Get more from your new life in the Portuguese sun with these top must-have apps you need to download when you arrive in Portugal.
It doesn’t matter whether you’ve just moved to Madeira or you’re setting up a home in Setúbal, getting your head around everyday life can be an enjoyable challenge for new arrivals in Portugal. That said, there are a few ways you can make things a little easier for yourself, including downloading the right apps on your Portuguese smartphone.
From discovering which bus takes you down to the praia, to getting the best local burgers in your neighborhood delivered straight to your door, having the right apps on your phone can make a huge difference. And to help you download with confidence, we’ve rounded up the top must-have apps if you’re living in Portugal.
- Getting around: top public transport apps
- Must-have shopping apps
- Learning the Portuguese language
- Portugal’s best mobility apps
- Eating and food delivery
- Finding a home
- Keeping entertained
- Sustainable living in Portugal
- Handling your finances
- Travel and holiday planning
Looking for a home away from home in Portugal? Airbnb is a global online community offering accommodation and experiences. They have a selection of over 6 million unique properties available through their secure booking service. So, whether you're moving to Lisbon, Porto, or elsewhere, Airbnb has the right short-term let for you.
Getting around: top public transport apps
It doesn’t matter whether you’re visiting for the weekend, or starting a brand new life in the sun, knowing how to navigate public transport in Portugal can be challenging. From finding the quickest route to your favorite new waterfront restaurant to working out which bus gets you to the airport, there’s always somewhere you need to be. As any expat will tell you, this process is a lot harder if you don’t know the local language, but fear not, because these days, there’s an app for that.
If you need a guiding hand when moving around your new home, then be sure to download the Moovit app. The handy public transit app operates in many Portuguese cities and regions, including Lisbon, Porto, Portimão, and even Funchal. It allows you to plan your route using all available transport modes, including walking, cycling, trams, and more. With this trusty app, you’ll be hopping around town like a local in no time.
Are you a frequent train traveler? Download Comboios de Portugal (CP) to buy train tickets and plan your journey around Portugal. With updated schedule times, alerts, and plenty of discounts available, this is your go-to app for trains around the country.
Want to travel around Lisbon? Carris can help you navigate the Portuguese capital’s bus system. You can use the app to plan your journey, buy tickets, access customer care, access mobility information, and more.
Must-have shopping apps
When moving to a new country, it can be difficult to know where to pick up the best bargains, or how to find those forgotten treasures. You may see some deals around supermarkets in Portugal, but you can find plenty of savings without having to make the journey there. Indeed, some of the best bargains can be found online, so it’s essential that you know exactly where to look if you want to stay one step ahead of the crowd.
One of the most popular online marketplaces in Portugal is OLX. Whether you’re shopping online or on their easy-to-use app, you’ll be able to find whatever you’re looking for. From automobiles and agriculture equipment to games consoles and fashion, you’ll be spoilt for choice. You can also find certain services on the app, such as contractors or removal companies.
If you’re looking to build a more sustainable wardrobe in Portugal, download Vinted. With plenty of secondhand clothes, accessories, and more to buy, the app is perfect if you’re a keen shopper but want to keep the environment in mind. You can also sell your secondhand clothes and make an extra Euro or two.
Are you a fan of Lidl? Lidl Plus can help you enjoy even more perks at the popular discount supermarket. Earn coupons, access discounts, and more when using this app at Lidl. It also stores all your receipts so you can look back on your spendings with ease.
Learning the Portuguese language
It doesn’t matter whether you’re visiting the dentist in Portugal or trying to fill in your tax returns, learning Portuguese is going to help you settle into your new home. Naturally, learning a new language can seem a little daunting at first, especially if you aren’t used to needing a second language. However, you’ll be surprised by just how much you can pick up from your everyday life when the language is all around you. And, of course, there’s an app or two that can help, as well.
Babbel is a great way to practice your Portuguese language skills from the comfort of your own phone. Its easy-to-follow courses are designed by language experts, meaning you’re in good hands as soon as you hit download. And, because it’s an app, you can learn Portuguese at your own pace. If you’re feeling optimistic, you could even learn some of the Spanish language for when you plan vacations across the border.
