Using money in Portugal

The ATM is the easiest way to get cash. There are ATMs everywhere and every ATM has an English language option. You will also be given the exact current exchange rate (money change offices often give you a bad conversion rate).


You may want to be aware of a few things:

• Use a debit card: you do not want to use your credit card at the ATM. Using a credit card will be treated as a “cash advance” and you will be shared huge fees. Make sure you only use an ATM or debit card.

• 4-Digit PIN code: your ATM card has to have a 4-digit numerical PIN code. European machines won’t accept longer numbers. Unlike American keypads, European pads don’t have letters on them so make sure you know your number.

• Have the right kind of card: make sure your debit card/credit cards have the cirrus or plus logo on them (pretty much every Visa or MasterCard will have one). Cards with this logo will pretty much work all over Europe.

To use electronic devices, you may need both a converter (220V) and an adapter for continental European outlets (with two round prongs). Some devices, such as most laptops, come with voltage converters.

Non-European mobile carriers may charge international roaming rates. Know what you’re in for before turning on your phone in Portugal. If you have an unlocked phone that takes a SIM card, you can buy a Portuguese SIM card to use while in Lisbon for a very reasonable rate from one of the many existing cell phone stores.

Please note that pickpockets and thieves are a fact in most European cities and Lisbon is no exception. As Lisbon has increasingly become a tourist destination in recent years, the incidence of petty crime has increased. Keep your bag zipped and close to you in crowded places, especially on public transportation and in cafés.

Make a copy of your passport before you depart and bring it with you (a copy aids in speedily replacing a lost or stolen one) and consider leaving your passport with the front desk of your hotel.


For information about Lisbon, please go to and download the Lisbon official app.


Call 112 for emergency services (police, fire and ambulance) in Portugal.

The National Health Service (in Portuguese, SNS) is the main healthcare provider in Portugal. You will be charged for emergency treatment if you are an overseas visitor to Portugal. You are strongly advised to take out travel insurance to cover any medical expenses. Without this, you will be charged fully for treatment (around €140).

If you’re visiting from Europe, you need to carry a valid European Health Insurance Card in case you need immediate and necessary medical treatment in an NHS hospital and you will be charged around €20. Without this, you will be charged fully for treatment (around €140). Travel insurance is still advisable as it offers greater flexibility over where and how you are treated and can cover expenses not paid for by the NHS.

HOSPITAL DE SANTA MARIA is the nearest NHS hospital, within walking distance from FLUL. You will have to go directly to URGÊNCIA CENTRAL (ER).