Sunny Portugal lleaves noone indifferent to those who have been able to see its diverse culture with their own eyes
It makes you want to return, and the small balconies in the city center and ropes with laundry begs tourists to live in this European country. Nevertheless, there are factors that can affect adaptation and come as a shock to the unprepared traveler.
What should you know about Portugal before you emigrate?
- Portugal lives in calma mode
The word “Calma” means calm and accurately describes the mentality of the inhabitants of the country.
In Portugal, they are not used to rushing, and the locals are sure that they are never late. So they can come 30 minutes late and not feel guilty. Here it is not taken personally, even employees of banks and clinics are late.
Of course, not everyone does this, but you have to be prepared for the carelessness and infantilism of the Portuguese.
- Most homes have no central heating
Despite the relatively warm winter and sunny days, the humidity level and wind from the ocean are a reminder of the cold season. In addition, one should not be surprised that without air conditioning or a heater, the temperature of the house will not be different to the street temperature. This is due to the fact that most homes in Portugal do not have central heating.
In older buildings you can often see a fireplace in the living room, but the locals take the cold calmly: they stock up on blankets, warm clothes and heaters.
Residents of new buildings are a little luckier. Modern buildings provide the possibility of individual heating and the availability of a gas boiler.
- Taxes can be as high as 48%
The minimum income tax in Portugal is 14.5% (on an annual income of less than 7.1 thousand euros), the maximum – 48% (when the income is more than 80.6 thousand euros per year).
Violation of the law relating to the filing of tax returns and tax payments are subject to fines, which can be up to 55 thousand euros. Penalties may also include criminal liability.
- Portuguese values are centered around family
Many Portuguese residents devote a lot of time to family, which also affects separation from parents. Tourists and expats may be surprised that children leave the family home after the age of 30, although this practice is quite usual for the Portuguese.
It is not uncommon for Portuguese residents of all ages to prefer family vacations and never miss an opportunity to travel with relatives. Perhaps this is what shapes their hospitality, warmth and sincerity.
- Everyone loves to rest in Portugal, so it is constantly necessary to consider the schedule
24-hour stores are a real rarity in Portugal, usually supermarkets are open until 21:00-22:00, and the doors of night stores close at 1 am.
Restaurants and cafes may take a lunch break and only accept guests for breakfast or dinner, and small stores may open at 12:00.
Almost all banks in Portugal close at 3 or 4 p.m., as do public institutions, which can pose some difficulties, as these hours are not usual or customary in most countries.
- Portuguese love holidays and festivals
One gets the impression that it is impossible to find such an atmosphere of joy and enjoyment in Europe. Some events in Portugal are celebrated for a month, and carnivals with sardines and wine become something like a good Friday night.
Younger people spend the summer to the beat of the world’s popular musicians and DJs, and older people attend wine and gastronomy festivals.
- Be prepared for high real estate prices and unusual rental conditions
The cost of real estate is one of the main challenges of the Portuguese crisis. Due to increased demand, locals can’t always afford to buy an apartment, and young people often prefer neighboring countries.
Having decided to rent a long-term apartment in Portugal, foreigners also learn about the unusual system. The owners require that upon arrival tenants pay the cost of rent for a period of 6 months and leave documents confirming the solvency of the tenant.
- Portuguese cuisine is characterized by greasy food
The national cuisine of Portugal has some peculiarities and a long history, but it cannot be called healthy or wholesome.
The food is predominantly fatty, and Portuguese desserts contain a lot of sugar and oil. Fans of healthy eating will not be able to enjoy local dishes every day, but in the big cities you can always find a decent alternative for all tastes.
- Portugal’s climate is recognized as one of the best in the world
According to the International Living 2022 Annual Global Retirement Index, Portugal has won the world’s top climate ranking.
The country does give its residents a lot of sunny days. Staying here is comfortable, although sometimes the summer heat makes you move to the ocean.
- On average one does not earn much in Portugal
Life in Portugal can be called inexpensive in relation to other European countries, excluding real estate prices. The basket of basic goods is cheaper here than in the United States or Britain, but the level of wages differs even from neighboring Spain: the minimum wage in the country before taxes is 705 euros per month.
The family budget on average can fit into 2000 euros per month, and a salary of a thousand euros is considered average and comfortable by the locals.