Tips och råd  i Portugal 

Air

Portugal’s excellent geographical position makes it a stopover point for many foreign airlines atairports all over the country:
Lisbon - Portela Airport - Phone: 218 413 500 
Oporto - Dr. Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport - Phone: 229 432 400
Faro - Faro Airport - Phone. 289 800 800
ANA - Aeroportos de Portugal, SA is the Portuguese airport authority and provides departure and arrival information on www.ana.pt 

Rail
CP - Comboios de Portugal (www.cp.pt), the Portuguese railway company, offers a vast rail network covering the whole of mainland Portugal and also offers international train services to Vigo, Madrid and Paris.
There are a number of options to meet your needs:
- The top-of-the-range "Alfa Pendular" trains offer the fastest and most comfortable rail link between Lisbon and the Algarve and, in the north, Oporto or Braga, with stops in Coimbra.
- The "Intercidades" or Intercity service covers the Lisbon-Oporto-Guimarães, Lisbon-Guarda, Lisbon-Covilhã, Lisbon-Évora-Beja and Lisbon-Faro routes.
- The international Sud-Express train and Lusitânia hotel-train leave from Lisbon.
- There is a vast network of regional, inter-regional and suburban trains covering the whole of the country.

Road
Portugal has a good road network composed of Motorways (AE), Main Trunk Routes (IP), Complementary Trunk Routes (IC), Main (National) Roads (EN) and Secondary (Municipal) Roads.
There are two types of motorways: 
– the traditional motorways with toll booths, where payment is made either in cash or by bank card. These motorways also have a Via Verde (green channel), which is an electronic toll system that allows drivers  to make the payment by bank debit and is intended for use solely  by those who have an electronic device identifying their vehicle, which they have previously acquired at one of the respective sales outlets 
- and motorways that have an exclusively electronic toll system, where tolls are collected by exclusively electronic means. As vehicles pass through the toll gates, they are picked up by electronic detectors placed at the entry to the channels, which are identified with the words “Electronic toll only”. 

Coaches 
There are regular coach services between Portugal’s main towns and cities. 

Underground
The underground is an important addition to the traditional forms of public transport.
In Lisbon and Oporto it operates between 6 a.m. and 1 a.m. 


Taxis
Taxis are usually cream in colour, although there are still some painted black with a green roof in the traditional Portuguese style. 
The fare is shown on the taximeter. The prices are affixed inside the car or you can ask the driver about them. 
If you phone for a taxi you have to pay an extra 0.80 euros. There is a charge of 1.60 euros for luggage, regardless of weight or the number of pieces. 
Carry cots, pushchairs, wheelchairs and walking aids are carried free of charge. 
Outside towns, transport by taxi is paid per kilometre, and the passenger is informed of the amount in advance. Where they exist, the passenger has to pay the road tolls there and back. 
Tipping is at the passenger’s discretion, though it is normal to tip 5-10% or round the amount up to the nearest euro.

 Driving

Vehicles drive on the right in Portugal. Unless otherwise indicated, vehicles coming from the right have priority in squares and at intersections. At junctions with roundabouts, vehicles already on the roundabout have right of way.

Road signs comply with international rules.

Compulsory papers: 
- Personal ID
- Driving licence
- Motor insurance certificate
- Vehicle registration or equivalent
- Vehicle logbook (livrete)or equivalent

Fines are issued on the spot

Speed limits for cars without trailers and motorcycles:
  50 kph - in built-up areas
  90 kph - on normal roads
100 kph - on roads restricted to motor vehicles
120 kph - on motorways

All occupants must wear seat belts.

The Portuguese Highway Code forbids the use of mobile phones while driving, unless you’re using hands-free equipment or an earphone.

