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Check out 8 reasons why Portugal became so popular in the last few years, not only in relation to tourism but also as a great place to live.

Last Updated on March 14, 2024 by Laila Oliveira

From the landscapes you admire to the stunning views, the food you eat, to the waves you ride, Portugal is one of the finest places in Europe to both visit and settle in. A country of rich history, and hidden secrets within it, one wonders why Portugal became so popular.

This small country, western to the Iberian Peninsula, is becoming the most visited country in Europe. It is a tourist attraction for an infinite number of reasons.

Talk about beaches, traditional cuisine, soccer, lively people, idyllic climate, affordable travel costs, and exceptional landscape; it’s not only becoming a tourist spot. Rather a lot of people are thinking of moving and settling in Portugal permanently.

Let’s look at more than a few reasons why Portugal is now extraordinarily popular from north to south.

Spectacular Landscapes

From the rocky and towery mountains in the north to the spectacular beaches in the south and the charming villages, Portugal is enriched with places that usually don’t turn up on maps. But they are there as a hidden secret for all the tourists to visit and explore the delightful beauty of nature.

Old fashioned charm with contemporary sophistication, Portugal is both classic and distinctly modern. It’s a paradox that attracts visitors from all across the globe.

Portugal has amazing sceneries

The country’s vibrant cities are where modern life buzzes with the ancient landscapes referring to the past. Like in the city of Porto and the Douro river, which you can admire in the picture.

From amazing scenes from the top of the mountains to the largest underwater world and stunning landscapes, Portugal is unique in every sense. Perfect for city and nature lovers alike.

The country has a variety to offer to its visitors, from the oldest bookstore in the world to Europe’s largest bridge. From the narrow streets with hidden cities’ secrets to the shores of the noisy water striking the surface will leave you in awe.

Whether you’re in Lisbon or the Madeira Islands, the scenic landscapes will never cease to amaze you. Millions of tourists visit every year to witness the magical beauty of all Portuguese regions. 

The stunning beaches all over the country, especially in the Algarve and the Alentejo region, are a huge attraction for travelers looking to spend their vacations in serenity. Tourists who fall in love with the region then turn into expats, enjoying the rest of their lives in a city that feels like home. 

Idyllic Climate

One of the major reasons people choose Portugal over any other European country is its uniform weather throughout the year. Especially on the Algarve coast of southern Portugal.

Most of the EU countries experience extreme hot to extreme cold conditions. While on the other hand, cool sea breezes in summer and pleasant, comparatively warm wet winters make Portugal a desirable place for all the expats and tourists to visit and settle in Portugal.

There are almost 300 days of sunshine, but not the kind of sunshine that burns your skin every time you step out. The Portuguese golden sun is warm and refreshing, enough to make you want to sit outside and sip on a drink at a local cafe. 

Summertime in Portugal is the most demanding season of the year. With over 2 million tourists visiting and enjoying the beauty here, the months of May to August are buzzing with excitement. 

The temperatures are moderate throughout the year, so you get to experience all four seasons but nothing extreme. The country’s geographical location is ideal, and that’s why people love it! 

Traditional Cuisine

One of the prominent factors of Portugal’s popularity is its simple and delicious cuisine.

Be it fresh seafood, meat, or vegetables; the food is relatively simply cooked following the basic ingredients rather than complicated sauces used in its neighboring countries like France, Italy, or Spain.

Moreover, Portugal is highly affordable when it comes to food.

One unique feature of Portuguese cuisine is seasoned food. They cook what is in according to the season.

Portuguese cuisine is one of the best in the world

One of the specialties of Portuguese food is potatoes cooked in a variety of ways. Pastéis de Nata is the signature Portuguese dessert, an egg tart pastry dusted with cinnamon.

Other famous Portugal cuisines include Bifana, Bacalhau, Squid, and Sardines.

As for drinks, Portugal is one of the world’s biggest consumers of wine per capita.

Portugal’s most famous export is a wine that is also the national drink, called Licor Beirão.

Moreover, the world’s oldest wine-producing region and a candidate for UNESCO World Heritage Site is the Douro Valley is another popular feature of Portugal.

The local produce is fresh and affordable, and lots of farmer’s markets around different cities have made it more accessible for residents to eat to their heart’s content. 

It’s easy to find fresh ingredients that aren’t heavy on the pocket and allow you to stay within a budget of €200 per month. This low cost of living, paired with the high standard of living, makes it an ideal country to spend life in.

Tourists also find themselves coming back here because it truly feels like a dream vacation on a budget. The traditional cuisine is delicious and diverse, and it’s difficult to stay away from local street cafes. 

