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Living in Portugal for 3 Months: How to Do it & Where to Live

If you’re thinking about living in Portugal for three months, that’s awesome; it’s a beautiful country filled with amazing people! However, it can be daunting to move to another country, even just for three months!

Don’t worry, I’ve got your back with this guide on how to move to Portugal for three months and where you can live.

Let’s dive in and find out more.

Using the Schengen Pass

It’s probably one of the easiest and most common ways to live in Portugal for three months. Portugal is part of the Schengen zone, so you can visit and travel around Portugal for up to 90 days out of a 180-day period.

It’s super important that it’s 90 days rather than three months, so if you have a couple of months that are 31 days long, you need to get out of the Schengen zone before your 90-day allowance runs out! This means that you can’t just hop the border into Spain because it’s also in the Schengen zone, so you’ll have already used up your allowance.

If you’re living in Portugal on a Schengen pass, you can’t legally work. In order to work during your three-month stay, you need to apply for a work visa instead, which takes a bit of time and money to apply for!

If You’re an EU Citizen

Lucky you if you’re an EU citizen, as you can live and work in Portugal legally as someone from a fellow EU state. This is a super easy process compared to any other live abroad visa or permit and gives you the financial comfort blanket of being able to legally work in Portugal during your three-month stay. 

Digital Nomadism

Portugal was one of the first countries to announce its digital nomad visa, and it has one of the lowest income requirements in Western Europe. You need to be earning a monthly income of €2,820 and have at least €2,820 in savings if you’re moving to Portugal with a partner.

man sitting in a sofa while using his laptop

This pass lasts for up to 12 months, so if you decide to extend your three-month stay in Portugal, you have some flexibility here. It’s important to note that you need to apply for this permit at least a few months in advance, as it is a visa and is subject to all the normal red tape!

Budgeting

Unless you’re planning on getting a visa or permit that allows you to work in Portugal for those three months, you need to start saving and budgeting.

Although Portugal has one of the lowest costs of living anywhere in Europe, you still need to budget for things like rent, utilities, food costs, excursions, transport, and more. It definitely adds up quickly!

Rents in the capital, Lisbon, can range from 700 to 2,200 Euros a month without bills, so you need to be careful about the areas and cities that you choose to live in. That being said, rent can be as low as 430 Euros per month in Portugal, so compared to other European nations, rents are super low.

In order to rent, you’re going to need a month’s rent in advance as well as a deposit, but honestly, three-month-long leases are rare. It’s more likely that you’ll be staying in a houseshare, hostel, or Airbnb because of the short amount of time.

Realistically, you’ll want to save or budget for around 1500 Euros a month, potentially 2000+ if you’re living in Lisbon. This doesn’t include your flights to and from Portugal, so remember to add that to your calculations.

When you can’t work abroad, you need to save a pretty huge amount and make sure you have a good contingency fund ready for any emergencies!

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Temp Jobs 

If the idea of saving up thousands of euros for three months in Portugal fills you with dread, check out temporary job agencies. A lot of temp agencies will be able to match you with jobs that come with short-term working visas. 

You can get seasonal gigs, especially in the summer resorts on the Algarve or in surf camps up and down the Portuguese coast. Sometimes, this can also come with accommodation, which can save you a ton of money along the way.

Just remember that if you’re planning on getting a temp job or want to participate in some kind of Workaway where money is changing hands, you need to have a valid work visa. If you’re working for just food and board, you should be fine to live on a Schengen visa, as it’s classified as “volunteer work”.

Workaway

Speaking of Workaway, you can absolutely join a Workaway program for up to 90 days on a Schengen pass as long as you’re not being paid. This might sound weird, but the vast majority of Workaways don’t pay money but allow you to have free accommodation in return for a few hours of work each day.

This is a great way to live in another country without needing a work visa and without having to spend a ton of money on accommodations. Realistically, rent and accommodation costs take up the majority of our travel budgets, so this can be a huge weight off your shoulders. 

