Citizen Information and Services

Useful Information

Citizen information
Photo:  Município do PortoCC BY-NC-SA - Some Rights Reserved

​Citizens' Advice Bureaux (Lojas do cidadão)

There is a network of Citizens' Advice Bureaux (Lojas do Cidadão) in Portugal which congregate a large number of useful public and private services for national and foreign citizens and provide customer services aimed at the needs of citizens and companies.

At the Porto Citizens' Advice Bureau, the following bodies provide customer service:

The Bureau also has a Multi-service Point (Posto de Atendimento Múltiplo (PAM)) which provides information and allows users to perform various operations related to different organisations at a single customer service desk.

Any citizen who wishes to become a resident of the city Porto can make a series of one-stop inquiries at the Loja do Cidadão, thus saving time and money.

  • Loja do Cidadão (Citizens' Advice Bureau) - Porto
    Avenida Fernão Magalhães, n.º1862, 1º
    Mon-Fri: 08:30-19:30, Sat: 09:30-15:00
    Getting there:
    • Metro (stations: Estação do Dragão or Estação dos Combatentes, any line)
    • Bus – no. 300, 301, 305, 401, 402, 805 and

Local Citizens' Office (Gabinete do Munícipe)

​The Local Citizens' Office (Gabinete do Munícipe) facilitates a citizen's dealings with the Council via an Integrated Multi-channel Customer Service (Serviço de Atendimento Multicanal Integrado). It involves the centralisation/integration of the face-to-face, online and telephone channels by standardising the forms of customer service and access to information and by adopting a dual service function: that of "municipal ombudsman" (because it acts as the representative of the interests of citizens in relation to the council) and that of "central organiser" (because once situations of non-conformity or specific problems have been identified, it interacts with the various services to resolve the issues).

Besides providing customer service, through the Office Porto Council provides citizens with various support and information services which may be useful in managing a citizen's everyday affairs. These services are freely available at no cost and involve no prior requirements.

  • Serviço Municipal de Apoio ao Consumidor (SMAC) — the main aim of this service is to inform citizens about their rights as consumers, as well as to provide consumers with support and advice in conflict situations. The service is customer-specific and allows citizens to request all the information they need about the problems that may affect them as consumers, specifically in the purchase of goods and services, the signing of contracts (with, for example, telecomunications, water and electricity companies, etc.). The SMAC also mediates in consumer disputes whenever requested and if the necessary conditions exist for it to do so.
  • Serviço Municipal de Apoio ao Voluntariado (SMAV) — the central aim of this service is to create a place where those looking for somewhere to perform voluntary work (citizens) and those with existing places/needs (organisations) can be matched up. On this web page, you will find a "search engine" to help you search for opportunities to volunteer. Alternatively, you can request the help of the Local Citizens' Office (Gabinete do Munícipe), a service which although it operates essentially via the Internet, can be accessed in person too.
  • Serviço Municipal de Apoio à Reutilização dos Livros Escolares (SMARLE) — the essential aim of this service is to encourage the re-use of schoolbooks by making a space available to local people who either need them or want to share the ones they have. It operates like a “book bank” where books are donated, organised and given to those who request them.


Published 23-05-2013