The Top must-have apps in Portugal for expats

This list includes the most popular apps for immigrants residing in Portugal that enhance their daily lives. Check it out!
7 min
Portugal
December 14, 2023
24000

Moving to a different country can feel overwhelming. Adjusting to a new culture and local traditions is just the beginning; your entire way of life will be transformed, from basic activities like ordering food to searching for accommodation. To ease the process, we've curated a list of everyday services and websites that will help make your transition to Portugal smoother. Don't hesitate to save this article and share it with others!

📱 Get a local phone number

The first thing you’ll need in Portugal is a local SIM card. Here are the three most popular mobile network operators:

👉 MEO, the most popular provider on the Portuguese market

👉 NOS, which offers the best download/upload speeds 

👉 Vodafone, an international giant, offers good speeds and the best coverage in Portugal

(OpenSignal, January 2023)

Also, NOS has a virtual operator targeted at younger audiences — WTF. It has the same quality and offers lower prices. 

Local operators offer prepaid (pré-pago) and postpaid (pós-pago) tariffs. When you just arrive in Portugal, you can purchase only a prepaid SIM card because this option requires only your national ID.

Later you can keep your number and switch to contract or transfer to another operator. To do it, you must provide your ID card, NIF (numero de identificação fiscal, tax number), proof of address and bank account details. Some operators offer good deals for contract packages with home Internet and/or TV. 

💡 Helpful tip: it may be easier to order SIM-card online because salespeople may not speak English at the office.

🏡 Find an apartment 

👉 It’s always a good idea to start your search from Airbnb. You can choose a place to stay even before visiting Portugal, so you’ll have a comfortable place to stay while looking for a new home. Some landlords may offer you a discount for a long-term stay or sign a permanent contract.

👉 Idealista is one of the largest property portals in Portugal, offering a wide range of listings for buying and renting apartments across different cities and regions. Accessible in different languages.

👉 Imovirtual is another well-known property portal in Portugal, providing an extensive database of apartments and houses for rent or sale across various locations in the country. Has an English version.

👉 Casa Sapo is a comprehensive online platform for real estate listings in Portugal, including apartments, houses, and commercial properties. It offers a user-friendly interface and detailed search filters to help you find a suitable apartment. Accessible in different languages.

👉 Expat communities on Facebook are also an excellent option for searching for an apartment. Join groups specific to the city or region you are interested in. They often have members who share apartment listings or can provide recommendations.

💡 Helpful tip: explore different platforms for more options, and sometimes the same lot can be listed cheaper on another website.

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🗺️ Navigate and travel

👉 Moovit (iOS / Android) is a popular app that allows you to discover public transport and build routes in various cities worldwide, including Lisbon and Porto. You can plan your routes, live track the transport, and receive alerts for disruptions or delays.

👉 Citymapper (iOS / Android) is another app that covers public transport. It provides detailed information on bus, metro, tram, and train routes, real-time updates and step-by-step directions. However, it covers only big cities in Portugal, Europe, and the USA.

👉 Comboios de Portugal (iOS / Android) is the Portuguese Railways (CP) official app. It allows you to check train schedules, purchase tickets, and get real-time information about train arrivals and departures.

👉 Rede Expressos (iOS / Android) is a nationwide bus transportation company for long-distance travel. It allows you to purchase tickets, store them and participate in their bonus program.

👉 FlixBus is a nationwide bus transportation company for long-distance travel. One popular route: Lisbon-Porto and back.

🚕 Call a taxi

There are two primary taxi services available in Portugal:

👉 Uber: iOS / Android

👉 Bolt: iOS / Android

🍕 Order food delivery

Whether it’s a pizza party, a home date or a quick lunch, here are the apps that will help you to order any food you like:

👉 Glovo: iOS / Android

👉 Uber Eats: iOS / Android

👉 Bolt: iOS / Android

You can also order groceries, household products, and other essentials delivery with services like Mercadão or directly from the shops. Some popular options include Continente, Pingo Doce, and Auchan

🛍️ Shop online 

Alongside popular international marketplaces like Amazon, eBay and ASOS, there are several popular local platforms:

👉 Fashion: La Redoute

👉 Electronics: Worten

👉 Books, music, games: Fnac

👉 Mixed + price comparison: KuantoKusta

🤝 Explore bulletin boards

These platforms are an option for those who adore sustainable living, look for reasonable prices or going to sell some belongings:

👉 OLX is one of the largest online classifieds platforms in Portugal. It allows users to post free ads to buy and sell various items, including electronics, furniture, vehicles, real estate, and more.

👉 CustoJusto is another popular classifieds website in Portugal. It offers various categories for ads like vehicles, real estate, electronics, home appliances, fashion, and more.

👉 Standvirtual provides many new and used cars, motorcycles, and other vehicles from private sellers and dealerships.

😎 Learning the Portuguese

Memrise. Learn faster with proven memory techniques rooted in science. Train your long term memory with a method that’s faster and better than traditional rote learning.

Google Translate or Deeple. When it comes to translating words and street signs, this apps is your go-to app. This essential tool proves especially handy when you first arrive in Spain and start receiving emails and letters in the local language.

Duolingo.  With courses that test your reading, speaking, and listening skills, this app will have you speaking Portuguese in no time.

🙋 Meeting expats

Portugal has a fast growing community of international expats, and the easiest way to reach them is to join Facebook groups. Here are some English-speaking groups:

👉 Expats in Portugal Q&A

👉 Lisbon Digital Nomads & Expats

👉 Porto Expats

👉 Algarve Expats, Portugal

👉 Madeira Expat Community

👉 Expats in Azores

💡 Helpful tip: if we haven’t covered your city, try to search for “Expats + your city”, “Foreigners in + your city or “Your nation in + your city” both in English and your native language.

  

🇵🇹 If you plan to move to Portugal

📝 You can read free guides on visa types in Portugal.

💬 If you have any questions, please message us in the chat.

😎 Suppose you need to decide which visa type to choose. In that case, you can book a 30-minute consultation with our immigration specialist, who is familiar with all the residency options in Portugal for Brazilian citizens.

You can obtain residency as a highly qualified professional with higher education or extensive work experience (over five years). This way is much easier and faster than the way Rogério Santos (Trevor Kenskevyz) had to choose. We can also assist if you already have a contract in Portugal as a highly-skilled specialist, but your company needs to prepare to assist you with the paperwork. 


You can choose the digital nomad visa if you work remotely for a company. Or the visa for individuals with passive income. Or other options.

Our experts speak Portuguese and English. So write us a chat or book a consultation, and we'll help.

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Portugal has special programs for people from Portuguese-speaking countries
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Ioann De
Immigrant and writer
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Daniela C.🇵🇹
Immigration lawyer
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Victoria Volina-Luchian 🇵🇹
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