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  • Writer's pictureAlejandra Bernard

Swap Your Swiss Alps for Portugal's Beaches: A Guide to Moving from Switzerland to Portugal

Updated: Dec 13, 2023

Are you dreaming of trading your Swiss Alps for Portugal's beaches? If so, you're not alone. More and more Swiss people are choosing to move to Portugal, thanks to its warm climate, low cost of living, and relaxed way of life.

Swiss Alps describing the blog post Moving from Switzerland to Portugal offered by the real estate buyers agent Lagos Homes in the Algarve

1. Moving from Switzerland to Portugal

Welcome to Lagos Homes! In our latest blog post, we delve into an exciting topic for those contemplating a lifestyle change: Moving from Switzerland to Portugal. Discover the unique aspects of this cross-border transition, from cultural differences to practical tips for a seamless move. We explore the allure of Portugal, and its quality of life, and share valuable insights for those embarking on the journey to experience Portugal's stunning coastlines, warm hospitality, and cultural diversity. Join us as we embark on the thrilling journey from Switzerland to Portugal!

2. Why move to Portugal?

Deciding to move to a new country is a significant step, and for Swiss citizens eyeing Portugal as their potential destination, there are several compelling reasons to embark on this exciting journey.

Old Town Portugal describing the blog post Moving from Switzerland to Portugal offered by the real estate buyers agent Lagos Homes in the Algarve

1. Lower Cost of Living: One of the primary attractions is the significantly lower cost of living in Portugal compared to Switzerland. With expenses in Portugal often being up to 4 times less, you can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle without straining your budget.

2. Warmer Climate: Bid farewell to the cold winters of Switzerland and embrace Portugal's inviting Mediterranean climate. Enjoy warm summers and mild winters, fostering a more temperate and pleasant environment year-round.

3. Relaxed Way of Life: The renowned Portuguese easygoing and laid-back approach to life aligns seamlessly with the Swiss lifestyle. Embrace a more relaxed pace, surrounded by a culture that appreciates the beauty of taking things easy.

4. Beautiful Beaches and Countryside: Portugal boasts some of the world's most enchanting beaches, offering a breathtaking backdrop for those seeking coastal living. Beyond the shores, explore the diverse countryside, adorned with picturesque mountains, valleys, and vineyards.

5. Excellent Healthcare and School System: Portugal takes pride in its robust healthcare system, accessible and free for residents. Additionally, the country provides private healthcare options for those seeking specialized services. The education system is equally noteworthy, with quality schools available for both residents and expatriates.

Embarking on a move to Portugal opens the door to a lifestyle rich in cultural experiences, natural beauty, and the warmth of Mediterranean living. Whether drawn to the allure of coastal living, a more affordable lifestyle, or the relaxed Portuguese way of life, the reasons to make Portugal your new home are as diverse as the country itself. Join us as we delve deeper into the intricacies and delights of this cross-cultural journey!

3. What are the entry requirements for Swiss citizens?

Embarking on the journey to make Portugal your new home as a Swiss citizen comes with the advantage of the Schengen Agreement, streamlining the relocation process. This agreement extends its benefits to citizens of the EU, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein, offering seamless entry into Portugal without the necessity of obtaining a visa.

For Swiss expats eager to embrace the Portuguese lifestyle, the key entry requirements are notably straightforward. Armed with either a valid identity card or a passport, you can navigate the transition effortlessly. This simplicity not only alleviates potential bureaucratic hurdles but also ensures a hassle-free and smooth relocation experience.

4. Best Locations for Swiss Expats in Portugal

Choosing the perfect place to call home is a crucial decision, and for Swiss expats looking to settle in Portugal, the options are as diverse as the country itself. While Portugal overall offers an exceptional living experience, there are a few standout locations that have become particularly favored among Swiss expatriates. Let's dive into these enticing destinations:

Aerial view of Porto describing the blog post Moving from Switzerland to Portugal offered by the real estate buyers agent Lagos Homes in the Algarve

1. Lisbon: As the capital of Portugal, Lisbon stands out as a vibrant city offering a rich tapestry of history, museums, and an eclectic culinary scene. This bustling metropolis provides a dynamic backdrop for expats seeking a cosmopolitan lifestyle.

