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The 20 Best Places to Live in Portugal

Portimao, Portugal

There is a huge community of ex-pats living in the country of Portugal. If you're planning to move to this country, there are a few things to take into consideration before deciding which city or neighborhood to choose a home. If you're fluent in the German language you'll do better, but if not, look for a city where a language is more frequently spoken that you understand. Other things to think about are the cost of living in the area, safety, and things to do, or amenities. With these things in mind, here are the 20 best places to live in Portugal for 2020.

Braga Portugal

20. Braga, Portugal

Braga is located about 40 minutes from the city of Porto and three and a half hours north of Lisbon. This is a popular city for ex-pats because it offers a broad variety of amenities that people from the United States and similar countries have grown accustomed to. This is a moderately large city with a population of around 180,000. It is centrally located and you can arrive at the beach by car in just 30 minutes when traveling to the west, but if you go east, you can be at the Geres Mountains in just 15 minutes. Spain is only a 40-minute drive.

Guimaraes, Portugal

19. Guimaraes, Portugal

Guimaraes is a little smaller than Braga in population density. It's located inland from Porto and is a 3-hour drive north of Lisbon if you want to visit the larger metropolis. Most people take a train back and forth to Lisbon because transportation is fast. This is an ideal place to live if you like taking the bus because it's an inexpensive way to get around the city. Here you will find some amazing architecture, performing arts, and a lot of entertainment options. Some of the best restaurants in the country are located in Guimaraes, adn its also filled with quaint cafes and shops. There are lots of palaces, castles, and museums in the city.

Porto, Portugal

18. Porto, Portugal

Porto is another favorite city for ex-pats. It's on the coast and is a medium-sized city that offers beautiful architecture, amazing restaurants and a friendly vibe for a metropolitan area. It's a place that offers plenty of activities including vineyards for tours, beautiful beaches, lots of green space for relaxation, adn teh medical services are excellent.

Coimbra, Portugal

17. Coimbra, Portugal

Coimbra is just 2 hours north of Lisbon and this smaller city has a population of about 143,000 residents. The downtown portion of the city is set up for tourism, but the outlying areas are relaxing. It's a university town that values education, and well as beauty and culture. The people who live in the area are friendly and welcoming, and it's a great place to buy high-quality wine at a cheap price. It's filled with amazing restaurants serving great food, much of which is locally sourced. There are three shopping malls, an excellent bus system, a sports stadium and a lot of outdoor activities available.

Nazare, Portugal

16. Nazare, Portugal

Nazare is a coastal town and it is a hidden treasure if you love small-town living. The population of locals is just 15,000. When compared to Lisbon, which is an hour and a half north of Nazare, the cost of living is about half, which makes it one of the most affordable places to live in Portugal. Affordable restaurants, housing, and utilities are some of the bigger drawing cards for Nazare. Groceries are also affordable with small farmer's markets offering good deals on fresh locally grown produce. azare is on the ocean and it offers all of the benefits of living a peaceful life without the hustle and bustle of the big city, but if you crave entertainment, you'll need to drive to a larger metropolitan area.

Chaves, Portugal

15. Chaves, Portugal

Chaves is a smaller town that is about triple the size of Nazare, with a population of 45,000 residents. This is an area that is known for its friendly locals as well as the multiple health spas that are believed to cure a host of illnesses. Here you'll find some lovely Roman architecture that dates back to antiquity, along with historical sites that go back to teh War of Independence with Spain.

Aveiro, Portugal

14. Aveiro, Portugal

Aveiro is located in Central Portugal Although it's not the tourist hub that some of the other cities are, it is a place that is a popular choice for ex-pats who choose to live in Portugal. This is an ideal place to retire with great roads and a modern vibe in the city center. Walking is a popular form of transportation in the city, as well as riding a bicycle, and the city is well equipped to accommodate cyclists and pedestrians. The majority of homes are in the form of apartments with courtyards attached and living is comfortable in the city of Aveiro.

Setubal Portugal

13. Setubal, Portugal

Setubal is located in the southwestern portion of Portugal. It's a moderately smaller city with a population of just 90,000 people. It's not far from Lisbon, and it is among the busiest cities in the nation. The tourism industry is alive and well in Setubal and this means that there are also ample job opportunities. It's near lovely beaches where the cost of living is higher, but those nearer the port are less expensive.

Western Algarve

12.Western Algarve

Western Algarve is a region that is located in between Sagres and Faro. This is an area that is home to some of Portugal's most pristine and breathtaking beaches. It's also the most popular area for tourists to visit, and this provides great opportunities for entrepreneurs. The weather is generally warm and ideal in Western Algarve and it is the home of the main resort in the area called Albufeira.

Central Algarve

11. Central Algarve

Central Algarve is also home to a number of vast beaches and beach resort developments. Although there are frequent tourists visiting, there are plenty of places where locals can get away from the crowds. It's also an excellent area for sporting activities if you enjoy fishing and water activities. There are also multiple restaurants in the area.

