Currency in Portugal

What Currency Does Portugal Use Now

Portugal, known for its vibrant culture, captivating landscapes and historic richness, is part of the European Union, hence, the official currency in use is the Euro (€). It's been the country's official currency since 2002 when it replaced the old Portuguese Escudo. Whether you’re planning to dine at one of Portugal’s sumptuous seaside seafood restaurants, buy ceramics from local artisans, or immerse yourself in the nation’s thriving nightlife, familiarizing yourself with the local currency is a must! The Euro is subdivided into 100 cents and coins come in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents, while banknotes are available in 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500 Euros.

Credit and Debit Cards in Portugal

Credit and debit cards are widely accepted in Portugal, especially Visa and Mastercard. So, if you prefer a cashless and convenient transaction, you may opt to use these cards in most establishments like hotels, restaurants, stores, and even some taxis. However, be prepared to encounter some small businesses, particularly in rural areas, that accept only cash. Also, it's advisable to notify your bank before you travel to avoid any blocks on your cards due to suspicion of fraudulent overseas transactions. Plus, some might charge for foreign transactions, so better have yourself ready for any occurrence of fee deductions.

Using Cash in Portugal

Despite the broad acceptance of credit and debit cards, cash is still king in Portugal. Many small establishments, public transports, and vendor machines only accept cash transactions. Especially if you aim to explore the picturesque countryside and smaller towns, keep some Euros handy. The best way to get local cash is to carry out a cash withdrawal from an ATM upon arrival or exchange your currency at a local bank or currency exchange service.

ATMs in Portugal

ATMs, known as Multibanco in Portugal, are ubiquitous across the country, offering various services apart from cash withdrawals. You can use them to pay for services such as concert tickets, top up your mobile phone, and even pay taxes. They accept international banks’ cards as long as they are linked to the common networks like Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, Cirrus, etc. Most machines offer an English language option for user convenience. However, be aware that there may be a service charge for withdrawing money, which differs from bank to bank.

Bank Hours

If you're looking for traditional banking services during your stay, it's essential to know the standard bank hours in Portugal. Typically, Banks operate Monday to Friday, opening around 8:30 AM and closing at about 3:30 PM. They are normally closed on weekends and on public holidays, as well as for a designated period during lunch hours. It's always best to check specific timings for the day of your visit as these can change. Should you require banking services outside of these hours, Multibanco machines are available 24/7.

Exploring Portugal, with its charming, old-worldly cities and stunning coastlines, demands a worry-free experience, knowing you’re financially equipped and prepared irrespective of the mode of transaction you choose to use for your day to day expenses. Bon Voyage, or as Portuguese people say, Boa Viagem!