Can you drink tap water in Portugal? | The Sun

PORTUGAL is a popular European destination for those heading on holiday or looking to relocate.

But can you drink tap water whilst there? Here's everything you need to know.

Can you drink tap water in Portugal?

The good news is that you are able to drink tap water in Portugal.

Tourists splash out on food and drink – but sometimes it's nice to just sit down with a refreshing glass of cold tap water.

You may find that the taste is not as great as water back home in UK, but that does not mean it is any less safe to drink.

The taste will have been affected by chlorination and minerals, making it taste different to the water you are used to drinking back home.

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Many locals opt to buy bottled water when out due to both the taste and cost.

Water which contains a detectable amount of chlorine and hard water, might taste bad but still be safe to drink.

For those living in Portugal, the taste of the water can be vastly improved with a high quality water filter.

When dining out, restaurants will offer bottled water, but it is OK to ask for free tap water.

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Restaurants will serve it in a jar – but if you do order bottled water all places are obliged to use glass bottles instead of plastic.

If you’re new to the area, you can find out more information about the water quality by asking locals and restaurant employees.

How clean is the tap water in Portugal? 

Tap water in Portugal is clean and meets all EU safety standards.

It therefore complies with international water quality standards.

However, during the First and Second World Wars water did become contaminated and many British and American soldiers complained about it being undrinkable.

From that point, many believed (and continue to believe) that water from places like Portugal, Spain and France is unsafe to drink.

There is also the view that just because something tastes bad, it is bad to consume when that might not be true.

Portugal regularly publishes test results on drinking water, letting residents and tourists alike know it is safe to consume.

Why can you not drink tap water in some countries?

You will discover that in some countries tap water is not safe to drink.

This is because it might have been contaminated with bacteria, nitrates, lead, fluoride, arsenic or even radium.

These would be dangerous to your health and that’s why it is best being avoided.

It could also be the case that in some places tap water is unsafe for tourists to drink as their body has not built up a tolerance to impurities in the same way that locals would have done.

It is therefore best to refrain from drinking water there.

To avoid encountering any water woes, play it safe and make simple switches such as asking for bottled soft drinks rather than a jug of water to accompany a meal.

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Also, consider asking for drinks with no ice and steer clear of washed salads.

Most countries in Western Europe have tap water that is safe for all to drink whether that be tourists or residents.

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