Curious about living on the Silver Coast of Portugal? Take a look at where to live, how much it costs, and get some top expat tips.

Last Updated on February 16, 2022 by Lea Melo

The Silver Coast of Portugal is one of the most underestimated places to live in the country. People from all over the world are moving to Portugal and enjoying Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve. But the cheap and charming Silver Coast is often unduly forgotten. Therefore, we’re here to correct it.

In this article, you will find out all about the stunning area of the Portuguese Silver Coast. Discover the most amazing sceneries, cultural traditions, best cities to live in, and how much it costs to buy a house with a sea view. Let’s get to it!

Living on the Silver Coast of Portugal

Welcome to the Portuguese Silver Coast! Between Lisbon and Porto, this large coastal area is home to some of the most beautiful places in Portugal.

It goes from the coastal areas of the districts of Aveiro, then Coimbra, until Leiria. So it is the western coast of Portugal in the Central Region. It has a length of approximately 240 km (150 mi) and is known for the rough sea and big waves.

Living on the Silver Coast is a great choice for expats in Portugal. Especially for those looking for a sea view, and less expensive, yet peaceful areas.

Who lives on the Silver Coast?

According to official information available at Pordata, there were around 715 thousand people living on the Silver Coast in 2020. However, once the area is wide and diverse, it’s not common to feel like you’re in a metropolis. Towns are small, people are friendly, and most of the expat community haven’t found out about it yet.

Sure, it’s a traditional summer vacation destination for travelers from the north of Europe. However, the Silver Coast has only recently begun attracting foreigners to stay for good. Can you imagine living in the place you go to every year to enjoy yourself? It’s just as good as it sounds!

Why are expats moving to the Silver Coast of Portugal?

Among the main benefits of living on the Silver Coast, are the amazing quality of life and low cost of living. The Portuguese Silver Coast area is not only beautiful and pleasant but also offers all the infrastructure one can need.

At the same time, the cities of the Silver Coast of Portugal are not too big. This means that expats here can enjoy the sun and fresh air with all the privacy they desire. Some of the best cities for expats are located here, and also some of the cheapest cities of Portugal.

What are the best places to live on the Silver Coast of Portugal?

The only way to be sure which is the best region for you to live in Portugal is by seeing it yourself on a scouting trip. However, we can highlight some amazing places that are often chosen by expats. Whether you’re just passing by or settling in Portugal, you’ll love the Portuguese Silver Coast.

Aveiro district

Located just below the famous city of Porto, north of Portugal, the district of Aveiro also comprehends the Silver Coast.

While the entire district is home to around 365,466 residents, official data from 2020 points out that only around 3.6% are foreigners. Whether or not you’d like to live around other expats, it’s up to you. Here, you can definitely count on getting to know the real Portugal.

Living in Aveiro Portugal

Take a look below at the main places to live in the Aveiro district:

  • Aveiro: capital of the area, an excellent place to live regarding location, prices, and culture;
  • Espinho: one of Porto’s favorite beaches, Espinho offers a lively cultural agenda and easygoing vibe;
  • Ovar: fantastic small town between Porto and Aveiro with amazing quality of life, culture, and beaches;
  • Murtosa: another great choice for expats in Portugal, with beaches, infrastructure, and safety.

Coimbra district

Continuing south on the Silver Coast of Portugal, we get to the district of Coimbra. Even though most of this district is inland, there are some great additions to the Silver Coast. Of all its 434,749 inhabitants, only 4.1% are foreigners. However, in the coastal Figueira da Foz area, this percentage goes to 4.7% of 58 thousand residents.

Living in Coimbra has many advantages. One of them is for being very central, and another is being so close to the beaches of the Silver Coast.

The main places to live in the Coimbra district are:

  • Figueira da Foz: a top choice to live on the Silver Coast, with excellent beaches and a charming center;
  • Coimbra: beautiful and historical capital of the district, one of the most important cities in Portugal;
  • Mira: one of the main summer destinations for beach lovers on the Silver Coast, with a rural touch.

