Portugal lies along the Atlantic coast of the Iberian Peninsula in south Western Europe. It shares a border with Spain in the east and north, while the Atlantic dominates the coastline in the west and south. Occupying about 16 percent of the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal (including Madeira and Azores) has a population of over 10 million people.

Despite its relatively small size, the country boasts a great diversity of geographical features, from golden plains to mountainous zones. Moreover, its location allows quick access not only to several European countries, but also to the east coast of the American and African continents.

Portuguese is spoken by more than 200 million people in several continents, including Europe, Africa and America. This diversity has contributed to the deepening of historical and cultural ties between Portugal and the world.

The state form is a pluralistic democracy. Under the Constitution, the organs of sovereignty are the President, the Parliament, the Government and the Courts.

As a member of the European Union and NATO, Portugal plays a greater role in both European and world affairs than its size would suggest.

Portugal is part of the group of EU countries, where the Euro is the official currency and common to all.

Total area: 92,090 sq. km (including Madeira and Azores archipelagos)

Land: 91,470 sq. km

Water: 620 sq. km

Agricultural Land: 17% arable land; 8% permanent crops; 75% other

Weather: Maritime temperate; cold and rainy on the north coast, warm and dry on the south coast

Terrain: Mountainous north of the Tagus (Tejo) river, rolling plains in the south

Students from European Union (EU) countries do not need a visa to enter in Portugal. However, they need to obtain a residence permit if their stay exceeds 90 days. In this case, they must present the ID / Passport, a statement of financial support and a guarantee of medical care at Foreigners and Borders Service.

Students from countries outside the EU must obtain a visa before leaving their country. To do this, they should contact the Portuguese Embassy or Consulate in their own country.

Upon arriving in Portugal, foreign students, except those from EU countries, should contact the Foreigners and Borders Service to inform about their study period at CESPU.

The entrance in Portugal does not require any vaccination unless the students come from a geographical area of ​​risk.

EU citizens should bring the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which provides medical assistance through the National Health Service. They also should have insurance to cover liability for personal injury and legal damage to property.


The currency of Portugal is Euro (€). 1 Euro is divided into 100 cents. For the new coins it was defined eight denominations: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents and 1 and 2 Euros. The notes are distinguished by their size and color and have the following values: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 Euros.

The coins have in one side common designs (European side) while the other side has a national symbol, and all Euro coins can be used in all member countries, irrespective of their national side.


The currency exchange is conducted at banks, which are open to the public from 08h30 to 15h00, during the 5 days of the week, in exchange offices and vending machines (only available for sale of foreign currency transactions).


There is a national network of automatic boxes, identified by MB (ATM), where you can withdraw cash 24 hours a day.


In Portugal, the most commonly used credit cards are: Visa, American Express, Diners Club, Europay / Mastercard, JCB, Maestro. In case of loss or theft of your Visa or Mastercard, you can ask for help to the following telephone numbers: Visa: 800 811 107 | Mastercard: 800 811 272

Refeição, Restaurant Barato | Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 5.00 - 9.00
Refeição para 2, Restaurante Média Qualidade | Meal for 2, Mid-range Restaurant 20.00 - 40.00
Combinado no Mcdonalds ou Similar | Combo Meal at McDonalds or Similar 4.95 - 6.00
Sanduíche Queijo / Fiambre / Mista | Cheese / Ham / or Both Sandwich 1.50 – 3.00
Torrada | Toasted bread with butter 1.00 – 1.50
Bolo | Small Cake 0.60 – 1.50
Cerveja (0.5L) | Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught) 1.00 - 2.00
Café | Express Coffee 0.60 – 0,80
“Galão” Copo de Café com Leite | Glass with Coffee and Milk  
Chá | Tea 0.90 – 1.50
Coca-Cola / Pepsi (0.33L) | Coke / Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle) 0.90 – 1.50
Sumo de Laranja Natural | Orange Natural Juice 2.00 – 3-00
Água (garrafa de Litro) |Water (0.33 liter bottle) 0.50 – 1.00
Leite (normal), 1L | Milk (regular), 1 liter 0.50 - 0.90
Saco de Pão Normal (500kg) | Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g) 0.85 - 1.80
Ovos (12) | Eggs (12) 1.20 - 2.45
Queijo Fresco (1kg) | Fresh Cheese (1kg) 5.00 - 9.50
Peito de Frango | Chicken Breasts (1kg) 3.90 - 7.50
Maçãs ( 1kg) | Apples (1kg) 1.00 - 1.70
Laranjas ( 1kg) | Oranges (1kg) 0.70 - 1.50
Batatas (1kg) | Potato (1kg) 0.40 - 1.00
1 Alface | Lettuce (1 head) 0.50 - 1.50
Água ( garrafa de 1.5L) | Water (1.5 liter bottle) 0.30 - 1.00
Garrafa de Vinho de Média Qualidade |Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 2.50 - 5.99
Cerveja (0.5L) | Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) 0.70 - 1.50
Cerveja Importada (0.33L) | Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) 0.82 - 1.50
Bilhete Local – Só Ida | One-way Ticket (local transport) 1.00 - 1.80
Passe Mensal Comboio / Autocarro | Monthly Pass (Railway / Bus) 25.00 - 50.00
Táxi - Tarifa Inicial | Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) 2.40 - 3.25
Táxi - Tarifa Normal por Km | Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) 0.30 - 0.90
Táxi – Tarifa para 1h de espera | Taxi 1h Waiting (Normal Tariff) 11.99 - 30.00
Bilhete para Museu, Monumento Nacional ou Exposição | Museum, National Monument or Exposition Ticket 1.50 – 8.50
Bilhete para Teatro | Theatre Ticket 10.00 – 30.00
Bilhete para Cinema, 1 lugar | Cinema Ticket, 1 Seat 5.00 - 6.50
Bilhete para Ópera ou Ballet | Opera or Ballet Ticket 10.00 – 75.00
Ginásio, mensalidade para 1 adulto | Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult 25.00 - 65.00
Aluguer Campo de Ténis (1h, fim-de-semana) | Tennis Court Rent (1h, Weekend) 4.00 - 20.00


