After greater than 2 years of just about 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 may very well be a great 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 great place so that you can reside. But in addition, if I’m completely trustworthy, partly for myself. There’s a great likelihood I’d truly find yourself transferring there within the subsequent few years!
I really like Portugal, the individuals, the meals, the local weather, the surroundings, nearly every part about it. It’s simply one in all my favourite international locations in Europe. It’s not good – nowhere is. However for me, the advantages of dwelling in Portugal vastly outweigh the downsides.
15 Professionals and Cons of Residing in Portugal
I’ve spent a good period of time in Portugal over the previous few years, together with final summer time once I lived in a tiny village within the mountains close to Porto. This record of benefits and drawbacks of dwelling in Portugal is subsequently primarily based primarily alone experiences.
I’ve additionally relied on the experiences of some of my Portuguese associates in addition to just a few fellow digital nomads who’ve frolicked dwelling in Portugal. So, I hope this information supplies 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.
It’s simple to get to Portugal by street from most components 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.
Professionals of dwelling in Portugal
There are a lot of professionals of dwelling in Portugal. Listed below are 10 of my favourite issues about it:
1. Inexpensive Value of Residing
One of many main professionals of dwelling in Portugal is the price of dwelling. Portugal is among the most reasonably priced international locations to reside in Western Europe. From hire to every day necessities and even eating out, issues usually price much less in Portugal than in lots of different European international locations, and positively the UK.
This implies you can take pleasure in the next lifestyle right here than in locations like France, Germany, or the UK whereas spending a lot much less general. In line with Numbeo, a single individual’s estimated month-to-month bills are lower than €700, excluding hire.
It’s not exhausting to discover a 1-bedroom house for round €700-€900 per thirty days, as long as you keep away from Lisbon. Once I was dwelling in Portugal, I’d commonly 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
One other nice benefit of dwelling in Portugal is the massive quantity of pure magnificence on supply right here. From the rugged cliffs and golden seashores of the Algarve to the plush vineyards of the Douro Valley, Portugal’s landscapes are various and sometimes spectacular.
I really like mountain climbing and Portugal has so many wonderful trails to discover. Certainly 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.
In fact, Portugal can be well-known for its beautiful 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 loads of services, or wild untouched seashores, you received’t wrestle to discover a good spot.
3. Wealthy Tradition and Historical past
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 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 plenty of locations really feel splendidly timeless.
Experiencing the soulful melodies of Fado music, common festivals and different celebrations, and conventional markets are simply a number of the many benefits of dwelling in Portugal. There’s at all times one thing new and attention-grabbing to find as you discover Portugal’s numerous cultural choices.
4. Pleasant Folks
Certainly 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 unimaginable.
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 an enormous 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 not less than, in any respect unusual in Portugal. Folks exit of their method to make you’re feeling welcome. It’s great and makes settling into a brand new place all the better and extra nice.
5. Nice Climate (One of many Greatest Professionals of Residing in Portugal)
One other big professional of dwelling in Portugal is the climate. With over 300 days of sunshine a 12 months, 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 range fairly a bit.
For instance, summer time temperatures within the Algarve typically soar to 35 levels Celsius/90 levels Fahrenheit, whereas within the mountains, you may anticipate 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 take pleasure in outside actions just about year-round. For me, this is among the largest professionals of dwelling in Portugal. I really like spending time outdoors, whether or not it’s mountain climbing, swimming, and even eating outdoor – one thing I might hardly ever do again dwelling in England!
6. Excessive-High quality Healthcare
Portugal provides 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 be out there at pretty cheap costs and is usually accessible with out ready occasions for appointments or procedures.
Portugal’s high quality healthcare system means you can really feel safe figuring out that medical care is at all times attainable if wanted. And particularly should you’re from someplace like the US, the affordability of Portuguese healthcare will most likely be a breath of recent air.
Security is a crucial consideration when selecting a spot to reside, particularly in a rustic that you simply aren’t aware of. Fortunately, Portugal excels on this entrance too. In reality, Portugal is constantly ranked as one of many most secure international locations on the planet.
In line with the 2023 International Peace Index, Portugal ranks because the seventh most peaceable nation on the planet in addition to one of many most secure. The nation has a low crime fee and a powerful sense of group that contributes to its general security.
This common sense of safety in Portugal extends to its political and social stability too. It means you may really feel safe and relaxed 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.
