7 Books About Moving to Portugal

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Last updated on June 7, 2024 | Est. Reading Time: 5 minutes

There are lots of great blogs and YouTube channels that have great information about moving to Portugal, but there’s something nice about just picking up a book and reading it through. 

Surprisingly, there are very few books about moving to Portugal (so far). There isn’t really a Portuguese equivalent of Peter Mayle’s A Year in Provence or Frances Mayes’ Under the Tuscan Sun, at least in terms of popularity, but there are a few self-published accounts that give some insights into what it’s like to move here. 

Moving to Portugal Made Simple

Did you know that the Portugalist website has an accompanying book: Moving to Portugal Made Simple? It’s available on Amazon as both a print and Kindle book.

The book is designed to take you through the whole experience of moving to Portugal – everything from initial research to making friends, settling down, and becoming a permanent resident.

Living in Portugal

Blevin Franks are one of the largest and most prominent financial advice companies aimed at expats. You may have come across their website or attended one of their webinars. However, what you probably haven’t stumbled across is Blevin Frank’s book, Living in Portugal

The book doesn’t talk too much about Portuguese food or how to make friends. It’s more focused on topics like currency exchange and capital gains tax. It’s aimed exclusively at UK expats, although those from other countries will still be able to glean some useful information. This type of information can do out of date quickly, so it’s really only worth ordering if you can find an edition that was published within at least the last 12 months—and even then, a lot of the information might be out of date.

It’s not the most stimulating book on this list, but it’s the most practical. And if you decide Portugal isn’t right for you, you’ll be pleased to know that Blevin Franks have similar books covering Malta, France, Cyprus, and Spain. 

Available from BlevinFranks.com

Moving to Portugal

Moving to Portugal tells the stories of a young couple, Ben and Louise Taylor, who left rainy London to live in the Algarve in 2010. It mainly focuses on the couple’s own story, particularly the challenges they faced living in Portugal. 

2010 was a long time ago, a long time before Brexit, and Ben and Louise ended up moving back to the UK in 2015, so an updated version is unlikely. However, although the Algarve and bureaucratic process of moving to Portugal has changed somewhat, the person challenges of moving abroad remain relevant. 

Available in print and Kindle editions from Amazon UK and US

Living The Dream

Living The Dream is another self-published book about a couple, Alyson and Dave Sheldrake, who also gave up life in rainy Britain for life in the sunny Algarve. The book is more memoir than practical and tells of their challenges in setting up a business, learning Portuguese, and getting to grips with the unusual subculture that is expats living in Portugal. 

Available in print and Kindle editions from Amazon UK and US

Buying Property in Portugal

One of the biggest challenges people moving to Portugal face is buying property here. This is especially true for those that decide to buy renovatable ruins or rural properties, both of which come with more challenges than buying an apartment in a town or city. 

Buying Property in Portugal offers tips on buying new and off-plan properties, property documentation, and choosing the right builder with the practical information broken up by case studies from people who have moved to Portugal. 

Published in 2015, the book is now a little out-of-date and some laws will have changed, but it still contains lots of useful information that will be relevant today. 

Available in print and Kindle editions from Amazon UK and US

The Portuguese: A Portrait of a People

The Portuguese: A Portrait of a People isn’t a book about moving to Portugal, but it is a very helpful book for those who are moving here and what to familiarise themselves with Portugal’s history. 

The book covers Portugal’s history, but particularly recent events like the Carnation Revolution and Portugal’s membership of the European Community (now the EU) and NATO. It’s far from a dry book, however, as the author, a British expat who has lived in Portugal for decades, weaves in personal anecdotes and humour that offer some insights into Portugal’s culture as well as its history. 

Available in print and Kindle editions from Amazon UK and US

Portugal: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

Culture Smart’s Portugal: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture offers a very top-level guide to life in Portugal. The book covers a broad variety of topics like television, military service, women in business, humour, and religion.

The sections are short and don’t go into as much detail as you will probably want (the section on saudade is just one paragraph long, for example) but it is a good place to start your research into Portuguese culture — especially if you’re brand new in Portugal.

Available in prince and Kindle editions from Amazon UK and US

Prefer watching videos to reading? There are also several online courses about moving to Portugal.

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James Cave is the founder of Portugalist and the author of the bestselling book, Moving to Portugal Made Simple. He has visited just about every part of Portugal, including Madeira and all nine islands of the Azores, and lived in several parts of Portugal including Lisbon, the Algarve, and Northern Portugal.

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