Come along as I show you a tour of my cozy yet charming 1 bedroom 1 bath apartment in Alvalade, Lisbon, Portugal. At the end, I'll tell you how much I pay each month for this fully furnished apartment as well as what it would have been if I rented it unfurnished. Whether you're planning a move to Lisbon or simply curious about what life is like in this beautiful city, I hope you enjoy this glimpse into my home.
I get a lot of questions on how I do laundry here in Lisbon, Portugal since moving here just over one year ago. So I thought I'd do a little video on my process. I hope you enjoy. If you have any questions, post them below.
Welcome to laundry ay here in Lisbon, Portugal.
I do laundry about three times a week, because as you'll see in a second, my washing machine is quite small.
My washing machine is actually in my kitchen and as you can see I have a very long galley style kitchen.
I use the laundry sensitive skin detergent pods from Dropps. I brought these from the US and you just take one and you put it in the barrel of the machine and then you put your clothes in.
In this case, I'm doing the towels today.
As you can see, it's pretty full now. And we're just going to close the door and turn on the machine.
I just do the 15 minute wash, It's at 30 degrees Celsius and I find that it gets my clothes pretty clean.
And then I'm going to just press the start button.
OK, the machine just finished, so let's go get the laundry.
Most apartments in Lisbon only have a washer.
If they do have a washer, very few have dryers, and sometimes you'll find a washer dryer combination.
My apartment only has a washer, so in the winter time it's too humid in the apartments or too freezing cold outside to put them out on the balcony, which is what I usually do.
So I take the towels and sheets to the laundromat.
It's summertime. So I hang them out on the balcony.
Let me show you how I do it.
So here is my dryer during the spring, summer and actually into the fall.
OK, the towels have been outside hanging to dry for a couple of hours, so they are probably dry.
Ohh, yes, perfect.
Alright, so I will bring them in and fold them up and then I will be finished with laundry for today.
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Health Insurance in Portugal is affordable and averages somewhere between €80 and €180 per month, depending on multiple factors like age and pre-existing conditions.
Check out my video below, for my personal experience with health insurance.
Thinking of moving to Portugal? These resources can help you with your planning.
I'm at home sick instead of exploring the many Christmas markets in and around Portugal. But today, I received the best possible Christmas gift, my residence card. I'm officially a resident of Portugal!
You may recall, I moved here on May 1st on a tourist visa since I didn't receive my temporary visa in time and I already had my ticket.
Ten days later, on May 10th, I finally got the email that my visa was approved. So I headed back to the U.S. to get my passport stamped with the temporary visa in early June. The temporary visa tells you where and when my SEF appointment is in order to get the 2-year residence card.
My SEF appointment happened to be in Coimbra on September 6th. At the time, I was told that it would take about 2 months to receive the card.
When it didn't come around November 6th, I inquired in the Americans & Friends in PF Facebook group if this was normal. Many people posted comments that Coimbra was notoriously slow and to be patient.
At the 3 month mark, December 6th, I sent an email to the SEF Office in Coimbra. It wasn't answered. So I waited and waited.
All I can say it that I'm glad that I'm sick because that means I'm home when the CTT (postal service) showed up at my door needing a signature to receive the card.
Now to get my address changed on my NIF and apply for NHR (non-habitual resident tax regime) status.
It's almost the end of 2022 and I have yet to get my annual physical after moving here from the U.S.
I normally have my annual exam in June, but I had just moved to Lisbon. I have private health coverage here, but had a two month waiting period after my coverage began in July. That meant that the soonest I could get a covered appointment would be beginning of October. But that's when I was doing all of that traveling (I was basically traveling for about 1 1/2 months.
That and still not knowing the language to the point where I could converse in Portuguese about health and making appointments, I felt very intimidated.
I kept hearing about Serenity Portugal, a medical concierge service geared toward foreign residents in Portugal.
For a reasonable annual membership fee, you are assigned an English-speaking case manager (registered nurse) who can find specialists and physicians in your area that also speak English, set up and book appointments, speak on your behalf with physicians, pharmacists, clinics, and hospitals, offer support, and review your private health insurance coverage, among other things.
I decided to join. During our initial Zoom chat, my concierge told me that she could set up a meeting with an English speaking doctor as well as getting my Utente number (bonus, since I've heard a lot of challenging stories (not all) about trying to get this on your own.
A Utente is a unique identifying number to access public healthcare in Portugal. Even though I have private health insurance, as a resident I'm allowed access to the public system as well.
I haven't received my actual residence card yet, but she asked me to send her the paper form of my approval to start the process. Good news! They issued my Utente number without waiting on my residence card (today marks 3 months since my SEF appointment - and it was only supposed to take 2 months). I'm trying to be patient and not worry, but it is so hard.
Update: My concierge messaged me to tell me I had an appointment with a physician next Thursday evening at 6:30 p.m. (what? doctors work that late) at CUF Tejo Hospital.
Traveller, chief taste-tester and food finder and retired expat living in Lisbon, Portugal.