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Pros and cons of living in Portugal. Is it worth planning a move?

The Portuguese Republic is a European country located on the Iberian Peninsula. It also includes Madeira and the Azores as autonomies. On land, it borders with only one state – Spain (this is from the north and east).  The southern and western border runs along the Atlantic Ocean. The republic got its name thanks to the city of Porto, although the capital is Lisbon.

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Pros and cons of living in Portugal. Is it worth planning a move?

Positive arguments for living in Portugal

  • Perhaps the most compelling arguments in favor of living in Portugal are its climate and favorable environmental conditions. Exhausting heat in summer and severe frosts in winter are extremely rare here – once every several decades. Basically, in the warmest season, the air temperature is plus 25-27 degrees Celsius, in the coldest it does not fall below minus 6-10. Accordingly, a large amount of fuel is not required to heat the home.
  • Prices in Portugal are very attractive – compared to other EU member countries, here goods are about 15-20 percent cheaper. Particularly pleased with the cost of products, manufactured goods, travel in public transport and some utilities. A family of two per month can eat without frills, but not saving much on 250-300 euros. The low cost of housing and low interest rates on bank loans make it possible to buy a 2-3-room apartment even for citizens with an average income
  • The same can be said about education. Secondary education is free here. To obtain a bachelor’s or master’s degree, you need to pay from 1000 to 1500 euros per year (with an average monthly salary of just over a thousand euros). In addition, with good academic performance, you can apply for a scholarship.
  • In terms of the quality of medical care, Portugal belongs to the 15 best countries in the world. Emergency care and pediatrics are at a high level. There are elements of free medicine, large discounts in pharmacies for medicines dispensed by doctors’ prescriptions, entire complexes of mandatory examinations and prescriptions for women, the elderly, and children. Paid healthcare services are much cheaper than in most other European countries.
  • The presence of a large number of types of social payments guarantees access to a minimum set of generally accepted living conditions. This is especially true for the unemployed and pensioners. The amount of allowances allows these categories of citizens to provide themselves with everything necessary. Against the backdrop of an average life expectancy of around 85 years, a retirement age of 66 for both sexes is also an advantage to living in Portugal.

Negative factors of Portuguese reality

  • With the above in mind, life in Portugal can seem like honey. However, in this sweet barrel there are many fly in the ointment. First of all, these are economic indicators that have deteriorated since joining the EU.
  • The minimum wage here is 650 euros, among European countries Portugal is in 12th place in this indicator. This is without taking into account more developed countries that do not set such a minimum. Only the countries of the former socialist camp remain behind Portugal. Moreover, it is quite difficult to find even a not very high-paying job.
  • The unemployment rate is high – about 15 percent on average, and among young people it reaches 25-27. Since the onset of the crisis in Portugal, the conditions for obtaining unemployed status have tightened. Unemployment benefits are paid for no longer than 18 months (previously up to 48 months). Its size has decreased by about 15 percent.


Local flavor and national traditions are excellent incentives for patriotism. The Portuguese are optimistic, sociable and good-natured people. They are always ready to help each other, travel a lot, lead an active lifestyle, take care of their health. This is facilitated by many picturesque places suitable for sports, the richest centuries-old historical heritage, a huge number of resort and recreation areas.

Do not confuse tourism with immigration. This should be the main principle that should not be forgotten when moving. Even if there is a feeling that you know everything about the country, even if you lived there for a month or more, permanent life in the place will make its own adjustments to your perception of reality.

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