Portugal Fast Facts

Viana do Castelo, Portugal

Population: 10,833,816

Capital City: Lisbon

Climate: Maritime temperate; cool and rainy in north, warmer and drier in south

Time Zone: GMT+00

Language: Portuguese

Country Code: 351

Coastline: 1,793km

Explore the Old World in Laidback Portugal

Rocky, rugged Atlantic coasts where salt spray mists the air…green hills and winding country roads…medieval towns perched above deep river gorges…graceful cities of broad boulevards and bustling cafés…

Portugal, continental Europe’s westernmost country, lies quietly in the shadow of the larger, more boisterous Spain. With a sliver of coastline and an interior that can take you back centuries in time, Portugal in many ways still belongs to an earlier era. People are friendly and courteous, with an almost courtly manner. Family and friends are important, and people know their neighbors and the local shopkeepers. Ancient buildings look worn and lived-in, and quiet, cobbled lanes wind through seaside villages.

This is Europe as it used to be. And though modernity is overtaking Portugal quickly, you can still enjoy an old-style, Old-World life here. Cascais, Portugal

Though its coast is the Atlantic, Portugal is typically Mediterranean, with the warm weather and lifestyle that you tend to find in Mediterranean countries. The sea, which forms the country’s western border, still plays a strong role in Portuguese life and diet: You’ll find fish and seafood on menus throughout the country.

Like countries around the Mediterranean, Portugal also produces good food, wine, and olive oil, at inexpensive prices. Try its slightly fizzy vinho verde or its port, the fortified wine that took its name from Portugal’s second city, Porto. Shop in modern supermarkets, or—as many Portuguese do—in the traditional markets found in cities throughout the country.

Overall, Portugal is arguably Western Europe’s most affordable country. Even in the capital, Lisbon—one of Europe’s most charming and underrated cities—a couple can live comfortably from about $2,200 a month in residential neighborhoods just a half-hour’s walk from Lisbon’s central, most tourist-driven areas. (And you’ll leave the tourists behind.) In Portugal’s smaller cities and in the country’s interior, a couple’s budget can run from $1,700 a month.

Enjoy all this…and yet have First-World amenities at hand, including road and highway systems, good telecommunications and high-speed internet, museums and concert halls, chic restaurants, cafés, bars, and much more. Portugal has extensive bus and metro services in cities like Lisbon and Porto. Long distance bus and train services carry you throughout Portugal and beyond, so you don’t need a car here. And modern airports can take you throughout Europe.

From the Archives of Portugal

$660 a Month Rent for a Southern European Lifestyle in Portugal

$660 a Month Rent for a Southern European Lifestyle in Portugal

Michael J. Day zeroed in on Portugal as his overseas retreat because it offered him much of what he loved about living on the U.S. West Coast. “It has hiking, mountain biking, surfing, and sunny weather,” he says. Portugal also offered him a new language to learn...

Portugal Weather and Climate

Portugal Weather and Climate

Countries
By |
February 20, 2018

Looking for an ideal climate for retirement? Look no further than Portugal. It enjoys a warm temperate climate with wet winters, dry summers, and the highest temperatures averaging above 71 F. As compact as Portugal is, about 349 miles north to south and only 135 miles east to west, there are distinct differences when it Read more...: Portugal Weather and Climate

From Sleepy Village to Lively Town: My Portuguese Adventure

From Sleepy Village to Lively Town: My Portuguese Adventure

Daily Postcard
By |
February 20, 2018

My backyard swimming pool has changed a bit. In 2010 my partner, Kevin, and I took a leap of faith and moved to central Portugal. Soon we were swimming in a dreamy lagoon filled with mineral-rich water instead of a tiled chemical hole-in-the-ground in Florida.

Where is Lisbon on the Map?

Where is Lisbon on the Map?

Daily Postcard
By |
February 1, 2018

When I moved to Portugal five years ago, it was all about the countryside: goats grazing on kelly green meadows, church bells pealing across the valley, and picking grapes at harvest time with close neighbors. I traded that for a city with bright yellow tram cars, a Moorish castle, a dizzying array of museums, galleries, Read more...: Where is Lisbon on the Map?

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