In recent years Portugal has become a hotspot for culture and investment. Everyone’s talking about Lisbon, but few people know much about Portugal’s second city: Porto. Many people pick Porto as their Portuguese city of choice, and as house prices rise in Lisbon, it is becoming increasingly more attractive to buy property in Porto, and there are plenty of homes for sale to boot.
The elegant and atmospheric northern city of Porto has long been a rival to the larger and more cosmopolitan capital of Lisbon. But Porto has plenty to offer in its own right and is an incredible place to live. Its inhabitants are famous for being friendlier, the cost of living is lower, and the city is imbued with the relaxed feeling of a smaller city where everything moves at a slower pace. And there are many incredible places to buy property in Porto – who knows, you could find your dream home in this northern city.
When it comes to purchasing property in Porto, Portugal, the best neighborhoods are as follows:
- Ribeira, Miragaia, and Baixa
- Cedofeita and Boavista
- Foz do Douro
- Bonfim and Campanhã
- Vila Nova de Gaia
- Vila do Conde
Property types in Porto
With the property market well and thriving in Porto, investors will be pleased to hear that there are plenty of options on the table regarding property types to invest in. From luxury Porto homes to renovation projects, land for sale, and fancy condos, you won’t be short of opportunities to land your dream property.
Property acquisition in Porto can be an excellent investment. Here are some of the property types on offer:
- Luxury homes (villas with a swimming pool, waterfront-facing apartments, luxury condos, and other luxury homes)
- Farm homes, barn homes, land
- Charming cottages and townhouses
- Apartments and condo units
Which neighborhood in Porto should I live in?
So, where to live in Porto? Porto’s historic center is certainly the most picturesque part of the city, with winding cobblestone streets that lead down to the river. But is it the best neighborhood for living and purchasing property in Porto? That depends entirely on what you are looking for.
There are also a number of other luxury homes for sale in newer neighborhoods in Porto to the south and to the north of the city, which are equally lucrative options in terms of investment. If you prefer to live away from the bustle of the touristic areas, closer to the incredible northern Portuguese coastline, there are many spots to choose from.
Where to buy real estate in Porto? Let’s take a look at some of the most popular choices, whether you’re looking to find luxury homes or something more low-key.
What is it like to live in Ribeira, Miragaia, and Baixa in Porto?
- Lively nightlife
The Baixa area of Porto includes a number of well-known neighborhoods, such as Ribeira and Miragaia.
There are few views in Porto that exemplify its beauty better than those of Ribeira. The Ribeira neighborhood in Porto is so-called because it lies next to the Douro River, and every photo looks fit for a postcard. Neighboring Miragaia is equally beautiful and known for being particularly lively during São João, the traditional street party that takes place in Porto in June.
This is where you can eat sardines and drink the best of Portuguese wine as you watch the sunset over the river. As one of the most historic neighborhoods in Porto, its colorful old houses and cobbled streets will charm any visitor.
In the neighborhood of Ribeira, Miragaia, and Baixa, residential real estate is valued has an average price of €4,016 per m². The maximum price and minimum price will depend on the type of property that you are looking to purchase.
This centrally located neighborhood is close to everything you might need. It’s within walking distance from the center, as well as the bars, restaurants, and nightclubs. It also has a number of different metro stations, making getting around easy.
What is it like to live in Cedofeita and Boavista in Porto?
Another charming historic neighborhood in central Porto, this area surrounds the pedestrianized Rua de Cedofeita. Popular with younger residents, it also features a number of street markets on the weekends.
In the neighborhood of Cedofeita and Boavista, the average residential real estate is valued at €4,016 per m². The maximum price and minimum price will depend on the type of property that you are looking to purchase.
This centrally located neighborhood is perfect if you want to be in the historic heart of the city of Porto. It is also good for shopping and has good transport connections.
What is it like to live in Foz do Douro?
Porto isn’t just about the historic center, and if you take a trip to the affluent suburb of Foz do Douro, the modern homes with sea views could make you think you’re in another city altogether. The seafront neighborhood in Porto is popular for this very reason, offering some respite from the chaos of the city. It can be a good choice for families, with easier access for cars, more spacious housing as well as being close to the beach.
