How to get started in Lagos, Portugal

If you’re moving to Lagos, Portugal, for either short or long term, this guide will help you find out all you need to in order to get your boots on the ground and feet in the sand!

This guide of information is suitable for digital nomads, expats, tourists, and other adventurers. Lets hop right in!

Have you just arrived in Lagos and not sure where to start? Pick 1 of 4 options below to get started quick!

Accomodation/rent in Lagos

Evidently you’ll need a place to stay when you arrive in Lagos. It’s definitely a good idea to sort this out before you arrive, but don’t worry if you leave it to the last moment – there are plenty of options.

In general, accommodation in Lagos can be tough depending on the time of year and intention.

For a fully detailed guide, check out the rent in Lagos guide for fully sorted out info.

Click for a full guide to finding rent in Lagos

Planning to be in Lagos for the:

  • Fall/winter and looking for a short-mid term stay? You’ll find plenty of options on the popular options (AirBnB, Flatio, Casa Sapo, Idealista, CouchSurfing, etc at regular prices.
  • Spring & summer and looking for short term vacation stay? Housing is very scarce (due to tourism) so be prepared to pay a lot.

Annual and long term contracts are hard to come across and many places only rent long term from ~October – May due to the huge inflation of tourism season prices. A place which is €500/month in December may net €4000/month in July! Landlords love to take advantage of that.

For many, the best option to find a 1-6 month long rental is by arriving in Lagos and using AirBnB or some other platform for a short term rental while then searching in person for a longer lease. Many landlords prefer to deal directly and in cash to avoid AirBnB fees.

Check out the full Accommodation & Rent in Lagos guide for more fully fledged information!

Shopping, groceries, and food in Lagos

Since humans can’t photosynthesise from the abundant sunlight (darn), you’ll have to shop in a supermarket or local market for your goods! Lagos has a surprisingly good variety of options if you’re willing to look a little deeper!


Between the large chain supermarkets like Intermarche, Lidl, Pingo Doce, or Aldi and the smaller, locally run stores like SuperEureka you have plenty of places to get your pastas, cereals, or anything any big supermarket holds. I recommend Lidl and Aldi for cheaper products and local markets for fresh produce!

Local markets

The main Mercado Municipal in Lagos

For locally grown fruits, vegetables, fish and other goods, the local markets are a great place to look! There are 3 distinct markets in Lagos to choose from

Central market

The Mercado Municipal is located near the marina in downtown Lagos and is open every day except Sunday. For the freshest fish possible go on Monday or Tuesday as the fishermen use Sunday as their fishing & prep day.

The fish market is on the main floor and upstairs is the fruits/veg/other section. Prices at this market are higher than the others due to location and amount of tourists.

Wednesday markets

There are 2. The Mercado Municipal de Santo Amaro and the Levante Lagos night market.

Every type of liquor you can imagine!

At the Mercado Municipal de Santo Amaro you will find fruits, veg, fish, and meats from all the vendors and it’s a primarily locals/Portuguese market – not many tourists and regular prices. It’s open from ~8:00-13:00.

At the Levante Lagos market you will also find a wide array of things, but know it’s only open from 17:00-21:00 at night on Wednesdays!

Old town shopping

Wander the old town to find anything you need!

Clothes, trinkets, and other goods can be found all within the old town of Lagos. Roam around and find some fun things! My favourite place for exotic wares, trinkets, jewelry, and textiles is Mogador (no affiliation).

Restaurants & eating out

There are a bunch of good places to eat from Michelin-starred restaurants to casual empanadas places and of course traditional Portuguese food. Simply look around Google Maps and check the reviews since some places are tourist traps!!

Grilled fish is a staple in Portugal!

If I had to suggest, I’d go to Casinha Do Petisco for traditional Portuguese, Pomò for authentic Italian, and The Green Room for youthful Mexican.

Entertainment and socializing in Lagos

There are plenty of things to do in Lagos and surrounding Algarve area, but they’re not immediately visible as somewhere like Berlin might be.

The streets in the old town of Lagos are very pretty at night!

In general the nightlife in Lagos is rather quiet during November-April. The Tavern, Ol’ Bastards, and Beers & Co are the most populous areas to go, and even then they’re timid to say the least. Lagos is not the place for nightlife and clubbing.

After all, the beaches and coast is really what’s great around Lagos! Enjoy some sunlight and a glass of wine at any of the local beaches. Join some beach volleyball, a yoga class, salsa dancing, or ecstatic dance!

Intimate live music at Ol’ Bastards

Check out the Socializing in Lagos page to find a multitude of WhatsApp groups, events, meetups, and things to do around town! All year round there are things going on!

Transport around Lagos

If you have a bicycle then it’s very easy to zip around town – however there are quite a few sizeable hills and inclines to keep in mind. Lagos is definitely not flat!

Alternatively you can rent a car in Lagos, use public transport, or walk around.

The VamusAlgarve website is an invaluable resource for navigating the Algarve by bus and has a great interactive map!

Lagos is definitely walk-able though a bike opens up a lot more freedom. Decathlon in Portimāo has some decent budget bikes while Xtreme Lagos, Bica Bikes, and G-Ride are great for bike enthusiasts.

Administrative/bureaucratic things to know

In Portugal, things are tranquilo. Which means slow, in bureaucratic terms. You will need your paperwork all in order, sometimes with official translations. Go above and beyond so they have no excuse to tell you to come back again with full details.

Good ol’ Portuguese paperwork…

Even with that, expect a very slow or long processing time. While most people speak English, there’s no guarantee (or requirement) that they will accommodate you. If uncertain, bring a Portuguese speaker with you!


I hope this quick guide to getting started and things to do in Lagos helps you out! For more specific information check out the related pages about Lagos and Algarve to really get the lowdown!

Drop any questions or comments down below and I’ll get back to you ASAP!

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