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Top 8 Places to Live in Portugal

Ana Fankhauser
December 21, 2022
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Portugal is a welcoming nation for expats, with beautiful beaches, lovely and safe cities, charming beach towns, and old fishing villages. With so many beautiful locations to choose from, it is quite evident that expats looking to move to Portugal are spoilt for choice. Wonderful, right? But that can be an issue, too, as it makes it a task in itself to choose a place to move to in Portugal. As for the answer to this question, well, it varies based on your needs, lifestyle, and personal preferences. To make your choice easier, we have curated this listicle with distinct locations that appeal to different sets of people. Let’s begin.

Portugal's 8 Best Places to Live In

Based on the cities and towns in Portugal, we've compiled a list of the greatest locations to live.

#1 Lisbon

Lisbon is the capital and largest city of Portugal, located on the western coast of the country. It is known for its beautiful historical landmarks, vibrant culture, and mild, Mediterranean climate.

Lisbon has a rich history that can be seen in its architecture, which includes a mix of traditional Portuguese and modern styles. The city is home to a number of iconic landmarks, including the Jerónimos Monastery, the Belem Tower, and the São Jorge Castle.

Lisbon has a vibrant cultural scene, with a variety of museums, galleries, and theaters to explore. The city is also known for its music, with a variety of live music venues featuring local and international acts.

Lisbon is a popular destination for tourists, who come to experience its rich culture and history, as well as its beautiful beaches and warm climate. The city has a lively atmosphere, with many bars, clubs, and restaurants to choose from.

Overall, Lisbon is a vibrant and picturesque city that is known for its rich history, cultural scene, and beautiful beaches.

#2 Cascais

Cascais is a coastal town located in the Lisbon region of Portugal. It is known for its beautiful beaches, historical landmarks, and charming streets lined with shops, restaurants, and cafes.

The town is located about 30 kilometers (20 miles) west of Lisbon and is a popular destination for both tourists and locals. It has a mild, Mediterranean climate and a rich cultural history.

Cascais has a number of beautiful beaches, including Praia da Ribeira, Praia da Conceição, and Praia do Guincho. These beaches are popular for swimming, sunbathing, and surfing. The town also has several historical landmarks, including the Cascais Citadel, the Cascais Cultural Center, and the Casa de Santa Maria.

In addition to its beaches and historical landmarks, Cascais is home to a vibrant nightlife scene. There are many bars, clubs, and restaurants in the town, and it is known for its lively atmosphere.

Overall, Cascais is a charming and picturesque town that is known for its beautiful beaches, rich cultural history, and vibrant atmosphere.

#3 Porto

Porto is the second-largest city in Portugal, located in the northwest of the country. It is known for its beautiful architecture, rich cultural history, and vibrant atmosphere.

One of the main attractions of Porto is its architecture, which includes a mix of traditional Portuguese and modern styles. The city is home to a number of iconic landmarks, including the Porto Cathedral, the Clérigos Tower, and the Palácio da Bolsa.

Porto is also known for its rich cultural history, with a number of museums, galleries, and theaters to explore. The city is home to a number of festivals and events throughout the year, including the Festa de São João, a celebration of the city's patron saint.

In addition to its cultural attractions, Porto is also known for its beautiful beaches, which are popular for swimming, sunbathing, and surfing. The city has a vibrant nightlife scene, with many bars, clubs, and restaurants to choose from.

#4 Funchal (Madeira)

Funchal is the capital city of the island of Madeira, an autonomous region of Portugal located in the Atlantic Ocean. It is known for its beautiful natural surroundings, rich cultural history, and mild, subtropical climate.

Funchal is located on the southern coast of Madeira and is surrounded by a landscape of mountains, forests, and cliffs. The city is known for its beautiful gardens and parks, including the Jardim Botânico and the Quinta das Cruzes.

Funchal has a rich cultural history, with a number of museums, galleries, and theaters to explore. The city is also home to a number of festivals and events throughout the year, including the Festa da Flor and the Festa do Divino Espírito Santo.

In addition to its cultural attractions, Funchal is also known for its beautiful beaches, which are popular for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports. The city has a vibrant nightlife scene, with many bars, clubs, and restaurants to choose from.

#5 The Azores

The Azores are an archipelago of nine islands located in the North Atlantic Ocean, about 1,500 kilometers (932 miles) west of Lisbon, Portugal. The islands are known for their beautiful natural surroundings, including forests, lakes, waterfalls, and cliffs.

The Azores have a mild, subtropical climate, with temperatures ranging from about 15°C (59°F) in the winter to about 25°C (77°F) in the summer. The islands are known for their beautiful green landscapes, which are dotted with small towns and villages.

The Azores are home to a number of outdoor activities, including hiking, cycling, fishing, and whale watching. The islands are also known for their hot springs, which are believed to have therapeutic properties.

In addition to their natural beauty, the Azores are also known for their rich cultural history. The islands have a long tradition of folk music, dance, and craftsmanship, and there are a number of museums and cultural centers to explore.


#6 Aveiro

Aveiro is a city located in the center of Portugal, about 100 kilometers (62 miles) south of Porto. It is known for its beautiful canals, colorful houses, and rich cultural history.

Aveiro is located on the Atlantic coast and is known for its beautiful canals, which are often referred to as the "Venice of Portugal." The city is home to a number of colorful houses, which are painted in shades of yellow, blue, and green.

Aveiro has a rich cultural history, with a number of museums, galleries, and theaters to explore. The city is also home to a number of festivals and events throughout the year, including the Festa do Divino Espírito Santo and the Festa da Ria.

In addition to its cultural attractions, Aveiro is also known for its beautiful beaches, which are popular for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports. The city has a vibrant nightlife scene, with many bars, clubs, and restaurants to choose from.

#7 Chaves

Chaves is a city located in the north of Portugal, near the border with Spain. It is known for its beautiful natural surroundings, rich cultural history, and thermal baths.

Chaves is located in the Minho region of Portugal and is surrounded by a landscape of rolling hills and forests. The city is known for its beautiful parks and gardens, including the Jardim das Amoreiras and the Jardim dos Clérigos.

Chaves has a rich cultural history, with a number of museums, galleries, and theaters to explore. The city is also home to a number of festivals and events throughout the year, including the Festa das Rosas and the Festa da Nossa Senhora dos Remédios.

One of the main attractions of Chaves is its thermal baths, which are believed to have therapeutic properties. The city is home to a number of thermal spas, which are popular with tourists and locals alike.

#8 Portimao

Portimão is a city located in the Algarve region of Portugal, on the southern coast of the country. It is known for its beautiful beaches, rich cultural history, and vibrant atmosphere.

Portimão is located on the Atlantic coast and is known for its beautiful beaches, which are popular for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports. The city is also home to a number of historical landmarks, including the Portimão Museum and the Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Conceição.

Portimão has a rich cultural history, with a number of museums, galleries, and theaters to explore. The city is also home to a number of festivals and events throughout the year, including the Festa do Mar and the Festa do Município.


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Ana Fankhauser
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