Property in Foz do Douro is highly sought after and generally more expensive than other suburbs in Porto, with average residential real estate prices of €4,109 per m². As mentioned, previously, the maximum price and minimum price will depend on the type of property that you are looking to purchase.
If you’re looking to invest in an upmarket area located close to the center but also close to the beach, this is the right choice for you.
What is it like to live in Bonfim and Campanhã?
- Relatively inexpensive
The freguesias of Bonfim and Campanhã, located next to one another, are becoming one of the hottest neighborhoods to buy real estate in Porto. These areas have long suffered from the stigma of being some of the poorest in the city but, in recent years, have benefitted from generous public investment. Streets such as the Rua do Miraflor are becoming cultural hubs thanks to the renovation of derelict warehouses.
Price of property
The average real estate price in Bonfim is, on average, €2,940 per m², whereas in Campanhã it is €2,181 per m².
If you’re looking to score a bargain in an area with a lot of potential, this is probably the right area for you.
Where should I live near Porto?
If you would prefer to live somewhere outside of the city, there are plenty of options depending on what you’re looking for.
What is it like to live in Vila Nova de Gaia?
- Variety of different options
- Close to the beach
- Close to the center
Vila Nova de Gaia – also known as Gaia – is the city on the other side of the river Douro, best known for the cellars where they age the Port wine. However, the city extends far beyond the riverside. It makes an attractive investment option as it is close to the city of Porto but also less expensive than the city’s downtown district.
Price of property
The average price of residential real estate in Gaia is €1,791 per m² for a house.
Gaia is close to the center of Porto but offers much more variety in terms of housing options.
What is it like to live in Vila do Conde?
The charming historic town of Vila do Conde has been rated as one of the best areas to live in in the greater Porto region. When visiting this beautifully traditional seaside town, it’s not difficult to see why. Its distance from the city means it scores highly in terms of cleanliness and air quality as well as security.
Price of property
The average price of property in Vila do Conde is €1,235 per m² for a house.
This quiet seaside town is beautiful and peaceful, as well as being connected to the city of Porto by the metro, making it a convenient place to live as well.
Life in Porto
Is Porto a good place to live?
Portugal consistently ranks very highly in terms of quality of life. And Porto, in particular, is frequently cited as a good place to live due to the relaxed pace of life, fantastic food, and good wine. The city also boasts a lively cultural scene with plenty of museums and art galleries to explore, as well as beautiful parks and other outdoor spaces.
To read more about healthcare options in Porto, read our in-depth guide to Healthcare in Portugal for Expats.
Is it a good time to make a real estate investment in Porto?
In 2023, it’s a perfectly good time to invest in Porto real estate because of the favorable hike in prices in 2022. They’re continuing to rise and are expected to do so for the foreseeable future.
Porto is also considered a seller’s market right now, so if you get a great deal, you should close it as soon as possible and resell it at a later date for a high property value. Real estate investments in the city are attractive for investors at the moment, as the city is in high demand.
Brick and Mortar has long been a safe investment option, and Porto continues to be a city that garners interest. Should you wish to rent out your property in the short or long term, you should be able to get a nice return on your investment.
Unfortunately, the Portugal Golden Visa no longer includes Porto for residential property investments (although it does include commercial properties). However, there are many interior areas in the surrounding areas that fit the crietria. You can see our full guide to the Portugal Golden Visa here.
Do note that the Portugal Golden Visa is coming to an end. If you are interested in applying for the program, we highly recommend beginning the process now.
What’s rental ROI like when investing in Porto property?
If you’re looking to invest in a house for rental purposes, Porto can be an excellent option considering it’s a tourist hub and has become a very lucrative property market. Renting out your property during a busy season can yield approximately 4 to 6 percent.
All in all, what makes an investment in the property market in Porto so appealing is that the city is considered affordable, safe, and has excellent infrastructure. These factors make living in Porto very comfortable and attractive for tourists looking to soak up some culture and unwind in Portugal’s second-biggest city.
International schools in Porto
If you are looking to move to Porto with your family, there are a number of international schools to choose from. The Oporto British school is one of the oldest British schools in continental Europe. There is also CLIP – The Oporto International School, the Luso-French College, the Lycee Francais International de Porto, and the German School of Porto.
