six months. For international driving permits, please contact AAA or the National Auto Club.

Public Transportation:

  • Taxis are a reliable means of transportation. Refer to the crime section of this page to alert yourself to other threats relating to taxis. 
  • Buses are reliable.

In the Azores, driving can be challenging due to narrow cobblestone streets, blind curves, blind corners, and livestock on country roads. In contrast to the situation on the Portuguese mainland, payments are not made on the spot; traffic violations are registered by radar and later forwarded to the offender via the postal service. Taxis do not have meters; the fare consists of a base fee plus a posted rate per kilometer traveled. Public buses are inexpensive. Bus services begin at 7 a.m. and generally operate until 8 p.m., depending on the destination.

See our Road Safety page for more information. Visit the website of Portugal’s national tourist office.

Aviation Safety Oversight:

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Portugal’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Portugal’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

Maritime Travel

Mariners planning travel to Portugal should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts at www.marad.dot.gov/msci. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website and the NGA broadcast warnings website (select “broadcast warnings”).

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