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Moving to Portugal | Expat Exchange
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Porto, Portugal

Moving to Portugal

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Feb 05, 2024

Summary: Expats and digital nomads move to Portugal for its warm climate, low cost of living, and relaxed lifestyle. The most popular cities for expats and digital nomads in Portugal are Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve. People looking for a place to live in Portugal can search online for rental properties, contact a real estate agent, or look for postings on local expat forums.

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What do I need to know before moving to Portugal?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Portugal, they said:

"Do your research! What are your priorities? Food, wine and weather were ours! Keep in mind that whatever your guess/estimate is it will cost 2-3 times as much as you think and will take as much more time than you think. Find a good realtor and attorney in your new country. Go there and look around and see what feels right. Trust your gut but know your parameters," remarked one expat in Porto, Portugal.

"The same advice related to a move anywhere. You must be here for some time - a month or two - before you select your home. Walk the many neighborhoods, see what amenities are around you, and work with a local realtor who comes recommended. If you like a quiet, more rural life, there are many villages and towns that meet this need. A good urban life is in Lisboa, and the coast just outside of Lisboa offers access to everything. If you're an EU citizen, everything you do is easier. For Americans, the process of getting a residency is twice as complicated and twice as time consuming, so getting advice from someone who has done/is doing it will help reduce your effort and anxiety," said one expat in Cascais and Estoril.

"Rent a small property first do not buy as there are too many hurdles to cover without knowing the Portuguses system. There are also at present unscrupulous estate agencies and unless you know who they are you could be on a hiding to nothing," remarked one expat who made the move to Tomar.

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

Porto, Portugal

SJB Global
SJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
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SJB GlobalSJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
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