Passport and Visas
Visas are not necessary for citizens of EU countries, the U.S.A.,
Canada and the majority of countries, in this case a valid passport
(or identity card for European Community Nationals) is only
required. Please contact your local Portuguese Embassy, Consulate or
your Travel Agency for further information.
Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport or simply Porto Airport is located
11km (7 miles) north of the center of the city and is a modern
airport that was expanded and refurbished in 2001, and in 2007 won
the "3rd Best European Airport" award from Airport Council
Porto (or Oporto) has a maritime climate and can be generally deemed
an all-season tourist destination, given air temperatures and other
climatic parameters rarely reach to extreme values. Porto receives
warm and dry summers and mild and rainy winters. As a rule, air
temperatures during the hot season tend to stabilize around 25
degrees Celsius, though values of 35 degrees Celsius are not unheard
of in Porto.
city sits in the north of
on the Douro river estuary, on the North Atlantic west coast.
official language is Portuguese. English and French are widely
member of the European Monetary System the accepted currency in
Portugal is the Euro (€).
metro in Porto is the best, easiest, and most common way to travel.
It covers most of the city both under and over ground, all the way
to the surrounding suburbs. Trains run from 6AM to 1AM, and stations
are marked with a wavy blue "M".
Tickets (or in Porto's case, cards) are bought at vending machines
and must be validated before you board the train, even every time
you switch lines. The very first time you use the metro when you
arrive in Porto you must purchase the metro card called "Cartão
Andante" at those vending machines. That card is your ticket that is
recharged at those same vending machines in future journeys.
for the map of the network and additional information.
Porto has an excellent and extensive bus service (called STCP) that
operates from 6AM to 9PM. After 9PM the service is less frequent and
after 1AM it is reduced to the principal routes. You may purchase
tickets from the driver, which must then be validated on the machine
behind him or her. Buses show their number and final destination on
the front, as do the bus stops, where there are also details of the
is the website for Porto bus information.
There are two short tram routes still in operation in Porto, No. 1
and No. 18. No.1 is a pleasant ride, as it goes through the
riverfront all the way to Foz. Tickets are bought from the driver.
Taxis in Portugal are inexpensive when compared to the rest of
Europe. Most are beige, but there are also some older black and
green ones. There are taxi stands by most of the main squares in
Oporto, or you may call the following numbers to have one pick you
up at a certain location at a scheduled time:
Raditaxis: 22 507
Taxis Invicta: 22 502 2693
Taxis Unidos: 22 502 9898.
Should hotel rooms be required for guaranteed occupancy before 13.00
hrs, the previous night should be reserved. Check out time is 12.00
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.
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.
Porto is a relaxed, artful city. With its dramatically hilly
location on the Atlantic coast, Portugal's second city – best known
as the historic home of port wine – has plenty it could shout about,
not least an unrelentingly pretty old town with characterful winding
streets, tiled churches and World Heritage-protected status. Porto
is one of the oldest cities of the country. Take the tram to the
mouth of the river Douro and get to know the excellent beaches and
the outdoor cafés, visit admiring churches and monuments and
encounter the non-conformist modernism of the new contemporary
buildings of architects like Siza Vieira, Souto Moura or Rem
Koolhaas. Take the opportunity to admire the six bridges of the
city, visit the Port Wine cellars and taste this characteristic wine
in a cosy and refined atmosphere.
Besides history and culture, Porto is also leisure, fun and night
life. The famous streets around the Galeria de Paris Street, the
cafés and its terraces, the Miguel Bombarda area or the commercial
Sta Catarina Street are reference points in arts, in culture, but
also in leisure and shopping.
miss the Casa da Musica, the Historical Centre and the Ribeira
Square, the Lello Bookshop, the Café Majestic, the Port Wine Cellars
and the Monastery of Nossa Senhora do Pilar, the Guindais Funicular,
Miguel Bombarda Street, Galeria de Paris Street, Cândido dos Reis
Street, Serralves House, and Museum of Modern Art, the São Bento
Train station , the Cathedral, the Clérigos Tower. And, of course,
the contagious joy of the popular festivities, the excellent
gastronomy and the wine.
are some suggestions and the distances from the venue of the
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 ATM linked to international networks
are also widely available.
fact there are no special health requirements, with the exception of
vaccination certificates for persons coming from areas where yellow
fever is endemic.
There are a wide variety of restaurants and cafés in Porto 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, can be found in this link
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.
the conference site
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
Smoking is forbidden by law in public transportation, and in closed
Tipping is optional, but normally 10% is customary in taxis,
restaurants and bars.
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.
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