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Expats in Portugal: Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal


Technology is fast reducing the world into a virtually connected village. Today, you can live in Europe, work for an American-based institution, and shop from Asia while you study in Australia. When promising opportunities present themselves, distance is no longer the problem.

Have you ever considered living abroad? Whether you are just dreaming of relocation, actively considering, or facing a possible job transfer, do not fret. You may need to start by searching for tips from Where Can I Live as a medical practitioner or the best countries for asthmatic people, among others. If Portugal features among your top countries for relocation, here are some pros and cons for ex-pats in the country.  

 Pros of Living in Portugal

It's a Safe Haven

One of the significant factors that people consider when planning to relocate is safety. In 2019 and 2020, Portugal ranked 4th and 3rd respectively as the safest countries in the world. Portuguese are a friendly lot. Expats and visitors enjoy the warmth and welcoming nature of the locals as they are helpful to foreigners, despite the language barrier. The culture promotes communal living as neighbors enjoy coffee together in the afternoons.

Entertainment and Recreation

Portuguese are a vibrant people, and everyone finds time to indulge in an activity they like or two they like. The place also hosts some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Portugal's beaches are breathtaking, from Lisbon to Lagos, and the jagged cliffs surround them.

Locals love fishing, diving, and surfing. You can explore the Serra da Estrela mountain range, swim in the Atlantic Ocean, and visit fortresses and castles. In 2020, Portugal scooped 26 World Travel Awards for its beaches, attractions, and resorts. Tourists and residents love the Algarve region and consider it an ideal destination for relaxing and unwinding. 

Quality Education

Portugal's education standards are high quality for both secondary and higher education. Undergraduate students from universities in Portuguese find work in European Union countries as the EU recognizes the qualification.

English courses are more expensive in Portugal and not available in every institution. However, university courses are taught in English and Portuguese.

You will pay a minimum of 6,340 pounds annually for a Portuguese-taught degree at the University of Coimbra. On the other hand, a bachelor's degree in English will cost you 8,900 pounds per year at the University of Oporto.

Tax Benefits

Foreigners in Portugal with a residence permit can obtain NHR (Non-Habitual Residence) tax status. The status exempts you from taxes on your income abroad if already taxed at the source.

Also, the NHR permits the investor to reduce the amount of income payable tax in Portugal. The income tax rate for executives like engineers, programmers, artists, scientists, entertainers, and skilled professionals reduces to 20 from 48 percent.

Cons of Living in PortugalLow Salaries

The cost of living in Portugal is pretty low, and so are the salaries. Average salaries in the country will hardly afford you a comfortable life. For better remuneration, apply to work for a company outside Portugal or establish your business.

Varying Weather

While summers in Portugal are scorching, the winter period tends to be cold and wet. You are then left with a few months to enjoy the beautiful weather.

Consumer Goods can be Expensive.

Despite the low living cost in Portugal, consumer goods are not that cheap. Electronics and clothes are pricey, surprising to expatriates from places like the United States as they enjoy huge discounts on similar goods.

Driving is Expensive and Dangerous

Roads in Portugal are steep, windy, and narrow. Toll roads are highways, and while they are easier to drive, it is costly to drive on them.


If you consider Portugal your next area of residence, dig deeper and research more. Considering both the advantages and disadvantages of living in the area is crucial. 

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