Moving to a new country can be an exhilarating adventure,
and for expats, this nation, located in the Atlantic Ocean region, offers a
divine cultural experience. With its landscapes and friendly locals, Portugal
has become a sought-after destination for those looking for a home.
Before you embark on your journey to this country, here are 21 cultural tips to help you settle into life in the nation:
1. Embrace the Relaxed Lifestyle
First and foremost, Portugal values the concept of " living ", appreciating each moment and finding joy in life's pleasures. The country is known for its laid-back pace; therefore, constantly rushing around may draw some glances.
2. Greetings Hold Significance
In Portugal, greetings are considered gestures. When you meet friends or acquaintances in Portugal, it's customary to greet each other with a kiss on both cheeks. This friendly gesture represents hospitality and camaraderie, highlighting its importance in interactions. Embrace this tradition as a way to establish connections with the locals.
3. Afternoon Siestas
Taking a siesta during the afternoons is a custom in Portugal. Many shops and businesses remain shut between 1-3 PM, providing the perfect opportunity to relax or enjoy a leisurely meal at a local cafÃ©.
4. A family-centred Culture
Portugals' emphasis on family bonds is evident in their lives. Family gatherings are pretty common. Grandparents play a role in raising children. Embrace the warmth of these connections. Appreciate the sense of community that comes with being part of a family.
5. Festivities and Celebrations
There are festivals in Portugal throughout the year
celebrating various aspects, such as saints and local produce.
Some notable ones include the Carnival in February, the
Flower Festival in Madeira and the Fado music festivals. It's an opportunity to
fully immerse yourself in these festivities.
6. Fado: The Heart and Soul of Portugal
Fado, often referred to as the "heart and soul of
Portugal ", is a music genre that beautifully encapsulates the emotions of
the nation. Characterised by lyrics and melancholic melodies, attending a Fado
performance at a Fado house offers an emotionally moving cultural experience.
7. Language Matters
While English is commonly spoken, taking the time to learn Portuguese phrases demonstrates respect for Portuguese culture. The locals genuinely appreciate this effort. It considerably enhances your ability to connect with people in different situations.
8. Relaxed Dress Code
In Portugal, the weather is usually mild, and the atmosphere is relaxed, so people often have a dress code. You can wear clothing for occasions, whether you're exploring historical sites or enjoying your 'me time' at the beach. However, if you dress formally for special events or fine dining, it's appreciated.
9. Immersing in Traditions
Portugal has roots, and they observe religious customs and holidays with great respect. It's an idea to participate in traditions such as Easter processions and to show respect when visiting churches. This allows you to understand and appreciate the importance of faith in Portugal.
10. Local Food Practices
Portuguese cuisine is truly delightful. There's a range of dishes to try, from delicious custard tarts called pastÃ©is de nata to the salted codfish known as bacalhau. Don't miss out on exploring markets where you can taste regional specialities.
11. An Old Wine Culture
Portugal is known for its wine culture, producing varieties that are celebrated worldwide. Discover the charm of vineyards in regions like the Douro Valley for its exquisite Port wine. Treat yourself to the taste of Vinho Verdes wine or savour a glass of Alentejo red, known for its richness. Enjoying wine is truly an experience that beautifully complements Portuguese cuisine.
12. Gesticulate with Care
In Portugal, gestures can carry meanings, so you must be mindful of your hand movements to avoid misunderstandings. For example, a nod indicates "no ", while a gentle side-to-side shake signifies "yes." Understanding these nuances can greatly assist you in navigating conversations and interactions
13. Public Transportation
When it comes to transportation in Portugal, you'll find a cost-effective system. Consider getting a transportation card or pass for added convenience. Trains, trams and buses are means to explore cities and regions while providing journeys and access to historic sites.
14. Outdoor Lifestyle
Portugal's delightful weather encourages a lifestyle that embraces the outdoors. Take advantage of it by enjoying meals, having picnics, going to parks, or hiking through landscapes. With plenty of days, there are opportunities to appreciate Portugal's natural beauty.
15. Politeness is Key
In Portuguese culture, politeness and courtesy are important. Saying "Obrigado" (thank you) and "Por favour" (please) can go a long way in interactions. Show respect to individuals by addressing them as "senhor" or "senhora " and embracing the hospitable nature of the Portuguese people.
16. Bargaining Skills
Negotiating prices is common in markets, especially for antiques, crafts and fresh produce. Polite bargaining is expected and is worth sharpening your negotiation skills. Engaging in conversations with vendors can lead to profitable deals and enjoyable shopping experiences.
17. Etiquette for Visiting Homes
When you visit someone's home in Portugal, arriving on time is customary. A small gesture of appreciation, like bringing flowers or a bottle of wine, is a way to show gratitude for the invitation. Make sure to respect the customs of your hosts and enjoy the hospitality that Portuguese households offer.
18. Banking Hours and Options
Remember that banking hours in Portugal are typically limited, from 8:30 AM to 3 PM on weekdays. It's therefore advisable to plan your banking transactions and consider utilising banking for added convenience. Fortunately, ATMs are widely available for cash withdrawals outside of banking hours.
19. Healthcare System
Portugal boasts a high-quality healthcare system that's accessible to both residents and expats. To ensure you're well covered for expenses, make sure you have health insurance in place. You'll find pharmacies easily identifiable by their crosses throughout the country; they can provide over-the-counter medications as well as advice for minor ailments.
20. Respecting the Environment
Portugal takes pride in its natural beauty. It's important to engage in eco practices such as responsible recycling and proper disposal of waste. You'll find recycling bins conveniently available in areas. Beachgoers are especially encouraged to clean up after themselves. By treading and showing respect for ecosystems, we can truly showcase our appreciation for the environment.
21. Embracing Diversity
One of Portugal's aspects is its vibrant diversity, shaped
by a rich history of exploration and migration. Let us embrace the fabric that
makes Portugal truly special wholeheartedly.
Engage with people from different backgrounds, indulge in
the array of international cuisines, and celebrate the beautiful coexistence of
various cultures within this warm-hearted country.
Become a Portugal National with Passport Legacy
As you prepare for your life in Portugal, these cultural
tips will serve as guidance to help you navigate the intricacies of daily life
and enhance your experience in this hospitable nation.
At Passport Legacy, the professionals make sure to clear every doubt while you look
towards moving in Portugal.