Living and working in Portugal or in Spain

Working in Portugal

You are completely ready for a new adventure and you are thinking about living and working abroad. How awesome! You have always wanted to discover both Portugal and Spain, which means you’ll have to make a choice between living and working in Portugal or in Spain. Since Portugal and Spain are both countries with a high quality of life and many benefits it can be quite hard to make a decision. In this article we will help you to make a decision by telling you more about the pros and cons of living and working in Portugal or in Spain. Hopefully, you will be able to make a deliberate decision after reading this article. And if not, you can always choose to start working in Portugal and then move to Spain after a year. After all, that’s the best (and most fun) way to find out which country fits you best! 😉

The differences between Portugal and Spain

Many people dream of working in a warm and sunny country that makes you feel like you’re always on vacation. Living and working in Portugal or in Spain means that you can enjoy this vacation feeling while also earning money and taking your career to the next level. Amazing landscapes, an unlimited amount of sunshine, fresh vegetables, fruit and a relaxed pace of life. What do you want more? ☀️

The cost of living in Portugal and Spain

Even though Portugal and Spain are both relatively cheap in comparison with other western European countries, the cost of living is lower in Portugal. The cost of living in Spain is approximately 8.57% higher than in Portugal. To give you an idea of the differences between the cost of living in Portugal and Spain we will give you some examples:

  • Basic costs for a 85m2 apartment per month (electricity, water, heating): Portugal €109, Spain €117
  • A three-course meal for 2 people: Portugal €35, Spain €45
  • Monthly internet costs: Portugal €33, Spain €37

Learning the language

Although the Portuguese language is not significantly different from the Spanish language, some people find it harder to learn. This is because Portuguese consists of more silent letters and phonemes. However, the Portuguese people are usually better at speaking English, since they start to learn it at a very young age. This means that you won’t have any trouble communicating with the locals in Portugal.   

Building a house

Are you thinking about working remotely in Portugal or in Spain? And are you interested in building a (vacation) home in one of these countries? Then it’s definitely good to make sure what you want and figure out in which country you can make these wishes come true. 

It’s quite hard to build your own house in Portugal and there is a great demand for new construction projects. The big difference with Spain is that Portugal has very strict rules when it comes down to building a house, which makes it harder to start building your dream house in Portugal. However, because of these strict rules a lot of natural areas are preserved and you can enjoy the peace and quiet in this country. 

The employment market

During the last years more and more international companies have moved to Portugal. This means that the amount of job opportunities in Portugal has been growing ever since and it’s not hard to find a job in Portugal as an expat. For example, it’s very easy to land a job in a call center as you don’t need any previous customer service experience and the call centers in Portugal are always looking for people that speak languages like German, Dutch, Swedish and Italian. Furthermore, tourism and hospitality jobs are very common types of jobs in Portugal. 

Keep in mind that the minimum wage in Portugal is lower than that in most other western European countries. However it you work in a start-up in Portugal, your salary can quickly get higher. And luckily there are a lot of start-ups in Portugal, especially in Lisbon. 

The Spanish employment market is especially interesting for multilingual talent in the tourism sector, which is the most important sector in Spain. Spanish companies are forced to look for talent across national borders, since there is a lack of multilingualism in the Spanish workforce. Other big industries in Spain are customer service, agriculture and IT. 

The minimum wage in Spain is lower than the minimum wages in most other western European countries. The highest average gross monthly salaries can be found in Madrid, the Basque Country, Navarra, Asturias and Catalonia. 

Should I be living and working in Portugal or in Spain?

Both countries have a lot to offer and in the end you’re the one that decides if you’re going to be working in Portugal or in Spain. In any case, we are sure that you will have an amazing time abroad! Have you already decided if you’re going to be working in Portugal or in Spain, but are you still looking for your dream job? Please have a look at our jobs abroad page. Here you will find plenty of amazing vacancies in Portugal but also a lot of exciting job opportunities in Spain. 🤩 

Working in Portugal