Global-HOU Meeting - Lisbon July 2008
Location & Travel
Practical Info
Social Events

Practical Information


For any question or information you can always contact the organization through our email: ghou2008@nuclio.pt

or you can use Rosa's cell phone number: (+351) 96 678 1264

Useful links

Various sources of tourist information


Weather forecasts for Lisbon

Portuguese Airlines

  • TAP Portugal - Official carrier for this conference: participants and accompanying persons can have a 10-20% discount when flying TAP for this meeting. You can find more information here.
  • Portugália Airlines

Portuguese Airport Information

General Tourist Information

Visa Information

A Visa is not required for EU or Schengen nationals. Nationals of Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the USA can stay for 90 days visa-free, but you should confirm this information with the local Portuguese Embassy or Consulate services. Everyone else needs a visa. It will be useful to check this page in Portugal's Official Tourism Website for visa requirements and Embassy and Consulate locations.

Weather and Climate

The climate in Portugal varies from one region to another, being influenced by the relief, latitude and proximity to the sea, which offers mild winters, especially in the Algarve. In the North and Inland the winters are colder, although the temperatures are still mild when compared to the rest of Europe. There is some snowfall, particularly in the highest point of mainland Portugal, Serra da Estrela (1,991 m) and where it is sometimes possible to ski. The summers are hot and dry, especially in the inland areas. Temperatures are slightly lower in the coastal areas, because of the influence of the sea. The autumn often displays warm, sunny days.

The islands of the Madeira Archipelago display subtropical characteristics, explained by its geographical position and mountainous relief. The climate in Madeira is exceptionally mild, with average temperatures varying between 24 ºC in summer and 19 ºC in winter. The sea temperature is also very pleasant all year round, thanks to the influence of the warm Gulf Stream. It varies between 18 ºC in winter and 22 ºC in summer.

In the Azores Archipelago, the climate is influenced by the islands' latitude and by the Gulf Stream, and temperatures are mild there all year round. The same factors also influence the sea temperature, which is very pleasant both in winter and summer and ideal for nautical sports all year round.

The Workshop & Meeting will be held in Lisbon. In mid-July the weather is usually sunny with maximum temperatures around 30º or more. Take a look at the web pages, already mentioned, with weather forecast, closer to the event.

Time Zone

In July Portugal is in UTC+1 (or GMT+1) time (except for the islands of Azores).

Medical Care

Health Centers: Consultations are given at the Centro de Saúde (Public Health Centre). Outside normal working hours, you should seek the "Serviço de Atendimento Permanente" (SAP) or "Centro de Atendimento de Urgências" (CATUS), where you should go in the first instance.

Urgent Medical Assistance is available in hospitals providing 24 hours a day emergency service. In case of emergency dial 112.

Who can use the Public Health Services?

  • European Union (plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) Citizens holding the European Health Insurance Card (which has replaced the E forms such as the E111 and E128); UK citizens need only to show their passport and ask to get treatment under the EU arrangements;
  • Brazilian citizens holding the PB4 health certificate;
  • International researchers enrolled in the Portuguese Social Security System;
  • Portuguese nationals enrolled in the Portuguese Social Security System

Note: In all other cases, you may still use the service but will have to pay full rates. If that applies to you, you should consider getting a health insurance for the duration of their stay in Portugal.

Pharmacies: Pharmacies are identified by a green cross which will be lit up at night if the pharmacy is on duty. When it is closed there will be a notice in the window showing the nearest pharmacy on duty, which is open 24 hours a day. The Portuguese word for pharmacy is "farmácia".

The address and telephone number of the pharmacies on duty during weekend and during the night are provided in the local newspapers and in the front windows of all pharmacies.

Timetable: working days - 09h00 to 13h00 and 15h00 to 19h00

Saturdays - 09h00 to 13h00


Voltage: 220 volts at a frequency of 50 Hertz. All sockets follow European standards. To use American (or other) type plugs an adapter should be used.

Money Matters

Currency: Euro (€)

Credit cards (such as American Express, Eurocard/Mastercard and Visa) are widely accepted in Portugal.

Automatic Cash Machines and Cash Cards: Portugal has a national network of ATMs (Automated Teller Machines), known as "Multibanco", which allows the withdrawal of up to 400 € per day (200+200) on cash cards. Machines are located in banks, shops, petrol stations and other convenient places. Multibanco point-of-sale devices are also in wide use in shops, restaurants, coffee shops, etc.

