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Lisbon Is Starting the Rehabilitation of Three Municipal Neighborhoods

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Due to the Rehabilitation Program – Living Better (Programa Viver Melhor), three of Lisbon’s municipal neighborhoods will undergo rehabilitation works. This is expected to impact 100 residents directly.

The program, which is a partnership between Lisbon’s City Hall and Gebalis (a company focused on local development that aims to promote and manage municipal housing properties) will invest a total of 4.7 million euros in the rehabilitation of the neighborhoods of Avenida de Berlim, Quinta dos Ourives, and Boavista.

According to public data, the works will include the following:

  • The neighborhood of Avenida de Berlim, located in Olaias, in the northern part of Lisbon, will have six lots rehabilitated, which correspond to 84 fractions, and the works are supposed to end in the first trimester of 2025;
  • In the neighborhood of Bairro dos Ourives, located in Beato, the eastern part of the city, five lots, corresponding to 104 houses, are also projected to be done within the first trimester of 2025;
  • Finally, regarding the neighborhood of Boavista, located in Benfica, next to Monsanto Forest Park, the works will be on 14 lots, corresponding to 168 houses, and are due in the second trimester of 2025.

The beginning of these three projects further solidifies Gebalis’s commitment to the municipality, which has a focus on improving housing conditions and the overall quality of life.

Note that the Living Better program is considered one of the largest investments ever made in municipal housing, and it aims to rehabilitate a total of 478 buildings, impacting 8614 fractions, which correspond to 1545 houses. These three projects are only the beginning. The next works, which shall start during the summer, will target six other municipal neighborhoods.

The Ongoing Portuguese Housing Crisis

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Portugal continues to experience an unprecedented housing crisis, with the real estate market reaching levels of inaccessibility that threaten to further fragment the nation’s social fabric.

These housing issues are the result of a combination of factors: the sharp increase in real estate prices and in rents, the stagnation of household income, and the tightening of financial conditions.

According to the National Statistic Institute (INE), in the last 5 years, the average rent for new contracts has been increasing at an average annual growth rate of 8,3%. In parallel, also in the last 5 years, real estate prices have been increasing at an average annual growth rate of 10%.

In contrast, according to the data revealed by the Bank of Portugal, in the last 4 years, disposable income per capita only increased at an average annual growth rate of 5.9%. It should be noted here that this already started from an established base of low income.

Obviously, there is a discrepancy between the increase of prices and that of disposable income. Considering the scenario, there are fewer and stricter financing options available and, on top of that, there is also a shortage in the housing supply. Consequently, more and more families cannot find sustainable housing solutions, and the demographic fragmentation continues to get worse.

Being aware of this very real, expanding, and pressing problem, the Portuguese Government introduced a program to fight it. Among the most relevant proposals are:

  • the provision of public housing properties with affordable rents and/or prices;
  • the amendment of the land law (Lei do Solo) to allow the use of rustic land for sustainable housing solutions;
  • the reduction of VAT to a minimum rate of 6% for housing rehabilitation and construction works;
  • the unlocking of 25,000 homes from the resilience and recovery plan (PRR);
  • the revocation of forced renting;
  • the exemption of IMT and Imposto de Selo on the purchase of the first home for young people up to 35 years old, in properties up to 316,000 euros.

Experts, however, do not 100% agree with the expected efficacy of these measures. Some critics argue that the targeting program does not go far enough to tackle the structural problems that create the crisis. To them, problems such as real estate price speculation and the lack of regulation directed towards the short term renting market need further attention and a better overall response.

Portugal’s Golden Visa Now Accessible for Less Than €175,000

The Golden Visa investment in Portugal changed significantly in 2023, when property was removed from the list of options. With investing in property no longer an option, the minimum investment to obtain a Golden Visa increased from €280,000 to €500,000. This is quite an increase and may be out of reach for potential investors.

Despite the price increase, many report that the thought of an EU passport in 5 years’ time is attractive, and the Golden visa allows a passport to be granted without having to move an applicant’s tax residency to Portugal. The minimum stay for the Golden Visa continues to be only two weeks in each two-year period, which allows for relocation to an EU country on demand, without having to leave one’s current country right away. Applications from US citizens have continued to increase over the first six months of the year and continue to accelerate as more Americans are looking for a “plan B” due to current political uncertainty in the United States.

A New Financing Option to Apply for the Golden Visa

Until now, the only other ways to qualify for the Golden Visa include certain investments that can be made with as little as €325,000 or to donate €250,000 to the Portuguese investment, which has been historically unpopular. Fortunately, an alternative to the donation is now available which provides 100% financing of the €500,000 for a fee of only €168,000.

Although this is still a hefty chunk of change, this lower fee opens the door for applicants and their families to qualify for the Golden Visa with significantly less capital. With the addition of this new option, the following entry points of investor capital are now available:

€168,000 – Full financing of €500,000, for a fee of €168,000.

€250,000 – A donation to the Portugal Government

€325,000 – Investment of €500,000 with €101,000 return paid upfront + €74,000 loan

€399,000 – Investment of €500,000 with €101,000 return paid upfront

€500,000 – All other investment routes

Many clients are now opting to invest whilst keeping the funds within their retirement accounts for tax purposes. This can allow for the investment to be funded without facing significant taxes and potential penalties for withdrawing below a certain age.

Although the process takes a little longer, savings held within a 401k and IRA can be used with many applicants already saving themselves more than 100,000 EUR.

For further guidance on these topics, we invite you to register for a complimentary live Q&A where you will have the chance to ask any questions you may have. Simply click here.

If you are unable to make the webinar, you’re welcome to schedule a personal discussion with me on Zoom here. I’m able to provide a full breakdown of all current investment options available and answer your questions.

Considering Portugal’s Golden Visa Program? Everything you need to know + how to qualify with 325,000 EUR

If you’re interested in finding out the latest details about the Golden Visa program and want to take advantage of the new opportunities. Signup for a live Q&A webinar with an expert from Holborn Assets that will answer all your questions. The event is scheduled for August 13 at 6 PM Lisbon Time (2 PM EST). The live webinar will cover the following:

  • Golden Visa basics, how to qualify, who can be included
  • New Investment Criteria for 2024
  • Golden Visa timeline and process
  • How to qualify with just 325,000 EUR – this exclusive offer includes investment loan financing to bridge the gap to reach the 500k minimum investment
  • What tax breaks are available?
  • Live Q&A for all questions

Register for FREE

*If you cannot attend the seminar or would prefer one-on-one, book a call here.

