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Can you drink water from fountains in Portugal?

Can You Drink Water from Fountains in Portugal?

Portugal can be a haven for tourists, with its stunning architecture, captivating history, and beautiful landscapes. But, when it comes to staying hydrated, there is often a question raised — “Can you drink water from fountains in Portugal?” It’s important to note that while one may find numerous public fountains scattered across the country, not all are safe for consumption. The quality of fountain water can vary greatly; some fountains supply tap water, which is ordinarily safe to drink, while others are fed by natural sources and may not be suitable for drinking due to potential contamination. To ensure safety, it’s always a good idea to carry bottled water or ask a local or your tour guide before drinking from a public fountain. Red signs specifically indicate whether the water is non-potable.

FAQs About Drinking Water in Portugal

Is Tap Water Safe to Drink in Portugal?

Yes, tap water in Portugal is generally considered safe to drink. It is under regulations set by ERSAR, the Water and Waste Services Regulation Authority. Nonetheless, the taste can vary greatly depending on the region, due to the treatment processes and origin of the water. Some people may find it slightly more chlorinated than the water back home. If you’re sensitive to the taste, sticking to bottled water may be a better solution, but rest assured, the tap water won’t harm your health.

Are There Drinking Fountains in Lisbon?

Yes, there are several drinking fountains throughout Lisbon. However, they are not as common as in some other European cities. It’s not uncommon to see visitors refilling their water bottles at these fountains, but as always, ensure the water is potable before consuming it. Look out for signs indicating whether the water is drinkable or not.

What Does Non-Potable Water Mean?

Non-potable water refers to water that is not suitable for human consumption. It may contain bacteria, viruses, or toxins that can cause illness. When in Portugal, or any foreign country, you will often find signs indicating whether the water source is potable (drinkable) or non-potable. These signs are typically located near public fountains. If in doubt, it’s always better to opt for bottled water or properly treated water.

How Can I Identify a Drinking Fountain in Portugal?

Typically, drinking fountains in Portugal have signs indicating whether the water is potable or non-potable. A red sign often signifies that the water is not for drinking. If there are no visible signs, we recommend checking with a local resident or your tour guide before drinking.

What Are The Best Alternatives to Fountain Water in Portugal?

Bottled water is readily available and affordable in Portugal. Water is served at nearly every café or restaurant, often with a choice between still and sparkling. You may opt for popular Portuguese brands such as Água das Pedras, Água Vitalis, or even international brands. Using a refillable bottle at your accommodation can also be a safe and environmentally friendly option.

Are There Risks in Drinking Fountain Water in Portugal?

Water from public fountains in Portugal is typically treated and should be safe to drink unless stated otherwise. However, the risk always exists, especially if the water comes from natural sources and is not regularly tested. Drinking contaminated water could result in gastrointestinal discomfort or potentially serious diseases. Therefore, it’s always safer to stick to known potable water sources.

Can I Cook with Tap Water in Portugal?

Yes, tap water in Portugal is safe not only for drinking but also for cooking. It’s perfectly fine to use it for boiling pasta, making soup, or washing fruits and vegetables. However, if you’re sensitive to the taste, you may opt for filtered or bottled water for cooking as well.

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