Alcohol, drinking and driving
It is against the law to drive with a blood alcohol level of 0.5 grams per litre or more.
- A blood alcohol level between 0,5 g/l and 0,8 g/l is considered a serious offence, and it is sanctioned with a driving inhibition between 1 month and a 1 year and a fee payment of an amount from 250 up to 1.250 euros. 
- A blood alcohol level between 0,8g/l and 1,2g/l is a very serious offence, sanctioned with a period of driving inhibition between 2 months and 2 years and the a fee payment of an amount from 1.250 up to 2.500 euros.  
- A blood alcohol level of 1,2g/l or more is considered a crime, that can be punished with imprisonment up to 1 year or fee penalty up to 120 days, and driving inhibition between 3 months and 3 years.

Car rentals

There are car rental services at airports, international rail terminuses and in the main towns and cities. 
Drivers with mobility difficulties, or anyone who prefers to, can rent automatic or adapted vehicles. 
To rent a car you must: 
- be at least between 21 and 25 years old, depending on the company’s rental policy 
- show identification (identity card for EU citizens or a valid passport for other nationalities) 
- have had a driving licence for more than one year

 

Useful Phone Numbers in Portugal

National Emergency Number: 112

Forestry Protection National Number: 117

 Credit Cards

American Express: 707 50 40 50 /  21 427 82 05
Mastercard: 800 811 272
Visa: 800 811 107

Telephones

PT – Portugal Telecom: 118 (National Directory Enquiries)
Optimus: 16103
TMN: 1696
Vodafone: 16912

 Transport

Information on Transports:

ACP- Automobile club in Portugal:707 509 510 
Brisa-National motorway network company :808 508 508 
CP- Comboios de Portugal (Portuguese Train):808 208 208 
Sata (Portuguese airline): 707 227 282 
Tap-Portugal (Country’s “flagship” airline):707 205 700 
Rede-Expressos (National Coach company): 707 223 344 
Central Nacional de Táxis Digital (national phone number) 
Taxis in Faro: 289 895 790 (RádioTáxis)
Taxis in Funchal: 291 764 476
Taxis in Lisbon: 21 793 27 56 
                        21 811 90 00 (RádioTáxis)  
                        21 811 11 00 (Teletáxis)
Taxis in Ponta Delgada: 296 302 530 
Taxis in Oporto: 22 507 39 00 (RádioTáxis) / 22 507 64 00 (Táxis Invicta) 

 FOREIGN LICENSE PLATE VEHICLES 

Toll card
Pre-loaded card with a fixed amount of 5, 10, 20 or 40 € to be consumed depending on circulation in electronic only tolls. This solution allows payment in cash or with bankcard.
Where to buy:  Easy Toll’s Welcome Points, at CTT post-offices or service areas in Portugal and Spain, member Hotel Units and tourist offices.
After purchasing the card, the driver shall proceed to its activation by sending an SMS by mobile phone with the code printed on the card and the license plate of the vehicle (instructions on the card), so that it is associated with the license plate of the vehicle. You can activate more than one card, with the accumulation of balances. 
Validity: one year or until spending the amount loaded.

Toll service
- prepaid ticket for light vehicles, ready to use, with a fixed charge of €20, with unlimited use for 3 days or
- acquisition of pre-paid tickets with previously defined journeys (journey from Spain - Porto Airport, via A28 or A41 (round trip) or journey from Spain - Faro Airport via A22 (round trip).
Where to buy:  Easy Toll's Welcome Points on border posts located at: EN13 – Vila Nova de Cerveira, A24 Chaves, A25 – Vilar Formoso and A22 – Vila Real de Santo António, Porto Airport and Faro Airport), Matosinhos IKEA, Service Areas (A28 – Viana and Modivas, A25 – Celorico da Beira, A23 – Abrantes, A22 – Olhão, A24 – Vidago) and Post-offices.

