Travel.State.Gov > International Travel > Learn About Your Destination > Portugal International Travel Information
Av. das Forças Armadas, Sete-Rios
Telephone: +(351) (21) 770-2122
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(351) (21)-770-2122 or +(351) (21) 727-3300
Fax: +(351) (21) 727-2354
U.S. Consulate Ponta Delgada
Av. Príncipe do Mónaco No, 6-2 F
9500-237 Ponta Delgada, Açores
Telephone: +(351) (296) 308-330
EmergencyAfter-Hours Telephone: +(351) (21) 727-3300
Fax: +(351) (296) 287-216
Visit the Embassy of Portugal website for the most current visa information.
Portugal is a party to the Schengen Agreement and part of the European Union.
Traveling Through Europe: If you are planning to visit or travel through European countries, you should be familiar with the requirements of the Schengen Agreement.
If you are not staying in a hotel or a similar tourist accommodation, you are required to register your presence in Portugal with the Portuguese Immigration Service (SEF) within three working days of entering Portugal. You must download a declaration of entry form (declaracão de entrada) from SEF's website and personally submit it to the nearest SEF office within three business days of entry. Failure to comply with these requirements will result in an administrative offense punishable with a fine from €60 to €160.
Under Portuguese Immigration law, foreign minors under 18 years of age entering or exiting Portugal must possess an authorization letter of parental consent to travel, if travelling with adults other than their parent(s) or legal guardian. The document must be signed and dated, with the signature(s) certified by a notary. The letter of parental consent to travel must include the dates and reason for travel and the details about the adult responsible for the child. More information here.
Find additional information on traveling with minors on the Portuguese Immigration Service webpage.
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.
Credible information indicates terrorist groups continue plotting possible near-term attacks in Europe. All European countries, including Portugal, remain potentially vulnerable to attacks from transnational terrorist organizations. U.S. citizens are reminded to remain vigilant with regard to their personal security.
Crime: Crimes of opportunity, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, particularly at popular tourist sites, restaurants, and on public transportation, are common. Pickpockets take advantage of crowds getting on and off all forms of public transportation, such as the popular Tram 28, using the jostling of the crowd as a distraction. 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.
Demonstrations occur in Portugal. They may take place in response to political or economic issues, on politically significant holidays, and during international events.
Victims of Crime: Local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes. Report crimes to the local police at 112 (National Emergency Number) and contact the U.S. Embassy at +(351) (21) 770-2122 or the emergency after-hours telephone: +(351) (21)-770-2122 or +(351) (21) 727-3300.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance. Additionally, Portugal has an “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.
Tourism: The tourism industry is generally regulated and rules regarding best practices and safety inspections are regularly enforced. Hazardous areas/activities are identified with appropriate signage, and professional staff is typically on hand in support of organized activities. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is widely available throughout the country. Outside of a major metropolitan center, it may take more time for first responders and medical professionals to stabilize a patient and provide life-saving assistance. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
Natural Disasters: In the event of a natural disaster or other widespread emergency, travelers can monitor the Portuguese Civil Protection Authority’s website at Prociv.pt for the latest information. All U.S. citizens living or traveling in Portugal should also monitor local news reports, follow directions from local officials, and take appropriate action needed. Additionally, information about areas in Portugal impacted by any events can be found at: http://www.prociv.pt/en-us/SITUACAOOPERACIONAL/Pages/ocorrenciassignificativas.aspx.
We recommend all Americans enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages, alerts, and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.
Furthermore, some U.S. laws allow criminal prosecution in the United States, regardless of where the crime was committed. 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. Your U.S. passport will not help you avoid arrest or prosecution.
See our webpage for further 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 Portuguese Tourism Board.
Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
For emergency services in Portugal, dial 112. Ambulance services are widely available, but training and availability of emergency responders may be below U.S. standards.
The U.S. government does not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas. Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance.
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 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 should 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.
Further health information:
Air Quality: Visit AirNow Department of State for information on air quality at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.
The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of doctors and hospitals for Medical Assistance. We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.
Road Conditions and Safety: While Portugal has significantly expanded its motorway network with well-constructed roads that decreased the total number of 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 speed, drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or use a mobile phone while driving. Fines for traffic offenses are substantial.
Public Transportation: Taxis and prominent ride-sharing services such as Uber are a reliable means of transportation. Refer to the crime section of this page to alert yourself to other threats related to taxis and ride-sharing services. Bus service is also reliable.
In the Azores, driving can be challenging due to narrow cobblestone streets, blind curves, blind corners, and livestock on country roads. Public buses are inexpensive. Bus services begin at 7 a.m. and generally operate until 8 p.m., depending on the destination.
Aviation Safety Oversight:
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed that the government of Portugal’s Civil Aviation Authority is 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. Information may also be available on the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency broadcast warnings.
For additional travel information
International Parental Child Abduction
Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in Portugal. For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act (ICAPRA) report.