General Information

The city of Lisbon is one of the warmest European capitals during spring months being mostly sunny. Lisbon, which has been the capital of Portugal since it was conquered from the Moors in 1147, lies on the right bank of the Tagus River, next to the river mouth.

Known for its light, the Greater Lisbon area spans approximately ,750 square kilometres. Nearly 2.1 million people travel on a daily basis to the capital, giving Lisbon a very cosmopolitan temporary population.

Lisbon is characterised by valleys and hills overlooking the river. The mild climate and the abundance of fauna and flora were what drew its first occupants.

Nowadays, in the 21st century, Lisbon is a city of multiple contrasts, modern and old, which fascinate its visitors.

Lisbon is not to be seen, you have to feel it: by looking at the ships coming and going on the river; by strolling along valleys and hills through narrow streets and along artistic cobblestone pavements; by observing the people going by; through the smell of grilled sardines that lingers in the air of the busiest quarters during the city celebrations and through Fado, a mournful song that sings the “saudade”.

Lisbon is worth the visit.

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Portugal has one of the most extensive and advanced ATM networks in the world where Euro banknotes can be retrieved with the most common bank cards.

Currency Exchange

You may exchange money at banks, which are open from 8.30 a.m. to 3 p.m. five working days a week; at bureau de change; and at automatic currency exchange machines (these are for currency sale transactions only).

Credit Cards

In Portugal, the most commonly used credit cards are: Visa, American Express, Diners Club, Europay / MasterCard, JCB and Maestro.

Banking Hours

Are 8.30 am to 3.00 pm from Monday to Friday. Most banks no longer close during the lunch period, as was formerly the case. The banks are also closed on Public Holidays.


The electricity voltage in Portugal is 220 V. 50 Hz. Plugs are normally 2-pin round and all lamps fittings are of the screw-type.

Shopping in Lisbon

The network of streets known as "The Baixa", which is situated between Praça do Comércio and the Rossio is still Lisbon's main shopping area. One of these streets, Rua Augusta is a pedestrian thoroughfare with many excellent shops.

Lisbon has malls distributed over the whole city. Lisbon has the biggest shopping mall of the Iberian Peninsula, which is Centro Comercial Colombo.


Centro Comercial Colombo
Av. Lusíada, 1500-392 Lisboa

El Corte Inglês
Av. António Augusto Aguiar

Centro Comercial Vasco da Gama
Av. D. João II, Lote 1.05.02, 1990 - 094 Lisboa

Amoreiras Shopping Center
Av. Eng. Duarte Pacheco, 1000 - Lisboa

Armazéns do Chiado
Chiado, Lisboa

Traditional Portuguese Arts & Crafts

Portugal offers a delightful mixture of home-produced arts and crafts. These range from hand-woven rugs with designs which vary from region to region to exquisite handpainted ceramics.

Portugal's traditional handpainted ceramic tiles are still reproduced and widely available. Some factories will even transfer your designs onto tiles.

Atlantis, the makers of fine handmade crystal ware and Vista Alegre, the company producing hand-painted porcelain are both famous names in portugal.

Look for work by talented young artists at craft galleries and exhibitions.


Portugal takes great pride in the freedom of movement and personal security enjoyed by all its citizens and visitors. Although Lisbon is a cosmopolitan European City, its crime rate is low. Residents and visitors alike are generally able to move freely, day and night, without experiencing personal security threats.

Emergency telephone number - 112 (for both mobile and fixed-line telephones)

Have a nice stay, and enjoy Lisbon!