In street prostitution, the prostitute solicits customers while waiting at street corners or walking alongside a street.
Prostitution occurs in some massage parlors, bars and pubs.
Human trafficking, including trafficking of underage persons, has also become a growing issue for the authorities.
Under the Portuguese penal code, trafficking in women is a crime punishable by two to eight years' imprisonment.
An inquiry at the time estimated that there were 5,276 workers and 485 houses, and appeared confined to the major urban areas of Lisbon, Porto, Coimbra and Evora.
The concept of gigolo is used and is usually linked to male prostitutes with an exclusively female clientele.
Although the number of workers involved in the industry is notoriously difficult to estimate, in the mid-2000s, the number of female prostitute was estimated at 28,000, of whom at least 50% were foreigners.
The legal status of prostitution in Portugal has changed several times.
Prostitution services' contacts are easily found in many magazines, newspapers and websites.
Both heterosexual and homosexual male prostitution also occurs in various settings, ranging from gay bars to discos and beach resorts.
Expensive and young prostitutes that advertise on the web and in the news stands can be easily found in the major cities and most crowded tourist resorts.