Language

One of the reasons for Portugal’s popularity is its native Portuguese language, which is the official language of nine other countries.

Having 234 million native speakers of this language, it’s the eighth most spoken language.

It’s a curious fact about Portugal, which attracts many Brazilian expats to the Old Continent. 

Although the language may seem difficult to learn at first, it’s pretty easy to adapt to once expats start living here. The language barrier also does not stop people from visiting this country because the Portuguese people are welcoming and inclusive. 

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Despite the differences, business owners, investors, and expats have started to learn Portuguese because they wish to be a part of this country and what it offers. 

Portugal’s startup hub, Lisbon, has broken all barriers and become a hub that celebrates multiple cultures and languages. Portuguese will always remain to be a language that brings people together and helps celebrate diversity. 

Soccer

Whenever we think about Portugal, the first thing that comes to mind is soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo.

Yes, he isn’t just a player from Portugal; rather he is a world-renowned legend.

Football might be the most popular sport played in Portugal and a big part of Portuguese culture, but Cristiano Ronaldo is now a brand associated with football representing Portugal all across the globe.

Even interested in soccer or not, the whole world recognizes him.

Apart from him, Portugal is famous for producing great players of all time on the Soccer field. Eusébio, Luis Figo, Paulo Sousa, and Paulo Future are some of the greatest names in the rich history of Portugal soccer.

Over the years, since the sport’s popularity has grown, soccer players from Portugal have also earned a bigger name for themselves. Cristiano Ronaldo fans, and soccer enthusiasts, come visit the CR7 Museum in Madeira from all over the world. 

It’s located in Funchal, the heart of the Madeira Islands, and the region has attracted many tourists over the years. All this popularity has led to more developments within the region, especially when it comes to facilities for digital nomads. 

Standard of Living

With such a growing and confident economy, Portugal is a famous hub for many business tycoons and investors from all across the globe.

Innovations, talented people, and leading companies are building it into a new country and a startup hub in the whole of Europe.

The combination of good infrastructure and a high-quality economy with massive technology as compared to other parts of Europe makes Portugal’s major cities quite attractive for starting a business and investing here.

The strong capability of exports, well-educated workforce, and low-cost base is an eye-opener for all the business starters to invest in Portugal.

With global inflation skyrocketing, what people look for is a good standard of living with a moderate cost of living. In Portugal, that’s exactly what you get. Recent developments have upgraded lifestyles more than before, and the standard of living is at par with other European countries. 

You get the best healthcare facilities that are free for all legal residents, the best International Schools as well as universities, and affordable housing. You’re probably starting to understand why Portugal became so popular.

Cost of Living

Living in Portugal is highly affordable as compared to other parts of Europe. In fact, when you compare it to Germany or France, for example, monthly expenses can equal half of what people spend back home. 

From food to the residence, fueling to healthcare, Portugal offers you the cheapest rates comparatively. This is partly because salaries are lower in Portugal. However, the economy is getting stronger with every passing year, and expats have complete faith in the system.

Moreover, Airfares are relatively low, and stopovers are free for domestic as well as international flights. You know a country is an excellent place to live in when you don’t have to worry about exuberant rent and travel fares! 

In most cities, an individual can live comfortably from €1,200 to €1,500, depending on their lifestyle. Rent is usually priced between €500 and €700, and groceries can cost under €250. 

The cost of living is one major reason why Portugal has become so popular recently!

Music

Fado music is known to be the soul of Portuguese music and a big part of the local culture.

This specific genre was recognized and originated in Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, and is often played in Pubs, cafes, restaurants, and other public areas, presenting a soothing effect on the environment.

The Fado music contains the message of hope and the new beginning after going through a tough phase of life.

Why do you think Portugal is so popular?

To wrap up, Portugal was nowhere in the past decades. But this small country with a low population was highly underrated.

In the recent past, it evolved as an ideal business hub for investors from all across the globe. The Portuguese economy is shifting to be confident and ever-growing.

Besides, Portugal is highly popular for its high quality of life and affordable access to almost every facility and even luxuries.

Nonetheless, the spectacular and mesmerizing landscapes, perfect beaches, and natural beauty add a lot to increasing the popularity of Portugal.

If you’re interested in living in Portugal, make sure to explore our content on the Viv Europe blog. We also have a Facebook group called All About Portugal For Expats. It’s a community where you can meet other brave people on the same journey.

The reasons why Portugal became so famous can explain a bit why so many people are moving here. However, there are many more small details that you have to experience to understand.

If you’re interested to learn more, contact Viv Europe and start working on your dream life in Portugal. 

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