Travel Information

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic we recommend the following considerations as you make your travel plans to Lisbon:

  • Consider purchasing travel insurance to cover your personal travel-related expenses. Read the legal language carefully to assure that the policy covers pandemics and specifically COVID-19.
  • Check current COVID-19 restrictions related to arriving and traveling in Lisbon at this link:
  • Stay informed of travel policies set by the airlines at the time you book your ticket and when you travel.
  • Note: All travel reservations are made at your own risk. The ISHRS cannot make guarantees around individual travel plans. At any time the situation may change, and it may be the case the ISHRS must cancel the in-person component of the meeting at the last minute. Accordingly, we recommend that you purchase a travel insurance policy to cover these expenses.

As the COVID-19 situation is dynamic, the ISHRS will continue to communicate expectations and details as the planning progresses.


 Discover sunny, picturesque Lisbon (Lisboa), where history blends with modernity.  This city is a fusion of more than 1,000 years of cultural influences that mingle with modern trends and lifestyle, creating intricate and spectacular contrasts.

Built on seven hills around the banks of the Tagus River (Rio Tejo), Lisbon bustles with life.  Explore its beautiful streets, cozy venues, culinary and cultural finds and wallet-friendly restaurants.  The city’s hill top viewing points (miradouros) are the best spots to hang out and admire the pastel panoramas. Here you can enjoy the view, relax with a glass of Portuguese wine, and maybe even catch the sunset.

Experience the stark contrast between the old city’s pastel-colored buildings graced with elaborated painted Portuguese tile (azulejos), to the new sleek, ultra-modern architecture in the Nation’s Park (Parque das Nações) district. Culture buffs can explore the city’s past by riding on vintage trams, or by visiting its historical neighborhoods (bairros).

Lisbon is the second oldest capital in Europe, after Athens, and is one of the few European capitals with both a river and a coastline.  Therefore, this city is strongly influenced by its maritime world explorations, its role in the spice trade and multi-culture history.  A walk down to the waterfront, one of the world’s great natural harbors, serves as a reminder why this city has attracted civilizations from the Phoenicians and Celts to the Romans and Moors.  The Belém district presents an opportunity to learn about the country’s famous explorers who departed from here during the Golden Age of discovery.

For more information on Lisbon and Portugal: and

Passports Visas and other Travel Information


Per Visit Portugal: (check link for the most current information –

Passports: For visits of less than 90 days, a passport valid for at least three months after the end of their stay is necessary for visitors from Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Guatemala, Holy See, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, United States of America, Uruguay, Venezuela, Special Administrative Regions of the People’s Republic of China in Hong Kong and Macao and Taiwan territorial Authority.

Visas: Citizens from countries not mentioned above need a visa to enter Portugal, which may be requested at the Portuguese Embassy or Consulate of their country for stays of up to 90 days.

Under the terms of the Convention Implementing the Schengen Agreement, flights between Schengen states are considered to be internal flights and passengers do not need to obtain another visa.

Identity Cards Only: Citizens of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland need only an identity card to enter Portugal.

Other sources of passport & visa information:

For your nearest Portugal Embassy and visa requirements for over 100 countries:

SEF – Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service:

Entry in Portugal – The Official Website of Portuguese Immigration (


Time Zone: At the time of the World Congress, Lisbon is UTC/GMT +1 hour, WEST (Western European Summer Time).  Portugal is on this summer daylight savings time until October 31, 2021.  Examples: When its 12:00PM (noon) in Lisbon, it is (same day) 7:00AM in New York City, 4:00AM in Los Angeles, and 12:00PM in London (same time as Lisbon).

Currency: The Portuguese official currency is the euro.

Population: Lisbon, Portugal’s capital and largest city, has a population of just under 3,000,000.

Language: Besides Portuguese, English, Spanish and French are widely spoken.

Weather: The temperature during the month of October is 73ºF/ 23ºC high to 59ºF/15ºC low, with 8 days of rain.

Local Taxes: The VAT rate in Lisbon is 23% which applies to the purchase of most goods and services, however special reduced VAT rates on the following:

  • 13% reduced VAT rate on food and water
  • 6% reduced VAT rate on: hotel accommodations, essential groceries, books, transport.

Visitors to Portugal can qualify for a VAT refund on purchases made for export – learn more about Portugal VAT refunds here.

Credit Cards: Credit cards are widely accepted throughout Portugal, but you could find smaller restaurants or shops that accept only cash or have a minimum of 10 euros before accepting credit cards.  Visa and Mastercard are commonly accepted, but some places accept American Express.


  • Restaurants/Bars: It is not customary to tip at a cheaper restaurant, but a tip of up to 10% is acceptable at more upscale establishments if you are pleased with the service. The tip is sometimes included in the final bill, so do check before adding on a tip. Servers sometimes don’t receive tips that are included on a credit card, so tip in cash whenever possible. At small cafes, for good table service, round up to the nearest €1.  It is not necessary to tip a bartender, but you can round up to the nearest €1 for good service. The sales tax is called IVA and will be listed at the end of your bill. Some restaurants place a couvert on the table when you are seated, which consists of small appetizers such as cheese, olives and cured meats. They do charge for the couvert, so if you do not want it, request to have it removed. The price of the couvert should be listed on the menu.
  • Taxis: Tipping taxi drivers is not expected but is appreciated.  A good rule of thumb is to round of to the nearest €5 or 10% of final fare for good service.
  • Hotel: Bell service should be tipped €1-2 per bag, depending on the size, but not more than €5.  If a doorman assists with luggage or hails a taxi, a simple thank you is appreciated but feel free to offer €1 for the help.  For housekeeping service, €1 per night is appropriate for a well-cleaned room.
  • Tour Guides: If you are pleased with your tour, tip €5-10 for a half-day tour and €10-15 for a full-day tour.  If taking a free tour, tip at least €10 as this is the only way the guides make money.
  • Spas/Hair Stylists: If you are satisfied with your results, it is considerate to tip 5-10%.

