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US to Portugal Power Adapter: What Plug Do I Need? (2024)

US to Portugal Power Adapter: What Plug Do I Need? (2024)
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Once an under-the-radar gem, word about Portugal has gotten out. This small country is surprisingly diverse, offering travelers stunning beaches, beloved cities, and rugged countryside, not to mention delicious local wine.

Just make sure you’re prepared for your trip and that you pack all the essentials, including a US-to-Portugal power adapter. You’ll need it to charge your phone so you can keep taking pictures of your trip! And you don’t want to risk damaging your electronics with faulty equipment.

See our product selection criteria and guidelines here.

Which power outlets do they use in Portugal?

Portugal power outlet
Here is an actual photo of a
Portugal power outlet

The electrical outlets in Portugal are the same as those in neighboring Spain: Type C and Type F. They both have two round holes, but Type F also has two grounding clips, while Type C is ungrounded. In Lisbon and throughout Portugal, Type F tends to be the more common outlet type. Type C and Type F plugs are interchangeable, meaning both can take either plug type; they both work with Type E plugs as well, which are normally used in France.

Portuguese outlets usually sit in a round indentation in the wall, so your plug head needs to be able to fit inside it. Unlike the U.S.(but like the rest of Europe), Portugal’s electrical grid operates on a frequency of 50 Hz and a voltage of 230V. However, there are some older properties in Portugal that use a 110V system or a combination of 110V and 230V.

Portugal Power Adapter

Portugal power adapter
Recommended Portugal power adapter available on ➜

If you haven’t been there before, one of the questions you’ll be asking before your trip is probably, “What plug do I need for Portugal?”

Coming from the U.S., you’ll need an adapter with a two-pronged plug type. As long as your US-to-Portugal power adapter has two round pins and can fit into the rounded sockets in the wall, it will work. However, it’s safer to use a grounded adapter, especially for devices with a grounded plug, so a Type F adapter is ideal.

This universal adapter is our go-to because it works in 100+ countries, so you won’t have to purchase a bunch of adapters if you’re hopping around Europe. It comes with a lifetime replacement guarantee so you can trust that the quality is reliable, and it is a built-in fuse protector so you don’t have to purchase those separately as backups.

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Other Portugal Packing List Items

In addition to your US-to-Portugal power adapter, these items will help you pack with intention and expand the possibilities of your getaway. Also, check out our Portugal packing list for more inspiration and ideas.

  • 1. Neck Wallet / Passport Pouch

    Pickpocketing and bag snatching do occur, even though Portugal is a generally safe country. Especially in the touristy areas of Lisbon, where crime rates are a bit higher, you should use a neck wallet to conceal your valuables. It’s better than flashing your wallet repeatedly and it organizes all of your cash, credit cards, passports, travel documents, phones and more (which is perfect for when the jet lag has set in). This one is perfect because it even has RFID-blocking material to block a thief’s laser sensors that try to scan your credit cards.

    neck wallet

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  • 2. Virtual Private Network (VPN)

    Cybercrime is on the rise in Portugal and modern thieves are always looking for ways to obtain your passwords and financial data. Logging onto different public Wi-Fi networks at cafes, airports, and hotels can put your internet security at risk. However, using a VPN will protect your data and privacy, no matter where you are. You don’t want to wake up with a stolen credit card number like I did from our Airbnb in Paris.

    We use NordVPN because they are very affordable and reliable, with the fastest streaming speed in the biz due to unlimited bandwidth. They block annoying ads and ensure no creepy onlookers can monitor your online activity (including your ISP, government entities, nosy neighbors, and HACKERS!) It’s only a few dollars a month and will also limit any regional censorship that can block you from using your favorite sites while abroad.

    how a vpn works

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  • 3. Lipstick-Sized Portable Charger

    If you’ve ever opened a mapping app in an unfamiliar place only to have your phone die, you know how important it is to keep the battery charged. Fortunately, all it takes to recharge your phone while you’re out is a tiny charger that weighs almost nothing. It’s a lifesaver when your phone is dead and you need to GPS your very-foreign-sounding hotel address or call for a ride.

    Lipstick-Sized Charger

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  • 4. Windproof Travel Umbrella

    Portugal can boast random bursts of unpredictable rain, and you don’t want this to put a damper on the day’s itinerary. Come prepared with this top-quality compact travel umbrella with a nifty zip case that makes it easy to store in your daypack. It weighs only 1-pound and covers 2 people, which will be super helpful until the gray skies pass. You can even use it as a shade on a hot summer day.

    Windproof Travel Umbrella

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  • 5. Travel Insurance for Portugal

    Travel insurance is essential. U.S. health insurance usually will not cover treatments abroad, which means you’d have to pay out-of-pocket if you get sick or injured in Portugal. To make sure that doesn’t happen, sign up for a travel insurance plan before you go. It will cover you for common issues like baggage loss, theft, flight delays, pet care, rentals, and expensive international hospital bills. You should not cover these unforeseen expenses on your own, not when insurance will cover it for you.

