If you’re dreaming of a life by the sea in a charming and affordable location, look no further than the best places for foreigners to move to on the Silver Coast of Portugal.
With its stunning beaches, charming towns, and easy access to Lisbon, the Silver Coast is an ideal location for expats looking to relocate. From surfing to wine tasting, there’s no shortage of things to see and do in this vibrant region. But with so many beautiful towns and villages to choose from, where should you begin your search for the perfect place to call home?
In this article, we’ll explore some of the best places to live in the Silver Coast for foreigners, taking into account factors such as affordability, amenities, and overall quality of life.
Where is the Silver Coast
The Silver Coast is located in the central-western part of Portugal, stretching from the city of Porto in the north to the capital city of Lisbon in the south.
The best places to live in the Silver Coast for expats it encompasses several coastal municipalities, including Aveiro, Figueira da Foz, Nazaré, São Martinho do Porto, Peniche, and Ericeira, as well as inland towns such as Óbidos and Caldas da Rainha.
The region is named for the sparkling silver appearance of the waves on its beaches and the bright, reflective sunlight that often graces the area.
The Silver Coast is easily accessible by car or public transportation from both Porto and Lisbon airports, making it a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike.
Who lives on the Silver Coast of Portugal
The Silver Coast is a diverse and dynamic region of Portugal, home to a mix of locals and foreigners, including both permanent residents and seasonal visitors. More than 865,000 people reside on the Silver Coast, according to official information available on Pordata.
In recent years, however, the area has also become increasingly popular among foreign buyers, particularly retirees from Northern Europe, the UK, and North America, who are drawn to the region’s laid-back lifestyle, stunning coastline, and rich cultural heritage.
The Silver Coast is also home of more than 36,500 foreigners (4% of local population), a growing expat community, choosing to live in the region on a full-time or part-time basis. This community is made up of individuals from a wide range of backgrounds, including entrepreneurs, artists, writers, and retirees.
Many expats are attracted to the region’s vibrant and welcoming communities, as well as the opportunity to live a relaxed, outdoor-focused lifestyle in a beautiful and affordable setting.
Best places to live in the Silver Coast
Aveiro is a charming city located in central Portugal, about 70 kilometers south of Porto. It is known for its canals, colorful boats, and Art Nouveau architecture, earning it the nickname of “the Venice of Portugal.”
Official data indicates that of the approximately 371,318 residents in the district and around 3.8% are foreigners.
For foreigners looking to live in Aveiro, it is a peaceful and welcoming city with a relatively low cost of living compared to other cities in Europe. The city has a thriving tourism industry, which means that there are many opportunities for foreigners to find work in the hospitality sector.
Aveiro is also home to several universities, which attract students and researchers from around the world. This makes it a vibrant and culturally diverse city, with plenty of opportunities for foreigners to socialize and meet new people.
In terms of amenities, Aveiro has everything that one would need, from supermarkets and shopping centers to healthcare facilities and public transportation. The city is also well-connected to other parts of Portugal, with regular train and bus services to Porto and Lisbon.
Figueira da Foz
Figueira da Foz is a coastal city located in central Portugal, known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife, and cultural events. While the city is home to around 39,370 residents, official data points out that only approximately 5.0% are foreigners.
For foreigners looking to live in Figueira da Foz, there are several pros and cons to consider. On the positive side, Figueira da Foz offers a lively and bustling lifestyle, with plenty of entertainment options, including a range of bars, restaurants, and music venues.
The city has a multicultural population, which makes it easy for foreigners to integrate and make new friends. Additionally, Figueira da Foz has a range of amenities, including shopping centers, hospitals, and sports facilities.
Furthermore, the city has a strong tourism industry, which means there are plenty of job opportunities in the hospitality and service sectors, especially during the high season.
On the negative side, Figueira da Foz can get quite busy and crowded during the summer months, which may not be ideal for those who prefer a quieter lifestyle. In addition, the city can be relatively expensive compared to other Portuguese destinations, especially in terms of housing prices. For those who don’t speak Portuguese, language can also be a barrier, although many locals do speak English.
Nazaré is a coastal town located in Portugal, known for its beautiful beaches, traditional culture, and excellent seafood cuisine. The city is home to around 14,984 residents, and only approximately 7.6% are foreigners.
For foreigners looking to live in Nazaré, there are both pros and cons to consider. On the positive side, Nazaré offers a relaxed and laid-back lifestyle with a low cost of living compared to many other European destinations. The town is also well-connected with nearby cities such as Lisbon and Porto, making it easy to explore other parts of Portugal.