Standard Business Hours:

  • Traditional Shops: weekdays10:00AM to 8:00PM, generally Saturday 9:00AM to 1:00PM and closed on Sunday
  • Shopping Centres: every day from 10:00AM to midnight
  • Restaurants: Lunch from 12:00PM to 3:00PM and dinner from 7:00PM to 10:00PM

Note: Business hours may be effected by COVID-19 Restrictions. We recommend asking at your hotel about current local restrictions at your time of travel.

Electricity: Portugal’s standard electricity supply is 230 Volts (V), 50 Hertz (Hz) AC although in some older properties it may still be possible to find a 110 Volts supply or a combination of the two. The illustrations below show the wall receptacle type found in Portugal, which are plug types C and F. Plug type C is the plug that has two round pins and type F has two round pins with two earth clips on the edge.

Health and Safty Information


  • Apart from any prevailing COVID requirements, you will not require any vaccinations to visit Portugal unless you are coming from an area with a common infection. Make a point of checking with your local Portuguese Embassy if in any doubt.  Yellow Fever Vaccination: International Certificate of Vaccination for Yellow Fever is required only when traveling from an infected area and when the traveler is more than one year of age.
  • EU citizens can obtain a refund of most medical costs by using form E111, which is available from Post Offices, Health or Social Security offices in your country.
  • Regarding medical and other insurance, check with your personal medical insurance plan before leaving your home country to ensure you have adequate traveling insurance. Visitors are urged to take out insurance to cover loss incurred in the case of cancellation, medical expenses and damage to or loss of personal effects whenever traveling outside of their own country.

Safety and Expectations Relevant to COVID-19 During the In-Person Meeting: Regarding the safety of an in-person meeting, the ISHRS COVID Officers, chaired by Dr. Robert True, using current guidance from the Lisboa Congress Centre, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) are developing a comprehensive plan so that we can hold the safest meeting possible. While the situation is dynamic, here is what you should expect in Lisbon at the 2021 ISHRS World Congress with the intention of providing a safe environment for all involved – current as of the writing of this document:

  • Congress attendees, including all exhibit booth personnel, will be required to attest that they and any guests they bring to social events have received a COVID-19 vaccine authorized or approved by the World Health Organization and will have received the final dose at least 14 days prior to traveling to Lisbon.
  • Masks will be worn indoors when not eating or drinking.
  • There will be a distance between seats during lectures and at tables during meals.
  • Hand sanitizer will be readily available.
  • Additional requirements as mandated by the facilities, the ISHRS, and the city or country.
Transportation, Parking, and Lisbon Information

TRANSPORTATION (Airport & Around Town)


The Lisbon Congress Centre, the venue for the World Congress, is approximately a 19 minute/12.8 km drive from Lisbon International Airport (airport code LIS).  This airport is also known as Lisbon Portela Airport.  The distance from Lisbon International Airport to our group block meeting hotels is 15 minutes/14.3 km to Pestana Palace Lisboa and 10 minutes/10 km to Hotel Vila Galé Ópera.

Taxi: Taxis are readily available at the airport, queueing outside the arrival terminal. Depending on traffic, the trip to the ISHRS meeting hotels will take 10-15 minutes and will cost between 18 and 25 euros (at the weekday daytime rate, slightly higher at night hours of 9:00PM to 6:00AM/holidays/weekend), plus luggage fees. Most taxis accept payment by both cash and credit cards but do inquire before getting in the taxi.  Be sure the meter is turned on at the beginning of the trip. It is good to have your destination name and address available to show the driver, in case of any language challenges.


To avoid any issues, you are encouraged to purchase a pre-paid taxi voucher at the Ask Me Lisboa tourism office counter in the arrivals area. This voucher offers a competitive, set taxi fare based on your destination. There are three set rate zones for Lisbon. Our two official meeting hotels and the Lisbon Congress Centre are in zone 2.  The Ask Me Lisboa staff will print your voucher and escort you to your taxi, assuring the driver accepts the voucher.  The passenger and driver both receive a copy of the voucher. This voucher service includes luggage and as it is pre-paid, the total cannot exceed that price.

Ride Share Services: The following rideshare services are currently available in Lisbon: Uber, Lyft, Cabify

Emov by Free2 Move Carsharing and Free Now.

Public Transportation System: There is an extensive network of public transport in Lisboa consisting of both surface and metro/subway travel.  There are various passes that are valid to use on the trams, buses, funiculars and metro systems. Such passes can be purchased through Carris, the company that manages Lisbon’s transport system. For information on Lisboa Viva or Zapping card passes: Occasional journeys (  You may also buy a ticket on board – it is always best if you have the right change. For more information: Carris – Transportes Públicos Lisboa


Consider purchasing a Lisboa Card which allows free access on the bus, tram and metro networks as well as entrance to 37 museums, monuments and places of interest.  Cards may be purchased for periods of 24, 48 and 72 hours online or from the Ask Me Lisboa tourism office located in the arrivals area of the airport as well as other locations around the city.


When you purchase the card you will be given a QR Code to download the Lisboa Card Guide on your mobile phone.


Lisbon Congress Centre – Parking is available in front of the Congress Centre at the current daily rate of €12.80 per car.

Pestana Palace Lisboa – The hotel has indoor & outdoor parking available. The current 10-24 hour rate is €18.00.

Hotel Vila Galé Ópera – The hotel has a paid parking garage.  The current price per day is €7.50.