7 Places to Live in Portugal That Are Still Affordable – 2024 Edition

Written By Becky Gillespie

You’ve probably heard the news. Prices in Lisbon and Porto have skyrocketed over the last few years. In 2024, according to the Instituto Nacional de Estatística, the inflation indicator in Lisbon will reach 6.94%. Policies currently in place in Portugal will allow landlords to increase rent in Lisbon by this amount in 2024, making it the highest rent increase in 30 years.

With rent in Lisbon and Porto getting so high, it is easy to wonder whether a move to Portugal will still be affordable. But fear not! Portugal has many beautiful places that you’ve probably never considered. Today, we want to highlight seven places around the country that offer greater value for your money. In this article, we have focused on places that are still close to large cities so that you can easily find exciting activities or tap into existing communities.

One of the great things about Portugal is the manageable size of the country. Especially for people coming from the United States, it feels like you can drive from place to place in no time at all. In fact, you can drive from the northernmost point to the southernmost part of Portugal in just over 7.5 hours. So, without further ado, let’s check out some affordable options for life in Portugal.

1) Torres Vedras

Torres Vedras is a 50-minute drive from the center of Lisbon and a 36-minute drive to the Lisbon airport. It is well connected by bus from Lisbon’s Sete Rios station, which will take you about 45 minutes. It has a vibrant city center with libraries, cafes, galleries, and even its own castle. It hosts a variety of events throughout the year with the highlight being the Torres Vedras carnival. The beautiful beach of Santa Cruz (see below) is also only a 25-minute drive from the center of town. Torres Vedras is also one of Portugal’s largest wine producers with vineyards dotting the fields between the city and the sea.  

Town center of Torres Vedras, Torres Vedras CM, Flickr

Apartments for Rent

We scoured Idealista, Portugal’s most popular real estate website to give you an idea of what’s currently available for each area. Of course, these lists are always subject to change, but Idealista is a great place to begin your search for a place to live, whether you’re buying or renting.

  • 2-bedroom 90 m2 apartment in the center for 800 €/per month
  • 3-bedroom 100 m2 apartment in the center for 950 €/per month
  • 4-bedroom apartment 140 m2 apartment in the center for 900 €/per month

2) Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz is 25 minutes from the city of Torres Vedras in Silveira, Portugal. If you’re looking for a relaxed, beachside location, this is a great option and it’s not as crowded or expensive as Peniche to the north or Ericeira to the south. You can still get to the center of Lisbon in just over one hour, and it takes 50 minutes to reach the Lisbon airport. Santa Cruz is quite a wide beach with one large rock jutting out from the coast and many other small rock formations in the vicinity. There are several restaurants and bars in the neighborhoods closest to the beach, and it is also easy to ride a bike or go for a run along the streets above the beach. Famous Portuguese poets including João de Barros and Antero de Quental were inspired by the beauty of Santa Cruz. Perhaps it will inspire you as well.

Praia de Santa Cruz, Vitor Oliveira, Flickr

   

Apartments for Rent

  • 1-bedroom 60 m2 apartment in the center for 700 €/per month
  • 2-bedroom 90 m2 apartment in the center for 900 €/per month
  • 3-bedroom semi-detached house 110 m2 in the center for 1000 €/per month

3) Caldas da Rainha

Moving north from Torres Vedras and Santa Cruz, Caldas da Rainha is a charming city with a rich cultural heritage known for its therapeutic hot springs. It is a 70-minute drive from the center of Lisbon and 55 minutes from the Lisbon airport. Caldas da Rainha has a large city park called Dom Carlos I right in the middle of the city where you can enjoy cafés under the trees, paddle boats on the lake, or museums scattered around the park including the José Malhoa Museum, the Ceramics Museum, and the Cycling Museum.

Caldas da Rainha also has the only farmer’s market open every day of the year and is a short 15-minute drive to the Foz do Arelho beach. It is also only 20 minutes from the gorgeous medieval town of Óbidos.

Caldas da Rainha does maintain cooler temperatures throughout the year compared to Lisbon and the Algarve. This also comes with cloudier skies, but if you prefer milder weather and a great mix of culture and nature, this could be the place for you.

