Expats in Portugal offered their opinions and insights about living in in our Best Places to Live for 2022 Survey. The nation on the Iberian Peninsula is one of the most popular expat destinations in the world.
An incredible 95% of expats in Portugal reported being either Extremely Satisfied (60%) or Very Satisfied (35%) with the quality of the expatriate experience there. Globally, 70% report of expats reported having that level of satisfaction with their experience.
When asked about their entertainment options (movies, concerts, museums, etc.), 82% of expats, retirees and nomads reported that they were either Extremely Satisfied (44%) or Very Satisfied (38%). That 82% is 26 percentage points higher than the global average of 65%.
As for local dining options, 89% indicated that they were either Extremely Satisfied (54%) or Very Satisfied (35%), which is 25 percentage points higher than the global average of 71%.
Survey respondents were also asked about Local Grocery Shopping options, and 94% of respondents said they were either Extremely Satisfied (64%) or Very Satisfied (30%), and 98% were either Extremely Satisfied (83%) or Very Satisfied (15%) with the local fresh food. Both the 94% for Local Grocery options and the 98% for local fresh food represented a 21% increase for their respective global averages.
When asked about the quality of their local water, 94% of expats in Portugal reported being either Extremely Satisfied (74%) or Very Satisfied (20%). That 94% is 25 percentage points higher than the global average for quality of local water.
Overall, two-thirds of Expats in Portugal (71%) reported being either Extremely Satisfied (36%) or Very Satisfied (36%) with their social life. That was an 8% increase above the global average. Similarly, 69% of those surveyed in Portugal said that they were either Extremely Satisfied (33%) or Very Satisfied (36%) with making friends locally, which was 6 percentage points higher than the global average.
Direct Quotes from Expats in Portugal
"Porto is a beautiful city and we look forward to exploring it again once the pandemic subsides. The cost of living is much lower than in the US. The food and wine are excellent. We are constantly impressed with how superior the food is here compared to the states. We have never eaten so well for so little. Healthcare is excellent and the quality of life in general is also excellent. The people are friendly and helpful and very nice in general. The weather is quite rainy in the winter and it has been unusually cold this winter. We do not have heat in our flat and have used space heaters. This has driven our EDP, electricity bill up a lot. This is the only downside that we have experienced. Overall we are extremely happy living in Porto. We will be here two years on February 22nd and plan to stay here indefinitely," added one expat living in Portugal.
"I really like the Portuguese people. They go out of their way to be helpful. I was fortunate to find a fully restored old stone cottage. I love the outdoor markets and cafes. The festivals before Covid were a wonderful way to meet people, both expats and Portuguese. Life in the country is simple and traffic almost non-existent. On the downside: it rains a lot in the winter and dampness can be a real problem in the house. It took me almost two months to get decent internet set up at my house. But it now works fine and costs much less than in the US," commented another expat living in Portugal.
"Friendly locals and strong expat community," commented another expat.
"Cascais is that unusual combination of a picturesque village and vibrant community, a mix of old and new architecture, of cultures, of nationalities and ages. Museums, parks, concerts and restaurants attract us night and day, along with international sailing and equestrian competitions almost all year long. We have single men and women, a welcomed LGBT community, students to seniors who mingle and form life-long friendships.," remarked one expat living in Portugal.
"Portugal is very orderly and people are respectful of one another. You take a number at most retail shops or medical facilities and simply wait your turn. I like this aspect of life here a lot. No one tries to jump a cue. Also people are generally very nice and helpful to one another. The one thing I hear the most complaints about is the government bureaucracy. But again my experience is one of just waiting your turn or number to be called," stated one expat in Portugal.