Where to Live

Now that we know about how we can legally live in Portugal for three months as well as some ways to make and save money along the way, let’s check out some of the places that you might be living!

Lisbon

Let’s start things off with the Portuguese capital, Lisbon. Known for its foodie scene, amazing beaches, and those iconic yellow trams.

a tram on the road

The twisty streets are full of world-class architecture, historic castles and buildings, and a ton of hidden bars and restaurants. After all, there’s a reason why it’s one of the most popular city breaks in Europe!

Over the past few years, Lisbon has become super popular with digital nomads because there are a ton of co-working and co-living spaces, as well as relatively low rents (considering it’s a Western European capital!).

Rents can run anywhere from 700-2,200 euros a month, so there is a huge range of properties that you can look at depending on your budget and how many people you’re traveling with. If you’re traveling solo, there are also a ton of opportunities to meet other expats and travelers.

Porto

Portugal’s second city, Porto, is a lot more chilled out and doesn’t have as many clubs and interrailers coming and going all the time. If you’re a more relaxed traveler who likes to explore a museum or monastery and then sit in a cafe with a huge glass of local wine and a pasteis de natas or three, then Porto is going to be great for you.

Located in the north of the country, Porto has a huge medieval vibe that transports you back to another world. If you’re on a budget and still want a big city atmosphere, Porto can be an affordable alternative, with average rents ranging from 650 to 1,800 euros each month.

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Lagos

Lagos is a super cool place to visit and live for three months if you want a really relaxing beach town vibe. Located on the Algarve in the south of Portugal, Lagos has a ton of expats thanks to the number of surf schools and yoga studios in the area.

It’s a common destination for retreats, so if you’re looking for a Workaway situation in the sunshine, this is a really great option.

As you’re surrounded by world-class beaches, amazing coves, and awesome coastal hiking trails, there is a bit of a premium for living in Lagos. There are also not as many places to rent as there are in big cities like Porto or Lisbon, as it is a small town.

On average, rent can be anywhere from 760-1,900 euros per month, which is a little bit more than Porto but less than Lisbon.

Coimbra

If you’re looking for a super affordable Portuguese city to live in for three months, look no further than the university city of Coimbra. Located on the riverfront, it’s got a very academic and student vibe.

There’s a mix of historic architecture and attractions with a younger, student-age scene, which means that there are always plenty of cheap bars, restaurants, and clubs to check out.

Rents in Coimbra are honestly ridiculously low. The average range is 430-1000 euros a month. You can barely even get a room in London for the top-end rents in Coimbra!

So, if you don’t want to work while you’re in Portugal and are relying on your savings, maybe check out the beautiful city of Coimbra!

Braga

If you want to live in the far north of Portugal, right on the border with Spain, you’ll want to hit up the city of Braga. It’s a mix of Roman architecture and lots of churches thanks to its religious history, as well as a bustling university center filled with students and a more youthful vibe.

buildings with people walking outside

Realistically, Braga is the best of both worlds, but it’s often overlooked in favor of Coimbra or Porto. Unlike Coimbra, Braga does have a beach and boardwalk, but as it’s in the far north, it’s often super windy and cold!

Finally, Braga is a very affordable city. It’s a small city, so it’s easy to walk around, which saves money on public transport and taxis, and the rent is also ridiculously low.

Average rents are between 500 and 1000 euros per month without utilities, which is incredible, especially if you don’t have a work visa for your three-month stay. 

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Can You Live in Portugal for Three Months?

Simply put, yes, you can easily live in Portugal for three months. With reasonable living costs and rents, Portugal is the perfect place in Europe to live for a few months without having to sort out work visas.

If you do need to work during your three-month stay in Portugal, you can find plenty of amazing Workaways, temp jobs in summer resort towns, and even digital nomad visas. So, sit back, get planning and you’ll be enjoying a glass of Douro region wine and a ton of fresh seafood in no time!

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