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15 Execs and Cons of Dwelling in Portugal

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 robust contender for me. For those who’re feeling prefer it may very well be an excellent choice for you too, I’ve put collectively this record of the principle execs and cons of dwelling in Portugal.

I did this work partly that will help you determine whether or not it’s prone to be an excellent place so that you can stay. But additionally, if I’m completely sincere, partly for myself. There’s an excellent likelihood I’d truly find yourself transferring there within the subsequent few years!

I really like Portugal, the folks, the meals, the local weather, the surroundings, virtually the whole lot about it. It’s simply certainly one of my favourite nations in Europe. It’s not excellent – nowhere is. However for me, the advantages of dwelling 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 time once I lived in a tiny village within the mountains close to Porto. This record of benefits and downsides of dwelling in Portugal is due to this fact based mostly primarily alone 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 dwelling in Portugal. So, I hope this information offers 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.

The nation shares its solely land border with Spain to the east and north. To the west and south is the Atlantic Ocean, giving Portugal an extended and beautiful shoreline.

It’s straightforward 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 all over the world.

Execs of dwelling in Portugal

portual landscape

There are a lot of execs of dwelling in Portugal. Listed below are 10 of my favourite issues about it:

1. Reasonably priced Value of Dwelling

dining out

One of many main execs of dwelling in Portugal is the price of dwelling. Portugal is likely one of the most reasonably priced nations to stay in Western Europe. From hire to each day necessities and even eating out, issues typically value much less in Portugal than in lots of different European nations, and definitely the UK.

This implies you could get pleasure from a better 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 onerous to discover a 1-bedroom condominium for round €700-€900 monthly, as long as you keep away from Lisbon. After 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

Algarve portugal

One other nice benefit of dwelling in Portugal is the large quantity of pure magnificence on provide right here. From the rugged cliffs and golden seashores of the Algarve to the luxurious vineyards of the Douro Valley, Portugal’s landscapes are numerous and sometimes spectacular.

I really like mountaineering and Portugal has so many superb trails to discover. Considered 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 like accessible seashores with loads of amenities, or wild untouched seashores, you received’t battle to discover a excellent spot.

3. Wealthy Tradition and Historical past

Quinta da Regaleira Palace portugal

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 varied marks on the nation and its tradition.

The nation’s wealthy historical past is etched into each cobblestone road, historical village, fort, and historic monument. The structure alone is sufficient to transport you again in time, and lots of locations really feel splendidly timeless.

Experiencing the soulful melodies of Fado music, common festivals and different celebrations, and conventional markets are simply among the many benefits of dwelling 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

friends cheers beer

Considered one of my favourite issues about Portugal is how genuinely pleasant and welcoming the persons are. Removed from being a cliche, the heat of the native folks right here is simply unbelievable.

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 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 a minimum of, in any respect unusual in Portugal. Folks exit of their technique to make you are feeling welcome. It’s fantastic and makes settling into a brand new place all the better and extra nice.

5. Nice Climate (One of many Largest Execs of Dwelling in Portugal)

walking in ocean

One other big professional of dwelling 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 sizzling summers and gentle winters. Though, relying on the place you’re, temperatures can fluctuate fairly a bit.

For instance, summer time temperatures within the Algarve usually soar to 35 levels Celsius/90 levels Fahrenheit, whereas within the mountains, you’ll be able to 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 could get pleasure from out of doors actions just about year-round. For me, this is likely one of the largest execs of dwelling in Portugal. I really like spending time outdoors, whether or not it’s mountaineering, swimming, and even eating outside – one thing I might not often do again dwelling in England!

6. Excessive-High quality Healthcare


Portugal presents 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.

Non-public healthcare can be obtainable at pretty affordable costs and is usually accessible with out ready instances for appointments or procedures.

Portugal’s high quality healthcare system means you could really feel safe realizing that medical care is all the time potential if wanted. And particularly in case you’re from someplace like the US, the affordability of Portuguese healthcare will most likely be a breath of recent air.

7. Security

walking at night

Security is a crucial consideration when selecting a spot to stay, particularly in a rustic that you just aren’t aware of. Fortunately, Portugal excels on this entrance too. In actual fact, Portugal is persistently ranked as one of many most secure nations 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 charge and a robust 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’ll be able to really feel safe and comfy 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 with regards to retaining your self and your belongings secure. Nonetheless, you’ll be able to loosen up and luxuriate in all of the superb experiences and alternatives Portugal has to supply, with out being overly involved about your security.

8. English Extensively Spoken

translation learning language

One of many challenges of transferring to a brand new nation could be the language barrier, however in Portugal, this hurdle is considerably decreased, because of the widespread use of English, particularly in bigger city and standard 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 together with your neighbors and different folks you meet.

