According to the latest figures, the ex-pat community in Portugal is made up of half a million foreign residents. Despite the coronavirus pandemic affecting much of Europe and the world, Portugal remains very popular among those planning to change their lives and emigrate in 2021, especially those who have realized that a change in lifestyle is necessary. life as a result of the pandemic. With everything that Portugal has to offer, from its pleasant climate to a relaxed lifestyle, the number of foreigners moving to Portugal in the future will increase. If you are thinking of moving there are some important things you should know before moving to Portugal: not everything is sun, beach, and sea.
Portugal is not Spain
First things first, Portugal is certainly not Spain. Although this sounds obvious, many people make the mistake of thinking that these Mediterranean neighbors are identical, but quite the opposite. The unique geographical distribution of the Iberian Peninsula has meant that Spain and Portugal have developed in relative isolation from each other, and although the two countries have a good relationship, things are not the same. Apart from the language, there are many other differences between Portugal and Spain, especially when it comes to cultural differences: from the people and landscapes to the food, Portugal is in luck due to its unique culture.
Learn some Portuguese before moving
Moving to a new country is a wonderful experience and it involves embracing a new culture and with it a new language. Although Portugal is a country with many expats and English speakers, it is a good idea to learn some Portuguese before you move for a number of reasons. Although English in Portugal is generally quite good, some basic Portuguese phrases will go a long way, especially if you’re planning to buy or rent a property, or if you’re completing paperwork during a move.
Research shows that foreigners who move to Portugal and make the effort to learn Portuguese report higher levels of satisfaction overall. If you want to establish yourself properly in Portugal and if you want to make friends, speaking Portuguese only has advantages, as well as the fact that you can find a better-paid job.
Cost of living in Portugal
Portugal is widely known as an affordable country, where things like eating out, buying food, and even buying or renting property are much cheaper than most other EU countries. The most expensive place to live in Portugal is Lisbon, with property prices on the rise, while inland areas that are further from the coast tend to have the cheapest property prices in Portugal, as well as the cost of general life. It is said that the average cost of living in Portugal is around 1,500 euros per month and, depending on the part of Portugal you live in, this figure could be more or less.
Portugal is more than just the Algarve
While the Algarve is one of the most popular areas of Portugal for foreigners with its obvious draw of warm weather and beaches, Portugal has much more to offer and is home to some of the best places in the world for ex-pats. From cozy towns to beautiful countryside, there is much more to Portugal than its beautiful beaches, and if you want to live on the coast but away from the Algarve’s tourist hub, the Silver Coast could be the perfect destination for you, as it has some of the best places to enjoy surfing in Portugal.
In addition to this, do not rule out the impressive islands of Portugal, from Madeira to the Azores, you will surely fall in love with these places outside the usual circuits. Certain areas of Portugal are even initiating plans to incentivize people to move inland or to remote areas to live and work, due to the rise in telecommuting as a result of the coronavirus.
It’s not always sunny in Portugal
If you are thinking of moving to Portugal for good weather, you can’t go wrong, as the country is famous for its sunshine. Temperatures in the Algarve reach an annual average of 18°C and can even rise above 40°C in summer.
However, you are wrong if you think that moving to Portugal will provide you with a permanent escape from the winter cold. In the winter months, temperatures in central and northern Portugal can easily drop below freezing, while rain is a regular occurrence throughout the country. In short, you will enjoy a lot of good weather in Portugal, but it is advisable to bring a coat!
Be prepared for paperwork
When moving to Portugal, it’s a good idea to come prepared and bring any documentation you may have with you, as it may be required to become a resident or even sign up for healthcare. As a foreigner, you will need to apply for various documents, and for someone from the UK, things are now a bit more complicated due to Brexit.
Food and culture
Portugal is a foodie’s paradise and is generally packed with leisure activities, coronavirus permitting. Whether you are moving alone, with your family, or if you are retired, Portugal has a lot to offer you. If you like golf, the Algarve has some of the best courses in Europe, while the cities of Portugal are brimming with history waiting to be discovered. If you are a food enthusiast, the gastronomic delights of Portugal are for you, the fresh fish and the wine are local products that you have to try.
What are the Portuguese like is a big question for those who are considering moving to the country. And although it is difficult to define the character of a nation in such a general way, the consensus is that the Portuguese are calm, helpful, welcoming, and friendly.