Moving to Portugal guide

For retirement, business, alone or with family

Why moving to Portugal ?

Quite simply, Portugal is the hottest destination before and after the covid. And this for several reasons :

  1. A pleasant climate with an average of 300 days of sunshine. A magnificent country, good facilities and a holiday atmosphere.
  2. A real garden with fresh and cheap products. Any part of Portugal produces wine !
  3. A good flight connection from the main capitals of Europe and the Americas.
  4. A politically stable and fiscally attractive country. If you wish to invest in Portugal and obtain a golden visa, read our post on this subject.
  5. Real estate is still cheap and the opportunities are many.
  6. The country has been connected to the world since the Middle Age. You have international schools for your kids !

Have you made up your mind ? Here are a few tips that will make your life easier before you leave or when you are moving in Lisbon or Portugal.

Before moving to Portugal, you have to scout ! So, the first thing to do is to book accommodation for a few days.

For this, temporary accommodation may be suitable : youth hostel, hotel, bed and breakfast…. Our post on accommodation in Lisbon will help you to find the ideal place for the few days you wish to spend in Portugal.

For students : I personally recommend the Spotahome website. The rooms are all checked with beautiful photos to illustrate what you will find when you arrive. Moving to Portugal is made easier thanks to the Internet, so use it and even abuse it with Spotahome !

With the voucher code VISITMYLISBON15, get a 15% discount on the tenant fee when you book an accommodation on the website SPOTAHOME !

For those who wish to settle in Lisbon or the surrounding area in the short to medium term, I recommend that you take a look at our post on accommodation in Portugal.

You will find several tools and techniques to find quickly accommodation in a few days. Against any potential disappointment or scam (and there are quite a few), we recommend you to be on hand to choose your cosy nest. Or trust certified sites like Spotahome.

Typical Lisbon buildings covered with tiles called azulejos in the Graça district

Moving to Portugal to live ( Real estate purchase, long term rental)

To find properties, we put you in touch with professionals whom we trust completely. We will redirect you to English-speaking people who have an ethic that inspires respect and a dedication to finding you the rare pearl.

You can put us to work in order to improve your search and get to know the neighbourhoods better. During visits focused on individual or collective investment, we approach Lisbon from a different angle than from a historical point of view.

Having rubbed shoulders with a few dishonest estate agents, the speech is redundant.  » Hurry up, there’s another interested client for the property you want ! »

No, that’s not always true and there are other properties on the market. There are many of them and when buying a house, you have to buy at the right price. This is the mission of our estate agent partners. They like to take the time to know who you are.

Do you need help to find the house of your dreams ? Fill out this form and we will put you in touch with a real estate agent you can trust. We’ve been in Lisbon for over 10 years now, and we know some very reliable specialists.

What are the steps and formalities to follow to set up in Portugal ?

Now that you know where you stand, I invite you to follow the steps that will allow you to be recognised directly by the Portuguese administration.

For students (do you know our special student post ?) and working people, here are two essential steps :

  1. Go to the Portuguese tax centre, called finanças and ask for a NIF (Tax Identification Number). It is required for many day-to-day formalities.
  2. Get the residence papers proving that you are in possession of accommodation (or renting for more than 6 months) at Town Hall (Junta de Freguesia). Otherwise a rental contract in your name is sufficient.

These 2 steps may be sufficient for students. For those who are planning to settle in Lisbon or Portugal for a longer period of time, here are some more steps to follow :

  1. Go to the town hall and ask for a « certificado de registo de cidadao da uniao europeia » (certificate of registration of citizenship of the European Union).
  2. Open a bank account (bpi, caixa geral dos depositos, santander totta are reliable banks).
  3. Are you retired or self-employed ? Make a written application for a non-habitual residence if you are qualified*.
    You have done what is necessary… But do you speak Portuguese ? No ? Did you know that you can learn it for free from home ?

*For a non-retired, you are eligible IF YOU COMPLY WITH THESE CONDITIONS :

  1. You have not paid any tax in Portugal for the last 5 years.
  2. Not to have worked in the public administration.
  3. And have a so-called high added value activity.

You can read these NHR conditions in detail by clicking here.

Taking the tram 28 in Lisbon is one of the small pleasures of everyday life for the inhabitants

Is all this paperwork difficult? You don't know where to settle in Portugal ? Call on our services !

It is never easy to take the big leap into the unknown and analyse the risk/benefit balance. We already hope that with this post, your mind is a little clearer !

On the other hand, if you break out in hives as soon as you hear about the administrative formalities, the decisions to be taken without you being fully convinced, that’s when we step in.

For a fixed price of €250, we offer you :

  1. A phone interview (or zoom) for one hour to identify your needs in order to prepare a quote and then a complete programme for your installation.
  2. day of discovery of Lisbon (or its region) according to the objectives of your installation.
  3. Optional : drawing up the quote to help you with administrative procedures (tax advice, NIF, bank account, property search, car declaration, etc.).
    arranging contacts of reliable and professional interlocutors for a smooth installation (estate agent, childcare, school, etc…)
  4. Follow-up of the project until your installation.

Contact Elliot ou write to us at

Moving to Lisbon, Portugal is the dream of many of our compatriots

Posts that may be of interest to you :

Erasmus in Portugal
Living your best life !
Read more
Work in Portugal
The right steps to follow
Read more
Learn Portuguese for free
and sing Fado !
Read more
Retire in Lisbon
And enjoy the good times
Read more
Housing in Portugal
and enjoy an exceptional lifestyle !
Read more
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© – 2023

Let's keep in touch :


© – 2023

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On the tenant fees when you book

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