Why Live in Portugal?

Sunset in sesimbra

Why live in Portugal over other amazing countries? 

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.

Did you know these facts about Portugal?

  • Portugal’s official name is República Portuguesa and the official language is Portuguese.
  • Portugal’s population is 10.277 million (2018 est) and the total area is 92.4 square kilometres. Approximately 16% of the population is aged 0-14 years, 66% aged 15-64 years and 18% aged 65 and over. The largest population age group is 35-39 years.
  • There are 111.2 people per square kilometre in Portugal. This compares with 410.68 in the Netherlands, 275.6 in UK, 118.4 in France, 92.29 in Spain, 68.56 in Ireland and 33.27 in USA.
  • The current president is Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and the current prime minister is Antonio Costa.

The People

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.

10 More Reasons to Live in Portugal

  1. Safe and secure. Portugal came third in the Global Peace Index 2019. New Zealand was second and Iceland was first.
  2. The environment. Portugal came third in the Good Country Index of most environmentally friendly countries in the world for Planet & Climate.
  3. Low cost of living. Portugal is the second least expensive country in Europe after Bulgaria.
  4. Portugal has a wealth of affordable properties and land to buy or rent, whether you want a charming ‘fixer-upper’ or a modern low maintenance house. Discover some amazing Portuguese homes to buy.
  5. The weather is the best in Europe.
  6. Healthcare is world-class and relatively inexpensive.
  7. Getting around is easy as both the road and train infrastructure are excellent.
  8. There are generous tax incentives for certain professions and retirees.
  9. The beaches are spectacular and there is a multitude of interesting historical, cultural and scenic places to visit.
  10. Last but not least, there is the marvellous food and wine to suit all tastes and budgets.

A few other things to consider

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.

English-Friendly Business Directory in Portugal

Looking for a product or service from a business that speaks your language? Browse our directory of English-speaking, expat-friendly businesses across Portugal.

  • Taxation & Finance experts
  • Health & relaxation
  • Money transfer companies
  • Migration & International Law
  • and much more…

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