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A Comprehensive Guide about Living in Porto

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  • Gustavo De faz

    The quality of InterNations' members convinced me to join. And I've indeed received a very warm welcome from fellow Lisbon expats..

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Life in Porto

Culture and Leisure

Porto is seen by many as the cultural capital of Portugal, and was in 2001 named the joint European Capital of Culture with Rotterdam. As one of the oldest city centers in Europe, Porto was made a UNESCO Heritage site in 1996. Consequently, one of its main cultural attractions are its historic buildings, some of which, such as the famous Romanesque Cathedral, date back to the 15th century.

In addition, expatriates living in Porto can experience the city’s traditional cuisine and port wine at one of its many restaurants; it also has a buzzing nightlife with lots of bars and clubs open until late on the weekends.

The city also lots of public art, including Ângelo de Sousa’s Avenida da Boavista, and many art galleries and museums. Porto is famous for its music halls and concert venues, like the grand Coliseu do Porto and the São João National Theater, which host concerts, events, and plays throughout the year.

Living in Porto in the summer also gives you the chance to take part in one of its many festivals, including the historic São João Festival and the Queima das Fitas.

Healthcare in Porto

Portugal has an advanced, developed healthcare system with public and private options. Public healthcare is maintained and operated by the state’s Portuguese Serviço Nacional de Saúde (SNS), and is funded through taxes. An expatriate’s access to public healthcare whilst living in Porto is determined by both their country of origin and the status of their visa.

As an EU citizen, you have the right to use the state healthcare system free of charge, but there may be extra costs incurred for specialist procedures or treatments.

As an expatriate from a non-EU country, you will have to pay to access the public healthcare system, but the amount will depend on your country of origin and the treatment you require. However, once you have a residency permit, you will be able to apply for a National Health Service “user card”, which will give you access to healthcare as an expatriate living in Porto.

You can also take out private health insurance and use the private healthcare system should you wish.

Safety and Security in Porto

Porto is an extremely safe and welcoming city. While, like any other major city, it does have a medium rate of petty and street crime, incidences of violent and serious crime are few and far between.

However, as an expatriate living in Porto you should keep your wits about you, especially when using public transport and in crowed tourist areas, as pick pocketing is not uncommon. It is a good idea to keep your passport, wallet and other valuable possessions secured in a bag that cannot be opened easily. However, you needn’t take any more precautions than you normally would in any other major European city.

In general the people of the city are very friendly towards expatriates living in Porto, and will help you if you are in need. Should you require it, the emergency police number is 112.

May 26, 2024, 9:30 AM
26 attendees
Join us for a Hiking Day to explore the North of Portugal border to Spain, from Caminha to Guarda The itinerary is Caminha-Guarda (19km), which also includes part of Santiago's walk along the coast w
Jun 2, 2024, 10:30 AM
17 attendees
A unique experience where you can contemplate a beautiful landscape from a different perspective, the kayak! Day trip, the itinerary is Melres - Crestuma (12km) Program: 9h30 - Meeting point – Cam
Jun 7, 2024, 3:00 PM
8 attendees
Come enjoy an afternoon ceramics workshop! Learn how to work with the clay, shaping it into an object of your own. What you make is up to you -- make a dish or cup, a decorative object, or anything yo
Jun 22, 2024, 5:00 PM
5 attendees
Do you know that you can build a booklet just using one piece of paper? Come to learn how to build a Fanzine, using just paper, glue and your imagination!! This is a technique with more than a cent

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  • Gustavo De faz

    The quality of InterNations' members convinced me to join. And I've indeed received a very warm welcome from fellow Lisbon expats..

  • Melanie S. Hamann

    InterNations Events in Lisbon are great - I love the rightfully popular events organized by our friendly Ambassador team.

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