In public telephone booths you can use coins and special cards that are sold in Portugal Telecom shops, post offices and at some kiosks and tobacconists (duly identified). All telephone numbers in Portugal are composed by nine digits. To call from a foreign country to Portugal, it is necessary to dial the international country code 00351. To call from Portugal to other country, dial 00, country code and city code, followed by the number. Countries codes are affixed in public telephone booths.


Portugal is one of the countries with the largest number of mobile phone users. The three network service providers - TMN, Vodafone and Optimus - maintain roaming agreements with most of international companies, and provide a good nationwide coverage. The Portuguese Driving Code forbids the use of mobile phones while driving, unless speakerphone or headset devices are used, with penalties for perpetrators.


Upon payment, Internet access is available at some cafes and numerous post offices that have the Netpost service. In several hotels and public spaces like Airports, Conference Rooms, Restaurants, Service Areas and Malls, there are "wireless" or "wi-fi" areas clearly marked, where you can access the internet for free.

In Portugal the transit is made by the right side. In the squares, intersections and junctions, unless signaled otherwise, the vehicles that appear on the right have priority. At intersections with roundabouts the vehicles that are already circulating in the interior have priority.

Traffic signs comply with international standards.

The seat belt is always compulsory.

The use of mobile phones is prohibited, unless speakerphone or headset devices are used.

Blood alcohol level equal or greater than 0.5 grams / liter implies driving ban.

Legal penalties must be paid on the place.


  • Personal identification document
  • Driving license
  • Certificate of insurance
  • Evidence of ownership of the vehicle registration or equivalent document
  • Document of vehicle identification (registration) or equivalent documents


  • 50 km/hour - in towns
  • 90 km/hour - normal roads
  • 100 km/hour - on roads reserved for cars
  • 120 km/hour - on highways

Students from third countries, who are not covered by any scheme of Scholarships, with insurance included, should inform themselves on the agreements under the Social Security between your country and Portugal, prior to departure. If there is no special agreement, in this context, students should sign up a particular insurance and enroll in the school insurance of CESPU, upon registration. This school insurance covers accidents on the Academic Campus of CESPU and on the routes CESPU / residence and residence / CESPU.

Students from countries of the European Union and from the European Economic Area (EEA) are covered by the Health European Insurance Card and must apply for this card on the respective systems of Social Security before their departure.


At airports, transport terminals of international railways, and in the main towns, there are renting car services without a driver.
To rent a car you must:

  • Have between 21 and 25 years depending on the conditions of each rental company;
  • Present an ID (identity card for EU citizens or valid passport for other nationalities);
  • Valid driving license for over a year.


Banks are open to the public between 8h30 and 15h, within the five working days of the week. There is a national network of ATMs, identified by MB (ATM), where you can withdraw cash 24 hours a day.


In general, the post offices are open from Monday to Friday, from 9h to 17h. The central stations and airports have extended opening hours and may be open on Saturdays and Sundays. Many post offices offer the service Netpost that, after paying a fee, allows access to personal email and Internet. You can get more detailed information on schedules and services available at each station on www.ctt.pt


Most of the pharmacies are open to the public on weekdays between 9h and 19h (some of them close for lunch between 13h and 15h), and Saturdays from 9h to 13h, being marked by an illuminated green cross, when are on duty during the night. All of them have posted information about the closer pharmacies that are open at night.


