The Top Free Apps for Travelers to Portugal
Best Expat Mobile Apps
Whether you’re moving to Portugal, visiting on a scouting trip, or taking a vacation, things can get confusing in a foreign country. And frustrating. Knowing which train to take, how to order take-away, making a dinner reservation, or getting a ride to your favorite beach or museum can be less of a challenge if you have the right tools at your disposal. Here’s my list of the best free expat mobile apps for travelers and new residents to Portugal for Android and iOS mobile phones. There are other useful apps that you can pay for, but the apps listed here are free.
I have listed the apps according to their function. Although this list is for living in or traveling to Portugal, many can also be used for other travel destinations.
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Idealista – Idealista is a real estate portal for Portugal, Italy, and Spain. The app lets you find properties for sale or rent. You can create alerts for new listings in specific areas and you can contact realtors via the chat function. Note that listings can sometimes be outdated, and you may see multiple entries and prices for the same listing.
Download the app for Android
Download the app for iOS
Booking.com – The Booking.com app lets you book accommodations like hotels, guest houses, hostels, and apartments. Although not intended for long-term rentals, if you need a place to stay while scouting or visiting Portugal, this is a reliable app that I’ve personally used.
Download the app for Android and iOS
MB Way – This is a digital wallet app connected to all the major Portuguese banks. It allows users to make purchases online or in-store. You can make remote withdrawals or instant transfers using the app and your MB Way pin on your mobile device.
Download MB Way for Android
Download MB Way for iOS
CALLING AND TEXTING
WhatsApp – When you’re visiting or moving to another country, WhatsApp is an essential tool for calls, texts and even video calls. You can communicate with anyone who uses the app anywhere in the world. All you need is cellphone data or an internet connection to use it.
Download WhatsApp for Android
Download WhatsApp for iOS
CAR, BIKE AND SCOOTER RENTALS
Gira Bicicletas de Lisboa – If you’re living in or visiting the Lisbon area, this bike-sharing app lets you select the type of pass you prefer – daily, monthly, or annually. The app shows you where the bike stations are located throughout the city.
Download Gira for Android
Download Gira for iOS
Lime – Located in major metropolitan areas across the globe, Lime is the electric scooter and bike sharing app.
Download Lime for Android
Download Lime for iOS
RentalCars.com – A subsidiary of Booking.com, this app lets you find rental cars and compare prices. You can rent from the app and when you pick up your rental car, your eVoucher proves that you have paid for the rental.
Download RentalCars for Android
Download RentalCars for iOS
Google Maps – When you need to find your way around the city or just around the block, Google Maps is the go-to app for directions – be it directions for walking, driving, or riding on public transport.
Download Google Maps for Android
Download Google Maps for iOS
Waze – Waze is also another popular and reliable app for getting directions plus real-time alerts for traffic, accidents, and road construction.
Download Waze for Android
Download Waze for iOS
All Trails – Looking to do some hiking, climbing, running or mountain biking in Portugal? This app helps you find the best trails tailored to your needs – challenging, easy, stroller-friendly, wheelchair accessible, or even if your dog can accompany you.
Download All Trails for Android
Download All Trails for iOS
Info Praia – This app, developed by the Portuguese Environmental Agency provides updated information about beaches during bathing season. Find your favorite beach in Portugal based on name of beach, location, or the type of beach. You can search for uncrowded beaches or beaches located near you. (In English and Portuguese)
Download Info Praia for Android
Download Info Praia for iOS
Seek by iNaturalist – Using image recognition technology, this app lets you point the Seek camera at plants and animals all around you. It helps you to identify things in nature such as birds, animals, plants all over the world. It’s a great app if you want to learn about the natural beauty of Portugal.
Download Seek for Android
Download Seek for iOS
SmartGuide – This app turns your mobile phone into a personal audio tour guide. Includes self-guided tours, audio traveler guides, city offline maps and tips for finding the best places to go sightseeing. The app covers places worldwide including Portugal.
Download SmartGuide for Android
Download SmartGuide for iOS
Walkbox – is a self-guided walking tour app for Portugal. There are several tours for many areas of the country.
Download Walkbox for Android
Download Walkbox for iOS
FOOD AND GROCERY DELIVERY
Order groceries and food for take-away from many establishments throughout Portugal using one or more of these popular food delivery apps:
Download Bolt Food for Android
Download Bolt Food for iOS
Download Glovo for Android
Download Glovo for iOS
Download Ubereats for Android
Download Ubereats for iOS
SNS 24 – Keep your health information all in one place with this app developed by the Portugal Ministry of Health. Access your vaccination records, exams, and other health information.
Download SNS 24 for Android
Download SNS 24 for iOS
If you haven’t learned the lingo yet, no worries! These two language translation apps can help you communicate in several languages.
DeepL – This translation tool, developed by a former Google employee, produces a more naturally worded text than Google Translate. The app also has a voice playback function, and you can also translate documents. This is the language translation app I prefer to use, and it’s helped me out of language barrier problems numerous times. It’s also available for desktop use.
Download DeepL for Android
Download DeepL for iOS
Google Translate – This is the most well-known translation app. It allows you to translate text, photos, and handwriting in over 100 different languages. Use the microphone function on the app to speak into the translation tool.
