Updated: As of April 2018, there is one Netflix catalogue across the whole of the EU.
Netflix has been in Portugal since 2015. When it first launched here, you could almost see the tumbleweeds blowing across your screen there were so few movies and TV shows.
These days, it’s pretty decent. You can now find shows like Rick & Morty, House of Cards, Better Call Saul, Narcos, Orange is the New Black, and countless others. There are a few shows that annoyingly aren’t on Netflix Portugal, but for most American, British, and international movies and TV shows, it’s pretty decent.
To watch those other shows, some people use a VPN to trick Netflix into thinking they’re located in the US or UK. This is no longer as easy to do as it once was. Netflix has gotten really good at recognising accounts that are using a VPN, and you have to constantly find new proxies or VPNs that haven’t been blocked by Netflix. That’s obviously a lot of hassle, and so most people don’t bother.
If you’re not sure whether Netflix has the show you want, you can sign up for their one month trial and see if you like it. If you don’t, it’s very easy to cancel.
Unfortunately, while Netflix Portugal is good for international movies and TV shows, it doesn’t have a lot of Portuguese content. Portugal isn’t exactly renowned for making movies and TV shows, I know, but I did expect to find a little more than the 3 shows that I found: Aquele Querido Mês de Agosto, José e Pilar, and Salvador Martinha – Na Ponta da Língua. The first two are documentaries, while Na Ponta da Língua is Salvador Martinha’s stand-up comedy special. They’re all worth watching, if you’re learning Portuguese. It’s just a shame there aren’t more Portuguese movies and TV shows.
If you want to use Netflix to learn Portuguese, you have two options: Brazilian content or international content that has been dubbed into Brazilian Portuguese.
I counted around 40 different Brazilian movies and TV shows on Netflix Portugal, more than 100 TV shows and movies than had been dubbed into Portuguese, and even more than just had Portuguese subtitles. This is enough to keep most language learners occupied for a few months, and Netflix usually adds new content within that time.
Initially, it was very hard to find these Brazilian or Portuguese-dubbed TV shows and movies on Netflix. I thought that just being in Portugal would be enough for Netflix to suggest shows to me, but it didn’t.
The trick, I’ve realised, is to create a new profile with your language set to Portuguese.
Creating a Portuguese profile for Netflix
Netflix allows you to create multiple profiles under one account. I now have one account for myself, and one account for my “Portuguese self”.
To create a new profile, simply hover over the dropdown menu in the top right next to your name and then click ‘manage profiles’.
Next, click the big button on the right hand side that says ‘add profile’.
Choose a name for your profile. Then, click on the pencil above your profile. You will now be give the option to set the language for your new Netflix profile. From the dropdown menu, select Portuguese. Click ‘save’, and then ‘done’ on the next screen.
Now when you login with your Portuguese profile, the movies and TV shows you’ll be shown will all have some Portuguese element to them: they’ll either be Portuguese, Brazilian, or have Portuguese subtitles or audio. Perfect for anyone trying to learn Portuguese.
Do you use Netflix in Portugal? Found any great TV shows or movies? Let us, and other Portugalist readers, know about your discoveries in the comments below.