Living in Portugal — five reasons

What’s all the fuss about Portugal you may ask? Well for starters it’s only one of the best countries for expats to live in according to the Portuguese government’s official Portugal Golden Visa statistics. What else can you expect from a country that is blessed with more than 300 days of sunshine a year, a relaxed lifestyle, and very affordable living costs? But that’s far from being it. In this article, we present five top reasons to move to Portugal.

1- The weather is stunning

If you’re dreading a cold winter with no sunlight, Portugal is the exact opposite. To give you an idea: Lisbon averages ten hours of sunlight during wintertime — an absolute blast compared to the Northern European nations.

Therefore, it is not exaggerated to state that Portugal is an oasis for expats seeking sun and warmth. Because of Portugal’s impressive size, the climate will vary depending on where you settle.

The more you’ll head south, the warmer it gets. But in general, you’ll find that  Portuguese winters are mild, and the summers sunny and warm.

2- The cost of living is very affordable

The cost of living is always a major thing to consider when moving to a new country. A very attractive aspect of Portugal is that it has affordable living costs. To give you an idea: the cost of living in the US is approximately 42% more expensive than the cost of living in Portugal. Top-quality real estate properties, restaurants, groceries, and commodities are available in Portugal at affordable prices.

3- Portugal’s diversity is outstanding 

With 1800 km of coastline, Portugal offers incredible diversity to its inhabitants. Depending on the region you pick, you’ll find a variety of landscapes and lifestyles.

If you’re looking to escape the summer heat and crowds, head to the Northern part of Portugal, where the weather is cool and tranquility abounds. Famous for its numerous national parks and winter ski slopes, the Northern part of Portugal is perfect for sporty nature lovers.

If you are craving city life, the very multicultural and dynamic cities of Porto and Lisbon are where you should stay. These major European hubs are filled with co-working spaces, businesses, cultural activities, restaurants, bars, and discos. There will not be a day where you’ll be bored over here. 

If you are seeking to live in the countryside surrounded by peace and quiet, then you should go to Central Portugal. Over here you’ll find that the lifestyle is very relaxed and slow-paced, and the cost of living cheaper than in other parts of the country. It’s also the ideal place to live if you enjoy very hot weather.

Did I hear sun, surf, and beach? The South of Portugal is the ultimate place to be if you’re into a holiday type of lifestyle. The Algarve is notably famous for its stunning beauty, sunny weather, and attractive beaches.

4- The real estate market is booming

When looking to move to a new country, one of the crucial questions you have to ask yourself is “Can I acquire property as a foreigner?”.

In Portugal, the answer is a resonating “Yes”. With a booming and affordable real estate market, Portugal has many attractive properties on offer.

Whether you are looking to purchase a brand new apartment in Lisbon, renovate an old barn in the countryside, or buy a villa by the beach, there are plenty of options available to accommodate your needs and at very stable prices with little market fluctuations.

For further information read our guide on how to buy property in Portugal.

5- Several immigration schemes offer residency in Portugal

Portugal has built a reputation for welcoming expats with open arms, as evidenced by its numerous immigration schemes.  

The immigration procedures are relatively straightforward, making moving to Portugal and obtaining a residency visa a hassle-free experience. The most famous immigration options for expats seeking to live in Portugal are the Portugal Golden Visa program and the D7 visa. 

Portugal Golden Visa

Launched in 2012, the Portugal Golden Visa is a unique immigration program allowing non-EU investors and their families to obtain Portuguese residency in a few months in exchange for an economic investment. The program is very popular in Europe due to its benefits and multiple qualifying investment routes. The Golden Visa can even lead to the obtention of a Portuguese passport provided that investors hold the Portugal Golden Visa for five years.

Take a look at our Portugal Golden Visa Guide by local experts

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D7 visa

The D7 visa is ideal for retirees or entrepreneurs seeking to live in Portugal with their own funds. Providing you are a non-EU citizen and can show an income or pensions (for a 12-month duration) of €7.200, you can apply for the visa. Renewable for up to five years, this visa is ideal for expats seeking to live in Portugal without having to make a major economic investment.

Frequently asked questions about living in Portugal

Is living in Portugal expensive?

Living in Portugal is actually very affordable compared to many other European countries. Portugal’s cost of living is also about 42% cheaper than the cost of living in the US.

What are the main benefits of living in Portugal?

There are many benefits of living in Portugal. From sunny weather and diverse landscapes to affordable living costs and attractive immigration schemes, the country really has so much to offer.

How can I move to Portugal?

The most popular immigration schemes available to non-EU citizens looking to move to Portugal are the Portugal Golden Visa and the D7 visa. The former offers Portuguese residency to applicants and their families in exchange for an economic investment, while the latter grants Portuguese residency to applicants providing they can support themselves financially during their stay in Portugal.