Portugal offers comfortable, cultured living at a low cost. Whether you’re looking to live in Europe full-time or part-time, sunny, pleasant Portugal deserves a look.
Here are some of the most popular destinations for expats in Portugal:
British and other European expats have been settling in the Algarve for years. Blessed with golden sand coves, almond groves and Portugal’s kindest climate, the Algarve runs along Portugal’s southern Atlantic coast.
This region has numerous golf courses as well as plenty of sun, surf and sandy beaches along the coast. And, thanks to a strong expat presence, you can get by in English here.
The Algarve is relatively expensive when compared to the rest of Portugal. But for those seeking a sunny destination where it’s easy to transition to expat life and where you can enjoy a wealth of outdoor sports, the Algarve is hard to beat.
Lisbon, Cascais and Estoril
Portugal’s capital, Lisbon, is one of the most charming, yet underrated, capitals in Europe. Located along the estuary of the Tagus River, just before it pours into the Atlantic, Lisbon offers a pleasant river and seaside ambience. One of the world’s oldest cities—it’s well over 3,000 years old, Lisbon offers the faded grace of a great lady. Worn, centuries-old buildings climb its many hills, often offering magnificent views. Lisbon’s central, downtown neighbourhoods are popular for their shops, cafés, lively nightlife and beautiful baroque buildings.
In Lisbon you’ll find all the amenities you’d expect from a capital city—museums, concert halls, restaurants, chic cafés, widespread public transportation and an international airport.
Just under an hour’s drive from Lisbon are the seaside towns of Cascais and Estoril. Both are popular with expats due to their small-town, cosy atmosphere and their beaches. They offer an alternative to big-city life, yet are within easy reach of Lisbon. You’ll find large expat communities here, mostly British, so getting by in English is not a problem.
Porto, Portugal’s second city, sits dramatically atop cliffs above the Douro River estuary, just a scant distance from the Atlantic Ocean.
Porto is famed as the home of port, the fortified wine so beloved by the British. You’ll find the caves, or wine cellars, of all the major port producers across the river from central Porto, in lovely Vila Nova da Gaia. But there is so much more to Porto than its signature beverage. Broad boulevards, pavement cafés, chic restaurants offering delectable seafood or petiscos, little snacks that are Portugal’s version of Spain’s tapas… Lively and well-preserved, Porto offers big-city style and verve in a small, cosy package.
Porto’s historic centre, with its shops, cafés, markets and museums, is small and can be walked from end to end in less than an hour. You’ll find attractive neighbourhoods outside the centre as well. Pleasant river walks run all the way to Porto’s Atlantic beaches on both the Porto and Vila Nova da Gaia sides of the Douro.