How to Get the Shingles Vaccine in Portugal

We’ve recently received questions from our readers about getting the shingles vaccine in Portugal, so we thought it might be helpful to provide a how-to guide to help make it a little easier.

The shingles vaccine is currently not part of the National Vaccination Program, a universal program established in 1965 that is free and accessible to anyone present in Portugal. As such, if you want the shingles vaccine, you are going to need to pay for it, and it is expensive! Let’s first give a bit more background on the shingles disease itself before we go into the logistics of getting it in Portugal.

What Is Shingles?

Herpes zoster, also known as shingles, is a disease caused by the reactivation of the varicella zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. You can only get shingles if you have had chickenpox.  The older you get, the more likely it is that you may get shingles, especially if your immune system is compromised.

What Are the Symptoms of Shingles?

Shingles first presents as a headache with associated tiredness, sensitivity to light, and an itching, burning, or tingling sensation. Two to three days later, a rash will likely appear on one side of your body around a skin nerve known as a dermatome.

The rash initially consists of painful red bumps that will quickly develop into fluid-filled blisters, which can be itchy and painful. Eventually, these attractive blisters will burst and heal into a crusty surface over the course of two weeks. The rash typically lasts for about 10 days, but it can take several weeks to settle. Shingles can appear on your chest, abdomen, pelvis, and even your face. The main complications are herpes zoster ophthalmicus, which involves shingles around the eye, and post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN), a condition that can affect 1 in 10 people in which the pain and tingling of shingles can last for months or even years. This is more common in people over 50 years old.

Who Typically Gets Shingles?

You can get shingles at any age, but the risk is higher if you’re over the age of 50, had chickenpox during your first year of life, or have a weakened immune system. One in three people will develop shingles at some point during their lives. Usually, you will only get shingles once, but some people get it repeatedly, especially if they have weakened immune systems.

You can’t get shingles from someone else who has shingles. However, if you’ve never had chickenpox, you can get it from someone who has shingles. The shingles virus can spread if the fluid from the blisters contacts another person’s skin or an uninfected person touches their towels, clothing, or bedding. Once the blisters crust over and there is no more fluid, the shingles is no longer infectious.

Why Should I Get the Shingles Vaccine?

If you have already had chickenpox and have an auto-immune disease or a weakened immune system for any reason, we recommend getting the shingles vaccine if you can afford it. This will help you avoid weeks of painful blisters and possibly passing the virus on to those who have not yet had chickenpox.

Studies estimate that 10-30% of the Portuguese population will eventually be infected with shingles, so changes are quite high that you may have to deal with this disease at some point. Of course, getting vaccinated does not 100% guarantee immunity, but the risks will be much lower.

Getting vaccinated, Ed Us, Unsplash

How Can You Get the Shingles Vaccine in Portugal?

Getting the shingles vaccine in Portugal will first require a prescription from a doctor either in Portugal or the EU. You can get this prescription from a public or private hospital in Portugal, but it is important to know that hospitals in Portugal do not have the shingles vaccine on hand and typically do not administer it. Instead, you need to find a local pharmacy that can both order the vaccine for you (or already has it available) AND administer the vaccine. These two things do not always happen concurrently. Some pharmacies may be able to order the vaccine for you but won’t be able to administer the shot on site.

Portugal currently has two shingles vaccines available, a recombinant vaccine known as Shingrix® and a live attenuated vaccine known as Zostavax®. Shingrix® is administered in three doses, the first on Day 1, the second after two months, and the third after six months. Zostavax® is administered as one dose, but this must be ordered in advance, as it is usually not in stock at a pharmacy in Portugal. Shingrix® may also need to be ordered in advance, so call ahead to your local pharmacy and place your order once you get a prescription.

We recommend searching for a pharmacy that can administer the vaccine to avoid any further complications. The best pharmacy that we found in Lisbon is Farmácia Fontes Pereira de Melo (Av. Fontes Pereira de Melo 15A, 1050-115, +351 218 272 313). If you do not live in the Lisbon area, we advise you to call the closest pharmacies around and see what is available. Make sure that you ask the pharmacy if they can administer the dose for you.

Most pharmacies have someone on staff who can speak in English. By calling, you may also be able to order the shingles vaccine in advance over the phone.

What Type of Shingles Vaccine Should I Get?

As we previously mentioned, there are two types of shingles vaccines: Shingrix® (recombinant, administered in 3 doses) and Zostavax® (live attenuated, administered in 1 dose). Of the two different vaccines, Shingrix® provides stronger and longer protection against shingles.  As of 2020, Zostavax® is no longer available in the USA.  Zostavax® was found to reduce an individual’s chance of getting shingles by 51% and reduces PHN by 67%, while Shingrix® showed a 90% effective rate at preventing shingles and PHN in healthy adults, with protection between 68% and 91% in people with weakened immune systems.

Although Shingrix® is three times more expensive, we recommend it since it provides much better immunity over a longer period and can used in adults at a younger age.

How Much Does the Shingles Vaccine Cost in Portugal?

Each dose of the shingles vaccine currently costs €179.60 out of pocket. Note that this is not covered by insurance. This means that Zostavax® will cost €179.60, and Shingrix® will cost €538.80.

What Are the Side Effects for the Shingles Vaccine?

Both Shingrix® and Zostavax® have mild side effects that improve within 2-3 days. Side effects include headaches, fatigue, a high temperature, chills, aches, and swelling or itchiness where the injection was given. Serious side effects are very rare.

Final Thoughts

Since there is no testing to determine whether the varicella-zoster virus is dormant and shingles can lead to long-term complications such as post-herpetic neuralgia, we recommend getting the shingles vaccine in Portugal if you are over the age of 50 or have a weakened immune system. While it takes a bit of planning, it is possible to get the shingles vaccine from your local pharmacy with a prescription from a doctor. Now that you know the steps to take, we encourage you to get out there and get your shingles vaccine!  

Guide to Renting in Portugal

Moving to a new country like Portugal comes with its challenges, despite the country’s 300 days of sun and inviting community. One of the largest ones at the moment is navigating Portugal’s rental market. A number of questions might be on your mind. What is the rental culture like? How much is rent? Where should I live?

Luckily, our guide to renting in Portugal answers all your burning questions so that finding a rental property in Portugal runs smoothly. While looking for a place, keep in mind that the average rental price in Portugal is just over €16 per square meter, a 7% increase in comparison to September 2023 and 40% more compared to July 2022.

