Unless you are moving to a new country because of a particular job or opportunity, you may be questioning why Portugal over other countries. What makes it a great place to live? Here are some points to add to your list when considering Portugal as your new home.
The Portuguese are generally extremely helpful and friendly. They will often go out of their way to assist a stranger and will willingly share their knowledge and their passion for all things Portugal.
Nearly all of the younger generation have learned English at school and will be delighted to have an opportunity to practice.
Away from the tourist areas, the older generation will have little or no English and therefore it is recommended to have some knowledge of Portuguese, even at just basic level. The goodwill of making an effort will go a long way.
The Portuguese are also very family orientated and it is not unusual to see several generations of a family sharing a restaurant meal together.
Football, history, culture and coffee are among other Portuguese passions.
Buying a car in Portugal is much more expensive than most other countries in Europe. New cars are taxed heavily and used cars hold their value.
You can matriculate a car from another country but do check the requirements as this can be expensive. However, whilst the cost of car ownership is high, this is more than offset by the generally low cost of living in Portugal.
In many rural areas of Portugal, internet reception is still poor. If you need the internet, it is worthwhile to check the reception in an area before you decide to buy or rent a property.
Everyone, of course, has a mobile phone and most will have a package offering cheap or free calls and texts within Portugal. Calls to foreign numbers can still be expensive and this might deter someone from calling you back. Worth getting a Portuguese number.
House insulation and central heating are relatively new concepts in Portugal. Although Portugal is a warm country, it can get cold at night and due to a lack of insulation and poor building quality, home interiors can become very cold. Older houses were also built to keep out the hot sun which is fine in Summer but not great in Winter.
Since December 2013, it is a legal requirement for all properties that are advertised commercially for sale or rent to have an Energy Performance Certificate. Among other things, this will calculate the thermal efficiency of the property. Buildings with a construction license issued prior to 2006 must have an energy certificate but are not required to meet any particular grade. Buildings with a construction license issued after 4th July 2006 must meet the standards of grade B or above. The top rating is A+ and the lowest rating is G. If you are considering to buy or rent a property with a rating of C or lower, you may have heating and insulation issues.
If you are looking to send money abroad consider TransferWise. It’s a great tool for sending and receiving money internationally with low fees — much cheaper than using your local bank. You can also get your own local bank account details in Europe, UK, US, Australia and New Zealand with the TransferWise Borderless account.
Looking for a product or service from a business that speaks your language? Browse our directory of English-speaking, expat-friendly businesses across Portugal.
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