Living and working in Portugal

Explore the opportunity to work and live in Portugal. A guide for European workers in Portugal.

Working in Portugal

Working in Portugal

Population: 10.3 million
Location: southwestern Europe, on the Iberian Peninsula
Capital: Lisbon
Language: Portuguese
Currency: Euro

Portugal has become a popular destination for those seeking sunshine, beaches, and relaxation. Whether it's for professional or personal growth or simply for adventure, many people choose to live and work in Portugal. But what are the reasons behind this choice?

European language jobs in Portugal

Why working in Portugal?

Portugal is a stunning country with a warm culture and a rich history that many people find attractive for employment abroad.

  • Cultural attraction of Portugal: The varied and vibrant culture of Portugal is particularly appealing to many Europeans. With its picturesque coastal towns, historic villages, impressive castles and fortresses, and delicious Portuguese cuisine, there is much to discover and enjoy in Portugal.
  • Working conditions in Portugal compared to the rest of Europe: Compared to Germany, employees in Portugal tend to have longer breaks and a more relaxed work style. Work-life balance is also highly valued in Portugal, which is an important factor for many.
  • Advantages of international work experience for one's career: Working abroad is a valuable experience that gives a boost to one's career! Employers appreciate the ability to work in different cultures and work environments and bring experiences from other countries. Why not gain this experience in Portugal?

Job Market in Portugal

The Portuguese job market is generally competitive and offers good employment opportunities in various sectors. Many international companies, especially in the service industry, have established themselves in Portugal. This has created new job opportunities for international employees, especially jobs for Germans.

  • Jobs for Europeans in Portugal: There are various sectors in which Europeans have good employment opportunities in Portugal. These include, for example, the tourism industry, IT and technology companies, banks and financial service providers, and the service industry. For many jobs, the employer often offers a relocation package to make the start in the new country as easy as possible.
  • Salaries in Portugal compared to Germany: Compared to Germany, salaries in Portugal are typically lower. Nevertheless, the cost of living in Portugal is usually cheaper than in Germany, so it is very comfortable to live with a Portuguese salary. The average salary is 800-1,400€ per month.

Working in Portugal: Taxes

In Portugal, income tax (IRS) is designed to be progressive, meaning higher incomes pay higher tax rates. The current tax rates for the tax year 2023 (for income earned in 2022) are as follows:

  • Up to 7,112 euros: 14.5%
  • Over 7,112 euros up to 10,732 euros: 23%
  • Over 10,732 euros up to 20,322 euros: 28.5%
  • Over 20,322 euros up to 25,075 euros: 35%
  • Over 25,075 euros up to 36,967 euros: 37%
  • Over 36,967 euros up to 80,882 euros: 45%
  • Over 80,882 euros: 48%

Working Conditions and Rights in Portugal

As an EU citizen, you have the right to work in Portugal without needing to apply for a work permit or visa. Portugal is a member of the European Union and therefore subject to the common rules and regulations of EU labor law.

To work in Portugal, you must first register with the Portuguese authorities. You will need to apply for a tax number (NIF) and a social security number (NISS), as these numbers are required to work legally in Portugal and pay taxes.

As an EU citizen, you have the same rights as Portuguese nationals. This means that you are entitled to the minimum wage, minimum vacation time, and other labor law provisions.

Working conditions in Portugal are generally good and largely comply with EU standards. Portugal has experienced significant economic improvement in recent years, which is reflected in the labor market. The unemployment rate has decreased while the employment rate has increased.

Working in Portugal

In Portugal, the standard work week is usually 40 hours spread over 5 workdays. Additionally, Portugal has one of the highest numbers of national holidays in Europe with 13 holidays per year. Workers also receive a minimum of 22 vacation days.

Job search in Portugal

Job searching in Portugal can be a challenge for non-Portuguese speakers. Here are some tips on how to find a job in Portugal:

There are various ways to find a job in Portugal. Job portals such as "Net Emprego" and "Indeed" are a good way to search for job ads in Portugal. Networking is also important as many jobs in Portugal are not advertised and can only be found through contacts. If you would like to work in the  service sector, you can find job offers in Portugal on our website.

There are also recruitment companies that can help with job search in Portugal. For example, GoJOBBEN supports Europeans in finding a job in Portugal. We provide support for applications and make contacts with companies looking for Native-speaking employees. This is a complete package, including company accommodation, flights to Portugal, and assistance with planning. You can find current jobs for Europeans in Portugal on our website.

Working in Portugal

Living in Portugal

Portugal offers a wide range of housing options, from modern apartments to traditional houses. Rental and property prices in Portugal are much lower compared to Germany, making it an attractive option for those who want to live in Europe but avoid high living costs.

Popular neighborhoods and areas to live in Portugal include the historic center of Lisbon, the neighborhood of Baixa, Cascais, and Porto. These neighborhoods not only offer excellent infrastructure but also a unique charm and vibrant atmosphere.