Guide to Real Estate in Portugal 

How to Find a Place to Rent in Portugal

Portugal offers a larger diversity of properties, from houses with gardens to smaller apartments. You will mostly only find furnished apartments, and landlords will not want to take the furniture out for you. 

To find a place to rent, you can choose to enlist a rental agent from a well-regarded agency. Here are some of the most popular property portals and real estate agencies in Portugal that can help you find a home in Portugal:

  • ReMax
  • Spotahome
  • Custojusto
  • Century21
  • Imovirtual
  • Idealista
  • ERA Imobiliária
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Renting in Lisbon

Lisbon stands out as the priciest locale for both house rentals and property acquisitions across Portugal. Data from Statista as of May 2024 reveals an average rental price of €19.1 per square meter in Lisbon. This translates to an estimated monthly cost of around €1433 for a 75-square-meter apartment within the Lisbon district.

Lisbon boasts the highest expat population amongst Portuguese urban centers, hosting a diverse community of 87 nationalities, thereby affording foreign arrivals a rich and fulfilling quality of life.

Guide to Renting in Lisbon

Lisbon. Photo by João Reguengos (Unsplash)

Positive Aspects of Renting in Lisbon

  • Lisbon boasts esteemed public schools.
  • Public transportation is not only reasonably priced but also well-organized.
  • The capital is just a 15-minute drive away from Lisbon itself.
  • Accessible proximity to enchanting cities like Cascais and Sintra.
  • Offers the nation’s most vibrant nightlife.
  • Houses some of the highest-paying job positions, particularly in top-tier management roles.

Challenges of Renting in Lisbon

  • The city presents itself as the costliest rental and living destination, characterized by a high cost of living.
  • A saturation of tourism, with an annual influx of approximately 4.5 million tourists.
  • Residential properties generally lack quality insulation and central heating provisions.

Selecting the Ideal Living Spot in Lisbon 

  • Central Lisbon offers the advantage of affordable public transportation, particularly beneficial for those employed within the city.
  • Residents opting for suburban regions like Cascais or Sintra might require a personal vehicle.
  • Noise levels and neighborhood ambience should be taken into account, given instances of street noise and neighborly disputes.

Recommended Residential Areas in Lisbon

Baixa: The historic heart of Lisbon is bustling with eighteenth-century architectural charm. While offering accessibility and vibrant surroundings, Baixa can be crowded due to tourist and local activities.

Príncipe Real: Renowned for its trendy atmosphere, this neighborhood features upscale dining, bars, and galleries. However, it comes with a higher price tag.

Alfama: The oldest quarter of Lisbon, Alfama’s cobbled streets and diverse community attract residents, albeit with the challenge of navigating narrow roads.

Cascais (Greater Lisbon): Positioned along the Portuguese Riviera, Cascais offers luxurious living with proximity to beaches and a 30-minute drive to Lisbon. However, it’s one of the more expensive areas.

Sintra (Greater Lisbon): A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sintra is famed for its palaces and affordability, although some properties command high prices.

Renting in Porto

Porto, the second-largest city in Portugal, is a strong contender against Lisbon, especially in terms of renting homes. Although rental prices are going up in Porto, it is still more affordable than in Lisbon. While renting in Lisbon costs €19.1 per square meter, in Porto it’s around €16.9 per square meter. For example, a 75-square-meter apartment in Porto costs about €1268, while in Lisbon, it’s around €1425.

Despite this difference, Porto remains the second most expensive city for renting in Portugal. Although there are fewer expats in Porto compared to Lisbon, many of the 1.8 million people in Porto’s metropolitan area come from abroad, creating a diverse community.

Porto offers a great quality of life similar to Lisbon but at a lower cost. It has a UNESCO World Heritage historic center and a wonderful cuisine, making it a top choice for living.

Positive Aspects of Renting in Porto

  • The city has affordable and effective public transportation.
  • The local food is high quality and delicious.
  • There are many cultural events like art exhibitions and festivals.
  • The views of the Douro River are stunning.
  • You can enjoy green spaces and public parks.

Challenges of renting in Porto

  • There are fewer expats compared to Lisbon.
  • Learning Portuguese can be helpful for a more convenient life.
  • Tourism is high, especially in the summer.

Finding a Place to Rent in Porto Porto is becoming more popular, but it’s easier to find a rental here. Short-term rentals are common, as they’re more profitable due to tourism. Long-term apartments are also available. Most apartments come furnished. If you’re from another country, it might be easier to get help from a rental agent. They can help you communicate with landlords. Some popular websites and agencies to find homes in Porto include ReMax, Spotahome, CustoJusto, Century21, Imovirtual, Idealista, and ERA Imobiliária.

Best Areas to Live in Porto 

Ribeira: This area by the Douro River is popular. It’s great for walks during the day and has lively bars and restaurants at night.

Cedofeita: A trendy neighborhood near famous landmarks and a lively nightlife. It’s also known for art galleries.

Foz do Douro: Located by the ocean, this area has stunning views and is close to the beach.

Vila Nova de Gaia: Just across the river from Porto, this area offers amazing views of the city. It’s known for port cellars and a cable car.

Guide to Renting in Porto

Porto. Photo by K. Mitch Hodge (Unsplash)

Rental Contracts in Portugal

A rental contract, also known as a contrato de arrendamento in Portuguese is an agreement that states the conditions of your rental and protects the rights of both tenants and landlords.

What documents do you need for a rental contract? 

  • Your tax identification number (NIF)
  • Identification document of landlords and tenants (including date of birth, nationality, and civil status)
  • Address of house
  • Number and date of house’s license
  • Rent amount and when it must be paid
  • Date of contract

The majority of rental agreements in Portugal permit you to terminate the contract after completing one-third of its duration. Nonetheless, if your contract has over a year remaining, you are required to provide a notice period of 120 days. In the case where your contract has less than a year left, generally, a notice period of 60 days is sufficient.

Photo by Scott Graham (Unsplash)

Rental Deposits & Guarantors in Portugal

In Portugal, it’s customary to provide rental deposits. Landlords usually anticipate a deposit equivalent to two months’ rent. However, unlike regulations found in other European nations, there are no stipulated guidelines regarding the duration for which landlords can retain your deposit.

Yet, a deposit of two months’ rent doesn’t necessarily exempt you from the requirement of a guarantor, often referred to as a “fiador.” This individual must be a Portuguese citizen, which can pose a challenge if you lack close ties within Portugal. Legally, this person assumes responsibility for rent payment in case of your default.

