How do I use a curling iron in Portugal?

Travelling abroad? A straightforward guide for those travelling to Portugal and bringing their curling iron.

Portuguese power outlet

Summary

Check your curling iron can work in Portugal:

  • If your curling iron can run on 230 volts or can support dual voltage (how to tell) then you will only need to use the right power adapter listed below if the plug on your curling iron won't fit.

If not then:

  • Use a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] - you may still need the right power adapter for Portugal however these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for travel.
  • Use a power converter [7] (or voltage transformer) - this will enable you to use your existing curling iron and other applicances with a 230 volt Portuguese power outlet, however this is noticeably heavier, bulkier and more expensive than a dedicated travel curling iron. A voltage transformer changes the voltage but won't change the shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit in the power outlet used in Portugal, therefore check that the voltage transformer comes with the right power adapter for Portugal otherwise you will still need to bring another power adapter. Note - your existing curling iron might not be suited for travel and you risk damage in a suitcase.

Warning: If your curling iron won't handle 230 volts you run the risk of blowing a fuse, damage to your curling iron or even an electrical fire hazard. Prior to using your curling iron in Portugal read the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using a curling iron in Portugal

How can I use my American curling iron in Portugal?

The instructions on this page assume that you're an America reader travelling to Portugal and provide advice on using your American curling iron with a Portuguese power outlet.

Will my curling iron work in Portugal?

This depends on if your curling iron is designed to handle the 230 volts which are used in Portugal. If you're using either a dual voltage curling iron or your curling iron is designed to handle 230 volts and you have the appropriate power adapter then you should be able to use the curling iron in Portugal. If not then then you will need to consider bringing either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or a heavier and more expensive power converter [7]. Read our section on do you need a power converter to use your domestic curling iron for help deciding which option is more suitable.

Portugal power outlets

What voltage is used in Portugal?

Power outlets in Portugal are 230 volts.

What electrical frequency is used with a Portuguese power outlet?

The frequency of the alternating current found in a Portuguese power outlet is 50Hz.

Which power adapter will you need to bring for using a curling iron in Portugal?

Type C and F power outlets

Which power adapter will you need to bring for using a curling iron in Portugal?

There are two different types of power outlets used in Portugal, these are type F and C with the primary power outlets being type F:

  • Plug Type C - You can identify this power outlet by 2 round adjacent holes where the twin pins slide into.
  • Plug Type F - You can identify this power outlet by two 4.8mm round adjacent holes where the twin pins slide into along with grounding clips on the top and bottom.

A suitable power adapter to bring for using a 230 volt curling iron in Portugal is a Type F power adapter [6]; read the simple guide below for full details of how to use a curling iron in Portugal. Please note that unless you that have a dual voltage curling iron you will need to see if you need to bring a voltage converter.

Dual voltage curling irons

Is my curling iron dual voltage?

The way to tell if your curling iron supports dual voltage is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the handle or the plug of your curling iron. This location might depend on the make and model of your curling iron, it should also be written on the box or in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage curling irons will change automatically but other irons will feature a button which allows you to change between different voltages depending on which country you are visiting.

  • Single voltage might say a specific number - such as 110V. If this number matches the 230 volts used in Portugal then you should be able to use your curling iron with a Portuguese power outlet.
  • Single voltage might also have a small voltage range with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 100-120V. If the 230 volts used in a Portuguese power outlet falls within the range shown on your curling iron then you can use it in Portugal.
  • Dual voltage will say a large voltage range separated with a slash - such as 100/240V. Your curling iron will be capable of being used in Portugal or any other country if these numbers are shown.

Travelling to Portugal with a curling iron

Can I carry on a curling iron in my hand luggage?

According to the TSA guidelines for curling irons [10] there are no restrictions when carrying a mains powered curling iron in your carry on luggage through airport security in the United States. The TSA also recommends that you should verify that the airline who is flying you to Portugal will allow a curling iron onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the aircraft.

Packing your curling irons in a dedicated heat resistant protective hot tools travel case [11] leaves it easily accessible for airport security, it can be packed away quickly and will avoid a tangle of power wires in your carry on luggage (the TSA recommends wrapping wires tightly around electronic items). If you do intend to bring fragile or expensive curling irons in your hand held luggage then it is advisable to use hard carry on luggage as this provides the greatest protection against knocks and drops during transit.

Power converters for Portugal

Will a voltage converter work with a curling iron in Portugal?

The correct type voltage transformer [7] (or power converter) will allow a curling iron using a different voltage to work using a 230 volt power outlet used in Portugal. Travellers who want to use their own domestic curling iron can use a power converter, however it can be a lot less expensive to buy a dedicated dual voltage travel curling iron [2] than it is to buy a power converter. In addition, a travel curling iron can be noticeably lighter and smaller than a power converter making a travel curling iron more suited for packing.

