Retiring To Portugal: Where You Should Live?

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Who doesn’t dream of spending their retirement in a beautiful sun drenched country with a bunch of beautiful beaches and a great standard of living? Portugal has been said to be heaven on earth not only because of it’s great beaches and natural landscape but also because of its rich culture and history. In this article we will describe some of the best cities to live in Portugal.

The Best Places to Retire in Portugal:

  • Guimarães
  • Braga
  • Mafra
  • Porto
  • Lisbon
  • Lagos
  • Portimao
  • Albufeira
  • Vila Nova de Cacela

Read more to find out why one of these locations might be perfect for you!

Is Portugal a good place to retire?

Population: 10.3 million
Climate: 17 to 27 °C / 63 to 81 °F
Capital City: Lisbon 
Currency: Euro
Language: Portuguese

Portugal in western Spain is known for its beaches and cheap lifestyle and is the home to many retirees from all over the world. The Portuguese are known for their love of food and more so for their willingness to share it with anybody who comes to visit. The inviting array of cuisines provides an array of dishes that will mean you never get bored with your food choices.

With over 300 days of beautiful sunny weather every year from Lisbon down and a few less in the north. Portugal’s summertime is a significant draw card for those trying to escape the cold and snow of their home countries. You can enjoy the magnificent beaches and coastline as well as explore Lisbon’s famed lights on the town’s and full nightlife.

Portugal is known for its beautiful blue oceans and the summertime not only allows you to enjoy a variety of ocean activities such as swimming but also enables you to experience the underwater world. With many snorkeling sites around the country there will always be a new place to try.

The International Wave Sports Festival takes place every year at Santa Cruz Beachfront in Torres Vedras. Domestic and worldwide events in activities including surfing, skimming, boarding, surf boating, wave skiing, and bodysurfing are contested throughout the festival.

In the summer, Madeira is ideal for families who wish to see dolphins and whales frolicking in the ocean as well as go on kayak tours, snorkeling and much more. Canyoning, snorkeling, and shark diving are among the most popular aquatic sports in the Azores. Arrifana Beach is a prominent surfing site lined by rocks and adjacent to a tiny fishing community and harbor.

So if you want a retirement that is active and predominantly outdoor then Portugal is definitely for you. 

What are the best cities to live in?

Choosing a new city to live in a foreign country can be a challenge but you don’t have to worry, we will help you make the right choice about picking the right one.

Is Guimarães a good place to retire?

Temperature: 6°C to 27°C / 43°F to 80 °F
Population: 153K

In 1128 the first monarch of Portugal selected Guimares, which was a Roman Province city as his governmental center. It is now recognized as a World Heritage Site by the Unesco. The city is among the most renowned day excursions from Lisbon that attract visitors from all over the globe to see its 10th-century palace and other attractions. 

Despite its cultural features, the 153,000 residents of this very Portuguese town go about their daily lives providing an unusual combination in the city’s overall tone. Summertime is brief, warm, dry and usually sunny but wintertime is cool, rainy and partially cloudy. 

A couple may live comfortably in Guimares for $1,500 USD – 2,000 USD per month or $24,000 per year even if they rent a three-bedroom apartment.

What To Do in Guimarães:

Popular Restaurants in Guimarães:

NOTE: Some of these websites are in Portuguese. Be sure to enable the auto-translation feature on your browser to see these websites in English.

Is Braga a good place to retire?

Temperature: 8°C to 19°C / 47°F to 67°F
Population: 137K

Braga’s background like that of many other Portuguese cities was molded by the Roman conquest and the town’s structure and surroundings reflect these times. This town is situated in the north and is regarded as Portugal’s oldest settlement.

The population in Braga is about 137.000 people and it is mostly Portuguese although there are also a small number of people from Latin America,the Caribbean, Asia and Central Europe. The University of Minho contributes to the population’s diversity by attracting people from all across Europe and East Asia.

These university students provide a boost to a rather conservative community and most of them can communicate in English. Because of this and because many retailers and food vendors cater to visitors, a lot of expats find Braga an easy place to call home. Towns that are known as University towns due to that being the major industry have cheap accommodation and food as well as more activities.

Retirement in Braga is extremely inexpensive. A couple can live comfortably in Braga for less than $2,000 USD a month or less than $24,000 USD per year if they rent a three-bedroom apartment.

What To Do in Braga:

Popular Restaurants in Braga:

Is Mafra a good place to retire?

Temperature: 14°C to 21°C / 57°F to 70°F
Population: 86k

Mafra is around 30 minutes from Lisbon’s airport, hospitals and service and it is one of the many satellite towns around Lisbon. With a state population of around 86.000 people the town has the air of a bustling but relaxed small town. 

The neighborhood is filled with parks and gardens that are brimming with flowers all year long. If you like having access to the amenities of Lisbon a short drive away but like a smaller town feel this could be for you.

The National Palace of Portugal which was built in 1717 and used as a royal residence until 1910 is located in Mafra. The city has an abundant amount of great structural beauties from the palace’s Renaissance and Neoclassical beauty.

In Mafra a couple may live comfortably on roughly $1,500 USD per month, including rent for a total of roughly $18,000 per year.

