Although known for its low cost of living, many rich live in Portugal after its popularity. Find out where and for how much!

Last Updated on April 24, 2024 by

It may be affordable for many, but the country is also home to the most luxurious lifestyles possible. This amazing country in Southern Europe has attracted thousands of foreigners in recent years. We know the low-key destinations, but have you ever wondered where the famous and rich live in Portugal?

Where do the rich live in Portugal

Those willing to pay any price for the best of the best tend to pick a few specific Portuguese regions. Where are these located, and how much does it cost to buy a house there? Does it compare to other expensive European countries? 

Find out where the rich live in Portugal, and how much properties in these areas cost, and plan your dream relocation! Who knows, maybe you can live here too?

Where do the rich live in Portugal?

We don’t know if money really brings happiness, but living in these places doesn’t seem to make anyone sad. While Portugal is already known for being a luxury destination at lower costs, there are still those who choose not to save money in paradise.

Today, you’ll get to know where the rich live in Portugal, in the most important Portuguese regions:

  • Lisbon;
  • Cascais;
  • Algarve;
  • Porto;
  • Setúbal.

This list was created using the price index of properties in Portugal from the real estate website Idealista.

Get to know better the places where the rich live in Portugal

Each has its beauty and its advantages. Learn more about each of the places where the rich live in Portugal.

Where the rich live in Lisbon

By far, Lisbon is the most expensive city in Portugal. Not only in terms of real estate properties but also in the cost of living. So, to go along with the odds, here are the most expensive regions.

The neighborhoods in Lisbon with the most expensive square meters are (as of January 2024):

  • Santo António (Príncipe Real): €7,610/m²
  • Estrela: €6,549/m²
  • Avenidas Novas (Campo Pequeno): €6,554/m²
  • Misericórdia (Cais do Sodré, Chiado, Bairro Alto): €6,685/m²
  • Belém: €6,038/m²

Buying a property in these Lisbon areas is possible only for those who have a lot of money. It’s not cheap to be a neighbor of Cristiano Ronaldo.

If you’re looking for a cosmopolitan, lively place to stay, central Lisbon is your perfect choice. There is always movement, business to do, and interesting people around.

If you like postcard-worthy scenery and beautiful Gothic architecture, Lisbon has plenty of both. Its laid-back lifestyle, thriving nightlife, and proximity to most luxuries increase Lisbon’s value.

It is where a majority of the business is concentrated, and most rich people live in  Parque das Nações, Lapa, and Restelo. 

The favorable trade environment in Lisbon is an appealing point of interest for entrepreneurs. However, other factors, such as the high standard of living, international health care, and modern infrastructure, make it one of the most desirable places for the rich. 

But, of course, living in Lisbon doesn’t have to be that expensive. And even so, people live well in cheaper neighborhoods.

Where the rich live in Sintra, Cascais, and Estoril

The Portuguese Riviera has been known for being home to wealthy families for many years. Once a small fishing community, Cascais has become a cosmopolitan retreat for the wealthy in the past century.

Along with Estoril and its casino, it is a destination for fancy yachts and those who want to be close to Lisbon, but with a lot of luxury and exclusivity. Sintra and the region of Azenhas do Mar also attract those lucky ones with a desire for silence and fresh air.

Cascais and Sintra are where the rich live in Portugal

The most exclusive and expensive areas in the Sintra-Cascais zone are (as of January 2024):

  • Cascais and Estoril: €6,024/m²
  • Carcavelos and Parede: €4,432/m²
  • Alcabideche: €4,343/m²
  • Colares: €4,451/m²

Properties here are already cheaper than Lisbon; however, they are still above the national average of €2,475/m2.

It’s a great place to raise a family, for example, because of its access to green areas, parks, beaches, and still being close to the country’s main urban center.

Sintra is well known for its lush landscape, breathtaking palaces that were once home to royal families, and the delectable “Travesseiro de Sintra.” Cascais are a hidden treasure with a rich past. This place is a top place to raise a family due to its nature, clean parks, and quality public schools.

Estoril owns the glorious beaches of the Costa do Estoril; the picturesque town of Cascais is close by, while to the north are the scenic hills and palaces of Sintra. 

The high standard of living, the abundance of sunshine, the immaculate beaches, the warmth of the Portuguese people, the wide variety of restaurants, and the simplicity of life — all of these factors contribute to the preference of wealthy people for living here.

Where the rich live in the Algarve

Of all Portuguese regions, the Algarve is a recurring choice of wealthy foreigners looking for sun and luxury homes. It is the southern region of Portugal, famous for its stunning beaches and large English-speaking expat community.

Rich houses in Quinta do Lago Vilamoura Algarve

The places where the rich live in the Algarve, and their square meter price, are (as of January 2024):

  • Almancil (Quinta do Lago): €4,815/m²
  • Odiáxere (near Lagos) €3,685/m²
  • Sagres €4,127/m²
  • Quarteira (Vilamoura) €4,237/m²
  • Ferragudo (between Lagoa and Portimão) €3,890/m²
  • Loulé €3,764/m²

Living in the Algarve is, as you can imagine, a privilege. One that many foreigners treat themselves to. In fact, this area has the largest percentage of the foreign population in Portugal.

The lavish golf courses and the serene environment are popular among celebrities as well. Most famous celebrities, including Cristiano Ronaldo, are often seen on vacation here. 

