Best place to exchange money in Lisbon

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#1
Jekyll Island, Georgia
161 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
We arrive in Lisbon for a couple days before getting on our Douro River cruise in Porto. Can someone recommend the best place or area to exchange dollars for euros? Assume the airport would not get us the best exchange rate.
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#2
Nashville, Tennessee USA
1,123 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
The general consensus is that you'll get the best deal by getting cash from an ATM rather than exchanging dollars for Euros. That assumes that you have a debit/ATM card that doesn't charge exorbitant foreign transaction fees. We'll be doing the Douro next spring on Vantage. We have a card that charges $3 for a foreign transaction, so I try to do a single large withdrawal. It's generally more important on the Douro since for most cruise lines, tips must be paid in cash rather than simply charging them.
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#3
United States
527 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
Yes use an ATM. There are cards that do not change a foreign transaction fee. There are also cruise lines that have no tipping.


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#4
Toronto, Ottawa Valley ON, and Dunedin FL
14,684 Posts
Joined May 2001
I agree with others--no need to carry US cash and then change it. ATM's are the way to go, and they are everywhere, including the airport. You can also use your credit cards for most purchases, like restaurants and admissions.
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#5
Jekyll Island, Georgia
161 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
Thanks everyone. We have two cards and neither charge foreign transaction fees, although I would think any ATM would charge a fee to use it. We will need a lot of 2 Euro coins for tips as local guides and drivers are not covered in our cruise price. Hopefully we can find a money exchange that can then break down bills that we've received via an ATM. We also had a discussion with our cards customer service regarding using a pin for purchases. Neither accept a pin, only signature, but according to them, as long as their is a human involved (not a automatic kiosk, etc) we should be able to sign for anything we buy.
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#6
Nashville, Tennessee USA
1,123 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
Originally posted by twototravel
Thanks everyone. We have two cards and neither charge foreign transaction fees, although I would think any ATM would charge a fee to use it. We will need a lot of 2 Euro coins for tips as local guides and drivers are not covered in our cruise price. Hopefully we can find a money exchange that can then break down bills that we've received via an ATM. We also had a discussion with our cards customer service regarding using a pin for purchases. Neither accept a pin, only signature, but according to them, as long as their is a human involved (not a automatic kiosk, etc) we should be able to sign for anything we buy.
Just one word of caution. Be sure that you use a debit/ATM card and not a credit card. Almost all credit cards impose a LARGE cash withdrawal fee.

From one who learned the hard way...
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2015: Switzerland & the Heart of the Rhine & Moselle, Vantage River Navigator
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#7
New York
9,322 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Originally posted by twototravel
Thanks everyone. We have two cards and neither charge foreign transaction fees, although I would think any ATM would charge a fee to use it.
That's why the Schwab debit card is so great: they refund those fees.

Originally posted by twototravel
We will need a lot of 2 Euro coins for tips as local guides and drivers are not covered in our cruise price.
This is a problem with ATMs. But your hotel or ship should be able to give you some change, and small purchases lead to lots of change back.

Originally posted by twototravel
We also had a discussion with our cards customer service regarding using a pin for purchases. Neither accept a pin, only signature, but according to them, as long as their is a human involved (not a automatic kiosk, etc) we should be able to sign for anything we buy.
That is true for stores and restaurants. But we bought transit passes in Montreal this afternoon, and the kiosk required a PIN. Thankfully Barclay Arrival visa card has one and the transaction went smoothly.

Those two cards are 'priceless' for foreign travel
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