Romance, culture and adventure awaits in Portugal. Learn more about Portugal and other countries in our daily postcard e-letter.


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Fast Facts About Portugal

  • Population: 10,799,270
  • Capital City: Lisbon
  • Climate: Maritime temperate; cool and rainy in north, warmer and drier in south
  • Time Zone: UTC+00
  • Language: Portuguese
  • Country Code: +351



Lisbon: Western Europe’s Most Affordable Capital

Lisbon’s faded grace is utterly enchanting. In the old city’s steep, narrow streets, once-grand buildings display worn facades, battered shutters, and laundry hanging from the balcony. Tailors and cobblers ply their services from tiny, bedraggled shops, while the baked-sugar smell of custard and caramel wafts out the doors of ancient pastelarias. And up every steeply sloping street in this hilly city, it seems, labors a groaning trolley car, while far below glitters the River Tejo. Portugal’s capital—home to half a million people—is a gracious city, yet also one with an odd, pensive gravity: a world-weariness born perhaps of great age and of empires gained and lost.


Recovery: Opportunities in Beaten-Down Europe

In the early and mid-2000s, Europe’s real estate markets embarked on a massive tear. People re-financed, often to buy a vacation home or make a speculative investment in Europe’s sunnier locales. Values rose and rose…until everything stopped. The market imploded and real estate owners found themselves deeply under water. By 2009, with a few exceptions, Europe’s real estate markets had halted. Transactions simply stopped. The gulf between sellers’ expectations and what buyers were willing to pay was so great that there was nowhere for them to meet. Now markets are moving again. And in four countries in particular—Ireland, Portugal, Greece and Spain—I see opportunity today. An added plus is the current strength of the U.S. dollar. At time of writing, your U.S. dollar buys you 24% more euros than it did in March 2014. Now, I’m not a currency guy, and I’m certainly not making a call on future euro-dollar exchange rates, but it makes European opportunities all the more attractive right now.


Enjoy a Low Cost of Living in Portugal

Love Europe but think you can’t afford it? Think again. I recently spent some time in Portugal and was wowed by the low prices. In Portugal, you can enjoy a low cost of living similar to that in Latin America’s more developed countries…with all the benefits of European life thrown in. For instance, you can get a sit-down lunch for about $15. You can grab a sandwich for less than $5 that’s big enough for two…but why bother? As in many Latin countries, lunch is generally a proper meal in Portugal, and you can get two courses, sometimes with beverage, starting from about $10. Or have dinner in a family-style restaurant for just a little more. Like wine with that meal? No problem. You can get a glass of wine in many restaurants for $4 or so…or half a bottle for about $7. Portugal is a wine-producing country, after all, and the local product is good, plentiful, and inexpensive.


Listening to Fado, the Soul of Lisbon, Portugal

For a second there, I thought he had a crush on me. Then I realized that his entranced gaze was not for me—it was for his guitar and the music he was playing. I was in a fado club deep in the heart of Alfama, Lisbon’s oldest neighborhood. When I was first seated at the small table flanked by two empty chairs, I thought I’d gotten my reservation wrong. Was I only going to get a high-priced dinner? I sat resigned during the first course…a mood that changed to jubilation when the fado musicians walked in, straight to those empty chairs beside me.

Buy Right for Profit and Your Enjoyment on Portugal’s Algarve

Distressed real estate in my favorite European markets is one of the hottest plays on my radar today. In Spain, this crisis opportunity has handed us some tremendous deals. Next door in Portugal, a similar situation is coming together—specifically in the Algarve. As the market price of certain real estate has fallen, the cost to rent that property has dropped by a much smaller percentage.

What $100,000 Buys You in Ireland, Spain, and Portugal

Thanks to Europe’s financial and economic crisis, you’ll find some of the best real estate values in the best parts of Europe right now—and some of the best opportunities to profit. Specifically, the deals are to be found in Ireland, Portugal, and Spain. These places were hit hard by the crisis—and pricings finally reflect that.

Where Can the Freelance Life Take You?

