Is Spain or Portugal better for expats?

Movingto Editorial Team
November 26, 2021

The debate between Spain and Portugal for the top expat destination is an ongoing one. This Q&A aims to provide a comprehensive comparison between these two vibrant countries to help you decide which suits you best as an expat.

The Allure of Spain for Expats

Spain, known for its sunny weather, exquisite cuisine, and a relaxed lifestyle, is often a popular choice among expats. Whether it's the vibrant city life of Barcelona or the laid-back vibe of Costa del Sol, Spain has something for everyone.

The Charm of Portugal for Expats

On the other hand, Portugal offers its own unique allure. With a lower cost of living than Spain, a rich history, and breathtaking landscapes, Portugal has seen a surge in expat interest, especially in cities like Lisbon and Porto.

Spain vs Portugal: Which is Better for Expats?

When comparing Spain and Portugal, several factors come into play: cost of living, lifestyle, job opportunities, language ease, and more. Let's delve into the intricacies of both and see how they stack up against each other for an expat.

Spain has traditionally been a very popular destination for expats. The good weather, the food, the close proximity to the rest of Europe and the cost of living have all been significant draw cards for people from the UK, Germany, France and other parts of the world.

Portugal barely registered for most expats 10 years ago. The economy was in dire straits, there was high unemployment and many of the cities and towns were extremely rundown with very little functioning infrastructure. However, with the advent of the NHR and other tax benefits for expats in Portugal, this trend changed dramatically. 

Portugal’s economy has boomed with house prices growing double digits for many years and an influx of international money entering the country.

Not only does Portugal now have very competitive tax regimes, the quality of life, services and infrastructure has improved significantly, making it a competitor to Spain for the best and brightest minds in the world.

We would argue that Portugal is now a superior place to live than Spain when considering the cost of living, the weather, food and all the tax benefits many expats are eligible for.

It’s now up to Spain to make changes to compete again, however, for now, the crown belongs to Portugal for expats.

Why You Might Choose an Immigration Lawyer

Making a move abroad is a significant life decision. The process can be simplified and made less stressful with the help of an immigration lawyer. They can guide you through the visa processes for Spain or Portugal, help you understand the local laws, and even aid in the transition process.

Contact Movingto for More Information

If you're still uncertain about whether Spain or Portugal is a better fit for your expat dreams, the Movingto team is here to help. With our in-depth knowledge and expertise, we can guide you through the complexities of expat life in both countries. Contact us today for a tailored consultation.

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