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If you’re thinking about moving to Portugal, you’ll probably have lots of questions about what to expect. Find everything you’ll need to know in our guide.

Moving overseas can be daunting, with plenty to learn about your new home country. At Bishop’s Move, we have handled international removals for years. Our local knowledge means we can advise you on what to expect throughout the process, as well as once you arrive.

Moving to Portugal?


Why Move to Portugal?

Portugal is an appealing destination for many British citizens looking for a new life in the sun. Not only is the climate attractive, but the relaxed lifestyle, low levels of crime, high quality of life and comparably lower cost of living are all factors which can influence a relocation. 

There are over 48,000 Brits with official Portuguese residency, which means British citizens make up one of the largest expat communities in the country.

Portuguese Culture

Steeped in history, the culture in Portugal centres around the arts, folklore, food, literature and sport - mainly football. There is no official religion in the county however Christianity is the most dominant, with Roman Catholicism being the most common denomination. 

Traditional Portuguese cuisine often features meat, fish, olives, garlic, onions and cheese. Perhaps one of the most famous delicacies is the Pastel de Nata, or the Portuguese custard tart, closely followed by Bacalhau A Bras, a dish created with salted cod, onions, fried potatoes and scrambled eggs. 

There are lots of festivals to enjoy in Portugal including Festa de São João - a colourful celebration of St. John, and Easter Holy Week in Braga. 

A tray of Pastel de Nata’s, a Portuguese delicacy

Healthcare in Portugal

Whilst not free for everyone, the healthcare system in Portugal is heavily subsidised for most people living in the country. Depending on the treatment or service, there is usually a small fee to be paid, known locally as ‘taxas moderadoras’, this fee tends to range between 5 and 20 Euros. There is also a charge for prescriptions. 

To access the state healthcare system, you must first be registered as a resident and then be registered at a local healthcare centre. Children under the age of 18 and pensioners aged 65 and over who are Portuguese residents are exempt from fees. Some residents may opt for private health insurance, however, this is not a requirement. 

Working in Portugal

Following Brexit, the restrictions for working in Portugal mean that British citizens first need to secure a job. Your employer will then need to apply for a work permit which will allow you to apply for a work visa at a Portuguese embassy. 

Other visas which can be suitable for those looking to work in Portugal include the Startup visa for entrepreneurs, the Tech visa for those looking to work in the tech industry and the D2 visa, which is also for startups and entrepreneurs.

Retiring in Portugal

The lifestyle offered in Portugal means that pensioners often dream of settling there after retirement. The most popular way to obtain Portuguese residency for retirees is via the Golden visa. This can be granted to those who can invest in the country in some way, such as by purchasing real estate or investing towards a qualifying research and development activity. 

Tram driving through the streets of Lisbon, a popular destination for British expats

Living in Portugal

Once you’ve taken the plunge and decided to move to this wonderful Iberian nation, you’ll need to think about the towns or cities that are most able to offer the lifestyle you are looking for, you will then be able to shortlist precisely where you want to live. Some of the most popular destinations include:


The capital city of Portugal is extremely popular for expats looking to relocate to a vibrant European city. This family-friendly city boasts great infrastructure and a thriving atmosphere, whilst still being close to picturesque, sandy beaches. 


A quiet city in the North of Portugal offering a lower cost of living than Lisbon. Porto is renowned for its vibrant streets, delicious gastronomy and real estate investment opportunities.


A pleasant, small town near Porto that is particularly popular with pensioners. The slower pace of life makes Aveiro particularly attractive, however, it is worth noting that English is less widely spoken here than in other Portuguese destinations. 

Following Brexit, moving to Portugal from the UK requires a residency permit. At first, a residency visa will grant you four months in the country to get settled and work. During this time you will need to apply for a residency permit with Immigration and Border Services.

Why Choose Bishop’s Move for Your Relocation?

At Bishop’s Move, we’ve been moving clients from the UK to Portugal for over 185 years. Our expertise and experience are second to none, meaning that we can make your move seamless and simple. Our removals to Portugal service is tailored to your specific requirements because we know that no move is the same. If you’d like more information, you can get in touch with our friendly team on +44 (0)208 391 8234.