New to Portugal possibly. Accommodations and location help needed.

Hello My husband and I just retired and we would like to spend a few years out of the US. I am well below the retirement age but my husband is a bit older so we are thinking of taking off for maybe 3 years and seeing the world. We do have a budget and don't have need to live on the expensive side at all. Our son is in a band and they played a European tour twice and he loved Portugal. They were in Lisbon and Porto.

My first question is when is the best time to stay in Portugal and where. We love the water so that is a big  plus. We need to know if it is possible to rent a room somewhere for maybe a few months at a time or even a month at a time as we may be moving around. I know we are limited to 90 days so we need to plan wisely.

We also do not want to rent a car so being able to stay in a place where there is good public transportation would be wonderful. We do not speak the language but will try and learn some before we take off.

We are also looking at other safe affordable places to spend our time. We are looking at Vietnam as well because of the cost of living but the quality of life there has me wondering how long we want to stay.

We would appreciate any helpful information about Portugal and spending time there and where to go and best affordable types of lodging. Thank you for any help. We are hoping to take off here in a few months and check out some places like Vietnam but maybe Portugal as well. 

Our son could not say enough nice things about it even though the time was brief. Thank you again!

Hello Wendymcase64 and welcome on board :cheers:

While waiting for members to revert back with some tips, I invite you to read our articles in the Living in Portugal guide which might prove really helpful.



The best time to stay in Portugal will probably be in the Spring or Summer.

If you prefer a place near the sea with good transportation, you may want to consider the Estoril and Cascais area.

Hope this was helpfull.

Hello Thank you very much. What do you think of Porto? Would that be a good place for a US couple to stay a month or two? Again looking at affordable and also good public transportation. Thank you. Checking out the 2 places you mentioned as well.

Hello again,

Oporto is a lovely city and I love to go there as often as I can, but it is, however, entirely different from the Lisbon (South) area (Cascais and Estoril included). The weather is different and the whole colours and feeling of the city are also very different. It all depends on what you are looking for: a mediterranean type of city (Lisbon) or something entirely different (Oporto).


Hi Rafael,
Hope its okay to pick your brain a bit. Is there a difference in mentality between the north and south of Portugal? And would you say that it would be easier to adjust as a foreigner in a city like Lisbon compared to Porto?

Hmm any specifics on Oporto? Besides weather? I can google that I am sure. I think Lisbon would be expensive even for the max 90 day stay. Any idea on how I can find out more about it? I have been to parts of Europe but can't relate as how it is to live over seas so any specifics would be great. Again we don't want to have to rely on a car so that is a biggie and cost of living such as a rental and food. Thank you all again for any additional help.

Yes would love to know more of what the difference is between the North and South and what would be easier for someone from the US to be able to fit in.
Thank you again

Portugal is amazing.  I do find there is quite a difference between the North and the South of PT. I am biased and prefer the North for so many reasons. It's cheaper ( = more value in so many aspects as a consumer) and better quality/value in gastronomy, etc, strong Portuguese (but friendlier) culture, amazing mountain terrain and beautiful coast with cooler waters but better winds (I'm a kitesurfer).
I used to live here (Oporto area) from 2006-2010 and now I'm back as of this week. Oporto is an amazing city and in the past ~10years it has become recognized as a top destination for tourists and alike. Why? IMO, the area is still SO GENUINE (not so commercialized as many areas in the South) in regards to it's past culture and customs. I find quality and value (foremost) are fortunately still stuck in the North's strong culture. In many areas of the South, and I am generalizing, I find it to be a lot more touristy, commercialized, relatively more expensive and just too damn hot at times.
The food here is incredible and the people of the North are too.

Thank you! Great info!

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