Did you see the black cat?
We are terribly sorry, we are trying to get rid of the damn cat but he insists on showing up ... well now you have to knock three times on a piece of wood, its an old saying to prevent bad luck.
Nevertheless, we left some tips to make your stay in Lisbon as pleasant as possible:
With its mild climate, 3000 hours of sunshine per year and 850 kms of splendid beaches bathed by the Atlantic Ocean, Portugal is the perfect holiday destination all year round.
The summers are hot and dry, especially in the inland areas (Trás-os-Montes in north-eastern Portugal and Alentejo). Temperatures are slightly lower in the coastal areas, because of the influence of the sea.
There are often warm, sunny days in autumn. Nice weather at the beginning of November is often called "St. Martin’s Summer" as this saint’s day is on 11 November.
FOOD & DRINKS
As a rule, the Portuguese have three meals a day. Between 7:30 and 10 a.m. they have a light breakfast consisting of a drink - white or black coffee or fruit juice - and toast or a sandwich, often in their local café or cake shop.
The main meals are lunch, between 12:00 and 2:30 p.m., which is often eaten at a restaurant near work, and dinner between 7:30 and 10:30 p.m.
Most people eat a full meal including soup, a main dish and dessert or fruit. They may also have a snack consisting of a drink and a cake between these two meals, around 5 p.m.
Eating out is common practice in Portugal. Having lunch or dinner out, especially at the weekend, is always a good excuse for meeting friends or going for a drive.
There is a great variety of restaurants and they cater to all kinds of tastes and palates.
While restaurants are usually open for lunch between midday and 3 p.m. and for dinner between 7 and 10 p.m. many of them have longer opening hours, especially in the big cities and areas with a busy nightlife.
They usually close one day a week, sometimes at the weekend in city centres, though restaurants in shopping centres are open every day.
Prices vary in function of the type of establishment and whether or not the cost includes a table service or esplanade service, as a result of which the prices presented are purely indicative.
An espresso coffee, which is so popular amongst the Portuguese and is normally referred to as a “bica”, costs around €0.60 to €0.70 at the counter of a traditional café. A galão (cup of coffee with milk) may cost between €0.70 and €1.20 and a cup of tea between €1 and €1.50. A glass of natural orange juice costs around €2.50 and a beer or Coca-Cola costs between €1 and €1.50. A cheese or ham sandwich costs between €1.50 and €2.50 and a slice of toast or cake will be less than €2.
If you have a full meal it may be around €8 to €11 per person in a snack bar, between €13 and €20 in a restaurant and around €30 to €50 in a first-class restaurant or Fado house.
CLOTHING & SHOES
With a mild temperature you should use light and comfortable clothing, bring a light jacket for the evenings that might be a bit windy and cooler.
In the informal restaurants, taverns and bars there is no clothing formality, bring just a change of clothes for the first-class restaurants or to some Fado Houses and Nightclubs, they may demand a more careful presentation.
Regarding the shoes recommended that it be light and comfortable, with special attention to the Ladies shoes, don't wear high heels, our lovely sidewalk made of small basalt and limestone can be treacherous, some of our Portuguese women wear high heels in Lisbon, but it is still a mystery to us how they do it.
Public transport vehicles usually have reserved spaces for people with special needs although not all may be accessible to wheelchair users. In Lisbon, Carris provides a Reduced Mobility Service on its Regular Public Service routes. Most of the buses are fitted with low floors between the entrance and exit doors, and about half are fully accessible to passengers with reduced mobility, offering space for a wheelchair, backrests and an access ramp. More information can be found at www.carris.pt
The “Lisboa card”:
Permits the use of all public transport facilities in the city and trains between Lisbon and Sintra or Cascais and also offers free entrance or discounts in monuments, museums or tourism circuits.
The prices are €18.50 for 24 hours, €31,50 for 48 hours and €39 for 72 hours.
Prices for children aged between 5 and 11: 24h - €11,50; 48h - €17,50; 72h - €20,50
- The card is activated the first time it is used at a participating establishment, NOT when it is purchased. Once activated, the card can be used for the period of time stipulated on each particular type of card. Simply write your name and the date on which you first use it (the card is personal and non transferable), and show it at the museum or participating establishments you are visiting.
- The card is valid solely for consecutive periods of time. When the expiry date is reached, the card can no longer be used.
- Cardholders can visit the permanent collection at museums, monuments and other attractions a single time; please ensure that the day on which you wish to visit that they are not closed for some reason. Temporary exhibits are not always included as part of the free entry.
- The attraction list is subject to modification without prior notice.
See the full list of free entrance or discounts (PDF.doc)
More information can be found at www.askmelisboa.com
A ride on a bus costs €1,80, and on a tram €2,85.