If you’re struggling with Portuguese in your everyday life, Google Translate will become your new best friend. You can use the app to translate words, signs, and letters to your language of choice. With their camera feature, you can also translate Portuguese by simply holding up your camera to the text – very handy for when you’re out and about.
Let Duo the owl walk you through learning Portuguese and other languages with Duolingo. One of the best-known language-learning apps today, Duolingo’s game-like lessons and goals will have you picking up Portuguese in no time.
Portugal’s best mobility apps
Looking for ways to live sustainably in Portugal? One of the simplest things you can do is leave the car at home. If you’re living in the bustling city of Lisbon, then you have a few good alternatives to sitting in traffic during rush hour. Indeed, the capital is well-served by a far-reaching public transit system that zips across the city. Despite this, a growing number of expats are taking things to the next level by getting from A to B using two wheels.
If you don’t fancy paying out for your own bike, then you can always sign up for Lisbon’s bike-sharing scheme. Gira is a must-have for your download list if you’re living in the capital. The app allows you to locate your nearest docking station, check out the bikes on offer, click confirm, and ride to your next destination. It’s as simple as that. Bikes also come in either classic or electric models, with subscription levels to suit your usage.
To book a cab, rideshare, or scooter, FreeNow has got you covered. With three ways to travel all in one app, you can use it throughout Portugal and across Europe if you need to cross the border.
If you look to whizz around on your scooter, download the Lime app. Available in Lisbon, Lime has plenty of electric scooters and bikes to help you explore the city in an environmentally-friendly way. Simply download the app, scan the QR code on one of their vehicles, and you’re ready to hit the streets.
Eating and food delivery
Few countries in Europe boast a cuisine that is as fresh and delicious as Portugal. Indeed, when you arrive in the country, you’ll soon find that there’s nothing quite like sitting on a waterfront terrace while enjoying fried sardines and a delicious local beer. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to dive right into Portuguese cuisine; from exploring great local restaurants to whipping up your own Portuguese food with ingredients from your nearest supermarket. And, of course, there’s an app that can help, too.
Comer em casa
Get your favorite food delivered to your door with the help of Comer em casa. Operating in over 60 cities across Portugal and with over 600 restaurants on offer, the app offers plenty of tasty meals to choose from – whether that be Portuguese dishes or otherwise.
Operating across Portugal, Glovo offers a variety of food delivery services. Whether it’s restaurant-made meals, groceries, flowers, or pharmaceutical supplies, the Glovo app has it all. What’s more, you can track the order in real time on your phone if you’re itching to receive your goods.
If you want your favorite foods delivered to your door, check out Uber Eats. With an easy-to-use app, you can choose between hundreds of restaurants across Portugal and track your food delivery in real time.
Finding a home
Whether you’ve just relocated to Portugal or are looking to mix things up a little in your new home, finding a house can be challenging. Indeed, for many expats, knowing which neighborhoods are up-and-coming or which part of the town has the best connectivity can be a daunting prospect. However, thankfully, there is plenty of modern technology to help you out.
If you’re searching for a new place, then Imovirtual should be at the top of your list of apps to download in Portugal. Developed by OLX, Portugal’s leading online marketplace, it brings together listings from around the country into one easy-to-use app. Whether you’re looking for a loft in Lisbon, a cozy studio in central Coimbra, or a rural getaway in the Algarve, you’ll find it here. The app also allows you to compare properties, message advertisers, and much more from the comfort of your phone.
A leading accommodation app, you can book short-term and long-term rentals in Portugal with Airbnb. With plenty of homes available across Portugal, you can easily compare options and find the one that works best for you.
From Portimão to Porto, find your next home with Spotahome. With an app offering apartments, studios, rooms, and student residences for rent across the country, you are sure to find accommodation in Portugal in no time.
Looking for a little televisual therapy in Portugal? After a long day of work, study, or even relaxing on the beach, there’s nothing better than curling up in front of some great TV. Unfortunately, you might find yourself a little underwhelmed by the options when turning on your Portuguese TV. This is particularly true if you’re looking for international shows. However, there’s always an app to help you find something you want to watch.
