What is the local currency in Portugal?
The currency of Portugal is the Euro (EUR.) One Euro is 0.90 GBP (as of August 10 2020).
Do I tip whilst in Portugal?
In Portugal, tipping is accepted and appreciated for exceptional service. However, on most occasions, a ‘round-up’ to the nearest Euro will suffice.
Caxton conducted a study on Tipping etiquette, results for Portugal show that when you’ve received exceptional service, a 10-15% additional tip would be recommended when dining out. Tipping is not expected when in bars, taxis or for hotel staff, however an additional 10-15% would be greatly appreciated for tour guides.
View our tipping guide for more advice on tipping abroad.
Using cash in Portugal
When travelling, our experts would recommend always bringing a small amount of cash with you on every trip, for initial taxi transfers or hotel deposits etc. The rest of your travel money should be put onto a Caxton multi-currency card, for safe and secure spending.
Cash is no longer king in Portugal (even more so after COVID-19,) and almost all establishments accept credit/debit cards.
Most international banks and money outlets now charge a fee for using ATM machines, as do most card providers. Taking a travel prepaid card and a credit card is recommended as Caxton does not charge for international ATM use regardless of sum or number of times, (but check with your card provider about charges.)
We would recommend still bringing your bank card on your trip as a backup option. However, if you decide to take your bank card, we recommend telling your bank before you go so the transaction isn’t identified as fraudulent, but be prepared for fees and high exchange rates.
All major cards are accepted widely in Portugal at key tourist hubs.
The price of food and drink in Portugal
As a rough guideline, we’ve put together a list of the costs of spending an average day in Portugal:
Domestic beer = €1.92
One-way ticket on local transport = €1.40
Meal, inexpensive restaurant = €7.50
Bottle of wine (mid-range) = €4.00
Bottle of water = €0.95
What happens if I have my wallet stolen whilst in Portugal?
Portugal is known to be a safe country with friendly and helpful people, but this shouldn’t stop you from being smart whilst you travel. If the majority of your cash is on a prepaid card, this will be automatically protected. However, in case the worse happens, here are the list of major debit/credit card ‘lost and stolen’ numbers:
HSBC/First Direct - +44 1442 422929
Natwest - +44 1268 500 813
Lloyds - +44 1702 278270
Barclays - +442476842099
Santander - +44 1908 237 963
The cost of tourist attractions in Portugal
Some examples of Portugal's most popular tourist attractions are:
Lisbon Oceanarium: Lisbon’s Oceanarium is one of the key tourist attractions and ticket prices vary from 15 euros for adults to 39 euros family package. Typical visits last between 1-2 hours.
Torre de Belem (Belem Tower): Belem Tower is a 16th century tower which serves as a monument to Portugal’s Age of Discovery. Tickets are 8.50 euros, and children up to 14 years old are free.
Palace of Pena: The entrance fee varies from 7.50 euros for a single adult, to 26.00 euros for a family ticket. Throughout the summer months, the grounds are open between 9.30am-20.00pm.
What can I do with spare currency in Portugal?
Whilst in Portugal, you may as well spend any remaining Euro, if only small amount, on some traditional Portugeuse souvenirs, such as:
- Maderian embroideries
- Vinho do Porto wine
History of the Euro
- The Euro came into existence on 1 January 1999 - though it had been a goal of the European Union since the 1960s. Notes and coins didn’t begin circulation until 2002.
- Today the euro is the sole currency of 19 EU member states, with the original dozen being joined by: Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Slovakia and Slovenia. These countries constitute the "eurozone".
- The rise of the Euro in its short lifespan is remarkable with it now being the second-largest reserve currency as well as the second-most traded currency in the world after the United States dollar.
Alternatively, if Azulejos aren't your thing, you can use Caxton’s buy back guarantee to get rid of any unused Euro. By doing this you ensure that if the exchange rate moves against you, you won't lose out.