Eastern Algarve

10. Eastern Algarve

Eastern Algarve is located to the east side of Faro. This is another option that is quite different from the other areas of the Algarve. This is a largely undeveloped region that offers a break from the more commercialized area. There are developments with hotels and restaurants, along with a few shopping venues in the area, but the pace of life is much slower and it is a noticeably different way of life.

Faro, Portugal

9. Faro, Portugal

Faro is one of the most popular cities for ex-pts from the United Kingdom. It features a relaxed vibe along with a hot climate, which many retirees place a high value on. The city is small in size and there are only a little more than 65,000 residents, but it is large enough to sponsor the University of Algarve. There are lots of young people in this college town, and the diversity is wonderful. There are some great beaches in Faro, and great places to cycle, hike and explore.

Lagos, Portugal

8. Lagos, Portugal

Lagos is a small coastal town that ha about 22,000 local residents year-round. The main industry that supports the residents is tourism. A variety of small businesses support guided tours fand sporting excursions which include activities like kayaking, windsurfing, kite surfing, surfing, paddleboarding, horseback riding, tennis, golfing, and more. English is spoken throughout the area and there are tons of services available to support the tourist economy.

Mafra, Portugal

7. Mafra, Portugal

Mafra is a smaller city with a population of residents about 76,000. It's just a half-hour drive from the major metropolis of Lisbon. This is a fairly fast-paced city for its size, but it has a lovely aesthetic with tree-lined streets. The city is home for the National Palace of Portugal which was built in 1717 and served as home for the royals until the early nineteen hundreds. The architecture dates back to the sixteenth century with Baroque and Neo-classical architecture. The cost of living is extremely reasonable in Mafra. In the wintertime, it's rainy with temperatures ranging between 46 adn 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and temperate warm, sunny and dry summers.

Albufeira, Portugal

6. Albufeira, Portugal

Albufeira is located in the southern region of Portugal and it's a popular place for ex-pats to settle because of its near-perfect weather, its breathtaking scenery, and the slow and tranquil way of life. It is a resort town that has an active and thriving tourist economy with plenty of job opportunities. There is also a huge assortment of British restaurants and bars in the town, with shopping venues. This is a coastal town on the ocean with a lot of water activities available. There are theme parks, water parks and lots of great family entertainment and recreational venues.

Portimao, Portugal

5. Portimao, Portugal

Portimao is another popular tourist city that is located on teh coast near the Arade River. It's a fishing port with a variety of historic plazas and buildings and pristine beaches. The city is filled with art galleries, theaters, museums, cafes and shopping venues.

Ponta Delgada, Azores, Portugal

4. Ponta Delgada, Azores, Portugal

Ponta Delgada is popular with ex-pat for its safe communities. This is a friendly town with a high quality of education with lots of room to move around, even in the city center, with plenty of entertainment and recreational opportunities. The roads are good and the weather is ideal. There is wonderful diversity in the city and the only real drawback is that improvements could be made for medical facilities.

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

3. Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Funchal is a city that is very affordable to live in. It's a safe area with moderately warm temperatures all year round. The air quality is good and the city is not crowded. There are plenty of places to get away and relax in peace and quiet. This is a safe place to live with a high quality of education, safe roads and a network of English speakers.

Ericeira, Portugal

2. Ericeira, Portugal

Ericeira is a seaside fishing and resort community that is situated on the western coast of Portugal, near Mafra. It's just 22 miles from the capital city of Lisbon. Ericeira is a very small town with a population of just 10,260 residents. It's known for its excellent surfing beaches and it is known throughout all of Europe for the World Surfing Reserve. It's a popular surfer and tourist destination with plenty of job opportunities and a moderate cost of living.

Cascais, Portugal

1. Cascais, Portugal

Cascais is one of the best places to live in Portugal. It's a city where the sun shines almost all the time. If you like hot summers hen you'll love this area. It's filled with plenty of outdoor activities and it's a place where you can get out and enjoy the best that nature has to offer. Cascais is one of the most beautiful places to live in all of Portugal. The beaches are pristine with a combination of dunes and mountains with tons of water sports available. It's close to several major historical attractions where there are nautical events, sports competitions, exhibitions, festivals of food and music, markets, fairs, plays, and much more. There are also a variety of restaurants, cafes, bars, and plenty of shopping. Cascais is designed with tourists in mind, but the cost of living is remarkably reasonable for the locals. Living in this city puts all of the amenities that one would enjoy while on holiday within reach of the local residents. This is one of the most breathtaking and enjoyable places to live in all of Portugal.

Dana Hanson

Written by Dana Hanson

Dana has extensive professional writing experience including technical and report writing, informational articles, persuasive articles, contrast and comparison, grant applications, and advertisement. She also enjoys creative writing, content writing on nearly any topic (particularly business and lifestyle), because as a lifelong learner, she loves to do research and possess a high skill level in this area. Her academic degrees include AA social Sci/BA English/MEd Adult Ed & Community & Human Resource Development and ABD in PhD studies in Indust & Org Psychology.

Read more posts by Dana Hanson

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