Whether briefly visiting for a few magical days or planning to take advantage of the long-term opportunity to live quietly and peacefully, this cosmopolitan city is always entertaining. So let's have a look at the evidence, and answer our question: Why retire in Lisbon?

Lisbon is fashionable

The hidden capital of Europe has recently been highlighted by major international newspapers, and always for the same reason: they have (re)discovered an undervalued treasure. Those who visit always reach the same conclusion: Lisbon is the place of the moment.

Lisbon has great weather

It has one of the best climates in Europe. It is sunnier than Madrid, Rome or Athens, and Lisbon usually has an Atlantic breeze that serves as natural air conditioning to temper the warm Mediterranean air coming from the south. Beaches are 20 minutes from the city center by train on the Cascais or Costa da Caparica line, delighting those who need a break from the urban rhythm. The Tagus River also contributes greatly to the beauty of the landscape and lifestyle of Lisbon.

It is historic

Lisbon is the second oldest capital of Europe, after Athens. It was ruled by Germans, Romans and Arabs before the Portuguese crusaders took possession of it in the 19th century. It has been the birthplace of artists, poets, writers, romantics, warriors and revolutionaries, each with their own legend, and forming part of Lisbon’s immense cultural tradition.

Ahh yes, and it's cultural!

The Portuguese capital has always been very romantic. It has influenced many artists, and the cultural panorama of Lisbon is extensive and enviable. It seems no one gets tired of presenting new projects, new art and new spaces. Theatres, operas, fados... Lisbon has a cultivated culture in constant renewal. Tradition is taken seriously and is continuously practised and improved.

It's cheap

Lisbon’s reasonable cost of living attracts people from all over the world. The average income does not even enter into the top 50 of world cities. Not to mention the food, which is famous for being so good and costing so little. The real estate market, regardless of its fluctuations, remains cheap compared to other European cities offering similar conditions to its inhabitants. Lisbon is a paradise in terms of quality for the price, and that is why so many people decide to extend their savings with modest Portuguese prices.

Did someone say...food?

Yes, the Portuguese gastronomy. "The way to a person's heart is through his stomach." We do not know who said it, but they must have passed through Lisbon to come up with such an idea. The traditional Portuguese recipes are lovingly passed down from generation to generation. Cod is a symbol of the nation, and the pastels of Belem seem to have fallen from heaven. The seafood is fresh and enviable and the chorizo is immediately loved by all who taste it. Palates are enriched in Portugal and the word temptation gains a new dimension.

Also...it's easy!

For citizens of the European Union, the process is very straightforward and uncomplicated; they can easily apply for residence and quickly enjoy many benefits just like the locals. The process must be started in one of the SEF (Foreigners and Borders Service) bureaus. Citizens who do not belong to the EU must apply for a residence permit at the Portuguese consulate in their country, which lasts for five years and then allows the option to apply for permanent residence. For those who want to invest, there is also the Golden Visa program that allows one to obtain a residence permit through investment.

And finally...

It offers the status of “non-habitual resident,” which allows retirees, investors and business people, amongst others, to be exempt from taxes for ten years. To take advantage of the Non-Habitual Tax program, you must register as a tax resident in Portugal, rent out or buy a property in Portugal, and must not have been a tax resident in Portugal for the previous five years. No doubt not paying taxes for ten years is a strong attraction for retirees, as well as investors and business people, to Portugal.

NHR Ending: October 2023 Update

The Portuguese Government submitted the State Budget Proposal for 2024, and it includes the changes that determine the end of the Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) regime. 

This is the initial version, which will still be subject to debates and votes, but which, given the majority that the Government party holds in the Assembly, cannot and should not be ignored. In effect, the proposed change has the following consequences from 01/01/2024: 

  • Anyone who already has the NHR at the time of entry into force maintains the regime under the same terms until completing ten years of benefiting from the status
  • Anyone who meets the conditions for registration as non-habitual residents on 31 December 2023, as well as holders of a residence visa valid on that date, will be able to register within the deadline available (until 31 March 2024) and benefit from the scheme. 

The final vote on the budget law will take place on 29 November 2023. Until then, we will closely monitor the evolution of this topic. You can find more information in our article: Is the Portugal NHR Program Ending?

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.