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Driving in Braga

Driving in a new country can be daunting. These tips offer insight into what to expect when driving in Braga.
|-Driving in Braga

1. Understanding the Driving Culture

Driving in Braga, like most parts of Portugal, can be a bit challenging for newcomers. Portuguese drivers are known for their aggressive driving style, so it’s important to stay alert and cautious. Roundabouts are common and can be confusing for those not used to them. Also, be aware that the speed limit is strictly enforced, and there are many speed cameras around the city.

2. Choosing the Right Car

Compact cars are recommended for driving in Braga due to the narrow streets and limited parking spaces. Smaller cars are easier to maneuver and park. Manual transmission cars are more common in Portugal, but automatic cars are also available if you prefer.

3. Parking in Braga

Finding parking in Braga can be difficult, especially in the city center. Most parking spaces are metered, and the cost can add up quickly. However, there are also several parking garages available. It’s advisable to familiarize yourself with the parking rules to avoid fines.

4. Driving with an International License

Foreigners can drive in Portugal with an international driving permit (IDP) for up to six months. After that, you will need to obtain a Portuguese driver’s license. It’s important to always carry your IDP and your home country’s driver’s license when driving.

5. Obtaining a Portuguese Driver’s License

If you’re planning to stay in Portugal for more than six months, you’ll need to exchange your foreign driver’s license for a Portuguese one. This process involves a medical examination and, in some cases, a driving test. It’s advisable to start this process as soon as possible after your arrival in Portugal.

6. Familiarize Yourself with Local Traffic Laws

Portugal has strict traffic laws, and violations can result in heavy fines. For example, using a mobile phone while driving is prohibited, and seat belts are mandatory for all passengers. Also, be aware that Portugal has a high rate of alcohol-related accidents, so never drink and drive.

7. Consider Public Transportation

If you find driving in Braga too stressful, consider using public transportation. The city has a good network of buses, and taxis are also readily available. Plus, walking or biking is a great way to explore the city and get to know the local culture.

Joshua WoodJoshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

Additional Information:

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