Portugal – Country Profile

Given I was already in Paris for work it was fairly easy to hop down to Portugal. We booked with EasyJet and paid around $200 for a round trip ticket. If you book earlier you can easily get a round trip flight for under $100.  The deal with EasyJet is that you need to pack light. They’re very particular about you have ONE carry on bag. That means one bag so you have to put your purse inside your carry on. I was able to leave my larger luggage at Hotel Panache for the weekend so it was no problem.

If you’re a U.S. Citizen you don’t need to pre arrange a visa to enter Portugal. Of course you will need a valid U.S. passport for at least 3 months from the date of planned return or other travel document recognized by member States of the Schengen Agreement.

I withdrew around 100€ for the whole weekend and wasn’t able to spend it all. We were able to use our credit cards for pretty much everything. I used my Chase Sapphire card, which is great for international travel as it has no foreign transaction fees. ATM’s are easily accessible everywhere and I wasn’t charged a withdrawal fee!

Portugal is on the Euro so it’s fairly simple to navigate if you’ve used Euros before. At the time we were there the currency was around 1€ = $1.23

We honestly walked everywhere which I think is why I didn’t feel like a cow when I came home (mmm, pasteis). Lisbon is very reminiscent of San Francisco and is incredibly hilly. It was pretty easy to get around by foot but sometimes my calves did burn with the hills. Uber is also very easy to use and the rates are very reasonable.

I’m personally not signed up with an international plan so I kept my phone on airplane mode. This wasnt a problem as everywhere we went had WiFi and we were able to easily connect.

Due to the abundance of free wifi, we were able to use Google Maps easily while there. Prior to driving, we would connect to wifi and load our route on Maps which became very helpful. If you’re not familiar with this concept, all you have to do is open Google Maps and ask for directions as you regularly would and then just don’t close the app.  The blue location dot will move along with you. Sure, there may be a short lag but nothing to be bothered by!

People were very nice and helpful. I not once did I feel like I was in any sort of danger.

Is it safe to drink water from the faucet in Portugal? Yes. Is it going to taste great (like NYC water)? No.

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