Breakfast is normally served between 07.30 and 10.00 hrs., lunch from
12.00 to 15.00 hrs., and dinner from 20.00 to 22.00 hrs. (Breakfast is
included in most hotel prices.)
There are many small restaurants and coffee shops in the Belém area
(Rua de Belém, Rua Bartolomeu Dias, Rua Vieira Portuense) where you
can have from a proper meal to a light snack. One of most famous
pastry shops in Lisbon is located at Rua de Belém - do not forget to
try pastéis de Belém.
At CCB, there are also several places: Cafetaria Quadrante, Sandwich
Bar, Bar Terraço and Restaurante Comenda. Across the street, you may
also find the Museu da Marinha Coffee Shop.
The climate in Lisbon is temperate, offering the best of both Atlantic and Mediterranean sea breezes all year round. In Summer Lisbon can be hot (14C-27C), but this is soon eased by a quick train ride along the coast to the beach resorts of Cascais and Estoril. In Winter Lisbon is much cooler (8C-16C) though still boasts many sunny days, making it a popular year round destination.
- Average January temp: 12°C (53.5°F).
- Average July temp: 24°C (75°F).
- Annual rainfall: 617mm (24.3 inches).
GMT (GMT + 1 from last Sunday in March to Saturday before last Sunday in October). Mainland Portugal is thus 1 hour behind European Standard Time.
The national language is Portuguese, however, English is spoken by many in business circles and the tourism industry. Spanish is understood by most of the population, if one speaks slowly. Portuguese developed, along with all the Romance languages, from Latin when the Romans conquered the area. It evolved into a distinct language after successive waves of invasion by Germanic tribes and Arabs, as well as those returning from Portugal's overseas colonies and during the periods of Spanish and French rule; all of which have contributed to the vocabulary.
220 volts AC, 50Hz; round two-pin plugs are standard.
As a member of the European Monetary System the EURO is the Portuguese
monetary unit. At present, the bills in circulation are: 5.00, 10.00,
20.00, 50.00, 100.00, 200.00, and 500.00. The coins are as follows:
1 cent, 2 cents, 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, 1 EUR and 2 EUR.
Tipping is optional, but normally 10% is customary in taxis, restaurants and bars.
Major credit cards are accepted in most hotels, shops and
restaurants. Travellers cheques and currency can be changed at hotels
or at a bank - these are open Monday to Friday from 08h30 to
15h00. Automatic changing and cash dispensing machines linked to
international networks are also widely available. At CCB, there are
cash dispensers (Multibanco). The banks which are closest to
CCB are located at Rua de Belém.
POST AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS
Automatic direct dial telephone service is available to and from most countries
in the world. Public phones accept either a pre-paid card, or coins (see signs on the booth). Credit systems such as AT&T are also available. Post offices are open Monday to Friday from 08h30 to 12h00 and 14h00 to 18h00.
- Post office (closest to CCB): Correios, Praça Afonso de Albuquerque.
- Police station (closest to CCB): Polícia, Praça Afonso de Albuquerque
Clinics and hospitals provide round the clock emergency service. The national emergency phone number is 112 (from a mobile phone dial 21 followed by POLICIA).
Hotels have a doctor on call through the reception. Reciprocal E.C. cover is available at out-patient departments, otherwise private consultation fees are charged.
- Hospital (closest to CCB): Hospital S. Francisco Xavier,
Estrada Forte Alto do Duque, Alto do Restelo
- Chemist (closest to CCB): Farmácia Bom Sucesso, Rua Bartolomeu Dias
With the exception of vaccination certificates for persons coming from areas where yellow fever is endemic, there are no special health requirements.
Smoking is forbidden by law in public transportation, and in closed public areas.
Shopping hours vary, but most shops are open from 09h00 to 13h00 and
15h00 to 19h00 Monday to Friday, and 09h00 to 13h00 on Saturdays. In
major town centres and in many shopping malls, they open at 10h00,
stay open during lunch hours, and close later at night, including
during the weekend.
MAIN SHOPPING AREAS
The Pombaline section at downtown, bordered by the magnificent Praça do Comércio facing the river Tejo, the Rua do Ouro, Rua Augusta and Rua da Prata finishing
at Rossio Square, Avenida da Liberdade, and the Chiado leading to Bairro Alto. The new areas of Av. de Roma, Praça de Londres and Av. Guerra Junqueiro.
Some of the main Shopping Centres are Colombo [one of the biggest in Europe], Vasco da Gama [in the site of Expo 98], Amoreiras, Imaviz, Monumental, Atrium Saldanha, Alvalade, Via Veneto, El Corte Inglês, etc...
Vintage wines, fine leather goods, lead crystal ware, porcelain, golden and silver filigree, pottery and specialist textiles are considered excellent buys in Portugal.
Sales tax [VAT] is included in prices quoted. For non E.C. residents, tax free shopping schemes are available in many shops, which gives substantial savings to
PASSPORT AND VISAS
A valid passport (or identity card for European Community nationals)
is required. Visas are not necessary for citizens of EEC countries,
the U.S.A., Canada and most major countries. Please contact your
local Portuguese Embassy, Consulate or your Travel Agency for further
Predominantly Roman Catholic.
70% Portuguese, 10% African, 20% smaller minority communities from
Macau, Brazil and other parts of Europe.