Portugal Basic Information
Portugal is the only country that requires fingerprints on its citizens’ identity cards and it is also the world’s largest producer of cork. For information more relevant to you, see below.
As part of the Schengen Convention, Australian passport holders going to Portugal on holiday for less than a total of 90 days within a 180-day period do not need a visa to enter the country. Make sure your passport has at least 6 months’ validity from your planned date of return to Australia. This information is only a guideline. For up-to-the-minute visa information, contact your nearest Embassy or Consulate of Portugal.
Portugal is part of the European Union and uses the Euro as currency. The exchange rate between the Australian Dollar and the Euro changes constantly, so keep an eye on the exchange rate and purchase Euros when the rate is at its best. For safe spending while overseas, consider using a credit or debit card.
Eating out is popular in Portugal, particularly breakfasts and coffee at cake shops or cafes, long, main meal lunches at restaurants near workplaces and light dinners or tapas in bars as late as 10pm. The ocean forms a rich part of Portugal’s food, like the national dish of bachalau (dried, salted cod), grilled sardines and arroz de marisco (seafood rice). Lisbon is one of the best cities for fresh, inexpensive fish and shellfish dishes. The north of Portugal is the home of port. Make sure you also sample the traditional pasteís de nata (Portuguese egg custard tarts) at a pastelaria. The ones from Antiga Confeitaria de Belém in Lisbon are considered to be the best and are served right out of the oven.
Portuguese nightlife is most lively in Lisbon and Porto, although the Algarve and other coastal areas tend to put on a good show during summer with all-day and all-night beach parties. Lisbon offers the most diverse nightlife from bohemian nights at the former red light district Cais do Sodre to quiet drinks at Bairro and no-smile (joking) hipster zone LX Factory. Local fave Lux, co-owned by John Malkovich (!), is a converted riverfront warehouse with high-end design, DJs and clientele (hence the name). Most clubs open on Fridays and Saturdays and the dress code varies depending on what area you go to, so we suggest you follow suit (see what we did there?)
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