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Please be advised that the Department of Foreign Affairs’ Travel Advice is now available at Ireland.ie/travel. Travel Advice on this webpage is no longer being updated. To ensure you receive the latest Travel Advice for Portugal, please see Ireland.ie.


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

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



Security Status

Normal Precautions

Latest Travel Alert

A number of wildfires are currently active across Portugal, including near popular tourist destinations in the Algarve region. You should familiarise yourself with wildfire safety advice and always follow the safety instructions of the local authorities. 

For more information, please see the Safety and Security tab.

General Travel Advice

Irish citizens need a valid passport or passport card to enter Portugal.

Irish passports do not have a minimum validity requirement while travelling to the UK or within the EU. When travelling within Europe with an Irish passport, it should be valid for the duration of your stay. 

Irish citizens do not require a visa to enter Portugal.

Visitors to Portugal are advised to follow the guidance of national and local authorities and stay fully informed of what is going on by monitoring local news and social media. Under Portuguese law, you must carry identification at all times.

Citizens can also follow the Embassy on Twitter @IrishEmbLisbon to ensure access to relevant updates and alerts.

Emergency Assistance

The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.

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

Our tips for Safe Travels:

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.

If you are near a wildfire, call the emergency number 112. Further safety advice about wildfires is available in English here.

The best place to get the most current information on fires is via this link to the Portuguese Civil Protection service http://www.prociv.pt/en-us/Pages/default.aspx. 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.
  • Consider applying for a Passport Card in addition to your passport in case your passport is lost or stolen while you are abroad, and don’t store both documents in the same place.
  • 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 as they were travelling on a passport that had at one stage been reported lost or stolen. Please make sure that the passport you are travelling on has never been reported as lost or stolen, as this will produce an alert on the Schengen Information System and your passport may be seized 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