Portugal has been mentioned as a leading destination for vacation in many articles and placed in the top of various rankings. This year, the World Travel Awards distinguished the country with several awards in different sections.
Photo credits: Bengt Nyman
Portugal conquering hearts
2018 is definitely the year of Portugal as an unmissable touristic place. World Travel Awards awarded Lisbon as Europe’s Leading City Destination 2018 and Portugal as Europe’s Leading Destination 2018.
Also, it is the third time in a row that Lisbon receives the award of Europe’s Leading Cruise Port 2018 and many Portuguese resorts and hotels conquered a prize in World Travel Awards this year. Regarding places hidden in the countryside, Madeira Islands were awarded as Europe’s Leading Island Destination 2018 and Passadiços do Paiva (Arouca UNESCO Global Geopark) as Europe’s Leading Adventure Tourist Attraction 2018.
Lisbon: the chosen place for a visit and for the stay
Lisbon has been in the top of the last rankings as a city break for tourists. The Telegraph explains the main reasons why Lisbon is such a desired destination, considering its restaurants, gastronomy, architecture, street art and closeness to the beach. There are other curious facts about the city: it is one of the world’s oldest ones, it is marked by Portugal’s role in the Age of Discovery and it gets more sun than anywhere else in Europe.
However, Lisbon is just not a city for a quick visit. Very recently it became the home of some celebrities: Monica Belluci, Michael Fassbender and Christin Louboutin bought their apartments in the typical neighbourhood of Alfama while Madonna is in the city’s spotlight because of her struggle to buy her ideal Portuguese house.
What really matters when moving abroad
The living cost, the sun and the quality of life are surely crucial factors that bring so many foreigners to Portugal. Nevertheless, when choosing this country to visit or to settle, there are two essential factors that strongly influence this decision: it is a safe destination and it has one of the few good healthcare systems in the world, as stated by the World Health Organization’s Director-General.
Portugal was the biggest winner at the latest World Travel Awards: the country was elected World’s Leading Destination. Lisbon got the award for the Best City Break Destination.
It’s the first time that an European country wins such award. Among the 17 destinations running for this recognition were countries like Brazil, Greece, USA or the Maldives. A couple of months ago Portugal had already won the award for Leading European Destination.
Lisbon, that has also been gathering multiple awards as destination for a while, was as well among the winners at the World Travel Awards Ceremony. This city was the top choice in the category for best city break destination.
Medical Port visited the tech conference that brought people from all over the world to Lisbon. The future of health was among the topics discussed at the Web Summit.
From alternative therapies to wearables, transplants and hybrid humans: a broad range of topics were discussed at the Web Summit.
The possibility of ever achieving a disease-free world was debated, but the opinion was clear: the majority of the attendees agreed it is quite utopic to ever achieve of such thing, despite the great advances of science.
Longevity was also discussed: could 125 be the new 80 in the future? Maybe, according to Gabriel Otte, who runs an enterprise working on disease prevention. Unfortunately, not all can be controlled by us, as the key seems to lie on a combination of genetics and lifestyle effects. However, Gabriel Otte recommends us to be as proactive about out general health as most people are with their teeth – checking it regularly and focusing on prevention.
The UK newspaper “The Independent” explains why so many young professionals are calling Lisbon their new home, as the possibility to work remotely becomes more and more a reality.
Warm, vibrant, “the new capital of cool”, as we have previously described Lisbon, keeps on attracting more and more foreigners, both tourists and new residents.
The expats mentioned on the article by the Independent seem to agree on the quality of life that the Portuguese capital has to offer. The warm weather, architecture, gastronomy and the proximity to beautiful beaches are the most common reasons attracting foreigners, in addition to a cost of living below the average among western Europe capitals, specially London.
This is a recipe for success and the proof is the increasing number of visitors in the city: over 6 million in the first semester. The number of foreign residents has also been growing (even Madonna has moved to Lisbon!), as one of the interviewees confirms “The expat scene is a lot bigger than a few years ago”.
Recently, the Financial Times also sought to understand why all the roads lead to Lisbon, which, according to the article, happened quite naturally. Lisbon is now an important spot for business makers and entrepreneurs. Read the full article
If, like many, you are considering moving to Lisbon, do not forget about your health! Medical Port specializes in guiding foreigners to access the healthcare they need in Portugal. Contact us!
