It’s official Portugal is the new expat destination of choice and even Madonna has been heard to be praising the delights of living in Lisbon, having recently bought a new USD$9 million estate there in the mountains of Sintra, outside Lisbon.
Why expats choose to immigrate to Portugal
Madonna is reported to have said that “The energy of Portugal is so inspiring” and she follows other film stars, Michael Fassbender and Monica Bellucci, who have recently bought properties in Portugal. However, it’s not just the celebrities who are drawn to Portugal, the country has recently been named as Europe’s best destination for expats in 2017. Portugal’s overall standing in the InterNations annual survey of expats increased dramatically from position 23 in 2016 to position to No 5 in 2017 – making it the country that has escalated the most on the global list.
Best for quality of life
Portugal tops the InterNations list for Quality of Life and its popularity is largely due to its wonderful climate wide range of leisure categories. In the Leisure Options subcategory. Portugal holds second place and this also relates directly to the weather – which nine out of ten expats regard as a potential benefit prior to relocating.
Portugal came in ninth worldwide when it came to the Health and Well-being subcategory, with many expats happy about both the affordability and quality of the healthcare on offer. Both public and private healthcare options are available in Portugal and expats find it reassuring that virtually every doctor is able to communicate in English. Access to public healthcare in Portugal is free to all legal residents – although people need to be close to the larger cities in order to access specialised care.
Portugal came eleventh out of 65 countries when it came to safety and security, however a high 77% of expats consider Portugal to be a very peaceful country – which is actually the best-rated factor in this category and a good indication of the country’s overall stability and security. Not a single expat who took part in the survey was worried about their personal safety and only Finland scored higher results, at 78%, when it came peacefulness.
94% of expats rated Portugal highly when it came to travel opportunities and its position in the EU makes travel to other countries very accessible and affordable. Having said this, with all Portugal’s wonderful beaches and fine food, it’s difficult to see why any expat would want to holiday anywhere else.
The Portuguese are very hospitable and will offer you plenty of food and drink. Be warned that if you turn down the many invitations on offer – you’ll be asked until you accept, a symbol of this nation’s generosity. The Portuguese’s generosity extends to festa-time when from carnival time in February through to October, a huge celebration is held in almost every village on every saint’s day and holiday. These can be very elaborate affairs with plenty of music, food and drink – and are a great way to meet new people and quickly immerse yourself in the Portuguese culture.