Should the prospect of securing a guarantor seem unfeasible, there’s still an option. Landlords might request you to make advance rent payments, typically covering a span of 6 to 12 months.

Photo by Tierra Mallorca (Unsplash)

Tenant Rights in Portugal

Portugal boasts robust tenancy rights that provide extensive protection for renters. In fact, these rights often exceed those available to tenants in the majority of European countries. The tenancy laws in Portugal tend to favor renters over landlords, making it considerably arduous for landlords to evict long-standing tenants.

An overview of some of the prominent tenancy laws in Portugal is as follows:

  • Portugal’s legal framework shields individuals residing in a place for more than 15 years and who are over the age of 65, along with individuals with disabilities, from eviction. In such cases, landlords are obligated to renegotiate contracts.
  • Laws are also in place to safeguard tenants against harassment and discriminatory actions. Any offensive conduct or harassment by landlords within a tenant’s residence is deemed illegal.
  • In situations where landlords need to renovate a property, necessitating the tenant’s departure, landlords are responsible for arranging temporary accommodation for the tenant within the same region.
  • Tenants have the entitlement to receive reimbursements for necessary renovations that they’ve financed.
  • In Portugal, tenants hold the right to cohabit with their family members up to the third degree, including partners. Additionally, tenants are permitted to host up to three extra guests at any given time.

Real Estate Glossary: Rental Terminology in Portugal

Property Typology

  • T: Apartment
  • T0: Studio apartment
  • T1: 1-bedroom apartment
  • T2: 2-bedroom apartment and so on for T3, T4, etc. 
  • T1 + 1: 1-bedroom apartment with an additional room that could be converted to a bedroom. Usually smaller with no windows. These extras are at times not licensed.
  • V: Detached villa
  • Keep in mind that these are not counting a living room, which is always included unless it’s a T0 studio.

Portuguese Property Terms

  • Living room: sala de estar
  • Dining room: sala de jantar
  • Kitchen: cozinha
  • Bedroom: quarto
  • Garden or yard: jardim
  • Bathroom: casa-de-banho
  • Fireplace: lareira
  • Heating: aquecimento central
  • Air conditioning: ar condicionado
  • Bathtub: banheira
  • Swimming pool: piscina
  • Pantry: despensa
  • Laundry or utility room: lavandaria
  • Office or study: escritório
  • Semi-detached or row house: geminada
  • Detached house or bungalow: isolada
    House: casa / villa / moradia
  • Apartment: apartamento
  • Ground floor (UK); 1st floor (USA): rés-de-chão
  • First floor (UK); 2nd floor (USA): 1o andar
  • Warehouse or storage shed: armazém

10 Famous Movies and TV Series Filmed in Portugal

Portugal, with its stunning landscapes, rich history, and charming architecture, has been a favored location for many renowned films and television series. From mystical thrillers to action-packed blockbusters, here are 11 famous movies and television shows filmed in Portugal.

1. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

We begin our list of films with one from a character created in Portugal that now has 25 of his own films—quite the legacy, we have to say. The sixth James Bond film takes full advantage of Portugal’s picturesque locales. Key scenes were shot in and around Lisbon, including the beaches of Praia do Guincho, the gardens of Praça Dom Pedro IV, and the elegant Palácio Estoril. SPOILER ALERT: The tragic scene where Bond girl Tracy dies was filmed on a cliffside road in Arrábida, offering stunning views of the deep blue ocean.

What you probably don’t know is that the Palácio Estoril in Portugal was the original inspiration for Ian Fleming to create the character of James Bond. Because of Portugal’s neutrality during the war, Estoril was a strategic place for spies on both sides of the war and a starting point for routes to the Americas. At the Palácio Estoril Hotel, Fleming  watched a double agent bet $40,000 at a baccarat table at the Estoril Casino just to dupe an enemy. This became the basis for Fleming’s first James Bond book Casino Royale. It’s great to see that Palácio do Estoril finally made its official Bond debut by the sixth film.

The casino that inspired the creator of James Bond, Estoril Casino in Portugal, taken between 1933-1983, Biblioteca de Arte / Art Library Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Flickr

2. The House of the Spirits (1993)

Starring Meryl Streep, Jeremy Irons, and Winona Ryder and based on Isabel Allende’s novel, this film follows the Trueba family across four generations. Although set in Chile, many scenes were filmed in Portugal, showcasing the iconic Rua Augusta in Lisbon and the rural beauty of the Alentejo.

3. The Ninth Gate (1999)

In this 1999 thriller directed by Roman Polanski, Johnny Depp stars as a rare book dealer who discovers a book believed to summon the Devil, leading him on a journey through Europe, including a stop in the enchanting town of Sintra, Portugal. Sintra’s mystical palaces, chalets, and lush gardens provide a perfect backdrop for the film’s supernatural elements.

Sintra filming locations include Hotel Central and Praça República. Biester Palace plays a big role in the film, and, at the time of filming, Biester Palace was not accessible to the public. In April 2022, Biester Palace finally opened to the public and is now open every day for you to enjoy.

Exteriors of Biester Palace from the gardens, hidden in Pena Park, Photo by Becky Gillespie

4. The Invincible Circus (2001)

This 2001 film directed by Adam Brooks and starring Cameron Diaz tells the story of a woman investigating her sister’s mysterious death by a cliff in Portugal. Filming took place in various locations, including the historic São Jorge Castle and the charming Alfama district in Lisbon. The movie also references significant Portuguese historical events such as the Carnation Revolution. Scenes were also shot in Cabo Espichel (Sesimbra), Sintra, and Portinho da Arrábida (Setúbal)

5. Night Train to Lisbon (2013)

This is the first of two films shot in Lisbon with Jeremy Irons in a starring role. In Bille August’s drama, a professor leaves his life behind to uncover the story of a Portuguese doctor during the Salazar dictatorship. The film captures the essence of Lisbon through its historic train stations and old pharmacies. Filming locations include Caxias, Estação Santa Apolónia (Lisboa), and Farmácia Jorge (Lisboa).

Santa Apolónia Train Station, Michael World, Flickr

6. Where to Invade Next (2015)

In this documentary, Michael Moore explores various countries to identify the social and economic policies that he would like to bring back to the United States. Portugal features prominently as Moore highlights the country’s progressive drug decriminalization policies. Moore filmed in Lisbon and painted Portugal in a very good light. This happened to be my first introduction to Portugal, as I had not considered visiting before. I have to say that I was inspired to visit after seeing Portugal portrayed as such a relaxed and tolerant country.