In addition, Nazaré is a popular tourist destination, which means there are plenty of job opportunities in the tourism industry. Nazaré is also famous for its giant waves, which can reach up to 100 feet in height. These waves are caused by the unique geography of the area, which creates a funnel effect that amplifies the size of the waves.
Every year, the town hosts the Nazaré Challenge, a surfing competition that attracts some of the world’s best surfers.
However, for those who don’t speak Portuguese, language can be a barrier, as many locals do not speak English. The town can also get quite busy during the summer months, which may not be ideal for those who prefer a quieter lifestyle.
São Martinho do Porto
São Martinho do Porto is a picturesque coastal town located in Portugal, known for its beautiful bay and sandy beach. For foreigners looking to live in São Martinho do Porto, there are several advantages and disadvantages to consider.
On the positive side, São Martinho do Porto offers a peaceful and laid-back lifestyle, away from the hustle and bustle of larger cities. The town has a charming atmosphere and a strong sense of community, making it an ideal place for those looking for a close-knit neighborhood.
In addition, São Martinho do Porto is well-connected with nearby cities such as Lisbon and Porto, which makes it easy to explore other parts of Portugal.
Furthermore, São Martinho do Porto is a popular tourist destination, which means there are plenty of job opportunities in the tourism industry, especially during the high season.
On the negative side, the town can be relatively quiet during the off-season, which may not suit everyone’s preferences. For those who don’t speak Portuguese, language can also be a barrier.
Óbidos is a picturesque town located in western Portugal, known for its medieval castle, narrow streets, and traditional white houses adorned with colorful flowers. As a place for foreigners to live (7.9% from local residents) it offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty.
One of the main attractions of Óbidos is its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, which is only a short drive away. The town is also surrounded by vineyards, olive groves, and rolling hills, making it a great place for outdoor enthusiasts.
As a popular tourist destination, Óbidos has a good infrastructure with plenty of shops, restaurants, and cafes catering to both locals and visitors.
However, it still manages to maintain its traditional charm and relaxed pace of life, making it a popular choice for foreigners looking to escape the hustle and bustle of big cities.
One of the potential downsides of living in Óbidos is the relatively small size of the town. This means that there may be fewer job opportunities and less access to certain amenities compared to larger urban centers. However, for those who value a slower pace of life, the benefits of living in this charming town may outweigh any drawbacks.
Overall, Óbidos can be a great place for foreigners to live, especially for those who enjoy history, culture, and natural beauty.
Peniche is a coastal town located on the western coast of Portugal, about 100 kilometers north of Lisbon. It is a popular destination for tourists and surfers due to its beautiful beaches and excellent surf conditions. As a place for foreigners to live, Peniche offers a unique mix of coastal charm and modern amenities.
One of the main advantages of living in Peniche is its beautiful natural surroundings. The town is situated on a narrow peninsula surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, providing residents with stunning views and easy access to the beach. The nearby Berlengas Islands are a popular spot for hiking, birdwatching, and diving.
Peniche is also a vibrant and lively town, with plenty of bars, restaurants, and cafes catering to both locals and tourists.
There are also numerous cultural events and festivals throughout the year, such as the popular Festas da Cidade de Peniche, which features live music, street performances, and traditional food.
In terms of infrastructure, Peniche has a good transport system, including regular bus and train connections to Lisbon and other nearby towns. The town also has a hospital, schools, and other essential services, making it a suitable place for families with children.
One potential downside of living in Peniche is that it can be quite touristy during the summer months, which can result in crowded beaches and higher prices for accommodations and services. Additionally, the town can be quite quiet outside of the tourist season, which may not suit everyone.
Ericeira is a picturesque coastal town in Portugal, located about 50 kilometers northwest of Lisbon. It is known for its world-class surf spots, stunning beaches, and relaxed atmosphere. In recent years, Ericeira has become increasingly popular with expats from all over the world, drawn by its laid-back lifestyle, affordable cost of living, and proximity to Lisbon.
Ericeira is a small town with a close-knit community. The pace of life is slow and relaxed, and people are generally friendly and welcoming. The town has a strong surf culture, but there is also something for everyone to enjoy, from swimming and sunbathing to hiking and exploring.
Expats in Ericeira often find themselves drawn to the town’s outdoor lifestyle. There are many opportunities to get active, such as surfing, swimming, cycling, and hiking. The town also has a number of parks and gardens where people can relax and enjoy the scenery.
Ericeira is a great place to live if you are looking for a healthy and balanced lifestyle. The town has a number of health food stores and restaurants, and there is a growing community of people interested in wellness and holistic living.
Leiria is a city in central Portugal, located about 120 kilometers north of Lisbon. It is the capital of the Leiria district and has a population of around 130,000 people, which 7,500 are foreigners (almost 6% of local residents). Leiria is a popular destination for expats, drawn by its affordable cost of living, relaxed atmosphere, and central location.
