Should You Move to Portugal? 

Jacquelyn Vadnais
Last Edited Oct 10, 2019

Portugal is a wonderful and vibrant society that has existed for centuries. For those expats that are looking for a slower pace of life with an established culture and history should absolutely consider moving to Portugal. Portugal offers a wonderful location in Europe that possesses mountains, spectacular beaches, and architecture from eras past. The cultural prominence and beauty aside, it is important to carefully research whether living in Portugal is an ideal situation for your particular circumstances as an expat. Upon considering the benefits and detriments of relocating to Portugal, consider the list below: 

Benefits That Portugal Can Offer Residents

Privilege to Work in European Union Countries

Having residence or a work visa in Portugal can prove to be quite fruitful if you end up starting your own business in other expat countries in the European Union. The right to live, travel, and enjoy benefits between the European Union countries is a major benefit to consider when deciding to relocate to Portugal. Portugal, in joining the European Union, has opened itself the opportunity to join the modern world while still holding traditional Iberian values and way of life. For this reason, Portugal truly offers expats and locals alike the best of both worlds. 

Education in Several Languages

While Portuguese is strongly emphasized and spoken in Portugal, there are opportunities to not only study other languages but to also have a discount at universities around the European Union member nations as well. This serves students with a wealth of opportunities both within Portugal and outside of Portugal that provides for a sensational educational experience. This is precisely why it is ideal for expats to consider Portugal who wants to stay there a number of years and bring their families with them as well. 

Travel Opportunities in Continental Europe

Yet another benefit of Portugal is that there are unlimited opportunities to explore continental Europe and North Africa at a reasonable price. Due to the wealth of budget airlines and economical trains, within one hour, expats can find themselves in Spain, Morocco, and many other wonderful historic sites to witness. This aspect of life in Portugal can be valuable for both expats with and without families. Having Europe so close provides the opportunity to see a wealth of cities. Expats can be exposed to fascinating history more than ever before. 

Unique Cultural Experience 

Many individuals pass over Portuguese history in comparison with Spanish history. For this reason, the brilliance of the Portuguese culture often goes unnoticed in the world. What is important to remember is that Portugal had access to Africa, Brazil, the Caribbean, and even areas like Macau. For this reason, individuals who traveled to these exotic locales brought back influences from these remarkable places that are still alive and well in Portugal today. Whether you are looking for traditional Portuguese Port Wine or Brazilian Samba restaurants, you will be able to find all of them while residing within Portugal. 

Detriments to Consider When Moving to Portugal

Strained Job Market

Portugal is one of the European countries that is recovering from job shortages. This is still seen in the market today and has affected the sectors of the population that have recently graduated from university. Expats should be careful and realistic with their expectations of finding a job in Portugal. Ideally, it is best to receive an offer from the applicant’s own company before relocating to Portugal. Unless expats have local connections, it is much easier to go the traditional job search route rather than arriving in Portugal with no employment prospects and hoping for the best. 

Recovering from a Recession

The job market aside, Portugal is still recovering from their recession. There are a lot of sales in shops and the economy overall is struggling. This is important to take into account as an expat. If you do so, you will be able to decide whether residing in Portugal will be the ideal fit for your individual circumstances. Depending on your field of employment and aspirations, Portugal may or may not be the ideal fit for you. Considering this before relocating to Portugal will be vital in ascertaining whether you will end up being successful there as an expat. 

Final Remarks on the Subject 

It is important to note that Portugal does indeed have a great deal to offer expats. The unique history, culture, and language provide a very stimulating experience for expats that choose to reside there. The proximity to continental Europe also provides for many entertaining and diverse travel options for expats while they are residing in Portugal. In regards to quality of life, expats have to be weary when considering successful job applications. Doing so will be the most effective method to relocate to Portugal in that they will have a secure job offer that will allow them to afford the cost of living well in Portugal. Should all of the aforementioned factors line up, residing in Portugal would be a wonderful experience for expats that meet the aforementioned criteria. 


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