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5 Tips for Living in Lisbon, Portugal

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Summary: 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.

Expats Portugal - 5 Tips for Living in Lisbon, Portugal

Expats in Lisbon enjoy a historic city that is a major European economic center. It has a growing financial sector and is a major container port. It also boasts impressive entertainment, media and tourism industries, among others. Lisbon is one of the best places to retire in Portugal.

Basics For Moving to Lisbon

Lisbon is the oldest city in Western Europe. It is located on the Atlantic Ocean and the Tagus River, which is the largest river on the Iberian Peninsula. The Iberian Peninsula is mostly comprised of Portugal and Spain, but also Andorra and Gibraltar.

Lisbon has a Mediterranean climate, and it is has the highest temperatures in the winter when compared to all of the other major European cities.

Lisbon has a wide variety of neighborhoods to choose from.

Living in Lisbon

One expat living in Lisbon reported that "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." Another expat agreed, writing that "I recently moved to Lisbon. I am [a] single retired lady. I'm finding it very easy to meet people and while just beginning to learn Portuguese I find most people in this part of country speak English."

An expat provided a list of the top markets in Lisbon.

Jobs Information For Expats

An expat in Lisbon wrote that "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.

The expat added, however, that "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."

Finally, he added "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."

Another expat living in Lisbon added a slightly different take, writing that "Job employment agencies are the best way to go for looking for work. However, most require fluency in Portuguese. If you come from the United States, the UK, or any other English-speaking country, your best bet is to look for companies from your home country that are specifically looking for English-speakers."

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Lisbon Has Expats From All Over The World

One expat living in Lisbon reported that "Lisbon is very diverse. While the vast majority of the population are Iberian (Portuguese and Spanish), there are immigrants from all over the globe (former Portuguese colonies in Africa, Brasil) Ukrainians make up the largest immigrant group (after Brasilians). While certain groups tend to stick to themselves, people appear accepting of everyone here.

Another expat in Portugal reported that "English is spoken more readily in the Lisbon, Porto and Algarve areas, but also in Coimbra...and your fellow expats are located in these areas, also."

Things For Expats to Do in Lisbon

There are plenty of things to do in Lisbon for expats seeking to explore the Culture of Lisbon.

One of the latest editions to Lisbon is the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT), as described by Newsweek, pushes the barriers of art, architecture and light.

The best restaurants in Lisbon offer exactly what you would expect from a major international city: great local Portuguese food and a unique take on other international cuisines.

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.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000. Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Some of Joshua's more popular articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and 5 Best Places to Live in Spain. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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First Published: Sep 29, 2016

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