7. House of the Dragon (2022)

The popular HBO series, a prequel to Game of Thrones, features the historic village of Monsanto in Portugal as Dragonstone, the island home of the Targaryen heir. The Portuguese production company Sagesse Productions was involved in bringing this fantasy world to life. Let us know if you’ve seen this one!

Monsanto Castle. Photo by Vitor Oliveira (Flickr)

8. Fast and Furious 10 (Fast X) (2023)

The tenth installment of the “Fast and Furious” saga showcases Portugal’s stunning landscapes, with scenes shot in Lisbon, Vila Real, and Viseu. Starring Vin Diesel and Charlize Theron, the production significantly boosted the local economy, bringing in various teams such as construction and wardrobe.

Viseu
Photo by Kutsal Amaç Kuruhan

9. Star Wars: The Acolyte (2024)

This Star Wars series, starring Carrie-Ann Moss and Amandla Stenberg, filmed scenes on the beautiful island of Madeira. It premiered on Disney+ on June 4, 2024, with its final episode airing on July 23, 2024. The series focuses on the darker side of the Force andpresents a unique perspective on the galaxy far, far away. Check out the show to see how Portugal’s landscapes blend with the Star Wars universe.

10. Poor Things (2023)

This last film is a bit tricky. Despite a large chunk of Yorgos Lanthimos’s 2023 film taking place in Lisbon, including a one-of-a-kind dance scene, none of “Poor Things” was actually filmed in the Portuguese capital. A fantastical version of the city was instead recreated on sound stages in Budapest. This creative approach adds a unique, surreal quality to the depiction of Lisbon, which aligns with the film’s overall aesthetic inspired by classic monster movies. This movie is one of the most disturbing and bizarre you’ve probably seen in a while, but once you get started, it will be hard to look away.

Final Thoughts

After looking at this list of films and TV series filmed in Portugal, one thing becomes clear: there is not yet enough love from Hollywood for Porto and the Algarve. We invite production companies to try these beautiful locations for their next film projects. Let us know what you think of the films and TV shows that we’ve mentioned. Which one is your favorite

How to Save Money on Your Trip to Portugal: 12 Tips to Help You Spend Less

Let’s face it: travel is getting more expensive around the world. And even Portugal, often regarded as one of the cheapest places to travel in Europe, has struggled with steep hotel prices and inflation. Although prices have gone up, we don’t want you to miss out on your dream trip. Here are 12 different ways to help you save money on your trip to Portugal.

1. Don’t use Euronet.

You’re going to see them everywhere in Portugal and usually in the most convenient spots: Euronet ATM machines. Though they may be convenient, they charge high withdrawal fees and have poor exchange rates. The worst part is: Euronet ATMs won’t even tell you how much they charge for withdrawal. You will only find out after checking your bank statement. Fees can be as high as 3.95€ on a €20 withdrawal or €6.24 for taking out €50. That’s an almost 20% fee on the €20!

Euronet ATMs will also offer you a conversion rate and ask whether you want to accept the conversion. Never accept. Just click “No” and you will still be able to withdraw your Euros. They are purposely going to give you a worse exchange rate if you do.

Portuguese banks are legally not allowed to charge withdrawal fees, so we encourage you to use an ATM attached to a Portuguese bank such as Millenium or Novo Banco where you see the Visa sign. Non Euronet ATMs can also often be found in Pingo Doce or Lidl supermarkets or in metro stations.   

2. Don’t accept the conversion rate on credit card purchases.

If you’re using an international credit card to make a purchase, don’t accept the conversion rate offered. Select “no” when asked and you will always get a better conversion rate. Also, when asked, always select to be charged in Euros instead of your home currency.

3. Take Flixbus or Rede Espressos instead of driving if you’re only going to major cities.

Rather than deal with the hassle of renting a car and paying tolls on Portuguese highways, if you’re only traveling to Lisbon, Porto, Coimbra, Lagos, or Faro, we recommend taking a Flixbus or Rede Expressos Bus. Not only are bus tickets about one half to one third of the price of train tickets in Portugal, but they also have many more departure times, tend to leave on time, and do not go on strike like the national train company tends to do.

If you’re traveling in the summer, it’s more likely that you might deal with a train strike, so if you want to make sure that get to your destination in Portugal and get there at a cheaper price, we recommend the bus. Portugal is also a small country, so most bus rides won’t take more than 4 hours. We should warn you that Wi-Fi doesn’t often work on the buses and the bathrooms also can be out of order or closed on the buses, so plan accordingly. We also think it’s worth paying a few euros more to get your own row on the bus or get assigned seats.

4. Use Bolt instead of Uber.

Many American tourists do not use ride share companies. If they do, there are only familiar with Uber or Lyft (which is not used in Portugal). Bolt, a ride share company based in Estonia, has a big presence in Europe and offers cheaper prices than Uber. We recommend having both apps on your phone in Portugal and calling Bolt most of the time. When there are no drivers on Bolt, you can then check Uber and compare the prices. Uber is usually more expensive than Bolt in Portugal.

5. Go on a free walking tour of Lisbon or Porto rather than taking a tuk tuk.

When you arrive in Lisbon or Porto, you’re going to notice tuk tuks everywhere in the city centers. Tuk tuk drivers will happily charge you an hourly fee or a day fee to take you around the city. While it can be fun and some of the tuk tuks have amusing decorations, these tours are not cheap. Prices can easily get over €50 to €100 depending on the tour. Since most Bolt rides from one point to another in the city average around €6 for up to 4 people, you can do the math and see what would work better for your group.

We suggest going on a free walking tour instead, as it will give you many chances to take a break during the walk and see the city at a more leisurely pace. Of course, you do need to pay for your “free walking tour” by tipping the guide at the end. We usually give €10 to €15 euro, and the guides tend to be much more informed about the city than the tuk tuk drivers.  

6. Ask for free tap water at restaurants rather than paying for the bottled water.

With the influx of American tourists, Portugal has started to adapt to some American ways, one of which is offering free tap water. However, most restaurants will not offer this to you automatically. You need to ask for it. Before you order a bottle of water from the menu, ask if you can get free tap water by saying “copo com água por favor.” Tap water is safe to drink in Portugal.

