Home Travel 15 Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal

15 Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal

15 Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal

After greater than 2 years of nearly continuous journey, like many different digital nomads, I’ve began eager about discovering a house base for the medium-to-long time period. Portugal is a powerful contender for me. Should you’re feeling prefer it could possibly be a very good choice for you too, I’ve put collectively this record of the primary professionals and cons of dwelling in Portugal.

I did this work partly that will help you determine whether or not it’s more likely to be a very good place so that you can reside. But additionally, if I’m completely trustworthy, partly for myself. There’s a very good probability I would truly find yourself shifting there in the following few years!

I like Portugal, the individuals, the meals, the local weather, the surroundings, nearly every part about it. It’s simply one of my favourite international locations in Europe. It’s not excellent – nowhere is. However for me, the advantages of dwelling in Portugal vastly outweigh the downsides.

15 Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal


I’ve spent a good quantity of time in Portugal over the previous few years, together with final summer time after I lived in a tiny village in the mountains close to Porto. This record of benefits and disadvantages of dwelling in Portugal is subsequently based mostly primarily alone experiences.

I’ve additionally relied on the experiences of a number of of my Portuguese buddies in addition to a number of fellow digital nomads who’ve hung out dwelling in Portugal. So, I hope this information offers you with some helpful perception and inspiration.

The place is Portugal?


Portugal is situated on the Iberian Peninsula in Southwest Europe. The capital, Lisbon, sits at roughly the identical latitude as Washington DC.

The nation shares its solely land border with Spain to the east and north. To the west and south is the Atlantic Ocean, giving Portugal an extended and gorgeous shoreline.

It’s simple to get to Portugal by street from most elements of mainland Spain, particularly the Spanish border areas of Andalusia, Extremadura, Castilla y León, and Galicia. For these coming from additional afield, Portugal has a number of well-connected airports with direct flights to locations all all over the world.

Pros of dwelling in Portugal

portual landscape

There are numerous professionals of dwelling in Portugal. Listed here are 10 of my favourite issues about it:

1. Reasonably priced Price of Living

dining out

One of the most important professionals of dwelling in Portugal is the price of dwelling. Portugal is one of essentially the most inexpensive international locations to reside in Western Europe. From hire to every day necessities and even eating out, issues typically price much less in Portugal than in many different European international locations, and actually the UK.

This implies you can get pleasure from the next customary of dwelling right here than in locations like France, Germany, or the UK whereas spending a lot much less total. In accordance with Numbeo, a single particular person’s estimated month-to-month bills are lower than €700, excluding hire.

It’s not arduous to discover a 1-bedroom residence for round €700-€900 per 30 days, as long as you keep away from Lisbon. After I was dwelling in Portugal, I’d repeatedly exit for a meal in a mid-range restaurant and spend lower than €20 per head, together with a bottle of home wine and a pair of beers.

2. Pure Magnificence

Algarve portugal

One other nice benefit of dwelling in Portugal is the massive quantity of pure magnificence on provide right here. From the rugged cliffs and golden seashores of the Algarve to the luxurious vineyards of the Douro Valley, Portugal’s landscapes are various and usually spectacular.

I like mountain climbing and Portugal has so many superb trails to discover. One of my favorites is the Passadiços do Paiva, which is a 9-kilometer (5.5 mile) route primarily consisting of boardwalks and picket steps snaking alongside the scenic banks of the Paiva River, in the mountains southeast of Porto.

After all, Portugal can also be well-known for its attractive seashores and coastal surroundings. With 1,794 kilometers (1,115 miles) of shoreline, you’re spoilt for alternative. Whether or not you favor accessible seashores with a lot of services, or wild untouched seashores, you gained’t wrestle to discover a excellent spot.

3. Wealthy Tradition and Historical past

Quinta da Regaleira Palace portugal

Portugal has a particular tradition, formed by its historical past over the centuries. From Moorish influences in the south to Celtic and Roman influences in the north, Portugal’s distinctive historical past has left numerous marks on the nation and its tradition.

The nation’s wealthy historical past is etched into each cobblestone road, historic village, fortress, and historic monument. The structure alone is sufficient to transport you again in time, and many locations really feel splendidly timeless.

Experiencing the soulful melodies of Fado music, common festivals and different celebrations, and conventional markets are just a few of the numerous benefits of dwelling in Portugal. There’s at all times one thing new and fascinating to find as you discover Portugal’s numerous cultural choices.

4. Pleasant Folks

friends cheers beer

One of my favourite issues about Portugal is how genuinely pleasant and welcoming the individuals are. Removed from being a cliche, the heat of the native individuals right here is simply unbelievable.

