europe – Should I get a residence permit or Schengen tourist visa?

I want to try living in about a dozen countries in Europe in next few years. My purpose is to answer the following question.

Based on my own experience of living in different countries, is there a country I want to move to in Europe?

To move around, I can get Schengen visa or I can get 2-year temporary residency from Portugal using D7. Here’s my comparison of the options.

Pros of residence permit

  • I don’t have to leave Schengen area for 90 days in 180 day period.
  • More freedom of movement in Schengen area, less headache, less fees. I’d request a 3 year Schengen visa but they might think I should start with a visa that’s valid for only 90 days, which would require me to go to an embassy in a specific country in person, wait for my passport to be mailed back to me, arrange plane tickets and long term stays months in advance, and repeat this process many times.
  • If I decide to move to Portugal, I’d be 2 years closer to being a permanent resident and citizen there.

Cons of residence permit

  • Extra effort. Finding an apartment to lease. Getting NIF. Navigating NHR.
  • Possibly taxes. I live off of my savings and have no income so this isn’t a problem for now. But I might start working (as a remote contractor for non-EU companies). If I conclude that I don’t want to move to Portugal, then I can treat the residence permit like it’s a 2 year Schengen visa. I’m not sure if this is ok. Is there anyone here who has or had temporary residence permit of Portugal who can comment on this? Maybe I should ask the embassy?

Portugal is at the top of my list because it has lower cost of living, easier requirements for resident permits, warmer winters compared to other Schengen countries. Never been to Portugal before but I’ve spent a few months in Brazil.