A guide on how to call Portugal, Portugal’s country code and how to connect to telephone and mobile providers in Portugal.
In the digital age it’s much easier to find cheap calls to Portugal and keep in touch with family abroad, and while Portugal isn’t ahead of the curve in terms of its communication network, it’s as well serviced as most European countries, especially in its major towns and cities.
Despite this, setting up your phone, internet and television connections can be frustrating, as you’ll need a working phone line and might have to pay to get it reconnected, and if you want to watch any English-speaking television programmes then satellite TV remains a wise investment. In this guide, you can find out how the basics on how to get everything set up when you first move to Portugal.
Portugal country codes
Portugal’s country code is 351. For Portugal dialling codes, numbers beginning with 607 or 707 are charged a premium rate.
Directory enquiries are available through the yellow and white pages website and Portugal’s calling code for emergency services is 112 or 115 (also possible for messaging and from mobile phones without SIM cards).
Portugal’s calling code for toll free numbers start with (+351) 180.
Connecting the telephone in Portugal
While landlines are typically operated by Portugal (PT) Telecom, the country has several phone providers to choose from. It is quite often the case that you can use other suppliers for your telephone calls but you may still have to pay Portugal Telecom for the landline rental.
It can be worth shopping around to see what deals are available, particularly if you are looking to connect internet and television as well. Although the main supplier is Portugal Telecom, there are many providers to consider including:
In larger towns or cities, it can take around two days up to a week to have a telephone line installed, which is relatively quicker than takes install a landline in the UK. You will typically have to sign a contract for at least a year, so if you are renting it is something to consider.
It’s easy to do a search online to see what offers are available, as the business is very competitive and various providers fight for your contract with attractive benefits.
Connecting your Portugal telephone
Many properties already have a phone installed. Depending on how it was left by the previous occupant, you should be able to easily reconnect the existing line when you move in, although sometimes this service costs a fee, up to around EUR 90.
You can arrange to reconnect your line by going to a PT shop or filling in a form online. This can be tricky if you don’t speak Portuguese fluently, so it’s a good idea to have a native speaker with you.
Getting a Portugal phone number
Setting up your landline in a major Portuguese city should be possible within a couple of days. When you buy or rent a property in Portugal, you will find that in most cases the telephone line has already been installed and it is just down to you to choose a phone provider and be issued with a new Portugal number.
If you do have to get a telephone line installed you will have to supply the following information:
- Passport or Identity card details
- Proof of address, for example, a utility bill or residency card
- Details of your bank account
Once the installation is complete, you’ll be issued your Portugal phone number.
Paying for your landline
You’ll typically need to pay Portugal Telecom for line rental on a monthly basis, and while you can pay through Multibanco ATMs and post offices, direct debit is often the easiest way of managing your account.
Portugal mobile providers
MEO, NOS and Vodafone are the three major mobile telephone operators in Portugal. Ask friends for recommdations about the quality of mobile providers, services and customer support.
Mobile phones are commonplace, and as in many other countries they’re available on either contract otherwise you can easily buy a prepaid SIM card in Portugal. Deals vary considerably between providers and based on what kind of usage you need (data/international calling etc.), so it pays to shop around before committing to a mobile provider.
Contracts might not be as attractive as in some other European countries, as handsets are not always subsidised to the same level. This means many residents simply buy a phone outright and use a prepard SIM card in Portugal.
If you buy a pay as you go phone, you’ll be able to top it up through an ATM or by calling 1255. Alternatively, you can pay in cash or by debit card in a phone shop. Contract phones, meanwhile, can be paid for by direct debit
or at ATMs. Once you choose a mobile provider, you will be give your Portugal SIM card.
International calls can be expensive from your mobile, especially if you don’t have a designated call package. If you make a lot of overseas calls, you could consider using a service such as Skype instead of your mobile phone or buy an international calling card.
For friends calling from abroad, they will need to add Portugal’s 351 area code.
Lost and stolen mobile phones
Mobile phones have an IMEI number, which is unique to your phone and should be noted and given to your network should your phone get lost or stolen. Your mobile provider will then be able to suspend the device.
Cheap calls to Portugal
If using a Portugal telephone or landline, it’s cheaper to make calls in Portugal overnight from 9pm to 9am and on the weekend.
For cheap calls to Portugal, there are many online services that offer free calls, provided you and your caller use the same platform. If you have an internet connection, for example, online platforms such as Skype, WhatsApp and Facebook offer free calls and the quality is not bad.
You also have the option of using your mobile phone, and some mobile providers offer packages which enable you to make discounted calls in Portugal and back home. It’s important to thoroughly understand the charges involved with long distance calls, however, especially if you have a contract mobile phone. People who were not on the deal they expected have received horrible surprises after making a few long distance calls in the form of very expensive bills.
Numbers in Portuguese
- Zero: zero
- One: um
- Two: dois
- Three: três
- Four: quatro
- Five: cinco
- Six: seis
- Seven: sete
- Eight: oito
- None: nove