Portugal is a country that’s heavily visited by tourists. But would you want to live there year-round? There are both pros and cons to living in Portugal, and you’ll want to know about them before you take the plunge and move there.
When you think of portugal, do you envision seafood and pristine beaches? The country is even more than just that. Read on to learn some of the reasons you might want to call Portugal home.
People in Portugal are very friendly
Visitors and expats alike will find a culture that is warm and welcoming upon arriving in Portugal. Though many people in the country don’t speak English, they’re still friendly and helpful to foreigners. In particular, neighbors are close and often spend afternoons enjoying coffee together.
The cost of living is low
Rent and grocery prices in Portugal are much lower than in many other parts of the world, ensuring that you can enjoy a high standard of living for not a whole lot of money. Even in the city center of Lisbon, the capital and most bustling city in Portugal, rent is about a third of what you might see in London, and around a quarter of rent in New York City.
It’s easy to buy property
There are no special requirements for foreigners to buy property in Portugal, and buying a home that costs €500,000 or more may allow you to meet the requirements for a “Golden visa” for the country, which means you can stay as a resident for up to five years. Portugal is still recovering from a major economic downturn, which means home prices are rising, but still affordable at this point. It’s a great time to buy property there.
The beaches are stunning
Need we say more? From Lisbon to Lagos, Portugal’s beaches — and the jagged cliffs that surround many of them — will absolutely take your breath away.
Opening a bank account is fast and easy
Getting a local bank account in Portugal is pretty simple. You can do it from outside the country, and many banks will even allow you to open an account online. In some cases, though, there are different accounts for those who aren’t Portuguese residents, and they have more limitations than true local bank accounts.
Portuguese is a difficult language
Portuguese is a complicated and difficult language, both to learn and to understand. Nonetheless, Portuguese people often speak English. The language is taught at school for 9 years and, for instance, you won’t find movies and tv shows doubled in European Portuguese. People are used to English. Or, if they aren’t fluent, they’ll likely make an effort — so the language shouldn’t be a barrier.
Cons of living in Portugal. Like any place, Portugal has some cons to go with its pros. Here are some of the reasons you might think twice about putting down roots in Portugal
Local salaries leave a lot to be desired
While the cost of living in Portugal is low, so are salaries. In many sectors, the average salaries are not enough to afford a comfortable living. You’re far better off as an entrepreneur, or working for a company outside Portugal.
The weather can really vary
Summers in Portugal are extremely hot, and winters can be cold and damp. While spring and fall are lovely and warm, to some, it’s not worth it suffering through the rain and fog of winter or the soaring temperatures of July and August.
Consumer goods can be expensive
Despite the relatively low cost of living in Portugal, there’s one thing that isn’t cheap: consumer goods. Things like clothes and electronics tend to come with hefty price tags, which can be surprising to expats from places like the US, where fast fashion and big-box stores guarantee discounts on those kinds of good.
Driving is dangerous and expensive
Roads in Portugal tend to be narrow, steep and windy, unless you’re on the national highways. But those are toll roads, so although they’re easier to drive, their costs can really add up.