23 May 2023
Portugal is on the radar for many hopeful expats for a number of enticing reasons. It offers the most relaxed visa option compared to the rest of Europe, has beautiful beaches, and is full of rich culture for the whole family to enjoy. The country is large and diverse, which means that deciding which part you'd like to move to is tricky. Whether you're looking for pristine beaches or rolling hills of olive trees, Portugal could be the best decision you've ever made. To help find the best place to move, we've compiled a list based on the cost of living, weather, and family life.
For more guidance, read our guide on moving to Portugal, which covers everything from working to healthcare.
At the top of our list is the capital, Lisbon, which is visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists every year. It's no wonder Lisbon is such a great place to live; it's full of charm and colour, offering history, a vibrant nightlife, and relaxing beaches just a short journey away. The population of Lisbon is diverse; this makes it a great place for expats to move to in Portugal. With a large expat community and plenty of English speakers, you'll find yourself settling in within no time.
Porto is often overlooked when it comes to moving to or visiting Portugal. Its northern location takes it off the main tourist route. However, this comes with advantages for people wanting to move here. The city is beautiful and on the banks of the Douro River, an excellent place to marvel at the red-tile roofed city. Not only that, the city’s friendly and welcoming residents make Porto feel like home in no time. With house prices lower than those in Lisbon, moving to Porto as an expat is an affordable option.
If you're looking for a city that is smaller and cheaper than Porto and Lisbon, then Braga is an excellent option. In fact, rent in Braga can be 50% less than in the capital. Although some expats live in Braga, it is less international than coastal and southern cities. Its popularity is on the rise though, since being voted one of the top small cities to retire to. It is also a good city to move with a family, as there are a few international schools. Living in Braga may not be for everyone, but it's an opportunity to immerse yourself in Portuguese culture.
If big cities don't interest you, then this small fishing town on the coast is the perfect place to move to in Portugal. The lifestyle is relaxed, slow-paced, and focused around the sea. You'll find yourself charmed by the strong bond residents have to the ocean; it has influenced the food, crafts, and the town itself. Nazaré is rich in traditions and has a strong religious presence. This small town has also been put on the map for its waves. It is host to the largest waves in the world, drawing crowds, festivals and events.
Located on the Algarve coast, Faro brings both beauty and beaches. However, it isn't as busy as other cities in the region, making it an excellent option for an authentic experience living in Portugal. There is a large community of English speakers which is why many expats choose Faro to retire to. Being in the south of Portugal, the weather is milder here compared to other places on our list.
Aveiro is a charming town, often referred to as the “Venice of Portugal," for its canals and boats. It is truly authentic, and many choose to move here for its close links to nearby Porto. The relaxed nature of the place makes it a perfect spot to relax and unwind. You can find yourself heading to the city quickly.
Aveiro is surrounded by stunning landscapes, from beaches to biking trails. It offers a relaxed and good quality of life to residents, making it ideal to retire to or work remotely.
Coimbra is a safe and vibrant city with plenty to offer to someone looking to move here. The city is full of history and is home to Portugal’s oldest university. This brings many Portuguese and international students here and creates a bustling atmosphere. Its central location is ideal for exploring the rest of the country; however, it isn't close to any beaches. If the beaches aren’t what you're looking for, then you'll find plenty happening here.
Portimão is another city in the Algarve which makes our list of the best places to live in Portugal. It's safe and stunning, with lots to offer to those looking to move here. The city of Portimão has a rich history, but the real draw to moving here is its pristine beaches.
It also offers a prime location in the Algarve, making it a popular destination for tourists and expats, bringing a lively atmosphere. In the summer, you'll find a calendar full of events, festivals, and entertainment. Portimão's proximity to other charming towns and cities in the Algarve allows for easy exploration and day trips.
If you’re relocating to one of these fantastic locations, Bishop’s Move can help you with our dedicated removals to Portugal service. We’ve been moving clients internationally for over 185 years and can make your move simple and seamless. Find out how we can help you today.