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South African citizens require a visa to enter the Schengen territory, i.e. Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
At which Embassy/Consulate/ Visa Issuing Authority should you apply? Read More
– If you intend to visit only one Schengen country, you must apply at the Embassy / Consulate / Visa Issuing Authority of that country.
– If you intend to visit several Schengen countries, you must apply for a visa at the Embassy / Consulate / Visa Issuing Authority that is your main destination (i.e. your longest stay).
– If you intend to visit several countries but do not have a main destination, you should apply for a visa at the Embassy / Consulate / Visa Issuing Authority of the country of your first point of entry.
Portugal is defined as a Mediterranean climate and is considered one of the warmest European countries.
The best time to travel is March to May or September to October.
|International Airports:||– Faro Airport
– Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport – Porto
– João Paulo II Airport in Ponta Delgada – Azores
– Lisbon Portela Airport
– Madeira Airport
|Time Zone:||GMT except for Azores which is one hour behind continental Portugal and Madeira. Please note that in summer they have one hour daylight time saving|
|Religion:||Majority Roman Catholic, the balance is made up of Protestant, Latter-day Saint, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Christian Orthodox, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Baha’i, Buddhist, Jewish and Spiritist communities.|
|Language:||The national language is Portuguese. English is widely spoken within the tourist and business community.|
|Exchange Rate:||Please consult you local bank for an accurate exchange|
|Credit Card Payment Availability:||VISA, Mastercard and American Express cards are widely accepted in hotels, shops and restaurants. Petrol (gas) stations usually take credit cards and cash.|
|ATM Accessibility:||Easily accessible.|
|Electricity:||Voltage in most places is volts AC, 50Hz. Some areas provide 110 volts and in certain southern regions 230 DC is used. Continental two-pin plugs are in use.|
|Water:||Tap water is safe to drink in all major cities. Bottled water should be used in small villages.|
|Business Hours:||Post Offices: 09:00 – 18:00
Pharmacies: 09:00 – 19:00 (some close for lunch between 13:00 – 15:00), and between 09:00 – 13:00 on Saturdays.
Shops: 09:00/ 10:00 – 19:00.
Shopping centres– between 10:00 – 24:00
|Banking Hours:||08:30 – 15:00.|
|Photography Restrictions:||No restrictions known, they may find the odd museum or church where photography may be prohibited but this will clearly marked.|
|Tipping:||It is customary to tip waiters, porters, guides and drivers. Service charge is generally not included, expect in some up-market restaurants where they will automatically include a service charge “serviço”. For a snack at a bar, bakery or café, a bit of loose change is enough. Taxi drivers appreciate 10% of the fare and petrol station attendants €0.50 or so.|
|Vaccination Requirements:||No vaccinations required, however always consult with your medical practitioner or travel clinic.|
|Dress Code Restrictions:||No dress code restrictions.|
|Peculiar Customs to Observe:||None known|
- Carnival – February:
- Semana Santa/ Holy week – March-April
- International sand sculpture festival – Pera- March–August
- Festa das Cruzes – Barcelos – May
- Fátima – 13 May
- Santo Cristo dos Milagres in São Miguel, Azores – May
- Serralves em Festa – Porto – June
- Rock in Rio-Lisboa – Lisbon – June
- Feast Day of St Anthony – Lisbon – June
- Arraial Pride – June
- Festa de São João – Porto – June
- Sintra Music Festival – Sintra – June–July
- Festa do Colete Encarnado – Vila Franca de Xira – July
- Festa do Nossa Senhora da Boa Viagem – Peniche – August
- São Martinho – 11 November
- New Year’s Eve in Madeira.
“I have got two places I like to be. Portugal is one.”
– Cliff Richard