The currency used in Portugal is the Euro, as in most other countries of the European Union (Spain, France, Luxembourg, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Belgium, Holland, Finland, Austria and Greece). One of the advantages of having a single currency is that you do not have to change any money because you can use the Euro in all of these countries.
There are eight coins: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents and 1 and 2 Euros. All coins have one side that is common to all twelve countries, whilst the other side differs from country to country. The Euro is divided into 100 cents. There are seven banknotes. The front and back of each note is the same for all twelve participating countries: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 Euros.
Credit and Debit cards
Most Algarve shops and businesses accept credit cards: Visa, Amex, Eurocard, Euro-Cheque, Diners Club and MasterCard. They also accept Portuguese debit cards. There are a lot of ATM’s (automatic cash machines) all over the Algarve. These cash machines are identified with the “MB” abbreviation (it means in English Multi-Bank).
- In Portugal, the national side of the Euro coins displays the royal seal of Dom Afonso Henriques.
- The seven periods of European architectural history are represented on the banknotes. The bridges symbolize the dynamics of cooperation and communication, whilst the gateways symbolize the European spirit of openness.
- Each banknote has a dominant color for easy identification.
- The larger the banknote’s value the greater its size.