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Any Singles Moving to Portugal on their Own??

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Posts: 10
Topic starter
(@sarar)
Member
Joined: 5 months ago

Hi Everyone

Are there any singles moving on their own to Portugal?

Would love to hear your perspective on making a move to Portugal on your own

91 Replies




Posts: 112
Premium Member
(@luise)
Estimable Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posted by: @luise

Good luck with your October move.

*trip* not move 🙄

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Posts: 19
Premium Member
(@sbwtwo)
Active Member
Joined: 1 year ago

Olá todos!

Another single dude planning to move to Portugal.  Definitely want to meet others for social and possible friendships, but not for dating. 

Guts is not my strong suit, but I'm heading in this direction so it's more like placing one foot in front of the other.   I assume I'll get there next year.  That's the plan. 

About to head over for ~3 weeks of scouting.  At this point (and after 18 months of reading and viewing), I'm thinking Matosinhos, but reserve judgment until I get feet on the ground and see what's what. 

Would definitely participate in a private group of non-dating singles.

Tchau!

-scott

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24 Replies
Premium Member
(@cindyb)
Joined: 5 months ago

Trusted Member
Posts: 63

@sbwtwo Hey Scott, I am heading over myself in a few days for 3 weeks. Matosinhos is on my radar screen too. If you are open for coffee and to compare notes, give a shout.

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Premium Member
(@misticjeff)
Joined: 1 year ago

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Posts: 11
Posted by: @cindyb

@sbwtwo Hey Scott, I am heading over myself in a few days for 3 weeks. Matosinhos is on my radar screen too. If you are open for coffee and to compare notes, give a shout.

Definitely keep this thread updated on Matosinhos.  I'm looking there or the Bonfim district in Porto. May move my schedule up to September next year.  See how the stock market does over the winter ;-P

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Premium Member
(@sbwtwo)
Joined: 1 year ago

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Posts: 19

@misticjeff Not to take this too far off original topic, but if you haven't already discovered Exapts Everywhere, they have a series of vids that offers a glimpse of areas around Porto, including Matosinhos and Gaia. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ru16JFaLj90

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Premium Member
(@luise)
Joined: 1 year ago

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Posts: 112

@sbwtwo ExpatsEverywhere are doing a sterling job of showing areas and places to possibly settle 🙂

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Premium Member
(@misticjeff)
Joined: 1 year ago

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Posts: 11
Posted by: @sbwtwo

@misticjeff Not to take this too far off original topic, but if you haven't already discovered Exapts Everywhere, they have a series of vids that offers a glimpse of areas around Porto, including Matosinhos and Gaia. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ru16JFaLj90

Oh Yes! I've been watching them since the beginning of their Portugal journey and their most recent Matosinhos vid. Fantastic stuff!

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Premium Member
(@sbwtwo)
Joined: 1 year ago

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Posts: 19

@cindyb Hi Cindy.  I'll be traveling quite a bit with a few friends--we have (up to) 12 destinations we plan to visit with a rather loose itinerary so I imagine it'll be easier to coordinate an after trip zoom call to share the fullness of our experiences.  I'd be happy to set that up once I'm back.  In the meantime, safe travels.  Since I haven't heard otherwise definitively, I assume that we will not have an issue entering the country as tourists.

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Premium Member
(@cindyb)
Joined: 5 months ago

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Posts: 63

@sbwtwo Sounds like a plan, Scott. Geez, you sound like me. I have 3 "hubs" from which I will be exploring and I have kept my itinerary loose as well so that I can spend more or less time somewhere.

I too am banking on entry into the country with vax certificate and negative covid test. Fingers crossed.

I enjoy watching Expats Everywhere! I've got their latest on Gaia in my Watch Later queue on YouTube. Thanks for passing it along.

Safe and fun travels!

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Premium Member
(@sbwtwo)
Joined: 1 year ago

Active Member
Posts: 19

@cindyb Same--Lisbon hub, Coimbra hub, and Porto hub.

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Premium Member
(@ryanfromzion)
Joined: 4 months ago

Active Member
Posts: 11

@sbwtwo Hi Scott.i would also like to hear about your scouting trip, as i plan to make my move the end of the year...and cant get out there for recon. Looks like we have similar ideas regarding "hubs"...i plan to spend the first year in Lisbon area (campo de Ourique or Ajuda), but plan to live in the north for summer (Porto, Braga, Gaia, Mato...possibly Coimbra) and Algarve for the winter (portimao). 