The second I arrived on the place I stayed at most not too long ago, the household subsequent door appeared. In addition to introducing themselves, they gave me a large basket of recent fruit and greens, chilly beers, and a bowl of home made soup as a result of they assumed – appropriately – that I’d be hungry after an extended journey.

Easy acts of kindness like that aren’t, in my expertise at the very least, in any respect unusual in Portugal. Folks exit of their approach to make you are feeling welcome. It’s fantastic and makes settling into a brand new place all the better and extra nice.

5. Nice Climate (One of the Largest Pros of Living in Portugal)

walking in ocean

One other big professional of dwelling in Portugal is the climate. With over 300 days of sunshine a yr, it’s one of the sunniest international locations in Europe. The local weather right here is usually pretty temperate with sizzling summers and gentle winters. Though, relying on the place you’re, temperatures can range fairly a bit.

For instance, summer time temperatures in the Algarve usually soar to 35 levels Celsius/90 levels Fahrenheit, whereas in the mountains, you may anticipate cool evenings in the summer time and even snow in the winter. However, total, the climate is sweet for many of the time.

This implies you can get pleasure from outside actions just about year-round. For me, that is one of the largest professionals of dwelling in Portugal. I like spending time outdoors, whether or not it’s mountain climbing, swimming, and even eating outside – one thing I may hardly ever do again dwelling in England!

6. Excessive-High quality Healthcare


Portugal affords high-quality and inexpensive healthcare, which is one other benefit of dwelling right here. The general public healthcare system in Portugal, the Serviço Nacional de Saúde, is superb. Many procedures (together with most pressing care) are free of cost to all authorized residents in Portugal, together with expats.

Non-public healthcare can also be out there at pretty cheap costs and is commonly accessible with out ready occasions for appointments or procedures.

Portugal’s high quality healthcare system means you can really feel safe realizing that medical care is at all times potential if wanted. And particularly should you’re from someplace just like the US, the affordability of Portuguese healthcare will in all probability be a breath of recent air.

7. Security

walking at night

Security is a crucial consideration when selecting a spot to reside, particularly in a rustic that you just aren’t aware of. Fortunately, Portugal excels on this entrance too. The truth is, Portugal is constantly ranked as one of the most secure international locations in the world.

In accordance with the 2023 World Peace Index, Portugal ranks because the seventh most peaceable nation in the world in addition to one of the most secure. The nation has a low crime fee and a powerful sense of group that contributes to its total security.

This common sense of safety in Portugal extends to its political and social stability too. It means you may really feel safe and comfy dwelling in Portugal, whether or not you’re strolling across the metropolis at night time or exploring the countryside alone. I’ve by no means as soon as felt even a tiny bit unsafe in Portugal.

After all, the same old guidelines apply with regards to holding your self and your belongings secure. Nonetheless, you may chill out and get pleasure from all of the superb experiences and alternatives Portugal has to supply, with out being overly involved about your security.

8. English Broadly Spoken

translation learning language

One of the challenges of shifting to a brand new nation will be the language barrier, however in Portugal, this hurdle is considerably lowered, due to the widespread use of English, particularly in bigger city and well-liked vacationer areas.

This helps make on a regular basis duties a lot simpler and extra handy, from purchasing to asking for instructions. It additionally helps with regards to constructing significant connections and relationships along with your neighbors and different individuals you meet.

This, in flip, will hopefully assist you combine extra easily into native Portuguese life and vastly enrich your every day experiences whereas dwelling there.

9. Scrumptious Meals and Wine

fish and wine

Prime-quality meals and wine are different highlights of dwelling in Portugal. The meals right here is just not solely scrumptious but in addition various; reflecting the nation’s historical past and maritime heritage. For somebody who enjoys exploring a spot by way of its flavors, Portugal is a culinary delight.

Should you like seafood, you’re in for a deal with. Dishes like bacalhau (salt cod) and recent sardines are nationwide staples, discovered on virtually each menu all through the nation. Pair this with the nation’s excellent wines, and you’ve gotten a match made in heaven.

And the affordability of consuming and ingesting out in Portugal is the icing on the cake. As I discussed above, you may simply exit for a meal at a top quality native restaurant and spend underneath €20 per particular person together with drinks. It’s superb and undoubtedly one thing I may get used to!

10. Laid-back Way of life

outdoor cafe europe

The laid-back life-style is one other main profit of dwelling in Portugal. As somebody who spent the bulk of their 20s in a fast-paced metropolis (London), it’s so refreshing to savor the slower tempo of Portuguese life. The Portuguese choose to take their time and get pleasure from life fairly than rush blindly by way of it.

Even in Lisbon, individuals take time to get pleasure from their meals and espresso breaks, and weekends are meant for enjoyable and spending time with household and buddies. Work-life stability is a critical factor right here. And outdoors of the capital, it will get much more chilled!

