Portugal has long been hailed as one of the best places for Americans looking to relocate or invest in Europe.

Forbes magazine and the European Best Destinations (EBD) organization recently reaffirmed this, including the Algarve, Braga, and Azores in their list of the “20 best places for Americans to live, invest, and work in Europe.”

This article uncovers why Americans are picking Portugal, the new statistics from the Global Intelligence Unit that back this claim, and more information regarding the Forbes list.

Why Americans are picking Portugal?

The Global Intelligence Unit (GIU) thoroughly investigated why Americans pick Portugal and other countries for retirement to deliver a comprehensive retirement guide for Americans. 

Using Quality of Life, Security and Integration, and Economics as benchmarks, Portugal ranked second overall for US citizens to retire.

What is the Global Intelligence Unit?

Relocation at any age is a huge decision.

Global Citizen Solutions launched the Global Intelligence Unit (GIU) to deliver data-driven, thoroughly researched information to people looking to immigrate.

Take a look at our Global Intelligence Unit Retirement Guide for US Citizens

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Best places for Americans in Portugal

Algarve Coast | GCS

According to the Forbes EBD list, these were the top locations in Portugal for retirees.


Americans focus on Portugal’s sunny Algarve, which is jampacked with gorgeous beaches, excellent weather, and a low population density. The Algarve is world-renowned for its surf and outdoor water sports, making it a perfect place for American digital nomads who surf online daily and surf waves after work.

São Brás de Alportel

This is another favorite among American expats, with its mesmerizing green hills and breathtaking Ocean views. Along with the Algarve’s high-quality international schools and proximity to Lisbon, Americans view Portugal as one of the happiest countries to live in.


Braga offers the best quality of life for US expats and is regarded as ‘the Portuguese Rome’. Rich in history and culture, Braga has no shortage of green spaces and international schools. Neither does it have a shortage of investment opportunities. Experiencing tourism growth, more and more Americans are seizing the opportunity to invest in property for short-term rentals. 

Besides Portugal, other popular European cities included on the EBD list include:

  • Madrid
  • San Sebastian
  • Malaga
  • Brighton
  • Hamburg
  • Berlin
  • Athens
  • Brest-Terres Oceánes and Alsace
  • Brussels
  • Vienna
  • Rotterdam
  • Tuscany
  • Basel
  • Dubrovnik
  • Cork
  • Poland

How are Americans making the move to Portugal?

Portugal has two highly successful programs that have enabled Americans to move to Portugal easily enough. The popular Portugal Golden Visa Scheme invites expats to make a qualifying investment in the nation and, in turn, receive legal residency within a few short months. The second option would be to go through Portugal’s Passive Income D7 visa, but do note this option is available for passive income earners only.

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

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Exploring Visa and Immigration Options for Portugal

If you're considering making the move to Portugal, it's essential to be informed about the various visa and residency options available. The Golden Visa Portugal program is an attractive option for many, offering residency to investors and their families. For those eyeing retirement in this beautiful country, the Retirement Visa (D7) is tailored for you. Digital nomads can take advantage of both short and long stay options with the Nomad Visa (D8). Meanwhile, the NHR - Non Habitual Tax regime provides significant tax benefits for new residents. 

For the entrepreneurial spirit, Portugal offers the Entrepreneurship/startup Visa (D2) - Start-up Visa (open company) tailored for those looking to establish their businesses in the country. Those with specialized skills can explore the Work visa for highly qualified employees (D3). Additionally, if you have Portuguese ancestry, you might be eligible for Citizenship by descent

However, moving to a new country isn't just about visas. If you're thinking of buying property, our guide on Buying Property in Portugal can offer invaluable insights. Dive deeper into the immigration process with our comprehensive Portugal immigration guide. For Americans specifically looking to relocate, we have curated information on Americans moving to Portugal. Lastly, one can't forget the importance of the NIF (Tax Registration Number), a crucial step in any relocation process. 

Why choose Global Citizen Solutions for your Immigration Visa?


  • GCS has offices located across Portugal.
  • Members of the US-Portugal and UK-Portugal Chambers of Commerce in Portugal, and the Investment Migration Council (IMC).
  • Our expert team can help you throughout your journey to secure your Visa. 


  • Our successful track record in applications provides reassurance to applicants. 
  • We have helped clients from more than 35 countries secure residency in Portugal.


  • With a single channel of communication, our approach ensures that you have complete clarity on your application. 
  • Our BeGlobal® Onboarding System allows for a total flow of information.


  • Our pricing is clear and detailed, you will not face any hidden costs.
  • All data is stored within a GDPR-compliant database on a secure SSL-encrypted server.