Lisbon’s been making headlines recently as one of ‘coolest’ capitals in Europe. This ancient city is increasingly attracting a young crowd, with more and more co-working spaces for digital nomads, start-up accelerators and more opening their doors by the month. And the pull is easy to see, with a low cost of living, beautiful historic architecture, the sea and river at hand, and, of course, that laid-back quality of life the Portuguese are known for. So, where are the best places to buy a home in Lisbon?
The Alfama is one of the oldest districts of Lisbon, and its winding, narrow streets are lined with tall apartment buildings and, at ground level, numerous cafés, restaurants and bars where you can hear fado music playing of an evening. The tall buildings provide shade from the sun, and top-floor apartments often have magnificent views down to the water. Homes here are generally classic apartments, with high ceilings and tall windows. Renovation opportunities abound, although do consider that not all streets are accessible by car.
The lower town, as its name refers to, is popular among a generally younger crowd, as a centre of the ‘happening’ side of Lisbon. Most homes here, as in Alfama, are apartments, many relatively small. It’s the home of Lisbon’s famous Praça do Comércio, with its ceremonial arch. It’s not necessarily a cheap area to live, although you can find more affordable places and shops in backstreets. Although there is a lot of nightlife, it’s generally quite sedate (clubbing and the like is confined to Bairro Alto.
Campo de Ourique
Campo de Ourique, in the west, is a popular choice for families. It’s a short commute from the centre, has a good local school (EB-2/3 Manuel da Maia) and spacious properties. Most are late or mid-20th century apartments, with some very attractive Art Nouveau blocks. The district is eminently walkable, and is even flat (surprisingly for Lisbon!). The main park, Jardim da Parada, is a popular place to relax of a sunny afternoon.
Santos and Lapa
Santos is often nicknamed Lisbon’s ‘design district’, with a lot of galleries and museums. Old townhouses sit side-by-side modern apartments, and prices are showing strong growth. Next-door Lapa is quite upmarket, as the home of many embassies and other diplomatic missions. There are a number of ‘palaces’ (large townhouses) here, many with beautiful old architecture and interior features like azulejos. Tram 28 is the only option for public transport, so you’ll likely need your own car.
A historic area once considered outside of Lisbon, and home to the iconic Jerónimos Monastery, this is a chic and high-end district. Residents can enjoy being within walking distance of much of the city’s main attractions. The riverfront along the Tagus is a popular spot for runners to exercise on. Property here is generally apartments, many in historic buildings with high ceilings and other period features. Further up the hill towards Restelo, homes become more expensive. Cheaper property is to be found closer to Ajuda. There is no metro access, but plenty of buses and trams.
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