Glad to see this thread is getting traction...i thought i was the only solo emmigrant!  🙂

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Premium Member
(@midlifecrisis)
Joined: 2 months ago

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Posts: 38

@sbwtwo forgive me for offering an opinion you haven't asked for but 12 destinations is a lot for even a month. Also, you're buying into a much slower lifestyle I'm guessing and you need time in a place to drink that in. Some places will come to life on a market day or at the weekend and you want a chance to experience the ebb and flow which is difficult if every place is a daytrip. Anyway I'm sure you'll enjoy the journey no matter what.

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Premium Member
(@jeanne)
Joined: 12 months ago

Estimable Member
Posts: 249

@midlifecrisis   Very well said.  That is one of the reasons i don't rely much on the city-overview type of YouTube channels to garner information.  They show a couple of highlights and point out a few attractions (which they likely looked up on Wiki), but cannot possibly give a real feel for the day-to-day.

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Premium Member
(@sbwtwo)
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Posts: 19

@midlifecrisis Please feel free to offer suggestions, opinions, criticism.  I'm traveling with an engineer who is focused on efficiency, but he's also willing to chill.  I suspect we will drop a few of the cities--(I'm eying you, Vila do Conde and Povoa de Varzim).  I mainly need to validate that Portugal is the right place for me and then see if somewhere around Porto will be good for year one. I don't like it too hot.  Will I like it rainy?  Maybe I'll be a rainbird and head to Lagos or Portimao or Madeira for a few weeks in the winter.

Based on my armchair calculations, I think Matosinhos is the right place for me for the first year, but if something else catches my eye (Bonfim?), then I want to be open to it.  This trip is not about finding my forever home.

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Premium Member
(@midlifecrisis)
Joined: 2 months ago

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Posts: 38

@sbwtwo Honestly imho, if you spent a week in each of your 3 hubs you'd have a very good idea if Portugal is the place for you, they are texturally quite different. Coimbra is a lovely university city (with a great hospital) but I guess you may want to swap it for one of the smaller towns you mentioned if you want to experience an even more chilled out lifestyle. Remember nothing is very far away in Portugal so I wouldn't worry about shopping centres (there will be a Pingo Doce within 20 minutes drive worst case). If you end up in the Greater Lisbon area for a year you will be absolutely blown away and still able to explore the country. Best of luck

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Premium Member
(@sbwtwo)
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Posts: 19

@midlifecrisis I find smaller towns appealing, but I will be dependent on my feet and public transit which directs me more towards a larger community.  I've only been here a day and a half and already am getting a vibe from this part of Lisbon, but also understand it's like the elephant analogy.  There is no One Lisbon.  It's a patchwork of many different neighborhoods and mixes of population.  I like what I've seen thus far.

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Premium Member
(@midlifecrisis)
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@sbwtwo excellent, enjoy Lisbon it's a beautiful city.

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(@cindyb)
Joined: 5 months ago

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Posts: 63

@sbwtwo I arrived in Lisbon yesterday! I was so tired from the flight I didn't trust myself to stray too far but today I hit the streets. I am headed to Caldas this weekend and then Porto.

Good luck in your search and have fun!

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Premium Member
(@sbwtwo)
Joined: 1 year ago

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Posts: 19

I've been blessed with sciatica after the long flight from the US.  Thankfully there are no hills or steps in Portugal.

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Premium Member
(@midlifecrisis)
Joined: 2 months ago

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Posts: 38

@sbwtwo How's it going?

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Premium Member
(@sbwtwo)
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Posts: 19

@midlifecrisis I'm nearing the end of my scouting trip.  I've checked out a fraction of Lisbon, Setubal, Cascais, Sintra, Coimbra, Figueira da Foz, Matosinhos, Foz do Douro, Leca da Palma, and Porto.  I am a big fan of the water and want to live near it in retirement. 

The coastline of Setubal didn't disappoint.  There is a good amount of green areas down near the water.  We didn't explore too far to see about the housing in the 'new' area of town.  It was nice to have the train service from Lisbon. 