Multibanco machines recognize the international cash cards Visa International, Eurocheque, Cirrus, and American Express. In addition, cards, which function through the following networks, are accepted (ask your bank at home for advice about which network your card works through):

  • Telebanco System 4B (Spain)
  • ServiRed (Spain)
  • CLAU (Andorra)
  • BANCONTACT - Banksys (Belgium)
  • Buildings Societies and LINK networks managed through NEXUS (UK)
  • BANKONET network managed through SSB (Italy)

Banks are open from 8.30 - 15.00 from Monday to Friday.


Public Transport in Lisbon: In Lisbon you have 2 main public transportation providers  Metropolitano de Lisboa (subway) and  Carris (bus). You can plan a trip to go sightseeing outside the city or go to the beach, in which case you might have to take a boat, a train or a bus, and use other public transportation providers.

Usually you can buy your tickets on the bus or on the subway stations, but it is cheaper to buy a "7 Colinas" card (just 0.5 €) and charge it with the kind of tickets that you need. Click on the link in the previous phrase to check out more information on the card.

Subway - This is the quickest way to move around in Lisbon. But obviously the sightseeing is poor :-) Although the artwork on the stations is something to be appreciated. The two subway stations to keep in mind are "Rato", the end of the yellow line, close to the Workshop site, and "Oriente", the end of the red line, close to the Meeting site. Take a look at the Location & Travel page for details.

A one way ticket is 0,75 €.

Bus -   The Meeting location is close to Estação Oriente, a 10 minute walk, or you can take one of several bus lines (number 25, 708, and others) and get out on the "Av . Boa Esperança" bus stop.

When you buy your ticket on the bus a single trip costs 1.4€.

Taxi - These can be called by telephone, at taxi-ranks or on the move. Most taxis are beige and display "Taxi" on the car's door and a illuminated Taxi sign on the top. Generally speaking taxis are not as expensive in Portugal as in most other European countries. The fare is based on the distance travelled, with extra charges for luggage. It is not necessary to tip the driver (but no one will complain if you do...).


At airports, international railway terminals and all main locations there are rent-a-car services. Specially adapted or automatic vehicles are available for the disabled. To hire a vehicle you must be over 18, present some identification (identity card for EU citizens or valid passport for others) and a valid driver's license (see below) held for more than one year.

The green card is obligatory and it is advisable to be insured.

For further information please contact Associação dos Industriais de Automóveis sem Condutor ( Tel: +351 21 395 7234) or a Travel Agent.

For further information relating to transport for the disabled, please contact TURINEGRA - Turismo Integrado, CRL ( Tel: +351 21 859 5332).

Driving in Portugal: In Portugal we drive on the right and overtake on the left. Headlights must be used during heavy rain, fog and, of course, at night. On some major roads, the use of headlights is obligatory at all times.

Driving Licenses: Driving licenses issued in other EU member states are valid in Portugal. Licenses issued beyond the European Union are generally not recognized, although it is possible to use a foreign license if it was issued in a country with which Portugal has signed a bilateral agreement on the equivalence and exchange of driving licenses. This page at Portugal's Official Tourism Website may help you find out if your current driver's license will be accepted in Portugal. International driving licenses purchased in your home country are recognized in Portugal.


Telephones: All telephone numbers functioning from the national network provider and the numbers of mobile phones purchased in Portugal have 9 digits. We do not use any regional codes. The international access code for Portugal is 351. The telecommunications industry in Portugal is buoyant and expanding, with many independent operators competing to provide communications services. At present, independent operators provide national and international lines, but not local lines. If you intend to bring a mobile phone, make sure it is compatible with the Portuguese networks (GSM 900/1800 and UMTS). Mobile phones in Portugal do not function with disposable phone cards.

Post: Post Offices are open Monday - Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Regular stamped mail ("correio normal") can be dropped into the red post-boxes for collection. Stamped express mail ("correio azul") can be dropped into the blue post-boxes. Stamps can be purchased at the post office, at many newspaper kiosks, news agencies, bookshops, and from stamp machines in public places.

Internet: Internet access is becoming widespread in Portugal. The number of internet cafes is larger by the day, and you can find Wi-Fi HotSpots at airports, hotels, high-way service stations, shopping centers and other locations.