7. Don’t tip more than a few extra coins at restaurants for most meals, and round up for fancy dinners.

This is mostly a reminder for American tourists. In Portugal, servers and restaurant staff are paid a higher wage than many staff working in the US, who depend on tips. It is not the custom in Portugal to pay big tips for meals. The general rule in Portugal is to leave just a few coins on the table or pay only a small percentage with your credit card at the end of the meal when you are happy with the service. We only tend to tip for small meals if you are very happy with service. If you go to a fancy dinner, the rule is generally to round up to the nearest euro if you are splitting the bill between a group of 4 or more. If you are tipping at a fancy place and are only two people, I would try to tip around 5%.

On your trip to Portugal, remember that you are no longer in the US. You don’t have to tip the same way. There is actually no system or guarantee that your tip will even go to the waiter or be split among the servers, so please take this into consideration.

8. Don’t buy personal items such as toothpaste or sunscreen at a pharmacy. Go to a big supermarket instead such as Colombo or Pingo Doce instead.

This is an easy mistake to make if you don’t know any better. If you arrive in Portugal without personal items such as shampoo, toothpaste, or sunscreen, you might think that a pharmacy would be the best place to buy these things in Portugal. You would be wrong, especially in terms of the price.

The best place to get these kinds of things is in a big supermarket chain such as Pingo Doce or Continente. There is usually one aisle that offers personal products. The supermarket in the basement of El Corte Inglés on Avenida António Augusto de Aguiar in Lisbon has a huge selection of these products as well.  

9. Buy the Lisboa Card or Porto Card to save on transport and museums.

Only buy this if you really want to go to a lot of museums and you don’t mind taking public transportation vs. Bolt or Uber. The Lisboa Card gives you free entrance to 51 museums and monuments of interest, while the Porto card gives you access to 6 museums and 50% discounts on 14 more. The Lisboa Card comes with free transport on all public transportation including the train to Sintra. A 24-hour card starts at €25.65 if you purchase it online. The Porto Card gives you the option to purchase the card with or without transport included.

10. Go to a local Portuguese coffee shop rather than a specialty coffee shop or international chain.

This is a sensitive topic for serious coffee drinkers. If you are picky about quality, ignore this advice and check out some of the amazing specialty coffee shops in Lisbon or Porto, by all means. However, if you want to save a bit of money and also experience the local Portuguese coffee culture, we encourage you to go to local cafes. These can often be recognized by having the “Delta” sign on their awnings or banners. The typical Portuguese way of drinking coffee is to have an espresso standing up at the counter, similar to Italian coffee style. Having an espresso in a local Portuguese shop still costs between €0.75 to €1. It’s only one shot of espresso, but that is quite affordable compared to the €2.50 to €5 you will pay for a cup of high-quality coffee you can find in a specialty shop.

11. Get to the club before midnight.

Many dance clubs in Portugal in Lisbon or Porto do not charge an entrance fee before midnight. This is not a universal rule in Portugal, but you may be able to save if you come early. Portuguese beer on tap is also quite affordable at clubs compared to other drinks, so order a Sagres or a Super Bock.  

12. Go to a Portuguese tasca to try local food, not one of the outdoor tourist traps in the center of the city. If the menu has pictures of the food, it’s generally a tourist trap.

We want you to try Portuguese food while you’re here, but you will spend a lot more if you order from a restaurant in the city center where waiters are beckoning you inside or asking you to sit a table outside and order from a menu with pictures. This is obviously a tourist trap. Walk a few streets over and walk into the restaurant yourself. If the menu isn’t in English, you’re going to save even more money and have a truly authentic experience at a fair price.

Final Thoughts

We hope that this list of tips will help you save money on your first or next trip to Portugal. In terms of food, museum tickets, and transportation, Portugal is still generally cheaper than many Western European countries. If you find any more ways to save, let us know in the comments!

The Unique Left Bank of the Guadiana

Imagine a place where time seems to slow down, where the landscape is dominated by gentle hills, olive fields, and vineyards that stretch as far as the eye can see. A place where the stories of the past combine with contemporary life, creating a rich and colorful tapestry of experiences and traditions. This is the Alentejo, and on the left bank of the Guadiana River, you’ll find some of its best-kept secrets: the municipalities of Moura, Serpa and Barrancos.

Traveling through this region is like leafing through a storybook, each page revealing a new chapter full of adventures, flavors, and discoveries. In Moura, modernity meets tradition in a harmonious way, with its narrow streets and whitewashed houses contrasting with the innovation of the olive oil producers. In Serpa, the medieval walls keep secrets of times gone by, while the sound of Cante Alentejano resonates through the streets, keeping the soul of the region alive. Finally, in Barrancos, the tranquillity of nature blends with the rich cultural heritage, offering a perfect refuge for explorers eager for authenticity.

The left bank of the Guadiana is a complete sensory experience. Here, you can touch history as you walk through ancient castles, taste the rich local cuisine that reflects centuries of culinary traditions, and breathe in the fresh air as you marvel at the stunning landscapes. Every encounter with the locals is an opportunity to learn, share and connect in a way that transcends simple sightseeing.

This is a place where you can find peace and adventure, culture and nature, all in perfect harmony. If you’re looking for an escape from the frenetic pace of modern life, the left bank of the River Guadiana offers a return to things simple and true. Here, every day is a new opportunity to discover something wonderful, to create lasting memories and to fall a little more in love with this enchanting corner of Portugal.

Moura: Tradition and Innovation in Harmony

Moura, with its picturesque streets and historic buildings, is an ideal starting point for your adventure. This charming town is a perfect example of how tradition and innovation can coexist in harmony.

Moura Castle and Doutor Santiago Garden

The history of Moura is palpable at Moura Castle, an imposing fortification dating back to the 13th century. As you walk along its ramparts, you’ll be transported back in time, imagining life in the medieval era. Adjacent to the castle, the Doutor Santiago garden offers an oasis of tranquillity with its shady trees and panoramic views of the city.

Moura Castle
Moura Castle, Silva Pereira, Flickr

Museum of Sacred Art

The Museum of Sacred Art, located in the Church of Saint Peter, is a veritable treasure trove of religious art. Its collections include rare pieces of goldsmithery, sculpture and painting, which tell the spiritual history of the region. A visit to this museum is an experience that provides a deep understanding of Moura’s rich cultural heritage.

