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Portugal advice: Answers to top questions (healthcare, safety, visa, retirement, internet, accommodation, banking, food, and more)

20. february 2024 · 28 minute

Curious about Portugal? Let us guide you through everything from safety and healthcare to driving, visas, internet, and retirement. Explore topics like nightlife, drinking age, tap water, and transportation, and discover practical tips on opening a bank account, sending parcels, shopping online, and ordering food. Whether you're seeking vegetarian options or insight into taxi culture, we're here to make navigating life in Portugal a breeze.

Disclaimer: The legal information published on Flatio is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

Is Portugal a good place to live?

You may be wondering: Why is everyone moving to Portugal? Well, the reason for this is that the country is widely regarded as an attractive destination for expats looking to settle abroad. With its pleasant climate, relatively affordable cost of living, and high quality of life, many expats find Portugal to be an excellent place to call home.

Expats in Portugal enjoy a welcoming atmosphere and a large expat community. Whether you're in Lisbon, Porto, or the Algarve region, you'll likely encounter fellow expats living and thriving in various parts of the country. This sense of community can ease the transition for newcomers and provide valuable support networks.


One of the main draws for expats living in Portugal is its favorable climate. With over 300 days of sunshine per year, mild winters, and warm summers, Portugal offers an enjoyable outdoor lifestyle. This Mediterranean climate also contributes to the country's reputation for healthy living, with fresh produce readily available year-round.

Cost of living

The cost of living in Portugal is relatively affordable compared to other Western European countries. Expats find that their money goes further here, whether it's for accommodation, groceries, dining out, or entertainment. Portugal also offers a range of residency options for expats through various visas.


Portugal's healthcare system is another benefit for expats. The country boasts a high standard of healthcare, with both public and private options available. Expats living in Portugal can access quality medical care at a fraction of the cost compared to many other countries.

Other factors

Practical considerations aside, Portugal's rich history, breathtaking landscapes,and interesting culture make it an attractive place to live. From historic cities to picturesque beaches and charming countryside, there's something for every expat living in Portugal.

Is Portugal safe to live?

Is Portugal a good place to live?

Are you considering living in Portugal as an expat and wondering if it is a safe place to live?

It certainly is.

Portugal ranks as one of the safest countries to live in, according to the Global Peace Index 2023 (GPI). Published annually by the Institute for Economics and Peace, the GPI assesses the safety and peace levels of 163 countries worldwide. In the 2023 report, Portugal secured the 7th position, reflecting its high level of safety and peace.

The GPI utilizes 23 indicators to evaluate each country's safety status across three main categories: Ongoing International Conflict, Societal Safety and Security, and Militarization. These indicators include various factors such as the number of violent conflicts, levels of distrust, political stability, terrorism risk, homicide rates, and military expenditures relative to GDP.

Portugal's favorable ranking in the GPI underscores its stability and safety across these metrics. With relatively low levels of internal and external conflicts, a secure societal environment, and minimal militarization, Portugal offers a tranquil and secure living environment for residents.

Moreover, the GPI's recognition of Portugal's safety aligns with the country's reputation for low crime rates and effective law enforcement. Violent crimes are comparatively rare, and residents generally feel safe and secure in their daily lives.

Several members of the Flatio team live in Portugal and can confirm that it’s a safe place for locals and expats alike, including women.

Is living in Portugal for 3 months a good idea?

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Living in Portugal for three months can be a fantastic idea for those seeking a temporary escape or a longer-term exploration of this beautiful country. With its welcoming atmosphere, stunning landscapes, and cultural heritage, Portugal offers plenty to discover during your stay.

One practical tip is to plan your accommodation in advance, especially if you're visiting during peak tourist seasons. Consider renting an apartment through platforms like Flatio for a comfortable, flexible, and convenient stay.

Additionally, exploring different regions of Portugal can enrich your experience. While Lisbon and Porto are popular destinations, don't overlook towns like Sintra, Évora, or Coimbra, each offering unique attractions and experiences.

For nature lovers, spending time in the Algarve region provides access to breathtaking beaches and picturesque coastal landscapes. Meanwhile, food enthusiasts can indulge in Portugal's delicious cuisine, from fresh seafood dishes to traditional pastries like pastéis de nata.

Another practical tip is to familiarize yourself with local customs and etiquette to ensure a smooth and respectful interaction with the locals. Learning a few basic Portuguese phrases can also enhance your experience and help you navigate daily life more easily.

Accommodation tip: Did you know that Flatio is the preferred choice of many visitors to Portugal looking for a flexible stay without having to pay a deposit for stays of less than 180 days? Check our listings in Portugal now and make your trip a hassle-free experience.

How is nightlife in Portugal?

Nightlife in Portugal offers an enjoyable experience, with something to suit every taste and preference. Here are some tips and insights to make the most of your nightlife adventures in major cities:


  • Bairro Alto: Known for its narrow streets lined with bars and small clubs, Bairro Alto is the go-to spot for a lively and eclectic nightlife experience.
  • Pink Street (Rua Nova do Carvalho): This vibrant street in the Cais do Sodré district comes alive at night with a mix of bars, clubs, and restaurants, perfect for bar-hopping and dancing.
  • LX Factory: A trendy industrial complex turned cultural hub, LX Factory offers a range of bars, restaurants, and art spaces, ideal for a more alternative nightlife scene.


