Porto is known for its cool bars, culture and stunning landmarks, but the historic city has so much more to offer. There is everything from a growing foodie hub to designer stores. The property scene is changing, too. You can pick up a one-bedroom apartment for around €120,000 or a four- bedroom villa from €1,500,000. Prices are reasonable at the moment, but are expected to rise with the continued growth of the city. Here is our mini guide to living and buying in Porto. Helena Belo, Regional Manager of Fine & Country Porto reveals the best places to live, when to visit and property prices.
Q: Tell us about Porto. What makes it special?
A: Porto is a coastal city and the second largest city in Portugal. The historic centre was nominated World Heritage by UNESCO. The local people are helpful, receptive and extremely friendly. It is famous for its Port wine production as well as its stately bridges. The best way to discover the six magnificent bridges is probably to take a riverboat cruise on one of the old boats which used to carry Porto‘s wine cargoes.
> Luis 1 bridge
> Arrabida Bridge
> Henrique bridge
> Freixo double bridge
Q: Why should people move to Porto?
A: The city is constantly growing. This is thanks to investment in infrastructure and the changing face of Porto. It has all the advantages of living in a city, but is only 15 minutes to the beach.
Q: What are the most sought-after areas?
A: The best areas include Foz, Boavista and the medieval downtown centre Baixa.
Q: What are the hottest and coolest months?
A: The hottest months are from spring to autumn (July and August are usually the hottest.) The winter in Porto is very similar to some parts of the UK, but it hardly reaches freezing temperatures. Spring and autumn are the best seasons to visit (May and September). The temperatures are very agreeable and you can see the city without the flux of tourists during the summer months.
Q: What are the best schools, restaurants and bars?
A: There are numerous good schools in Porto including:
> CLIP (www.clip.pt/)
> Colégio francês (www.lusofrances.com.pt/)
Food lovers are spoilt for choice. They serve mouth-watering tapas and fresh pastries. Some consider it to be Europe’s next foodie mecca.
Porto is famous for its Port and Porto tonics. Some fantastic bars are:
> Clube 3C (www.clube3c.pt/)
> The Gin Club (www.localporto.com/trendy-gin-bar-porto-the-gin-club/)
Q: So how much do properties cost in Porto? What are the highest and lowest prices?
A: If you’re thinking of buying in Porto prices vary considerably. You can pick up a one-bedroom apartment for €120,000 to a four- bedroom villa near the coast for €1,500,000.
Location, location, location is the key.
Q: What properties sell the fastest?
A: Apartments sell the fastest in Baixa, while homes in need of renovation are always in demand. There are many villas and flats ready to buy and move in to.
Q: Do you need a visa to stay?
Q: What are the highlights of living there?
> A beautiful city
> Access and good public transports
> But above all the quality of life stands out
·Q: Finally, what advice would you give to anyone thinking of moving to Porto?
A: Porto is a perfect city to raise a family or find work. It is not surprising that more and more people live in this beautiful location (estimated 1.8 million people) with everything from good transport links and excellent education.