Voltage & Electricity supply

The electrical supply in Portugal is 220-230 Volts so electrical appliances that work in the UK can also be used in Portugal. However, the electrical socket differs so, if you are visiting temporarily and simply want to continue to use your appliance, then you need only to buy an adaptor. Make sure that if your appliance requires to be earthed and has a UK 3 pin plug that the adaptor also has 3 pins with an earth connection. On looking at the adaptor this may not be immediately apparent as in Portugal there are two earth pins recessed at 90º to the two protruding pins.


If you are intending to live in Portugal then you should change all the plugs on your appliances making sure that you fit suitable earthed plugs if the appliance previously had a UK 3 pin plug.

Note that plugs in Portugal do not have fuses inside. If there is a problem then the circuit breaker in the main switch box will trip. It is also not uncommon to experience total loss of electricity because too many appliances are being used at the same time. This should not happen but there are still many properties in Portugal where the electrical installation is not to the same standard as you will have experienced in the UK. Also, loss of electricity due to problems with the Electricity Board is still not uncommon in Portugal as the infrastructure is still developing.

Bear in mind that the electricity supply in Portugal is prone to electrical “spikes”. These “spikes” are electrical surges that increase the voltage astronomically for microseconds and will destroy any electronic equipment such as TV, computer, fax machine etc. even if the equipment is switched off. It is therefore strongly advised that you fit a Surge Protector to all equipment that uses electronic circuits.

Finally, remember that electricity is expensive in Portugal (as are all utilities). If you are renting and the arrangement is that you pay for the electricity that you consume, please bear this in mind as otherwise you may be shocked when you have to settle your bill on leaving.

Warning: 220 volts is almost as high as in the UK and electric shocks from such a high voltage can result in death. Do not rewire or interfere with the electical supply or appliances in your holiday residence.