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An Expat Talks about Living in Lisbon, Portugal


Lisbon, Portugal

An expat in Lisbon talks about learning Portuguese, the warmth of the Portuguese people and living in Lisbon.

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Lisbon

How long have you lived there?

3 years

What activities, clubs and organizations would you recommend to newcomers to help them meet others?

In my experience, restaurants and cafes afforded me the opportunity to meet new people, develop friendships, and practice speaking the language. At nearly every turn, I was able to find people willing to speak English with me and to offer useful help in developing the ability to speak Portuguese. For my part, I have not made any attempts to join expat communities. Instead, a little humility and lots of hard work trying to learn the language has opened doors to friends and families in the local community. All this began by trying to frequent the cafes and restaurants that had employees and clients who were willing to communicate.

Expats living in Portugal interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA. Get a Quote

Expats living in Portugal interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA.

In terms of religious, racial, economic and cultural diversity, are the people of this city or town diverse? Are they accepting of differences? Describe.

As readers likely know, the long tradition on this end of the Iberian Peninsula of traders, explorers, and mixing cultures means that Portugal is a place of extreme diversity. It should go without saying that one can find pockets of people with more narrow views. The influx of disadvantaged people from the ex-colonies in Africa and to a lesser extent Brazil means that there are those cold shoulders blaming economic hardship on immigrants. However, speaking from the point of view of a US citizen, even the most hard-lined opinions about politics and capitalism were nearly always tempered with a good measure of curiosity about my experience and life before Portugal. A little curiosity and understanding on the part of the newcomer about Portugal can almost guarantee a smile and a bit of friendly conversation.

What are the main industries in this city? What types of career opportunities commonly exist? How do most people find new jobs?

The Lisbon area serves a great number of industries. Tourism and service tend to be areas of extreme importance at present. Technological industries and research in science and medicine also play important roles for many. But with the current austerity measure biting deep into the pockets of many Portuguese, potential immigrants to Portugal are well advised to research long and hard from abroad before making a move hear. Unemployment hovering around 17% means that there are plenty of eager local workers hoping to snap up the few job opportunities that exist. In fact, many young people graduating from universities are finding their opportunities outside of Portugal. Having a clear plan and perhaps prearranged employment behooves the would-be expat.

In general, what are peoples' priorities in this city? For example, do lives revolve around work, family, socializing, sports, etc.?

Without a doubt, the vast majority of folks that I have met are first and foremost concerned with quality of life. This begins with family and friends. Sure, the economic crisis is hitting hard in Portugal, so one can expect to hear a lot about the hardships and difficulties being wrought by the austerity measures, but one can also begin to feel right a home with new friends. Conversations can certainly be started by anyone interested in football, and any chance to question locals about the rich cultural history is met with excitement and enthusiasm. Basically, if one opens their hearts and minds to Portugal and the Portuguese people, they can expect to meet warm caring people with a propensity for eating, drinking, and sharing times with friends.

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If a friend of yours was thinking of moving to this city or town from far away, what other advice would you give them.

First, plan on learning the language. One need not speak Portuguese in order to survive here, but in order to truly experience all of the wonderful aspects of the city and her inhabitants, speaking the language or even seriously trying too opens doors, shows real respect, and can help you work your way into the hearts of the Portuguese people. Work is a little hard to find right now, but the quality of life and the warmth of the Portuguese people means that if you have enough to get by, you just might feel richer than living a money driven life.

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Comments about this Report

guest
Apr 22, 2013 10:26

Excellent snapshot of life in this part of Portugal, with a well-balanced view of what it takes to make a move here and to make that move work.

Joemabee1
Jul 23, 2018 22:56

Anyone able to get health insurance with existing diabetes?

Joemabee1
Jul 23, 2018 22:56

Anyone able to get health insurance with existing diabetes?

Cigna Expat Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in Portugal from our partner, Cigna Global Health.
Get a Quote

Guide to Living in LisbonGuide to Living in Lisbon

Expats living in Lisbon, Portugal enjoy a historic cross-roads that has become an economic hub in Western Europe. Expats from all over the world enjoy the Mediterranean climate and diversity of people and culture.

Healthcare in PortugalHealthcare in Portugal

Expats in Portugal with a residency visa can participate in the national health care system. Here's what you need to know about the SNS and the combination of public and private services you'll need to manage your health in Portugal.

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There are a lot of options when picking a neighborhood in Lisbon. Find a few of the many possibilities for living and just exploring.

