Expats in Portugal share 'reasons not to move' there - 'you're going to wait'

Lisbon / expats

Expats in Lisbon spoke about what to expect

GETTY/YOUTUBE/Our Black Utopia
Sarra Gray

By Sarra Gray

Published: 11/07/2024

- 15:38

Expats living in Portugal shared why the country isn't for everyone

A couple who moved to Portugal opened up on what they think are the "reasons not to move to Lisbon".

They said those looking for "convenience" and speed will be disappointed.

Parts of Europe are known for having a much more laidback lifestyle than in the UK and the United States.

While this lifestyle often comes with longer lunch breaks and relaxing Sundays, it will not be for everyone.

Lisbon Old Town at sunset

Lisbon is popular with tourists and expats


"As far as convenience goes, if you need all the big stores to be open on a Sunday, that's not going to happen," the expats said on YouTube channel Our Black Utopia.

"If you need to be able to do every single thing that you're used to doing online, like getting your utilities set up, that's not necessarily going to be the case."

Getting things done, such as sorting visas, can be a slower process in countries in the Mediterranean than at home.

Many forms still require to be filled out in person rather than online and there can be a lot of paperwork to complete.

Another thing that can be slow in Portugal, according to the expats, is service in restaurants.

They said there are usually no quick express lunch deals in restaurants during the day and you often have to ask to be served.

"If you need restaurants to be 'chop, chop, chop' [you won't get that]," they added.

"You're going to sit there and you're going to wait and have a leisurely lunch or breakfast. You're going to have to ask for your check."

Similarly, the expats added it is unlikely you will have a large refrigerator in your Portuguese accommodation, which makes it more difficult to do a large food shop that will last a week or two.



The expat criticised speed of service in the city


This comes as an expat in Spain warned of growing anti-foreigner feelings in the holiday hotspot.

They said: "I have seen a little bit of an anti-foreigner sentiment increase over the past couple of years that primarily has to do with the fact that foreigners came here and started purchasing a lot of real estate.

"I personally have friends who have purchased several properties here. It leads to locals not having access to affordable housing and that's always a problem."

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