Moving to Portugal
With its white sand Atlantic beaches, beautiful summers, and stunning historical buildings set in outstanding natural vistas, who would not find moving to Portugal appealing?
Aside from its beaches and Mediterranean climate, there are a number of other reasons you might want to relocate to Portugal. The low cost of living, public healthcare and café culture have led some to call it a European city with Latin American prices, which means you can eat some of the best meat and fish dishes in the world for very little money. Plus, cities like Porto and Portugal’s capital Lisbon offer the amenities of a reasonably sized city without losing a sense of community.
For those that do not find the prospect of half a year of 30°C or more of heat appealing, the country even has snow-capped mountains in the north, though temperatures rarely drop below 15°C even in the winter.
Most accommodations are available either to buy or to short-term rent, with many landlords taking advantage of summer tourism by renting properties for a few months at a time at most.
Long-term rentals do exist, but tend not to be advertised so it is useful to have someone to help you with the process. There are, however, a large variety of accommodations available, from rooms in city centre apartment blocks to semi-detached houses and villas. Housing agencies should be able to help you find places to live for at least six months.
Education in Portugal is free and compulsory until the age of 18. After optional pre-school education, all students attend basic education from ages 6 until 15. Students then choose between scientific-humanities, specialised artistic, vocational or technological courses at secondary school until aged 18.
Most pupils learn English and are generally very keen to practice it. Non-Portuguese speakers, however, can also opt for one of over 25 international schools in the country, which are fee charging.
For a fairly small country, Portugal has a wide array of regional cultures. People close to the mountains, beaches or the cities each have their own folk traditions and festivals. This can be seen by its public holidays. Both Porto and Lisbon have their own public holidays celebrated only in those cities on 24th and 13th June respectively.
National holidays mostly reflect Portugal’s long history, with two separate holidays for two different times the country became independent. There are also a number of religious holidays that reflect the fact that 80% of the population is Roman Catholic.
Good to know
Much of Portugal’s historical wealth came from its role in the spice trade. This legacy remains in some of its world-favourite spicy dishes, including peri peri chicken and chorizo sausage. Also popular with the Portuguese are cod dishes, particularly a salted cod called Bacalhau, cakes and other bakes.
In 2016, Lisbon was named one of the top 40 cities in the world with the best quality of life, reflecting its low living costs, pleasant climate, and strong community.
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