Transport in Porto
Porto has one international airport, the Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport, with frequent non-stop flights to both continental and international destinations.
Within the city, Porto has an extensive public transportation network. The metro system has six different lines that span a large distance to the east and west of the city, as well as south of the river to Vila Nova de Gaia and north to Vila do Conde and the airport.
Tourism in Porto
Tourism in Porto has seen a steady increase over the past few years, and the city has cemented itself on lists of best European cities to visit.
It’s easy to understand why the beautiful city has such allure, with good food and fine wine available at a lower cost than many other European cities. It was named the best destination by the European Best Destination award in 2012, 2014, and 2017. Moving forward to the present, in 2022, Porto continues to win accolades, winning out as the best urban destination in the World Travel Awards.
Festivals in Porto
June is one of the busiest times of the year in Portugal when much of the country celebrates the Festas Juninas, street parties that involve eating sardines, dancing, drinking, and partying all night. Porto is known for its São João festival on the night of June 23. This is when Porto’s residents take to the streets to eat grilled fish and release candle-lit lanterns into the sky and bizarrely hit each other on the head with plastic hammers.
Restaurants in Porto
Just like Lisbon, Porto has seen a huge expansion in the restaurant industry. The city boasts many traditional options as well as inventive new gastronomic ventures. There are also four Michelin-starred restaurants in Porto.
Climate in Porto
Another of the draws of living and visiting Porto is its temperate climate. Temperatures in the winter are usually between 5 – 14 (41-57 degrees F) and between 14 – 25 degrees C (57-77 degrees F) in the summer, although they quite frequently surpass 30 degrees C (86 degrees F). Although it is known for being one of the rainiest cities in Portugal, it gets a lot more days of sunshine than many other cities in Europe, including Berlin, Paris, and London.
Nature around Porto
Porto is well situated by the spectacular Silver Coast, as well as close to the incredible national parks of Peneda-Gerês and Serra da Estrela. You’ll find many remote places to soak up the very best of the Portuguese countryside.
Cities near Porto
Lisbon is just a three-hour drive from Porto and less than an hour away from the historic cities of Braga and Guimarães. Coimbra, the site of Portugal’s oldest university, is about an hour and a half away.
The following articles may also be of interest to you:
- Low-Density Areas in Portugal / Golden Visa Eligible Interior Areas 2023
- Portugal Golden Visa Real Estate Investment
- The Silver Coast in Portugal: The Most Desirable Place for Expats
- Portugal Golden Visa: €280k Real Estate Option
- Portugal Golden Visa Properties – What Real Estate Qualifies?
- Mortgage in Portugal – A Guide for Foreigners
Frequently Asked Questions about Buying Property in Porto, Portugal
Should I live in Lisbon or Porto?
Both Lisbon and Porto are cities on the up, becoming real hotspots for investment and culture. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, and which city suits you the best is entirely up to your needs and expectations. Porto is smaller and more laid-back, while Lisbon is bigger and more international. Property in Lisbon has become increasingly expensive in recent years, whereas property in Porto is still relatively inexpensive by comparison.
Is now a good time to invest in Porto real estate?
According to many reports, Porto is in the early stages of a real estate boom. With big growth in the industrial and tech sectors in the city, as well as an increase in tourism and public spending, there is all the reason to believe that the price of Porto real estate will continue to rise. It is expected that in the coming years, the property price in Porto will continue to rise.
The buying process can be a little complicated, so it is best to have an experienced expert on your side that is deemed reliable. If you work with a local buyer’s agent, they will have access to new listings that you will not find elsewhere on the market. A little tip for you to bear in mind.
Is buying real estate in Porto, Portugal, expensive?
Average residential real estate prices in Porto are €3,328 per m², cheaper than the prices in most other western European cities and cheaper than Lisbon.
When it comes to properties, the maximum price and minimum price will depend on the property type you are looking to purchase.
Is it expensive to rent a house in Porto?
The average rent in the center of Porto for a one-bedroom apartment costs around €839 per month. This data is from Numbeo.
Are there any international schools in Porto?