Download Google Translate for Android
Download Google Translate for iOS
There are numerous money transfer services, but two of the most popular money transfer apps are:
Revolut – This money transfer app offers services including currency exchange, Visa debit cards, airport lounge access, Apple Pay, and a host of other financial services such as stock trading and crypto.
Download Revolut for Android
Download Revolut for iOS
Wise (formerly known as Transferwise) – This money transfer app lets you send and receive money internationally at cheap rates. Their rates are clearly posted on the transaction page and the functionality of the app makes it easy to use, even for a novice user. Use the Wise debit card to pay bills or shop always using the local currency for more than 80 countries in the world.
Download Wise for Android
Download Wise for iOS
NETWORKING AND SOCIALIZING
InterNations – InterNations is global network for people living and working abroad. Network, socialize, and attend events. You can become a member of InterNations for free, but many events require you to be a paid member.
Download InterNations for Android
Download InterNations for iOS
Citymapper – This app is for public transportation and mapping and includes other modes of transportation including walking, driving, and cycling. The app displays transport options between any two locations in the cities the app supports.
Download Citymapper for Android
Download Citymapper for iOS
Comboios de Portugal (CP) – Purchase train tickets and view schedules for the Alfa Pendular or Intercidades on Regional, InterRegional, Porto, and Coimbra urban trains.
Download CP for Android
Download CP for iOS
Lisbon Metro Guide – This app helps you navigate around Lisbon via the Metro and Subway.
Download Lisbon Metro Guide for Android
Download Lisbon Metro Guide for iOS
MobiCascais – This app integrates all the public transportation services in Cascais including buses, parking, and shared bikes. You can purchase tickets and reload your Viver Cascais or Navegente card on the app.
Download MobiCascais for Android
Download MobiCascais for iOS
Moovit – This app is a real-time public transit app for several areas of Portugal including Lisbon, Porto, and parts of the Algarve. You can plan your travel route including navigation for buses, ferries, metro, trains, trams, shared bikes, walking, rideshare and scooters.
Download Moovit for Android
Download Moovit for iOS
ScottURB – This app is for bus travel to Cascais, Sintra, and Oeiras. You can view bus schedules and purchase tickets.
Download ScottURB for Android
Download ScottURB for iOS
Vamos Algarve – This app gives the user the ability to plan and choose the best bus routes and to purchase tickets for buses in the Algarve region of Portugal.
Download Vamos Algarve for Android
Download Vamos Algarve for iOS
Via Verde – This app is for the Via Verde electronic toll payment transponder which allows drivers (visitors and residents alike) to drive through designated toll booths without having to stop to pay the toll.
Download Via Verde for Android
Download Via Verde for iOS
RESTAURANT RESERVATIONS AND REVIEWS
Restaurant Guru – Looking for a great place to eat in Portugal? This app provides complete information on restaurants in your area including reviews, photos, and menus. Ratings are compiled by popular restaurant review sites including Zomato, Yelp, Facebook, Google, Michelin, Frommer’s and Zagat.
Download Restaurant Guru for Android
Download Restaurant Guru for iOS
The Fork – This app is the most popular app in Europe for booking a restaurant online. Sort by location, cuisine, and price.
Download The Fork for Android
Download The Fork for iOS
TAXI AND RIDESHARE
Bolt – The app allows you to book a rideshare and works the same way as Uber. Choose your destination and request a ride. Add your payment information into the app and your ride payment is automatically deducted, so there’s no need to use a credit card or cash. Many expats and locals alike prefer using Bolt to other rideshare services because they’re usually faster and cheaper especially around the urban areas of Portugal.
Download Bolt for Android
Download Bolt for iOS
FreeNow – is an app that allows riders to book a taxi in ten European countries including Portugal. Like Uber, you add your payment information into the app and your ride payment is automatically deducted, so there’s no need to use a credit card or cash. Taxi drivers use FreeNow when they’re - you know – free now.
Download FreeNow for Android
Download FreeNow for iOS
Uber – Arguably the most popular rideshare, Uber is widely used in Portugal. We have used Uber to take us to Cascais city center, to many parts of Lisbon and in Coimbra. Choose your destination and connect with a driver. On the app, you can add your payment information and your ride is automatically deducted, so there’s no need to use a credit card or cash.
Download Uber for Android
Download Uber for iOS
WEATHER AND FIRES
Fogos – The app from Fogos.pt alerts you to fires in Portugal in real time. You can set alerts to receive notifications of a fire in your area.
Download Fogos for Android
Download Fogos for iOS
The Portuguese Institute for Sea and Atmosphere (IMPA) - monitors weather and weather events as well as seismic occurrences, beaches and ports, and marine forecasts. The app provides alerts for weather and sea status information for over 300 cities in Portugal.
Download IMPA for Android
Download IMPA for iOS
WiFi Finder - If you’re new to Portugal or just visiting, you may not have access to Wi-Fi right away. This app will show you the nearest Wi-Fi hotspots.
Download WiFi Finder for Android
Download WiFi Finder for iOS
Did I miss anything? Do you have a favorite free app for expats and travelers to Portugal? Leave a comment and tell me about it.
Until next time…
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