If you’re looking for great TV shows and movies from some of the biggest studios in the world, then why not download the Disney+ app? Here, you’ll find all the classic Disney animations you love as well as a few new favorites. From Star Wars to The Simpsons, and everything in between, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
If you want to get lost in local shows, download RTP Play. A Portuguese broadcaster, the Rádio e Televisão de Portugal (RTP) app offers a wide catalog of dramas, reality TV shows, documentaries, and movies. It also has radio stations you can tune in to – all free of charge.
For radio lovers, you can listen to your favorite stations on Radio Portugal. A free app, all you need is an internet connection to access abundant radio stations and programs. It’s a great option if you are looking to brush up on your Portuguese language skills.
Sustainable living in Portugal
Looking for ways to live sustainably in Portugal? These days, it’s easier than ever to make more sustainable choices when it comes to your everyday. This includes learning how to recycle in Portugal, investing in a new bike for your morning commutes, or looking into greener utilities for your Portuguese home. However, knowing how to start adopting these new green habits can be hard, particularly if you’re a new arrival to Portugal. Thankfully, there are some apps that can help. Besides, you use your phone all the time, so you might as well let it help you live more sustainably, right?
Too Good To Go
If you’re looking for greener apps, then Too Good To Go is a delicious place to start. This simple app helps you cut down on food waste in your local community by hooking you up with local cafes, restaurants, bakeries, and more. On the app, you’ll be able to save all sorts of great-tasting fresh food from the trash and help the planet, one bite at a time.
Ecosia is a free app that enables you to surf the web sustainably. With the profit generated from online searches, it invests in planting trees around the world. With countless web searches made every day, Ecosia takes this everyday action and uses it to benefit the planet.
If you’re vegan and looking for restaurants in the area, HappyCow can help you out. A database for vegan and vegetarian restaurants across Portugal, you use their map feature to find the best eateries closest to you. You can also read and leave reviews if you are impressed with your latest vegan find.
Handling your finances
If you’ve just moved, then opening a bank account will likely be one of the most important things you do during your first week in Portugal. Not only will having a Portuguese bank account make you feel a bit more like a local, but it will also help your everyday life run a little smoother. Whether you’re signing up for a SIM card, picking up groceries at your local supermarket, or treating friends to some grilled sardines, you’ll be surprised by how easy things become. And you can make things even easier by opening a mobile bank account in Portugal, too.
An easy way to access mobile banking is by downloading N26. On the app, you’ll be able to apply for an account in minutes from the comfort of your own phone. Once you’ve been accepted and verified, you’ll have access to a range of financial services, including mobile payment, current accounts, and more. The handy app can also help you keep track of your spending, meaning you’ll be able to stretch those euros even further.
Want to make international money transfers from your phone? Look no further than Wise. Operating in 175 countries and across 50 currencies, you can easily send your money to and from Portugal.
CurrencyFair is a world-leading peer-to-peer international money transfer service. If you need to transfer funds to or from Austria, it’s worth trying out their app, which is available for Android and iOS. They offer secure transfers at competitive rates, meaning you’ll save money and have peace of mind.
Travel and holiday planning
Once you move to Portugal, you’ll be forgiven for not wanting to leave again. After all, the country offers a unique mix of life and color, and there are plenty of beautiful places to visit in Portugal. From the buzzing streets of Lisbon and Porto to the rugged Algarve coast and, of course, the unforgettable Atlantic archipelagos, Portugal is a gift that never stops giving. However, some expats will also want to explore a little further afield – and there is loads to see beyond Portugal’s borders. Whether it’s mystical Morocco, fabulous France, or even the ever-unique United Kingdom, there’s an adventure at every turn.
To help you make the most of every trip, the easy-to-use Omio app is a one-stop shop for all your travel needs. It provides ticket and journey information across a range of travel options, meaning you can easily compare planes, trains, buses, and more. You can also sign up for price alerts to be notified of any great deals on your favorite routes, and never miss out on a travel bargain again.
Looking to fly to your next holiday destination? The Skyscanner app is your go-to for planning your flights out of Portugal. Putting airlines and flight times side-by-side, you can find a journey that works best for you.
Whether you’re exploring Portugal or beyond, Rentalcars will help you find a rental vehicle to navigate your holiday. With their app, you can see the wide range of car brands they offer and easily book your car of choice – you’ll be driving in style in no time.