Life in Portugal

5 min read

Many people dream of living abroad but making it a reality is a different matter. Life’s too short to worry about ‘what ifs’.
If you’re considering moving to Portugal, either as a family, couple or remote worker, this guide tells you everything you need to know about life in Portugal.

Embrace the Portuguese lifestyle

Do you want to live a slower pace of life surrounded by nature, friendly people and enjoy a cheaper cost of living than in the UK? Not to mention the amazing coastal scenery and pleasant climate year-round? Welcome to Portugal!

Good to know

The number of expatriates moving to Portugal is increasing, with the country being home to approximately 800,000 foreign residents at the end of 2022, with around 45,200 of those being British.

Appreciate the Portuguese culture

Portugal offers a slower pace of life, where people take the time to talk to you in the street and somehow seem to be less busy. Wouldn´t you like your children to grow up in this relaxing environment, where family values are important?


Most towns and villages in Portugal hold a variety of vibrant festivals and events throughout the year. Find out when they are and ask what you can do to help – this is your chance to engage with the locals and show you want to learn about their lifestyle.

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Enjoy a cheaper cost of living in Portugal

Everyday expenses such as groceries, eating out and transport are generally cheaper in Portugal than in the UK so you can stretch your budget further, as you can see from the examples below.

Type of property Portugal price - £ equivalent UK price - £
Basic restaurant meal 8.60 15
3-course meal for 2 34.40 60
Glass of beer 2.15 4.50
Cappuccino 1.54 3.18
Bottle of wine 4.29 8
One month’s nursery childcare 351.10 1,237.72
Cost of living in Portugal

Make the most of the affordable property

Whether you choose to live on the coast of the Atlantic, in the holiday region of the Algarve or inland, property in Portugal is cheaper than in the UK. There is also a much wider choice, from renovation projects in the countryside to authentic Portuguese apartments in Lisbon and Porto if you prefer city living.

See below how much more property you could get for your money in Portugal.

Type of property Portugal price - £ equivalent UK price - £
Monthly rent 1-bed city apartment 935 1,271
Monthly rent 3 bedrooms outside city 1,040 1,365
Price per square metre to buy city centre 3,220 5,984
Price per square metre to buy outside city 2,130 4,353

With savings on both day-to-day living expenses and accommodation, whether you decide to buy property in Portugal or rent, your quality of life is sure to be of a much better standard.

Good to know

Portugal also offers a fantastic property investment opportunity if you are considering renting out a property to tourists and spending holidays in it yourself. We can advise you on the best locations to invest in and where you’re most likely to get the most return on your money.

Spend time in the great outdoors

The outdoor lifestyle in Portugal not only offers fantastic scenery, but a great way to spend time with your family exploring this beautiful part of Europe.
From surfing on Atlantic beaches to hiking through national parks such as Alvao National Park in the north, Serra da Estrela in the centre and Arrabida in the south, there’s always something to keep you busy.

Benefit from the Portuguese healthcare system

Portugal’s healthcare system provides accessible medical services that are state-funded if you are a resident (which you must be to live in Portugal for more than 90 days). The system is known as the SNS (Serviço Nacional de Saúde) and includes all the services you would get from your GP and hospital service in the UK.

The education system in Portugal

If you’re moving to Portugal as a family you’ll want to be sure that your children get the best education. Sending them to a Portuguese state school, that is free and a sure way to ensure the children will integrate and learn the language quickly.

Younger children tend to find it easier to pick up the language. If you have a child that’s 10 or older you may wish to consider sending them to one of the many international schools in Portugal, which are paid. However, private education is still much cheaper than in the UK, where a term’s price is often the equivalent of a year’s in Portugal, depending on the school you choose.

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Learn Portuguese

Being able to speak the language is a key way to integrate and shows you are trying to communicate. Don´t worry if you make mistakes – Portuguese people are friendly and will always help you out – as much as they’ll enjoy practising their English with you.

Take language classes (which is a great way to make friends) and try to converse whenever you can, whether you’re at the local market or chatting with the locals in a bar.

The delicious gastronomy of Portugal

Explore the diverse Portuguese cuisine by trying traditional dishes like bacalhau (salted cod), caldo verde (green soup) and the famous piri-piri chicken. You’ll find a taste of authentic Portugal in the local restaurants that are off the tourist track, and they’ll be much cheaper.

If you’re partial to cakes you’ll love the selection of Portuguese delights in the local bakery, from pastéis de nata (custard tarts) to bolos de arroz (rice flour muffins) and Jesuitas (filo pastries). You’re going to have to keep an eye on your waistline when you move to Portugal!


Portugal generally experiences a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild winters. However, there are regional variations throughout the country.
In the south such as the Algarve, summers are typically hot and dry while towards Lisbon and central Portugal, the climate becomes cooler, but certainly not cold. Summers here are warm and more pleasant if you find excessive heat unbearable.

Good to know

The Azores and Madeira Islands, part of Portugal and located in the Atlantic Ocean, have a subtropical climate with mild temperatures year-round and are another option to consider for a new life abroad.

Life in Portugal offers a Mediterranean lifestyle combined with cheaper costs and a stunning location for outdoor activities. It makes the perfect choice if you want to move to a part of Europe that knows how to appreciate life.

Feel free to contact an iad Overseas* property consultant in Portugal, who can help you with from choosing a property in Portugal to the best location for your needs.

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