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Pros & Cons of Living in Lisbon

Planning a potential move to Lisbon? Delve into this comprehensive article, which delves into the various pros and cons of calling Lisbon home.
|-Pros & Cons of Living in Lisbon

Thinking about moving to Lisbon? Below we highlight some of the pros and cons of living in Lisbon.

Portugal’s capital, Lisbon, is a city that has been attracting a growing number of expats, digital nomads, and retirees in recent years. With its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning landscapes, it’s easy to see why so many people are drawn to this coastal city. But like any place, living in Lisbon has its pros and cons. In this article, we’ll delve into the advantages and disadvantages of making Lisbon your home.

Pros of Living in Lisbon

One of the biggest draws of Lisbon is its affordability. Compared to other Western European capitals, the cost of living in Lisbon is relatively low. This includes everything from rent and utilities to groceries and dining out. For example, a meal at a mid-range restaurant in Lisbon can cost as little as €10, while a one-bedroom apartment in the city center can be rented for around €700 per month. This makes Lisbon an attractive option for those looking to stretch their budget further.

Another major advantage of living in Lisbon is the weather. Portugal is known for its mild, Mediterranean climate, and Lisbon is no exception. The city enjoys warm, sunny summers and mild winters, with an average of 2800 hours of sunshine per year. This makes it an ideal place for outdoor activities, whether it’s surfing at the nearby beaches, hiking in the surrounding hills, or simply enjoying a coffee at one of the city’s many outdoor cafes.

Lisbon is also a city with a rich history and culture. From its historic neighborhoods like Alfama and Bairro Alto, to its world-class museums and galleries, there’s always something to see and do in Lisbon. The city is also home to a number of festivals and events throughout the year, such as the Lisbon Film Festival and the Santo Antonio Festival, which offer a glimpse into the local culture and traditions.

Finally, Lisbon is a city that values community and social interaction. The Portuguese are known for their hospitality and friendliness, and this is evident in the close-knit communities that exist throughout the city. There are numerous social clubs and organizations where expats can meet and interact with locals, such as the Lisbon Expat Community and the Lisbon International Club.

Cons of Living in Lisbon, Portugal

While there are many advantages to living in Lisbon, there are also some drawbacks to consider. One of the main disadvantages is the language barrier. While English is widely spoken in the tourist areas and among the younger generation, it’s not as commonly spoken among the older population. This can make everyday tasks like shopping or dealing with bureaucracy more challenging. However, many expats see this as an opportunity to learn a new language and immerse themselves in the local culture.

Another potential downside of living in Lisbon is the traffic and public transportation. Like many European cities, Lisbon’s streets can be narrow and congested, especially during peak hours. While the city has a public transportation system, it’s not always reliable and can be crowded. However, many residents choose to walk or bike around the city, as it’s relatively compact and pedestrian-friendly.

The job market in Lisbon can also be a challenge for expats. While the city has a growing tech and startup scene, the overall job market is not as robust as in other European capitals. The average salary in Lisbon is also lower than in other Western European cities. However, for those who work remotely or are retired, this may not be a significant issue.

Finally, while Lisbon is generally a safe city, it does have its share of crime. Like any major city, there are areas that are best avoided, especially at night. However, by taking common-sense precautions and staying aware of your surroundings, you can minimize your risk.

In conclusion, Lisbon is a city that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and affordability. While it has its challenges, many expats find that the benefits of living in Lisbon far outweigh the drawbacks. As with any major life decision, it’s important to do your research and consider your own personal circumstances before making the move.

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.

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