General Information

Accessibility

Lisbon International Airport located 6 kms from the city centre, and about 20/30 minutes driving from Estoril, is served by all major international airlines from all over the world.

Check in/out Policy

Should hotel rooms be required for guaranteed occupancy before 13.00 hrs, the previous night should be reserved. Check out time is 12.00 hrs noon.

Currency

As a member of the European Monetary System, since the 1st of January 2002, the local currency Escudo was replaced by the "Euro".

Driving

Vehicles drive on the right side of the road. The use of safety belts is compulsory, and children under 12 must ride in the back seats.
Portugal has a large freeway network crossing the whole country from the North to the South in Algarve, and from the Ocean front to the border with Spain.
Valid driving licenses from EU countries, the USA, Canada and other major countries are acceptable for use in Portugal up to 6 months stay.

Electric Current

European type 2 pin sockets with 220 volts AC at 50 cycles are used. The phase 380 volt current is normally available in meeting and exhibition rooms.

Entertainment

Lisbon has a variety of theatres and venues catering for most tastes.
Opera, ballet, plays, concerts, etc. take place on a regular basis all year round. Portuguese Fado and Folklore shows are popular, and an international show at Casino Estoril (the largest in Europe), with glittering cabaret complements the many discos and other night spots (Bairro Alto, Av 24 de Julho, Docas)

Exchange

Major credit cards are accepted in most hotels, shops and restaurants. Travellers cheques and currency can be changed at hotels or at a bank - these are open Monday to Friday from 08h30 to 15h00. Automatic changing and cash dispensing machines linked to international networks are also widely available.

Health Requirements

With the exception of vaccination certificates for persons coming from areas where yellow fever is endemic actually there are no special health requirements.

Language

The official language is Portuguese. English and French are widely spoken.

Meals

There are a wide variety of restaurants and cafés in Lisbon ranging from elegant and sophisticated to casual and inexpensive. Take-away and fast food is also available from many outlets.
Restaurants, bars, some with live music, and discos along the river Tagus, at Docas area, Alcântara and at the Nations Park site, are very popular meeting spots especially at weekend nights.
Breakfast is normally served between 07.30 and 10.00 hrs, lunch from 12.30 to 15.00 hrs, and dinner from 19.30 to 22.00 hrs.

Medical Care

Clinics and hospitals provide round the clock emergency service. The national emergency phone number is 112.
Hotels have a doctor on call through the reception. Reciprocal E.C. cover is available at out-patient departments, otherwise private consultation fees are charged.

Museums

Most of the Museums are open Tuesdays to Sundays, from 10h00 to 17h00 closed on Mondays and public holidays. Please check with the Secretariat of the Congress for further information.

Passport and Visas

A valid passport (or identity card for European Community Mationals) is required. Visas are not necessary for citizens of EU countries, the U.S.A., Canada and the majority of countries.
Please contact your local Portuguese Embassy, Consulate or your Travel Agency for further information.

Post and Telecommunications

Automatic direct dial telephone service is available to and from most countries in the world. Public phones accept either a pre-paid card, or coins (see signs on the booth). Credit systems such as AT&T are also available. Post offices are open Monday to Friday from 08h30 to 12h00 and 14h00 to 18h00.

Public Transportation

There is a wide inexpensive network in all towns and cities. In Lisbon, city of the seven hills, you can choose between bus, underground metro, elevators, electric trams or railway, within the city or to the suburbs. Trains and express bus service also link the main towns of the country.

Recreation

Excellent golf courses, tennis and squash courts, water sports and horse riding tempt the energetic participants. There are also many noteworthy museums and monuments, sunny beaches to explore.

Religious Services

Portugal is predominantly Catholic, but a wide number of other religions (Protestant, Christian, Moslem, Jewish, and Hindu, among others) are also represented. Please inquire at hotel reception for times and places of services.

Sales Tax

Sales tax (VAT) is included in prices quoted. For non E.U. residents, tax free shopping schemes are available in many shops, which give substantial savings to visitors.

Security

Crime rates in Portugal are among the lowest in the world. Hotels have their own security staff, which is sufficient for most events. Specialist firms are also available if necessary, and the police provide special protection for visiting dignitaries and high risk individuals.

Shop

Shops are open from 09h00 to 13h00 and 15h00 to 19h00 Monday to Friday, and 09h00 to 13h00 on Saturdays. In major town centres and in many shopping malls, they stay open during lunch hours, and close later at night, including weekend
Fine leather goods, lead crystal ware, porcelain, vintage wines, golden and silver filigree, pottery and specialist textiles are considered excellent buys in Portugal.

Shopping Areas

The city centre, “a Baixa”, bordered by the magnificent Praça do Comércio (Black Horse Square) facing the river Tejo, the Rua do Ouro, Rua Augusta and Rua da Prata finishing at Rossio Square, Avenida da Liberdade, and the "Chiado" leading to Bairro Alto.
Some of the main Shopping Centres are Colombo (one of the biggest in Europe), Amoreiras, Vasco da Gama , Monumetal and the Atrium Saldanha,

Smoking

Smoking is forbidden by law in public transportation, and in closed public areas.

Tipping

Tipping is optional, but normally 10% is customary in taxis, restaurants and bars.

Lisboa Convention Bureau
Turismo de Lisboa
Rua do Arsenal 15
1100- 038 Lisboa Portugal
Tel: (351) 21 031 27 00 Fax: (351) 21 031 2899
e-mail: atl@visitlisboa.com Web-site: www.visitlisboa.com