Being an expat in Portugal is an incredible experience, but it’s not without its challenges. Navigating a new culture and location can be tricky, especially with a language barrier. But fear not, there are plenty of apps you can use to make adapting to life as an expat easy, and plenty more to enrich the experience. Here we’ve compiled five must-have apps for expats in Portugal to help make your move both easier and even more enjoyable.

  1. Mondly

First off, you’ll likely want to learn Portuguese. Whether you’re grappling with the basics or mastering the language, learning the native tongue makes everyday life a lot easier. It also allows you to immerse yourself more fully in your new country’s culture and communities.

While there are heaps of language apps available, many of them only offer Brazilian Portuguese rather than European Portuguese. There are subtle but important differences between the two, which can create confusion for non-native speakers. With the free Mondly app you can learn European Portuguese – perfect for an expat in Portugal.


  1. Google Translate

Even though you’re learning the lingo, there may be times when the language barrier is impassable. In these cases, Google Translate can be a lifesaver. You can talk through the app to have a conversation with someone and even instantly translate text through your phone’s camera.

  1. Meetup

When you move to a new country, meeting people can seem like a bit of a challenge. With Meetup, you can search for groups in your area based on a topic or interest. Whether you want to network for your career, try a new hobby or just socialise with locals or other expats, there are loads of groups in Portugal.

You can also start your own groups, such as a book club or a social event for retirees. The many opportunities for forging new friendships and connections make Meetup a must-have app for expats.


  1. Mygon

Part local guide, part promotions platform, Mygon lets you search for services and discounts in your area. The featured businesses have ratings and reviews, so you can find the best-loved local restaurants or most-trusted mechanics without having to spend hours looking online.

With Mygon you can search for eateries, accommodation, entertainment and more, along with discount deals. And as Mygon is a Portuguese company, their app features an extensive list of services across Portugal.


  1. Currencies Direct

As an expat in Portugal, it’s very likely that you’ll need to transfer money overseas. This could be regularly, as with monthly mortgage or pension payments, or it could be ad hoc, to cover living costs or in emergencies.

A lot of people make transfers through their banks, but banks tend to charge extra fees and offer poorer exchange rates than dedicated currency providers. They can also be a bit slow, which isn’t very useful if you need to make an on-the-spot exchange.

The app from Currencies Direct, a leading currency broker, allows you to make transfers on the go, 24/7. They also offer competitive exchange rates and don’t charge transfer fees, so you can make hassle-free transfers whenever you need to and get a great deal.

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