How to Move to Portugal: 5 Easy Relocating Guidelines

No time to read now? Click here to download as a PDF.

Wondering how to move to Portugal and get settled quickly and easily?

You probably already know this stunning country has so much to offer, from its rich history and delicious food to its warm and welcoming culture. However, as with any move abroad, adjusting to life in a new place can be challenging.

That’s why we’ve put together some tips to help you integrate into Portuguese life more easily as an expat.

With a little bit of preparation and an open mind, you’ll be able to make the most of all that Portugal has to offer and truly make it your home away from home.

Read more below for help planning an easy move to Portugal.

How to Move to Portugal

CONTENTS — In this article, you’ll learn how to move to Portugal and easily get settled in, including:

Settling Down in Portugal: How to Integrate Into the Culture Easier

Portugal is a beautiful and welcoming country. It’s full of rich history, delicious food, and a friendly culture.

It is also an increasingly popular destination amongst expats who are looking to work or retire there full-time.

However, creating a new life in a foreign place is always daunting. In fact, it can present you with many different challenges.

So, here are some simple tips so you know how to integrate into Portugal easier as an expat. 

1. Get the Formalities Out of the Way

The first few months after you arrive in Portugal will likely be the most exciting. You’ll be explore your new home and meeting lots of new people!

Don’t let this time get overshadowed by mountains of paperwork.

So you can enjoy your early days in Portugal, you’ll want to get all of the administrative procedures sorted out way before you even arrive in the country. That way, you can start your life there stress-free.

If you are worried about getting the documentation wrong, Anchorless can make this process quick and easy for you. 

Related: Home Away From Home: Insider Tips For Settling Abroad Comfortably

2. Start Learning the Language

One of the key things you can do to integrate into Portuguese culture is learn the language.

Many Portuguese people speak English, particularly in the larger or more touristy cities. But learning the local language will allow you to connect with them on a deeper level.

It will help you understand the nuances of their culture better, while making you feel a part of the community too.

An easy way to get started is by using various language learning apps. Then, you’ll eventually want to move on to language classes to maximize your communication skills. 

3. Learn About Local Customs and Traditions

How to move to Portugal
Beautiful Lisbon, Portugal

Portugal has a strong culture with its own customs and traditions. They may be quite different from what you’re used to. That can be true even if you are coming from another European country.

So, it’s important that you educate yourself on the local customs and traditions. You certainly don’t want to unintentionally coming across as rude. 

For example, it’s considered extremely rude to be late to any social events. And, it is very common to shake hands or kiss on the cheek amongst the locals.

Football (known as soccer in the US) is very popular in Portugal. Being rude about someone’s favorite team could get you in an argument.

Although the locals understand that expats may not be aware of those things, learning about the culture will help you integrate easier from the get-go. 

4. Connect With Other Expats

How to move to Portugal

While this may sound slightly contradicting, it can actually be very helpful to get involved with expat communities when trying to settle in Portugal.

It’s a great way to make new friends who are already living in Portugal. They can give you advice or help you learn about the local culture faster.

As someone who’s been in the same boat as you, they will understand the challenges you are likely facing much better than the locals.

The good news is, you’ll discover many online or offline expat communities where you can connect with like-minded people. 

5. Get Involved In Local Activities

The best way to integrate into a new culture and build a social life there is by simply going out there and getting involved. It can feel intimidating at first.

However, the new experiences will make up for it!

There are so many ways you can get involved in your community. Here are a few good options you’ll want to consider:

  • Attend local festivals, fairs or other cultural events
  • Take part in local sports teams or clubs
  • Find charities or other organizations where you can volunteer

Each of these will help you integrate into your new home faster in an enjoyable way.

How to move to Portugal

Final Thoughts on How to Move to Portugal

Settling down as an expat in Portugal can bring certain challenges and anxieties, especially if you’re doing it solo. And knowing how to move to Portugal and make yourself part of the community quickly is key.

As long as you respect the local culture and make an effort to integrate, you will undoubtedly have a lovely time and make new friends for life!


Jackie Gately at the beach


About Jackie Gately, editor-IN-CHIEF

I'm Jackie Gately, your travel confidante and the creative force behind Enjoy Travel Life, awarded the "Best Casual-Luxury Lifestyle Blog (USA)" in Travel and Tourism by LUXlife Magazine for four consecutive years.

With 25 years of published expertise, I'm a seasoned writer, editor, and photographer curating inspiring travel guides and lifestyle tips for empty nesters. I hope to kindle your spirit of exploration, encouraging you to overcome obstacles and turn your dreams into reality.

Learn to minimize your pre-travel angst and maximize the joy of exploration with insights from my experiences. Let's make every adventure a celebration of this exciting phase of life! 

Follow my social channels for more inspiration.


Next Steps

For more about Portugal, food, and travel tips in Europe, read these articles next: