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If you’re travelling to Portugal, our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information.     

Get travel and medical insurance

Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), available by contacting the Health Service Executive, and that you also obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.

Security Status

  • Normal precautions
  • High degree of caution
  • Avoid non-essential travel
  • Do not travel
  • Overview
  • Safety and Security
  • Local Laws and Customs
  • Health
  • Additional Information
  • Embassy Contact


General COVID-19 Travel Advisory in Operation

For the latest update please read the General COVID-19 Travel Advisory >


Security Status

High Degree of Caution

Latest Travel Alert

Anyone considering travel should be aware that restrictions are subject to change at short notice, and all passengers should undertake proper research and carefully consider the necessity of their travel at this time. Citizens should be aware of the possible limitations to any consular assistance that could be provided. It is also important to check with your travel insurance provider on coverage before travel.

If considering travelling abroad, you are advised to monitor the official advice and information provided by the authorities at your destination. Information about entry restrictions applied by other countries is available below. Additional restrictions may be imposed by the country of your destination, including during your visit.

Travel to Portugal

All passengers need to fill out a Passenger Locator Card before departure to Portugal.

From 1 December 2021, passengers arriving into Portugal by air must hold a negative Covid-19 test result even if they are fully vaccinated. The following tests are accepted:

The following passenger categories are exempt from this negative rest result requirement:

  • Holders of a valid EU Digital Covid Certificate of recovery from Covid-19 (issued less than 180 days before travel)
  • Children under the age of 12
  • Essential workers (defined by Portugal as workers in transport, emergency and security services)
  • Cross-border workers (working within 30 km of Portugal’s border)

If you arrive in Portugal without a valid negative test result (and you do not fall into one of the exempt categories listed above), you will need to take a PCR or Rapid Antigen Test on arrival at your own expense. If you test positive, you will need to complete a mandatory isolation, potentially in a suitable location identified by the authorities.

The same regulation applies to visitors entering Portugal by land or sea.

Specific information for Madeira islands is available here.

Specific information for Azores archipelago is available at

Find out more:
Portuguese Immigration Service - FAQs

Re-open EU provides information on the various measures in place, including on quarantine and testing requirements for those who wish to travel within Europe.

Travel/Transit to Portugal from outside the EU

Portugal currently accepts passengers travelling from a number of non-EU countries, the most up-to-date information can be accessed here.


If you are an Irish citizen in Portugal, you should monitor developments regularly and follow the advice available via the Portuguese public health authorities’ COVID-19 website - Servico Nacional de Saude (SNS) (click on globe icon in top right hand corner of the screen to access English-language version).

A 24-hour telephone helpline is also being operated by the Portuguese public health authorities and can be reached from inside Portugal by dialling 808 24 24 24. For guidance in English, users should dial ‘9’ following connection to the helpline.

You can contact the emergency services in Portugal by dialling 112.

Travel to Ireland


Safety and Security

Safety and security


Wildfires are a feature of summer in Portugal, most fires are quickly brought under control but some can escalate into major events, particular when the weather is very hot and windy. Take particular care to avoid starting a fire, and take standard fire safety precautions, keeping away from fires.

The best place to get the most current information on fires is via this link to the Portuguese Civil Protection service Under "active events", fires appear as a flame icon. Red icons indicate ongoing fires not under control, orange relates to fires burning but under control and green to resolved events.


Along with other European countries, there is potential for Portugal to experience international terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by tourists and expatriates.


  • Crimes such as pickpocketing, handbag snatching and theft from cars are increasing in main tourist areas including Lisbon and the Algarve.
  • Pay close attention to your personal belongings at tourist attractions, on public transport (especially on the popular E15 and E28 trams in Lisbon) and at busy rail and underground stations, museums, restaurants and hotel foyers. There have also been reports of thefts from safe boxes ­in apartments and hotels.
  • Don't carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place 
  • Don't carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home
  • Leave your car doors locked and the windows rolled up, both when you park and when driving through urban centres at night
  • On hikes in remote areas, including pilgrimage walks, we advise that women should not travel alone. Attacks, although rare, are not unknown.


  • In general Portugal is a safe country, however, be careful of your personal safety as there have been reports of incidents in nightclubs.

Reporting a crime

If you’re a victim of a crime while in Portugal, report it to the local police immediately. And you can contact us at the Irish Embassy if you need help.

The Portuguese Association for Victim Support (APAV) is a non-profit organisation with qualified personnel that informs, protects and supports victims of crime with a personalised and confidential service (also available in English). APAV Helpline: 7007202277.


If you’re planning to drive in Portugal, be aware that driving regulations and customs are different from those in Ireland. Traffic is faster and the accident rate is much higher. Cars drive on the right side of the road so traffic will be coming from the opposite direction to traffic in Ireland.

