Portugal is part of a group of 17 European Union countries whose official currency is the Euro. One Euro is divided into 100 cents. The new Euro coins have eight face values: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents and 1 and 2 Euros. The bank notes, which are distinguished by their size and colour, are 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 Euros. The coins have on one side - the European side - designs that are common to the 17 countries that use the Euro, and on the other side, a national symbol. Euro coins can be used in all adhering countries, irrespective of their national side.
To change currency, go to a bank - in Portugal; banks are open during the week, on working days, from 8:30 am to 3 pm - or to a currency exchange house - you can find these in downtown Porto. Automated machines, which are only available for the sale of foreign currency, are another option.
To withdraw money, use an ATM machine (MB - Multibanco), a national network of cash machines that operate 24 hours a day.
In Portugal, the most widely used credit cards are: Visa, American Express, Diners Club, Europay/MasterCard, JCB, and Maestro. If your Visa or MasterCard is lost or stolen, please call the following helpdesk numbers:
- Visa: (+351) 800 811 107
- Mastercard: (+351) 800 811 272
Finally, tipping. Unlike other countries, this service is already included in the restaurant checks. However, if you do wish to leave a tip, please note that it is current practice to leave around 5-10% of the total price of the meal. In taxis, the same thing applies, however please note that the 5 to 10% tipping is usually reflected in the rounding-up of the amount payable.