This, in flip, will hopefully make it easier to combine extra easily into native Portuguese life and vastly enrich your each day experiences whereas dwelling there.

9. Scrumptious Meals and Wine

fish and wine

Prime-quality meals and wine are different highlights of dwelling in Portugal. The meals right here is just not solely scrumptious but additionally numerous; reflecting the nation’s historical past and maritime heritage. For somebody who enjoys exploring a spot by way of its flavors, Portugal is a culinary delight.

For those who 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 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’ll be able to simply exit for a meal at a high quality native restaurant and spend underneath €20 per individual together with drinks. It’s superb and undoubtedly one thing I might get used to!

10. Laid-back Life-style

outdoor cafe europe

The laid-back way of life is one other main good thing about dwelling 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 want to take their time and luxuriate in life quite than rush blindly by way of it.

Even in Lisbon, folks take time to get pleasure from their meals and low breaks, and weekends are meant for enjoyable and spending time with household and associates. Work-life stability is a severe factor right here. And out of doors of the capital, it will get much more chilled!

This relaxed lifestyle is a giant draw for me. I spent far an excessive amount of of my life thus far being confused, overworked, and under-rested. Dwelling in Portugal presents a refreshing change from all that, which is likely one of the many causes I’m contemplating transferring there extra completely!

Cons of Dwelling in Portugal


In fact, nowhere is ideal. Regardless of the numerous execs, there are of course a couple of cons of dwelling in Portugal too.

Not all of those will apply to all people. Nevertheless it’s vital to think twice 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 broadly 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 stay in a rural space away from the vacationer crowds, studying a minimum of a bit of Portuguese turns into virtually a necessity. For most individuals, this may require effort and time and may very well be a big draw back of dwelling in Portugal. Until you like studying new languages!

2. Paperwork


One other drawback of transferring to (and/or dwelling in) Portugal is the quantity of forms concerned. The method of getting your residency, tax numbers, and different essential paperwork could be a bit tedious, time-consuming, and even downright irritating at instances.

When you get by way of the preliminary forms, issues do get simpler. And Portugal is definitely extra environment friendly than another European nations that I’ve spent intensive time in (title no names… however Italy).

Nonetheless, my Portuguese associates inform me that it’s not unusual to return up in opposition to bureaucratic hurdles every time you might want to get something official performed, whether or not that’s submitting your taxes, shopping for property, and even coping with utility firms. It’s simply one thing you need to study to cope with. Persistence will serve you properly in these situations!

3. Excessive Vacationer Numbers in Peak Season

crowded beach

Portugal’s recognition as a vacationer vacation spot is a double-edged sword. Throughout peak season (June–August and public holidays), standard areas can turn out to be extraordinarily crowded. That is notably noticeable in locations like Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve, which might really feel virtually overrun at instances.

The excessive numbers of tourists usually result in inflated costs and longer queues for standard sights and eating places. And surges in tourism have led to some areas being suffering from memento outlets and companies catering solely to vacationers, taking away from the genuine native attraction.

It’s undoubtedly one thing to consider in case you’re planning to settle in certainly one of Portugal’s extra standard areas. However in case you’re contemplating transferring to a quieter, much less known-about space, this isn’t one thing you might want to be involved about.

4. Restricted Job Alternatives

job search

For those who’re a digital nomad or every other sort of distant employee, this one received’t apply to you. However for anybody in search of common employment and job alternatives, notably 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 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 dwelling.

Whereas not prone to have an effect on all people planning on transferring to Portugal, it’s an vital issue to contemplate in case you’re prone to be reliant on native employment.

5. Revenue Disparity

income euros

That is associated to the above level on restricted job alternatives. Whereas the price of dwelling is mostly decrease than in different European nations, common salaries in Portugal are considerably decrease as properly, making it tough for these on a decrease revenue to make ends meet.

This may be notably difficult in costlier cities like Lisbon and Porto, the place the financial disparity is much more pronounced. Because of this, there could be stark contrasts between rich neighborhoods and poorer areas.

Even in case you earn good cash from overseas, the revenue disparity in Portugal is a actuality for many individuals dwelling right here, and it might shock you. And in case you’re searching for native employment, you would possibly must assume realistically about your way of life expectations and what you’ll be capable to afford to do.

Is Dwelling in Portugal Price It?

I believe dwelling in Portugal is certainly price it. Sure, there are a couple of downsides to dwelling in Portugal. However, for me a minimum of, 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, all people’s completely different. However in case you’re critically contemplating a transfer to Portugal, I’d say go for it. Why not? I’d even see you there. Scripting this put up has jogged my memory simply how a lot I like it there!

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