  • Ribeira District: Along the Douro River, the Ribeira district boasts a picturesque setting with numerous bars and restaurants offering stunning views and a lively atmosphere.
  • Galerias de Paris: Galerias de Paris, located in the city center, is a bustling nightlife hotspot with many bars, clubs, and live music venues.
  • Foz do Douro: For a more relaxed evening by the sea, head to Foz do Douro, where you can enjoy seaside bars and cafes offering a laid-back ambiance.

Practical tips:

  • Check for local events and festivals happening during your visit, as Portugal hosts numerous music festivals and cultural events throughout the year.
  • Be aware of transportation options, especially if you plan to stay out late. Lisbon and Porto have efficient public transportation systems, including metro, trams, and buses, but taxis and ride-sharing services are also available.
  • Exercise caution and drink responsibly, especially in crowded areas or unfamiliar surroundings. Stay aware of your belongings to avoid pickpocketing incidents.
  • Embrace the Portuguese custom of starting the night late, with many bars and clubs not getting busy until after midnight.

What is the drinking age in Portugal?

What is the legal drinking age in Portugal, you ask?

In Portugal, you must be 18 years old to legally drink alcohol. This means that once you reach 18, you can buy and drink alcohol in the country. This rule applies to everyone in Portugal, whether you live there or are just visiting.

Is Portugal a good place to retire?

Praia de São Rafael, Albufeira, Portugal beach

Retirement in Portugal is a great choice as the country offers many benefits that cater to the needs and preferences of retirees from various corners of the globe.
Notably, the country has been selected as the world’s best place to retire, according to International Living’s Top Ten Places to Retire in 2023.

Let's delve into why retiring in Portugal is an appealing prospect, covering key aspects such as retirement visa Portugal, best places to retire, and considerations for UK and US citizens.

Retirement in Portugal: Overview

  • Cost of Living: With an affordable cost of living, retirees can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle without breaking the bank.
  • Climate: Portugal's sublime Mediterranean climate boasts mild winters and warm summers, particularly attractive for retirees seeking pleasant weather year-round.
  • Culture: Rich in history and culture, Portugal presents retirees with ample opportunities to explore historic landmarks, vibrant cities, and interesting traditions.
  • Healthcare: The country's healthcare system offers quality medical care, supplemented by private health insurance for additional coverage and faster access to services.
  • Retirement visas: Portugal offers retirement visas such as the D7 Visa and Portugal Golden Visa, providing pathways for retirees to obtain residency through various means.

Important note: The Portuguese Golden Visa program and the non-habitual residents (NHR) tax regime for foreigners have undergone some changes.

Retiring in Portugal pros and cons

  • Affordable cost of living: Portugal offers a reasonable cost of living compared to other European countries, allowing retirees to live comfortably within their means.
  • Scenic landscapes: From the golden beaches on the Algarve coast to the vineyards in the Douro Valley - there are many different landscapes for retirees to discover in Portugal.
  • Cultural richness: Immerse yourself in Portugal's cultural heritage, world-famous cities, and traditions to enrich your retirement.
  • Healthcare services: Portugal's healthcare system provides quality medical care at affordable rates, ensuring retirees can access necessary services when needed.


  • Language barrier: While English is widely spoken, especially in urban areas, retirees may encounter challenges with the Portuguese language, requiring some adjustment.
  • Tax implications: Retirees should familiarize themselves with tax regulations in both Portugal and their home countries to ensure compliance and optimize financial planning.

Retirement visas in Portugal

  • Portugal D7 Visa (Portugal retirement visa): Designed for retirees with passive income, such as pensions, the D7 Visa allows individuals to sustain themselves financially while living in Portugal.
  • Golden Visa program: The Golden Visa enables retirees to obtain residency in Portugal through qualified investments.

Important note: The Portuguese Golden Visa program and the non-habitual residents (NHR) tax regime for foreigners have undergone some changes.

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Best places to retire in Portugal

  • Lisbon: If you’re wondering where to retire in Portugal, Lisbon is a good choice. The capital is characterized by historical charm, cultural attractions and a mild climate, making it an attractive destination for retirees looking for an urban life.
  • Porto: Known for its riverside, historic wine cellars, and lower living costs compared to other European cities, Porto appeals to retirees seeking a laid-back lifestyle.
  • Cascais: A coastal town on the Portuguese Riviera, Cascais offers beautiful beaches, outdoor activities, and easy access to Lisbon, ideal for retirees seeking a blend of tranquility and city life.
  • Faro: The capital of the Algarve region, Faro is known for its peaceful lifestyle, historic Old Town, and proximity to stunning beaches.
  • The Silver Coast: Offering diverse landscapes and affordable real estate options, the Silver Coast, also known as Costa de Prata, is an ideal place for retirees looking for tranquility and authenticity away from urban centers.

Retirement in Portugal for UK and US citizens

  • Retirement in Portugal for UK Citizens: With its retirement visa options, Portugal has become a popular choice for many British citizens, especially post-Brexit.
  • Retirement in Portugal for US Citizens: US citizens can also benefit from Portugal's retirement visas, enjoying a comfortable lifestyle, lower living costs, and excellent healthcare services, making it an attractive option for retirement abroad.

