Moving to Portugal

â–ºBuy the Expat Guide to Portugal in PDF format


moving to portugalExpats moving to Portugal are more often than not self-confessed sun worshippers. Portugal's long, hot summers are certainly one of its greatest lures, and many move to the country to live out their twilight years on its warm shores.

Situated on the west of the Iberian Peninsula, surrounded by Spain and the Atlantic Ocean, Portugal is rife with robust beauty with long stretches of white beach and upward arching mountains. A population of a mere 10 million leaves plenty of room for expats to enjoy themselves and explore the many castles, architectural treasures, and archaeological gems without feeling claustrophobic in large crowds.

The glow of the Portuguese people is another reason why many expats move to Portugal; the culture is welcoming to strangers, friendly, helpful and revolves around a strong sense of family values. That being said, the relaxed Portuguese approach can be frustrating for those doing business, as can the tedium of bureaucratic government regulations and processes. Employment is also difficult to find, and wages and average salaries are lower than other European destinations. 

The working world does present opportunities here and there, but most expats choose to come to Portugal for a better quality of life, rather than traditional financial and professional reasons. In line with lower wages, the cost of living is by far one of the most reasonable in Europe. Expats moving to Portugal will find good quality fruit and vegetables – all locally grown – and affordable, well-made wine. Eating out is relatively cheap, as is beer, soft drinks and coffee.

Property is also still reasonably priced in many regions outside of the main tourist areas and, unlike in other expat destinations, expats living in Portugal prefer to buy property rather than rent. For those who have acquired money from other investments, moving to Portugal can be financially prudent, and can make for an attractive retirement destination.

Portugal is well positioned in regard to the rest of Europe, with air links to almost any European and world-wide destination from the main airports at Faro, Porto and Lisbon.

Expats looking for natural beauty, friendly people, good weather and a slower pace of life will love living in Portugal.

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