The French embassy estimates that around 18,000 French people live in Lisbon and the trend is that this number will continue to increase. They arrive excited by a metropolis with a clear quality of life. Families are looking for good schools, with the Charles Lepierre High School at the top of their preferences.
The Cascais and Estoril area also has a strong presence of French. It is a habit to see the French community of the region gathered at the Hotel Baía every Sunday evening. They have a drink, watch the sea and talk about everyday affairs.
It is one of the most fashionable European cities and the French community in Portugal has already noticed it.
In recent years, about < 12,000 French elected this city at the mouth of the Douro as their new home. Business opportunities in real estate and tourism have been one of the reasons why the French are so attracted to Porto.
The area north of Lisbon, between Torres Vedras and Nazaré, has received an increasing number of French. They reconcile the quiet life in a countryside with the proximity to the big city, without losing the sea of sight. In addition to actively participating in the daily life of the communities in which they are located, they organize soirees and cultural sessions. In jest, there are those who refer to the French as the "13th parish of the municipality of Caldas da Rainha" (the municipality has 12 parishes).
Because of a boiling real estate market, the south bank of the Tagus was discovered by the French. It is possible to buy a house in Azeitão, Comporta, Alcochete, Tróia or Palmela for half the price of a similar property in the city of Lisbon.
In addition to taking advantage of the kilometers of excellent beaches that are almost to the end of the street and the proximity to the capital, the French community enjoys strolling through the famous markets and fairs of the area.
It is estimated that there are 6,000 French people living in the Algarve. Although they are scattered throughout the region, the largest community lives in the city of Lagos. Still, the interior area, especially in the Monchique mountain range, is increasingly populated by French. They like to acquire small properties and enjoy a bucolic life, framed by the ocean in the background.
The Portuguese have lost the habit of attending fairs and markets. It's only in the last few years that they've rediscovered a fascination with street sales. Those who have never raised the foot of these sales, whether in the open air or in traditional squares, were the French.
They like to do their shopping for fresh meat, vegetables and fruit and freshly caught fish. French is once again the lingua franca at these fairs. One of the vendors of the Plaza das Caldas da Rainha has an apron where you can read: "Je m'appelle Patrick, je parle français".
For much of the French community in Portugal, Portuguese is a difficult challenge to overcome. The solution is to use a language course. Alliance Française has the most popular Portuguese courses by the French. Spread throughout the territory, has poles from Braga to the Algarve, passing through Porto, Viseu, Leiria, Lisbon, Setúbal and Beja.
In addition to the school activity it also promotes a cultural offer on francophonie themes. Thus, it turns out to be a dynamic center of the community and a meeting point of the French of the region where it is located.