Easy Toll
Automatic payment of electronic tolls, with the association of a credit card (Mastercard and Visa) to the license plate of the vehicle. 
Where to access: Welcome Points located at the border posts at the following locations EN13 – Vila Nova de Cerveira, A24-Chaves, A25 – Vilar Formoso and A22 – Vila Real de Santo António.
How to access: The driver, not having to leave the vehicle, enters the credit card in the payment terminal and the system automatically associates the vehicle's license plate to the bankcard. The tolls rates owed are directly debited to the account associated with the card. 
Validity: At the time of accession, valid for 30 days, a ticket is issued as proof and must be kept.
The driver is always able to change license plates or cancel the membership, through the Call Center 707 500 501 (National) or 00 351 212 879 555 (from abroad)

Via Verde Visitors
The driver may rent a Temporary ‘Via Verde Visitors' Device to be consumed depending on circulation that has the advantage of being also used also on traditional tolls.  
Cost of rental: € 6 in the first week, and 1.50 € for each week after that; initial deposit € 27.50 (value refunded upon return of the device).
Validity: 90 days, extendable.
Where to rent Via Verde Stores or service areas.

PORTUGUESE LICENSE PLATE VEHICLES


Car hire

When hiring a car, please ask the hire company how payment is to be made regarding electronic tolls. For their customers convenience, some car hiring companies have already installed devices on their vehicles and the costs of using the tolls are added at the client’s bill. 
If the vehicles are not equipped with electronic devices, the payment of electronic tolls is normally done by the customers at Post Offices.

Payment after having circulated at the roads concerned (only available for vehicles with a Portuguese license plate)
If a vehicle does not have an electronic device when circulating at the highways concerned, a photo of the license plate will be made and saved until the payment is made.
Term for payment: the payment can be made at the second day after having circulated at the roads mentioned above and for a period of five weekdays, at the post office or at one of the shops signalized as “Payshop”.
Costs: normal toll costs + administrative costs (an amount €0,25 for every time the roads were used with a maximum of €2 for each payment made)
Note: when a payment term has passed, the driver is in violation of the rules, and fines will be added to the administrative costs.

Payment through electronic devices

In order for the vehicles to use the above mentioned highways, they should have an electronic device, which must be bought or hired beforehand at a Service Area (Área de Serviço) alongside the highways or at a post office (CTT/Correios). There are three types of electronic devices:  

Electronic license plate device (Dispositivo electrónico de matrícula - DEM): the device is linked to the vehicle's license plate and cannot be transmitted to other cars.
Obtaining: at the highway service areas or other locations like the post offices and the Via Verde Portugal-shops.
Costs: €27,50 to purchase + preloading a minimum €10 for light vehicles and €20 for heavy vehicles.
Validity: valid for 90 days as from the date of the last preload. After this period the remaining balance will be lost and the device will be deactivated. To reactivate the device it will be necessary to re-charge it with a minimum of €10.

Temporary device (Dispositivo temporário - DT): the best solution for a short stay, and as a result for vehicles with a foreign license plate; the license plate is not linked to the device, therefore, anonymity is guaranteed.
Obtaining: it is necessary to establish a lease contract with the responsible entities, at the highway service areas or other locations like the post offices and the Via Verde Portugal-shops.
Costs: deposit of €27,50 (that will be given back to the driver when the device is returned in good condition within a period of 30 days) + preloading a minimum of €10 for light vehicles and €20 for heavy vehicles. The lease has a cost of 6 euros on the first week, and at the following weeks the cost is about 1,50 euros per week.
Validity: valid for 90 days as from the date of the last preload. After this period the remaining balance will be lost and the device will be deactivated. To reactivate the device it will be necessary to re-charge it with a minimum of €10.

Devices from a toll entity (Dispositivo de uma entidade de cobrança de Portagens - DECP) like Via Verde are also accepted on these highways. Although the license plate is not linked to the device, it is necessary to establish a contract with a toll entity. This can be used by vehicles with a foreign license plate that stay in Portugal for a longer period of time.
Obtaining: Via Verde-shops 
Costs: €27,50 + direct debit from bank account every time the device is used.
Validity: Until the cancelation of the contract