Additional Information About Travel to Portugal
TippingAt the conclusion of your tour, it is customary to offer your tour guide and driver a gratuity. Your WEST tour coordinator will collect the gratuity at any point during the tour (many travelers like to pay ahead of time to get it out of the way). Although it is not required, your driver and tour guides rely on these tips, and work hard to ensure you an unforgettable experience. We recommend tipping the equivalence of $3 USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6 USD/CAD to $9 USD/CAD per person per day for your tour guide. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalency of $2 USD/CAD per local guide, payable following the local tour. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.
In order to enter Portugal, U.S. & Canadian citizens need a valid passport. The expiration date must extend at least six months beyond the date of your return home. No visa is required for U.S. or Canadian citizens. If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, please contact the Portuguese consulate for your specific entry requirements.
Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage. Please contact your airline or refer to its website for detailed information regarding your airline’s checked baggage policies. Bear in mind that your luggage will probably weigh more on your return trip due to souvenir shopping. We allow only one suitcase per person. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 inches (length + width + height). There may be times when you will have to handle your own bags, and you’ll find that lightweight luggage provides a distinct a advantage. Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on luggage.
To ensure you’re comfortable while out exploring, we recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered. For sightseeing, we suggest bringing a sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers, as well as a lightweight sports jacket or rainwear. If you’re planning a visit to a high-end restaurant or performance, you may also want to bring dressier attire. Also, please remember that it’s preferable to avoid showing bare legs or shoulders during visits to churches or other religious sites (entrance may be denied on this basis).
Portugal is Western European Time (WET) and eight hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time (PST). When it is noon in California, it’s 8 pm in Lisbon.
The flights for tours beginning or ending in Portugal will arrive or depart from Porto or Lisbon. On-tour transportation is provided primarily by private motor coach, but may include planes, trains, boats, ferries, or other modes. During free time, you may wish to explore the cities by public transportation, and your tour coordinator and tour guide will have suggestions. All of the cities and towns on this itinerary are accessible on foot, but you may want to break up periods of walking by using public transportation. Lisbon is a very walkable city, but you may want to break up periods of walking with rides on the city’s trams, metro and buses. All-inclusive travel passes are available.
There are no major health risks associated with traveling to Portugal. However, be sure to check with your doctor or health care provider for the latest updates.
The euro is the currency you’ll use on tour. Better rates of exchange are usually available in your destination countries, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We advise that you take a combination of bank/ATM cards and credit cards, as needed. We suggest that you inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
Portuguese food is fresh, hearty and delicious, especially seafood. Try sardinhas asadas (grilled sardines), cataplana (a shellfish stew cooked in a sealed, shell-shaped copper pan) or the national dish, bacalhau (salted codfish). Other dishes worth sampling are feijoada, a fava bean and sausage stew, and caldo verde, a cabbage-based soup. Also note, a couvert, a simple plate of bread, butter and olives, is often served the minute you sit down. While it is free in many restaurants, some places will add a charge to your bill for it.
Portugal operates on the European standard 220 volts.