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General Information:

Capital: Lisbon
Political system: a semi-presidential republic with a prime minister (prime minister) and a head of state, a president who has the power to appoint the prime minister and other members of the government.
Population: 10.3 mil
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Official language: Portuguese

EU single emergency number: 112
National lines:
Rescue service: 112
Firemen: 112
Police: 112

Cultural differences and advice from Intercultural Communication Coach:

Portugal was founded in the 12th century and it is one of the oldest countries in Europe. Portuguese is the official language in 9 countries around the world. The Portuguese are historically known as very good sailors. It was the Portuguese who first landed on the shores of Japan, and you can even find some of the expressions in the Japanese language they brought at that time. Nothing and no one will discourage them from having coffee several times a day. Lovers of history and admirers of the UNESCO monuments will definitely enjoy themselves in Portugal.

The hierarchy in the private life of the Portuguese is expressed by respect for older family members and respect for their recommendations. Loyalty to the family has priority over everything, and it is a value that the Portuguese keep thanks to their strong Christian tradition. The Portuguese belong to the most warm-hearted nations that are open to other cultures. They are proud if someone talks about the Portuguese in connection with football and overseas discoveries. They follow the traditions of their ancestors, which are reflected in the way they spend their free time or address each other when meeting in the street.

Hierarchy in the business environment means respect for the superiors, who give clear instructions and their guidance is not questioned. Team collaboration and customer care is built for a long time and it is based on the investment in building relationships. New representatives of companies build business contacts from scratch, even though nothing has changed on the part of the companies. Managers are usually interested in the members of their team, which, in other words, also means an interest in their private lives. The Portuguese are one of the cultures that plan their future goals and pay attention to detail. Although they belong to the cultures that perceive time flexibly, they expect punctuality from their business partners. Agreements are perceived as strictly binding and change only in exceptional cases.

Recommendations for Co-operation with Colleagues from Portugal:
  • The most suitable topics for small talk are football, family and food. Small talk is part of building contacts and business relationships.
  • At the first contact, it is advisable to behave more formally and use the titles as Senhor/Senhora/Dona or university degrees such as Doutor/Enginheiro.
  • The Portuguese believe that there is a right time for everything, so it is necessary to reckon with the fact that some steps in co-operation take longer and need to be reminded.
  • Building working and collegial relationships is often linked with food.
  • In relation to their history, the Portuguese are among the great traders and they know how to defend their positions very actively during business meetings and negotiations.


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