How to choose a region for permanent residence in Portugal? How to determine the ideal place to live

Portugal, with its rich history, wonderful climate and hospitality, is attracting more and more foreign citizens looking to explore new horizons and find their home on the Atlantic coast. However, before you begin the process of permanent residence (Permanent Residence), it is worth thinking about which region of Portugal you would like to settle in.

Choosing a region for permanent residence is a decision that has a profound impact on your life in Portugal. Different regions of the country provide different opportunities and resources that may suit your personal goals and needs. For example, if you are looking for business and career opportunities, Lisbon may be your ideal choice, while the Algarve offers a unique coastline and climate for those who dream of a relaxing life by the sea.

In addition, Roca Estate will be happy to support you in the process of purchasing luxury real estate in Portugal, providing professional support and expert advice.

How to choose a region for permanent residence in Portugal

How to choose a region for permanent residence in Portugal

Portugal, with its amazing culture, beautiful landscapes and outstanding history, is attracting more and more people dreaming of making this country their new home. However, before you dive into the Permanent Residence (PR) process, you need to answer an important question: “Which region of Portugal would you like to settle in?

This choice can make a huge difference to your future life and satisfaction with permanent residence in Portugal. Let’s look at how to choose the right region for permanent residence and what factors should be taken into account when making this important decision.

Determine your priorities

How to choose a region for permanent residence in Portugal

When choosing a region for permanent residence in Portugal, it is important to determine your priorities in order to make the most informed choice. Let us consider in detail each of the listed criteria:

  1. Work and business opportunities: Portugal provides a variety of work and business opportunities. Lisbon and Porto, as the largest cities, offer more job opportunities and entrepreneurial opportunities. If you’re looking for career prospects, these places might be a good fit. However, other regions, such as the Algarve, can provide a calmer and more relaxed environment in which to live, which may be suitable for entrepreneurs and freelancers.
  2. Quality of life: Different regions of Portugal offer different levels of comfort and quality of life. Cities typically have better infrastructure and access to cultural events, but they can also be noisier and more expensive to live in. Rural areas and coastlines can provide tranquil and beautiful environments, but may have limited access to services.
  3. Cultural and historical aspects: Portugal is rich in cultural and historical heritage. Lisbon and Porto offer many museums, historical sites and cultural events. In other regions, such as Sintra or Évora, you will find unique historical sites that may be of interest to historians and cultural connoisseurs.
  4. Climate and Nature: Portugal’s climate is varied and can greatly influence your life. Lisbon and the Algarve are known for their sunny climate and warm weather, making them attractive to those who appreciate sun and sea. While some regions, such as Northern Portugal, may be cooler and wetter.
  5. Education and Health Care: If you have children or it is important to have access to higher education and quality health care, it is important to consider the availability of schools and health care facilities in the region. Larger cities such as Lisbon and Porto provide a wider range of educational and health facilities.
  6. Budget and Cost of Living: Living expenses can vary significantly depending on the region you choose. Larger cities tend to be more expensive, especially in terms of real estate and rent. Rural areas and less popular regions can provide more affordable housing and lower living costs.

When choosing a region for permanent residence in Portugal, it is important to carefully weigh these factors and determine what is most important to you. Consulting with professionals and a real estate agency such as Roca Estate can also help you make an informed decision and find the perfect place for your new life in Portugal.

Explore the main regions of Portugal

How to choose a region for permanent residence in Portugal

Portugal, rich in natural diversity and cultural treasures, provides potential immigrants with many options when choosing a permanent residence destination. Each region of this beautiful country has its own unique character and unique features, which makes the selection process extremely exciting.

Lisbon and its surroundings

Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, and its suburbs are one of the most popular regions for permanent residence in the country. Let’s look at it in more detail:


  • Economic Opportunities: Lisbon is the economic hub of Portugal, home to many companies and start-ups. This region provides good opportunities for career growth and entrepreneurship.
  • Infrastructure: The capital has a developed infrastructure, including modern medical facilities, educational institutions and transport networks, which makes life here comfortable.
  • Cultural life: Lisbon is known for its rich cultural scene, with numerous museums, historical monuments and events such as festivals and exhibitions.


  • High costs: Living in Lisbon can be more expensive compared to some other regions of Portugal, especially regarding rental properties.
  • Traffic: The city sometimes experiences traffic jams and parking issues, which can be a challenge for some residents.
  • Tourism: Lisbon attracts many tourists, especially during the summer, which can lead to increased crowds and noise in some areas.