The grocery shops usually work from Monday to Friday, between 9h and 19h, and on Saturdays until 13h. Some of them make a break for lunch. In the months leading up to Christmas, this kind of trade can work on Saturday afternoon and even Sunday. The numerous shopping centers that exist within and outside the cities, have wider opening hours - usually from 10h to 24h every day of the week. There are stores of major international brands, but more traditional trade with Portuguese products, is spread through the streets of the towns, especially in older neighborhoods.

The Portuguese health system is characterized by three coexisting systems: the National Health Service (NHS), special social health insurance schemes for certain professions (health subsystems) and voluntary private health insurance.

Health facilities have been modernized with the years, especially in through new equipment and services humanization. They can be divided into three types:

  • HOSPITALS - located in major cities and towns with largest Portuguese population, ensuring top health care, like surgeries, consultations and several specialties;
  • HEALTH CENTERS AND FHU (FAMILY HEALTH UNITS) - ensure some specialties consultations to their patients, consultations with the family physician, nursing treatments and small surgeries;
  • MEDICAL CENTERS - located mainly in small localities, ensuring consultations with the family physician and nursing treatments of primary grade.

Apart from the public sector, there are also private hospitals and clinics.

Portugal has a medical emergency number - 112.

Beyond the line of medical emergency, users still have a Health Phone line, open 24 hours a day (HEALTH 24) - 808 24 24 24, where users can ask questions or ask for help. The purpose of this line is to connect the Portuguese people to health and reduce unnecessary emergency service demand.


  • Centro Hospitalar of Porto (Hospital de Santo António, Hospital Maria Pia, Maternidade Júlio Dinis)
  • Hospital Pedro Hispano - Matosinhos
  • Hospital de S. João - Porto
  • Instituto Português de Oncologia (Portuguese Institute of Oncology) - regional branches at Lisbon, Porto and Coimbra
  • Hospital of Misericórdia of Paredes (CESPU) – Paredes, Sousa Valey
  • Hospital Padre Américo – Penafiel, Vale do Sousa
  • Centro Hospitalar Médio Ave – V. N. Famalicão
  • Centro Hospitalar of Alto Ave – Fafe and Guimarães


Portugal’s excellent geographical position makes it a stopover point for many foreign airlines at airports (even for low coast air companies) all over the country:

  • Lisbon - Portela Airport - Phone: (+351) 218 413 500
  • Porto - Dr. Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport - Phone: (+351) 229 432 400
  • Faro - Faro Airport – Phone: (+351) 289 800 800
  • Funchal, Madeira - Funchal Airport - Phone: (+351) 291 520 700
  • Ponta Delgada, Azores - João Paulo II Airport - Phone: (+351) 296 205 406

ANA - Aeroportos de Portugal, SA is the Portuguese airport authority and provides departure and arrival information on www.ana.pt

TAP - Air Portugal (www.tap.pt) is the country’s "flagship" airline and has scheduled flights to more than 50 international destinations and domestic flights between Lisbon, Porto, Faro, Madeira and the Azores, and also between Madeira and Porto Santo.


CP - Comboios de Portugal (www.cp.pt) , the Portuguese railway company, offers a vast rail network covering the whole of mainland Portugal and also offers international train services to Vigo, Madrid and Paris.

There are a number of options to meet your needs:

  • The top-of-the-range "Alfa Pendular" trains offer the fastest and most comfortable rail link between Lisbon and the Algarve and, in the north, Porto or Braga, with stops in Coimbra.
  • The "Intercidades" or Intercity service covers the Lisbon-Porto-Guimarães, Lisbon-Guarda, Lisbon-Covilhã, Lisbon-Évora-Beja and Lisbon-Faro routes.
  • The international Sud-Express train and Lusitânia hotel-train leave from Lisbon.
  • There is a vast network of regional, inter-regional and suburban trains covering the whole of the country.


Portugal has a good road network composed of Highways (AE), Main Trunk Routes (IP), Complementary Trunk Routes (IC), Main (National) Roads (EN) and Secondary (Municipal) Roads.

