Private: Moving to Lisbon

The Ultimate Guide to Relocating to Lisbon

Are you considering a move to Lisbon? This vibrant and historic city is a popular destination for expats and digital nomads alike. With its rich culture, stunning architecture, and beautiful weather, it's no wonder that Lisbon has become a top choice for those looking to start a new chapter in their lives. However, moving to a new city can be overwhelming, especially if you're unfamiliar with the local customs and housing market. In this guide, we'll provide you with essential tips and information to make your relocation to Lisbon as smooth as possible.

Finding Housing in Lisbon

One of the first things you'll need to consider when moving to Lisbon is finding a place to live. The city offers a variety of housing options, from modern apartments to charming historic buildings. Here are some tips to help you navigate the local housing market:

1. Start your search early

Lisbon is a popular city, and the demand for housing can be high. It's recommended to start your search at least a few months in advance to give yourself enough time to find the perfect place.

2. Consider your budget

Before you start your search, determine your budget for housing. Lisbon offers a range of prices, so it's important to have a clear idea of how much you can afford to spend on rent or purchasing a property.

3. Explore different neighborhoods

Lisbon is divided into several neighborhoods, each with its own unique charm and atmosphere. Take the time to explore different areas of the city to find the one that best suits your lifestyle and preferences.

4. Use online platforms

There are several online platforms that can help you find housing in Lisbon, such as Idealista, OLX, and Airbnb. These platforms allow you to search for apartments or rooms based on your preferences and budget.

5. Consider working with a real estate agent

If you're having trouble finding the right place on your own, consider working with a local real estate agent. They can help you navigate the market, negotiate prices, and find hidden gems that may not be listed online.

Understanding Local Customs and Culture

When moving to a new city, it's important to familiarize yourself with the local customs and culture. Here are some key aspects of Lisbon's culture that you should be aware of:

1. Embrace the laid-back lifestyle

Lisbon is known for its relaxed and laid-back lifestyle. The locals, known as Lisboetas, value taking time to enjoy life and appreciate the simple pleasures. Embrace this mindset and try to adapt to the slower pace of life.

2. Learn some Portuguese

While many people in Lisbon speak English, learning some basic Portuguese phrases can go a long way in making connections and showing respect for the local culture. Consider taking language classes or using language learning apps to improve your skills.

3. Enjoy the local cuisine

Lisbon is a food lover's paradise, with a wide variety of delicious dishes to try. Don't miss the opportunity to indulge in local specialties such as pastéis de nata (custard tarts) and bacalhau (salted codfish).

4. Participate in local festivals and events

Lisbon is known for its vibrant festivals and events throughout the year. From the lively Santo António celebrations in June to the Lisbon Book Fair, there's always something happening in the city. Take the time to participate in these events and immerse yourself in the local culture.

Getting Settled in Lisbon

Once you've found housing and familiarized yourself with the local customs, it's time to get settled in Lisbon. Here are some essential tips to help you navigate your new city:

1. Set up utilities and internet

When you move into your new home, make sure to set up utilities such as electricity, water, and gas. Additionally, arrange for internet installation to stay connected.

2. Register with the local authorities

If you plan to stay in Lisbon for an extended period, it's important to register with the local authorities. This process is known as "registo" and is mandatory for all residents.

3. Get a public transportation card

Lisbon has an extensive public transportation system, including buses, trams, and the metro. Consider getting a public transportation card, such as the Lisboa Viva card, to make your daily commute easier and more affordable.

4. Find healthcare providers

It's essential to find healthcare providers in Lisbon, including doctors, dentists, and pharmacies. Research local healthcare options and make sure to register with a general practitioner.

5. Connect with the expat community

Lisbon has a thriving expat community, and connecting with fellow expats can help you settle in and make new friends. Join expat groups, attend networking events, and explore online communities to meet like-minded individuals.

Exploring Lisbon and Beyond

Now that you're settled in Lisbon, it's time to explore everything this beautiful city has to offer. Here are some must-visit attractions and day trips:

1. Visit the historic neighborhoods

Take a stroll through Lisbon's historic neighborhoods, such as Alfama, Bairro Alto, and Belém. Explore the narrow streets, admire the colorful tiles, and soak in the city's rich history.

2. Discover the local art scene

Lisbon is home to a thriving art scene, with numerous galleries and street art installations. Visit the LX Factory, a creative hub filled with art studios, shops, and trendy cafes.

3. Take a day trip to Sintra

Located just outside of Lisbon, Sintra is a magical town known for its fairytale-like palaces and lush gardens. Don't miss the opportunity to visit the iconic Pena Palace and explore the beautiful surroundings.

4. Enjoy the beaches

Lisbon is blessed with beautiful beaches along its coastline. Head to Cascais or Estoril for a day of sunbathing and swimming, or take a surf lesson in the nearby town of Ericeira.

5. Sample the local wine

Portugal is famous for its wine, and Lisbon is no exception. Visit the nearby region of Alentejo or take a wine tour in the city to taste some of the country's best wines.

Relocating to Lisbon can be an exciting and rewarding experience. By following these essential tips and immersing yourself in the local culture, you'll be well on your way to creating a new home in this vibrant city. Good luck with your move!