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Where to Buy a House in Portugal 2024

Updated: February 22, 2024
By: Adriana Pinto

A new year is the optimal time to start planning a big move to a different country, such as Portugal. If this move involves buying a house, the question of exactly where in the country you should purchase is probably one of the first to arise. Although Portugal is small, when you’re not familiar with a country’s different cities and ways, the bulk of information can be overwhelming and make it difficult to choose. That’s why we are here to give you recommendations based on the areas’ specific characteristics. Come find out more!

Frederik Pohl
Frederik Pohl, CEO
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Lisbon

Well, the capital is an obvious option to consider. Lisbon is rich in sunlight, history, culture and gastronomy – and very much recognized for it, especially in recent years, reaching peaks of popularity, both in tourism and immigration, which is reflected on its real estate market, currently sitting at 5.441 €/m2. This is the most populated Portuguese city, with a total of about 3 million people in its Metropolitan area – almost 30% of the entire population. Which means that Lisbon is also the busiest, making it perfect for, e.g a digital nomad or entrepreneur with lots of energy, looking to partake in lots of social activities and possibly start a business. If you’re looking for more of a peaceful environment, to rest and enjoy the simpler things in life, there are some great towns around Lisbon that most likely make more sense for you.

where to buy portugal 2024
Pena Palace in Sintra

Where to buy in Portugal in 2024 – Around Lisbon

Cascais

Cascais is a high-class coastal town, just about a 40 minute drive outside of Lisbon. For many years, it has been playfully mocked for being the poshest Portuguese town and known for its “tias de Cascais” (Cascais aunties) – the Portuguese version of a Karen, basically. But it’s not out of nowhere that the town gained that reputation. Cascais has an amazing location, completely surrounded by beautiful, long, sandy beaches, amazing fish and seafood restaurants and all amenities close-by. It is peaceful, yet active, with a very large expat community, composed of mainly English and American retirees.

Sintra

Internationally known for its beautiful mountains and monuments, Sintra is a beautiful hub of history, nature and culture, also about a 40 minute drive away from Lisbon (and 20 minute drive from Cascais). If you have researched Portugal in any way, you have probably come in contact with Sintra, since pictures of this pretty town are regularly used to represent Portugal. The Pena National Palace, the Moors Castle, the Quinta da Regaleira and the Monserrate Palace are definitive selling points, but what makes Sintra a great town to actually live in? Apart from being full of history and culture, Sintra is a very laid-back, natural place. In fact, a lot of its territory is made up of the Sintra National Park – where you can get all sorts of exercise in, making it perfect for the active nature lovers.

Setúbal

Another great option for those looking to be closely located to Lisbon’s many professional and cultural perks is Setúbal, its fellow shore dweller. This is a much cheaper area and less luxurious, but that can definitely be a good thing. Setúbal has more of a local, traditional feeling, which translates into its people, its friendly environment and its local businesses – like the well-known seafood and fish restaurants. This makes the “Margem Sul” (south shore) city great for those on a lower budget (2.258 €/m2 as of December 2023) who don’t mind a less posh, more traditional way of life. Plus, its expat community has been growing heavily in recent months.

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Typical Alentejo houses

Where to buy in Portugal in 2024 – Alentejo

Beja

The capital of the Lower Alentejo is known for being very calm and laid-back, with increasingly fewer people. In fact, this is the case for many Alentejo towns. A lot of locals flee to the coastline in search of professional and educational opportunities and the interior areas continue to lose population. Meaning that these places are in real need of new people, new investment and new life. If you’re looking for peace and a sense of community, Beja could be the perfect city for you! Just look at its beautiful traditional Alentejo houses, which are much cheaper than in the majority of the country, at 957 €/m2 (December 2023).

