After greater than 2 years of just about continuous journey, like many different digital nomads, I’ve began fascinated about discovering a house base for the medium-to-long time period. Portugal is a powerful contender for me. If you happen to’re feeling prefer it might be an excellent choice for you too, I’ve put collectively this checklist of the primary execs and cons of residing 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 dwell. But in addition, if I’m completely sincere, partly for myself. There’s an excellent probability 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, nearly all the things about it. It’s simply considered one of my favourite nations in Europe. It’s not good – nowhere is. However for me, the advantages of residing 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 checklist of benefits and drawbacks of residing in Portugal is subsequently primarily based primarily by myself experiences.
I’ve additionally relied on the experiences of some of my Portuguese associates in addition to a couple of fellow digital nomads who’ve hung out residing in Portugal. So, I hope this information gives 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.
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 around the globe.
Execs of residing in Portugal
There are a lot of execs of residing in Portugal. Listed below are 10 of my favourite issues about it:
1. Reasonably priced Value of Dwelling
One of many main execs of residing in Portugal is the price of residing. Portugal is without doubt one of the most inexpensive nations to dwell in Western Europe. From hire to day by day necessities and even eating out, issues usually price much less in Portugal than in lots of different European nations, and positively the UK.
This implies you can take pleasure in a better way of life right here than in locations like France, Germany, or the UK whereas spending a lot much less general. In response to Numbeo, a single individual’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 residing 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
One other nice benefit of residing 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 infrequently spectacular.
I really like 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 wood 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 alternative. Whether or not you like 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 avenue, historic 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 a number of the many benefits of residing in Portugal. There’s all the time one thing new and fascinating 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 folks right here is simply unimaginable.
The second I arrived on the place I stayed at most just 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 selfmade 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 approach to make you’re 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)
One other large professional of residing in Portugal is the climate. With over 300 days of sunshine a yr, it’s one of many sunniest nations in Europe. The local weather right here is mostly pretty temperate with scorching summers and gentle winters. Though, relying on the place you might be, temperatures can range fairly a bit.
For instance, summer season temperatures within the Algarve usually soar to 35 levels Celsius/90 levels Fahrenheit, whereas within the mountains, you possibly can 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 out of doors actions just about year-round. For me, this is without doubt one of the largest execs of residing in Portugal. I really like spending time outdoors, 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 provides high-quality and inexpensive healthcare, which is one other benefit of residing 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 commonly accessible with out ready instances for appointments or procedures.
Portugal’s high quality healthcare system means you can really feel safe figuring out that medical care is all the time potential if wanted. And particularly should you’re from someplace like the US, the affordability of Portuguese healthcare will most likely be a breath of contemporary air.
Security is a vital consideration when selecting a spot to dwell, particularly in a rustic that you just aren’t acquainted with. Fortunately, Portugal excels on this entrance too. In truth, Portugal is persistently ranked as one of many most secure nations on this planet.
In response to the 2023 World Peace Index, Portugal ranks because the seventh most peaceable nation on this planet in addition to one of many most secure. The nation has a low crime fee and a powerful sense of neighborhood that contributes to its general security.
This common sense of safety in Portugal extends to its political and social stability too. It means you possibly can really feel safe and comfy residing 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 same old guidelines apply with regards to retaining your self and your belongings secure. Nonetheless, you possibly can 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 shifting to a brand new nation could be the language barrier, however in Portugal, this hurdle is considerably diminished, because of the widespread use of English, particularly in bigger city and fashionable 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 folks you meet.
This, in flip, will hopefully provide help to combine extra easily into native Portuguese life and tremendously enrich your day by day experiences whereas residing there.
9. Scrumptious Meals and Wine
High-quality meals and wine are different highlights of residing 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 means of its flavors, Portugal is a culinary delight.
If you happen to 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 high quality native restaurant and spend below €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 good thing about residing in Portugal. As somebody who spent nearly all of their 20s in a fast-paced metropolis (London), it’s so refreshing to savor the slower tempo of Portuguese life. The Portuguese favor to take their time and luxuriate in life somewhat than rush blindly by means of it.
Even in Lisbon, folks 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 steadiness is a critical factor right here. And out of doors of the capital, it will get much more chilled!
This relaxed way of living is an enormous draw for me. I spent far an excessive amount of of my life to this point being pressured, overworked, and under-rested. Dwelling in Portugal provides a refreshing change from all that, which is without doubt one of 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 couple of cons of residing in Portugal too.
Not all of those will apply to all people. Nevertheless 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 unhealthy 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 extensively spoken within the city and vacationer areas of Portugal, the identical usually can’t be mentioned for the extra rural areas. For instance, within the village the place I lived in northern Portugal final yr, no one 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 usually pose a problem, particularly in your day-to-day interactions with the locals.
If you wish to dwell in a rural space away from the vacationer crowds, studying no less than a little bit Portuguese turns into nearly a necessity. For most individuals, it will require effort and time and might be a major draw back of residing in Portugal. Except you like studying new languages!
One other drawback of shifting to (and/or residing in) Portugal is the quantity of paperwork concerned. The method of getting your residency, tax numbers, and different vital paperwork generally is a bit tedious, time-consuming, and even downright irritating at instances.
When you get by means of the preliminary paperwork, issues do get simpler. And Portugal is definitely extra environment friendly than another European nations that I’ve spent in depth time in (title no names… however Italy).
Nonetheless, my Portuguese associates inform me that it’s not unusual to come back up in opposition to bureaucratic hurdles every time you must get something official performed, whether or not that’s submitting your taxes, shopping for property, and even coping with utility corporations. It’s simply one thing it’s a must to study to take care of. Endurance will serve you nicely in these situations!
3. Excessive Vacationer Numbers in Peak Season
Portugal’s recognition as a vacationer vacation spot is a double-edged sword. Throughout peak season (June–August and public holidays), fashionable areas can change into extraordinarily crowded. That is significantly noticeable in locations like Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve, which might really feel nearly overrun at instances.
The excessive numbers of holiday makers usually result in inflated costs and longer queues for fashionable 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 considered one of Portugal’s extra fashionable areas. However should you’re contemplating shifting to a quieter, much less known-about space, this isn’t one thing you must be involved about.
4. Restricted Job Alternatives
If you happen to’re a digital nomad or some other sort of distant employee, this one received’t apply to you. However for anybody in search of common employment and job alternatives, significantly outdoors of main cities, alternatives could be restricted and infrequently require fluency in Portuguese.
The nation’s financial system is closely reliant on tourism and agriculture, and I do know a number of Portuguese folks personally who left and emigrated to different nations (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 essential issue to contemplate should you’re prone to be reliant on native employment.
5. Revenue Disparity
That is associated to the above level on restricted job alternatives. Whereas the price of residing is mostly decrease than in different European nations, common salaries in Portugal are considerably decrease as nicely, 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. In consequence, there could 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 residing right here, and it could shock you. And should you’re in search of native employment, you may must assume realistically about your life-style expectations and what you’ll have the ability to afford to do.
Is Dwelling in Portugal Value It?
I feel residing in Portugal is unquestionably value it. Sure, there are a couple of downsides to residing in Portugal. However, for me no less than, the professionals vastly outweigh the cons. This improbable 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 significantly contemplating a transfer to Portugal, I’d say go for it. Why not? I’d even see you there. Penning this put up has jogged my memory simply how a lot I adore it there!