… at least for 8 reasons. Lisbon remains the city receiving more tourists in Portugal, but CNN explains why Oporto has much to offer as well.
CNN describes Oporto as “a place to go for a unique blend of history, balmy weather, culture, cooking and nightlife.” After all, this is the European best destination for 2017. Here is what they emphasize:
Landscape, beaches and authenticity
Lisbon has the Tagus river but Douro’s landscape – a World Heritage Site – with its slopes and vineyards going on and on is one of a kind. The view of the river passing by the city, with colourful houses on Oporto side and wine cellars on the opposite side is also breathtaking. Additionally, the riverside area in Oporto – Ribeira – has been able to keep its authenticity, unlike some neighbourhoods in the capital. The article also dares to mention the beaches! Lisbon is not far from the beach but Oporto is even closer! Sure the water is a bit chillier, but there are kilometres and kilometres of beautiful beaches nearby, either if you head north or south.
Eating, drinking and going out
Port wine is always on the list when talking about Oporto, so is Café Majestic, an iconic “belle epoque-style” coffee house. Tripes – “a mess of white beans fortified with pig’s ear, calves’ foot, cow’s stomach (aka tripe) and a cartload of other chewy bits” has such symbolism to the city that its inhabitants are gently called “tripeiros” – tripe eaters. Though considerably smaller than Lisbon, Porto also has an exciting nightlife environment to offer.
Nearly 400 000 foreigners are living in Portugal. Unlike previous years, more individuals are coming from European Union countries.
A recent report by the Immigration and Border Service in Portugal reveals that more foreigners are choosing to live in Portugal. Nationals from Portuguese speaking countries, like Angola and Brazil, continue to represent a great part of foreign residents in Portugal, but their numbers are decreasing, while residents from other countries of origin are growing. France, UK, Spain and China are the ones with higher growing rates. At a slower rate, yet increasing, is also the number of American residents in Portugal.
According to the report, friendly taxation for non habitual residents, as well as being perceived as a safe country are some of the reasons to attract foreigners.
Read more about why you shoud consider moving to Portugal:
When moving to a new country, the quality of healthcare services is an important variable in the decision process. Portugal stands for a quality healthcare system. Let us help you in your healthcare needs. We work with a wide range of distinctive health partners and cover multiple specialties. Click to know more:
Lisbon cultural side and the welcoming start-up environment are the recent aspects of this city that have been recognized abroad. The capital of Portugal remains an attractive and trendy destination for tourists, people looking to relocate and entrepreneurs.
Lisbon got the first place in the “Culture Dynamism” ranking among cities between 500 000 and 1 million inhabitants, part of the “The Culture and Creative Cities Monitor” developed by the European Comission. The report explains how it got the top position: “In recent years, the local authorities have taken new action to strengthen the economic potential of arts, culture and creativity. Co-working spaces, fab labs and start-up incubators are now available in the rehabilitated urban areas. In addition to long-lived international events such as the Lisbon Architecture Triennale, the Lisbon Fashion Week and the Lisbon & Estoril Film Festival, the city has started to host new creativity-related events, such as the European Creative Hubs Forum in 2015, connecting over 200 creative hubs across Europe.”
If you are interested in exploring the city, the Guardian leaves you some tips in a recent article:
Gulbenkian Museum and the gardens surrounding it, perfect for a relaxed afternoon under the sun.
the MAAT, the most recent museum in the city and currently shortlisted in the category “Building of the year” in the World Architecture Festival.
flea markets and bric-a-brac stores in different parts of the city.
In the ranking by “PeoplePerHour”, a large UK-based platform for freelancers, Lisbon comes in fourth place in a world ranking, ahead of cities like San Diego (USA) and London (UK). The ranking evaluates aspects like life quality, cost of offices and easiness to start a new business.
Portugal is also the host city of the renown WebSummit, “the largest tech conference in the world”, yet another proof of the city’s value for entrepreneurs.
Lisbon has become very attractive for foreigners looking to run their businesses or just resettle. The Guardian explores examples of the city’s recovery after the economic crisis.