Tips: How to retire in Portugal

  • Plan your budget: Consider all expenses, including visa fees, healthcare costs, and daily living expenses, to ensure a comfortable retirement within your means.
  • Hire an immigration lawyer: Navigate the residency process with ease by seeking assistance from a Portugal immigration lawyer who can provide guidance and ensure compliance with regulations.
  • Secure health insurance: Obtain private health insurance to supplement Portugal's public healthcare system, ensuring comprehensive coverage for medical needs.
  • Learn the local language: Embrace the local culture by learning Portuguese, facilitating integration into the community and enhancing the retirement experience.
  • Understand tax implications: Familiarize yourself with tax regulations in both Portugal and your home country, consulting with tax professionals to optimize your financial situation and ensure compliance.

Can you drink tap water in Portugal?

When it comes to drinking water in Portugal, tap water is generally safe to drink in most parts of the country. The water quality is closely monitored by local authorities to ensure it meets safety standards set by the European Union. However, there are a few considerations to keep in mind:

  • Quality variation: While tap water is safe to drink in many areas, the quality may vary depending on the region. In some places, particularly rural areas or smaller towns, the taste or quality of tap water may not be as good as in larger cities.
  • Precautions in rural areas: In rural or remote areas, it's advisable to exercise caution and inquire locally about the quality of tap water. In some cases, using bottled water for drinking and cooking purposes may be recommended to avoid any potential issues.
  • Water treatment: The majority of tap water in Portugal undergoes treatment processes to remove impurities and ensure safety. This includes filtration, chlorination, and other methods to meet drinking water standards.
  • Bottled water: For those who prefer not to drink tap water or are uncertain about its quality in certain areas, bottled water is readily available for purchase in supermarkets, convenience stores, and restaurants throughout Portugal.

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What do I need to know about driving in Portugal?

driving in Portugal

Here’s some of the most important information you need to know about driving in Portugal.

What side of the road do they drive in Portugal?

In Portugal, like in many other European countries, people drive on the right side of the road. This means that vehicles travel on the right-hand side of the road, and the steering wheel is positioned on the left side of the car.

If you're used to driving on the left side of the road, it's important to remember to adjust to driving on the right when navigating Portuguese roads. This is essential for safety and to avoid accidents, especially when driving in unfamiliar areas. Additionally, road signs and traffic signals are designed for right-side driving, so it's crucial to pay attention to these indicators while driving in Portugal.

Do you need an international license for driving in Portugal as a tourist?

To drive a car in Portugal, you need to be 18 or older. But if you want to rent a car, you have to be at least 21. If you're from the EU or the US, you can use your driving license to drive in Portugal.

However, if you plan to stay for more than six months, you'll need an International Driving License. If your license isn't from the EU or the US, you should get an International Driving Permit (IDP) before you go.

You can get one online by paying a fee and sending in your current driving license.

How to pay tolls in Portugal?

At toll booths, you can pay with cash, a bank card, or use a system called Via Verde, which is an electronic toll system. With Via Verde, the toll fee is automatically deducted from your bank account. To use Via Verde, you need to have a special tag called a Via Verde identifier tag, which you can get beforehand from their website.

This system is also available for foreign cars through something called Via Verde Visitors. This device allows you to use the toll roads and pay electronically, including at toll booths and bridges.

How is Portugal internet quality?

In Portugal, the internet coverage with fiber optic technology is excellent. In some cities, you can even get speeds as high as 10 gigabits per second (gbps). However, in most parts of the country, the maximum speed available is 1 gbps. Still, this speed is faster than what most people typically require for their internet needs.

What is the best VPN for Portugal?

According to Cybernews, NordVPN is the best choice for a VPN in Portugal. It's highly optimized and comes with a wide range of features to ensure a seamless experience. With NordVPN, you get access to over 6,000 servers across 61 countries, including 20 servers located in Portugal.

If you search for "VPN Portugal free" or "VPN Portugal grátis," you may find some VPNs that offer their services free of charge.However, be aware that free VPNs often come with limitations and drawbacks. These may include:

  • Limited features: Free VPNs typically offer limited features compared to premium services. You may have restricted server options, slower connection speeds, and fewer security features.
  • Privacy concerns: Free VPNs may collect and sell your data to third parties to make a profit. Your online activities and personal information could be at risk of being compromised.
  • Security risks: Some free VPNs have been found to contain malware or adware, which can infect your devices and compromise your security.
  • Unreliable performance: Free VPNs may suffer from frequent disconnections, downtime, and slower speeds due to overcrowded servers and limited resources.
  • Lack of customer support: Free VPN providers may not offer reliable customer support or troubleshooting assistance if you encounter issues with their service.

What plugs are used in portugal?

Type C and Type F sockets, plugs in Portugal

What plugs do they use in Portugal? What plug adapter do I need for Portugal? These are the questions that many travelers ask themselves when packing their suitcases for a trip to Portugal. Here's a quick guide to the plug types and adapters you may encounter:

  • Plug type: Portugal primarily uses plug Type C and Type F sockets.
  • Type C: This plug has two round pins and is commonly found in European countries. It's suitable for devices that require up to 2.5 amps of power.
  • Type F: This plug is similar to Type C but has two additional grounding clips on the sides. It's compatible with devices that require higher power levels, up to 16 amps.
  • Voltage and frequency: The standard voltage in Portugal is 230 volts, with a frequency of 50 Hz.
  • Adapter requirement: Depending on your home country's plug type, you may need an adapter to use your electronic devices in Portugal. Ensure you have the correct adapter to match the Portuguese plug sockets.
  • Availability: Plug adapters and converters are readily available for purchase in most electronic stores, airports, and travel shops. It's advisable to acquire one before your trip to ensure you can charge your devices upon arrival.
  • Compatibility: Check the power requirements of your electronic devices to ensure they are compatible with the voltage and plug type used in Portugal. Using incompatible devices without proper adapters or converters can lead to damage or malfunction.
  • Universal adapters: Consider investing in a universal plug adapter that accommodates multiple plug types. This ensures compatibility not only in Portugal but also in other countries with different socket standards.

