Cheap, Safe and Friendly

As a Portuguese citizen, after i come across an article named “Top 15 Cheap, Safe and Friendly Countries” and saw my country in this list, i have to leave here my two cents about the subject. I’m not gonna evaluate or judge the process and the origin of the data that led the author to his conclusion, but reinforce the raking given to Portugal and even argue why it should have been placed in a even better position.

For those who dismiss reading the full article here is the final score given by the author (data available here):

top15 ranking

As you can see, despite of being in the list, the country ranks far behind the top ones in these 3 categories. Based on the hacker news discussion, i will add some aspects that people claimed as important when moving/traveling to a foreign country:

  • Health Care
  • Quality of the food
  • Racial/Sexual/Religious discrimination

For the first aspect, the last World Health Organization ranking of health systems can give you a hint even though it’s relatively old and it’s methodology had been criticized. The second aspect depends on individual tastes but based on comments around the web, it seems fairly well appreciated. Finally, according to this document from the European commission, Portugal is relatively in line with the rest of the European union regarding any kind of discrimination (which i suppose it’s not bad at all).

After that i will leave two opinions, that i found in the discussion and thought that are extremely positive:

I’ve spent significant time in #3 (Morocco) and #4 (UAE) and would be hesitant to return. As a solo female these places are hostile once you leave the confines of the westernized areas. If you are just hanging out the business districts and make heavy use of taxis you’re fine but what’s the point..
#15 Portugal on the other hand? If you can work remotely and can get a visa, I’d put it at the top. Amazing country, affordable, fantastic people and the language isn’t complicated to pick up if you have any Romance knowledge. (by marquis)

I have lived in Portugal (Lisbon) for about two years. One of the cheapest countries in Europe, friendly, people are warm towards foreigners. Country itself is very beautiful and great food (one of the best fish cuisine).However, there are not many tech startups. (by morazow)

In response to the second one, it’s true that there isn’t many but we are working on it.

And for those interested, the better part of the country isn’t attached to it, just fly a little bit further south and west and you will find Madeira island. Meanwhile i will leave you with a short introduction to Portugal.

By Gonçalo Valério

Software developer and owner of this blog. More in the "about" page.