    We recommend Faye for their convenient app that lets you take care of all things travel insurance-related (e.g., finding coverage, making claims, and getting reimbursed). It’s all handled straight from your phone without having to deal with any annoying paperwork. It’s probably one of the cheapest parts of your trip but will even make a non-refundable trip – refundable(!) since Faye offers plans to cancel “for any reason.”

    Faye Travel Insurance

    Get a quote in less than 60 seconds with Faye ➜

  • 6. Hanging Toiletries Bag

    Maintain your self-care routine (and your sanity!) with this hanging toiletry bag. The bathrooms in Europe are notoriously small and this will create more storage space when you have nothing to work with. It’s way classier than throwing shampoo bottles and lotions all over your accommodation and will make repacking a breeze. Hang it on any door, hook, or pole, and you’ve got a built-in shelf!

    We love this one by Eco Sun because it’s made by travelers, for travelers. Ethically designed in Hawaii, they support women’s education and go the extra mile to create products with a positive global impact. This bag is cute and practical – with 4 giant compartments on the inside and 3 on the outside, it will hold everything you need!

    hanging toiletry bag

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  • 7. TSA-Approved Luggage Locks

    For those who check their luggage for international flights, having your belongings out-of-sight for dozens of hours can be unnerving. Offer yourself peace of mind by securing your bags with these luggage locks. They are 4-digits which are 10x more secure than a 3-digit lock, and TSA-approved to avoid any delays with security. I put them on my backpacks in crowded areas, all checked suitcases, city lockers, hotel lockers, and more.

    TSA-Approved Luggage Locks

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  • 8. Waterproof Phone Pouch

    As you explore the rugged shores of the Algarve region, or the epic limestone cliffs of the Northern region, you’ll need a waterproof phone case to protect your lifeline. From pool parties to beach days, this pouch is the perfect reinforcement against the elements. It protects against sand or other grimy things that could scratch your screen or lenses. And allows you to film great underwater videos!

    Waterproof Phone Pouch

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  • 9. Quick-Dry Travel Towel

    Portugal is for lounging at the beach or taking a scenic day cruise around the area. Hotels may not provide you with adequate towels, or they may be too big and fluffy to lug around. A travel towel is more practical since it’s small in size but super absorbent. Use it as a modesty wrap for churches, a seat cover on public transit seats that are less than hygienic, a packing cushion, and more.

    Quick-Dry Travel Towel

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  • 10. Luggage Straps

    Never travel without attaching these adjustable luggage straps. I learned this when my friend’s suitcase came rolling towards us on the baggage claim carousel – completely wide-open with his clothes falling all over the place! Luckily, I had luggage belts on me and could tie his bag together enough for the next flight, which made it there by the skin of its teeth. But the bag would not have burst open in the first place if he had been using these straps.

    Able to withstand 700+ lbs of force tension, they will take the weight off of your zippers and give you real peace of mind when sending your bags off for a long, bumpy journey. Another perk I’ve realized is to get a brightly-colored option so you can speed up your time at baggage claim. You’ll recognize your bag more intuitively and get out of there before the chaos ensues.

    luggage straps

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  • 11. Jet Lag Relief

    Portugal is only four hours ahead of the East Coast of the U.S., but that’s enough for most people to experience jet lag (and it’ll be worse if you’re coming from the Western U.S.). Between the long journey and the time change, bring some jet lag relief pills to help you adjust. They will help you enjoy your first few days in Portugal instead of being in a sleepy fog.

    jet lag relief

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  • 12. Packing Cubes

    If you hate having to unpack your entire bag to find one missing item, you’ll love using packing cubes. They’re revolutionary and a brilliant gift for any traveler. Just fold your clothes into the cubes and then pack the cubes into your bag. It’ll be much easier to find things, and your bag won’t explode every time you open it. This set even comes with 2 bonus laundry bags, and you can go for the 3-pack if you want to start small.

    packing cubes

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  • 13. Activated Charcoal

    My wife got sick at a fine-dining restaurant in Europe. Traveler’s sickness is fairly common as our bodies adjust to the local cuisine. And anything from tap water (like ice in your soda) to gourmet cuisine could make you feel quite unwell. Pack these activated charcoal tablets that are used as an emergency treatment for any kind of food poisoning. They stop any pathogen or harmful bacteria from absorbing in your stomach, and will get you back on your feet much faster!

    Activated Charcoal

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  • 14. Cooling Towels

    Some people forget that Portugal is close to Africa and very hot! Temps can reach 99°F (37°C) near the coast, and exceed 105°F (40°C) more inland, where the heat waves can blow in from Africa. Beat the heat with these magical cooling towels (okay, they aren’t actually magic, but it will feel that way when you experience their frosty delight as you’re baking against the warm architecture of Portugal!)

    Just add water, and they drop to 30-degrees colder than the outside temperature for up to an hour. When you’re ready for more comfort, just add water again. We never travel anywhere warm without them and they’ll make outdoor activities way more tolerable and enjoyable.

    Cooling Towels

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  • 15. “Wine Wings” Packing Cushions

    Part of the Portugal experience is indulging in a little wine! From the vinho verde, to the Madeira Wine, to the Ginja(!) – you will find plenty of delicious things to sip on here. Use these packing cushions to preserve any of your breakable souvenirs that you don’t want to risk breaking during the rough transit.

    More of my favorites include Licor Beirão and the sweet Licor de Amêndoa Amarga – but you can use these packing cushions for more than just alcohol. Bring home European olive oil, spices, perfumes, or anything made of glass that you just want to keep safe. Remember that airport staff are not the most gentle with your suitcases… So, this is a necessary precaution for anything delicate.

    Wine wings

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  • 16. Extra Phone Charging Cables

    The other phone-related essential you’ll need is a charging cable. Better yet, bring some extras because these are easy to misplace on the train or at the airport (or leave plugged into the wall in your hotel room when you check out). They’re lightweight and wise to keep on-hand.

    Charger cables anker

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Electricity in Portugal

Portugal’s electrical infrastructure isn’t quite as advanced as in most of Western Europe. Although power outages aren’t a huge problem on a day-to-day basis, they do sometimes occur and can be caused by storms, strain on the electrical grid, or maintenance issues. Using too many electrical devices at once is also likely to cause the circuit breaker to trip. Another issue is that electrical surges are more common in Portugal than in other Western European countries, so it’s especially important to unplug devices when not in use.

Do I Need A Voltage Converter In Portugal?

Electrical appliances need to be rated to (or above) the voltage of the electrical grid you’re using, which is usually 230V in Portugal. Electric razors, blow dryers, and curling irons are most often rated to 110V-120V if they’re made in the U.S. – and if you plug them straight into a 230V Portuguese outlet, it could shock you or start a fire.

If you want to use one of these items during your trip, you’ll need a US-to-Portugal voltage converter in addition to your power adapter. If you plan to travel a lot, you might want to invest in separate European-friendly appliances instead, which you can order online.

Other FAQs about traveling in Portugal

  • 1. When to Travel to Portugal

    When to Travel to Portugal

    Like most of Europe, Portugal’s peak tourist season is summertime, when the weather is warmest. However, the popular sights get extremely crowded then, and prices go way up. The better times to visit are the Spring and Fall, when it’s less busy.

    In fact, most people will find the slightly cooler temperatures of the shoulder seasons more comfortable than the heat of peak summer, especially in the southern part of the country. If you’re primarily planning a beach vacation, early Fall is the best time to visit, as the water is still cold in the spring. Be sure to check current Portugal travel advisories before you go.

  • 2. What’s the weather like in Portugal?

    With a temperate Mediterranean climate and low elevation, Portugal is one of the warmest countries in Western Europe. There isn’t too much variation across the country, but the mountains in the northeastern area are the coldest, while the Algarve is the hottest and driest.

    Summertime highs in most of the country are around 80 degrees, and the heat can extend into early fall. Winter highs are around 60, and rain is common in the central and northern parts of the country. Snowfall is rare outside of the mountains.

    What to do in Lisbon?

    Lisbon has recently emerged as a top tourist destination, and for good reason. A ride on Tram 28 is one of the most popular things to do, and it’s one of the best ways to see the city. There are also tons of walking tours in Lisbon, some of which focus on specific topics.

    Or you can just wander historic neighborhoods like Belem and Alfama on your own. For some of the best views over the city, ride up the Santa Justa Elevator, located inside a 19th-century gothic tower. Another must-see is the National Tile Museum, dedicated to the decorative tiles that make Portuguese architecture so unique.

  • 3. Where to go in Portugal?

    Where to go in Portugal?

    Portugal might be small, but it would take a long time to run out of things to do there. Porto is a can’t-miss town, home to the country’s top cultural institution, Serralves (not to mention the world-famous port wine). Sintra is equally alluring, with three different palaces and a Moorish castle.

    The Bom Jesus do Monte Sanctuary near Braga is another impressive architectural wonder, with its famous zigzag staircase. No trip to Portugal is complete without some time at the beach, either, and the best ones are found in the Algarve.

    See all Portugal attractions at ➜

  • 4. How to Get Around in Portugal?

    A small country with lots of public transit options, Portugal is fairly easy to get around. Portugal’s train system, operated by the government-run Comboios de Portugal, connects much of the country. Ticket prices are lower than in most of Western Europe, and many of the more scenic routes are attractions in themselves. Numerous private companies operate long-distance buses, which reach even the more rural areas of the country.

    Unlike in most of Europe, some buses are faster than the train and can be the more expensive option. BlaBlaCar is also popular for long-distance travel in Portugal. If you want more freedom, it’s easy to rent a car; however, be aware that Portugal has one of the worst road safety records in Europe. Lisbon has extensive public transportation, including a metro, trams, and buses. Porto is the only other city with a metro system; local buses run in the other main towns, but travelers often find them confusing to use. Uber and other ride-sharing apps are available in the main towns, though they’ve been especially controversial in Portugal.