Do you need to be vaccinated to go to Portugal?

Proof of a negative test result for Sars-CoV-2, the EU Covid Digital Certificate, or vaccination/recovery certificates from other countries is no longer needed for flights to or from Portugal.

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What is the best health insurance in Portugal?

In Portugal, individuals seeking private health insurance options may find AXA to be a reliable choice. AXA offers international health insurance designed to provide peace of mind for those living abroad or traveling frequently. With AXA, policyholders have access to comprehensive coverage for both emergency and routine healthcare needs, along with flexibility in choosing doctors and treatment facilities.

This ensures individuals can receive quality healthcare services wherever they are within their region of cover. At Flatio, we’ve teamed up with AXA to offer our tenants and landlords greater security and peace of mind.

What is Portugal tipping culture like?

In Portugal, tipping culture is generally more modest compared to some other countries. While tipping is appreciated for exceptional service, it's not always expected. In restaurants, it's common to leave a tip of around 5% to 10% of the total bill if you're satisfied with the service. However, in more touristy areas or upscale establishments, a tip of up to 10% may be more customary. Additionally, rounding up the bill or leaving small change at cafes and taxis is common practice. Overall, tipping in Portugal is a gesture of appreciation rather than an obligation.

What should a Portugal packing list include?

When preparing for a trip to Portugal, it's essential to pack wisely to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Here are some key items to include on your Portugal packing list:


  • Lightweight and breathable clothing suitable for warm weather, especially during the summer months.
  • Comfortable walking shoes for exploring cities, cobblestone streets, and natural landscapes.
  • Swimwear for enjoying Portugal's beautiful beaches.
  • Light layers for cooler evenings or visits to higher elevations.
  • A waterproof jacket or umbrella for unexpected showers, especially in coastal regions.

Travel essentials:

  • Valid passport and any necessary travel documents.
  • Travel adapter to charge electronic devices (Portugal uses European-style plugs with two round pins).
  • Portable charger for keeping your devices powered while on the go.
  • Sunscreen to protect against the strong Portuguese sun.
  • Sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat for sun protection.
  • Basic first aid kit with essential medications and supplies.

Exploration gear:

  • Lightweight daypack for carrying essentials during day trips and sightseeing excursions.
  • Guidebook or map to navigate Portugal's cities, landmarks, and attractions.
  • Camera or smartphone for capturing memories of your journey.
  • Reusable water bottle to stay hydrated while exploring.
  • Snacks for energy boosts between meals or during long drives.

Cultural considerations:

  • Modest clothing for visits to religious sites or traditional villages.
  • Respectful attire for dining at upscale restaurants or attending cultural events.
  • Phrasebook or language app to communicate with locals, although many Portuguese speak English.

Miscellaneous items:

  • Travel insurance for peace of mind during your trip.
  • Credit cards and/or cash (Euros) for transactions, as some smaller establishments may not accept cards.
  • Any prescription medications or medical supplies you may need during your stay.

How to open a company in Portugal?

Starting a company in Portugal offers numerous advantages for entrepreneurs and investors. Here's what you need to know:

Advantages of starting a business in Portugal:

  • Strategic location: Portugal's central location provides easy access to global markets, making it a logistics hub.
  • EU membership: Being part of the EU grants access to a vast single market, fostering business opportunities and growth.
  • Supportive environment: Portugal offers incentives like grants and tax benefits to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation.
  • Skilled workforce: The country boasts a highly educated workforce proficient in English, facilitating business operations.
  • Quality of life: Portugal's Mediterranean climate, stunning landscapes, and rich culture contribute to an excellent quality of life.
  • Innovation focus: Government initiatives like the Startup Visa program attract tech entrepreneurs, promoting innovation.

How to start a business in Portugal:

  • Choose Your business type: Decide on a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LDA), or public limited company (SA).
  • Choose a business name: Select a unique name not already in use by another company in Portugal.
  • Obtain a fiscal number (NIF): Get a tax identification number from the Portuguese Tax and Customs Authority.
  • Open a bank account: Set up a business bank account in Portugal.
  • Register your business: Submit necessary documents to the Portuguese Commercial Registry and pay registration fees.
  • Licensing and permits: Obtain any required licenses or permits for your business type and industry.
  • Register for social security: If hiring employees, register with the Portuguese Social Security system.
  • Tax registration: Register your business for taxation with the Portuguese Tax Authority.
  • Hiring employees: Adhere to labor laws and regulations when hiring staff.
  • Stay informed: Keep updated on business regulations and tax changes for ongoing compliance.

