Learn a language in Lisbon
Are you planning to learn Portuguese? Many language schools in Lisbon offer Portuguese speaking courses, conversation classes, grammar lessons, easy Portuguese courses for beginners, and many other language training courses that can be tailored to almost every demand and level! Find out why Lisbon is a great city for Portuguese language learners from all over the world.
Read top facts about the benefits of taking Portuguese language courses in Lisbon, also considering the best accommodation options and the living costs in Lisbon. Don’t miss out on important safety tips and information about the weather, either. Find and compare the best Portuguese programs in Lisbon to start studying at one of the top language schools in Portugal.
One of the oldest cities in the world and the oldest one in Western Europe, with a wonderful weather throughout the whole year and affordable living costs, the unique charm of Lisbon attracts international students, tourists and immigrants, as well. The rich cultural and historical heritage, as you can discover places from where Portuguese explorers set off on their voyages of discovery and the unique vibe this city has, Lisbon creates an ideal scenery for learning Portuguese. The abundance of Portuguese language schools include numerous Portuguese training programmes, suited for all levels, including Portuguese proficiency exam programmes.
Lisbon is the capital and the largest city of Portugal, lying in the western Iberian Peninsula on the Atlantic Ocean and the River Tagus.
Portuguese language courses in Lisbon
In Lisbon, offerings of Portuguese language schools is wide and diverse, courses are either private, in small groups and, in some language schools, they are organised in the evenings as well. You can enrol in intensive Portuguese language courses, summer schools, Portuguese conversation clubs programmes, courses dedicated for seniors, teacher training, or special language programmes where you can learn about Portuguese literature, culture or history.
Learners having an advanced level can sign up for Portuguese courses for specific purposes (government, translation, engineering, medical, tourism, finance, law). If you’re planning to work in Lisbon, keep in mind that the local prosperous and growing industries are: finance, commerce, media, international trade and tourism.
Attend Portuguese test preparation courses for the European language certificates (TELC) if you consider admission in a university or a job in a Portuguese-speaking environment. Portuguese Proficiency / CAPLE certificate exam preparation courses for all levels (CIPLE, DEPLE, DIPLE, DAPLE, DUPLE) are also available, dedicated for work, living or studying in Portugal.
If you are interested in learning other languages, you can sign up for English, French, Italian, German, Arabic, Chinese, Russian or Polish courses in language schools in Lisbon.
Speaking Portuguese in Lisbon
As with the rest of Portugal, Portuguese is spoken throughout Lisbon. On the other hand, since Lisbon is a big tourist city, many people speak English and it is possible to only survive using this language. Spanish is also commonly spoken and understood. If you plan a longer stay in Lisbon, learning basic, conversational Portuguese is in order. Even if you don’t feel very confident with your pronunciation, start your conversation with the locals in Portuguese and they will gladly help you along if you encounter any difficulties. People in Lisbon are very welcoming and open to new cultures and they will not make you feel there is a language barrier in communication.
Along with your Portuguese language programme, you should seize the opportunity to sign up for the trips in Lisbon and other cultural or sport activities organised by the language schools. These additional activities are meant to make learning Portuguese entertaining, learn more about the Portuguese culture and inevitably acquire the language skills faster. Here are a few things you can do while learning in Portuguese language schools in Lisbon:
Listen to fado, the typical Portuguese music style in restaurants and the streets as well.
Do some shopping and entertainment, in Bairro Alto, the centre of nightlife, with numerous bars and pubs.
Visit historical heritage sites, such as Torre de Belém (tower), or the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (Jerónimos Monastery), museums, theatres, like Teatro Nacional de São Carlos, the Camões Theatre and Lisbon's Opera House.
An important landmark is the monument to Christ the King (Cristo-Rei) standing on the southern bank of the Tagus River, in Almada region.
Other museums and beautiful places you can visit include:
- The Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga (National Museum of Ancient Art)
- The Museu Calouste Gulbenkian
- The Berardo Collection Museum (Modern Art)
- The National Museum of Natural History and Science
- The Museu do Teatro Romano (The Roman Theatre Museum)
- Ponte Vasco da Gama – the longest bridge in Europe and ninth longest in the world
Lisbon hosts many festivals and fairs, including the Arte Lisboa – Contemporary Art Fair, the Festival of the Oceans, the Lisbon Village Festival, the Lisbon Book Fair, and more.
Accommodation and living costs
For a European capital, Lisbon has quite a cheap cost of living. The average sum of 800-900 EUR/month should take care of all your expenses (accommodation, food bills, social activities, local transportation and other small expenses). In some cases, this amount could get a little higher, depending on your type of accommodation and general lifestyle.
Options for accommodation in Lisbon:
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- Private apartment – whether you choose to live alone or share an apartment, renting an apartment has variable costs depending on location.
- Home stay – You can find several host families who are interested in renting rooms and this type of housing is perfect for students who would like to practice Portuguese more and get to know the authentic Portuguese lifestyle and traditions.
- Hostels and guest houses – you can find many decent hostels and guest houses with affordable rates.
Monthly groceries from the supermarket you would spend around 120 EUR. A monthly public transportation student pass is 35 EUR.
According to a recent Eurostat report, Lisbon is the safest capital in Europe, especially in terms of violent crime, compared with most European cities. You should however, take some decent measures of precautions and watch your belongings in crowded areas, in train stations and public transport. Avoid areas like Bairro Alto, the alleys, Intendente, Cais do Sodre, as pickpocketing and thefts may occur.
Lisbon has warm winters and dry summers. During winter season that lasts from December to February, the average temperatures are 15 °C (59 °F) during the day and 8 °C (46 °F) at night. Typically, summer lasts six months, from May to October, with highest temperatures during the day ranging from 26 to 33 °C (79 to 91 °F).