Agência para o Investimento e Comércio Externo de Portugal


Lisbon is among the top 10 cities in the Expat City Ranking 2019 by InterNations, the world’s largest expat community with more than 3.5 million members. Coming in sixth place overall, the Portuguese capital is among the best cities worldwide for getting settled (6th) and the quality of urban living (10th).

While expats are not too happy within the Urban Work Life (50th) and the Finance & Housing Indices (44th), the local cost of living (14th) is another highlight.


The Expat City Ranking is based on the annual Expat Insider survey by InterNations, which is with more than 20,000 respondents in 2019 one of the most extensive surveys about living and working abroad. In 2019, 82 cities around the globe are analyzed in the survey, offering in-depth information about five areas of expat life: Quality of Urban Living, Getting Settled, Urban Work Life, Finance & Housing, and Local Cost of Living. Taken together, the first four areas make up the Expat City Ranking, which reveals the best and worst cities to move to in 2020.



Ranking 6th out of 82 cities in the Expat City Ranking 2019, Lisbon has been voted among the top 10 cities worldwide for getting settled (6th) and the quality of urban living (10th). Expats feel very welcome in Lisbon (3rd) as almost four in five (79 percent) think it is easy to get used to the local culture (vs. 62 percent globally). It may help that 88% of expats are satisfied with their socializing and leisure activities (vs. 65 percent globally), and another 90 percent find the Portuguese people generally friendly (vs. 68 percent globally). One expat mentions "the quality of the social relationships," when asked what they like best about life in Lisbon. In fact, 69 percent of expats in Lisbon are happy with their social life (vs. 55 percent globally). In the Quality of Urban Living Index, expats are not only happy with Lisbon’s local leisure options (10th) but also with the local climate and weather (3rd) — only Barcelona (1st) and Miami (2nd) do better in this regard. Lastly, more than nine in ten expats (92 percent) rate the quality of the environment positively (vs. 71 percent globally), and one Canadian respondent emphasizes "the geographical beauty" of Lisbon.


On the downside, Lisbon ranks low in the Urban Work Life Index (50th). In terms of local career opportunities, it even ends up among the bottom 10 cities worldwide (73rd). An expat from Ukraine states that "career prospects are slow, and the level of income is lower in comparison to other EU countries", while another expat from Russia dislikes the local "job opportunities and salary". The city also ranks below average for job security (57th) and the state of the local economy (55th), but expats are happy with their work-life balance (13th): 74 percent rate this factor positively, compared to 60 percent worldwide.