That has changed, but for the "Algarvio" I am still someone who is not from the Algarve and comes from somewhere else. But this is no different in Germany and it takes a lot of energy for this integration. This starts with the neighborhood or in the village café or in the village pub. If you don't go there, you don't get to know anyone. So as the saying goes: "There are always two parts of dance". That would also be a good transition, because there are always festivals in summer in every village as well as the "Kerb" in Germany. If you let yourself be seen here, then the Portuguese becomes curious and seeks the conversation, because at this time there are always many Portuguese emigrants in the country from north to south, who speak your language and then want to talk to you. If you are not working in Portugal, you can also get involved in the community, in charitable events or organizations. This definitely helps the Portuguese is very helpful and anxious that everyone is well.

Do not give up, even if the Portuguese can sometimes be a bit closed, not only with strangers but also among themselves. There are only a few emigrants who make the necessary efforts to integrate. Look at it like cross-country skiing: You need endurance and a goal then it works, just like in Germany. I know this from my own experience. You have to overcome the language barrier, even if it's just that you speak English very well. If you then try it in Portuguese, then there is no Portuguese who does not appreciate these efforts.

"Life is more expensive in Portugal than in Germany". This is also sometimes a fact, such as the electricity or used car prices, but then there is the eating out, the restaurants. I have an example from last year when I ordered two waters, a coke, two coffee and a piece of cake in a famous café on Marienplatz in Munich and then paid 29 euros for it. I thought the waitress was joking, but it wasn't. The following week I ordered the same thing in a beach bar in Albufeira to be able to make a comparison. I then paid only 8.60 euros for it, with a view of the sea. Then I praise the slightly more expensive electricity bill per kilowatt. Which then effectively but also because of lower heating costs and more daylight anyway lower in Portugal than in Germany. Then I go out to eat a few times and to my beach bar, then it fits.

However, it can often be frustrating to pay more for some things than you are used to at home. But this is true on both sides because to be able to live alone in Portugal, to enjoy the climate, and to be more in the fresh air is a privilege. And I mean that literally because only in big cities like Lisbon is there a grey cloud over the city. Otherwise, Portugal is one of the countries in Europe with the lowest rate of heavy industry and therefore also immune to pollutants and pollution. Of course, there are black sheep everywhere and especially in the construction industry still a lot of rubble today, which is simply dumped into the landscape and not disposed of properly. But it gets better. Well, they call it a disadvantage, others call it simple: that's part of it!


Paulo Lopes is a multi-talent Portuguese citizen who made his Master of Economics in Switzerland and studied law at Lusófona in Lisbon - CEO of Casaiberia in Lisbon and Algarve.

Paulo Lopes