5 Things You Should Know Before Moving to Cascais
Publish date : October 12, 2022
Cascais is a town that has it all — a short distance from the bustling metropolis of Lisbon, yet blessed with the tranquility of the sea. It's no wonder that it's becoming a popular destination for expats from around the world. If you're considering making the move to Cascais, there are a few things you should know before you pack your bags
1. A little Portuguese is appreciated
The Portuguese get little credit for their English skills. A lot of tourists actually come to Portugal expecting to find a thick Hispanic accent, but leave positively surprised. Older generations aside, English is our second language, we learned it in school from a young age and have heard it in movies and TV shows our whole lives.
So why learn Portuguese? You’re moving abroad after all. If you don’t want to be isolated from the local community, it’s great to know at least a little Portuguese. And believe me, people will really appreciate it!
2. Things can get expensive
It depends on whether we’re talking about the city of Cascais or the Cascais municipality (bordered by Sintra and Oeiras): if it’s the latter, Cascais and Estoril are significantly fancier and, therefore, more expensive when it comes to housing and eating / drinking out. You can save a lot of money by living in one of the surrounding parishes, like Alcabideche and São Domingos de Rana, or farther to the East in Oeiras. You’ll still be close to these beautiful places but enjoy more affordable prices.
3. Local jobs aren’t ideal
The simplest reason is that salaries aren’t high in Portugal. For reference, the minimum monthly wage is €705 gross and around €1.300 on average as of 2022.
So, if you come from a wealthier country or your professional field allows you to look for jobs from foreign employers, take advantage of that: work remotely. The pandemic opened our way to the benefits of this work setting. The payoff can be amazing.
If you are interested in getting a job here, Lisbon has more opportunities than Cascais, as it is less limited to tourism. It’ll be easy to commute between the two cities every day. How do you feel about ditching the car and taking the train?
4. Winter is cold
I know what you’re thinking: you've lived in places further north, so the Portuguese winter got nothing on you, right? Well, here's the thing — it's not just about the outside temperatures. You’ll be cold at home. If it’s a bearable 10ºC (50 ºF) outside, it’ll be 10ºC inside too. Indeed, most houses and apartments (especially the old ones) were never built to keep the heat in. And central heating? Forget about it! But hey, at least newer places have air conditioning that can also heat up a room. Portuguese people usually resort to electric portable heaters that you can place at your feet and tons of clothes and blankets. Oh, and word to the wise: invest in some rugs for your cold tiled floors. Your toes will thank you later.
But look on the bright side, this only lasts for a few months out of the year, and the rest of the time, you'll enjoy Cascais’s famously beautiful weather. Warm, sunny days with a refreshing breeze are the norm. So, embrace the winter season with hot cocoa, cozy blankets, and good company. It's all part of the Portuguese experience.
5. The Portuguese are warm but reserved
Winters are cold, but the Portuguese have got to be warm. Right? Right?? OK, let me explain.
Of course this is all a matter of perspective (where you come from has a lot to do with your judgment) and we are generalizing: we can’t describe a complex group of people in a headline. But isn’t it fun?
To people from other Mediterranean cultures, the Portuguese often come across as relatable, but less loud and somewhat more reserved. For example, you can talk in all friendliness to some people (and even think of them as friends) and never see the inside of their home. Friendships with the Portuguese seem to be built over time. However, once you’re in, they won’t let you go.
You can start by mingling in groups that naturally bring people from different countries together, like certain sports and activities (in my experience, yoga, meditation and rock climbing), where you’ll be sure to find locals who will likely be seeking international friends.
Found these tips helpful? Now discover Why Cascais Is Great to Families!