Common business types in Portugal:

  • Sole Proprietorship
  • Partnership
  • Limited Liability Company (LDA)
  • Public Limited Company (SA)

Documents needed for company registration:

  • Company deed
  • Articles of association
  • Proof of fiscal identification (NIF)
  • Proof of address
  • Bank statement
  • Shareholder IDs and tax numbers
  • Declaration of acceptance of office
  • License or permit (if applicable)

Timeline for company registration:

  • Obtain NIF: Typically within a few days
  • Open bank account: Typically within a week
  • Company registration: Several days to weeks, depending on complexity
  • Licensing and permits: Varies based on industry
  • Social security and tax registration: Within a week
  • Hiring employees: Several weeks to complete hiring process


  • Setting up a company vs. partnering with an Employer of Record (EOR) offers different advantages and considerations for starting a business in Portugal.
  • Getting expert help: Seeking assistance from legal, financial, or business experts can streamline the process and ensure compliance with regulations.

How to open a bank account in Portugal?

bank account in Portugal

Opening a bank account in Portugal involves several steps and documentation requirements, which may vary based on your residency status and the specific bank. Here's what you need to know:

For Portuguese residents, expats, and digital nomads:

  • Visit a local bank branch or explore online banking options.
  • Prepare the necessary documents, including:
    • Proof of identification: A valid passport.
    • Proof of address: A recent utility bill or lease agreement.
    • Proof of employment: A recent payslip, employment letter, or registration with the Portuguese employment center.
    • Portuguese NIF (Número de Identificação Fiscal) number: Obtain this from the Portuguese tax office.
    • Portuguese mobile number: Some banks may require it for SMS activation.
  • Be aware of any minimum deposit requirements, typically between 200 and 300 euros.

For non-residents (offshore accounts):

  • Fulfill the standard documentation requirements, along with additional details:
    • Proof of identification: A valid passport.
    • Proof of address: A recent utility bill or lease agreement.
    • Proof of employment: Similar to residents.
    • Portuguese NIF number: Essential for tax and financial transactions in Portugal.
    • Details of overseas address: Proof of your physical address abroad is necessary for tax purposes.

Best bank in Portugal for foreigners

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Although everyone’s requirements and preferences are different, according to Flatio team members based in Portugal, ActivoBank is considered by many to be the best bank for expats in Portugal due to its good services, modern app, and well-located branches.

ActivoBank is a Portuguese digital bank belonging to the Millennium BCP Group, one of the largest banking and financial services groups in Portugal.

In the following list of banks in Portugal, you’ll find somelocal,international, and online banks that you can consider for opening an account.

Top 20 banks in Portugal: Portuguese and international banks + online banks in Portugal

  • Millennium BCP
  • ActivoBank
  • Caixa Geral de Depósitos
  • Novobanco
  • Banco Atlantico Europa
  • Banco Santander Totta
  • BPI
  • Banco Montepio
  • EuroBic
  • Bison Bank
  • Abanca
  • Banco Best
  • Banco CTT
  • Barclays
  • Citibank
  • BBVA
  • Banco Finantia
  • Bank Credibom
  • Revolut
  • N26

How to send a parcel to Portugal?

Sending a parcel to Portugal is a straightforward process. Here are the general steps you need to follow:

  • Package your item: Ensure that your item is properly packaged to prevent damage during transit. Use appropriate packaging materials such as bubble wrap, packing peanuts, or cardboard boxes.
  • Choose a shipping service: Select a shipping service that suits your needs and budget. Options may include postal services like the Portuguese Post Office (CTT) or private courier services like DHL, FedEx, or UPS.
  • Calculate the shipping costs: Determine the shipping costs based on factors such as the type of service, size, weight, and destination of your parcel. You can usually calculate shipping costs online or at the shipping provider's office.
  • Fill out customs forms: If you’re sending a parcel internationally to Portugal from another country, you may need to fill out customs forms. Provide accurate information about the contents and value of your package to expedite customs clearance.
  • Drop off your parcel: Once your parcel is ready for shipping, take it to the nearest post office or courier drop-off location. Make sure to obtain a tracking number if available so you can monitor the statusof your shipment.
  • Track your parcel: Keep track of your parcel's journey using the tracking number provided by the shipping service. This will allow you to monitor its progress and estimated delivery date.
  • Ensure timely delivery: Double-check the estimated delivery date and ensure that someone will be available to receive the parcel at the destination address. If necessary, provide special delivery instructions to the shipping carrier.
  • Confirm receipt: Once your parcel has been delivered, confirm receipt with the recipient to ensure that it has arrived safely and in good condition.

What should I know about online shopping in Portugal?

Online shopping in Portugal offers convenience and accessibility to a wide range of products and services. Here's what you need to know about online shopping in Portugal:

  • Popular e-commerce platforms: In Portugal, you have access to several popular e-commerce platforms where you can shop for various goods and services, including clothing, electronics, groceries, and more. Some of the popular platforms include Continente, Worten, FNAC, and Amazon.
  • Payment methods: When shopping online in Portugal, you can typically pay using various methods, including credit or debit cards, PayPal, and MB WAY, a popular mobile payment solution in the country.
  • Delivery options: Most online retailers in Portugal offer multiple delivery options, including home delivery, pickup points, and express delivery for faster shipping. Delivery times may vary depending on the retailer and your location within Portugal.
  • Shipping costs: While some online retailers offer free shipping for orders above a certain amount, others may charge a fee for delivery. Be sure to check the shipping costs and delivery times before making a purchase.
  • Returns and refunds: Portuguese consumer protection laws grant consumers the right to return products purchased online within a certain period, typically 14 days, for a full refund or exchange. Be aware of the retailer's return policy before making a purchase.
  • Customer reviews and ratings: Before making a purchase, it's helpful to read customer reviews and ratings of both the product and the seller to ensure a positive shopping experience.
  • Security and privacy: When shopping online, ensure that the website is secure and uses encryption to protect your personal and financial information. Look for the padlock symbol in the browser's address bar and use reputable retailers to minimize the risk of fraud.
  • Customs and import duties: If you're purchasing goods from outside the European Union, be aware that customs duties and import taxes may apply. Consider these additional costs when shopping internationally.

