Money and Communications
Portugal joined the Euro in 2002. Today, the Euro (€) is the official currency of most EU countries, which together make up the Euro area.
You can exchange currency at some banks from 8:30 to 15:00, on working days, and at foreign exchange offices, which have extended hours. There are also exclusive automatic machines for foreign exchange sales operations.
There is a national network of ATMs, identified by MB (ATM), which allows cash withdrawal, 24 hours a day.
Most of Lisbon's shopping establishments accept credit cards.
In Portugal, the most used credit cards are Visa; American Express; Diners Club; Europay/Mastercard; JCB; Maestro.
In case of loss or theft of your Visa or Mastercard card, you can ask for help via the following phones:
Visa: 800 811 107
Mastercard: 800 811 272
Service is always included. However, it is customary to leave a tip of about 5 -10% in restaurants, bars and taxis, which usually results in rounding the amount payable.
Public telephone booths, although rare, operate on coins or cards. Cards are available for purchase in MEO stores, Post Offices and some kiosks and tobacconists (marked on-site).
The international access code for connections from Portugal is 00.
Calling Portugal from abroad, the international access code depends on the country where you are located.
When calling Lisbon from abroad, dial the international access code of the country where you are located +351 (Portugal) and 21 (Lisbon).
Mobile use. While most international SIM cards can operate on Portuguese networks, it is also possible to purchase a prepaid SIM card in telecommunications stores.
The three networks that provide this service - MEO, Vodafone and NOS - maintain roaming agreements with most international companies and provide excellent coverage at the national level.
The Highway Code prohibits the use of mobile phones while driving vehicles unless speakers devices or headset are used. Fines might be applied in case of infringement.
In several public spaces, restaurants and shopping centres, there are clearly marked “wi-fi” areas where you can access the wireless internet. The Town Council of Lisbon also offers this service, free of charge, in some of its spaces - libraries, gardens, parks, among others.