21 Things To Know Before You Move To Portugal

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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 café.


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 pastéis 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.

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