Money and duty free for Portugal
Currency and Money
Euro (EUR; symbol €) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of €500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Coins are in denominations of €2 and 1, and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cents.
American Express, MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted, even outside cities, while petrol stations usually take credit cards and cash.
There are ATMs (Multibanco) at most of the larger supermarkets and shopping areas in most towns with instructions available in English if required. You can only take out a maximum of €200 and if you see six asterisks, not four, just put in your normal four numbers and hit continue. If you receive a ‘service unavailable’ message, it is most likely that the machine is out of cash - especially at weekends and on Monday mornings. The machine will have an icon with a cross though it.
You can also find Multibanco machines in every small town and even villages all around Portugal. You will be charged for an international transaction. Currency conversion booths spring up wherever there is a steady flow of tourists but, be warned, the closer they are to tourist attractions, the worse the rates they offer.
Generally, Mon-Fri 0830-1530 (certain banks in Lisbon are open until 1800). In smaller towns a bank may close for lunch, while many branches no longer offer a foreign exchange service.
There are no restrictions on the import or export of local or foreign currency.
You can buy or exchange Euros very easily at cambios (bureaux de change), hotels and shops. Many banks no longer offer foreign exchange, while the best rates and commissions are normally found at the bureaux in larger towns. The worst rates by far are at the airports and hotels. The best thing is to keep an eye out while you’re shopping and always check the commission rates.
Portugal duty free
Portugal is within the European Union. If you are travelling from outside of the EU, you are entitled to buy fragrance, skincare, cosmetics, Champagne, wine, selected spirits, fashion accessories, gifts and souvenirs - all at tax-free equivalent prices.
Portugal's duty-free allowance for travellers from EU countries:
If you are over 17 years old, you are free to buy and take goods with you when travelling between EU countries, provided that you have paid tax on these goods and they are for your own use (not for sale). However, if you bring in more than the following, customs officials are likely to question you:
• 800 cigarettes or 400 cigarillos or 200 cigars or 1kg of tobacco.
• 90L of still wine (60L of sparkling wine).
• 110L of beer.
• 10L of alcoholic beverages stronger than 22% or 20L of fortified or sparkling wine or other liqueurs up to 22%.
Beware that each EU country has different rules for travellers under 17 years old. Please check before you travel.
Portugal's duty-free allowance for travellers from non-EU countries:
If you are arriving from a non-EU country, the following goods may be imported into Portugal by travellers with a minimum age of 17 years without incurring customs duty:
• 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos (max. 3 grams each) or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco. You may combine any of these tobacco products provided you do not exceed the total limit.
• 4L of wine and 16L of beer and 1L of spirits over 22% volume or 2L of alcoholic beverages less than 22% volume or a proportional mix of these products provided the limit is not exceeded.
• Other goods up to the value of €430 for air and sea travellers and €300 for other travellers (reduced to €150 for children under 15).
Prohibited and restricted imports include drugs, radioactive products, offensive weapons, firearms, explosives and ammunition, and protected plants and animals.
Cultural artefacts without permission.