Moura Olive Oil

Moura is famous for producing high-quality olive oil. A visit to one of the local mills is a must. Here, you can learn about the olive oil production process, from harvesting the olives to extracting the precious golden liquid. And, of course, don’t miss out on tasting different varieties of olive oil and enjoying the unique flavors and aromas that make Moura olive oil so special.

Olive trees, katie g, Flickr

Moura River Beach

Moura’s newly opened river beach, located on the banks of the Alqueva, is an excellent place to relax and enjoy the sun. With its calm waters and fine sands, it’s the perfect place for a day of rest. There is also infrastructure for water sports, such as kayaking and paddleboarding, for the more adventurous.

Serpa: The Heart of Alentejo’s Countryside

Serpa is a town where the traditions of the Alentejo are proudly kept alive. With its medieval walls, cobbled streets, and welcoming atmosphere, Serpa is a place that captures the heart of anyone who visits.

Walls and Clock Tower

Serpa’s walls, which surround the old town, are a testament to the town’s strategic importance over the centuries. The Clock Tower, an icon of Serpa, offers impressive views of the city and the surrounding landscape. Climbing the tower is an experience that offers a new perspective on the beauty of Serpa.

Clock Museum

One of Portugal’s most curious museums, the Clock Museum is dedicated to the history and art of watchmaking. With a collection ranging from antique watches to modern pieces, this museum is a delight for watch enthusiasts and those who appreciate the precision and beauty of watches.

Cante Alentejano

Cante Alentejano, a traditional form of choral music from the Alentejo, is an essential part of Serpa’s cultural identity. Visiting Serpa is an opportunity to hear this unique and deeply emotional singing, which has been declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. Various local events and festivals celebrate Cante Alentejano, allowing visitors to experience the music in its most authentic form.

Serpa Cheese

Serpa’s gastronomy is rich and varied, with a special highlight being the famous Serpa cheese. This sheep’s cheese, with its creamy texture and intense flavor, is a real delicacy. Visit a local cheese factory to learn about the production process and, of course, to taste this delicious cheese accompanied by a good Alentejo wine.

Serpa Aqueduct

The Serpa Aqueduct, an impressive 17th century structure, is a masterpiece of hydraulic engineering. With its elegant arches and majestic length, the aqueduct is a testament to the importance of water in the city’s history and development. A walk along the aqueduct offers panoramic views and an opportunity to appreciate this architectural marvel.

Serpa Aqueduct, Andre, Flickr

Barrancos: The Secret Jewel of the Alentejo

Barrancos, situated on the border with Spain, is a town that enchants with its authenticity and natural beauty. This small town is a perfect refuge for those looking for a quiet escape and a deep connection with nature.

Noudar Castle

Noudar Castle, located on a hill with breathtaking views over the surrounding countryside, is one of Barrancos’ main attractions. This medieval castle, surrounded by well-preserved walls and towers, offers a fascinating insight into the region’s history. Explore the ruins and imagine life in ancient times while enjoying the panoramic views of the Guadiana valley.

Noudar Castle, LuisMPGoncalves, Flickr

Noudar Natural Park

The Noudar Natural Park is a paradise for nature lovers. With its unspoiled landscapes, hiking trails and rich biodiversity, the park offers a unique opportunity to reconnect with nature. Guided walks are available for those wishing to learn more about the local flora and fauna, and there are several picnic areas perfect for an al fresco lunch.

Barrancos Festival

Barrancos is known for its annual festival, the Feast of Our Lady of the Conception, which takes place in August. This festival is a vibrant celebration of local culture, with parades, music, traditional dances and, controversially, bullfighting. It’s a unique opportunity to experience Barrancos culture at its peak, mingling with the locals and taking part in the festivities.

Hiking and Birdwatching

The area around Barrancos is ideal for hiking and birdwatching. The trails that wind through the rugged landscape offer breathtaking views and opportunities to spot rare birds. Take binoculars and a camera to capture the natural beauty of this unspoiled corner of the Alentejo.

Local Gastronomy

Barrancos’ cuisine is a delicious blend of Alentejo and Spanish influences. Try traditional dishes such as “migas” and “porco preto“, prepared with fresh, local ingredients. Visit family-run restaurants for an authentic experience, where you’ll be welcomed like a friend and can enjoy home-cooked meals prepared with love and care.

What to Do along the Left Bank of the Guadiana

The left bank of the River Guadiana offers a variety of unique experiences that capture the essence of the Alentejo. Here are some unmissable activities to make your visit even more memorable:

Boat Trips on the Guadiana River

Explore the Guadiana River from a different perspective with a boat trip. The calm waters of the river are ideal for a relaxing cruise, allowing you to admire the stunning scenery and observe the wildlife on the banks. Several local companies offer guided boat trips, which include stops at points of interest and explanations of the river’s history and ecology.

Visits to Wineries

The Alentejo region is famous for its exceptional wines, and the left bank of the Guadiana is no exception. Visit local wineries for tours and tastings, where you can learn about winemaking traditions and sample some of the region’s best wines. The hospitality of the local producers guarantees a pleasant and informative experience.

Photo by Gonçalo Costa

Stargazing

Thanks to the lack of light pollution, the left bank of the Guadiana is a privileged place for stargazing. The Alentejo’s clear nights offer spectacular views of the night sky, with the Milky Way visible to the naked eye. Take a telescope or join an organized stargazing session to explore the wonders of the universe.

Adventure Cycling

The region’s quiet roads and scenic trails make cycling a popular activity. Rent a bike and explore the area at your own pace, passing through olive groves, vineyards, and picturesque villages. Cycling allows you to appreciate the natural beauty of the Alentejo in an intimate and personal way.

Cultural Experiences

Take part in workshops and cultural experiences to immerse yourself in the region’s rich heritage. Learn how to make traditional Alentejo bread, take part in a folk dance class, or discover the secrets of the local cuisine in a cooking class. These activities provide a deep connection with the culture and traditions of the Alentejo.

Final Thoughts

The left bank of the River Guadiana, with the municipalities of Moura, Serpa, and Barrancos, is a region full of charm, history, and natural beauty. Each town offers its own unique gems, from medieval castles and fascinating museums to stunning natural landscapes and a rich cultural heritage. The experiences offered by this region are diverse and captivating, ensuring that every visit is a memorable one.

Whether you’re a history buff, a nature enthusiast, a lover of good food, or an adventure seeker, the left bank of the Guadiana has something to offer. The warm hospitality of the locals, combined with the unspoiled beauty of the landscape, creates an environment where every visitor feels welcome and inspired. As you explore Moura, Serpa, and Barrancos, you’ll discover an authentic and enchanting Alentejo.