The pace of life in Leiria is slow and relaxed. People are generally friendly and welcoming, and there is a strong sense of community. Leiria is a great place to live if you are looking for a healthy and balanced lifestyle. The city has a number of parks and gardens where people can relax and enjoy the scenery. There are also many opportunities to get active, such as hiking, biking, and swimming.
Leiria is a great place to live if you are interested in history and culture. The city has a number of historical landmarks, including the Leiria Castle, the Convento de São Francisco, and the Jardim da Estrela. Leiria also has a vibrant arts and culture scene, with a number of museums, theaters, and art galleries.
Coimbra is a great place for foreigners to live, offering a high quality of life, a welcoming community, and a rich cultural heritage. Out of the total population of 439,677 individuals, only 4.15% are foreign residents.
The city has a large expat community, with many international students and professionals choosing to live and work here. One of the main advantages of living in Coimbra is its affordable cost of living. Housing, food, and transportation are all relatively inexpensive compared to other major cities in Europe, making it an attractive option for those on a budget.
Coimbra is also known for its high-quality healthcare system, with both public and private healthcare providers available. The city has several hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies, making it easy to access medical care when needed.
In terms of transportation, Coimbra has a reliable and affordable public transportation system, with buses and trains connecting the city to other parts of Portugal and beyond. The city is also bike-friendly, with many dedicated bike lanes and rental services available.
Finally, the city’s rich cultural heritage and vibrant community make it a great place to experience Portuguese culture and make new friends. Coimbra has a lively music and arts scene, with frequent concerts, festivals, and events throughout the year.
How is the weather in the Silver Coast of Portugal
The weather in the Silver Coast of Portugal is generally mild and pleasant, making it an attractive destination for tourists seeking a relaxing and enjoyable vacation. The region has a Mediterranean climate, characterized by hot summers and cool winters.
During the summer months of June to September, temperatures in the Silver Coast typically range from 20°C to 28°C, with July and August being the hottest months. The sea temperature is also at its warmest during this time, making it perfect for swimming and other water activities.
Autumn, from October to November, is still pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 15°C to 22°C. However, the sea temperature starts to cool down, making swimming less comfortable. This time of year is perfect for exploring the region’s natural beauty, visiting historic landmarks, and enjoying local cuisine.
Winter in the Silver Coast lasts from December to February, with temperatures ranging from 8°C to 15°C. Although cooler than the summer months, it is still mild enough for outdoor activities such as hiking and cycling. The sea temperature is at its lowest, making swimming less appealing.
However, winter is an excellent time for exploring the region’s cultural heritage, attending festivals, and trying out winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding in the nearby Serra da Estrela mountains.
Spring in the Silver Coast starts from March to May, with temperatures ranging from 15°C to 22°C. This time of year is ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, and surfing, with warm weather and fewer crowds than during the summer months.
The sea temperature starts to rise, making it more comfortable for swimming, and the countryside is blooming with flowers, making it a perfect time for nature lovers.
Buying real estate on the Silver Coast of Portugal
The real estate market in the Silver Coast region of Portugal is gaining popularity among both local and foreign buyers due to its relatively affordable prices, stunning natural surroundings, and proximity to the beach.
The market offers a variety of properties, from modern apartments to traditional villas, and there is a growing trend towards sustainable and eco-friendly housing.
While the region is experiencing steady growth, it still remains more affordable than other popular destinations in Europe, making it an attractive option for those looking to invest in a property or relocate to a peaceful and scenic area.
Check out the prices of buying a 100m2 property on the Silver Coast in Portugal:
Cost of living on the Silver Coast of Portugal
Many people who live in the Silver Coast region find the cost of living to be reasonable and manageable, especially when compared to other popular destinations in Europe.
Cost of living on the Silver Coast compared to Lisbon
Compared to Lisbon, the Silver Coast offer a more affordable cost of living, particularly when it comes to everyday expenses and housing.
How can I move to the Silver Coast?
EU citizens have the right to live and work in Portugal without the need for a visa or residence permit. However, they must register their residence with the local authorities within 90 days of their arrival in the country.
This can be done at the nearest City Hall. To register, EU citizens will need to provide their passport or national ID card, proof of health insurance, and proof of income or employment.
Non-EU/EEA citizens will need to obtain a visa or residence permit to live in Portugal. The type of visa or permit required will depend on the length and purpose of their stay.
Short-term visas (up to 90 days) can be obtained for tourism or business purposes. To obtain a short-term visa, non-EU/EEA citizens will need to apply at the Portuguese embassy or consulate in their home country.
