Miradouro São Pedro de Alcantara, Lisboa, Portugal

The Portugal Business Travel Guide has an assortment of travel tools and resources for business travellers to assist them on their trips. The guide highlights some important information such as via information, business customs, culture, tips, facts on Portugal and more. An appreciation of other cultures, languages, customs and protocols can be of great use for business travellers helping to create better understanding, avoid cultural misunderstandings and helping to create a successful business trip.

Portugal has an advanced and developed economy with a number of business opportunities. It has one of the largest economies in Europe and a member of the EU, Eurozone, OECD and the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Major trading partners include EU neighbours Germany, UK, Spain, France and Angola. Portugal is a multicultural, multiracial country and home to a number of ethic groups. Portugal shares borders with Spain to the north and east and the Atlantic Ocean to the south and west.

The country has a variety of landscapes including mountains, river valleys, plateaus, rolling plains and coastline. Famous attractions include the Belém Tower (Tower of St Vincent, Castle of São Jorge, Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, Jerónimos Monastery, Lisbon Oceanarium, Lison Zoo, 25 de Abril Bridge and Lisbon Cathedral in the capital Lisbon and the Pena National Palace, Church of São Francisco, Clérigos Church, Porto Cathedral and Sintra National Palace.

Quick Facts on Portugal

County: Portugal
Capital: Lisbon
Currency: Euro (1 euro = 100 cents)
Population: 10.7 Million (UN, 2012)
Area total: 92,072 sq km
Languages: Portuguese
Time Zone: GMT
Daylight Saving Details: Starts in late March until late October
Electricity: 220V 50Hz
Dialling Code: 351
GDP: USD 220 billion (World Bank, 2013)
Religion: Predominately Christian (Catholic, Protestant).
Political System: Republic
Internet Domain: .pt

Portugal Travel Advice

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office offers travellers useful advice when travelling to Portugal. You can find further information on entry requirements for Portugal, advice on local laws and customs, health considerations, tips on safety and security and the address and contact details of the British Embassy in Portugal. The information is updated on a regular basis making it a valuable resource to check for business and leisure travellers, prior to starting their trips to Portugal. For more information please see: Portugal Travel Advice

Visa Requirements

No visa requirement for national of EU member states. No visa need for US and Canadian nationals for visits less than six months. Visa requirements are subject to change with changes in requirements and rules for further information please see your local embassy.

Business Customs and Etiquette

Business meetings should be arranged in advance. Business attire is conservative and smart, pride is taken in appearance. Greetings are usually with a handshake with eye contact. Trust and relationship building is important, it can take a few meetings for this to develop. People are addressed with their proper titles and need to wait to be invited to use less formal means. Business cards are usually exchanged among senior staff.

Hierarchy and seniority are respected as is a relaxed attitude to deadlines, so it may take some time for decisions to be agreed. Punctuality for meetings is important. Business socialising may take place in restaurants and bars, the holiday season includes July and August where it is best to avoid going for business as many are on holiday. Many Portuguese business people speak English, translators are available if needed.

Travel Advice and Tips

Portugal is a relatively safe country to visit for both business travellers and tourists, the majority of visits each year pass by without incident or concern. You should however be aware of pick pockets targeting credit cards and passports, bag snatchers particularly in busy areas and car crime, valuables should not be left in cars. It is important to remain alert and aware of your surroundings and environment at all times.

Travel Checklist: See our Things to Remember Checklist containing useful tips and reminders to ensure you have everything you will need on your trip.
Travel Vaccinations: It is recommended you check with your GP up to eight weeks before you travel, whether you are required to take any vaccinations for your trip. For more information and advice on travel vaccinations please see the NHS Fit for Travel website.
Tipping: If service charge is not included usually around 10%

Hours of Business:

For Businesses:
09.00 to 13.00 then 15.00 to 19.00 Monday to Friday
For Banks:
08.30 to 15.00 Monday to Friday
NOTE: The majority of shops close by 13.00 on Saturdays.

Public Holidays (2015):
January 1: New Year’s Day
April 3: Good Friday
April 5: Easter Sunday
April 25: Freedom Day
May 1: Labour Day
June 4: Corpus Christi
June 10: Portugal Day
August 15: Assumption
October 5: Republic Day
November 1: All Saint’s Day
December 1: Restoration of Independence Day
December 8: Immaculate Conception
December 25: Christmas Day

Portugal Weather & Climate
Portugal enjoys one of the warmest climates in Europe, the geographic location in southern Europe ensures a Mediterranean climate, the south of the country tends to be hotter than the north and the Azores and Madeira located off the coast are hotter still. Overall there are warm to hot summers with mild winters, the climate makes it an ideal holiday destination and many tourists flock to the renowned beaches of the Algarve each year with pleasant temperatures in spring, summer and autumn. The mild weather means Portugal can be visited throughout the year.

Lightweight cotton and linen clothing can be warn in the summer months; rain coats and water proofs are advisable throughout the year due to high rainfall throughout the year. Additional layers and warmer clothing is required during the autumn and winter months.