Moving to Portugal

Last updated: October 25, 2019

Portugal’s beautiful beaches and sunny climate attracts thousands of expats to move there every year. To help make your move easier we have summarised the top key information about moving to Portugal. By working with reliable moving companies that specialise in removals to Portugal we can help you find the best options for your move.

Below you will see an overview of all the information found on this page about removals to Portugal.

Relocating to Portugal

Nine out of ten Portuguese people are Roman Catholic which makes the country one of the most conservative in Europe. The country is rich in history and culture and it is the only European country that has abolished life imprisonment. Moreover, Portugal ranks high in the list of the most peaceful countries in the world.

No visa required

UK expats moving to Portugal do not require a visa to enter Portugal, however, a valid passport is required. EU nationals must register with the local authorities after three months of staying in Portugal. It is expected that you find work as an expat or register at a university as a student within those 90 days. One of the Documents you will need to submit to the city council or town hall for registration is a declaration of employment. In case you are a student, a declaration stating that you are registered with an officially accredited public or private educational establishment will be needed.

Portugal moving costs

Lisbon’s major port makes shipping your belongings by sea pretty easy. Although there are more convenient options when moving your household. By air is the quickest way to get your household from a to b; however is the most expensive option and can cost around four times the amount. Sirelo is here to help you find the best way for you to move your belongings. We want your move to be as easy and stress free as possible, without costing you too much! The table below gives a rough estimate on how much it costs to move your belongings by sea to Portugal.

Household sizeCost
1 bed flat£4,676 – £4,747
3 bed house£5,040 – £5,149
5 bed house£5,560 – £5,724

Reducing shipping costs

There are a number of obvious factors to help make your move to Portugal cheaper. Firstly, try and reduce the amount of things you are bringing you can still purchase a lot of items when in Portugal and on average will be cheaper than furniture in the UK.  Although it is possible to reduce your household it is only possible to a certain extent, other features that can help make your move to Portugal cheaper include:

  • Insurance – Depending on the quality of insurance is dependant on how much more your move will cost.
  • Transport type – Air transport is a lot more expensive than sea. but the convenience factor is higher. So is a decision of which trade off you prefer.
  • Additional services – Although these services make like a lot easier, like everything, of course they come at a cost.


Top tips

Moving all the way to Portugal can seem like a daunting process, for starters the culture differences and languages can be quite intimidating. We have devised a few tips from experience to help make your move as peaceful as possible. Knowing some Portuguese for starts is very useful, although a lot of the younger generation learn English from young ages it’s not as common amongst older individuals. In terms of your actual move to Portugal the way your belongings are packed is of key importance. To make life a lot easier once you arrive to your new house you should label each box packed and it’s useful if you don’t cram everything into one box as heavy boxes could be difficult to carry up potential future stairs.

A lot can go wrong when your items are moved to Portugal, to make sure this is a factor you don’t need worry about we advise to purchase insurance. Insurance is key contributor to making a relocation more expensive; however if items are lost or broken then you are protected.

Unusual restricted items

  • Antiques
  • Products from protected species
  • Animal products from non EU countries

Checklist – Before your move

  • Important documents – Make sure all important documents such as passports are up to date. It is also useful to photocopy other important forms you may have.
  • Tax – If you are in Portugal for more than 183 days you are classified as a tax paying resident and therefore have to pay tax. We strongly recommend to contact the tax authorities before departure. They can help you with tax situations you still have to deal with before you leave.
  • Banks – Many banks can be found internationally; however this is not the case in Portugal. The best option would be to open an account with a local branch. When arriving in Portugal it is important you have all the funds you need, make sure if you’re planning on using your UK bank account make sure to contact your bank to notify them of your move.
  • Currency – It is wise to consider the current currency rate. With Brexit affecting conversion of the pounds to euros, it is best to research into the best ways to transfer your money at the cheapest rate. Visit our page for more information on ways to transfer your money into euros.
  • Healthcare – Being in the EU means having an EHIC card enables you free health care in Portugal. Portugal’s healthcare 12th in the world and is free for all residence so it is important to apply for the public healthcare card.
  • Pets – In order for your pets to enter Portugal they must meet all requirements before entry, including a pet passport and vaccinations.

Moving to Portugal

Pets and car transport

It’s good to cut back on certain belongings when moving to Portugal but certain items will be too valuable for you to depart with. No one wants to leave their pets / cars behind, they are after all part of the family. Although moving companies specialise in household moving, pets and cars don’t usually come under that category so it can be a lot more complex when moving these items. Some moving companies do in fact move your pets and cars for you; however this will usually come at a steep price.


When moving to Portugal it is important your pets meet the correct requirements or they could end up being rejected entry into the country. Your pet is required to have the following:

  • Microchip;
  • Rabies vaccination and certificate;
  • EU health certificate;
  • USDA Endorsement.

Now that you’re pet has met the requirements when moving to Portugal, how should you bring them there? Portugal is not too far to travel to by air, it is therefore common for pet owners to fly with their pets abroad. All airlines will have different procedures when carrying a pet on board and there will also be limited spaces and can cost a fair amount. Animal couriers also specialise in transporting your pets from A to B by air or road.


If you are becoming a resident in Portugal it is possible to import your motor vehicle tax free providing:

  • The vehicle is for private use only;
  • The registered owner of the vehicle is transferring their residence from another EU member state where he has been resident for at least 185 days;
  • The vehicle was purchased fully tax-paid in its registered owner’s former country of residence;
  • The vehicle has been used by its registered owner in his former country of residence for at least six months.

It is possible to drive your vehicle over to Portugal, although will take some days. This is also a nice experience to drive through all the different neighbouring countries before arriving at your new house. It is also possible for your belongings to be shipped over from the UK. When your car arrives in Portugal you are permitted to drive immediately using your existing driving license or an international license.

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What are the cost of living in Portugal

When moving to Portugal you will find it is a lot cheaper than what we are used to in the UK. Everything from rent to groceries is significantly cheaper, similarly to most countries the cost of certain products vary in relation to your location. The larger and more popular tourist cities, of course, are more expensive in terms of rent and groceries in comparison to smaller rural villages. This relationship will occur in most popular cities so is not really a shock for UK expats. Visit our page for more information about living in Portugal. Below gives an estimation of the cost of living in popular cities in Portugal out of 100.

CityCost / 100

Living in Portugal

More information

If you want to find out more information about moving to Portugal, visit our other pages on Sirelo for information about:

You can also visit our international removals page for the best international removals companies. On our international moving costs page you can find more information about the costs of your international move.

Request free moving quote

Are you thinking about moving to Portugal? We compare the best services for your move and help you save up to 40% on your moving costs. All you have to do is fill in the quote form. This only takes a few minutes and you can receive up to 5 quotes from moving companies that specialise in removals to Portugal.