Faro, Portimao, and Lagos are just a few of the top cities along the Algarve coastline that are equally impressive. Each has a charming old town filled with interesting historical landmarks. Rich people, including wealthy migrants, love it for its lively nightlife, beautiful beach resorts, and some of Europe’s best golf courses.

Where the rich live in Porto

The northern region of Portugal is home to temperate forests, industries, traditions, and colder weather. However, there are also beautiful locations where the rich and famous choose to relocate. The capital of the region, the beautiful city of Porto, has also seen its real estate market appreciate greatly in recent years.

Anyone who wants to live big in Porto should get to know the city’s best and most expensive areas.

Here are the areas in and around Porto with the highest square meter prices (as of January 2024):

  • Aldoar, Foz do Douro, and Nevogilde: €4,278/m²
  • Cedofeita, Santo Ildefonso, Sé, Miragaia, São Nicolau, Vitória (central Porto): €4,006/m²
  • Lordelo do Ouro and Massarelos: €3,738/m²
  • Matosinhos and Leça da Palmeira €2,802/m²

Porto is a charming city with scenic streets, cozy bars, and cultural landmarks scattered throughout the city. The city is filled with history, beautiful scenery, and lively nightlife. 

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One of the main factors for Porto’s popularity is its nightlife. The abundance of iconic structures, large real estate investment opportunities, and high living standards make rich people most drawn to Porto.

Are you interested in living in Porto? Some say that the northern city is worth more than Lisbon, but this is something you have to discover for yourself. The decision between Lisbon, Porto, or Algarve is also a tough one that every expat has to go through.

Where the rich live in Setúbal and the South Bank

The South Bank of Lisbon (Margem Sul), as well as the Setúbal area and the Alentejo coast, are also traditional playgrounds for the wealthy Lisboners. However, in recent years, foreigners have discovered the region’s beautiful landscapes. Along with the warmer climate and proximity to the center of the capital, Lisbon, it was natural that the area attracted the eyes of the richest in the world.

Where the rich live in the south bank of Lisbon

Discover the favorite places of the rich in these areas and how much a square meter costs there (as of January 2024):

  • Porto Covo: €3,886/m²
  • Santiago (Sesimbra): €4,704/m²
  • Azeitão: €2,544/m²

Setúbal is ideal for people who want to live in a quieter place with a high quality of life. It has a lot of schools, from preschool to high school, polytechnic institutions, banks, small and large businesses, and a very appealing shopping and commercial area.

It is a city of working people with a more industrial vibe. As a result, investors and businesspeople seeking opportunities to make money are drawn to it.

Outside lovers will enjoy the forested slopes here that deal with climbing trails prompting amazing vistas. The coastal peninsula can be seen from towering cliffs, and those who dare can go ocean kayaking for an adrenaline rush. There are the best places for kayaking & canoeing in Setúbal, where you can admire the most scenic views of Portugal.

The rich live in Portugal looking for places like the southern bank areas and the Troia peninsula. With exclusivity, nature, mild climate, and easy access to facilities. Also, a great place to raise a family, with some of the best international schools in Portugal.

What makes Portugal so attractive for the wealthy?

Portugal is not known for being a rich country. In fact, it experienced many years of crisis and even famine since the 20th century.

However, over the last years, thousands of foreigners with a lot of money have discovered they love Portugal. This little paradise in Southern Europe, so safe and so forgotten, has become a playground for the world’s rich in the last decade.

And what do they get out of it? They get to live in a beautiful place, with a pleasant climate, welcoming people, and tax benefits. Not to mention that Portugal is the 4th safest country in the world, and has a surprisingly low cost of living.

Besides, getting a visa and residence permit to live in Portugal can be much easier than you think. In fact, the Portuguese government has started programs aimed at attracting exactly foreigners who have money to invest in Portugal. This is the case of the D7 Visa, for passive income, and the famous Golden Visa.

What celebrities have moved to Portugal?

They are people like us! Meet some of the world’s celebrities who have chosen to move to Portugal and enjoy the country’s lifestyle.

  • Madonna;
  • Christian Louboutin;
  • Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander;
  • Monica Bellucci;
  • Garret McNamara.

Who am I to antagonize Madonna, right? Certainly, Portugal has its value, not just for being chosen by famous people. Every year, millions of people visit the country. The secret is never to leave!

What about the cheapest cities to live in Portugal?

Portugal and its millionaire places are beautiful, sure. But you may be wondering, is there somewhere more affordable?

Of course! Portugal is famous precisely for offering a quality of life at one of the lowest costs of living in Europe. Some of the cheapest cities to live in Portugal are:

  • Castelo Branco;
  • Santarém;
  • Viseu;
  • Viana do Castelo;
  • Figueira da Foz.

After all, living well doesn’t mean living with a lot of money. Can it help? Sure, but life goes beyond money. As long as you bring your family to Portugal with you, you’ll be fine. Home is where your heart is.

Have you started planning your move to Portugal yet?

No matter what your financial condition, Portugal can be a great place to start again. Here, quality of life doesn’t care about money, and it’s free for everyone. Furthermore, it is a country with a much lower cost of living than the rest of Europe for expatriates.

Consider visiting Portugal before moving. Going on a scouting trip to Portugal may help you discover which region fits you best. And join our Facebook Group – All About Portugal For Expats to meet other people with similar experiences.

The process can be confusing, but you don’t need to worry at all! Let professionals deal with your visa process, finding a property, and everything else that follows. 

See you in Portugal!

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