If you want to drive:

  • Be aware of Portugal’s traffic laws, such as speed limits. Fines have recently be increased considerably for several offences
  • Never allow children under 12 to travel in the front passenger seat
  • Carry a high-visibility vest and a hazard warning triangle in your vehicle
  • Portugal operates a toll system on its motorways and you risk heavy fines if you don’t or can’t pay toll fees. Don’t use the green lanes at the tolls – they’re reserved for motorists who subscribe to the automatic pay system (Via Verde)


Whether you’re a driver or a pedestrian, be careful at crossings on busy roads, as designated crossing places are often poorly marked. Pay particular attention late at night or in busy commercial and entertainment districts in cities such as Lisbon and Porto.

Hiring a vehicle

If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.

Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).

Our tips for Safe Travels:

  • Purchase comprehensive travel insurance, which covers all your intended activities.
  • Get a European Health Insurance Card
  • Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly if there is an unforeseen crisis like a natural disaster or a family emergency.
  • Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates.
  • Read our ‘Know Before You Go’ guide.

Local Laws and Customs

Local laws and customs

Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or even illegal.

Illegal drugs

If you’re caught consuming or carrying drugs for personal use, you may be fined or have your personal belongings seized by the police. Selling or trafficking of drugs is a criminal offence and subject to severe penalties, such as imprisonment.

Personal identification

Under Portuguese law, you must carry identification at all times. We advise you to carry photocopies of the relevant pages of your passport, and keep the original in a safe place.



Travel Insurance

We can’t pay for emergency medical repatriation, repatriation of remains, or for expenses as a result of a personal emergency while you are abroad. If you buy an appropriate travel insurance policy, these costs will be covered, provided you haven’t broken the terms and conditions.

Buying comprehensive travel insurance can save you and your family a lot of money if something goes wrong. It will also ensure that you get the medical attention you need, when you need it. Hospital bills can quickly run into thousands of euro, and a medical evacuation back to Ireland can cost thousands more.

Not all policies are the same, and the cheapest one might be cheap for a reason. Make sure your policy covers all the activities you plan to do on your trip. Insurance Ireland recommend that you purchase a policy that provides a minimum medical cover of €1 million.

Emergency expenses

Your policy should cover:

  • All medical care abroad, including evacuation by air ambulance, or other emergency procedures, and any other costs associated with an unexpected longer stay.
  • Your entire trip, from departure to return. Consider an annual multi-trip policy if you’re making more than one trip in the year.   
  • 24-hour emergency service and assistance.
  • Personal liability cover (in case you’re sued for causing injury or damaging property).
  • Lost and stolen possessions.
  • Cancellation and curtailment.
  • Any extra activities you intend to do that are excluded from standard policies (e.g. water sport activities such as jet skiing or other extreme sports).

Exclusions: You should know most insurance policies will not cover drink or drug-related incidents.

European Health Insurance Card

As an Irish resident you are entitled to get healthcare through the public system in countries of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland if you become ill or injured while on a temporary stay there. Ensure that you get or renew your EHIC (the new name for the E111) before you go, and remember, you need one for every person travelling in your group.

Apply for your EHIC and find out more information.

The EHIC is not a substitute for proper travel insurance provided by a reputable insurer. It doesn’t cover medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment or treatment of a non-urgent nature. Also, some private hospitals may not accept the EHIC, so you should check with the hospital administrator beforehand.

Zika Virus

The World Health Organisation has noted that the Portuguese island of Madeira is at high likelihood of being at risk for the Zika virus. People considering travelling to Madeira, should be seek medical advice before travelling. Mainland Portugal has a low likelihood of being at risk for the Zika virus.

Additional Information

Additional information

Entry requirements (visa/passport)

You need a valid passport to visit Portugal. You can enter Portugal up to the date of expiry.

A significant number of citizens have had their passport seized on arrival in Portugal this year due to the fact that they were travelling on a passport that had been reported lost or stolen sometime in the past. Please make sure that the passport you are travelling on has never been reported lost or stolen, as this will produce an alert on the Schengen Information System and your passport will be apprehended by the Portuguese Immigration Authorities on arrival.

Minors travelling from Ireland

In Portugal, unaccompanied minors (travelling alone or with an adult who is not their legal guardian) are sometimes requested for letters of permission when they arrive at immigration in Portugal. The Embassy cannot advise you on this. You should contact the Embassy of Portugal in Dublin before you travel. They can advise on what documents you may need.

Buying property

If you intend to buy property in Portugal, we strongly advise you to consult an independent legal advisor from the beginning of the process.

Embassy contact

Embassy Contact

Please note that if you require assistance in the case of emergency while the Embassy is closed, contact the main Embassy number, 00 351 213308200, and leave a message on the Duty Officer voice mailbox. This mailbox will be monitored regularly.

Alternatively, you can call the Duty Officer at the Department of Foreign Affairs at 00353 1 408 2000.

Embassy of Ireland
Avenida da Liberdade 200, 4th Floor
1250-147 Lisboa

Tel: +351 21 330 8200
Fax: +351 21 397 7363

Monday to Friday 09:30-12:30

Contact us