Timor-Leste Overview

Timor-Leste Overview


Official name of the state

Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste.




As a country located in Asia according to thembaprograms, Timor-Leste is located on the eastern half of the island of Timor in the Timor Sea between Indonesia and Australia. The landscape is varied, there is an impressive coastline and mountains inland, the ground is rocky. Timor-Leste shares a border with West Timor. The country also includes the exclave Oekussi-Ambeno (about 70 km west), which is located in West Timor, which is administered by Indonesia, as well as the islands of Atauro (Pulo Cambing) and Jaco (Pulo Jako).


Constitution of 2002. Republic. Independent from Portugal since November 28, 1975. Independent from Indonesia since May 20, 2002.

Head of state

Taur Matan Ruak, since May 2012.

Head of government

Rui Maria de Araújo, since February 2015.


220 V, 50 Hz. Bad power supply, very often failures.

Time zone

East Timor Time: CET +10


Country-specific safety information

Domestic tensions in Timor-Leste continue to ease. The security situation is currently stable, but social differences and high youth unemployment harbor potential for conflict.

Travelers are advised to find out about possible short-term changes in the security situation through the local media, the Internet and local contact persons. Demonstrations, political gatherings and large crowds should be avoided as these can escalate in the short term and unexpectedly.

It is not advisable to travel after dark, especially with motorcycles, and to use public transport.

More recently, formaldehyde contamination was found in fish sold by the roadside in the capital, Dili. This substance, which is poisonous even in small doses, makes fish look fresh longer. It is strongly recommended to refrain from eating fish sold on the street in Dili.

There is no German diplomatic mission in Timor-Leste. Travelers to Timor-Leste should therefore inquire about the current security situation at the Portuguese embassy in Dili (Tel. +670 7234755) – which is responsible for consular care for EU nationals in emergencies – and have valid travel documents in order to be able to travel at any time to be able to leave the country.

In addition, Germans who are staying – even temporarily – in Timor-Leste are expressly recommended to register on the crisis prevention list of the German embassy in Jakarta, which is also responsible for Timor-Leste, so that they can – if necessary – quickly in crisis and other exceptional situations can be contacted. To register: External link, opens in a new windowWebsite: http: //service.diplo.de/registrierungav


Pickpockets, (armed) robberies and break-ins occur nationwide, most commonly in the capital Dili. In rare cases, foreigners are the target. There are also sporadic acts of violence by local gangs, especially in Dili and other metropolitan areas. In the past, foreigners were also occasionally victims of these gang rivalries. In the dark, a registered taxi from door to door (Corrotrans Taxi) should also be used for shorter distances. Women traveling alone should be particularly careful not to stay in remote parts of the city or less frequented places. Sexual harassment and assault occur regularly.

Road traffic

The road network in Timor-Leste, especially outside of Dilis, is mostly in a very poor condition. Night trips in particular should be avoided for safety reasons. Particular caution is advised when driving overland during the rainy season, especially in the mountain regions of Aileu, Manatuto, Ainaro and Manufahi, roads quickly become impassable due to undercutting. Public transport (minibuses, taxis) are often overcrowded and do not meet international safety standards.


Timor-Leste is in an earthquake zone.

Timor-Leste Overview



The official currency in Timor-Leste is the US dollar. Currency abbreviation: US $, USD (ISO code).

Credit cards

Are only accepted in a few expensive hotels. In all banks in Dili you can withdraw US dollars from an ATM with a Visa / Cirrus / Maestro credit card. Further information from the issuer of the credit or check card.

ec / Maestro card / Sparcard

ATMs that work with an EC card are located in the capital Dili. AZN Bank accepts cards with the Maestro symbol.

Attention: Travelers who pay abroad with their bank customer card and want to withdraw money should find out about the possibilities of using their card from their bank before starting their journey.

Bank opening times

Mon-Fri 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

Foreign exchange regulations

There is an obligation to declare when importing amounts equivalent to between US $ 5,000 and US $ 10,000. A permit from the Central Bank of Timor-Leste is required to import amounts in excess of US $ 10,000.

Currency Exchange

You should bring enough cash with you. Travelers checks are not cashed. The Australian ANZ Bank and the Portuguese Banco Nacional Ultramarino have branches in Dili. Thai baht, Indonesian rupiah and Australian dollar are partially accepted as means of payment.



The official languages are Portuguese and Tetum. Bahasa Indonesian and English are also spoken. There are 12 different ethnic groups in Timor-Leste, each speaking their own dialect. Most of these dialects belong to the Austronesian language groups. The main language of Timor-Leste is Tetum, a hybrid language of the Austronesian dialect with a strong Portuguese influence.




The following items can be imported into Timor-Leste duty-free in hand luggage (people with their own passport over 17 years of age):

200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos (max. 3 g each) or 75 cigars or 30 g tobacco;
1.5 l alcoholic beverages with an alcohol content of more than 22% vol.;

5l wine;
75 g perfume and 375 ml eau de toilette;

1 kg of coffee;

200 g tea
gifts worth US $ 300.

Prohibited imports

Guns, drugs, pornographic products, Chinese medicine and printed matter.



International calls to and from Dili can be made. The area code for Dili is 390.


Network operators are Timor Telecom and Telstra (Internet: www.telstra.com.au/mobile/index.htm). The reception area is limited to Dili and smaller regions such as Baukau, Balibo, Suai, Los Palos and Oekussi. In other parts of the country you can only make calls by satellite phone. There are roaming contracts with Germany, Austria and Switzerland.


The main provider is VPM Internet Services (Internet: www.vpm.com). Internet access is available in some larger hotels.

Post Office

A limited postal service exists.


Since the use of shortwave frequencies changes several times over the course of a year, it is advisable to contact Deutsche Welle customer service directly (Tel: (+49) (0228) 429 32 08. Internet: www.dw-world.de) to request.



Batik and embroidered fabrics in traditional Timor-Lestian patterns and colors, as well as local carvings and silver work, are suitable souvenirs.




90% Catholics, 4% Muslim, Buddhist and 3% Protestant minorities, animist religions.


Best travel time

Extreme, tropical monsoon climate. From July to November it is very dry and hot (eastern monsoon), the western monsoon is the rainy season (December to May). During the dry season there is hardly any precipitation, the rainy season often brings floods and floods. Cooler and wetter in the mountain regions.


Area code +670 Area (km2) 14919 Population 1231 116 Population density (per km2) 83 Population in 2015 Member of the EU No main emergency number 112

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