Portugal has some of the best cities to live in Europe. We suggest four destinations that will delight you and allow for work life balance between personal and professional affairs.
We can easily say that Lisbon is one of the best cities to live in Europe. It’s the Portuguese capital and a city that the world has fallen in love with. Currently is one of the main European tourist destinations.
With a population of approximately 500,000 inhabitants and almost three million people if we consider the adjacent metropolitan area, in 2018, Lisbon was considered “Best Destination City” and “Best City Break Destination” in the World Travel Awards.
It is a vibrant city with all the characteristics of a European capital. Modern residential and commercial infrastructures, countless alternatives for fun, cultural and sporting events…in short, a real metropolis that increasingly conquers the tourism sector and enthuses people to live and work.
Best areas in Lisbon
The heart of the city is the historical area, in which Baixa Pombalina, Chiado and the districts of Alfama and Bairro Alto stand out. These are the areas that concentrate tourists and much of the commercial fabric and daily life of Lisboners. A visit to the castle of São Jorge is not to be missed, as well as taking advantage of the various viewpoints surrounding the historic center.
Parque das Nações is the most modern area of the city and a reference in terms of architecture and tourism. After Expo 98, the authorities have taken advantage of the event to create areas of excellence (residential and offices). Today Parque das Nações is one of the most noble spaces in Lisbon and a privileged place to live and work.
Bathed by the Tagus River, Lisbon was the “stage” for the beginning of the Discoveries that catapulted the Portuguese people to the world. The parish of Belém represents the time of the Discoveries, which all Portuguese are so proud of. A visit to the Jerónimos Monastery and the Belém Tower is a must, as well as trying a Pastel de Belém in Portugal’s most famous pastry shop.
Best cities to live in Europe: Porto
In recent years, the second largest Portuguese city has been entering the itinerary of the main European tourist destinations. Known for centuries by the Port Wine cellars, located in Vila Nova de Gaia, and by the Douro vineyard, the surrounding area where the grapes grow, Porto rivals the capital in several parameters. It will also be one of the best cities to live in Europe.
It has about 240 thousand inhabitants and a metropolitan area that brings together something like 1.8 million people. It’s a highly industrialized region and a nerve centre for business. It is also the region of Portugal that positively contributes to the balance of trade, since it exports more than it imports.
Also known as “Cidade Invicta” (Invincible City), it originated the name of the country: during the Roman empire it was called Portus Cale. Also worth mention the fact that the Historic Centre is considered a world heritage site by Unesco.
It is advisable to visit the Torre dos Clérigos, the Fundação de Serralves or the Sé Catedral. As well as a walk through the area of Foz, considered by many to be the most beautiful in the city.
The city of Porto has already been considered the Best European Destination of the Year (2012, 2014 and 2017) by the European Consumers Choice and is an area that, in addition to its architectural attributes, also stands out for its typical cuisine. There are several reference dishes, but perhaps the most emblematic are Francesinha and Tripas à Moda do Porto.
Best cities to live in Europe: Covilhã
This is a particularly distinctive city when we think of Portugal. It is the gateway to the Serra da Estrela, one of the few places in the country where we can hope to see snow.
Covilhã has nearly 40 thousand inhabitants and is one of the most important urban points in central Portugal. Teleperformance, recognizing this strategic position and also giving its contribution to the development of the Interior, inaugurated a pole in the city 11 years ago.
The region still stands out for being one of the main woollen industry centers in Europe and, of course, for the famous Queijo da Serra, a much appreciated delicacy that even justifies the existence of a Cheese Museum. It is also worth to mention the University of Beira Interior, which brought a student charisma to the city and managed to maintain there a dynamic that we rarely find in the interior of the country.
In this way, Covilhã manages to be a very balanced city. Far from the hustle and bustle of the major urban centers, but still lively and dynamic enough to motivate people to seek employment opportunities and a healthier lifestyle.
Best cities to live in Europe: Setúbal
Finally, we also highlight the city of Setúbal, another of the best cities to live in Europe. Located 40 km from the capital, Setúbal is bathed by the river Sado. In its estuary it is possible to observe dolphins that happily accompany the boats. Setúbal, with its port, is a fishing town, which is reflected in the quality of the fish we find in restaurants. Setúbal is also the city of fried cuttlefish and many visitors travel there in order to enjoy it.
In the region, some renowned wines are also produced, namely Moscatel de Setúbal and other liqueurs. Equally famous is the Queijo de Azeitão, a renowned treat in Portugal. Dishes based on shellfish and mollusks are also well known and one of the main points of attraction, as well as sweets.
Setúbal’s urban perimeter brings together around 100,000 people. The region is highly industrialized, particularly in the areas of pulp, paper, fertilizers, cement, pesticides, phytopharmaceuticals, thermoelectric power and shipbuilding.
Close to the Arrábida Mountains, a protected area known for its variety of fauna and flora, Setúbal also stands out for its proximity to several beaches that are part of the Arrábida Natural Park. They are sandy beaches surrounded by cliffs, creating small bays considered by some as the most beautiful beaches in Portugal.
Obviously, much more could be said about these four cities, but the idea is just to convey some of their main attractions. Anyway, we propose a small challenge in the form of a quiz that will tell you, according to your personality, which of these cities will be ideal for living and working:
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