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.
World renowned personalities, a widely spoken language, modern infrastructures and a business friendly environment are some of the aspects that Huffington Post points out as the reasons of Portugal’s bright momentum.
The recent election of Portuguese António Guterres as United Nations General-Secretary is the most recent evidence contributing to increase the reputation of Portugal. As the article puts it: “Guterres’ ascension to the world stage provides an opportunity for Portugal to embrace and promote the shared values and leadership qualities he exemplifies”.
Portugal’s influence is also increasing on different areas. This year’s victory in the European Football Championship was a deserved reward for the country’s achievements in terms of football. The country has also many ambassadors in other fields as well, like the world renowned neuroscientist António Damásio, fado singer Mariza, chef José Avillez, among many others.
Furthermore, Portugal has been able to attract many international companies to its territory and it is seen as a technological advanced nation while Lisbon increases its reputation as a good start up ecosystem. This year, this city is hosting the prestigious Web Summit – “Europe’s Largest Technology Marketplace” that will receive renowned guest speakers and thousands of attendees from all over the world.
Touristic attractions: as one of the oldest cities in Western Europe, this city offers multiple outstanding places to visit, such as Jerónimos Monastery, Tower of Belém and Praça do Comércio.
A charming city: as US News puts it, “Lisbon offers the same Old World cosmopolitan flavor” as other better known European capitals, but with good weather, and pleasant, clean beaches.
Affordability: Lisbon is one of the most affordable capital cities in Western Europe. The quality of life you get compared to the cost of living is unmatchable.
Healthcare: Lisbon ranks high also when it comes to healthcare quality, and counts with some of the best health specialists in Europe. Plus, medical care is considerably more affordable in Lisbon than in the USA. Language is not a barrier: most doctors and medical staff speak English. If you are considering visiting or moving to Portugal and want to better understand how to access healthcare services, we can help.
Language: There is an established English speaking community in Lisbon, and English is the second most spoken language throughout Portugal.
Cultural and recreational activities are also mentioned by US News, and moving to Portugal is now easier thanks to the Non Habitual Regime and Golden Visa status. You can read the full article – that concludes by describing Portugal as a “welcoming haven”.
There are many other unique characteristics that render Lisbon a great choice for foreign retirees. Keep visiting our blog to learn more.
Following our previous blog post about why Americans should retire to Portugal (click here to read it), we are now sharing an article from The Washington Post with a financial guide to retire abroad.
Plan a retirement abroad requires careful planning and many places can be cheaper than the United States.
The financial guide from The Washington Post includes the following topics that prospect retirees should take into account before making the decision:
Easy residency programs for foreigners – In Portugal, the Golden Visa residency program makes it easy for foreigners to buy property and establish residency in the country with tax benefits
Cost of living and lifestyle –“(…) in the Algarve region of Portugal, named the most attractive place to retire abroad by Live and Invest Overseas, a retiree could live on $1,410 a month, including $600 for rent.”
Healthcare – Medical Port can help you with this. We have special healthcare solutions for foreign residents in Portugal that have health insurance or not. The For Health card is a solution for those foreign citizens who live in Portugal and have healthcare needs that aren’t usually covered on health insurances.
Bank accounts – It is advised to keep a bank account in the home country and another in the country where you are retiring.
Social security – Portugal is one of the countries where American citizens can move and still receive their social security benefits.
Pay taxes – Retirees will still need to pay taxes in the United States.
Buy property – While some countries make it hard for foreign citizens to buy property, others – like Portugal – make it easy like any other national citizen would.
Spend the retirement years in a foreign country is an exciting idea for many Americans who look for better weather, affordable cost of living and the opportunity to experience a new culture.
Portugal is becoming increasingly popular as a retirement destination and has received for the past few years the top places on the best retirement abroad rankings (click here to read more about it).
To learn more about Medical Port’s solution for healthcare for foreign citizens in Portugal, the For Health card, click here.
Financial Advisor magazine says Portugal should be the first choice for Americans to retire, outside of the United States.
As life expectancy grows, the number of retirees of wish to spend their retirement abroad rises. For those Americans who dream of retiring abroad, the choice of the ideal place may be difficult to make. Proximity to the home country, cost of living, language, safety and climate are some of the aspects prospect retirees must take into account when choosing their retirement spot abroad.
Financial Advisor magazine says Portugal, specifically the Algarve region should be the top choice for Americans to retire and there are plenty of reasons to support this statement: “Portugal, takes top honors, thanks to its low cost of living, low cost of real estate, great weather, established expat community, new retiree residency program and endless options for how to meaningfully fill the days and evenings.”
The magazine article adds another two very important reasons why Americans should chose the Portugal for retirement:
English is widely spoken which makes it possible to live in Portugal and speaking only in English – this may be especially advantageous for older people who don’t want to learn a new language.
Portugal is “one of the safest places on earth right now” to live and also to visit as a tourist.
Portugal has been considered for the past few years as one of the best places to retire abroad and the Algarve region was named twice as the best region to retire in the whole world. Click here to read the latest news about why Portugal is a great place to retire.
For Americans Portugal holds another advantage: it is the closest European country from the United States and daily 6-hour flights can take Americans to Portugal.
Portugal has seen a great increase in American tourists in 2015 and the numbers continue to rise in 2016.
