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Types of Houses in Portugal

If you have started looking into houses to buy in Portugal, you’re probably wondering what types of Portuguese properties are there: typology of apartments, different construction houses, how they differ between regions, etc. Pearls of Portugal is here to tell you all about them and help you with your decision!

Frederik Pohl
Frederik Pohl, CEO
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General breakdown of housing types in Portugal

Typology of Portuguese Apartments

If you’ve searched for apartments in Portugal online, either to buy or rent, you have probably gotten in contact with the “T” typology and gotten a little confused. However, it is quite simple: the T is indicative of the number of bedrooms in the apartment. So, for example, a T0 is a studio, a T1 is a one-bedroom, a T2 a two-bedroom, etc.

Usually T0s have only one bathroom and a small kitchen or kitchenette, the rest is completely dependent on construction. T0s and T1s are harder to find outside of city centers but they are rather prevalent in Lisbon and Porto, for example.

There’s no standard style of apartment building but traditional construction has some specificities to it: tall windows, small balconies and interesting colors, as you can see in the image.

types of houses portugal apartment
Traditional Portuguese apartments

Portuguese Houses

Detached houses (Casa/ Moradia)

These stand alone and offer more privacy and outdoor space. They can be found mostly in suburbs, towns, and rural areas.

Semi-detached houses (Casa Geminada)

Sharing one wall with another house, these offer a good balance between privacy and affordability.

Villas (Vivenda)

Typically spacious and chic, villas are ideal for families seeking a second property, like a vacation house. They often come with a big garden, a swimming pool, and scenic views.

types of houses in portugal douro quinta
A 'quinta' in Douro Valley

These are traditional rustic houses or farms, often with large plots of land, most of the time full of fruit trees or other agriculture. For example, vineyards are very common in the North of Portugal, especially around the Douro river.

Condomínios (Condos)

These are gated communities offering individual apartments within a complex with shared amenities like a swimming pool, a gym and also security.

types of houses portugal alentejo
Traditional blue and white Alentejo buildings. The color white is preferred for construction here because it is a very sunny and high temperature region

Types of Portuguese houses per region

Typical construction varies a lot from region to region, due to the specific areas’ attributes. For example, granite is very common in the Portuguese North so that’s often a material used in construction. Let’s look at some examples:

types of houses portugal gerês
Traditional Northern House. © Gerês Casas
vacation home portugal 2024 alentejo
The typical houses of Alentejo
types of houses portugal xisto
Schist construction, typical of the center region of Portugal © Aldeias de Xisto
typical madeira house portugal
Traditional houses in Santana, Madeira, Portugal
costa nova typical house portugal
The famous striped houses of Costa Nova
açores typical house portugal
Traditional basalt houses of the Azores

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