Tourist potential:

Lisbon and its surroundings offer a rich tourist diversity. In the city itself, you can enjoy scenic views, visit historic areas such as Belem, and discover many museums. The beaches of Cascais and Estoril are nearby, providing excellent opportunities for a coastal holiday. It is also easy to reach the city of Sintra with its magnificent palaces and gardens.

Lisbon and its surrounding area is an attractive destination for permanent residence in Portugal, especially for those seeking economic and cultural opportunities, but also prepared for some of the disadvantages of a big city.

Porto and North of Portugal

Porto and the North of Portugal is an important region that provides a variety of opportunities for permanent residence. Let’s take a closer look at this region:

Features of the region:

  • Landscapes and nature: The north of Portugal is famous for its beautiful natural landscapes, including mountains, valleys and rivers. This area is also a wine center with many wineries and vineyards.
  • Historic Cities: Porto, Portugal’s second largest city, is renowned for its historical architecture and cultural heritage. Other interesting cities in the region include Braga, Guimarães and Guimarães.
  • Coast: The region also has an extensive Atlantic coastline, making it an attractive destination for beach and water sports enthusiasts.

The economic growth:

  • Textile and textile-clothing industry: The north of Portugal is famous for its textile industry, which has long been an important driver of the region’s economy.
  • Tourism: Porto and its surroundings are attracting more and more tourists due to its cultural richness and beautiful scenery. Tourism is becoming an important source of income for this region.
  • Innovation and startups: Porto is becoming a center for innovative technologies and startup projects, attracting young entrepreneurs and investors.

Cultural heritage:

  • Portuguese folklore: The north of Portugal is where the traditions and folklore of Portugal are preserved. Local festivals and events such as Festa Sant Joan provide a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in local culture.
  • Portuguese Cuisine: The region is famous for its delicious cuisine. Here you can try dishes such as French or bachelor fish, as well as numerous types of cheeses and wines.
  • Art and architecture: Porto and its surroundings are renowned for their artistic and architectural attractions. Se’s Gothic cathedral, palaces and churches decorate the region’s cities.

Porto and the North of Portugal provide unique opportunities for permanent residence, combining cultural richness, natural beauty and economic growth. The region attracts both those seeking employment and business opportunities, as well as those who value cultural heritage and spectacular scenery.


The Algarve is one of the most popular regions for permanent residence in Portugal, and this is not surprising given its unique characteristics. Let’s take a closer look at this region:

Climate and nature:

  • Climate: The Algarve is famous for its mild Mediterranean climate. There are more than 300 sunny days a year, and summer lasts a long time. This region is known for its warm winters and hot summers, making it an ideal destination for sun lovers.
  • Nature: The Algarve offers a variety of landscapes, including golden beaches, coastal cliffs, olive groves and mountainous areas. This combination of natural beauties makes the region charming and diverse.

Tourist infrastructure:

  • Beaches: The Algarve is known for its beautiful beaches with golden sand and clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The beaches here are suitable for both family holidays and water sports.
  • Golf: The region has outstanding golf courses, attracting golf enthusiasts from all over the world. The Algarve’s climate allows golf to be played all year round.
  • Restaurants and cultural heritage: In the towns and resorts of the Algarve you will find a variety of restaurants offering local specialties and dishes. The region is also rich in cultural heritage with historical castles and museums.

Life on the coast:

  • Property: The Algarve offers a variety of coastal property options – from apartments with sea views to villas and houses in old fishing villages.
  • Active Lifestyle: The region caters to active lifestyles with many opportunities for walking, cycling, water sports and golf.
  • Community: The Algarve is a welcoming and multicultural place where you will quickly make friends and neighbors from different countries.

Central and Eastern Portugal

Central and Eastern Portugal are lesser-known but very attractive regions for permanent residence in the country. Let’s take a closer look at them:

Cultural wealth:

  • Historic cities: The region includes cultural treasures such as Coimbra, one of the oldest cities in Portugal, with its university, and Évora, a city with many historical monuments, including the Roman Temple of Diana.
  • Traditions and folklore: Central and Eastern Portugal have many traditions and folklore celebrations that reflect the rich cultural heritage of the region.