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		FROM answers
      where answerid = 20904 
gettaxgeneral (Datasource=expert, Time=5ms, Records=5) in /home/www/html/rspnet_ctygd_readnext.cfm @ 08:45:36.036
	Select title, hitopic, hidescript, author, articles.articleID, hiimg, summary, authorurl, hpimg
	From articles, articlePlacement
	Where hitopic <> ''
	and articlePlacement.networkID = 92 
	AND articlePlacement.articleID = articles.articleID
	and hidescript <> ''
    and type = '3'
    and articles.topic <> 'Weekly Quizzes'
   	and articles.topic <> 'Weekly Quizzes: Answers'
    and general <> 'bb'
    and hpimg <> 'none'
    and keycity = '0'
   and cityintro = 'n'
    and summary <> ''
    and publishdate < "2020-05-28"
    and publishdate > "2014-01-01"

    ORDER by articles.articleID desc
    
gettopbanner (Datasource=expert, Time=1ms, Records=2) in /home/www/html/navbottomad_rdesign5.cfm @ 08:45:36.036
	Select *
	From banners, bannerPlacement
	WHERE status <> "hold"
	AND position = "eebannercountry"
    and toDate > "2020-05-27"
    and fromDate < "2020-05-28"
    and bannerPlacement.networkid = 92
    and bannerPlacement.bannerid = banners.bannerid
    and banners.promised = ''
    and banners.type <> 'swf'
UpdatePageViews (Datasource=expert, Time=2ms, Records=1) in /home/www/html/navbottomad_rdesign5.cfm @ 08:45:36.036
  UPDATE banners
  SET impressions = impressions + 1
  WHERE bannerid = 810 
gethpbox (Datasource=expert, Time=1ms, Records=1) in /home/www/html/navmpu_rdesign5.cfm @ 08:45:36.036
	Select *
	From banners
	WHERE status <> "hold"
	AND (position = "eehpbox" or position = "eehpboxglobal")
    and toDate > {ts '2020-05-27 08:45:36'}
    and fromDate <{ts '2020-05-28 08:45:36'}
    and banners.type <> 'swf'
    
UpdatePageViews (Datasource=expert, Time=1ms, Records=1) in /home/www/html/navmpu_rdesign5.cfm @ 08:45:36.036
  UPDATE banners
  SET impressions = impressions + 1
  WHERE bannerid = 866 
GetMessages (Datasource=forum, Time=1ms, Records=3) in /home/www/html/commentsnew_rdesign4.cfm @ 08:45:36.036
  SELECT *
  FROM comments m 
  WHERE m.tpcid = 43305 
  and m.commenttype = 2
  and m.isapproved = 1
  ORDER BY msgid ASC
GetUser (Datasource=forum, Time=0ms, Records=0) in /home/www/html/commentsnew_rdesign4.cfm @ 08:45:36.036
  SELECT *
  FROM users
  WHERE userid = 2 
GetUser (Datasource=forum, Time=1ms, Records=1) in /home/www/html/commentsnew_rdesign4.cfm @ 08:45:36.036
  SELECT *
  FROM users
  WHERE userid = 200835 
GetUser (Datasource=forum, Time=0ms, Records=1) in /home/www/html/commentsnew_rdesign4.cfm @ 08:45:36.036
  SELECT *
  FROM users
  WHERE userid = 200835 
getguidesummary (Datasource=expert, Time=0ms, Records=1) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcitypc.cfm @ 08:45:36.036
	Select summary, hiimg 
	From articles, articlecityplace
	Where  articlecityplace.citynetworkid = 5000
	and articlecityplace.articleid = articles.articleID
    and articles.cityintro = 'y'
 
gethealthsummary (Datasource=expert, Time=0ms, Records=1, Cached Query) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcitypc.cfm @ 08:45:36.036
	Select summary, hpimg
	From articles, articlePlacement, articleCategories
	Where articlePlacement.networkID = 92 
	AND articlePlacement.articleID = articles.articleID
   	and articleCategories.articleID = articles.articleID
   	and articleCategories.section = 9
   	and articles.sectionintro = 'y'
    ORDER by articles.articleID desc
gethealthcare (Datasource=tipripper, Time=11ms, Records=2) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcitypc.cfm @ 08:45:36.036
SELECT *
FROM allreports, Networks 
WHERE rid = 100
and Networks.networkid = 92
and allreports.networkid = 92
 and allreports.citynetworkid2 =  5000
and allreports.topicid = 7
and hide <> 'y'
order by allreports.answerid DESC
getslugs (Datasource=tipripper, Time=0ms, Records=1) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcitypc.cfm @ 08:45:36.036
SELECT topics.slug, topics.slugcity, topics.slugstate,topics.slugcitynostate, topics.slugcountry, topics.slugentry, topics.topicqid, topics.topicqidanswer, topics.promolinktext, topics.articletitle
FROM topics
WHERE topicid = 7 
getanswerstext (Datasource=tipripper, Time=4ms, Records=5) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcitypc.cfm @ 08:45:36.036
SELECT DISTINCT answerstext.aid, questions.question, topicquestions.required, questions.qid, questions.type, answers.answerid, answers.reviewed, answers.rid, answers.dbid, answerstext.answer, answerstext.qid, answerstext.answerid, answers.img, answers.hiimg, answers.hpimg, answers.fbimg, answers.photocaption, answers.photocredit, answers.summary, topicquestions.outputtext, answerstext.uniqueheader, answerstext.uniqueheaderprop, answerstext.answerstextphoto, answerstext.photoplacement
FROM answerstext, answers, topicquestions, questions 
WHERE answers.answerid = 79637
AND (100 = answers.rid or 99 = answers.rid)
and topicquestions.qid <> 391
and topicquestions.qid <> 62
AND topicquestions.topicid = answers.topicid
and answerstext.answer <> ''
AND topicquestions.qid = questions.qid
AND topicquestions.qid = answerstext.qid
AND 79637 = answerstext.answerid 
ORDER BY topicquestions.order ASC
getbrief (Datasource=tipripper, Time=1ms, Records=1) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcitypc.cfm @ 08:45:36.036
	SELECT summary
	FROM answers
	WHERE answers.answerid = '79637'
getheading (Datasource=tipripper, Time=4ms, Records=1) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcitypc.cfm @ 08:45:36.036
	SELECT DISTINCT answerstext.answer, answerstext.answerid, answerstext.qid
	FROM answerstext
	WHERE answerstext.answerid = '79637'
	and qid = 391
getphoto (Datasource=tipripper, Time=0ms, Records=1) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcitypc.cfm @ 08:45:36.036
	SELECT DISTINCT hiimg as photo
	FROM answers
	WHERE answerid = 79637 
getlocationtag1 (Datasource=tipripper, Time=0ms, Records=1) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcitypc.cfm @ 08:45:36.036
SELECT shortname, networkname, networkid
FROM Networks
WHERE networkid = '92'
checklivingfeature (Datasource=expert, Time=10ms, Records=2) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcitypc.cfm @ 08:45:36.036
		Select networkname as ctry, city, networkid, rid, networkname, answerid
		FROM allreports
         where rid = 58
            
