Yes, you can shop at Amazon from Portugal. Amazon doesn’t have a warehouse in Portugal so you’ll have to shop at one of the Amazon stores in another country (for example Amazon UK, Spain, or Germany).
Which Amazon should you shop at? Generally speaking, Amazon.es (Amazon Spain) is the best option for several reasons:
- It offers free shipping for orders over €29 (or €19 for books)
- It’s generally faster than ordering from Amazon Germany or France
- Amazon Prime is available through Amazon Spain
- It’s available in Portuguese
The second best option is Amazon.de (Amazon Germany). The products are sometimes cheaper here, but you will typically need to pay for postage and, due to the distance, it’s likely to take a day or two longer than Amazon Spain. In theory anyway: sometimes Amazon Germany is faster, often depending on the courier you’re assigned. If you’re buying an expensive item, it can be worth comparing Amazon Spain and Amazon Germany.
There are other European Amazons, like Amazon France and Amazon Italy. Generally speaking, they’re no cheaper than Amazon Spain or Germany but it’s sometimes worth comparing.
Amazon UK and Amazon US are usually best avoided due to the import charges that go with ordering from outside of the EU. Sometimes you need to order from one of these sites—English language books, especially old or secondhand books, can be hard to find on the other Amazon sites—but it’s usually best to stick to an EU version of Amazon.
Getting orders delivered
Delivery issues are, unfortunately, common in Portugal. This is typically a problem with the courier rather than Amazon and varies depending on where in Portugal you are.
If your apartment is on the top floor, you may have issues getting your packages delivered. This is especially true if you don’t have an elevator in your building.
Basically, some delivery people won’t climb five flights of stairs.
- Get your order delivered somewhere else
- Run downstairs to meet them as soon as they buzz (if they know you’ll come down, they’re more likely to deliver).
Houses in the countryside
Many houses in the countryside have a postbox near their house rather than at their house and, because they’re not big enough to take a package, this means that couriers are unable to deliver orders from Amazon and other online shops.
- Add your (Portuguese) phone number to the address, so they can phone you if they get lost. Make sure you know how to give directions in Portuguese or be willing to go meet them.
- If you’re sending via a courier, it may be better to not put the CP box number on the address and just wait for them to phone.
- If you can get it sent somewhere else, such as an office or a shop, get it sent there instead.
- Make friends with your courier drivers.
- Put a note on your mailbox with your real address.
- If you’re in the Algarve, shop at Amazon UK and get it to the UK address of one of the following companies. Then pick it up from their Algarve depot: Algarve Express (Depot in Almancil), Algarve Removals (Depot in Alcantarilha, Almancil, and Tavira), Direct Transport (Depot in Porches).
Amazon Lockers don’t exist in Portugal. If you make friends with a café or shop, they may be willing to receive orders on your behalf and, as they’re on the ground floor they’re more likely to be delivered. Another option is to use Bounce to get a business to receive your order on your behalf.
Delivery to Madeira & The Azores
Unfortunately, some sellers won’t ship to the Portuguese islands even though they ship to mainland Portugal. There’s no real solution here other than to look for a seller that does.
Many people are concerned about Amazon’s reported ethics or just want to shop at a Portuguese company. Unfortunately, there really isn’t an alternative to Amazon, particularly in Portugal.
Some shops are good for certain things. For example PCComponentes.pt & PCDiga.com which both specialise in PC parts, that are worth looking at and comparing to Amazon. Staples.pt is good for office supplies and furniture
In terms of Portuguese companies, Fnac and Worten are probably the two biggest companies that could compare but they only cover certain products like appliances and some electronics. Supermarkets like Jumbo (Auchan) or Continente can often be worth looking at but, again, that’s only for certain products.
Ebay is one alternative if you’re just looking for choice and, if you’re willing to take your chances or second-hand or almost second-hand products, OLX, the Portuguese equivalent of Craigslist or Gumtree, is worth examining.
Will Amazon deliver to a hotel, Airbnb, or campsite?
It is possible to get an Amazon order sent to a hotel, although it’s a good idea to ask the hotel first. Normally they always say yes.
Tip: If you haven’t actually booked the hotel yet, choose one with a reception so there’s someone there to sign for your delivery.
You can also get Amazon orders sent to an Airbnb but, unless you’re staying in the Airbnb long-term, this can be a little trickier as there isn’t going to be a reception desk. It’s also polite to ask the Airbnb host beforehand.
For those that are travelling in a motorhome, you can get orders sent to a campsite in the same way as you would get them sent to a hotel.
If you order from Amazon Spain a lot, Prime can be worth it. Amazon Prime (Spain) gives you free one-day delivery on many items to Portugal.
When is Amazon coming to Portugal?
Amazon is coming to Portugal and, as of 2018, it has announced that it will be opening up warehouses near Porto. Unfortunately, there haven’t been any recent announcements so nobody knows when this will happen. Well, Jeff Bezos probably does but nobody outside of Amazon’s team really knows.