Culture and Entertainment

In all the main urban centres there are cinemas, theatres, bookshops, art exhibitions, galleries, concerts, ballet, opera, etc. In Portuguese cinemas the films are generally shown in the original language, with subtitles in Portuguese. In various locations around the country and at regular intervals there are displays by folk dancing groups and there are regular pilgrimages and fairs of a highly regional nature where popular art and artifacts are available. Portugal has a wide variety of choice for entertainment: casinos, bingo halls, discos, bars, pavement cafes, piano bars, sporting events, etc.

For information and dates for fairs and cultural events in Portugal please contact ICEP Tourist Offices (Tel: +351 21 346 3658) or the local tourist board.

Monuments: Portugal is one of the oldest countries in Europe, politically independent since A.D. 1143. From the North to the South of Portugal there is a rich heritage of various monuments. Castles, Palaces, Monasteries and Convents, Churches and other sites offer the public an amazing choice of works of art. With the exception of public holidays and/or weekly closing days, they are generally open from 10 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and from 2 to 5 p.m. Some palaces close on Wednesday.

Museums: National museums are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. They close on Monday and sometimes for part of Tuesday morning. For more information on National Museums please contact Instituto Português de Museus (Tel: +351 21 364 2230)

Fado: Fado originated in sailors' bars in Lisbon towards the end of the 18th century. Its name came from the Latin word "fatum", fate. From the last quarter of the 19th century it was adopted by the aristocrats to express their romantic feelings using the words of great Portuguese poets and writers, and became linked to the word "saudade" (a longing for home and familiar places). The voice of Amália Rodrigues has made fado known internationally.

Fado is considered the typical musical form of Lisbon and can be heard in the typical areas of Alfama and Bairro Alto in places known as "casas de fado". Coimbra's fado, sung in this city by students in their black gowns, is closer to troubadour origins. Many of the songs still tell of students' adventures with local girls. One of the differences between these two types of fado sung in Lisbon and Coimbra is that the second is traditionally sung as a solo by a man. The instrumental accompaniment for either of the types is the 12 string Portuguese guitar and the classical guitar.

Portuguese Guitar: The origin of the Portuguese Guitar is uncertain. Several authors and compositors argue that the Portuguese guitar is a result of a fusion between two instruments: the European Cittern (used throughout Western Europe in the Renaissance, bearing an extremely similar shape, and even sometimes having the same number of strings, 12, and the same tunings), and the English Guitar. The former was probably brought into Portugal in the 16th century, mainly from Italy and France, spreading through the region South of Coimbra, while the latter was brought into Portugal in the 18th century, through Porto, spreading afterwards through the region North of Coimbra. This may explain the different construction, structure and tuning of the Coimbra Guitar - with its roots in Porto - and the Lisbon Guitar, two different manifestations of the Portuguese Guitar. Today, this is an instrument only mastered by some, either as accompaniment for Fado or by itself. Carlos Paredes is one of the most popular Portuguese Guitar players, with musical compositions that clearly reveal all of the Portuguese Guitar "soul".

Sports: With its mild climate and the high number of sunny days throughout the year, Portugal is an excellent country for sports. Thanks to natural conditions and built infrastructures, the most important activities are football (soccer), most indoor sports, golf, cycling, tennis and water sports: sailing, rowing, fishing, underwater exploration, surfing, bodyboarding and windsurfing. For anglers out on the high seas, the "big game" Portugal offers along the continental coast and in Madeira and the Azores provides an opportunity to break international records with sword fish, tuna and shark among others.

For the various types of sporting events please contact the respective sports Federations or Associations or Instituto do Desporto (Tel: 351 21 395 32 71)

Finally, Some Basic Words and Phrases

A large number of people (in particular young people) speak English. However, you can start learning a few portuguese words and phrases.

Thank youObrigado 1um20vinte
PleasePor favor 2dois30trinta
Good morningBom dia 3três40quarenta
Good afternoonBoa tarde 4quatro50cinquenta
Good eveningBoa noite 5cinco60sessenta
YesSim 6seis70setenta
NoNão 7sete80oitenta
BankBanco 8oito90noventa
ExchangeCâmbio 9nove100cem
How much is it?Quanto custa? 10dez1000mil
Do you speak English?Fala Inglês? 
I don't understandNão compreendo