Portugal uses 230V, 50Hz with sockets and plugs Type C and Type F.
Sockets/plugs in Portugal are completely different than in United States so you will need an adapter. You can buy one from Amazon which supports wide variety of sockets/plugs, not just the ones for Portugal.
Frequency difference (60 Hz in United States vs 50 Hz in Portugal) is generally not a problem - almost all items (except some types of clocks) will work on both and you shouldn't worry about it.
Although Portugal uses 230V (which is different voltage than in United States) you probably won't need a transformer/converter if you use recent devices and appliances because they all work worldwide automatically.
However, to make sure you don't need one - use the Device type guide to determine the type of your device. If you have a single-voltage device rated at 120V you will need a transformer transformer/converter. Click here to find out which one you need. If you don't have such device - congratulations, you are good to go with just an adapter.
Devices can be single-voltage, dual-voltage and multi-voltage.
These devices support only 100V, 110V or 230V. Single-voltage devices require a converter/transformer if used in country with different voltage than stated on the label. Quite rare today. Usually reserved for cheaper old appliances.
These devices support both 110V and 230V or 100V and 230V but usually require you to manually flip the switch to use the proper voltage. Sample appliances are hair dryers, steam irons, hair irons, electric toothbrushes, etc. Not switching a dual-voltage device to the proper voltage before you use it can result in severe damage of the appliance.
These devices support a range of voltages from 100 to 240V. Multi-voltage devices will work worldwide automatically. Most of today's electronics (laptops, phone chargers etc.) are multi-voltage.
To find out what is your type of device search for the label on the device (or the plug of the device) which starts with word "INPUT". It's usually in small print.
100-240V, 50/60 Hzthe device is multi-voltage
110V/240V, 50/60 Hzthe device is dual-voltage
110V, 50 Hzor
240V, 60 Hzthe device is single-voltage
In short - if you have at least one single-voltage electronic device rated at 110V (computers, printers, microwaves, battery charging etc. anything with a chip) or you will connect devices rated at higher-voltage to lower-voltage socket you must use the transformer, otherwise use the converter. Transformers are heavier, bulkier and more expensive, while converters are lighter, simpler and cheaper.
More common scenario, if you will only connect single-voltage electric devices (hair dryers, steam irons, shavers, toothbrushes etc. any heating device or something with motors) rated at lower-voltage than the socket (such as US device in UK) you can use just the converter. Converters are not designed for “continuous duty” and should only be used for short periods of time (1 to 2 hours) and must be unplugged from the wall when not in use. Pay attention to wattage requirements.
Unusual scenario can occur due to majority of today's electronics being multi-voltage, however, if you will connect single-voltage electronic devices rated at 110V (computers, printers, microwaves, battery charging etc. anything with a chip) you must use the transformer.
There are two different types of transformers: step-up and step-down. Usually, they are combined within single transformer. Step-up is used when you will plug higher-voltage device into lower-voltage socket (such as UK device into US socket). Step-down is used when you will plug lower-voltage device into higher-voltage socket (such as US device into UK socket).
In this case, you would need a step-down transformer because you will be plugging lower-voltage device (120V, United States) into higher-voltage socket (230V, Portugal). That being said, both transformers below are step-up & step-down in single package. Pay attention to wattage requirements.
When buying transformer/converter, pay attention to wattage (power rating) requirements. Wattage of the transformer/converter must be at about 25% higher then the appliance's voltage. You can find out the appliance wattage by reading it on the device itself (search for
W unit). Take a look at the guidelines for the common wattage requirements:
100W- small fans, printers
300W- TVs, electric blankets, refrigerators, desktop computers
500W- blenders, projectors
1000W- small heaters
1600-2000W- hair dryers, dishwashers, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, toasters, deep-frying pans, irons, grills, coffee makers
3000W- tumble dryers, air-conditioners
Sometimes the label will only state voltage and amperage and in that case just multiply those numbers together to get the wattage (ex.
230V * 2A = 460W). If the amperage is in
mA (miliamps), divide the number by 1,000 to get the