Pros and Cons of Moving to Portugal
Expats moving abroad often lose themselves in the process of making parallels between their new destination and their home country.
While this can be a natural part of acclimatisation, it's important not to get too bogged-down in what one may perceive to be apparent positive and negatives.
That being said, some preparation for what people may deem the good, the bad and the ugly is necessary. Here are some pros and cons of moving to Portugal.
The people in Portugal
The people of Portugal are incredibly friendly and most helpful; neighbours will bring home-grown tomatoes, share their wine and talk to expats quite happily, despite the language barrier that might exist
Expats may find the Portuguese people to be frustrating, as they are not in a hurry to resolve issues or deal with problems. The phrase devagar will often be heard – it means 'slowly' in Portuguese
The weather in Portugal
The weather is great – generally March to October is warm, with July and August being really hot.
It is not in fact sunny 12 months of the year – the winters can be cold and very wet, but apart from the mountainous areas there is little snow. Inland frost is common.
Those that like beaches, they stretch along the entire western and southern areas of the country, and are white and clean. Only in July and August are the most popular beaches ever crowded.
Temperatures in summer can climb over 104°F (40°C).
Visas for Portugal
The Portuguese authorities will take the time to explain which papers foreigners need to submit.
Bureaucracy is thick and not fast. Information from public offices can also be inconsistent.
Communication in Portugal
Younger Portuguese people learn English at school, and they are always keen to practice it with expats.
Portuguese is a difficult language to learn and pronounce, but a little of the language goes a long way in goodwill.
Transport and driving in Portugal
The traffic in Portugal is considerably less than in northern European countries, except in the large cities where traffic jams at peak hours are bad.
The Portuguese driver is keen to drive fast and impatient to overtake; this causes numerous accidents, so do be careful.
There is a good network of highways or dual carriageways in Portugal, and the main ones are not very busy.
National motorways are toll roads, and while they are excellent and there is less traffic, the tolls can make them expensive.
The cost of living in Portugal
Food, wine, bread and normal shopping commodities are generally very reasonably priced. It’s easy to obtain British foods if expats really need them.
Consumer goods can be very expensive, anywhere between 20 to 50 percent more expensive than expats might be used to. British foods are available but are more expensive.