Lifestyles in Portugal

portuguese lifestyle
Updated 2021-09-24 15:12

Moving to a new country definitely means discovering a new culture and history, as well as a new lifestyle. You may find many familiar ways of life in Portugal, but there may be some differences also. Here's an introduction to the Portuguese way of life.

Punctuality and time in Portugal

Punctuality and time in Portugal may differ from your home country. It is not seen as impolite to arrive later than scheduled, and get-togethers may be scheduled vaguely, such as 'in the afternoon', rather than by a specific time. However, if someone is running more than 30 minutes late for an event or meeting, it is respectful to contact your host to let them know. Try to be observant and learn to understand their daily pace of life.

Time is generally kept via the 24-hour clock, so keep this in mind when scheduling meetings or appointments.

Portuguese culture

Understanding Portuguese culture will definitely help you fit in with your new country. Portuguese families love receiving guests and when tourists visit their cities or villages, they love to learn more about them. This can be a great way to ask questions, meet new people, and gain an understanding of traditions in Portugal.

When invited to someone's home, it is nice to bring a small gift, such as wine, flowers, or something sweet. If you've been invited over for dinner, try to arrive on time, despite the relaxed attitudes towards time in the country. Dinner in Portugal is often served around 7-8 pm, and lunch is taken between 12-3 pm.

The Portuguese are famous for their open-mindedness. You will find them friendly and welcoming, and learning some of the local language will go a long way to help relate to locals.

In fact, enrolling in a language class can be a great way to meet new people and learn more about Portugal.

Good to know:

Unlike in neighbouring Spain, Portugal does not generally have the siesta culture- this means business continues throughout the day.

Religion in Portugal

Religion is also an important aspect of Portuguese culture and lifestyle. Over 80% of the country's residents identify as Roman Catholic, and religious festivals and gatherings are often seen in town squares, especially in smaller towns. Festivals such as Saints' Days can be popular social and cultural events, are often very important events in the Portuguese calendar. However, Portugal is accepting of all religions- in addition to Catholicism, you will also find those of the Islamic, Protestant, and Jewish faiths practising within Portugal, to name a few.

Family values in Portugal

Family is very important in Portugal, and family is seen as vital to social interactions within the country. Traditionally, children would stay close to home, even as adults, so they can help care for their parents, and to attend regular family gatherings, although this is not always the case in modern times. Families in Portugal can be quite large, and extended families enjoy coming together for special occasions.

Leisure activities in Portugal

Outside of work, the Portuguese are very social and enjoy a wide range of activities. Sport is extremely popular in the country, both to play and to watch. Football is by far the most popular sport, but rugby, cycling, basketball, and tennis are also enjoyed by many.

Dining out, travel, and attending concerts, shows, and the theatre is also enjoyed by many in Portugal.

Useful links:

Visit Portugal: Cultural Calendar

Portuguese Football Federation

How to build a social circle from scratch in Portugal

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