There are two types of Highways:

  • the traditional Highways with toll booths, where payment is made either in cash or by bank card. These motorways also have a Via Verde (green channel), which is an electronic toll system that allows drivers to make the payment by bank debit and is intended for use solely by those who have an electronic device identifying their vehicle, previously acquired at one of the respective sales outlets (www.viaverde.pt)
  • and Highways that have an exclusively electronic toll system, where tolls are collected by exclusively electronic means. The electronic identification of the vehicle is made at the moment of crossing the point of collection, dispensing the physical barrier of the toll, which ensures greater speed of circulation, improved road safety and reduction of environmental impacts in terms of CO2 emissions and noise. Circulation on these roads is subject to a system of toll collection using an exclusively electronic system without the possibility of manual payment on site. All lanes with “electronic toll only” are properly identified in advance, through a signpost.


Porto's Metro 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 Oporto 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.

Visit www.metro-porto.pt 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 routes.

www.stcp.pt is the website for Porto bus information.

VALPI BUS (www2.valpi.pt) can take you to the Academic Campus of Gandra and TRANSDEV (www.transdev.pt) can take you to V. N. Famalicão.


The tram system of Porto, Portugal is operated by the Sociedade de Transportes Colectivos do Porto (STCP) and currently has three regular routes and one tourist route. All are heritage tram routes, as they use vintage tramcars exclusively. The No.1, for example, offers a really pleasant ride, as it goes through the river front all the way to Foz. To travel on the tram lines must have a card or must purchase your ticket on board that has a cost of 2.50 € per trip. The monthly signatures for STCP and Andante Gold are also valid.


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 Porto, or you may call the following numbers to have one pick you up at a certain location at a scheduled time:


  • Raditaxis: (+351) 22 507 3900
  • Taxis Invicta: (+351) 22 502 2693
  • Taxis Unidos: (+351) 22 502 9898


  • Central Táxis Famalicenses ACE: (+351) 252 311 642

CESPU offers information to international students, teachers and staff about accommodation. All of them must indicate on the application form if they want help in finding accommodation and the desired option between the three existing solutions:

  • in a private university residence (WORLD SPRU – Porto, Campanhã);
  • in a flat (sharing it with other students - Gandra or V. N. Famalicão);
  • temporary accommodation (youth hostel, other hostels, hotels).


Opened in September 2005, the University Residence WorldSpru Porto - Campanhã is installed in a modern building, designed and equipped for the purpose that has been built and is located in the most recent central area of Porto. Being around the new intermodal station in Campanhã, the Residence benefits of a privileged access to a public transportation network, and it is part of a building complex that includes offices and stores. It is a mixed residence with 195 beds, distributed by 156 individual studios, 1 individual studio adapted for handicapped people, 5 double studios and 14 T0 apartments. It has a reception, 2 living rooms (non smokers), studying room, self-service laundry, director’s office, etc.

All the information about applications procedure, deadlines, prices and conditions are is available in Portuguese and in English on the website www.spru.pt

Location and Contacts

Residência Universitária WorldSpru Porto Campanhã
Interface de Campanhã
Rua do Monte da Estação - Porta B - 4300-342 Porto

Tel. (+ 351) 225 198 700 | Fax. (+ 351) 225 104 504
E-mail: porto@spru.pt


It is nowadays more common to rent a flat and share it with other students. This is usually more comfortable, since it allows the students more freedom and flexibility, especially in terms of timetables.

In response to the students’ requests, CESPU develops complementary efforts to provide contacts for accommodation in the private sector, in the cities of Porto, Gandra and V. N. Famalicão. CESPU sends contacts of apartments, houses and rooms to the students who request it. Through this database, students may establish direct contacts with the various accommodation offers and therefore select the opportunities that suit them most.


A possible alternative is that you stay for a few days at a youth hostel or at a hotel and find suitable accommodation after your arrival. It's quite common to find flats for rent all over the city, and the prices vary according to the location or the conditions being offered. In Porto the Youth Hostel is located in Rua Paulo da Gama, 551 – 4169-006. Reservations can be made by phone (+351 22 617 72 57) or e-mail (porto@movijovem.pt).

For teachers and staff we recommend s hotels or hostels in Porto and not in the cities where CESPU Academic Campus are located, so that they can visit Porto city during their staying.


Portuguese cuisine is versatile, rich and tasty. It is based on a Mediterranean healthy diet, however with a touch of spice. Sometimes, especially in the north, traditional portuguese food can be more elaborated and somewhat heavy.

