ATMs widely available, except in the smallest villages. Credit cards accepted in midrange and high-end establishments.
Portugal uses the euro, along with most other European nations.
ATMs are the easiest way to get cash in Portugal, and they are easy to find in most cities and towns. Tiny rural villages probably won't have ATMs, so it's wise to get cash in advance. Most banks have a Multibanco ATM, with menus in English (and other languages), that accept Visa, Access, MasterCard, Cirrus and so on. You just need your card and PIN. Keep in mind that the ATM limit is €200 per withdrawal, and many banks charge a foreign transaction fee (typically around 2% to 3%).
Note that banks and bureaux de change are free to set their own rates and commissions, so a low commission might mean a skewed exchange rate.
Most hotels and smarter restaurants accept credit cards; smaller guesthouses, budget hotels and smaller restaurants might not, so it's wise to have cash with you.
For current exchange rates see www.xe.com.
- Bars Not expected unless table service is provided, then around 10%.
- Hotels One euro per bag is standard; gratuity for cleaning staff is at your discretion.
- Restaurants 10% on average, up to 15% in pricier places.
- Snack bars It's courteous to leave a bit of spare change.
- Taxis Not expected, but it's polite to round up to the nearest euro.
Travellers cheques are easily exchanged, with better rates than for cash (although commission rates can be very high), and are a safe way to carry money, as they will be replaced if lost or stolen, but are much less convenient than the card-in-machine method.