I’ve been here in Portugal for almost 12 month now and lots of people ask me ‘is Portugal a good place to live?’ I would say absolutely – of course I think it is otherwise I would not choose to stay here! But although it is a great place to live, there are certain things that you should be aware of, and I hope to share those in this blog.
Is Portugal a good place to live? Absolutely!
So first of all we will take a look at the positives. Portugal is becoming an extremely popular choice amongst digital nomads, expats and pensioners. The weather, value for money and healthy diet are all reasons why Portugal is a good place to live.
Climate and Sunshine
Let’s face it, Portugal offers an excellent climate for most of the year, with just December and January as the bleak months (although these winters are not a patch on how dark and cold it gets in the UK!) The sunny climate is over 20 degrees for most of the year and this means that Portugal has a great outdoor culture. Beach Volleyball, surfing and hiking are often on the cards. So if you enjoy the sun and an outdoor lifestyle then Portugal will be a great option for you!
In Portugal, they eat a lot of salads, fresh vegetables and fish. This kind of diet is much healthier than the class UK and USA diet of stodgy food and take outs. You might find that you lose weight in Portugal and look/feel much healthier.
Value for Money
Portugal works out much cheaper than most UK cities. If we compare the two capitals – London and Lisbon, rent in Lisbon is almost half in many areas! You can rent a decent apartment in Lisbon for around $1000 which is about £800, so the cost of living in Lisbon is very reasonable for a European capital.
Accessible and lots to see
If you are living in Portugal, you will come to know that no-where in Portugal is really too far away to visit. There are plenty of amazing cities to satisfy your need for history, culture and travel. You can usually drive to many new cities within a day. It’s also possible to go for long weekends in really beautiful spots, for example, many people go to the Algarve from Lisbon for the odd weekend.
Is Portugal a Good Place to Live? Yes but there are Downsides!
Although I love living here, there are many things that annoy me from time to time about living in Portugal. Bureaucracy can be a challenge and this is exacerbated by the language barrier if you don’t learn to speak Portuguese. There are other annoyances such as barking dogs, cold houses in winter and slippery pavements!
Working and Earning in Portugal
If you are looking to find work then you will find it hard to earn a decent wage in Portugal. A decent monthly wage in Portugal is €800 (Pricing many Portuguese out of the rental market in big cities like Lisbon and Porto).
However, many digital nomads and immigrants are able to keep their job from their home country and work remotely on their laptops. Also many people who move to Portugal end up freelancing. You will maximise your earning potential and minimise your spending by doing things this way, and ultimately you will leave yourself with disposable income and the best possible quality of life.
However, there is no such thing as the perfect place and I would say that overall the positives outweigh the negatives of living in Portugal.
If you are interested in further reading on this, you might enjoy the following articles…