         and allreports.answerid <> 43305         
           and city <> ''
         and networkid = 92
          and citynetworkid = 5000
		order by date DESC
getsummary (Datasource=reports, Time=0ms, Records=1) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcitypc.cfm @ 08:45:36.036
		Select summary, hiimg, hpimg
		FROM answers
      where answerid = 74411 
getsummary (Datasource=reports, Time=0ms, Records=1) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcitypc.cfm @ 08:45:36.036
		Select summary, hiimg, hpimg
		FROM answers
      where answerid = 20904 
checkdreamfeature (Datasource=expert, Time=6ms, Records=1) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcitypc.cfm @ 08:45:36.036
		Select networkname as ctry, city, networkid, rid, networkname, answerid
		FROM allreports
         where rid = 97
           and city <> ''
            
         and allreports.answerid <> 43305         
         and networkid = 92
          and citynetworkid = 5000
		order by date DESC
getsummary (Datasource=reports, Time=0ms, Records=1) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcitypc.cfm @ 08:45:36.036
		Select summary, hiimg, hpimg
		FROM answers
      where answerid = 75705 


Scope Variables

CGI Variables:
AUTH_PASSWORD=
AUTH_TYPE=
AUTH_USER=
CERT_COOKIE=
CERT_FLAGS=
CERT_ISSUER=
CERT_KEYSIZE=
CERT_SECRETKEYSIZE=
CERT_SERIALNUMBER=
CERT_SERVER_ISSUER=
CERT_SERVER_SUBJECT=
CERT_SUBJECT=
CF_TEMPLATE_PATH=/home/www/html/rspnet.cfm
CONTENT_LENGTH=
CONTENT_TYPE=
CONTEXT_PATH=
GATEWAY_INTERFACE=CGI/1.1
HTTPS=on
HTTPS_KEYSIZE=
HTTPS_SECRETKEYSIZE=
HTTPS_SERVER_ISSUER=
HTTPS_SERVER_SUBJECT=
HTTP_ACCEPT=text/html,application/xhtml+xml,application/xml;q=0.9,*/*;q=0.8
HTTP_ACCEPT_ENCODING=gzip
HTTP_ACCEPT_LANGUAGE=en-US,en;q=0.5
HTTP_CONNECTION=Keep-Alive
HTTP_COOKIE=
HTTP_HOST=www.expatexchange.com
HTTP_REFERER=
HTTP_USER_AGENT=CCBot/2.0 (https://commoncrawl.org/faq/)
PATH_INFO=
PATH_TRANSLATED=/home/www/html/rspnet.cfm
QUERY_STRING=rid=58&answerid=43305&networkid=92&start=43305
REMOTE_ADDR=173.245.54.75
REMOTE_HOST=173.245.54.75
REMOTE_USER=
REQUEST_METHOD=GET
SCRIPT_NAME=/rspnet.cfm
SERVER_NAME=www.expatexchange.com
SERVER_PORT=443
SERVER_PORT_SECURE=1
SERVER_PROTOCOL=HTTP/1.1
SERVER_SOFTWARE=Apache
WEB_SERVER_API=
Session Variables:
cfid=28573180
cftoken=19224567
sessionid=IBEXPATEXCHANGE.COM_28573180_19224567
urltoken=CFID=28573180&CFTOKEN=19224567
URL Parameters:
answerid=43305
networkid=92
rid=58
start=43305
Debug Rendering Time: 11 ms