What To Do in Mafra:

Popular Restaurants in Mafra:

Is Porto a good place to retire?

Temperature: 12°C to 25°C / 53°F to 77°F°
Population: 1.3 million

Porto is Portugal’s second-largest city next to Lisbon which is situated on the Douro riverbed that runs into the North Atlantic. The city has a small-city charm and hospitality with all the amenities of a major city. These smaller sized cities are great for medical care including specialists without being too big to lose the local country charm.

It has an international airport and is a commerce hub for the northern region of Portugal so this means there is a shop for everything you might need and a steady flow of fresh produce. You can find this at the Bolhão Market where you can buy everything you need for a great meal.

This city is surrounded by magnificent gardens with ponds, sculptures and tropical plants. With its wide streets and cobblestone lanes filled with ancient buildings it makes it a perfect spot for retirees who want to live in a picturesque city. The slightly cooler weather means a few months snuggled up with hearty meals but also the rest of the year outside.  This climate is great for playing in the garden if you like to dig in the dirt.

Living in Porto is surprisingly reasonable given its natural and cultural grandeur, good cuisine and wines and engaging pastimes. With a three bedroom apartment lease a couple could live comfortably in Porto for around $2,100 per month or $25,200 per year. Keeping in mind at the edge of the city you could live a lot cheaper.

What To Do in Porto:

Popular Restaurants in Porto:

Is Lisbon a good place to retire?

Temperature: 12°C to 25°C / 53°F to 77°F
Populations: 1.5 million

Lisbon has an undeniable lure for plenty of expatriates relocating to Portugal with its trademark cobblestone streets and gorgeous ancient buildings. Lisbon is the country’s capital and is located on the southwest coast which boasts a broad array of activities throughout the city’s different communities. 

These activities include everything from bustling commercial areas and vibrant entertainment centers to quaint local quarters and gorgeous seaside hideaways. A large number of tourists move to Lisbon every year because of this cultural history as well as the countless cafés, eateries and stores available. 

It’s simple to get around the city and experience the different local sights thanks to the strong public transportation system. It also checks several boxes for sun-seeking expatriates with a moderate coastal climate that provides warm and dry summers and mild winters with 300 days of sunshine per year.

A couple might live well in Lisbon for roughly $2,300 per month, or $27,600 per year if you rented a two-bedroom apartment outside the city center. If this stretches your budget look at the satellite towns like Mafra above.

What To Do in Lisbon:

Popular Restaurants in Lisbon:

Is Lagos a good place to retire on the Algarve?

Temperature: 10°C to 35 °C / 50°F to 77°F
Population: 31K

Lagos is a beach city in the Algarve area of Portugal and it is known as one of the state’s most pleasant resort towns. It has mild weather all year which means all year round you can spend time at the beach. English is also widely spoken due to predominantly being a tourist town.

The city has a population of 31,000 people and is swelled by foreigners to almost 3 to 4 times its population in the summer months. There are plenty of activities like golf, soccer, horseback riding and trekking to enjoy. The beach provides a perfect setting for canoeing, kayaking, sailing, kiteboarding, yachting and other water sports in the town’s tourist industry.

Despite Lagos’ tourist-oriented economy the costs aren’t ridiculously expensive even during the prime summer season. A couple may live a high-quality livelihood at $2,200 USD a month or at around $26,400 USD per year if they rent a two-bedroom condominium. You can live for much less if you move further from the beach.

What To Do in Lagos:

Popular Restaurants in Lagos:

Is Portimao a good place to retire on the Algarve?

Temperature: 10°C to 35 °C / 50°F to 77°F
Population: 40K

This small town in the chain of towns on Portugal’s southern coast in the Algarve is a retirement and tourist area where you will find both cheap rentals and houses as well as a beach lifestyle. Apartments to buy start at around 100k USD so you can have a piece of the beach lifestyle for a fraction of the cost you would pay in most other places in the world.

Rental prices per month start for a unit at around $550 USD and can climb a lot higher within a few blocks of the beach. The starter properties are all still within walking distance or a short car or bike ride so easy to access. There are also good public transport systems as well.

A couple might live well in Portimao for roughly $1,200 per month, or $14,400 per year if you rented a two-bedroom apartment not in the front few rows of the beach.

What To Do in Portimao:

Popular Restaurants in Portimao:

Is Albufeira a good place to retire on the Algarve?

Temperature: 10°C to 35 °C / 50°F to 77°F
Population: 44K

The next town in the Algarve in southern Portugal that has become quite popular over the last few years for cheap beach property in safe countries with easy visa rules is Albufeira. Its multiple beautiful beaches spoil you for choice and you could go to a different beach each day. 

This string of towns on the Algarve is serviced by the Faro airport and all towns have airport transfer services.They also have multiple hospitals and medical services and the airport is a short trip away if you need to take a cheap flight to Lisbon for specialist medical care.

A couple might live well in Albufeira for roughly $1,300 per month, or $15,600 per year if you rented a two-bedroom apartment in the city itself a short distance from the beach. 

What To Do in Albufeira:

Popular Restaurants in Albufeira:

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