How to send money to Portugal?

Sending money to Portugal is a straightforward process with several options available to individuals and businesses. Here's how to send money to Portugal:

  • Bank transfers: One of the most common methods is through bank transfers. You can transfer money from your bank account to a recipient's bank account in Portugal. Ensure you have the recipient's IBAN (International Bank Account Number) and SWIFT/BIC (Bank Identifier Code) for international transfers.
  • Online payment services: Online payment services like PayPal, Wise, and Revolut offer convenient ways to send money internationally to Portugal. These services often provide competitive exchange rates and low fees compared to traditional banks.
  • Money transfer operators: Money transfer operators such as Western Union, MoneyGram, and Ria Money Transfer allow you to send money to Portugal for cash pickup at designated locations or directly to a bank account. Fees and exchange rates may vary between operators.
  • Remittance companies: Specialized remittance companies cater specifically to international money transfers, offering fast and cost-effective options to send money to Portugal from abroad.
  • Cryptocurrency transfers: For tech-savvy individuals, cryptocurrency transfers provide an alternative way to send money to Portugal. Platforms likeBinance allow you to purchase cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and transfer them to a recipient's digital wallet in Portugal.
  • Direct debit: Some banks and financial institutions offer direct debit services that allow you to set up recurring payments or send regular transfers to Portugal automatically.

Tip: Regardless of the method you choose, prioritize security by using reputable and trusted service providers. Verify the recipient's details carefully to avoid errors and potential fraud.

What to expect from food delivery in Portugal?

When it comes to food delivery in Portugal, you can expect convenience, variety, and efficiency. Here's what to expect:

  • Wide range of options: Food delivery services in Portugal offer a diverse selection of cuisines, ranging from traditional Portuguese dishes to international favorites like Italian, Indian, and Chinese cuisine. Whether you're craving pizza, sushi, or local specialties, you'll find plenty of choices to suit your taste buds.
  • Online platforms: Several online platforms and mobile apps facilitate food delivery in Portugal, making it easy to browse menus, place orders, and track deliveries in real-time. Popular platforms include Uber Eats, Glovo, and Bolt Food, among others.
  • Fast delivery times: Food delivery services in Portugal typically offer fast and efficient delivery times, with many orders arriving within 30 to 60 minutes, depending on your location and the restaurant's proximity to your address.
  • Delivery fees and minimum orders: While delivery fees and minimum order requirements may vary depending on the platform and restaurant, they are generally reasonable and transparent. Some restaurants may offer free delivery for orders above a certain amount.
  • Payment options: Food delivery platforms in Portugal accept various payment methods, including credit/debit cards and PayPal, providing flexibility and convenience for customers.
  • Quality and freshness: Restaurants with good reviews are those that prioritize the quality and freshness of the food to ensure that the meals delivered meet high standards. They also package food securely to maintain temperature and freshness during transit.
  • Special offers and discounts: Customers can often take advantage of special offers, discounts, and promotions available through food delivery platforms, allowing them to enjoy their favorite meals at a lower cost.
  • Customer support: In case of any issues or concerns with your order, food delivery platforms typically offer reliable customer support services to assist you promptly and resolve any issues satisfactorily.

Is it easy to find high-quality vegetarian food in Portugal?

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Finding high-quality vegetarian food in Portugal is relatively easy, thanks to the country's increasing awareness and appreciation for vegetarian and vegan diets. Here's what you can expect as a vegetarian or a vegan in Portugal:

  • Growing vegetarian scene: Portugal's culinary landscape is evolving to accommodate vegetarian and vegan preferences, with an expanding number of restaurants, cafes, and eateries offering dedicated vegetarian and vegan menus.
  • Diverse options: Vegetarian-friendly establishments in Portugal serve a diverse array of plant-based dishes, ranging from traditional Portuguese cuisine to international fare. You can enjoy everything from hearty vegetable stews and salads to creative plant-based burgers and wraps.
  • Fresh and flavorful ingredients: Portuguese cuisine emphasizes fresh, locally sourced ingredients, which translates into tasty and flavorful vegetarian dishes. You'll often find an abundance of seasonal fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, and herbs incorporated into vegetarian meals.
  • Vegetarian-friendly restaurants: Many restaurants in Portugal now explicitly label vegetarian and vegan options on their menus, making it easier for diners to identify suitable choices. Some establishments even specialize exclusively in vegetarian and vegan cuisine, ensuring a wide selection of meat-free options.
  • Accommodating attitudes: Portuguese restaurants and chefs are generally accommodating of dietary preferences and are willing to modify dishes to suit vegetarian or vegan requirements.
  • Urban centers and tourist destinations: In major cities like Lisbon, Porto, and Faro, as well as popular tourist destinations along the Algarve coast, you'll find a particularly high concentration of vegetarian-friendly eateries, including vegetarian restaurants, vegan cafes, and health food stores.
  • Farmers' markets and grocery stores: Vegetarians visiting Portugal can also explore local farmers' markets and grocery stores, where they'll find an abundance of fresh produce, organic products, and plant-based ingredients to prepare their meals at home.

