Fri. Jun 21st, 2024

Have you ever dreamed of leaving the UK behind and moving to Portugal? It’s an appealing prospect for many, and there are a lot of reasons to consider it. People move to different countries to take jobs, to go to school, to retire, to follow a loved one or even just to experience something new and maybe have an adventure while they’re at it.

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.

Pros of living in Portugal

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 move to Portugal.

People in Portugal are very friendly

welcoming/friendly people

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 towards foreigners. In particular, neighbours are close and often spend afternoons enjoying coffee together.

The cost of living is low

cost of living

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 centre 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” as a non-EU citizen – which means you can get a residence permit in Portugal for up to five years. Of course, the housing prices in the big metropolitan cities can get expensive, but you can find a decent and affordable home in less populated areas, like the city of Braga.

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

bank account

Opening 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, but…

language barrier

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

consumer goods/shopping

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.

Wise – Manage your money in Portugal with ease

Think you’re ready to take the plunge and move to Portugal? Or are you just planning a visit to check it out? Either way, you’ll need access to your money while you’re abroad, and that could mean transferring some internationally.

However, using a bank for international transfers and spending abroad can get very expensive due to exchange rate mark-ups and non-sterling transaction fees.

But luckily, there is a faster, easier and money-saving alternative available from the money services provider Wise. It’s not a bank, but offers many similar features and services – and it’s all fully digital for your convenience.

Open a Wise account and you can manage your money in 40+ currencies, including GBP and EUR. You can also send money internationally for low fees, fair mid-market exchange rates, and no hidden fees.

You can also get a Wise debit card. This card has no foreign transaction fees for spending abroad – only a tiny currency conversion fee if you don’t have the foreign currency on your account already.

Sign up with Wise today


By Lala