What expats say living in Lisbon is really like

Jun 16, 2023

If you really want to know what life is like in Lisbon, expats say what it is really like. The Portuguese capital has a very high ranking in the Expat City Ranking of 2022. Quality of life and finances seems to work well for the city. Let’s see the details.

Quality of life in Lisbon

In the 2022 Expat Cities Ranking, Lisbon ranks 4th out of 50 cities. This means that it is one of the happiest cities for expats living abroad (86% satisfaction vs. 71% worldwide). Only expats in Valencia are happier.

It is also one of the highest-ranked cities in the quality of life index, in fifth place. 98% of expats are satisfied with the climate and weather compared to 62% globally, putting the city at the top of the list in this regard.

In fact, 17% of people who moved to the Portuguese capital for a better quality of life, are not disappointed, compared to 7% globally.

87% versus 67% globally of expats also appreciate culture and nightlife, along with opportunities for recreational sports (94% versus 81% globally). Additionally, 94% of people feel safe in Lisbon, against. 81% globally. They also find it easy to walk or cycle (93% vs. 77% globally).

Settling in Lisbon

Lisbon also ranks fifth in the ease of living index, scoring particularly well in the subcategories for local friendliness in fourth place, and second in culture and welcome.

In fact, 82% of expats describe locals as generally friendly, gong against the global average of 66%. They also find it easy to adapt to the local culture, and are satisfied with their social life.

Finally, Lisbon also ranks fifth in the Personal Finance Index, largely due to expats’ high satisfaction with the cost of living (69% versus 45% globally).

Career in Lisbon

Even though the quality of life in Lisbon is highly ranked, along with living in the city, when it comes to career paths this starts to change. Only 71% say their household disposable income is sufficient or more than sufficient to live comfortably, which is in line with the world average of 72%.

This may have something to do with the fact that 27% of expats in Lisbon believe that their jobs are paid unfairly based on their industry, qualifications, and role, different from the 20% global average.

Additionally, the city ranks only 44th in the Salary and Job Security subcategory due to their negative attitude toward the state of the local economy (25% vs. 17% globally).

Furthermore, 28% felt that moving to Lisbon would not improve their career prospects, while the global average is 18%. With this factor, the city ranks second last in the world, just ahead of Valencia.

However, Lisbon still ranks 36th in the Work Abroad Index thanks to the Work & Leisure subcategory, where it gets the ninth place). 72% still feel positive about their work-life balance (compared to 62% globally).

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