Last update on November 01, 2019

Portuguese native Elizabet Fernandes shares some useful tips to help you get settled in Portugual.

Are you an expat preparing to move to Portugal? Want to know about living in Lisbon?

You cannot expect to learn everything about our country, but certainly you can discover how to live here with us. We still have unspoiled places to visit and enjoy!

Did you realise that people from different cultures may react differently in similar situations?

Let’s play a game: just imagine that you are assigned to a group and start playing cards according to certain rules. Then your host tells you to change groups and to start playing again, not knowing that this new group has its own rules which may be different from the ones you were used to. You will be puzzled for a while and will need some time to readjust.

Adjusting to living in Lisbon

Societies are just like this, you need to understand and to adjust to their specific codes. The only request is to be open-minded and try to learn from the locals.

Portuguese people usually welcome foreigners because they are guests and sometimes are even friendlier than to their co-citizens. I believe it is easy to blend in with us.

At first, the Portuguese may seem lazy, but they know how to work hard and professionally. We like improvising, therefore decisions and tasks may sometimes be delayed but we are also able to meet deadlines.

Portugal is an old nation and Portuguese people are everywhere in the world – “Home is where your heart belongs!

Food over drink

For us Mediterraneans, the meal is the most important and drinking goes with it. We like a long lunch with mates. We enjoy tasty fish (but no chips), traditional food and conventional desserts. Good wine and delicious cheeses are everywhere. Dare to discover our genuine flavours!

We like to spend hours talking and enjoying the good weather. We take pleasure in getting acquainted with different people and cultures, and learning from them.

Intercultural learning is also a very useful tool when planning to live abroad.

Some useful links