Living and Working in Portugal
Portugal is a small country with a lot to offer.
Located by the Atlantic Ocean, the relationship with the sea clearly influences the lifestyle of locals and, specially, the history of the country.
Each city has its own charm, however, Lisbon and Porto are the most sought after cities by foreigners when it comes to living and working in Portugal. It is easy to understand why. Afterall, who doesn’t want to live in beautiful cities by the beach?
The cities have reinvented themselves which is one of the reasons why Portugal has become a well known destination for expats. It feels young and dynamic with new bars opening and the creation of amazing cultural and outdoor activities. Portugal is where you get to experience your 'best affordable life'!
Living in Portugal
No breaking news! Portugal is one of the most affordable countries in Europe which makes it an even better destination. You can find the typical ‘bitoque’ for €6 and a lovely beer to go with it for €1.5. How nice is that?
Portuguese Landscape – A Beautiful Workout
Cities like Lisbon and Porto are well known to be hilly. Therefore, there are plenty of viewpoints that allow you to see all the city beneath you. We invite you to go to one of many spots by the end of the day. It is both a luxury and a workout (no one said that climbing those tiny streets was easy!). You will most certainly find some street music in the background, the typical ocean breeze and the privileged west coast position that looks at the sunset in the eyes. It sounds very cliché but embrace it and seize the day! We promise you these are the moments you will remember from ‘that time when you took a leap of faith and moved to Portugal’.
Do you know Fado?
Going to a Fado night is an amazing experience and will help you better understand the Portuguese people. This evening includes a singer in perfect syntony with guitars and is followed by wine and chorizo. These songs come from the soul and are so powerful – an open window to feelings, passion, and fate that does not require to be translated.
Food is among the greatest reviews of Portugal. There is a wide variety of dishes deeply influenced by its regions. While you can easily find grilled fresh fish by the coast, meat dominates in Alentejo – the central region of Portugal. There is no such thing as Portuguese fast food, traditional dishes take hours to make. To eat on the way, try the salty pastries called 'rissois’ or ‘pastel de bacalhau’ – if you are a sweet tooth, settle for the famous custard tarts ‘pastéis de nata’ – we guarantee that you have never tasted anything similar.
Everyday Life in Portugal
Housing costs follow the same pattern as they are generally cheaper than other European countries. If you are on a tight budget, the best option is to look for a room in a shared apartment, which can be found for €325. Otherwise, there are many renovated studios in central locations starting at €650. Your plan is to live a calm life in the countryside? No problem, it will be even easier to keep your finances under control.
Since Portugal is a small country, day trips and weekend getaways are very much affordable. Smaller cities and villages will be a surprise for its cultural richness, architecture, and gastronomy. Friendliness is part of the portuguese DNA, so feel free to engage in conversations with the locals and discover more about their stories and traditions.
The first word you can learn is ‘Obrigado’ or ‘Obrigada’, if you are a girl. It means 'Thank you' and people will love the fact that you try to use it! We know Portuguese is a difficult language to learn perfectly, but don’t worry, it is very easy to communicate without speaking Portuguese! In general, everyone speaks some English and will be happy to try to help you with directions or recommendations even if they don't.
Working in Portugal
Even if you go to Portugal to work, a slow paced lifestyle and the orange toned sunset will make your stay feel like endless holidays.
Portuguese Business Culture
In Portugal, decisions take place (very...) gradually. It is only a matter of time before you start noticing the long coffee breaks and lunch hours. The truth is, portuguese rely mainly on relationships and networking, so business is made over a relaxed lunchtime, followed by a ‘bica’ and dessert.
Traditional companies usually have a vertical hierarchy. As an associate, you might not be invited to participate in meetings as decisions are made among the higher levels. But we have something to announce: this is changing too! The country has not only attracted expats but also employers. After the success of the WebSummit, the mentality of the youngest is becoming more dynamic and many international startups have been putting Lisbon and Porto on the map to incubate their ideas.
Working Hours & Dress Code
Working hours in Portugal are usually set at 40 hours per week. The day usually starts at 9 am and finishes around 6 pm but don’t be surprised if your colleagues come at 10 and stay until later. Punctuality is not key…
As for the outfit, keep it simple. The dress code varies a lot but there is no wrong doing with a basic formal combination. A nice shirt with black pants is always a safe option to start with on your first day.
Going for afterwork drinks is not part of the portuguese business culture. You are most likely to be invited to someone's place and do not forget to bring something to the host - gifts are usually something simple and meant to be shared, just be original!
Now you know the perks of moving to this beautiful country and we can’t wait for you to try everything by yourself! The history, the colors, the lifestyle – it’s a whole mood. So, if you are ready to move to one of the friendlier countries in the world, go check out our jobs in Portugal.