When I was 10 or 11 years old I had a vision that I would grow-up be a freelance writer, and live on top of a hill overlooking the ocean. My vision has come to fruition in Venice Beach, California, for $2,500 a month…St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands for $800 a month…and most recently in Sesimbra, Portugal, just 30 minutes south of Lisbon, for $400 a month.

Renting a Piece of the Old World

It’s called the “Old World” for a reason, and despite two world wars and decades of development, history is evident in the architecture of Europe. You can stroll cobbled streets where lords and ladies once rushed to galas, climb castle steps in the footsteps of armored knights, and explore villages preserved for 500 years or more.


Freedom, Adventure, and the Open Road…At No Expense

Taking tea with Mongolian herders…cycling through Che Guevara’s mountain hideaway…and camel riding in Lawrence of Arabia’s footsteps. I thought such exotic trips were the preserve of the privileged—not for me. But these and many other experiences have been mine…since I’ve discovered the Red Carpet Passport.


Tango in the Park, Markets on the Street…the Fun is Out There

Over eight years ago, I decided to leave behind the urban jungle of American cities to travel. At the moment, I’m surrounded by the lush green suburbs of Buenos Aires. I’m constantly reminded of Jumanji out here. Thick green, leafy vines have completely taken over property walls and fences, wrapped themselves around tree trunks and flower pots. Palm trees and banana trees rise up like proud flags beside homes and office buildings.


The Perched Villages of Europe

In medieval Europe, keeping an eye out for and guarding against invasion—a frequent occurrence in those days—was no easy feat. But one of a nobleman’s greatest defensive weapons was a castle perched on a rocky hilltop near an important mountain pass. The location itself—surrounded by steep cliff—offered protection.

48-Hours in Arraiolos, Portugal’s Carpet Town

48-Hours in Arraiolos, Portugal’s Carpet Town

Vivid colors, countless sizes, the smell of clean wool and the sound of clacking needles…at every turn is another gallery or store where local ladies sit stitching their carpets and tapestries. Nestled in the rolling hills of the Alentejo region of Portugal, Arraiolos is a medieval gem where you can observe an ancient art carried on since before the reconquest of the Iberian peninsula from the Moors.

Balance your yearly plan by choosing less expensive countries for part of the year. Five weeks in inexpensive Portugal helped Lynne and Tim Martin afford to spend three months in Paris.

Living Internationally: How to Enjoy a Roving Retirement

Advances in technology have opened up the world. Planes, trains and the Internet are all getting faster and—if you know where to look—you can embrace these changes and make your dream of exploring dozens of overseas destinations come true. Right now, living internationally…


7 Hobbies That Can Fund Your Retirement Overseas

It’s possible to pursue your hobby and bring in some cash before and during retirement. These hobbies can help you to fund your life as a retiree overseas. If you’re dreaming of an apartment in Paris…a beach house in Ecuador…a farmhouse in Italy…and the only thing holding you back is lack of capital…then read on. Your interests can turn into a career that you love…


5 Weeks in Portugal’s Surfer Paradise

We sold our house, re-homed our furniture, and put the rest in a storage unit over two-and-a-half years ago. We’ve been living internationally in rented apartments and houses ever since, and we have never regretted our decision to spend our retirement years exploring the world. By the time we reached Portugal, our ninth country, we were practically on automatic pilot.

Your adventure, in search of the perfect place to retire, can start somewhere like Belize.

This Is What “International Living” Looks Like…

Not so long ago, only sailors, soldiers and the super wealthy got to see the world. But today, globetrotting isn’t just a job for mariners or the preserve of the jet set. You can cruise to Europe for up to 70% off standard prices if you know how… you can use a host of websites to organize low-cost, luxurious accommodation for a few months—enough time to try a place on for size—before moving on to the next… you can sit on a terrace overlooking the Mediterranean sipping wine in April, and kick back on a beach in English-speaking Belize in May…

These days you don't have to be wealthy, eccentric, or running from the law to retire somewhere like Italy.

