“Portugal is a country of three religions: football, food and family”
Why moved to Porto
I love crossroads – they have time to stop and think. In Moscow it is not always possible to find time for such stops. In December 2014, I found myself at such a crossroads. There was a feeling that I was not going my own way.
I was born in Jordan, where I lived the first ten years of my life. Then she moved to Tver, and then to St. Petersburg. For some time she lived and worked in Finland, and then in India. In 2013, I moved to Moscow – to interesting projects, a strong environment and that very crossroads. Then I decided to leave Moscow and live the life that I dreamed of – next to the sea and with the opportunity to surf.
In February 2015, I was interviewed to work for an IT company in the marketing department in Porto, Portugal. After four months of struggle for a working resident visa, I flew to a new country.
Difficulties in the first six months
Portugal is a country of three religions: football, food and family. The first six months here were not as difficult for me as I thought. I understood that I was going to a foreign country with other mores. And if you want to become part of the new world, then you need to live like a local.
I did not go the easy way: I did not begin to take language courses or communicate with other foreigners. I just listened to the conversations of the Portuguese, read all the signs in the area, learned basic phrases for shops, vehicles and cafes. My Portuguese colleagues laughed when I tried to speak their language. Gradually, I began to succeed. Through language I delved into the culture of the country.
After Moscow, it was difficult for me to get used to the pace of life in Porto. On the very first weekend, I ran the whole city up and down and thought: “What next?”. Later I realized that the local way of life is to not rush anywhere and enjoy every moment.
Two months after arrival, I had to again collect documents for a visa extension. Dealing with a visa in Portugal was easier than doing the same in Russia, although there were more documents.
Porto stands on the Atlantic coast. The city has a high level of humidity, and sometimes in the morning a dense fog falls on it. In summer, the temperature reaches + 35ºC, in winter – about + 10ºC.
All houses are adapted for the hot summer, but not for the cold winter. Therefore, a mark of + 5ºC in winter may result in an orange warning. Due to humidity and wind, this temperature is more difficult to tolerate than in Moscow. Moreover, the winter months are sometimes pleasing with dry days from + 20-25ºC. Then suddenly, many at work “fall ill” and go to the beach.
The main food is simple and tasty: fresh fish and meat, fruits, vegetables, a lot of seafood. In Porto you need to try the Francesinho, “tripas-a-fashion-do-Porto”, feijuad, cod. You should definitely go to Herois de França, where all the restaurants prepare grilled fish and seafood.
Of the drinks, wine and port are popular. Porto is located on the Douro Valley – a world-famous grape plantation. All over the world, only here real port wine is produced and stored.
Porto is a port city in the north of the country. This is one of the largest shipbuilding centers in Europe, which is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The population of the city is 217 thousand people, while the Greater Porto region has more than 1.8 million inhabitants. Historically, the Porto was imprinted by the Romans, Suevs, Visigoths and Moors.
The architecture of the city is saturated with a variety of styles – from Gothic to the Renaissance. Narrow cobblestone streets, dilapidated houses, clothesline on the ropes, elderly people watching what is happening from their windows – all this makes Porto a special city.
In Porto, beautiful sunsets – near the ocean. Everyone will find a place for themselves: tourist and wild beaches, city parks, national reserves, rivers, lakes, mountains. All this is within walking distance or an hour away by car.
At the weekend, residents gather in families or with friends in the parks and have picnics. The city is suitable for those who love nature and at the same time want to live in civilization.
The people in Porto are sincere and kind. They rarely hide their feelings. They appreciate simple things: time with the family, walks along the promenade, delicious food.
Dictatorship has had a great influence on culture and mentality. Many emigrated to other European countries for a higher salary, and all who stayed appreciate the high quality of life for reasonable money.
What you need to know
Visa and residence permit
Portugal is a member of the European Union, so the list of documents for a tourist visa is similar to any other European country.
A residence permit (residence) is issued for several reasons:
Work and business investment: a work contract or opening a business with a minimum financing of ten jobs.
Purchase of real estate: “golden visa”. The minimum amount is € 350 thousand.
Family reunion: husbands, wives and parents.
Scientific and research activity – activity must be recognized by the Portuguese Ministry of Science.
Education: students and interns.
For any of the grounds you will also need: