15 Execs and Cons of Dwelling in Portugal

After greater than 2 years of virtually continuous journey, like many different digital nomads, I’ve began enthusiastic about discovering a house base for the medium-to-long time period. Portugal is a powerful contender for me. When you’re feeling prefer it might be an excellent possibility for you too, I’ve put collectively this listing of the primary execs and cons of dwelling in Portugal.

I did this work partly that can assist you resolve whether or not it’s prone to be an excellent place so that you can reside. But additionally, if I’m completely sincere, partly for myself. There’s an excellent likelihood I’d truly find yourself shifting there within the subsequent few years!

I really like Portugal, the folks, the meals, the local weather, the surroundings, virtually all the pieces about it. It’s simply one in every 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 Execs and Cons of Dwelling in Portugal

I’ve spent a good period of time in Portugal over the previous couple of years, together with final summer season after I lived in a tiny village within the mountains close to Porto. This listing of benefits and downsides of dwelling in Portugal is subsequently primarily based primarily by myself experiences.

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

The place is Portugal?


Portugal is positioned 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 beautiful shoreline.

It’s straightforward 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 world wide.

Execs of dwelling in Portugal

portual landscape

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

1. Inexpensive Value of Dwelling

dining out

One of many main execs of dwelling in Portugal is the price of dwelling. Portugal is among the most reasonably priced international locations to reside in Western Europe. From lease to day by day necessities and even eating out, issues typically price much less in Portugal than in lots of different European international locations, and positively the UK.

This implies you can get pleasure from the next lifestyle right here than in locations like France, Germany, or the UK whereas spending a lot much less general. Based on Numbeo, a single individual’s estimated month-to-month bills are lower than €700, excluding lease.

It’s not laborious to discover a 1-bedroom house for round €700-€900 monthly, as long as you keep away from Lisbon. After I was dwelling in Portugal, I’d often 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 few 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 plush vineyards of the Douro Valley, Portugal’s landscapes are numerous and infrequently spectacular.

I really like climbing and Portugal has so many wonderful trails to discover. Considered 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, within the mountains southeast of Porto.

After all, Portugal can also be well-known for its beautiful seashores and coastal surroundings. With 1,794 kilometers (1,115 miles) of shoreline, you’re spoilt for selection. Whether or not you favor accessible seashores with loads of amenities, 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 within the south to Celtic and Roman influences within the north, Portugal’s distinctive historical past has left varied marks on the nation and its tradition.

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

Experiencing the soulful melodies of Fado music, common festivals and different celebrations, and conventional markets are simply among the many 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

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

The second I arrived on the place I stayed at most lately, the household subsequent door appeared. In addition to introducing themselves, they gave me a large basket of contemporary 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 no less than, in any respect unusual in Portugal. Folks exit of their method to make you are feeling welcome. It’s great and makes settling into a brand new place all the simpler and extra nice.

5. Nice Climate (One of many Largest Execs of Dwelling 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 many sunniest international locations in Europe. The local weather right here is mostly pretty temperate with sizzling summers and delicate winters. Though, relying on the place you might be, temperatures can differ fairly a bit.

For instance, summer season temperatures within the Algarve typically soar to 35 levels Celsius/90 levels Fahrenheit, whereas within the mountains, you possibly can count on cool evenings in the summertime and even snow within the winter. However, general, the climate is nice for more often than not.

This implies you can get pleasure from out of doors actions just about year-round. For me, this is among the greatest execs of dwelling in Portugal. I really like spending time exterior, whether or not it’s climbing, swimming, and even eating outdoor – one thing I might not often do again house in England!

6. Excessive-High quality Healthcare


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

Personal healthcare can also be accessible at pretty cheap costs and is usually accessible with out ready instances for appointments or procedures.

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

7. Security

walking at night

Security is a vital consideration when selecting a spot to reside, particularly in a rustic that you simply aren’t conversant in. Fortunately, Portugal excels on this entrance too. In truth, Portugal is persistently ranked as one of many most secure international locations on the earth.

Based on the 2023 International Peace Index, Portugal ranks because the seventh most peaceable nation on the earth in addition to one of many most secure. The nation has a low crime charge and a powerful sense of neighborhood that contributes to its general security.