This relaxed way of living is a giant draw for me. I spent far an excessive amount of of my life up to now being careworn, overworked, and under-rested. Living in Portugal affords a refreshing change from all that, which is one of the numerous causes I’m contemplating shifting there extra completely!

Cons of Living in Portugal


After all, nowhere is ideal. Regardless of the numerous professionals, there are of course a number of cons of dwelling in Portugal too.

Not all of these will apply to all people. But it surely’s essential to think twice and realistically about what a transfer to Portugal would truly contain. Think about the great in addition to the dangerous when deciding whether or not it’s one thing that’s more likely to be best for you.

1. Language Barrier in Rural Areas


Whereas English is broadly spoken in the city and vacationer areas of Portugal, the identical usually can’t be stated for the extra rural areas. For instance, in the village the place I lived in northern Portugal final yr, no one spoke any English in any respect.

This gave me a superb crash course in fundamental conversational Portuguese, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Nonetheless, for sure, the language barrier can usually pose a problem, particularly in your day-to-day interactions with the locals.

If you wish to reside in a rural space away from the vacationer crowds, studying at the very least somewhat Portuguese turns into nearly a necessity. For most individuals, this can require time and effort and could possibly be a big draw back of dwelling in Portugal. Except you’re keen on studying new languages!

2. Paperwork


One other drawback of shifting to (and/or dwelling in) Portugal is the quantity of paperwork concerned. The method of getting your residency, tax numbers, and different crucial paperwork could be a bit tedious, time-consuming, and even downright irritating at occasions.

When you get by way of the preliminary paperwork, issues do get simpler. And Portugal is actually extra environment friendly than another European international locations that I’ve spent in depth time in (title no names… however Italy).

Nonetheless, my Portuguese buddies inform me that it’s not unusual to come back up towards bureaucratic hurdles every time it’s worthwhile to get something official executed, whether or not that’s submitting your taxes, shopping for property, and even coping with utility corporations. It’s simply one thing you need to be taught to cope with. Persistence will serve you properly in these cases!

3. Excessive Vacationer Numbers in Peak Season

crowded beach

Portugal’s reputation as a vacationer vacation spot is a double-edged sword. Throughout peak season (June–August and public holidays), well-liked places can grow to be extraordinarily crowded. That is significantly noticeable in locations like Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve, which might really feel nearly overrun at occasions.

The excessive numbers of guests usually result in inflated costs and longer queues for well-liked points of interest and eating places. And surges in tourism have led to some areas being plagued by memento outlets and companies catering solely to vacationers, taking away from the genuine native appeal.

It’s undoubtedly one thing to consider should you’re planning to settle in one of Portugal’s extra well-liked areas. However should you’re contemplating shifting to a quieter, much less known-about space, this isn’t one thing it’s worthwhile to be involved about.

4. Restricted Job Alternatives

job search

Should you’re a digital nomad or every other kind of distant employee, this one gained’t apply to you. However for anybody searching for common employment and job alternatives, significantly outdoors of main cities, alternatives will be restricted and usually require fluency in Portuguese.

The nation’s economic system is closely reliant on tourism and agriculture, and I do know a number of Portuguese individuals personally who left and emigrated to different international locations (the UK and Sweden, in this case) as a result of restricted job market and lack of choices again dwelling.

Whereas not more likely to have an effect on all people planning on shifting to Portugal, it’s an essential issue to contemplate should you’re more likely to be reliant on native employment.

5. Earnings Disparity

income euros

That is associated to the above level on restricted job alternatives. Whereas the price of dwelling is usually decrease than in different European international locations, common salaries in Portugal are considerably decrease as properly, making it tough for these on a decrease revenue to make ends meet.

This may be significantly difficult in dearer cities like Lisbon and Porto, the place the financial disparity is much more pronounced. Consequently, there will be stark contrasts between rich neighborhoods and poorer areas.

Even should you earn good cash from overseas, the revenue disparity in Portugal is a actuality for many individuals dwelling right here, and it might shock you. And should you’re in search of native employment, you would possibly have to assume realistically about your life-style expectations and what you’ll be capable to afford to do.

Is Living in Portugal Value It?

I believe dwelling in Portugal is unquestionably value it. Sure, there are a number of downsides to dwelling in Portugal. However, for me at the very least, the professionals vastly outweigh the cons. This implausible nation has an enormous quantity to supply, no matter your finances, pursuits, and preferences.

After all, all people’s totally different. However should you’re severely contemplating a transfer to Portugal, I’d say go for it. Why not? I would even see you there. Scripting this publish has jogged my memory simply how a lot I adore it there!


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