According to this article by the Guardian, Lisbon is a city “of old-fashioned dignity, of arcades and ocean breezes, of the yellow, timber-lined streetcars that get into the tourist pictures, of classical facades maintaining their equilibrium over steep slopes, of delectable cake shops and family-owned seafood restaurants.”
It is described as cosmopolitan city that brings details from other cities together. Trendy co-working spaces set up in repurposed shipping containers and buses, like Village Underground, with cultural events at the workspace, is one of the examples given that resembles the reality of London. Then, there is the bridge that looks like the Golden Gate one in San Francisco and the city’s own Christ statue that recalls Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
Lisbon’s safety is also mentioned in the article, along with being a liberal, open minded and “pro-enterprise” city. Those aspects and the fact that it is much cheaper when compared to London makes it an attractive place for “young creative exiles from the British capital” at a time when the Brexit is still characterized by uncertainty. Additionally, since last year and, at least, until 2018, Lisbon is the host city of the Web Summit, “the largest tech conference in the world”, which emphasizes the city’s innovative side.
Portugal as a whole is more and more attractive to tourists, foreign professionals looking to move and individuals looking to retire abroad. Even during the so-called “low season” of tourism, the numbers of visitors have been continuously increasing, not only in Lisbon but also in other regions like the North region and the Azores islands.
Portugal’s attractiveness reached the other side of the Atlantic. The Boston Globe emphasises how a small country like Portugal has a varied range of offerings, “good food, rich history, great views and temperate climate”.
Lisbon is described as a city that “looks less like a national capital than an unusually large Mediterranean village”, where one can still witness people drying their clothes out in their windows and merchants drying their fish in the sun. The article points out places like Rossio square with its “majestic fountains”, the Commercial Square (Praça do Comércio, in Portuguese) representing the historic connection to the sea, the nightlife at Cais do Sodré, the street art booming throughout the city, Belém and its famous pastries.
300km north, the city of Porto is pictured as “handsome and elegant”, with granite structures “packed on the hilly landscape and covered with colorful tiles”. The D. Luis Bridge, resembling the Eiffel tower architecture, the beautiful tiles of S. Bento train station, right in the heart of Porto, the Harry Potter inspiring bookstore Lello and McDonald’s – yes, McDonald’s – in Porto downtown are some the must-sees mentioned.
Between the days spent in Lisbon and Porto, the article recommends a pit stop in Óbidos, “a picturesque walled town with winding streets” and Sintra, the Unesco World Heritage Site, with the colorful and unique Pena Palace deserving all the attention, though Sintra has much more too offer and definitely worth the visit.
Exercise has multiple benefits for everybody. But for people suffering from Parkinson’s, a movement disorder, it can have even greater importance. A recent article by the New York Times emphasizes the power of exercise for Parkinsons Disease patients.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for Parkinson’s Disease (PD), but there are ways to mitigate the suffering, promote a higher quality of life and autonomy. Exercise is one way of doing it. The New York Times quotes Marilyn Moffat, physical therapist at New York University: “The earlier people begin exercising after a Parkinson’s diagnosis, and the higher the intensity of exercise they achieve, the better they are”. She adds that activities such as cycling, boxing and dancing have proved to have benefits on Parkinson’s patients’ lives. The results are stronger muscles and overall physical health, improved breathing, diggestion and blood circulation and enhanced mental and cognitive health.
However, according to a study on Parkinson’s Rehabilitation, “only 63% of the PD patients were referred to physical therapy for problems with gait, posture, transfers and balance.” For problems related to arms and hand activities, only 9% were referred to therapy.”
Portugal hosts an innovative and multi-strategy rehabilitation program for PD, developed by the renowned Professor Joaquim Ferreira, chair of the European Section of the Movement Disorder Society. At Campus Neurológico Sénior, Parkinson’s patients and caregivers can learn to cope with the disease, through a program that includes two main components: exercising and education.
It combines multiple training programs such as LSTV BIG, LSTV LOUD, Hydrotherapy Bad Ragaz & Halliwick, Adapted Parkinson Boxing Aerobics and Dance Therapy for PD, which are adapted to the patients’ needs. If you wish to learn more about this program, contact us or visit our dedicated webpage: www.medicalport.org/parkinsons.