What is the difference between a power adapter and a power converter?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a power adapter and a power converter?

A small, cheap and lightweight power adapter [12] (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit into a power outlet found in Portugal, but a more expensive and heavier power converter [7] will convert the voltage of 230 volts from a Portuguese power outlet to work with a non-230 volt curling iron.

Travelling to Portugal with a curling iron

Is it safe to bring my curling iron to Portugal?

It is preferable to bring a dual voltage curling iron rather than bringing your existing domestic curling iron to Portugal as it ensures that it will work with the 230 volt power outlets used with a Portuguese power outlet, as long as you use the correct power adapter for Portugal. Be aware that bringing expensive domestic curling iron could place it at risk because of potential loss or damage in your check in suitcase by an airport baggage handler. The inconvenience and costs of replacing or repairing an expensive specialised curling iron in Portugal could be more than purchasing a cheap dual voltage travel curling iron [2] before setting off. If you intend to bring your own curling iron in your suitcase either slide it inside a boot or sneaker to protect from light knocks, alternatively use a shockproof and heat resistant hot tools travel case [11] which will also allow the curling iron to be transported right after use without risk of burning.

How to use a curling iron in Portugal using a type C power adapter

How to use your curling iron in Portugal with a Type C power charger.

  1. Please make sure that the curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or is compatible with a 230 volt power supply - but if it doesn't then do not continue as you could create an electrical fire hazard, damage your iron or blow a fuse. Before using a travel curling iron which can toggle between different voltages ensure the switch is set to the 230 volt setting for use in Portugal; refer to the instructions for more details on where this switch is located.
  2. You will need to bring a Type C plug adapter [4] if the type of plug on your curling iron isn't the same shape as the plug outlet used in Portugal. This power adapter will convert plugs on appliances from other countries for use with an electrical outlet in Portugal by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the curling iron to work with a 230 volt supply.
  3. Begin by inserting the Type C plug adapter in the wall outlet. You can identify this power supply by 2 round adjacent holes where the twin pins slide into.
  4. Plug in your curling iron into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Portuguese power outlet.
  6. You can now turn on the curling iron for use in Portugal.
How to use a curling iron in Portugal using a type C power adapter

How to use a curling iron in Portugal using a type F power adapter

How to use your curling iron in Portugal with a Type F power charger.

  1. Please make sure that the curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or is compatible with a 230 volt power supply - but if it doesn't then do not continue as you could create an electrical fire hazard, damage your iron or blow a fuse. Before using a travel curling iron which can toggle between different voltages ensure the switch is set to the 230 volt setting for use in Portugal; refer to the instructions for more details on where this switch is located.
  2. You will need to bring a Type F plug adapter [6] if the type of plug on your curling iron isn't the same shape as the plug outlet used in Portugal. This power adapter will convert plugs on appliances from other countries for use with an electrical outlet in Portugal by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the curling iron to work with a 230 volt supply.
  3. Begin by inserting the Type F plug adapter in the wall outlet. You can identify this wall supply by two adjacent holes and grounding clips on the top and bottom.
  4. Plug in your curling iron into the Type F plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Portuguese power outlet.
  6. The curling iron can now be used in Portugal.
How to use a curling iron in Portugal using a type F power adapter

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portugal - Portugal country Wikipedia page
  2. https://www.amazon.com/Travel-Smart-Conair-Ceramic-Curling/dp/B002WQ93F8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1484157133&sr=8-3&keywords=dual+voltage+curling+iron&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnections-20&linkId=9539dbabb2cd76a0541c75b1e59576ba - dual voltage travel curling iron
  3. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeC.htm - Type C power outlet
  4. Type C plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type C power outlets without converting voltage
  5. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeF.htm - Type F power outlet
  6. Type F plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type F power outlets without converting voltage
  7. Power converter - A step up step down power converter converts 110-120 volts up to 220-240 volts and 220-240 volts down to 110-120 Volts
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  9. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/list_bylocation.htm - IEC World Plugs by location
  10. https://apps.tsa.dhs.gov/mytsa/cib_results.aspx?search=curling%20iron - TSA guidelines for curling irons
  11. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners.
  12. https://www.amazon.com/Ceptics-GP-12PK-International-Worldwide-Universal/dp/B01DJEBLQU/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=CFDDSXZJ59CH648AVQ0H&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnections-20&linkId=b865b6ca5e535d710bf1e1b3a790f622 - power adapter