World Travel Has Changed for Retirees…

Fifty years ago, if at retirement age you spent a few months in Paris…then moved on to Lisbon for the winter…settled for the spring in Italy…and then steamed down to Panama and Argentina…you were probably either wealthy, eccentric, or running from the law. These days…you’re just a run-of-the-mill vagabond retiree.


Getting Settled in Good-Value Portugal

I’ve rarely seen such a stunning city…like Istanbul meets San Francisco, with its pastel-colored buildings and the wide river running right under a Golden Gate look-alike and sweeping out to the ocean. My husband Tim and I were in Lisbon, Portugal, on the way to our rented house at the beach in Copa da Caparica. For $1,500 we were set up with a rental for a five-week stay living in this beach town just 15 minutes from the Portuguese capital.

Cascais has strong historic links

Teaching English on Portugal’s Coast

In 1991 Patricia made the move to the town of Cascais, Portugal, just 30 minutes up the coast from Lisbon. Here each day begins with a long, leisurely beach walk, her two poodles at her side. “I never had pets when I lived in the U.S. I was too busy working. But when I first moved here, I noticed that everyone had dogs and birds, and I thought, yes, it’s so full of life. This is what I want.”


The Truth About Chinese Growth

There has been a lot of hand-wringing lately over the slowdown in official Chinese GDP growth,” writes IL Finance Editor, Chris Hunter


The Old-World Charms of European Islands

They may not have the tropical vibe or clear blue waters of the Caribbean or the Far East, but the islands of Europe do exude their own brand of natural beauty…and are infused with history.

A Better Life for Less in Old-World Portugal

A Better Life for Less in Old-World Portugal

A herd of goats files into the pasture below my patio. The flock leaps over the stream, threading its way through the field. They butt each other in exuberance as I savor my morning coffee and fresh rolls with creamy butter.


Get Your Free Pass to Travel Perks

I had just arrived at the little Spanish town near Alicante where I’d be spending a couple weeks, so I would have plenty of time to taste test each one.


Europe’s Low-Cost Capital

If you love that lost-in-time feeling, then you will love Lisbon. The city’s wistful air preserves crumbling balconies and buildings that grasp at their cracked-tile exteriors. Royal palaces remain untouched by renovation, as if a marquis could come down the marble steps at any moment. Toy-like yellow trams sway over tracks, the creaky wooden interiors from the 1930s still intact.

Finding A Rural Idyll In The Old World

Finding a Rural Idyll in the Old World

A herd of goats files into the pasture below my patio. The flock leaps over the stream, threading its way through the field. They butt each other in exuberance as I savor my morning coffee and fresh rolls with creamy butter.

Faded Grandeur In Western Europe’s Low-Cost Capital

Faded Grandeur in Western Europe’s Low-Cost Capital

If you love that lost-in-time feeling, then you will love Lisbon. The city’s wistful air preserves crumbling balconies and buildings that grasp at their cracked-tile exteriors.

Suchi Rundra lives a  streamlined, low-maintenance, low-cost lifestyle as a nomadic freelance writer.

“Working the Latitudes” as a Freelance Writer

I wake up and glance over at my wall calendar—no deadlines for the rest of the week. Time for the beach! Or maybe I could work on my novel. But it’s such good weather, what about another day trip? Welcome to the life of a freelance writer where every day is wide open, and every day is yours.


Sintra: Portugal’s “Glorious Eden”

If Walt Disney, an Indian rajah, and Salvador Dalí had ever met in an opium den, they might have designed something like the Pena Palace. With its pink turrets, daffodil-yellow tower, and monstrous gargoyles, it’s Sintra’s most visually striking landmark. Gothic-gone-mad Sintra is a 40-minute train journey from Lisbon, Portugal’s capital.


Lisbon: Europe’s Sunny, Affordable, Old-World Capital

Photographers call the last hour before sunset “the magic hour.” In Lisbon, Portugal’s capital, the luminosity is extraordinary. Traditional tiled houses dazzle. Pastel pink and yellow facades blush and glow. Glasses of vinho verde, a quaffable white wine, prism into silver half-moons on table tops.