Pavilions and lake in Parque Dom Carlos I. Photo by Sergei Zeiger (Flickr)

Apartments for Rent

  • 2-bedroom 69 m2 apartment in the center for 690 €/per month
  • 2-bedroom 93 m2 apartment near the center for 800 €/per month
  • 3-bedroom 113 m2 apartment in the center for 1000 €/per month

4) Amora

Amora, located in the Setúbal district of Portugal, is still quite close to Lisbon but offers more space and easy access to the long stretch of beaches along the Costa da Caparica. Residents of Amora can take a commuter train over the Ponte 25 de Abril into Lisbon or ferries from the ports of Cacilhas or Seixal in less than 20 minutes. Amora is also close to several golf courses, the breathtaking Arrábida Nature Park, and the beachside town of Sesimbra, where you can go scuba diving. Prices in Amora are higher than the previous places we’ve mentioned, but you still get more space for your euro than in the center of Lisbon. The expat community in the vicinity of Amora is also quite vibrant. Just make sure you get a car!

A pub and hamburgueria in Amora, Hans Pohl, Flickr

Apartments for Rent

  • 2-bedroom 80 m2 apartment in the center for 800 €/per month
  • 2-bedroom 71 m2 apartment in the center for 1000 €/per month
  • 5-bedroom 110 m2 apartment in the center for 1000 €/per month

5) Évora

Located about 1.5 hours from the center of Lisbon and 80 minutes from the Lisbon airport, Évora is a city with an impressive history in Portugal’s Alentejo region. People have lived in Évora since the 2nd century B.C., and it served as a royal residence for large parts of its past. The center of Évora is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Sites that are sure to forever impress you when living in Évora are the 1st Century Roman Temple in the center of town and the astonishing 17th Century Chapel of Bones.

Évora is small and walkable with a population of around 53,000 people. Like many other parts of the Alentejo, the summers can be scorching, but winters are mild. The city is also home to the University of Évora, which gives the city a youthful atmosphere layered on top of its long history. Come and enjoy one of the oldest cities in Portugal.

Templo de Diana, Évora, Majorshots, Flickr

Apartments for Rent

  • Studio 68 m2 apartment in the center for 850 €/per month
  • 1-bedroom 35 m2 apartment in the center for 650 €/per month
  • 2-bedroom 74 m2 apartment in the center for 900 €/per month

6) Santarém

Santarém provides another great alternative to living in the center of Lisbon. It is one hour northeast of the center of Lisbon by car and 45 minutes from the Lisbon airport. Speaking of airports, Santarém is currently one of the favorites for the home of the future Lisbon airport. If Santarém gets chosen and you choose Santarém as your long-term base, it will become much more convenient to catch international flights. Summers in Santarém can reach over 104 ºF (40 ºC) and winters are cold and humid with temperatures getting to as low as 43 ºF at night (7 ºC).  Caldas da Rainha and Torres Vedras might have more comfortable weather, but you can find better prices in Santarém.

Santarem Cathedral,
Eduardo Voar Alto, Flickr

Apartments for Rent

  • 1-bedroom 39 m2 apartment in the center for 750 €/per month
  • 3-bedroom 95 m2 apartment in the center for 850 €/per month
  • 3-bedroom 104 m2 apartment in the center for 750 €/per month

7) Vila Nova de Famalicão

Right in the heart of the Minho lies Vila Nova de Famalicão, 40 km north of Porto. It takes 35 minutes to get to the center of Porto and 30 minutes to reach the Porto airport. You can also reach the beach in 30 minutes. Vila Nova de Famalicão dates all the way back to 1205 when it was created by a charter from King Dom Sancho I. Summers are warm and dry with highs reaching 77 ºF (25 ºC) and winters get as cold as 33 ºF (1 ºC).

The city center has undergone a lot of renovation in the last few years including the addition of more green space. Life in Vila Nova de Famalicão will give you access to great health facilities both in the city center and in Porto. You are not too far from the action but can avoid the crowds of tourists and traffic jams that have become commonplace in Lisbon’s bigger cities. Overall, Vila Nova de Famalicão offers a more relaxed pace at cheaper prices but still with easy access to the community and the activities that you may crave once in a while.

Parque de Sinçães – Vila Nova de Famalicão, Vitor Oliveira, Flickr

Apartments for Rent

  • Studio 60 m2 apartment in the center for 700 €/per month
  • 2-bedroom 110 m2 apartment in the center for 760 €/per month
  • 2-bedroom 115 m2 apartment in the center for 800 €/per month

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, while Lisbon and Porto may no longer be a bargain, there are plenty of other intriguing options in Portugal that won’t break the bank. The places we have listed all require a car, but most have bus connections to larger cities, making it easy to leave the car at home for a day and explore further afield if you wish. Because supply is more limited outside of major cities, keep a close eye on Idealista for new properties listed in your target area. If you haven’t explored these places before, give them a try and you might just find the perfect place for you in Portugal!  

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