Economic prospects:

  • Agriculture: In these regions, agriculture remains an important part of the economy. Here you will find numerous vineyards, olive groves and farms providing local residents with fresh produce.
  • Tourism: Despite the fact that the region is less touristically developed, it still attracts nature and history lovers. Tourism opportunities here have the potential to grow.

Rural life:

  • Nature: Central and Eastern Portugal offer picturesque landscapes with mountains, valleys, rivers and forests. This is an ideal place for lovers of nature and outdoor activities.
  • Peace and tranquility: Life in these regions can be much quieter and slower compared to cities on the coast. This is a place for those looking for privacy and peace.
  • Real Estate: Real estate here is often more affordable than on the coast, making these regions attractive to those looking for more budget-friendly options.

Azores and Madeira Islands

The Azores and Madeira Islands are unique regions of Portugal located in the North Atlantic. These islands offer unique permanent residence opportunities and are distinct from Portugal’s mainland. Let’s look at them in more detail:

Unique features:

  • Natural beauty: The Azores and Madeira islands are famous for their stunning nature. Here you will find volcanoes, waterfalls, forests, lakes and picturesque landscapes. The islands are ideal destinations for lovers of outdoor activities and eco-tourism.
  • Ocean Sports: Due to their location on the Atlantic, these regions provide excellent opportunities for water sports such as surfing, diving and fishing.
  • Rural life: On the islands there is the possibility of farming and raising animals. This attracts those who dream of a quiet and secluded life.

Climatic features:

  • Mild Ocean Climate: The islands have a mild climate with mild winters and cool summer temperatures. The climate in the Azores is wetter and cooler than Madeira.
  • Favorable climate for agriculture: The climate is conducive to agriculture and the islands are known for their agricultural traditions.

Features of the island lifestyle:

  • Privacy: The islands offer privacy and tranquility, making them attractive to those seeking a quiet life away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
  • Community: The islands have a unique community spirit and locals often know each other. This creates a warm and friendly atmosphere.
  • Tourism: Tourism is an important part of the islands’ economy. It provides job opportunities in the hospitality and related services sector.

Consider legal and administrative aspects

When considering permanent residence in Portugal, it is important to take into account various legal and administrative aspects, such as obtaining a residence permit, tax system, health care and education.

Rules for obtaining a residence permit:

  1. Golden Visa: One of the popular ways to obtain residence permits in Portugal is the Golden Visa program, which involves investing in the Portuguese economy, such as purchasing real estate, investing in a business or creating jobs.
  2. Work or Entrepreneurship: You can also obtain a residence permit if you have a work contract or set up your own enterprise in Portugal.
  3. Pension Permanent Residence: Portugal offers special conditions for pensioners who can obtain permanent residence if they meet certain criteria, including a minimum pension amount.

Tax system in the region:

  • Income Tax: Portugal has relatively low personal income tax rates, especially for foreign taxpayers who may be exempt from taxation on their foreign sources of income.
  • Real estate: Property taxes in Portugal are relatively low. It is levied as an annual tax on the value of real estate.
  • Investment: Portugal also has a tax incentive program for residents who transfer their capital to the country.

Medical care and education:

  • Healthcare: Portugal has a quality healthcare system that includes both public and private healthcare facilities. Residents have access to public medicine after registering in the system.
  • Education: The Portuguese education system provides high quality education at all levels – from primary school to universities. The country also has numerous international schools, making it attractive for families with children.

Seek Experts and Advice

How to choose a region for permanent residence in Portugal

The process of permanent residence in Portugal can be complex and require specialized knowledge in various areas. Therefore, it is important to turn to experts and get the necessary advice.

  • Consultation with immigration lawyers: Immigration lawyers with experience in Portugal can provide you with invaluable assistance in obtaining a residence permit, purchasing real estate and other legal aspects. They can provide legal protection for your interests and ensure that you comply with all requirements and procedures.
  • Experiences of other immigrants: Advice and experiences from other people who have moved to Portugal can be very helpful. They can share their stories, talk about difficulties and successes, and give advice on adaptation and integration in a new country.

When purchasing real estate in Portugal, especially luxury real estate, it is important to turn to professionals. The Roca Estate real estate agency specializes in providing high-quality services for the selection and acquisition of real estate in various cities of Portugal. Their experts will help you find luxury housing that suits your requirements and budget, and guide you through the entire purchasing process, taking into account all legal and administrative aspects.