Why Tourists can drink tap water in Portugal

Can you drink tap water in Portugal? Tap water in Portugal is generally drinkable – in some regions, the tap water is even of a particularly high quality. This is mainly due to the fact that Portugal, as a member of the EU, must adhere to the EU’s general requirements for tap water quality.

Nevertheless, there are some regions in Portugal where the tap water is more strongly chlorinated.

Source and origin of the tap water in Portugal

The majority of tap water in Portugal comes from surface waters such as rivers and lakes, as well as water reservoirs created specifically for tap water.

A smaller portion, in turn, comes from the country’s groundwater reservoirs. Where the tap water in Portugal comes from, however, ultimately also depends on the respective region of the country.

The tap water is always treated by the local waterworks in accordance with the EU requirements for tap water quality. Pollutants such as heavy metals can therefore be ruled out in tap water.

Tap water is heavily chlorinated in some Portuguese regions

Especially in the hot summer months, some regions of the country may experience impurities in tap water. These can take the form of bacteria and germs, which are related to the high temperatures.

In addition, there are a few regions in which the quality of the water is somewhat poorer – primarily this is the case in coastal regions or on islands.

Therefore, in Portugal there are basically regions with a higher content of chlorine in the tap water. The chlorine is present to kill the bacteria and germs. For the human body, however, the chlorine content in tap water in Portugal is harmless.

By the way, the most famous cities in Portugal are Lisbon, Porto, Vila Nova de Gaia, Amadora, Brage, Funchal, Coimbra, Setubal, Almada, Agualva-Cacem, Queluz and Rio Tinto.

Is water from fountains drinkable in Portugal?

Most fountains in Portugal do not carry drinking water, so it is not possible to fill up your water bottle at them. If you do this anyway, you are taking a big health risk.

However, there are some drinking water fountains in Portugal, which have been placed in public in the form of small taps. These can be found all over Portugal, but mainly in the tourist areas.

The public drinking water sources are supplied with tap water – and thus with water in drinking water quality.

Quality of tap water in hotels and accommodations

The quality of tap water in hotels and accommodations in Portugal is usually similar to that in private households: Therefore, it is not a problem to drink the tap water in most hotels and accommodations.

Only in old hotels and accommodations should care be taken: The quality of the tap water may well be worse here if the water pipes have not been adequately maintained.

Therefore, if in doubt, always ask how good the water quality actually is.

Bathing Water Quality in Portugal

The quality of bathing water in Portugal is usually high – as long as bathing is done in private households or hotels and accommodations. Here, the bathing water is the regular tap water.

In public bathing areas, however, it is important not to swallow the water because of the high chlorine content.

Where does it make sense to treat tap water in Portugal?

The treatment of tap water makes sense in the regions of Portugal where the chlorine content is higher.

With a reverse osmosis filter, the excess chlorine can be filtered out of the tap water, so that the tap water has a good taste again.
Cost of bottled drinking water in Portugal

If you don’t want to drink the tap water in Portugal or want to buy bottled drinking water from the supermarket for another reason, you can get it for a reasonable price: on average, a 1.5 liter water bottle costs €0.58 in Portugal.