Leiria district

Last, but definitely not least, is the district of Leiria. Pointed out by many people the true meaning of the Silver Coast of Portugal, the cities of Leiria district are some of the best to live in Portugal.

Here, you are very close to Lisbon, but you can feel that this area is different. It’s not as noisy and crowded, and the natural surroundings are simply breathtaking. When put together, the regions of Leiria and the Oeste are home to around 600,000 inhabitants, with half of it living on the Silver Coast. In 2020, the estimative was that around 6% of this population was made of foreigners.

Living in Nazare Leiria Silver Coast of Portugal

It was hard to choose only a few, but here are the main places to live in the Leiria district:

  • Peniche: Epic-looking fishing village that attracts surfers and tourists to its beaches;
  • Óbidos: the most charming medieval village in inland Portugal;
  • Caldas da Rainha: one of the biggest cities, 15 minutes away from the coast;
  • Nazaré: a lovely town (on the photo above) known for its giant waves, surfing, and fishing;
  • Leiria: capital of the district and main economic center;
  • São Martinho do Porto: a small but enchanting town with a protected bay, and a rare beach with calm waters.

What is the cost of living on the Silver Coast of Portugal?

While the cost of living in Portugal is already considered very low by most expats living here, the Silver Coast is even less expensive

Take a look in detail below at the cost of living in the main cities of the Silver Coast of Portugal.

ExpensesCosts in AveiroCosts in CoimbraCosts in Leiria
Family of four estimated monthly costs (no rent)€1,775.83€1,793.94€1,696.21
A single person estimated monthly costs (no rent)€505.40€510.19€483.04
1-bedroom apartment rent in the city center€489.29€438.89€468.75
3-bedrooms apartment rent in the city center€859.09€775€728.57

Data was acquired from the cost of living website Numbeo in January 2022.

But what about comparing it to the cost of living in Lisbon? To give you a better idea of how much cheaper it is to live on the Silver Coast, here are some facts, also gattered on Numbeo: 

  • Aveiro is 9.78% less expensive than Lisbon, and rent is, on average, 42.79% lower;
  • Coimbra is 8.05% less expensive than Lisbon, and rent is, on average, 50.53% lower;
  • Leiria is 11.56% less expensive than Lisbon, while rent is, on average, 50.82% lower.

Buying real estate properties on the Silver Coast of Portugal

Now if your intention is mainly to acquire a property in Portugal, the Silver Coast might be a great option for you. Not only the entire area is an excellent location, but market prices here are also much lower than in Lisbon. Also, they promise to increase in value a lot in the next few years.

Also, for those readers interested in applying to Portugal Golden Visa, buying a house here may permit you to get this special residence permit.

Take a look at the prices to buy and rent houses on the Portuguese Silver Coast:

CostsAverage purchase price of a 100 m² property
Aveiro district€139,800
Coimbra district€122,800
Leiria district€125,500

Data was acquired from the report on the evolution of house prices on the Idealista website in December 2021.

Remember to research the Portuguese real estate market before committing to such a big investment. Online research is a way to start, and therefore, we can suggest you read the blog post: Top real estate websites in Portugal and tips for buying properties online.

Public and private healthcare

When it comes to healthcare, the Silver Coast region is a reference in Portugal. In the districts of Aveiro, Coimbra, and Leiria, the population is very well served with both the public health service and private health options.

Foreigners legally residing in Portugal, that is, with a residence permit in hand, can use Portuguese public hospitals and health centers. You just need to create a so-called Número de Utente beforehand to enjoy the same rights as locals. Also, you will be happy to know that most simple medical services in public healthcare are now completely free.

If you prefer to take out health insurance in Portugal and then use the area’s private hospitals and clinics, you’ll be happy too. Many expats prefer this service as it tends to be faster and more personalized than the public. Prices vary but are not outrageous as long as you have insurance.

What is the weather like on the Silver Coast of Portugal?

