Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on telegram
Share on pinterest

Traveling the world as a tourist is one thing, moving to a country and settle in is a completely different situation and might be a challenging task.

Living abroad, away from home, in a relatively different culture with new people is what an expat experiences.

When an expat moves to a new country, his / her world changes completely, as there is a need for adaption to a new culture, lifestyle and local traditions.

Where to live is certainly a major concern an expat has while settling abroad.

Reasonable and affordable cost of living, job opportunities, suitable climate, friendly environment and many other factors are one’s priority.

As we already know Portugal is turning out to be one of the most likely place for an expat to settle in due to the reasonable cost of living, good healthcare system, beautiful landscapes, peaceful atmosphere and stable weather (specially in the Algarve region).

Let’s have a look at which Portuguese cities are most favorable for an expat to settle in and get their lives sorted.


For an expat, away from his / her home, trying to find a better lifestyle, Lisbon has everything one wants or need.

The sun, the sea, the sights, history, food, architecture, the ambient. What a wonderful city!

Certainly you will find different people everywhere, with unique lifestyle, culture and talents. Yes, this is the most multicultural Portuguese city.

That’s why Lisbon is densely populated with both Portuguese and expats living together and sharing experiences.

The stable weather throughout the year is one of the factors expats choose Lisbon over some other cities of Portugal.

Considering the quality of life, Lisbon might be a good option to live in.

While local wages in Portugal might be low (although the salary range paid in this city is the highest in Portugal), the relatively low cost of living (in some areas of this city) can be advantageous for an expat as well.

Even though it’s certainly the most expensive city in Portugal, you can find affordable rents, food and goods overall if you search well (and have some lucky).

Lisbon is famous for providing entertainment to the fullest.

Variety of cafes, theaters, beautiful landscapes, top tourist attractions such as Oceanário de Lisboa (a modern aquarium), Museu Calouste Gulbenkian (a priceless collection of western and eastern art), Torre de Belém (a historic tower), and many more places that offer visitors fun.


The second-largest city is Porto and a lot of expats look forward to settling in this city due to its charming neighborhoods, fairly low cost of living (when compared with Lisbon) with a balanced pace of life and fantastic food (have you ever tried its Francesinha?)

A city rich in history, tradition, and culture with a warm climate and friendly citizens attracts expats from all over the world.

Porto is considered the most convenient place to live in Portugal, due to the benefits it can provide to expats, such as a historical ambiance, with nice restaurants, a well designed metro railway and an affordable cost of life.

If you compare Porto with some cities in Spain (such as Sevilla or Barcelona), Italy (such as Milan or Venice) or even France (such as Lyon or Bordeaux) you will come to a conclusion that it’s a place to consider.

Being the second-largest city of Portugal, Porto provides an relatively high number of job opportunities.

Various tourist spots, a variety of entertainment places and beautiful scenery make Porto a city that needs to be in the expat list.


Hub of local beaches, golf resorts and, for some, the best weather in Portugal, expats from all over the world choose Faro as the city to settle in.

It might be a small city in terms of space, but certainly a center of attraction for tourists, specially in the summer.

Due to beaches and tourist spots, Faro might not be the cheapest place to live in Portugal, but the fantastic atmosphere, high standards of living, and hot climate attract expats to this place anyway.


One of the most fascinating places, Coimbra offers so much to expats to settle in here.

Once the third-largest city of Portugal (recently Braga took this place) situated between Lisbon and Porto, this city is famous for its notorious University and, of course, it’s nightlife.

This is definitely a place to look if you are on a tight budget, as you can find almost anything in terms of food, entertainment at a very low cost.

Also, a better work environment and more job opportunities attract the expats to settle in here.

Festivals throughout the year make Coimbra the one of the most festive places in Portugal.


Expats looking to settle in small towns, avoiding congested places but not far from the main cities (such as Porto) may find Braga the perfect place to live.

Braga is one of the oldest Portuguese cities with rich heritage and iconic landmarks.

There is even a dispute between Braga and Guimaraes over which is the first Portuguese city.

A relatively colder climate (compared to the aforementioned cities), Braga is located in the northwest of Portugal.

This is indeed a smaller city with more affordable prices when it comes to rents, transportation, and education.

Also, the variety of cafes, bars, charming streets, enriched culture and history attracts many tourists to explore this city.


It is assumed that to really learn about a specific culture you must travel.

Setubal is the place where one can learn about real Portuguese lifestyle and culture.

Although Setubal is said to be the home for the working class industry, yet it has a lot to offer to expats thinking of settling here.

The sea life and home to Portugal’s largest fish market, Setubal is a hub to natural attractions.

Although it’s not an amazingly beautiful part of Portugal yet there’s a lot to discover here.

Moreover, cheap rents and overall low cost of living are the major attraction for expat to live here.

Also, it’s a city located near Lisbon. Therefore, the expat can choose to live here and enjoy all the benefits from the Portugal Capital just by crossing a bridge.

Job opportunities (with easy transportation) and access to many health care units are some major advantages.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on telegram
Share on pinterest
Viv Europe Small Logo

Viv Europe can assist you in your project to Portugal. Start your journey by clicking the button below.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

We publish new content every week, subscribe to our newsletter and receive our Portugal content as soon as they are published.

Join our Social Network

Like our page on Facebook and be informed about Portugal.


Read more

Portugal Route

First days living in Portugal: The biggest challenges

The decision of living in a new country is almost always an exciting one. Discovering a new culture, new gastronomy, new friends. The happiness of …

Algarve Beach

Pros and Cons of Living in Algarve

Every year, thousands of people around the world choose to move to the Algarve. In southern Portugal, this region is famous for being a fantastic …

Porto Picture

From Resident to Citizen – How Good is the Portuguese Passport?

Visiting Portugal can be a great choice for many reasons: The food, the beaches, the weather, the green. So when it comes to spending some …

Job Done

Finding a job in Portugal before relocating: an expat guide

So you decided to live your best life in Portugal. Welcome aboard! Thousands of expats from all over the world are choosing to relocate here …

Portugal Landscape

A New Forever Home: Are immigrants welcome in Portugal?

People say that ‘’home is where the heart is’’. As an immigrant in Portugal, will you ever feel part of the community? Moving to a …