A simple metro ticket costs €1.40. The “Sete Colinas” card which is sold in the ticket kiosks of Carris and the Metro for €0.50, may be charged with a simple ticket, or combined ticket for the Carris and Metro networks that cost €6.00 for one day.
The underground is an important addition to the traditional forms of public transport.
In Lisbon and Oporto it operates between 6 a.m. and 1 a.m.
The Lisbon underground is the older of the two and reaches a considerable part of the city.
Its network has gradually been extended in recent years. Both the oldest and the most recent stations are decorated with panels of tiles by renowned Portuguese artists, making them true underground art galleries.
Transtejo and Soflusa, which operate the boats across the River Tagus between Lisbon and the south bank, offer some vessels with facilities for people with special needs.
For more information call: + 351 210 422 411 / 808 20 30 50.
The journey between Lisbon and Oporto on the Alfa Pendular train (the fastest and most comfortable train) may vary between €30,30 and €42,40 (2nd or 1st class) and on InterCity trains the price varies between €24,30 and €35.90.
From Lisbon to Faro the fare is between €22,20 and €29.80 on the Alfa Pendular train and between €21 and €27.80 on the InterCity train.
If you want to visit the sights on the outskirts of the capital, train tickets cost €1.25 from Cais Sodré to Belém or from Rossio to Queluz-Belas, €1.55 from Alcântara to Oriente, and €2.15 from Lisbon to either Sintra or Cascais.
The service allows Special Needs Customers to obtain information about accessibility on board trains and at stations as well as assistance during their journey and when boarding and alighting, among other provisions.
Fertagus, which serves the Greater Lisbon area, has carriages suitable for use by wheelchair passengers. At most railway stations, platforms can be accessed by lift and/or ramps. Contact: Tel. +351 707 127 127.
In public telephone booths, coins and special cards can be used.
They are sold in MEO shops, post offices and some kiosks and news-stands (with a sign indicating this).
All telephone numbers in Portugal are composed of nine digits.
To call from abroad to Portugal, it is necessary to dial the international access code 00 and the country code 351. To call abroad from Portugal, dial 00, the country code, the area code and then the number wanted. The dialling codes of the various countries are affixed in public telephone booths.
Portugal is one of the countries with the highest number of mobile phone users. There are three network service providers - MEO, Vodafone and NOS – that have roaming agreements with most international mobile phone companies and provide users with a good coverage nationwide.
The Portuguese Highway Code forbids the use of mobile phones while driving, unless you’re using hands-free equipment or an earphone, and there are established penalties that can be applied in the event of any infringement.
Internet access is available on payment in some cafés and in numerous post offices that have the Netpost service. In various hotels and public facilities, like Airports, Conference centres, Restaurants, Service Areas in motor-ways and shopping centres, there are duly marked "wi-fi" areas where it is possible to access wireless Internet.
Portugal is one of 17 European Union countries whose common official currency is the euro. 1 euro is divided into 100 cents. The coins come in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents, and 1 and 2 euros. The notes are differentiated by their size and colour and come in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 euros. One side of the coins has a common design (the European side), and the other side has a national symbol. All euro coins can be used in any euro-zone country, irrespective of which national symbols they display.
Automatic Teller Machines (Multibanco) Portugal has a national network of cash machines (ATMs) identified by the symbol MB (Multibanco), from which you can withdraw cash 24 hours a day.
You can exchange money at banks, which are open from 8.30 a.m. to 3 p.m. five working days a week; at bureaux de change; and at automatic currency exchange machines (these are for currency sale transactions only).
In Portugal, the most commonly used credit cards are: Visa, American Express, Diners Club, Europay / MasterCard, JCB and Maestro. If your Visa or MasterCard credit card is lost or stolen, contact the following telephone numbers for assistance: - Visa: Tel. 800 811 107 - MasterCard: Tel. 800 811 27
Lisbon is a safe city, but its an European capital, so in the evening follow the main lighted streets.
Just beware of pickpocketing in the public transports, with the targetting of tourists a common ocurrence, be alert because sometimes they appear to be tourists.
If you have a juvenile or casual look its possible that someone addresses you to sell some drugs, especially in the nightlife neighborhoods.The drug use was depenalized in Portugal but still remains illegal, just thanks the offer and politely say no.
National Emergency Number: 112
PSP/ Lisbon Metropolitan Police Command: 21 765 42 42
Lisbon Tourism Police Station: 21 342 16 23
Cascais Tourism Police Station: 21 486 39 29
GNR/Police of Sintra: 21 924 49 25
GNR - General Command: 21 321 70 00
PSP / Traffic: 21 750 12 00
American Express: 707 50 40 50 / 21 427 82 05
Mastercard: 800 811 272
Visa: 800 811 107
Rede-Expressos (National Coach company): 707 223 344 / www.rede-expressos.pt
Central Nacional de Táxis Digital (national phone number) : 707 277 27