Lisbon overwhelmed me.  We were based out of a part of the city near the intersection of the green and red lines at Alameda.  Got a real workout getting to and from the airbnb where we stayed.  Up, up, up a hill.  The metro is first-rate!  But...it's a lot of building, very little green unless you find a small park.  We did take in a stretch along the river near the Orient Train station.  Modern structures which likely have wonderful water views, but it felt a bit sterile. 

Cascais was quite beautiful, but the center of town is built for the tourists and even though the 'season' is past, there were still plenty of them enjoying the sun, cobblestone streets, and diverse cuisine.  This is where I had my first Sagres mini (thank you, Nancy).  I was surprised by how good it was.  (And for those who compare standard Sagres to Super Bock, I prefer Sagres.  But I also love Super Bock Black--their stout.)  

Sintra was quite stunning, once you got out of the touristy area.  I love a good view of water or open land.  Sintra had water way off in the distance, but also views of an open landscape.

The real surprise was Coimbra.  My friends and I loved the area around the river and our airbnb here was high up in the university area.  We had a fantastic view of the river, greenery and trees, and the buildings below.  Here is a nice mix of old buildings and new construction.  Enjoyed a quiet drink in one of the squares with Carol and Ted.  If I had to choose between Lisbon and Coimbra, Coimbra would win hands down.  It's much less dense both in terms of population and structures.  And there is frequent train service to other major points in the country.  That said, when we sat to enjoy a meal in one of the open squares, our waitress couldn't believe we would consider living there over a larger city such as Lisbon or Porto.   She claimed that once you'd seen Coimbra (which would not take too long), there was little else to do there.

From Coimbra we trained up to Porto and then metroed out to Matosinhos where we are currently staying in an airbnb not far from the beach.  I love walking along the water as the waves come in.  Leça da Palmeira, Matosinhos, and Foz do Douro have distinctive coasts.  I find Leça da Palmeira the best looking beach of the three, but there is no shade.  Matosinhos beach is active with surfers, and Foz do Douro has trees and grassy areas where you can enjoy the sights and sounds of the ocean away from the sun if that's your thing.

There is a lot of new construction as well as rehab work going on in the three adjacent communities.

I've got some thinking to do.

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(@cindyb)
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@sbwtwo Thanks for your observations! I am headed to Porto myself on Sunday.

I am really liking Caldas da Rainha and extended my stay here.

 

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(@sbwtwo)
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And then I visited Viana do Castelo.  If only I could have the infrastructure of Porto in this setting...  The area is the best I've visited in terms of easy access to greenery and water.  Apart from some investment in renovation of the older parts of town (there is a sort of square just down from the train station (and in this location, down isn't too steep)), but all the way down to the front of the bottom row of buildings is a shady park that runs much of the length of town.  Lots of benches, a water feature (not too dramatic, but it was water and it was flowing), and then closer to the river is the walkway.  This town loves their water.  I noticed several folks making their way to the walkway to take in the river after a day's work.  Some sat along the stone barrier, gazing off into space or rather, across the river to the Darque side which has a less developed river walkway, but still quite a treat.  AND, the Darque side features ocean beach and related sporting activities--surfing (wind and board) as well as kite surfing or water skiing. 

There seems a lot of new construction underway in the Viana side of the river and what appears to be halted development on the Darque side.  Still, many expensive looking homes spread out away from the river. 

Not sure what the industry is--there is the port, of course.  I was able to walk to two each of Pingo Doce and Contiente.  There are several cafes and such spread out as well. 

If I were to take up driving again, I would probably want to live here, but I don't want to drive so I'll consider retreating here for stretches of days in the future.  There is a local bus system, but damned if I could figure it out.  Lots of buses Monday through Friday, but very little presence on the weekends.  And there is the train station, of course.  I took the train this morning back to Lisbon in a bit over 4 hours.  Beautiful countryside to see all along the way.

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Premium Member
(@midlifecrisis)
Joined: 2 months ago

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Posts: 38

@sbwtwo Well wherever you end up you can continue your exploration.

