Portugal is a great tourist attraction country because of presence of many unique monuments forming evidences of history associated with the country and locations having abundance of nature within the country. Tourist flow to Portugal has significant role towards economy of the country and it contributes around 5 % of the GDP every year.
The main places the tourists visit are the Greater Lisbon, the Algarve, Portuguese Islands of Madeira and Azores, Greater Porto and Northern Portugal Porto e Norte and Alentejo. The tourists mostly come from UK, Spain and Germany using cheap airline services available in the region. Their visits are related to enjoy beaches and Sun, to know about the culture or exploring business option available at Portugal.
Hotel Living Arrangements
Looking at the varying accommodation needs of the visiting tourists, there are numerous Hotels and Apartments providing Rooms for staying to the tourists and local population with all the necessary facilities depending upon the star rating of the place selected for living.
They have variable star rating and offers good services for a stay having an element of liberty to stay as you want besides enjoying the hotel facilities as required without restrictions.
Estalgens or Inns
These have 4 – 5-star rating very cosy places based on the theme of the location, where they are situated.
Pensões / Boarding Houses
These places are economical to stay in with rating from below as 3rd, 2nd and 1st class. For in the category highest is Albergaria or guest house.
These are road side parking and living areas and have 2 or 3 star rating having direct approach and adequate parking area.
These are inns, which are situated in historical massive buildings converted into living accommodation and have plenty of natural beauty in and around. These are further categorized into four categories according to the location i.e. historical, historical/design, nature and charm.
They provide traveling and lodging packages to the families and there is a direct contact with local population and they enjoy their habits and customs and provide best place to enjoy real nature as it is in the open.
Country Holiday establishments display a metallic TER insignia and further depending upon nature of accommodation which may be located in huge stately buildings of the past having their unique past architecture setting.
There are also developed cottages with location in the rural regions signifying the rural area settings of the location, where they are situated.
There are developed houses with service facilities to the tourists located in villages having their importance related to history or houses in traditional towns, which are different than modern day urban towns or houses in rural locations, which have been constructed as units having multiple dwelling places, which truly depict architectural design and typical features exclusive to the region.
These hotels have rural locations away from urban touch and their architecture and interior design very unique having sense of belongingness to the local rural area.
Out Door Camping
There are specific camping locations, which are most perfect in providing a straight exposure to natural scenic settings spread all around the country.
Depending on the permission rights subject to payment by all the campers it is called public place.
Location is private if the camping rights have restriction only to members or beneficiaries having a commercial relation with the camp-site operator. Such area bear the marking “P” and an enquiry of the terms should be enquired from the operator, who has an office at the site for enquiry and help.
Based on the standard facilities and services available, the camping sites are categorized from 1 to 4 star location. The exclusively rural camping site is found in the open spaces of the farm.
So as to enable to spend the night at any camp site, the campers are required to carry with them their passport or an identity Card.
Other Tourists Accomodation Spots
Some of villages have tourist attraction. To provide them with accommodation there are specially developed village accommodation locations for the tourists provided with facilities representing 3, 4 or 5 stars either situated in privately held properties or Government owned establishments.
Apartamentos Turísticos / Tourist Apartments
These have been categorized having 2 to 5 star rating. They become the most suitable choice offering better liberty and service to the guests.
The traveling from Lisbon and Oporto can be done by Alfa Pendular train, the fastest and highly comfort packed train. There is a network of InterCity trains also. For enjoying famous sights located remotely situated places surrounding the capital train service from are available for these locations.
There is regular service between prominent Portuguese cities and are economically priced.
To travel in the urban area service of taxi is available operating both during day and night. The fare to be charged is based on the distance covered and time spent in engaging the taxi.
Service of Radio Taxi is also available.
The use of “Lisboa card” can be made by traveling in all public transport services in the city and trains between Lisbon and Sintra or Cascais. These cards as a tourist attraction offer free entrance or discounts monuments entry fee. Children between the ages of 5 years and 11 years are eligible to 50% concession.
Metro Train Service is also available. There is “Sete Colinas” card which is available at ticket kiosks can be used in the Metro Train.
The ”Porto Card” has facility of unlimited use in all the public transports besides free entry to certain monuments or a discounted entry fee to the monument.
Bus rides are also available having facility of combined ticket in Metro Train and Bus so that some distance can be traveled by Metro train and some distance is traveled by the Bus service.
Vehicles in Portugal follow right hand drive, unless it is otherwise displayed on the sign boards. Vehicles coming from the right side have priority while traversing a squares or an intersection. At places of junction with roundabouts, vehicles which are already approached the roundabout has the right to move forward on its way.
Road Signs Complying with International Rules is displayed on the high ways.
Carrying of Compulsory Documents while Driving:
Motor insurance certificate
Vehicle registration or equivalent
Vehicle logbook (leveret) or equivalent
In case of any violations on the spot fines are levied and collected.
Various Speed limits based on the type of Vehicle are enforce, which are given below:
50 kph – in built-up areas
90 kph – on normal roads
100 kph – on roads restricted to motor vehicles
120 kph – on motorways
it is a violation to drive with a blood alcohol level of 0.5 grams per liter or more.
All the occupants of the vehicle must fasten the seat belts.
As per the provisions of Portuguese Highway Code there is ban on the use of mobile phones while driving, except there is hands free appliance in use.