Long-term visas (more than 90 days) are required for non-EU/EEA citizens who plan to work, study, or live in Portugal for an extended period. To obtain a long-term visa, they will need to apply at the Portuguese embassy or consulate in their home country and provide supporting documentation such as proof of income, accommodation, and health insurance. Once in Portugal, non-EU/EEA citizens will need to apply for a residence permit at the nearest SEF (Immigration and Borders Service) office.
Portugal D7 Visa
The D7 Visa Portugal, also known as the Retirement Visa or Passive Income Visa, allows retirees and individuals with reasonable passive income can apply for the Portugal D7 Passive Income Visa.
This income can include pensions, real estate, royalties, dividends, financial investment, or intellectual property. The minimum required amount to be eligible for this visa is 9120€ of yearly income.
Pros of living in the Silver Coast
The Silver Coast enjoys a mild climate throughout the year, with mild winters and warm summers. This makes it a great destination for outdoor activities like surfing, hiking, and cycling.
Affordable Cost of Living
Secondly, the cost of living on the Silver Coast is generally lower than other popular expat destinations in Europe. Housing, food, and other expenses are more affordable, allowing expats to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle without breaking the bank.
This is particularly attractive to retirees who are looking for a place to enjoy their retirement without the high costs associated with other European countries.
Substitute for Algarve
The Silver Coast, located in central Portugal, offers a beautiful and less crowded alternative to the Algarve region. With its stunning beaches, historic towns, and affordable cost of living, it has become a popular destination for both tourists and expats.
The region boasts a variety of real estate options, from traditional Portuguese homes to modern villas and apartments, making it an attractive choice for those looking to buy or rent a property in Portugal.
Beautiful coastal towns
The Silver Coast is known for its picturesque towns and villages with beautiful beaches, historical landmarks, and a relaxed lifestyle. The region offers a slower pace of life compared to larger cities, which can be appealing to many people.
Growing expat community
The Silver Coast has become an increasingly popular destination for expats, particularly from English-speaking countries. This has led to the development of a supportive community of like-minded people, which can be beneficial for those moving to a new country.
Cons of living in the Silver Coast
Limited job opportunities
The Silver Coast’s economy is primarily focused on tourism, agriculture, and fishing. As such, there are limited job opportunities for professionals looking for employment in other sectors.
Limited healthcare facilities
While there are medical facilities available in the Silver Coast, they may be limited in terms of services offered and access to specialized care. Expats with chronic medical conditions may need to travel to larger cities for treatment.
While tourism is a major industry in the Silver Coast, it is also seasonal, meaning that the area may be quite busy and crowded during the summer months but relatively quiet during the off-season.
Public transportation options on the Silver Coast can be limited, especially in more rural areas. Expats who do not have access to a car may find it difficult to get around and explore the region.
Why to work with us for you relocation to Portugal?
We know Portugal. Due to our extensive local knowledge, we believe that concentrating our services in a single country destination is the best way to give you the most thorough and useful information.
One single channel of communication for the entire process. We provide you with a comprehensive service that covers all aspects of your move, from identifying the ideal residency visa to finding your new home or helping you to settle.
We recommend what’s best for you based on an extensive process experience that saves time and money to clients. Our pricing is clear and competitive, and we don’t sell services that make us more money.
Technology plays a very important role in our company. We minimize our clients’ involvement in paperwork. We are customers ourselves and we know how to serve you.
Frequently asked questions about The best places for foreigners on the Silver Coast
What is the cost of living like on the Silver Coast compared to other regions in Portugal?
The cost of living on the Silver Coast is generally lower compared to major cities like Lisbon and Porto. However, it’s still important to research and compare prices for housing, groceries, utilities, and other expenses.
How accessible is the Silver Coast from major cities like Lisbon and Porto?
The Silver Coast is easily accessible from both Lisbon and Porto, with well-connected highways, trains, and bus routes. The journey from either city typically takes around one to two hours.
Are there opportunities for business and job prospects for foreigners on the Silver Coast?
The Silver Coast has a growing economy, particularly in sectors like tourism, agriculture, and technology. While job opportunities for foreigners may vary, there are possibilities for entrepreneurship and remote work.
How is the healthcare system on the Silver Coast for foreigners?
Portugal has a reliable healthcare system, and most areas on the Silver Coast have access to medical facilities and hospitals. Expats can also consider private health insurance options.
What are the advantages of living on the Silver Coast as a foreigner?
Living on the Silver Coast offers a relaxed and authentic Portuguese lifestyle, beautiful coastline, opportunities for water sports, affordable cost of living, and proximity to historical towns and cultural sites.