What I like about your feedback is that you can feel the fascination with the country. Rather than moaning about not being able to find a Target or canned cranberries as I heard a Youtuber recently, you are searching out a quintessential Portuguese life. I appreciate it'll take years to fully immerse yourself (my Dad's neighbour is a Canadian-Portuguese and he said it took him 2 years to slow his body clock down) but I can feel the passion of someone running towards something, not away from something. Boa sorte com suas escolhas e uma vida feliz

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Premium Member
(@sbwtwo)
Joined: 1 year ago

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@midlifecrisis I won't miss canned cranberries, but oh the memories of Thanksgivings past...  I plan to adjust to my new environment and fellow Portuguese.  Why else leave all that you know behind to live in a new country with a culture you don't know and a language you currently don't speak?  That doesn't mean I'll start eating fish--okay, I'll try the canned tuna, there is just so much of it!  Shelves and shelves.  I've already adopted the beer which is a bit odd as I'm not a beer drinker state-side, but those minis (20ml) are just the ticket after a vigorous walk in the sun.  And I'll find the correct lingo to order my galão escuro in the areas south of Porto.  In Porto, everyone knew what I meant, but the Lisboans...you want a gallon of what?

It was fun for the few moments when a cashier assumed I was Portuguese (or spoke Portuguese).  A few olas and boa tardes and you're a pro.  I always made it through the 'do you want a bag' question, but it was at the point when they would ask if you wanted to record your NIF that they caught on.  Or heaven forbid they asked me what my selection of breads were...I couldn't answer that one in English!  It doesn't matter--they're all good.  Just take one of each.   And I need to learn my numbers.  I would be told the total for my groceries and I'd try to look surreptitiously around them to see if the total showed up on the display.  There was the one time when I was told my total and had to hold out a hand filled with coins to get help selecting which ones would cover the total.  But it will come with time.  I want to be part of the community not just a stranger wandering through it.

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Premium Member
(@longhornlady)
Joined: 1 year ago

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Posts: 95

@sbwtwo I really like Mato. Might buy a place there eventually.

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Community Member
(@droops63)
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Joined: 7 months ago

Am considering moving there in, maybe, four or five years, after retirement.  Need to make a trip to see the country first.  A bit fearful of travel with Covid these days, trying to decide if I should come to Lisbon in early October and check out the city to start.

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Premium Member
(@cindyb)
Joined: 5 months ago

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Posts: 63

@droops63 I absolutely understand your hesitation to travel with the covid situation. You are welcome to hang out here and build your Portugal community in the meantime!

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Posts: 95
Premium Member
(@longhornlady)
Trusted Member
Joined: 1 year ago

Hi Leornard: Sorry, I haven't been on here in awhile. I hope I am not too late to meet up with you in Porto.

Paula

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Premium Member
(@luise)
Joined: 1 year ago

Estimable Member
Posts: 112

@longhornlady Hi Paula @cindyB is trying to find that facebook group for solo women moving to Portugal. If you still have the info could you point her in the right direction? TIA ☺️

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Premium Member
(@longhornlady)
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Posts: 95

@luise 

Solo in Style: Women over 50 traveling solo & Loving it - is one of them

Women over 50 Moving to Portugal Friendship Group

 

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Premium Member
(@cindyb)
Joined: 5 months ago

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Posts: 63

@longhornlady I had the Portugal group but not Solo in Style! Thank you!

I was looking for a co-ed singles group in Portugal especially for ex-pats. You know what they say...if you don't find something, then do it!

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Premium Member
(@longhornlady)
Joined: 1 year ago

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Posts: 95

@cindyb Start one and I will be your first member.

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(@cindyb)
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Posts: 182
Community Member
(@aspidistra)
Estimable Member
Joined: 3 months ago

Hi gang, I have decided to join in on this thread too. I am not actually single but will be living in Portugal part of the year each year without my partner (long story) so I am hoping I can have honorary membership of the singles group.

I already spent a couple of winters here and I thought I would say my thoughts on meeting people. I found joining a beginner’s language group was one of the best ways to meet people, because normally beginners are new arrivals and keen to meet others. Also they may not be single but if they go to the classes on their own they may be people who enjoy the company of others.

I have also chosen to live within a short distance of a town where there is plenty going on. So in the countryside but with other houses nearby.  I would love to live right out in the middle of nowhere but I think that can be a bit difficult on your own.

I chose the Algarve, but inland, because there is a huge expat community down here. Not all of that community is to my taste but until I have lived in Portugal and really feel I have a better grasp of the language, it makes life a lot easier. 

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Premium Member
(@cindyb)
Joined: 5 months ago

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Posts: 63

@aspidistra Honorary member!

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