As the second largest city in Portugal, Porto is considered the capital of the north it is one of the Iberian Peninsula’s major urban areas. 

Named as a world heritage site by UNESCO it is one of the oldest European centres. Located along the Douro River estuary in northern Portugal 2 miles from the river’s mouth on the Atlantic Ocean and 175 miles north of Lisbon it is a city with a long and vibrant history.

Porto is often described as having a Dickensian feel and it certainly has bags of atmosphere with its old, cobbled streets and fascinating building. For many visitors Porto’s most distinctive characteristics is that of ‘faded grandeur’. There are very few other European cities remaining that can do ‘faded grandeur’ at the same scale. It has impressive architecture all with varying degrees of preservation with a mix of Baroque, Neoclassical and splash of Belle Epoque.

The old town is picturesque and combines ancient monuments and churches,, such as the Church of São Francisco and the Cathedral, and modern buildings, such as Casa da Música and the Serralves Museum.

Since the Roman period, the Ribeira has been Porto’s commercial area, when the shipping port which gave the city its name. Over the next 2000 years it grew into a major hub for shipments from across the world.

The River Douro crosses the region, it enters Portugal between the ravines and mountains of the interior to flow through the entire World Heritage landscape. This is where the Port and Douro wines are produced. It is from here that the wine is sent to the lodges at Vila Nova de Gaia, as the cruises touring the region make their way upriver. The 72-meter hight Dom Luis I bridge is on one of Porto’s most iconic, spanning the River Douro carting traffic on two levels. It was completed in 1886, and to this day still carries traffic from the Ribeira to Vila Nova de Gaia.

The shopping heart of Porto can be found east of the centre. Rua Santa Catarina is a shop lined, pedestrian street stretching from Praca da Batalha to Marques de Pombal. There is an impressive mix of shops from big names to small boutiques, small bakeries, cafes, and barber shops.

Porto is very popular with tourists, but is also becoming increasingly popular with developers with is low cost of living, upbeat economy, and infrastructure it is attracting a lot of attention from investors around the globe. Porto and Northern Portugal have been showing continued market resilience. Northern Portugal enjoyed an average yearly growth rate of 11.4% in FDI (foreign direct investment) between 2013-2018.

Our experts say

“With a GPD growth outpacing the EU average, companies are turning to Porto as an ideal location in which to place office space. There are over 872 corporates located in the Oporto Metropolitan area alone, and brands including Microsoft, IBM and Google have chosen to set up in the region.

Porto has seen rapid house price growth with incremental increases every year since 2014. Indeed prices across Portugal grew by over 8.3% in 2019. While tourism has been hit by the pandemic, the fact is that Porto will always be a popular destination for both overseas and domestic visitors alike”.

– Kevin Martin, Property Consultant

How to get there

By road

Porto is well connected by Road to many major cities. It is a 3 hour drive to away from Lisbon via the A1.

By train

Porto’s main railway station is Campanhã railway station, located in the eastern part of the city and connected to the lines of Douro, Minho and centre of Portugal. It

From Campanhã station, both light rail and suburban rail services connect to the city center. The main central station is São Bento Station, which is itself a notable landmark in the heart of Porto.

Porto is connected with Lisbon via high-speed trains, Alfa Pendular, that cover the distance in 2h 42min.

By air

Porto is served by Francisco de Sá Carneiro Airport which is located in Pedras Rubras, Moreira da Maia civil parish of the neighbouring Municipality of Maia, some 15 kilometres (9 miles) to the north-west of the city centre.  It is possible to fly directly to Porto.

By boat

It is possible to take a Ferry from norther Spain. The mail port in Porto is Leixoes.



Porto has hot summers with daytime temperatures just above 25° C. The warmest months to visit are June, July and August.


From October to May, it rains quite rarely, From December to February, it can be milder in the day time with temperatures around 14/15 °C. The rains occur in periods of bad weather, which last a few days, and may be abundant.

Why invest

The short- term rental market has been booming in northern Portugal as tourism grows increasingly popular. A revision of Portugal’s rental laws in 2012 have dramatically changed the rental landscape and have seen prices rise dramatically in areas such as Lisbon. In Porto, demand has also rapidly increased, but without the rising purchase prices, meaning that in terms of rental yield, Porto offers one of the most attractive investment opportunities in Portugal.

Affordable flights combined with the areas popularity as a minibreak destination mean that short term lets offer excellent yields. However, for those looking for longer term tenants, the explosion of investment by big corporates in the city also offers this option.

Portugal’s Golden Visa program* has proved to be one of the most popular schemes in Europe, attracting investors from across the globe. With an investment of €500,000 (or €350,000 reduced option) in real estate in Portugal will gain a residency permit for a family including dependent children. The Golden Visa can be renewed every two years, providing the applicant spends two weeks in the country every two years.

Other reasons why Porto has become a great place for foreign investment include the following:

  • High living standards:

Porto is safe, welcoming, and culturally diverse. The warm climate along with the cost of living, and stable social climate is a very attractive proposition for entrepreneurs, and investors from around the world.

  • Transport links:
  • Porto us well-connected. With high-speed trains connecting Porto to Lisbon, the city boasts a subway system that stretches 22 miles and an international airport hub that serves continental and intercontinental flights.
  • Development projects:

Porto has benefited from major urban development and projects. Between 2014 and 2018, a million sqm of real estate projects were licensed in the Greater Porto Area.

  • Tourism

International tourists flock to Porto to experience the city’s history and vibrant atmosphere.

*It is important to note that from January 2022, the Portuguese government is introducing new rules which will block investors from buying in high density areas such as Lisbon, Porto. The objective of the changes, which were announced in December 2020, are to spread foreign investment across Portugal, therefore benefitting other regions, specifically those which are low density.