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

After all, the standard guidelines apply on the subject of conserving your self and your belongings secure. Nonetheless, you possibly can calm down and revel in all of the wonderful experiences and alternatives Portugal has to supply, with out being overly involved about your security.

8. English Extensively Spoken

translation learning language

One of many 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 in style 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 on the subject of constructing significant connections and relationships together with your neighbors and different folks you meet.

This, in flip, will hopefully enable you to combine extra easily into native Portuguese life and tremendously enrich your day by 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 just isn’t solely scrumptious but additionally numerous; reflecting the nation’s historical past and maritime heritage. For somebody who enjoys exploring a spot by its flavors, Portugal is a culinary delight.

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

And the affordability of consuming and consuming out in Portugal is the icing on the cake. As I discussed above, you possibly can simply exit for a meal at a top quality native restaurant and spend beneath €20 per individual together with drinks. It’s wonderful and positively one thing I might get used to!

10. Laid-back Life-style

outdoor cafe europe

The laid-back life-style is one other main good thing about dwelling in Portugal. As somebody who spent the vast majority of their 20s in a fast-paced metropolis (London), it’s so refreshing to savor the slower tempo of Portuguese life. The Portuguese desire to take their time and revel in life fairly than rush blindly by it.

Even in Lisbon, folks take time to get pleasure from their meals and low breaks, and weekends are meant for stress-free and spending time with household and mates. Work-life steadiness is a critical factor right here. And outdoors of the capital, it will get much more chilled!

This relaxed lifestyle is an enormous draw for me. I spent far an excessive amount of of my life thus far being careworn, overworked, and under-rested. Dwelling in Portugal gives a refreshing change from all that, which is among the many causes I’m contemplating shifting there extra completely!

Cons of Dwelling in Portugal


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

Not all of those will apply to all people. However it’s vital to think twice and realistically about what a transfer to Portugal would truly contain. Contemplate the great in addition to the dangerous when deciding whether or not it’s one thing that’s prone to be best for you.

1. Language Barrier in Rural Areas


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

This gave me a wonderful crash course in primary conversational Portuguese, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Nonetheless, evidently, the language barrier can typically 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 no less than a bit Portuguese turns into virtually a necessity. For most individuals, this can require effort and time and might be a big draw back of dwelling in Portugal. Except you like studying new languages!

2. Paperwork


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

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

Nonetheless, my Portuguese mates inform me that it’s not unusual to come back up in opposition to bureaucratic hurdles every time you might want to get something official performed, whether or not that’s submitting your taxes, shopping for property, and even coping with utility firms. It’s simply one thing it’s a must to study to cope with. Persistence will serve you nicely 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), in style places can turn out to be extraordinarily crowded. That is notably noticeable in locations like Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve, which might really feel virtually overrun at instances.

The excessive numbers of tourists typically result in inflated costs and longer queues for in style sights and eating places. And surges in tourism have led to some areas being suffering from memento retailers and companies catering solely to vacationers, taking away from the genuine native appeal.

It’s positively one thing to consider if you happen to’re planning to settle in one in every of Portugal’s extra in style areas. However if you happen to’re contemplating shifting to a quieter, much less known-about space, this isn’t one thing you might want to be involved about.

4. Restricted Job Alternatives

job search

When you’re a digital nomad or every other kind of distant employee, this one gained’t apply to you. However for anybody in search of common employment and job alternatives, notably exterior of main cities, alternatives will be restricted and infrequently require fluency in Portuguese.

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

Whereas not prone to have an effect on all people planning on shifting to Portugal, it’s an vital issue to contemplate if you happen to’re prone to be reliant on native employment.

5. Revenue Disparity

income euros

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

This may be notably difficult in costlier cities like Lisbon and Porto, the place the financial disparity is much more pronounced. Because of this, there will be stark contrasts between rich neighborhoods and poorer areas.

Even if you happen to 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 if you happen to’re looking for native employment, you may have to suppose realistically about your life-style expectations and what you’ll be capable of afford to do.

Is Dwelling in Portugal Value It?

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

After all, all people’s completely different. However if you happen to’re severely contemplating a transfer to Portugal, I’d say go for it. Why not? I’d even see you there. Penning this submit has jogged my memory simply how a lot I find it irresistible there!

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