Relocating to Lisbon: Mentor Talent Guide

Lisbon is the largest city and capital of Portugal. It is recognised as an alpha-level global city because of its importance in arts, finance, commerce, international trade, tech, media, entertainment and tourism.

If you are reading this, we assume that you are thinking of or have received an offer of employment in Lisbon.  This guide is intended to give you a run-down of all you need to know about relocating to Lisbon.

Getting Started:

Before relocating to Lisbon, there are a number of things that you may want to take into consideration before you make the move.

1.    Accommodation

2.    Bank Account

3.    Tax Number

4.    Salary and Taxation Guide for the area

5.    Cost of Living

6.    Visas

7.    Other – Overview of the city, healthcare, transport, weather and useful websites.


Finding accommodation in Lisbon is competitive, so be prepared and start searching as soon as possible. Make sure to keep in mind where you are working and try to find a house/apartment near suitable transportation links.

Lisbon has a wide variety of housing options available. The cost of accommodation is reasonable, with the newer apartment blocks structurally well-built. Short-term rentals are commonly available, especially along the coast. Long-term rentals are also available but tend not to be advertised well. Long-term leases are usually signed on a yearly basis.

An option for those unsure of searching for property on their own, or want to streamline the experience can visit and they will provide you with the help you need looking for a new place to call home. Just visit the website and input your search, you can then take one of their virtual tours and see what the place is like and check out the landlord policies.

When you make a reservation on a property, that property stays blocked until the landlord responds to your request (up to 24 hours). Once the landlord accepts, your payment method will automatically be charged. This is where you pay the first payment of the property as well as a small fee for the websites expenses.

They will then put you in direct contact with your landlord via email, so you can arrange a time to collect keys, move in time, and transfer any documents that have been requested by the landlord.

For more information visit their website.

Useful Links:–Portugal

Rental Prices:

As of 2018 please see the rental prices of an apartment in Lisbon.

Average cost of 1 Bed apartment in Lisbon city centre – €780

Average cost of 3 Bed apartment in Lisbon city centre – €1,608

Rooms for rent around Lisbon can vary – €200-435


Supporting Documents:

It is likely that upon looking for accommodation to rent you will be asked for the following documents, so be sure to have them available when you begin your search to avoid any delays. When you are looking for accommodation, it is recommended that you have the following:

·      Copies of Photo ID, Permits and Visas

·      A bank statement

·      Proof of employment – Usually your contract

·      A letter of reference from your previous landlord

Fees, Keys and Deposits

A deposit in Lisbon is the equivalent of 1 months’ rent. Any more than this should raise red flags. After the deposit has been paid you should arrange a suitable time and place with your landlord to pick up the keys and move in. A tenant’s agreement is recommended in the event of any future disagreements with your landlord.


Make sure you are clear which (if any) utilities are included in the property. The landlord should be able to give you a good indication of how much you should expect to pay in utilities.

Bank Account

          Opening a bank account upon arrival is one of the most important things you should do. Most employers will only transfer money into a Portuguese bank account, so it is essential you set one up as soon as possible. Without a Portuguese bank account you will also not be able to get property or pay for utilities.

Most popular banks in Portugal:

·      Banco BIC

·      Millenium BCP 

·      Banif

·      Novobanco

Tax Number

The Portuguese Tax Number is called the NIF, this must be carried by anyone wishing to live and work in Portugal. The NIF number is used for formal things such as opening a bank account, buying or renting property or gaining employment within Portugal, so it is important to apply for a NIF as soon as possible.

There are a number of ways to apply for a NIF in Portugal. You can get a Portuguese NIF number at the local tax office of the Portuguese Tax Authority, at a local branch of a Citizen Shop, or at a counter that provides a citizen card. If you are a non-resident and want to apply for a Portuguese NIF number from outside the country, you can get a temporary NIF number from a Portuguese lawyer or fiscal representative based in Portugal who agrees to act on your behalf.

Non-EU/EEA nationals applying can apply for a NIF by making a contribution to the Portuguese economy through the Golden Visa programme. You can then apply for your Portuguese NIF at the same time.

Documents required for a Portuguese NIF number are fairly minimal. You will need to present a photo ID (scanned and signed if applying through a lawyer or representative). For those outside the EU/EEA or Switzerland this must be a passport. In some circumstances, a birth certificate may be used as valid documentation.

If applying within Portugal, you will need to show proof of address (utility bill etc.). If applying from abroad you will need a Power of Attorney document, which grants them permission to act on your behalf.

For more information:

Cost of Living

Please see below for the cost of living in Lisbon, as of July 2018.



Citizens of the EU, EEA & Switzerland:

Citizens of the EU/EEA or Switzerland are free to live and work in Portugal without a visa. However, if you plan to stay longer than three months you must request a registration certificate. EU citizens can also request a permanent residence certificate after 5 years.

Citizens of all other states:

Portuguese immigration policy also includes several international agreements with non-EU countries, for example, The U.S, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, which allows such nationals to enter and stay in Portugal for 90 days of a six month period without needing any visa for Portugal.

Non-EU/EFTA nationals who wish to stay longer than three months, however, will need to apply for a long-term visa or Portuguese residency visa before arriving, which allows them to apply for a Portuguese residence permit after arrival.


Overview of Lisbon –

 Quick Facts:

·      Lisbon is the capital city of Portugal, with a population of 506,892.

·      Lisbon is the second oldest European capital, after Athens!

·      The Vasco de Gama bridge in Lisbon is the longest in Europe, the world record for the longest dining table was set when 15,000 people were served lunch on the bridge at the inauguration celebration.

·      The Tagus is Iberia is the largest river and its estuary in Lisbon – up to 14KM wide – is said to be large enough to contain all the warships in the world!

·      The raven is a symbol of Lisbon. For a long time there was a cult of ravens in the city, but gradually the birds started to disappear. Today they can only be found on the coat of arms.

·      The city is home to the marvellous Torre de Belem, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Cities Equality Ranking:

Lisbon is one of the top ranking cities in Europe when it comes to equality. It is currently ranked the 21st best city in Europe for equality based on research carried out on a number of factors such as; male/female labour force participation, income inequality, accessibility and a number of other factors.

For more information –


Healthcare in Portugal is provided by three co-existing systems – The National Health Service (SNS), Health Subsystems and voluntary private health insurance.

The SNS provides universal coverage, although recent measures have been introduced to allow the sustainability of the service, for example the introduction of user fees to be paid at the end of treatment. In addition, 25% of the population is covered by the health subsystems, 10% by private insurance schemes and a further 7% by mutual funds.

The quality of healthcare in Portugal is generally good and has seen improvement in recent years. There are many English speaking and foreign doctors in resorts and in major cities.

In Portugal, it is important to have private medical insurance if you don’t qualify for public health care. You may not be able to get a residence card without private medical insurance.


Trains in Lisbon are useful for short hops around the city. You can purchase tickets for the metro at any metro ticket machine, which have English language menus. The Lisboa Card is also valid. Single tickets will usually cost €1.45, while day tickets will cost around €6.30.

Taxis in Lisbon are reasonably priced and plentiful. The fare on the meter should read €3.25 during the day. You will be charged extra for luggage and an added 20% for journeys between 9pm and 6am, plus more if they cross municipalities or if you call.

Carris operates nine historic tram routes within the city and three historic funicular routes to complement the bus system. Like buses, trams usually run from 5am-6am to about 10pm-11pm. There are also some night services available.

For More Information:

Useful Websites

Finally we would like to leave you with some links to some websites you might find helpful. You can click on the links below which we hope provide you with even more useful information.