Why Porto is the Perfect Place to Live After You Retire

With its relaxed atmosphere and age-old Portuguese charm, Porto is a magical place to while away your retirement years. From vibrantly coloured buildings adorned with azulejo tiles to the majestic Douro River that flows its heart, the city is a treasure trove of history and culture.

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Wandering around Porto, you’ll spot many famous landmarks and monuments, each with its own story to tell. Friends gather on cobbled street corners, nibbling on petiscos and sipping Port wine under the evening sun. Rabelo cargo boats bob in the bay, tower bells chime, and freshly washed clothes billow from windows, providing a glimpse into daily life and local routine. All of this comes together to make Porto an enchanting and laidback destination, ideal for those looking to retire in Portugal.

We delve into the allure of late-life living in Porto.

Quality of Life

Porto is a thriving hub for trade, business, and technology and makes a significant contribution to the country’s GDP. Home to a diverse range of industries and a strong export sector, money is flowing into Portugal’s second city. In fact, it was recently named Europe’s Best Large City for FDI Strategy by the Financial Times. Its economic success in recent years has helped establish a very high quality of life in Porto.

Testament to this is the city’s concentration of wealthy residents. According to a recent report by GPEARI, Porto is home to 485 of Portugal’s richest households—the second-highest figure in the country behind Lisbon.

Portugal was named the 7th most peaceful country in the world in 2023, shining a light on its general safety. With low crime rates, quality healthcare, and outstanding international education, it’s easy to see why Porto is such a popular destination.

retire in porto

Diverse Population

Over 150 nationalities call Porto home, giving rise to a diverse population and strong expat community. The city’s foreign population has more than doubled since 2016, jumping 178% to 70,000. Various clubs, activities, and meet-ups provide opportunities for expats to enjoy all that Porto has to offer while forming new connections with like-minded residents.

Rich Heritage

Looking to relax, explore, and enjoy the finer things in life? Look no further than Porto. This enchanting city boasts a rich culture and regional history that attracts expats and tourists from around the world. Baroque architecture, charming wine cellars, sardine fishing, and world-class cuisine come together to showcase centuries of tradition. The city is also surrounded by the breathtaking landscapes of the Douro Valley, the world’s oldest wine-making region and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With all of this on the doorstep, those that choose to retire in Porto are never short of ways to delve into the city’s fascinating heritage.


Expect a diverse and captivating food scene which combines classic Portuguese dishes with international cuisine. Whether you’re in the mood for a “hole in the wall” café serving up local dishes or a breezy terrace restaurant overlooking the river, you’ll find something to your tastes in Porto. Canned fish and grilled sardines are a staple food in the local diet and a testament to the city’s maritime legacy. Other must-try delicacies include the cachorrinho, a famous Porto-style hotdog, and the delightful sweet dessert aletria, made from angel hair pasta.

retire in porto

Cost of Living

Portugal is the cheapest country in Western Europe, with average monthly expenses amounting to 1200 euros. This makes it a popular destination for retirees looking to make the most of their savings.

As Portugal’s second city, Porto boasts an excellent quality of life, yet it is considerably more affordable than Lisbon. Local purchasing power is 35.9% lower in the capital, meaning residents in Porto get a lot more for their money. The cost of renting is also lower in Porto, with Lisbon locals paying 47.2% more to live in the city centre according to recent data from Numbeo.


With its beautiful historic buildings and diverse property market, Porto is one of the most popular places in Portugal to own a home. Whether you’d prefer a modern apartment, quaint townhouse, or sprawling countryside villa, Porto is bound to have something to suit you.

The city’s affordability factor attracts homebuyers in huge swathes. According to Numbeo, the price per square metre for an apartment in Lisbon is 116% higher than in Porto. What’s more, property values in the city are set for strong appreciation as Porto becomes an increasingly popular place to live, visit, and invest. This means that people who retire in Porto can make the very most of their golden years while building equity and boosting their savings through property investment.

Love Porto? Discover more in our destination guide,
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