As a Black expat in Portugal, there is so much to look forward to. The endless views, the mostly warm though seasonal weather, beautiful culture and the affordable cost of living while in a European country. Added bonus? Black Expats are making communities across the country. But the grand question is, which Portuguese city is for you? Check out our list for the Black expat in Portugal:
The vibe: Located in the South of Portugal, Faro is the sandy capital of the Algarve region. Made famous for its beautiful beaches, Faro is also loved for its cobblestoned streets in the old town, sand bar islands, saltwater lagoons and, of course, its plentiful beaches.
In terms of the pace of Faro, it resembles the quieter beach towns on the Oaxacan coast, for instance. Faro is not the most lively of areas in Portugal but certainly has its surprises, in an endless-Sunday kind of way.
Type of traveler: The expat looking for a sunny, laid-back stay in Portugal is bound to appreciate Faro. While there is an abundance of international tourists, the vibe is pretty slow so Black travelers looking to unwind, work beachside with a plate of fresh fish will find Faro endearing.
The vibe: As expected, Porto had to make the list of best cities for the curious Black expat in Portugal. A coastal city in the Northwest of the country, Porto is famous for its riverside views, charming European town-like vibes and, the unique, sweet Portugues wine – Port.
Type of traveler: The romantics, the writers, the day-dreamers and the lovers of fancy restaurants and cafés, this is who will sink into the magic of Porto. The city offers Black Expats a chance to enjoy preserved architecture, fine dining and stunning tiled buildings all on the same street. The growing Black expat community in this Portuguese city makes it an attractive pick too.
Being inclined to a glass or two of what might be Portugal’s best wine is going to be a huge plus for this traveler too. May the meal
The vibe: What to say about the vibe? Lisbon has long been a haven for Black travelers across the African diaspora and things aren’t changing any time soon. The hugely international vibe paired with the music that seems to live permanently in the streets makes it a favourite destination for travelers.
The presence of people from formerly Portuguese-colonized countries such as Brazil and Angola often makes for beautiful connections and honest conversations in this vibrant, truly multi-cultural capital city. Unsurprisingly, the city is often described as one of the least feeling European countries in energy and warmth.
Type of traveler: Seeking out opportunities to live in an international European city that is full of live-music, events and history, Black travelers used to big cities will find a home in Lisbon.
Since Lisbon has so much to offer, you can find a little bit of everything including smaller, easy-to-reach beaches, African restaurants, world-renowned nightlife, art, culture and other Black expats doing the thing.
The vibe: In a word, Sintra is impressive. Recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sintra is the perfect place to escape the heat and enjoy one of Portugal’s most historical and treasured city centers.
Often dubbed as an easy day trip from Lisbon, expats looking to get lost in a city full of hidden gems may want to keep Sintra close to their hearts as their little secret. Living in this Portuguese city as a Black expat means experiencing a life you truly don’t need a vacation from, exploration calls you out onto the streets daily.
Type of traveler: The lowkey, the off-the-beaten path, the adventurer and the extra, this is the type of Black expat who will surely fall in love with Sintra. The fairytale vibe is hard to match, we don’t expect it to be an easy place to ignore once you set your eyes on this very special part of Portugal.
Another point to sway your choice, Black expats interested in history will naturally gravitate to Sintra, whose oldest castle, Castle of the Moors, dates back to the 8th/9th century and lends to Black History in the region.
The vibe: Looking for a Mediterranean island vibe? Funchal is the capital city of the beautiful Portuguese island of Madeira, a highly visited part of Portugal off the mainland. Funchal, nestled between the Atlantic ocean and Madeira’s mountainous backdrop, is bursting with colour, tropical vibes and one of the most picturesque landscapes in Portugal.
Madeira is often referred to as a world of its own in relation to Portugal. Black expats may find themselves escaping the bustle of cities to enjoy the balmy climate of this mountainous island.
Type of traveler: Funchal is ideal for Black expats who want the best of both worlds- those worlds being the scenic mountain landscape and the tropical island coastline.
Soaking up in Madeiran sun or escaping to the forests (after all, madeira in Portuguese means ‘wood’ and so the nature-seekers will find it in abundance in the lush green on the island). This is the place to be if your vibe is sipping on a flavourful cup of coffee while you breathe in the distinct scent of nature, pure Portuguese bliss.