Travel Perks in Portugal

For travel writers, sampling local food specialties is part of the job. So to ignore the Antiga Confeitaria in Belém, Lisbon’s ancient maritime suburb, would be criminal. Decorated in blue and white azulejo tiles, this bakery/cafe is a shrine to the world’s most heavenly custard tarts—Pastéis de Belém. Famed throughout Portugal, these are pastries with history.

The Fall Of Europe Maybe—Either Way, You Win

The Fall of Europe? Maybe—Either Way, You Win

The euro may implode at any moment. The euro zone is deep in recession. The slow-motion debt crisis there trundles on. We still don’t know what will trigger a full-scale meltdown. All we know is that there’s now a good chance it will happen.

Not Yet, but Soon: When to Act on Europe’s Greek Crisis

Not Yet, but Soon: When to Act on Europe’s Greek Crisis

Greece faces a great crisis today and its real estate is about to get dirt cheap. The country is in a classic “blood in the streets” situation…one that looks so hopeless that the public believes only a fool would want to buy real estate in the shadow of Athen’s Acropolis or on one of the country’s stunning Aegean islands.


Living Well in Lisbon, Portugal

There is a wonderful rhythm to life in Alfama. It’s all about romantic views, secret neighborhoods, and faded grandeur. The houses here are clad in intricate tiles to reflect the sun’s heat, and it seems as if the city here wears its beauty inside out. Alfama is reminiscent of the North African heritage of southern Spanish cities like Seville and Granada.

Distressed in Europe

Distressed in Europe

The economies of the PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Spain) are in disarray. Europe is in the throws of sovereign, political and financial crises. Greece is bankrupt and burning. Yields on Portuguese bonds hit 17% earlier this year.

Why Livable Europe Should Be On Your List…

Why Livable Europe Should Be On Your List…

What Life Overseas Really Looks Like… Skeptics inquire: Are the opportunities overseas really as great as we at IL portray them to be? The short answer is “yes.” But don’t take my word for it… Listen, instead, to the many firsthand stories we’ve collected in this month’s issue—on-the-ground reports from folks who decided to answer the question for themselves…at the beach…in the hills…in cities…or on islands…

Adventures And Life In Old World Europe

Adventures and Life in Old World Europe

When Elizabeth Milovidov stood on the cobbles before the thousand-year-old Notre Dame Cathedral and wandered Paris’s narrow stone streets, soaking up the history and elegant architecture, she knew that her heart was lost.

Europe on Sale? Baloney!

Europe on Sale? Baloney!

The economies of the PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Spain) are in disarray. Europe is in the throws of a banking crisis brought on by (among other things) exposure to Greek sovereign debt. Many of you have been asking if now is the time to jump in.

Wander Lisbon’s Alfama Neighborhood

Wander Lisbon’s Alfama Neighborhood

Of the grand capitals of Europe, Lisbon in Portugal is unjustly neglected by North Americans visiting the Old World. At the edge of the continent, facing the Atlantic Ocean, it’s just a little off the beaten track.

Royal Portugal on the Cheap

Royal Portugal on the Cheap

In the last year two magnificent Portuguese palaces—one in the north of the country and the other in the south—have opened their gilded salons to guests, becoming part of the chain of pousadas.

Wait – Don’t Miss Out:

7 Great Retirement Towns You’ve Never Heard Of…

In the right places overseas…you have good options for safe, comfortable, affordable living (adventure built-in).

In 7 Great Retirement Towns You’ve Never Heard of Where You Can Live Better for Less we’ll pull back the curtain and introduce you to communities where you can embrace the retirement of your dreams…and do it for less than it would cost you to stay home.

Take a look at International Living today and not only will you receive 7 Great Retirement Towns You’ve Never Heard of…Where You Can Live Better for Less FREE, but I’ll ALSO shave nearly 30% off the regular price.

Get the details in your FREE report now.


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