Travel Pulse magazine highlights that Americans are among the top nationalities that most recently visited the country. That is why the Portuguese Tourism board set the promotion of Portugal in the United States as a priority. The Portuguese Tourism Board believes that the satisfaction that American visitors get from visiting Portugal is the greatest drive of new tourists, since those who enjoyed their time will tell family and friends to plan a trip too. Also the value for money and the proximity to North America are likely to drive the interest of tourists.
Portugal’s capital Lisbon, offers world-class luxury hotels at affordable prices when compared to other European capitals and flights from New York City to Lisbon take around 7 hours or less. Travel Pulse adds:
“One sign of the country’s soaring popularity is the fact that it’s nearly impossible to narrow down five must-see locales within this small country. The Azores are a must, Porto can’t be missed as the birthplace of port wine, the Algarve is mesmerizing and Lisbon is the country’s cultural hub – but there’s so much more.”
The increase in American tourists in Portugal can also be explained by an increase in overall tourism in the country. In 2015 a record number of foreign tourists stayed in Portuguese hotel, more than 10 million visitors came to the country, according to Portuguese National Statistics Institute. The fact that Portugal is a safe destination right now is also making the number of tourists to rise and 2016 is already expected to break new records.
A recent article on Esquire magazine states “Why Lisbon is one of the coolest cities in Europe” to visit right now and why it shouldn’t be underestimated.
The article recommends places to visit and things to do that aren’t likely to be in other city guides.
According to the magazine: “Lisbon does distinct districts beautifully, with the formality of the central Praça do Comércio (created after the earthquake of 1755) flanked by the winding lanes of the Alfama, the city’s centre under the Arabic occupation of Iberia, and the once-seedy and now achingly cool dockyard area of Cais do Sodré.”
The best places to stay are Bairro Alto and to eat there is the renewed Mercado da Ribeira for a relaxed lunch, and Belcanto the two Michelin star restaurant owned by the Portuguese chef José Avillez to learn how the former colonies influenced the Portuguese cuisine and provide a unique dining experience.
The magazine advises visitants to appreciate the street art all over the city, highlight the works of Portuguese street artist Vihls. For those who want to explore further, they can from Lisbon go surfing in Cascais (about half an hour) or to hang out on the beach in Comporta (about an hour south of Lisbon).
Readers are advised to visit Lisbon because “There might not be a cooler city in Europe at this precise moment (…).”
Click here to read the full article on Esquire Magazine.
The North of Portugal has been gaining a lot of attention for the past few years. It’s biggest city, Porto has been featured in news outlets all over the world. Associated to a trip to Porto is always a trip to Douro, the wine region that is an UNESCO monument.
The Telegraph calls it a trip to the heart of Portugal following the Douro River from Porto to the Spanish border were the reporter found some of the most authentic things Portugal has to offer. In the words of Stanley Stewart, the journalist from the Telegraph who took the trip “the Rio Douro, the River of Gold, is one of the most beautiful rivers in Europe, and the journey upriver one of the most scenic routes on the continent.”
Recently another renowned publication, Travel Weekly wrote about what they called “a chic stay in Portugal wine country” suggesting places to see the Douro River beyond the cosmopolitan city of Porto and where food and wine compete with the astonishing views of the Douro valley for the first place in travellers minds. Like many travellers do, the reports stayed at a property that besides producing their own wine, also offer a luxury stay and great food. And they describe Quinta Nova Luxury Winery House, as “(…)an oasis of flat turf where guests could amble between indoor and outdoor public spaces, relax at the swimming pool and, most definitely, sample a fine dining experience — outdoors, weather permitting — built around fresh, local foods and wine made from the property’s own grapes.”
The exposure Douro is getting in the press is increasing the tourists’ curiosity for the region, making Porto and Douro a must see in 2016.
Yahoo Australia guide to visit Lisbon if you only have one day
Yahoo Australia’s reporter Gemma Nisbet was in Lisbon and wrote an article with the best spots for those travelling to the Portuguese capital for the first time. She called them the “abundant charms of historic Lisbon” as she went in a day trip through the city and its surroundings.
The day trip starts at Parque Eduardo VII, where travellers can appreciate some of the best views of Lisbon and the Tagus River. Descending towards the riverside, there is Avenida da Liberdade described as “(…) we’ve travelled down the leafy Avenida da Liberdade — opened as a public garden in 1886 and now an elegant thoroughfare lined with designer boutiques.” This avenue is in fact one of the most iconic places to see in Lisbon due to its luxury offering in century old restored buildings. By the riverside Yahoo reporter saw 25 de Abril Bridge that resembles San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. The Belem Tower and the Monument to the Discoveries are must see landmarks of the city and they symbolize the great era of the Portuguese Discoveries. The next stop is the Jeronimos Monastery, another mark of the Discoveries full of maritime ornaments and reminders of those times.
Parque Eduardo VII, Lisbon
When visiting Lisbon in a short trip it is important to visit another points of the area like Cascais and Sintra: two cities just a short drive (or train ride) from Lisbon. In Cascais the reporter visited the marina and the pier area where fishermen still fish and then headed to Sintra to visit its most famous spots: castles. Sintra has plenty of them. The National Palace was the first. What the journalist adds about Sintra is “(…) Looking over the multi-coloured buildings of the town, the gardens and trees, and the romantic remains of the Moorish castle crowning the hill, I can see why Lord Byron called Sintra a “glorious Eden” when he visited in 1809.”
The reporter was aware that the trip was short and compressed so that all the most beautiful spots were visited and she was accompanied by a tour guide that made sure all the most curious details about Lisbon and its monuments were conveyed.
To read more about the Yahoo Australia reporter trip to Lisbon, click here.