Portugal taxi culture

In Portugal, taxis are a common and convenient mode of transportation, especially in urban areas and tourist destinations. Here's what you need to know about taxi culture in Portugal:

  • Availability: Taxis are readily available in major cities like Lisbon, Porto, and Faro, as well as at transportation hubs such as airports, train stations, and tourist attractions. You can usually find taxi stands marked with signs or designated taxi pickup areas.
  • Distinctive appearance: Lisbon's taxis are painted black and green (older taxis are cream-colored). They typically have a roof light displaying the word "TÁXI".
  • Metered fare system: Taxis in Portugal operate on a metered fare system regulated by the local authorities. The fare is calculated based on factors such as distance traveled and time spent in the taxi. Make sure the meter is running when you start your journey to ensure fair pricing.
  • Payment options: Most taxis in Portugal accept cash payments, but some also offer the option to pay by credit card. It's always a good idea to confirm payment methods with the driver before starting your journey, especially if you prefer to pay by card.
  • Portugal taxi app and ride-sharing options: In addition to hailing taxis on the street, you can use taxi-hailing apps in Portugal for added convenience. Apps like Uber, Bolt, and FREENOW operate in major cities and allow you to request a taxi with just a few taps on your smartphone. These apps provide upfront pricing, estimated arrival times, and cashless payment options.
  • English proficiency: While not all taxi drivers in Portugal speak English fluently, many in tourist areas do have English language skills. It's helpful to have your destination address written down or saved on your phone in case of communication difficulties.
  • Tipping: Tipping is not obligatory in Portugal, but it is customary to add a small tip for excellent service.

How to stay connected in Portugal?

When traveling to Portugal, it's important to understand the country's phone system and how to obtain a SIM card for your mobile device. Here are some key points regarding Portugal phone codes, SIM cards, and phone numbers:

  • Portugal phone code: The country code for Portugal is +351. When dialing a phone number in Portugal from abroad, you'll need to prefix the local number with this code.
  • Portugal SIM card: To use your mobile phone in Portugal, you can purchase a SIM card from local service providers. These SIM cards typically come with various data and calling options to suit your needs during your stay. Getting a SIM card in Portugal is relatively straightforward. You can find them at convenience stores, electronics shops, and mobile network provider stores. Simply insert the SIM card into your unlocked phone, follow the activation instructions, and you're ready to use your Portugal phone number.
  • Portugal SIM card prepaid: Many SIM card options in Portugal are prepaid, meaning you'll need to top up credit to use services like calling, texting, and data. Prepaid SIM cards offer flexibility and control over your spending.
  • Portugal SIM card unlimited data: Some mobile network providers in Portugal offer SIM cards with unlimited data plans for a fixed period. These plans are ideal for travelers who require constant internet access during their stay.
  • Portugal number for WhatsApp: Once you have a Portuguese phone number, you can use it for WhatsApp and other messaging apps. Simply verify your number in the app settings to start using WhatsApp with your Portuguese contact number.
  • Portugal phone number example: A typical phone number format in Portugal includes the country code (+351), followed by the area code (usually 2 digits), and then the local number (usually 7 digits). For example, a Lisbon phone number might look like this: +351 21 XXX XXXX.

Moving to Portugal pros and cons

Moving to Portugal can be an exciting opportunity, but it's important to weigh the pros and cons before making the leap. Here are some factors to consider if you plan to relocate to Portugal.


  • Quality of life: Portugal is known for its high quality of life, with beautiful weather, stunning landscapes, and a relaxed pace of living. This is one of the main reasons why to move to Portugal.
  • Cost of living: Compared to many other European countries, Portugal offers a relatively affordable cost of living, especially outside major cities.
  • Healthcare: Portugal has a public healthcare system that provides accessible and affordable medical care to residents.
  • Safety: Portugal is internationally recognized for its safety and low crime rates, making it a secure place to live and raise a family.
  • Culture and lifestyle: From cities to coastal towns, Portugal offers a rich cultural experience with delicious cuisine, interesting festivals, and friendly locals. Portugal expat communities are very welcoming and helpful.


  • Housing costs: While Portugal's cost of living is generally lower, rents have increased in recent years, especially in popular areas like Lisbon and Porto.
  • Job market: Finding employment in Portugal can be challenging, especially for non-EU citizens and in certain industries.
  • Language barrier: While many Portuguese people speak English, the official language is Portuguese, which can be a barrier for some expats.
  • Bureaucracy: Dealing with paperwork and bureaucracy can be time-consuming and frustrating, especially when it comes to residency and visas.
  • Public services: While Portugal offers excellent public services in many areas, infrastructure and public transportation may not be as efficient as in some other countries.

