Porto Vs. Lisbon For Expats – What Is The Best Option part 2 – What’s the Best Option?

Porto Vs Lisbon For Expats – What Is The Best Option part 2 – Part one is here.

Living in Lisbon as an Expat

Lisbon is a thriving city with an international community. It’s a great place to live and work, especially if you’re an Expat. Here are five pros of living in Lisbon as an expat.

Porto Vs Lisbon For Expats


One of the best things about Lisbon is that it has very nice weather.  Most Expats agree that it’s much easier to live in a place with great weather than in one with bad weather, especially if you’re planning on staying longer than just a couple of years.

The summer weather here can be hot and sometimes humid, but for the most part, it’s very pleasant.  If you’re thinking of moving to Portugal, you’ll be happy to hear that the weather in Lisbon is really one of its biggest draws.


One of the best things about living in Lisbon as an Expat is affordable.  A large range of options is available for Expats, including houses, apartments, condos, etc.  The cost of living in Lisbon is much lower than in most other large international cities.

Safety and Security

People like to live in places that feel safe and secure, and Lisbon offers this and more. The crime rate here is very low, making it a safe place to live. Expats are able to enjoy living here without any fear of violence or other crimes.

Food Options

You’ll find that you have many different food options in Lisbon, including sea-food restaurants and traditional Portuguese restaurants.  Expats here say they love the great food offered throughout the city.

Nightlife and Entertainment

Lisbon has a lot going on in terms of nightlife and entertainment. There are clubs, bars, live music venues, etc., that offer a great variety of options for Expats and the locals. There’s always something to do here with something happening all year round. It’s definitely a city that never sleeps with lots to do for Expats.

Porto Vs Lisbon For Expats


Not Knowing Enough Portuguese

Since I’m not a native speaker, it’s pretty hard to get around if you don’t know any Portuguese at all. And while everyone tries their best to speak English with foreigners, this is especially difficult when dealing with people who work in customer service or people working at the supermarket or bank.

Not Enough Work Opportunities

While you are allowed to freely look for a job while being here on a student visa, it’s still not that easy finding work relevant to your studies, especially if you are studying something technical like engineering or medicine. Often, companies are looking for people who have studied completely different things.

Temperatures in Summer

When I left Brazil, it was 40 °C (104 °F). Now when I look outside the window at my new home here in Lisbon, there is snow everywhere, and it’s -1°C (30.2 °F) degrees outside. Winter in Lisbon is horrible, and I would not recommend coming here when it’s colder than 20°C (68 °F), especially if you plan on going out a lot.

No Street Address

While other countries give every person a house number, Lisbon is not like this. Quite often, you can stand in front of someone’s door and only know the first name (and sometimes even just the initials) of the person who lives there, but nothing else. This is because every building has its name on the front side, so you don’t need a number.

The Prices of Everything

If you are not used to buying groceries inexpensive supermarkets or eating out every day, Lisbon can be quite an expensive place to live at. You might even start thinking about moving here if you really like money.

Porto Vs Lisbon For Expats

What’s the Best Option, Porto or Lisbon?

From the information above, you can see that the two cities in Portugal seem to be the best. However, to be on the safer side, you can select the one based on your preference. On the other hand, I can tell you that Porto seems to be my favorite.

I like its population, which is almost half of Lisbon’s. Also, it looks calm and quiet. The weather is great even though the summer season is usually hot, but not as heavy as in Lisbon. Additionally, I love the nature of Porto with mountains on one side and rivers on another – just perfect.

If you prefer a warmer climate, more people on the street, and nightlife, then Lisbon is for you. You can’t go wrong with either city. Just select the one where you feel good.

Frequently Asked Questions about Portugal

Porto Vs Lisbon For Expats

Is Portugal a good place to live?

Portugal is beautiful, particularly if you are looking for a place to enjoy the sun. It is mostly safe; there are advanced infrastructure and amenities. The food is very good, especially fish. However Portugal has one of the highest taxes in Europe, making life expensive, specially housing.

What should I know about Portuguese people?

They are usually very friendly and will help you. However, they are mostly very quiet, don’t take it as an offense if somebody doesn’t greet or look at you in the street. They are not mean, just reserved. Be patient until you understand the Portuguese way of living.

Is Portugal safe?

Yes, Portugal is one of the safest countries in Europe. The major issues are petty thefts in public transportation or at tourist sites, as well as pickpocketing and scams targeting tourists. However, those crimes don’t usually affect the common Portuguese people, so they tend not to pay much attention.

Is Portugal an English-speaking country?

No, it is not! However, most Portuguese people understand Basic English and are eager to learn it, so you will find somebody who speaks at least some English in Portugal. Also, many people working at tourist sites speak English.

Is Portugal expensive?

Portugal is not as cheap as other southern European countries, but you can find some bargains if you look hard enough. Food and public transportation costs are quite reasonable, while costs in the entertainment area might be a bit higher for western standards. Housing in Lisbon costs more than the rest of Portugal but is still cheaper than in other European capitals.


When you move to Portugal, most people will tell you that they ‘recommend’ Lisbon. They say it is a great city with lots of things going on and a fantastic nightlife. Well, no doubt that! Have you tried Porto? Refer to this guide to know the best one.

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