Welcome to Lisbon! The Portuguese capital is Europe’s second-oldest capital (after Athens), once home to the world’s greatest explorers and the capital of an empire spreading over all continents, from South America (Brazil) to Asia (Macao, China and Goa, India). The former launch pad for many of the world’s greatest voyagers is now where modern travelers can explore and enjoy a great time.

The best value: Lisbon is officially Western Europe’s least expensive capital and, at the same time, opportunities in Lisbon are abound; the city produces 45% of Portugal’s GDP, making the perfect combination of value and opportunities for any bootstrapping business student and entrepreneur.

The best location: Strategically located on the western coast of continental Europe, Lisbon is an important area inside the global economy:  it’s the closest European capital to the United States and just a 2-hour flight away from all major European cities. Lisbon brings together perspectives from Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia, enriching both business and cultural life. Moreover, the city is connected to Brazil by language, Spain by proximity, and its urban center has a long tradition of exploring and trading. It’s the perfect environment for any business student with global ambitions!

Life by the sea: It’s the only European capital with sunsets on the sea, very close to several sandy beaches and one of the top choices for surf enthusiasts all around the world.

One of the safest European capitals: According to the European Safety Observatory, Lisbon is the safest European capital together with Helsinki. That statistic is based on the percentage of people who have been victims of a crime in the previous five years. Although random violent crime is almost non-existent in Lisbon, pickpocketing is common in the city’s trams, especially the ones popular with tourists (numbers 28 and 15). The safe haven of World War II still remains a peaceful city in a tumultuous world.

A capital of Entrepreneurship: Lisbon is a Startup City! In June 2014, it was awarded the European Entrepreneurial Region for 2015, thanks to its strategies to promote entrepreneurship and spread innovation among small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The vital steps for this recognition have been spaces for incubation and testing of new concepts (like StartUp Lisboa, partner of The Lisbon MBA), financial instruments giving support to the entrepreneurs, entrepreneur programs in schools, networking events that connect all partners and incubators (Entrepreneurship Week, for example), as well as the promotion and support of important international events in Lisbon. Nowadays, Lisbon is internationally recognized as a privileged destination for entrepreneurs and has been highlighted as one of the best cities in the world for entrepreneurship by the “Entrepreneur” magazine.

Another factor that has played into the city’s hands is our country’s small population – Portuguese startups launch with an eye on international expansion from day one, continuing the tradition of this small, seafaring country.

In 2016, a study backed by Allianz Kulturstiftung, the German insurance company’s foundation, ranked Lisbon as the fifth-best-performing startup community in Europe, ahead of such stalwarts as Stockholm and Dublin.

This year, Europe’s largest technology conference, the Web Summit, will hit the city for the second time, having attracted over 53,000 people to it in 2016. You can check more details on Lisbon’s Startup Culture here.

Cultural paradise: We have one of Europe’s most soulful, captivating and picturesque capitals, built on a series of hills with amazing sightseeing spots from every angle. Culture is everywhere. From the medieval village-like neighbourhoods, the traditional tile paintings and the vintage trams, to the World Heritage monuments and singular museums of international design and contemporary art.

Beautiful architecture: Lisbon was once one of the world’s greatest natural harbours that attracted different civilizations, now reflected in its architecture reminding us of the Phoenicians, Celts, Romans, Visigoths and Moors. Bring your cameras and start photographing!

Nice weather: Lisbon’s mild climate makes it an ideal year-round destination. Even during winter, when most European cities are freezing, temperatures in Lisbon rarely go below 10ºC (50ºF).

Food, drinks and nightlife: Portuguese have an insatiable appetite for long dinners, coffee breaks and nightlife. For many, a sunset in Lisbon does not mean the end of the day, especially on a weekend or during summer. A typical evening might start in the cafes of Baixa/Chiado, serving as meeting points before heading to a restaurant for a long and relaxed dinner in the Bairro Alto quarter. Bairro Alto and Cais do Sodré are the epicenter of the city’s bar scene and where most of the fun takes place. You can also visit the typical “Fado houses” taverns and restaurants where you can listen to the country’s melancholic sound, born in Lisbon’s old quarters, with both amateur and professional performers. During the afternoon, you can step into one of the city’s many cafes and just enjoy a warm drink with some traditional Portuguese pastry (the “pastel de nata” or “pastel de Belém” is a must-try).

Welcoming people: Lisbon is definitely an intimate and friendly city with a cosmopolitan population, welcoming to all visitors and families with children, and very open to minorities and alternative lifestyles.

Variety: In Lisbon, you can enjoy a reminiscence of the romantic decay of Venice, the exoticism of Naples or Istanbul, the laid-backness of Rome, echoes of San Francisco and the Iberian spirit.

One of the best expat destinations: In 2017, Portugal ranks 5th out of 65 regarding the best countries for foreigners to live in. We made it to first place this year relating to Quality of Life Index and achieved 4th place in the Ease of Settling In Index. Generally speaking, 93% are satisfied with their life abroad in Portugal and 29% even say that they are very happy with this aspect. You can check more info in this article.


  • Room rental/ shared apartment rental (depending on the areas) – from 250€ to 450€ per month*
  • Public transports (subway, bus and train) – 36.20€ per month*
  • Food (cooking at home and having meals in school canteens) – up to 250€ per month*

During a year in Lisbon, you can expect to spend around 10.000€ (food, housing and transportation).

For comparison, you can check these costs in other major European cities, such as Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, London, Milan, Rotterdam, Berlin, Lausanne, Dublin and Brussels.

* Please keep in mind that living expenses vary depending on one’s lifestyle and these are just estimated values.