A Country Guide to Portugal

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Area

92,345 sq. km. (35,655 sq. miles)

Location

Western Europe

Population

10.6 million (as per estimates of 2006) and Population Density of 114.8 per sq. km

Capital City

Lisbon with a total population of 600,000 (as per estimates of 2006) and 1.9 million in Greater Lisbon

Language

Portuguese is the official and most popular language of Portugal. English is also prevalent among the business communities.

Electricity

AC 220 volts, 50Hz. In some areas, 110 volts, and in some southern regions, 230 DC. Continental two-pin plugs are commonly used.

Currency

Euro (EUR, symbol €). 1€ = 100 cents

Notes prevalent = €5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500

Coins prevalent = €1 and 2; Cents 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50

Currency Exchange

Currency Exchange facility is available at several banks, ATMs, and bureaux de change. Banks usually charge 0.5% commission with a minimum charge of approximately €10. However, some banks do not charge any commission on transactions of less than €25. Currency exchange from ATMs, with symbol MB (MultiBanco), is efficient with the commission being only 2%. For more details and exchange rates, travellers are advised to consult their banks.

Credit/Debit Cards and ATMs

Credit/Debit/ATM Cards of all major companies, like American Express, Visa, and MasterCard accepted. However, it is advisable to carry some cash as well. ATMs are also conveniently situated.

Traveller's Cheques

Travellers Cheques can be easily exchanged from bureaux de change. The travellers are also advised to carry travellers’ cheques in major currencies, like US Dollars, or Pounds Sterling, in order to avoid additional exchange rate charges.

Banking Hours

Banks in Portugal function from Monday to Friday from 0830-1500, and some banks in the capital open till 1800.

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