Vila Nova de Milfontes

Vila Nova De Milfontes is a small gem in the Alentejo coast that’s a very popular vacation spot for Portuguese families, but still quite unknown abroad. The town is delightfully welcoming and traditional, with a great selection of restaurants and, of course, beaches, such as ‘Praia do Farol’. In fact, these beaches are especially great for water sports, since the low density of the area makes for cleaner water, making it ideal for the athletes, the nature lovers and the tranquillity enjoyers.

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Algarve

Algarve

Lagos

The Algarve and especially Lagos are names you have probably heard of or read while researching Portugal, since this is a very popular region for expats from all over the world, but especially English, American and North-European retirees, who make up around 30% of the city’s population. Waking up in the morning and having a crisp cup of coffee on your front porch or terrace; the blue waters and fine sand of the Algarve in your direct horizon; the idea of a nice, fresh fish lunch in one of the many seashore restaurants on your mind, maybe a surf lesson or golf game later. This quality of life is what brings so many to the area, which has made it quite expensive, at 3.759 €/m2.

Sagres

Sagres is located at the southernmost point of Portugal, surrounded by the sea on almost all sides, making the lovely town a popular destination for surfers and retirees alike. It has everything you might need – supermarkets, restaurants, pharmacies, hospitals -, plus the closeness to main cities like Lagos and Portimão. The downside (or maybe upside for you) is that a lot of people are attracted to the tranquillity and seaside-ness of Sagres, making the town’s real estate market quite expensive, at 4.422 €/m2.

where to buy portugal 2024 porto
Beautiful sunset over Porto

North

Ponte de Lima

Located in the almost absolute North of Portugal, Ponte de Lima is one of the oldest Portuguese towns. It’s full of Roman architecture and history, making it an incredible choice if you want to experience authenticness. Many Portuguese classics like the singing style desgarrada, typical craftsmanship (‘Artesanato’) and religious celebrations (‘romarias’) are tradition here. It’s smaller and with fewer foreigners, so English might be a little problem. However, the people of Ponte de Lima surely will do their best to help you.

Braga

We now land in Braga, also one of the oldest cities in Portugal. Given its old-timer status, this a city that is extremely historically and architecturally rich, full of beautiful works from Roman times. But don’t be fooled, Braga acquainted itself to the times very well, becoming quite modern and a home for many important cultural events in the country. This is amplified by its famous university, which brings a lot of youthfulness and diversity to the city every year. Braga is great for the city people looking to save a few bucks, since it is quite cheaper than Porto, for example.

Porto

Speaking of which, the second largest city in Portugal is naturally a favoured option amongst foreigners. Porto is very particular and traditional in its ways, which also stems from its rather small perimeter, when compared to Lisbon, for example. This is something that definitely attracts a lot of people to this Northern gem. That and the amazing gastronomy, views, friendliness and richness in history and culture. Which, naturally, also made Porto more expensive, at 3.453 €/m2.

d4 student visa portugal where to buy 2024
University of Coimbra - one of the oldest universities in Europe

Centre

Coimbra

Coimbra is a lot like the aforementioned Braga – very old, historically and architecturally rich and with an acclaimed university for a fountain of youth and diversity. Even more so, actually! The city’s nucleus is very dependent on the University of Coimbra, which is one of the oldest universities in Europe and the image of the city. If perhaps you’re looking to study, or have children who aim to pursue higher education, this could be perfect for you! It is also remarkably cheaper than other popular Portuguese cities, sitting at 1.825 €/m2.

Covilhã

Located at the very core of the Portuguese countryside, Covilhã is a small town just nearby Serra da Estrela. It’s quite small and divided in two parts. The “upper part” is where the historic centre and the area closest to the University’s main campus are located. The “lower part” is where there are supermarkets, restaurants, and a shopping centre. The core population of the city is older people, but, much like Braga and Coimbra, the university brings a lot of young people and foreigners around, making it easier for you to get by. This is a great option for people looking for a more rural and local taste of Portugal, and to perhaps renovate an old house in town. It is quite cheaper to buy real estate in, at 1.003 €/m2, as of November of 2023.

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