For buyers looking to purchase in Portugal’s bustling cities, the top choices are Lisbon (Lisboa) and Porto. Both beautiful cities, the former located in the centre and the latter in the north, the choice between the two is difficult. That’s why we’re narrowing it down, with our run-down of the top reasons to buy in each of these property hotspots.
Both Lisbon and Porto have seen significant growth in their property markets, propelled in part by expats and investors accessing the ‘Golden Visa’ (residency by investment) scheme. In 2016, both cities saw their property prices jump by a massive 20%. This year, Lisbon home prices have risen by 18%, and Porto’s by 17%.
Nonetheless, there are price differences. Porto property in generally is noticeably more affordable, at €1,300/m2 compared to €2,400 in Lisbon. Even in Porto’s most expensive districts of Aldoar-Foz do Douro-Nevogilde have an average sale price of €1,900/m2. On the other hand, Lisbon’s priciest district, beautiful San Antonio, has a median price tag of €3,800.
If you want the hustle and bustle of city life, but you also want to be able to spend your weekends relaxing on golden sands, then Lisbon is your choice. Although neither city fronts directly onto a beach, the famous resort of Cascais – once popular among the country’s then-royalty and aristocracy – is just 30 minutes away from Cais do Sodre Station by train. The journey can cost as little as €2.25!
Lisbon just about wins the race on average temperature, by a few degrees. In December, the city sees average temperatures of around 11-12ºC, while Porto sees temperatures of around 9-10ºC. Summer in Lisbon has balmy highs of 29ºC – perfect for sunseekers. If you prefer milder temperatures, Porto’s summer highs of 25ºC may appeal more.
Lisbon’s one of the sunniest cities in Europe, enjoying 400 hours more than Porto (to a total of around 2,800 annually). It also enjoys 400mm less of rain annually.
Food and drink
This is a difficult one to call – and depends on your preferences. However, we think Porto’s heritage helps give it the edge. Its home to the original bacalhau, the famous Portuguese salted cod, which could be considered a national dish. For drinks, it of course takes the crown for the port after which it’s named. And, if you’re looking for comfort food, it’d be hard to go wrong with a francesinha, a gloriously carb-heavy sandwich with several meats and plenty of melted cheese.
In Lisbon, cuisine is a bit lighter, although there are some delicious desserts like the world-famous pasteis de nata.
If you’re moving with family, you’ll be pleased to know you’ll be served with good education options in both cities. Although Portugal’s most famous university in Coimbra, for secondary and primary education, there are great local options in both cities. Lisbon slightly leads in terms of international education, with schools like St Joseph’s offering the British curriculum, St Dominic’s offering the International Baccalaureate and the Carlucci American International School following both the US and International Baccalaureate curricula. In Porto, the British School on Rua da Cerca teaches to the UK curriculum.
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Why not split the cost and double the fun of owning a holiday in Portugal by buying with family or friends? Read our guide to Buying Abroad with Family
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