2. Porto: Known as Portugal's second-largest city, Porto captivates with its charm and is renowned for its port wine production. The city boasts a beautiful old town, making it an enchanting choice for those who appreciate historical surroundings.

3. Algarve: Situated in southern Portugal, the Algarve region is celebrated for its breathtaking beaches and world-class golf courses. While a popular tourist destination, it also attracts Swiss expats seeking a year-round haven. Be sure to explore our Algarve Guide for a more in-depth look at this appealing region.

4. Douro Valley: Nestled in northern Portugal, the Douro Valley is synonymous with wine production. The area unfolds with picturesque landscapes of rolling hills and vineyards, creating an idyllic setting for those desiring a tranquil and scenic lifestyle.

Whether drawn to the urban energy of Lisbon, the historical allure of Porto, the coastal beauty of the Algarve, or the serene landscapes of Douro Valley, each of these destinations offers a unique blend of experiences for Swiss expats. Join us as we delve deeper into the distinctive charms and considerations of these top picks, guiding you toward the perfect place to create your Portuguese haven.

5. Adjusting to life in Portugal

Woman in Lisbon looking at Tram describing the blog post Moving from Switzerland to Portugal offered by the real estate buyers agent Lagos Homes in the Algarve

Embarking on the adventure of moving to a new country, such as Portugal, brings both challenges and exciting opportunities. As you prepare for this transformative journey from Switzerland to Portugal, consider these helpful tips to ease your adjustment and make the most of your experience:

1. Learn Portuguese: Embracing the local language is key to integrating into Portuguese society. While English may suffice in many areas initially, investing time in learning Portuguese will enhance your interactions, deepen connections, and enrich your overall experience.

2. Engage in the Community: Portugal boasts vibrant expat communities, facilitated through various clubs and Facebook groups. Joining these communities provides an excellent avenue to connect with fellow expats, share experiences, and build a supportive network of friends. Embracing the local community will contribute significantly to your sense of belonging.

3. Exercise Patience: Adjusting to a new culture is a gradual process, and patience is paramount. It's entirely normal not to feel entirely at home right away. Give yourself the time to acclimate, explore, and embrace the nuances of Portuguese life. With time, you'll find yourself settling in and savoring the unique charms of your new surroundings.

4. Explore the Beauty of Portugal: Moving from Switzerland to Portugal opens the door to a country renowned for its stunning landscapes, from picturesque beaches to enchanting villages. Take the opportunity to explore and appreciate the diverse beauty that Portugal has to offer.

As you contemplate this significant move, thorough research and careful planning will be valuable companions. Portugal's allure lies not just in its landscapes but also in its warm culture and welcoming communities. Prepare for a rewarding journey as you transition from Switzerland to Portugal, and savor the richness of this newfound chapter in your life.

6. Useful Links

Lagos Homes is your reliable partner for all your real estate needs in Portugal. We go beyond helping you find your dream property, offering expert guidance across all aspects. Do you have any inquiries before embarking on your real estate journey? Feel free to contact us now!

Lagos Homes banner showing Dona Ana Beach describing the blog post Moving from Switzerland to Portugal offered by the real estate buyers agent Lagos Homes in the Algarve


7. Meet Swiss Expat Timur

Timur is an international entrepreneur. He moved from Switzerland to Portugal under the Global Talent Programme. Timur lives in one of Lisbon's central neighborhoods near the local landmark Campo Pequeno. Find out why he chose Lisbon, if there is a difference in cost and quality of life between Switzerland and Portugal, and how easy it is to get a residence permit and move to this country.

8. FAQ

What is the cost of living difference between Switzerland and Portugal?

The cost of living in Portugal is generally lower compared to Switzerland, with expenses often up to four times less. This significant difference allows for a comfortable lifestyle without straining your budget.

How do I register my car in Portugal as a Swiss expat?

What are the residency requirements for Swiss citizens moving to Portugal?


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