Yes, there are international schools in Porto. You can consult our article on International Schools in Portugal for a complete overview. If you are moving to Portugal with a family, you’ll find many spacious property types, including luxury homes, in Foz do Douro on the coast that could be excellent options for finding your dream home.
What is public transport like in Porto?
Public transport is cheap and very accessible in Porto, with six different metro lines and train and bus links to national and international destinations.
Where do expats live in Porto?
Many expats who live in Porto live in the central districts of the city, although those who prefer to be by the beach live in areas such as Foz do Douro. This part of the city is particularly good for families, as you will find spacious properties and all the amenities at your convenience. When it comes to property types in the city, you’ll find that you have many options, from modern apartments to spacious properties on the coast. You’ll also come across many luxury homes in and around Porto if this is what you are looking for.
Does Porto have a beach?
Yes, Porto does have a beach in Foz do Douro. It can be accessed easily from the center by bus. You’ll find many fabulous beaches on the northern Portuguese coast. If you are looking for dream home by the beach, this could very well be a top place to consider.
What areas to avoid in Porto?
There aren’t really any areas in Porto to avoid, and it just depends on your preferences. If you don’t want to be too far from the city center, then it is probably advisable to pick areas such as Baixa or Cedofeita and Boavista. If you would like to be outside of the city, the seaside town of Vila do Conde is a good option to buy property in Porto.
Is Porto expensive?
In comparison to other cities in western Europe, the cost of living in Porto is very reasonable. A meal in a traditional Portuguese restaurant will set you back around €9.50, and a beer costs around €2. Overall it is slightly cheaper than Lisbon.
Is Porto a safe city?
Porto is a very safe city. Crime in Portugal is generally very low, and few problems are reported by those who visit the country. Pickpockets can be common in the city center, but violent crime is generally very low.
What is the best neighborhood in Porto to live in?
The best areas to live in Porto will largely depend on what you are looking for. For example, if you want to live in a central location, Baixa, Cedofeita, and Boavista are good places to choose from to find your dream property. If you are moving with a family, consider Foz do Douro, by the Atlantic Ocean, which has all the amenities you need, plus a long promenade to enjoy your weekends. Bonfim and Campanhã are also excellent up-and-coming areas to consider. Vila Nova de Gaia is also a good choice, where you can admire stunning views of Porto and which also offers lovely houses for families. You’ll also find many luxury homes in Porto if this is what you are after
If you are unsure of where to buy, working with a buyer’s agent can prove useful. They can provide you with information on the best neighborhoods tailored to your specific needs. They will also have access to new listings on the market that you will not find elsewhere. It can also be a good idea to set up email alerts for the Porto district so that you keep up to date with prospective properties.
Is Porto a nice place to live?
Yes, the Porto district is a nice place to live, with a high standard of living and low crime rates, and the city is very affordable compared to many other western European cities.
Is Porto, Portugal a good place to retire?
Yes, the Porto district is a good place to retire, particularly if you are a culture lover. You will be surrounded by large parks, cafes, and cobbled streets. The healthcare in Portugal is also excellent, with there being many hospitals and healthcare facilities in and around Porto.
If you are looking for properties to buy in Porto, working with a buyer’s agent that is deemed reliable can prove useful. They will have access to new listings and properties that you will not find elsewhere.
Where do the rich live in Porto?
The more affluent areas in Porto are Foz do Douro and the historic center, although you will likely be able to find some nice bargains if you scout around. We recommend speaking with a real estate professional that is deemed reliable when buying real estate in the Porto district to find the best deals and get an overview of the Portuguese property market. A real estate professional will also be able to provide you with information on the buying process.
Our real estate division, Goldcrest, is a local buyer’s agent that provides insightful real estate expertise and guaranteed accurate advice. From sourcing to property acquisition, they can help you on your property-buying journey in Portugal. They can also ensure guaranteed accurate property prices so that you can secure the perfect investment at the best possible price (which can be different from the listing price) and will have access to new listings that are not available on the market. You can get in touch with them here.
What is the most expensive property for sale in Porto, Portugal?
In Porto, the most expensive home for sale is a 9,774 square foot house that has a listing price of $8,500,000. This is the very maximum price that you can expect to pay in Porto. The maximum price and minimum price will depend on the type of property that you are looking to purchase.