Portugal: Travel Health Information

Portugal is known for its sunny climate and diverse landscapes including Mount Pico in the Azores and the oceanside beaches of Lagos.


The standards for patient care and medical services in Portugal may differ from your home country. Portugal has a public health system and a small private sector with privately owned hospitals. Healthcare in major cities meets international standards but in rural regions the quality of care can vary. Major cities have more physicians than rural areas, which may result in long wait times.

In the event of a medical emergency, contact your travel health insurance company immediately. Hospitals in Portugal typically require upfront payment in cash or credit card, regardless if you have travel health insurance. Ensure that you have accessible funds to cover upfront fees and adequate travel health insurance. Before you depart, check with your insurer about the extent of their coverage in Portugal.

Stand-alone pharmacies are widely available across Portugal. Pharmacies can also be found in hospitals. Prescriptions for medications must be obtained from a doctor. Pharmacists are trained and licensed.

If you are travelling with medication, check with Portugal’s embassy, consulate, or Ministry of Health for details on medication allowances and restrictions. If your medication is a psychotropic or narcotic, you can review Portugal’s regulations on the International Narcotics Control Board. Note that these sources may provide incomplete or out-of-date information.

Road safety

Roads in Portugal are well maintained in cities but road quality may vary by region. Traffic accident rates in Portugal are higher than the EU average, and road rules are not always followed so caution should be taken while driving. Seat belts must be worn by all occupants of a vehicle. Helmets are mandatory for motorcycle drivers and passengers.

Travelling to Portugal?

Before you go, check the list of vaccines and relevant health risks for Portugal. For personalized advice, check out our Travel Health Planner to get health information that’s tailored to all the destinations on your itinerary:

Travel health planner

Need a doctor?

IAMAT-affiliated doctors are available in Portugal.

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Portugal At A Glance

Capital: Lisbon

Population: 10.31 million

Official language: Portuguese

Time zone: Western European Time (WET), Western European Summer Time (WEST)

Emergency #: 112

Vaccinations required: No

Risk of malaria: No

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