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Moving to Porto, Portugal | Expat Exchange
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Sao Bento Station in Porto, Portugal

Moving to Porto, Portugal

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Oct 20, 2023

Summary: Moving to Porto, Portugal? Expats talk about what you need to know before moving to Porto.

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What do I need to know before moving to Porto?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Porto, 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," replied a member in Porto.

"Porto is a vibrant city known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and world-renowned wine. Before moving to Porto, expats should be aware that while English is widely spoken in tourist areas and among younger generations, it is beneficial to learn some Portuguese to help with integration and daily life. The cost of living in Porto is relatively low compared to other European cities, but salaries are also lower. Porto has a Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild, rainy winters. The city is known for its safety and low crime rates, but like any city, it's important to be aware of your surroundings and take basic precautions. Healthcare in Portugal is of a high standard, with a mix of public and private healthcare services available. Expats living in Porto are eligible for public healthcare, but many choose to take out private health insurance for more comprehensive coverage. Porto's public transportation system is extensive and reliable, consisting of buses, trams, and a metro system. Driving in Porto can be challenging due to narrow streets and heavy traffic, so many expats choose to rely on public transportation or bicycles. The city is also very walkable, especially in the historic center. Portuguese cuisine is a highlight of living in Porto, with a focus on fresh seafood, meat, and locally grown fruits and vegetables. The city is also famous for its Port wine, which is produced in the Douro Valley nearby. Porto has a mix of modern and traditional housing options, from apartment buildings to historic homes. Renting is common in Porto, and it's recommended to use a real estate agent to help navigate the rental market. Portugal has a high standard of education, with a mix of public and private schools, as well as international schools. The Portuguese are known for their hospitality and friendliness, and expats often find it easy to make local friends and integrate into the community. Portugal has a relaxed pace of life, and this is reflected in Porto's laid-back lifestyle. However, the city also has a vibrant nightlife scene, with numerous bars, clubs, and live music venues. Finally, it's important to note that Portugal has a bureaucratic system, and processes such as getting a residence permit or setting up utilities can take time and patience," commented one expat who made the move to Porto.

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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.

Sao Bento Station in Porto, Portugal

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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.
Learn More

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