Portuguese usually have three main meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner, often with a little snack in between. Breakfast and snacks commonly consist of milk or yogurt, coffee, tea or juice, and cereals, bread or toasts, sometimes accompanied by fruit. Lunch (usually from 12:00H to 14:00H) and dinner (usually between 20:00H and 22:00H) are usually composed of three courses, which include soup, the main dish and dessert. “Caldo verde”, made of smashed potatoes, thinly chopped kale and spicy sausage slices, is one of the most frequently found soups. The most popular and traditional dishes include “bacalhau” (codfish) – we have 1001 ways of cooking codfish – and olive oil but a wide variety of fishes and many kinds of meet, along with a good range of vegetables and spices are used to prepare delicious other dishes. The meal usually ends with fresh fruit or sweet desserts. Typical pastries contain a high quantity of eggs and sugar, sometimes with almonds, cinnamon and other full-flavored ingredients.

Almost the entire Portuguese territory produces excellent wines, which are commonly drunk at the main meals. National bears are, as well, of high quality and very popular among the youngest. We usually drink black coffee, of the expresso type. If you wish to drink coffee with milk you will have to ask for a “pingo”.


Both Academic Campuses have bars and canteens where students can have lunch or dinner for lower prices. The dishes of the day offer three options: meat, fish or diet. A complete meal with bread, soup, main dish and drink costs 4 EUR. For an additional 0.50 EUR you can include dessert. For snacks you can use the bars, which run throughout the day, and the vending machines located in each of the buildings.

In the vicinity of the campuses there are several restaurants and cafes where you can have light meals, such as sandwiches and salads, and also traditional dishes.

Every student from CESPU has the opportunity to participate in several sport, cultural and recreational activities annually organized by the Students Associations: sports tournaments, academic parties, the student’s week “Queima das Fitas”, solidarity activities, cultural soirees, book fairs, among others.

We recommend reading the magazine TIME OUT PORTO, where you can find the best information about Porto City activities: culture, music, art, restaurants, shops, night, etc. You can also find information about the cities near Porto.


Gandra belongs to Paredes County, which offers wonderful landscapes as “Senhora do Salto” in “Aguiar de Sousa”. It also has a heritage that deserves your interest and your visit. Especially for leisure, Paredes has appropriate spaces, in which people can enjoy tranquility and combine it, if desirable, with culture activities and sports, including more extreme activities.


The city of V. N. de Famalicão is privileged by its excellent geographical location, being situated in the center of an intersection of roads, which put it at a distance of 20 minutes from the main urban centers of the North Country: Porto , Braga, Maia, Guimarães, Barcelos, Póvoa do Varzim, Vila do Conde, among others.



Culture House - Casa da Cultura - “Palacete da Granja”
Avenida da República
4580-193 Paredes

Paredes Municipal Library - Biblioteca Municipal de Paredes
Parque José Guilherme
4580-229 Paredes

Pavilion Rota dos Móveis
Alameda de Portugal
4580-574 Lordelo PRD
Tel.: (+351) 224 447 720

Paredes Municipal Swimming Pool
Rua do Campo das Laranjeiras
4580-058 Paredes
Tel.: (+351) 225 788 987

Paredes Sports City
Rua Central do Bairro
4580-591 Mouriz
Tel.: (+351) 225 788 816

Kartódromo (Parque Aventura VS)
Rua S. Silvestre, 760
4585-050 Baltar
Tel.: (+351) 224 119 370 | 80

City Park (Parque da Cidade de Paredes)
Castelões de Cepeda

Santiago Mountain - Serra de Santiago


House of Arts – Casa das Artes
Avenida Dr. Carlos Bacelar, Parque de Sinçães
4760-103 Vila Nova de Famalicão
Tel.: (+351) 252 371 297

Cupertino de Miranda Foundation – Fundação Cupertino de Miranda
Praça Dona Maria II, 282
4760-111 Vila Nova de Famalicão
Tel.: (+351) 252 301 650

Municipal Library Camilo Castelo Branco – Biblioteca Municipal
Avenida Dr. Carlos Bacelar - Ap. 154,
4761-925 Vila Nova de Famalicão
Tel.: (+351) 252 312 699 | Fax: (+351) 252 318 689

Municipal Swimming Pool – Piscina Municipal
Complexo Desportivo Municipal
Avenida de França – Calendário
4760-282 Vila Nova de Famalicão
Tel.: (+351) 252 315 582


  • Bom Jesus of Braga
  • Braga Cathedral
  • Sameiro Sanctuary
  • Braga Municipal Stadium


Guimarães is the born place of Portugal and Capital of Culture in 2012. Please check it on www.guimaraes2012.pt

Monuments or places to visit in this city:

  • The medieval castle, built on the site of the first fort of the 10th century.
  • Romanesque church, São Miguel do Castelo (close to the castle).
  • Church of Nossa Senhora da Oliveira, founded in the 12th century.
  • Palace of the Dukes of Bragança (first construction by XV century).
  • Medieval part of the city.