Living on the Portuguese Silver Coast, you can expect many sunny days, but also a lot of wind. Most northern Europeans love the weather on the Silver Coast better than, for example, the Algarve. That is because central Portugal is not as warm as southern Portugal, and even summers tend to be milder.

And let’s not forget that the coastal areas tend to be cooler and windier than the interior ones.

Check out the average temperatures across the year in Leiria, one of the most important cities in the Silver Coast region:

DataSpringSummerFallWinter
Average temperature13.6 ºC
(56.48 ºF)
19.7 ºC
(67.46 ºF)
16ºC
(60.8 ºF)
9.7ºC
(49.46 ºF)
Average Rainfall71 mm
(2.7 in)
13.3 mm
(0.5 in)
82.6 mm
(3.2 in)
85 mm
(3.3 in)
Average Humidity73.3%70%75.3%79.3%

Data was acquired from the official Climate Data website.

Is it safe to live in Portugal?

Yes. Portugal is one of the 5 safest countries in the world, according to the Global Peace Index 2021. Furthermore, the Silver Coast of Portugal is known for its peaceful lifestyle. Besides having all you might need for day-to-day life, here you also get lots of contact with nature. A great place to raise a family, for example.

Do people on the Silver Coast of Portugal speak English?

Generally speaking, yes. Especially the younger generations of Portuguese are always in contact with the English language and can speak at least basic English. Not as much as in Lisbon and the Algarve, though.

But don’t miss the chance to learn how to speak Portuguese, at least the basics. It’s great to help you get by, and also a way to make local friends. Portuguese is a complex language and can be quite complicated to learn – especially for English native speakers. But with time and effort, anyone can learn to speak Portuguese.

What is it like to live on the Silver Coast? Hear it from an expat family

It’s one thing to know about it and travel, but actually living as an expat on the Silver Coast is different.

Take a look at this awesome video that shows you the real experience of this lovely expat family living here:

How can I move to the Silver Coast of Portugal?

In order to move and live in Portugal, any non-EU citizen needs to obtain a residence permit. In most cases, to travel to Portugal you’ll also need a residence visa.

The relocation process varies according to your country of origin, but usually goes like that:

  • You choose a visa to enter Portugal (passive income visa, business visa, work visa);
  • Prepare all the paperwork and accommodation before applying (varies according to the visa);
  • Apply and obtain your visa;
  • Move to Portugal.

If you’re interested in applying for a visa to live in Portugal, make sure to read all our Articles about visas and permits in Portugal.

Can I get a Portuguese Golden Visa by investing in real estate on the Silver Coast?

Yes, you can. The Portuguese region of the Silver Coast is one of the only ones where you can still use your real estate investment as a way to apply for the Golden Visa.

As you can read on our Complete Guide To The Golden Visa, any person in the world can get the Portugal Golden Visa.

In order to apply for it by real estate investment on the Silver Coast, your investment should be worth more than €500,000. However, if the properties are old and located in areas of urban rehabilitation, the value goes down to €350,000.

Of course, we only recommend applying to the Golden Visa with professional assistance, such as Viv Europe’s.

Is it worth living on the Portuguese Silver Coast?

Living in Portugal as an expat has been an amazing experience. So much that the expat community keeps growing year after year.

The famous quality of life in Portugal is indeed marvelous, and we cannot complain about the cost of living here either. The Silver Coast of Portugal, especially, offers so much peace, stunning sceneries, and still manages to keep that small-town feeling everywhere.

So, yes, there are many upsides about living on the Portuguese Silver Coast. But the journey of living abroad is bigger than that. Adapting to a new culture may be harder for some people, and homesickness tends to strike every now and then.

However, as long as you have the right company with you, I’m sure you will be more than happy living in Portugal.

If you want to meet other people going through the same experience of moving abroad, then join our Facebook group All About Portugal For Expats.

And remember, you can count on Viv Europe’s assistance at any stage of your relocation. Let’s make your Portugal plan a reality!

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