Cost of living in Portugal

The cost of living in Portugal is generally lower compared to Germany. Prices for food, accommodation, and transportation are generally cheaper than in Germany, making life in Portugal more affordable than at home.

Comparison of food prices between Portugal and Germany

FoodPrice in PortugalPrice in Germany
Milk (1L)0,60 €1,03 €
Bread (500g)0,80 €1,30 €
Eggs (12)1,60 €2,09 €
Rice (1kg)0,75 €1,29 €
Tomatoes (1kg)1,00 €1,99 €
Oranges (1kg)0,70 €1,49 €
Chicken breast (1kg)6,00 €8,40 €
Codfish (1kg)9,00 €13,50 €
Working in Portugal

Transportation in Portugal

Portugal offers a variety of transportation options that make it easy to get from one place to another. Whether you're in the city or the countryside, there is always a suitable option.

Public transport in Portugal includes buses, subways, and trams, as most cities have a good public transport network that is regular and reliable. Tickets are inexpensive, and the transportation options also provide good connections to the surrounding areas. For example, the bus is the cheapest public transport option. But the high-speed train, which runs between Porto and Lisbon, costs only between 40 - 50€.

Taxis are also a popular option, especially for short distances in the city. Taxis in Portugal are cheaper than in many other European countries, and most taxis have meters to calculate the fare. Popular taxi apps like Uber are also active in Portugal.

If you want to explore the country on your own, the best option is a rental car. Car rental in Portugal is easy and straightforward, and there are hundreds of options to choose from.

Bicycle and pedestrian traffic in Portugal are also well-developed, making it easy to explore the city while staying fit.

Culture in Portugal

Portugal's culture is unique, particularly due to its location by the sea and its associated maritime history. From historical landmarks to lively festivals, there is a lot to discover in Portugal.

Cultural landmarks and activities in Portugal include monuments, museums, theaters, and music events. Some of the most famous landmarks are:

  • the Jerónimos Monastery
  • the Belém Tower in Lisbon
  • the Roman Ruins in Conímbriga
  • the Joanina Library in Coimbra
  • Évora (historical Roman city)

Portuguese traditions and holidays are an important part of the country's culture. With 13 national holidays, Portugal ranks very high in comparison to other European countries:

  1. New Year's Day (January 1)
  2. Good Friday (varies each year)
  3. Easter (varies each year)
  4. Freedom Day (April 25)
  5. Labor Day (May 1)
  6. Ascension Day (varies each year)
  7. Portugal Day (June 10)
  8. Corpus Christi (varies each year)
  9. Assumption Day (August 15)
  10. Republic Day (October 5)
  11. All Saints' Day (November 1)
  12. Restoration of Independence (December 1)
  13. Christmas (December 25)
Working in Portugal

Climate in Portugal

The climate in Portugal is determined by Atlantic and Mediterranean influences, with temperatures varying by region and season.

In summer, Portugal can get very hot, especially in the southern regions such as the Algarve and the Lisbon region. Temperatures can rise up to 40 degrees Celsius and it can get very dry. The northern regions such as Porto and the Douro region are slightly cooler and more humid.

In winter, the climate in Portugal is mild, but it can also be very rainy. The southern regions generally remain slightly warmer than the northern regions. In the higher elevations of the Serra da Estrela, it can also snow in winter.

Lisbon and Porto are two of Portugal's most famous cities and have different hours of sunshine. In summer, Lisbon has about 11 hours of sunshine per day, while Porto has about 9 hours of sunshine. In winter, the hours of sunshine in both cities are slightly lower, with Lisbon still having slightly more hours of sunshine than Porto.

Nightlife in Portugal

A vibrant nightlife that varies from city to city. From cozy bars to bustling nightclubs, that's Portugal's nightlife.
Popular bars, clubs, and nightclubs in Portugal are often located in historic buildings or on the beaches.

In Lisbon, for example, you'll find some of the best nightclubs in Portugal, including Lux Fragil, a trendy club known for its electronic music and unique riverside location.

In Porto, there are many trendy bars and clubs, including Plano B, known for its indie music and cool ambiance.

Nightlife in Portugal is also popular in other cities such as Faro, Lagos, and Albufeira. These cities are characterized by a lively bar and club scene, mainly concentrated in tourist areas.