In fact, the same old guidelines apply relating to holding your self and your belongings protected. Nonetheless, you may calm down and luxuriate in all of the wonderful experiences and alternatives Portugal has to supply, with out being overly involved about your security.
8. English Extensively Spoken
One of many challenges of transferring to a brand new nation could be the language barrier, however in Portugal, this hurdle is considerably decreased, 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 buying to asking for instructions. It additionally helps relating to constructing significant connections and relationships together with your neighbors and different individuals you meet.
This, in flip, will hopefully make it easier to combine extra easily into native Portuguese life and enormously enrich your every day experiences whereas dwelling there.
9. Scrumptious Meals and Wine
Prime-quality meals and wine are different highlights of dwelling in Portugal. The meals right here isn’t solely scrumptious but in addition various; reflecting the nation’s historical past and maritime heritage. For somebody who enjoys exploring a spot by 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 got 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 beneath €20 per individual together with drinks. It’s wonderful and undoubtedly one thing I might get used to!
10. Laid-back Way of life
The laid-back life-style is one other main advantage of 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 luxuriate in life reasonably than rush blindly by it.
Even in Lisbon, individuals take time to take pleasure in their meals and occasional breaks, and weekends are meant for enjoyable and spending time with household and associates. Work-life stability is a critical factor right here. And out of doors 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 confused, overworked, and under-rested. Residing in Portugal provides a refreshing change from all that, which is among the many causes I’m contemplating transferring there extra completely!
Cons of Residing in Portugal
In fact, nowhere is ideal. Regardless of the various professionals, there are of course just a few cons of dwelling in Portugal too.
Not all of those will apply to everyone. However it’s essential to consider carefully and realistically about what a transfer to Portugal would truly contain. Take into account 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 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 12 months, no one spoke any English in any way.
This gave me a superb crash course in primary conversational Portuguese, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Nonetheless, for sure, 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 not less than a bit Portuguese turns into nearly a necessity. For most individuals, this may require effort and time and may very well be a big draw back of dwelling in Portugal. Except you’re keen on studying new languages!
One other drawback of transferring to (and/or dwelling in) Portugal is the quantity of paperwork concerned. The method of getting your residency, tax numbers, and different mandatory paperwork generally is a bit tedious, time-consuming, and even downright irritating at occasions.
When you get by the preliminary paperwork, issues do get simpler. And Portugal is definitely extra environment friendly than another European international locations that I’ve spent intensive time in (identify no names… however Italy).
Nonetheless, my Portuguese associates inform me that it’s not unusual to come back up towards bureaucratic hurdles every time you should get something official achieved, 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 take care of. Endurance will serve you effectively in these cases!
3. Excessive Vacationer Numbers in Peak Season
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 into 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 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 affected by memento retailers and companies catering solely to vacationers, taking away from the genuine native attraction.
It’s undoubtedly one thing to consider should you’re planning to settle in one in all Portugal’s extra in style areas. However should you’re contemplating transferring to a quieter, much less known-about space, this isn’t one thing you should be involved about.
4. Restricted Job Alternatives
Should you’re a digital nomad or another sort of distant employee, this one received’t apply to you. However for anybody searching for common employment and job alternatives, significantly outdoors of main cities, alternatives could be restricted and sometimes require fluency in Portuguese.
The nation’s financial 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, on this case) as a result of restricted job market and lack of choices again dwelling.
Whereas not more likely to have an effect on everyone planning on transferring to Portugal, it’s an essential issue to think about should you’re more likely to be reliant on native employment.
5. Earnings Disparity
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 effectively, making it troublesome for these on a decrease earnings to make ends meet.
This may be significantly difficult in costlier cities like Lisbon and Porto, the place the financial disparity is much more pronounced. In consequence, there could be stark contrasts between rich neighborhoods and poorer areas.
Even should you earn good cash from overseas, the earnings disparity in Portugal is a actuality for many individuals dwelling right here, and it could shock you. And should you’re looking for native employment, you may have to assume realistically about your life-style expectations and what you’ll be capable to afford to do.
Is Residing in Portugal Value It?
I believe dwelling in Portugal is certainly value it. Sure, there are just a few downsides to dwelling in Portugal. However, for me not less than, the professionals vastly outweigh the cons. This incredible nation has an enormous quantity to supply, no matter your price range, pursuits, and preferences.
In fact, everyone’s totally different. However should you’re significantly contemplating a transfer to Portugal, I’d say go for it. Why not? I’d even see you there. Penning this publish has jogged my memory simply how a lot I adore it there!