So get your bags ready and embark on this unforgettable journey along the left bank of the River Guadiana. Let yourself be enchanted by the stories, flavors, and landscapes that make this region a truly unique and special destination.

Guide to the Complaints Book in Portugal

In Portugal, the Complaints Book (“Livro de Reclamações”) is a vital tool established to protect consumer rights and ensure transparency in business operations. This guide aims to provide detailed information on what the Complaints Book is, why it was established, who must have it, and how consumers can lodge complaints effectively.

The Complaints Book system in Portugal allows you to publicly register any complaint about a business. If you ask a business for their Complaints Book, they know that you mean business and they take your complaint seriously. This is because companies are required to respond to any complaints written in their Complaint Books within 15 days by email. They must inform the customer in their response about the measures that will be taken to address the complaint. Within these same 15 days, they must also share their response with the supervisory/regulatory entity known as ASAE (Autoridade de Segurança Alimentar e Económica).

What Is the Complaints Book?

The Complaints Book is a mandatory mechanism for registering consumer complaints about goods and services. It went into effect on September 15, 2005 and an electronic version fully rolled on December 31, 2019. This book serves as a formal record that allows consumers to voice their grievances directly to the regulatory authorities.

Why Was the Complaints Book Established?

The Complaints Book was established to enhance consumer protection and ensure businesses are held accountable for their services. It provides a structured process for consumers to report issues, facilitating regulatory oversight and promoting higher standards of customer service.

Who Must Have a Complaints Book?

Physical Complaints Book

All suppliers of goods and service providers who meet the following criteria must have a physical Complaints Book. This includes businesses with the following:

  1. Fixed or Permanent Establishment: The business must have a physical location where it primarily conducts its activities.
  2. Public Contact: The business must have direct contact with the public, either through customer service or sales of products and services.

Examples:

  • A clothing retailer with a physical store open to the public.
  • A business with both a physical store and an online presence.

Electronic Complaints Book

All suppliers of goods and service providers, regardless of whether they have a physical establishment, must have an electronic Complaints Book if they engage in digital commerce.

Examples:

  • An online retailer without a physical store.
  • A service provider regulated by the Food and Economic Safety Authority (ASAE) or other regulatory entities.

How to Complain Using the Complaints Book

Physical Complaints Book

How does it work?

Ask for the physical book in the business where you wish to make a complaint. Remember the following when making a complaint:

Always use a ballpoint (so that the complaint cannot be deleted);

  • Write your complaint legibly
  • Enter the establishment or service in question (name and address)
  • Log the complaint including your name, address and identity card or passport number
  • Explain the reasons for the complaint, as well as the date and time on which you made the complaint
  • Keep all documents proving the subject of the complaint (invoices, contracts, brochures, photographs, etc.)
  • Keep a copy of the complaint to which you are entitled

Complaints are registered in triplicate. The person responsible for the establishment hands the duplicate of the complaint to the customer and has 15 working days to send his reply to ASEA. The consumer may also send the complaint to ASEA to ensure that the complaint is received. A third copy of the complaint remains in the book and cannot be withdrawn from it.

After examining the formal complaint, ASEA decides whether or not to penalize the establishment. If there is not enough data to proceed, the establishment has a period of 10 days to submit allegations in its defense.

It should be noted that whenever the complaints book is requested, the owner of the establishment may not ask to see any identification before presenting it to the customer. If access to the book is denied, it may be advisable to return at a later date and try to ask for the book from a different member of staff. Then, the original complaint can be made along with a second complaint regarding the refusal to present the book.

Electronic Complaints Book

  1. Access the Platform: Visit the Electronic Complaints Book Platform at Livro de Reclamações.
  2. Register Your Complaint: Fill out the online form with the necessary details about your complaint.
  3. Submit Your Complaint: Once submitted, the complaint will be directed to the appropriate regulatory authority.

You can also contact the website by calling 217 998 010.

What about a Book of Compliments?

It may surprise you to know that there is also a Book of Compliments, known in Portuguese as the Livro de Elogios, created by Cristina Leal in 2013. Now present in over 11,000 establishments, this concept resonates with the Portuguese culture, which values hard work, hospitality, and care. The book has become an essential tool for fostering a positive environment in businesses and communities.

Initially only a traditional paper book, the Livro de Elogios has evolved with a website for easy acquisition, an app for online praises, and a digital version for greater accessibility. Continuous innovations keep it relevant and beneficial for companies, with updates shared via email and social media. Businesses can acquire the Book of Praise online to enhance their workplace environment. Please note that this is not mandated by the government. It is the work of a private company.

Final Thoughts

The Complaints Book is an essential tool for consumer protection in Portugal. By understanding the requirements and processes involved, both consumers and businesses can ensure that complaints are handled effectively and transparently. It’s comforting to know that there are strong protections in place for consumers in Portugal.

Public Services Will Soon Have Daily In Person Attendance Hours

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In the official journal of the Portuguese Republic, the Portuguese Council of Ministers recently published a resolution determining that all public services must guarantee face-to-face service without appointment, and make real-time information available about their capacity and waiting times.

The Government declared that “all public services and public administration entities that provide services to the public,” regardless of whether they are integrated in a Citizen’s Shop (Loja do Cidadão) or not, will now ensure service hours “without the need for prior appointment, on a daily basis.”

Simultaneously, public services will have to make available to the public, both in Portuguese and in English, information about the services, in an “adequate, complete, and updated” way, on their websites and physical locations, as well as the continuous indication, live, of their waiting times.

Telephonic translation service in languages other than Portuguese and English must be disseminated through the Migrant Helpline of the Agency for Integration, Migration, and Asylum (AIMA).

For citizens with deficiencies or incapacities, elderly visitors, pregnant ladies, and people accompanied by young children, there will be tickets allowing priority service.

The resolution also requests that each entity delivers a study, within 180 days, that includes the “survey of the quantity and training adequacy of the human resources of the services for the functions of public service, as well as any necessary improvements in the physical facilities where it is provided;” the “identification of services exclusively provided in person, justifying such need or the susceptibility for their dematerialization;” and the “evaluation of the impacts of the telework regime, by service workers,” for the fulfillment of face-to-face service.

Luís Montenegro’s Government also recommended that the administrative bodies of the autonomous regions and respective local authorities, as well as the local and regional administration entities, adopt these rules, so that they are applied uniformly throughout the country.