In addition to bars, cafes, and nightclubs, Portugal is especially popular in summer for its music festivals, which are expanding from year to year. From rock and pop festivals to jazz and world music events, there is something for every taste. Here are some of the most famous music festivals in Portugal:

  • NOS Alive: This rock and pop festival takes place every year in July in Lisbon and attracts some of the biggest international acts. In recent years, artists such as Pearl Jam, Arctic Monkeys, and Radiohead have performed.
  • Super Bock Super Rock: Another rock and pop festival that also takes place in Lisbon. The stages are slightly smaller than at NOS Alive, but the acts like Foo Fighters and Chemical Brothers are all the more impressive.
  • MEO Sudoeste: This festival takes place every year in August on the Alentejo coast and has a mix of electronic and pop music. Artists such as Martin Garrix and Lil Wayne have also performed here.
  • Boom Festival: An electronic music festival that takes place every two years near Idanha-a-Nova. Friends of art, yoga, and workshops will particularly get their money's worth here.
  • FMM Sines: This festival in Sines focuses on music from all over the world and takes place every year in July. The artists are accordingly international.

Activities in Portugal

The warm beaches, historic cities, and picturesque villages make Portugal one of the most popular travel destinations in Europe. But not only for tourists, Portugal has a lot to offer - the country is also a fantastic place to live. One of the best things about Portugal is the variety of activities it offers. Whether culture, sports, nature, or just relaxation, there is always something to do:

  1. Relaxing on the beaches: Portugal has many beautiful beaches along the Atlantic coast. The most famous ones are in the Algarve, but there are also many other great beaches along the coast, such as in the Lisbon region or in the Costa Verde in the north of Portugal.
  2. Discover cities: Many fascinating cities such as Lisbon, Porto, and Faro are located in Portugal. These cities offer a rich history, fascinating architecture, and delicious food.
  3. Picturesque wine regions: Portugal has some of the best wine regions in Europe, such as the Douro Valley or the Alentejo region. Take wine tastings and enjoy the local cuisine!
  4. Relaxing nature parks: The breathtaking nature parks such as the Peneda-Gerês National Park or the Ria Formosa Natural Park are like balm for the soul. Here, you can hike, cycle, or kayak.
  5. Islands: Portugal also has some beautiful islands, such as the Azores or Madeira. If you like diving, swimming, or hiking, this is the right place for you!
  6. Historical sites: Portugal's history is rich in historical sites, such as the Jeronimos Monastery or the Sao Jorge Castle. These sites are not only beautiful to look at but also an important part of Portuguese history.

Eating in Portugal

Portuguese cuisine is famous for its fresh ingredients and delicious dishes, often coming from the sea or the countryside. There are many unique and traditional dishes that one should try in Portugal.

Some of the most popular Portuguese dishes are

  • Bacalhau (codfish)
  • Cozido (stew-like dish)
  • Cataplana (seafood stew) and
  • Arroz de Tamboril (monkfish rice)
Working in Portugal

But perhaps the most famous Portuguese dish is a dessert called "Pastéis de Nata". This is a small puff pastry tart with a custard of egg yolks and sugar.

All of these dishes can be enjoyed at the many restaurants and cafes throughout Portugal. Prices vary depending on the location and level of the restaurant, but in general, prices in Portugal are quite affordable compared to other European countries.

If you prefer to cook Portugal's national dishes yourself, you will find many lively markets and supermarkets in Portugal where you can buy fresh ingredients and local products. Some of the most well-known markets in Portugal are the Mercado da Ribeira in Lisbon and the Bolhão Market in Porto.

Frequently Asked Questions about working in Portugal

Where can I work in Portugal?

If you want to work in Portugal, you’ll mainly find jobs in Lisbon. Some jobs are also offered in Porto.

How can I find a job in Portugal?

You can find current jobs in Portugal on our website. These are European language jobs in Portugal. However, you can also look at the usual Portuguese job boards.

Can I work from home in Portugal?

For some jobs, we do offer the option to work fully remote in Portugal.

For other jobs, we offer you hybrid solutions, where you work 50% from home and 50% in the office.

In the specific job description on the vacancy you will find more information.

How long can I work in Portugal?

As an EU citizen, you can work in Portugal for as long as you like. Our jobs in Portugal require a minimum duration of 12 months, with the option for contract extension.

Life can’t be planned too far ahead. Of course, you can also terminate your contract (which we hope not) if your plans change.

Which language skills are particularly important for working in Portugal?

We exclusively offer European language jobs in Portugal. Portuguese skills are not required but can be very helpful, especially if you want to interact with locals.

Additionally, you should have an average level of English proficiency, as you will also need to communicate with your international colleagues.

What options are there for accommodation while working in Portugal?

You have the option to stay in company-provided accommodation. This option is optional and therefore not mandatory. For example, you can live in the company accommodation for only the first few months and then look for your own apartment after some time. Whatever suits you 🙂

Do you only offer jobs in Portugal?

No, because with us you can also find jobs in Greece and jobs in Spain!

What kind of jobs do you offer in Portugal?

With us, you’ll find jobs in Portugal in the fields of customer service, technical support, sales, and marketing. Just check out all the jobs in Portugal and apply for your favorite one 🙂