How to move to Portugal?

local markets in Portugal

Moving to Portugal involves several steps, but with proper planning, it can be a smooth transition. Here's a simplified guide:

  • Research visa requirements: Determine which visa option is suitable for your situation. Portugal offers various visa types, including for employment, entrepreneurship, retirement, and study.
  • Gather required documents: Prepare all necessary documents for your visa application, such as proof of income, health insurance, criminal background checks, and accommodation details.
  • Apply for visa: Submit your visa application to the nearest Portuguese consulate or embassy in your home country. Ensure you meet all requirements and provide accurate information.
  • Arrange accommodation: Secure housing arrangements in Portugal, whether it's renting a property or arranging temporary accommodation upon arrival.
  • Plan finances: Calculate your living expenses and ensure you have sufficient funds to support yourself during the initial period in Portugal. Consider currency exchange rates and banking options.
  • Organize healthcare: Arrange health insurance coverage that meets Portugal's requirements. If applicable, research the Portuguese healthcare system and understand how to access medical services.
  • Learn Portuguese: While English is widely spoken, especially in urban areas, learning Portuguese can enhance your experience and integration into Portuguese society.
  • Consult with experts: Consider seeking advice from immigration consultants or relocation experts who can provide guidance on the moving process, visa applications, and legal requirements.
  • Prepare for the move: Arrange transportation for your belongings, whether through shipping or bringing them with you. Plan your travel itinerary and make necessary arrangements for pets or family members.

For detailed information on visa options and requirements, visit our blog post on some of the visa options for moving to Portugal, including Portugal D8 visa, Portugal D7 visa, and Portugal D2 visa.

What are the best cities in Portugal to visit?

These are some of the best areas to visit in Portugal, each offering its own charm and attractions:

  • Lisbon
  • Porto
  • Sintra
  • Coimbra
  • Faro
  • Aveiro
  • Braga
  • Cascais

What are the best places to live in Portugal for expats?

Find perfect apartments for rent in Portugal

Choosing where to live in Portugal is an important decision. Portugal offers many great places for expats to live, and Lisbon, the capital, is a top pick. It's loved for its lively culture, diverse neighborhoods, and lots to do. Even though rent prices have gone up lately, Lisbon is still a favorite among expats.

Here are some top neighborhoods in Lisbon:

  • Baixa: A busy area with lots of shops and places to eat and is considered Lisbon’s city center.
  • Bairro Alto: Known for its nightlife and beautiful buildings.
  • Príncipe Real: A trendy spot with great restaurants and a mix of cultures.
  • Avenidas Novas and Alvalade: Avenidas Novas has big apartments, while Alvalade is quieter, perfect for families.
  • Parque das Nações: Modern and lively with cool architecture and places to hang out.
  • Olivais: A mix of homes and businesses, offering a modern lifestyle.
  • Alfama and Graça: Alfama is the oldest neighborhood, now trendy, while Graça has history and views but less parking.
  • Belém: Charming area with famous sights and beautiful parks, with easy access to the beaches near Lisbon.
  • Restelo: Fancy area with luxury homes near a stadium.
  • Campo de Ourique: A nice mix of old and new buildings with shops and a park.
  • Santos: One of the oldest neighborhoods, lively during the day and night.

Besides Lisbon, there are other great places for expats in Portugal:

  • Faro, Lagos, and Albufeira in the Algarve region offer stunning beaches and a relaxed lifestyle.
  • Funchal in Madeira mixes history with modern comforts, surrounded by mountains and sea.
  • Porto charms with its riverside views and historical vibe, offering a more relaxed pace than Lisbon.
  • Braga, known for its history, is quieter and full of medieval charm.
  • Coimbra, home to one of the world's oldest universities, has an interesting student scene.
  • Aveiro, called the "Venice of Portugal," is colorful and unique.
  • Évora, a UNESCO site, offers a slower pace and rich history.
  • Cascais, near Lisbon, gives a coastal lifestyle with a vibrant community.
  • Sintra, with its fairytale-like beauty, offers a unique living experience.

What is the cheapest place to live in Portugal?

Castelo Branco, an inland city and municipality in central Portugal, is reportedly the top choices to find cheap accommodation for rent in Portugal.

How to find accommodation in Portugal?

There are many platforms where you can find apartments for rent in Portugal. But not all of them offer flexible, deposit-free, and remote work-friendly options with visa-friendly lease agreements.

If you would like to make your stay in Portugal or your move there even more pleasant and unforgettable, we recommend you take a look at the listings on Flatio, which is considered a good alternative to Airbnb, Vrbo, and similar platforms.

These are some of the features that set us apart from other rental accommodation providers:

  • Flexible stays (rooms, flats, houses), starting from 5 days
  • Deposit-free policy
  • Balanced, legally binding, visa-friendly lease agreement (translated into multiple languages)
  • A very attractive cancelation policy
  • Online signing of lease agreement
  • Utilities and Wi-Fi included
  • StayProtection for Tenants, a service package to help tenants deal with emergencies such as internet problems and blocked doors, as well as accidental damage to property
  • Move-in Guarantee with a 24/7 emergency line
  • 100% money protection
  • Customer support available every day of the week
  • No hidden fees
  • A secure and simple payment system (including the possibility to pay with Bitcoin)

(Sources: World Population Review, Global Citizen Solutions [1], Global Citizen Solutions [2], Veganderlust,, Visit Portugal, Portugalist, Cybernews, ACM, Skuad, Deel, Wise

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