Best Places to Live or Retire Cheap in Portugal

This is Dan of Vagabond Buddha.  This is our Best Places to Live or Retire Cheap in Portugal Guide.  We just spent 16 months touring the world and 5 weeks of that was touring around Portugal.

I am going to show you videos as I discuss Portugal. But don’t write anything down. Everything I mention is in writing with links to everything. Just click the link in the notes below this Youtube video. And subscribe if you would like to learn the best countries in the world and the best places within each country. That is what we do.  Before discussing the best places to live or retire cheap in Portugal, here are a few thoughts on my methodology.

Your favorite place in Portugal is likely to be different from mine. My love affair with one place could be your nightmare. So along with my list of favorite picks, I have included a link to my blog post about why I love it. That way, you will know if something I don’t like is something you do like. Also, there are a few Youtube videos of each blog post below. You see me walking around and talking about my favorite places in Portugal.

I intend to give you enough information, so you can reorder my favorites based on your needs, not mine.

For example, I am more of a city guy that loves culture. I like museums, art galleries, live music, international foods, street art, youth culture, the university atmosphere, and public transportation. I prefer to live in areas where cultural experiences are walkable. I call someone like me a cultural explorer.

Some people prefer action sports like mountain/rock climbing, surfing, riding horses, and zip lines, snowboarding/skiing or skydiving. I call someone like that an action adventurer.

Other people enjoy growing their own food, living in rural areas with some distance from their nearest neighbor, and studying survivalist techniques. I call this rural self-reliance.

We are not all the same. So I am providing information to help you find your place in the world.

Best Place to Live or Retire Cheap in Portugal: The 3 Archetypes

So I have made separate lists of the best places to live or retire cheap in Portugal according to these three arch types–cultural explorer, action adventurer, and rural self-reliance.

But the truth is, you may have multiple archetypes. In that case, look for a place that ranks well on multiple lists that reflect your dominant archetypes. Also, please tell me in the comments below what is important to you so I can add that to future updates.

My dominant archetype is cultural exploration. I enjoy action sports from time to time, but it is more for the experience than a lifestyle. I rarely select where I am traveling based upon action sports. I usually select where I am traveling based upon the cultural experience. I do visit rural destinations sporadically, but it is more for the experience than action, such as jungles, mountains, wine country, etc.

There is another thing that might be different about me. I presently live outside my home country (USA) 11 months of the year. Additionally, I intend to keep traveling the world for 6 months of the year even after I pick my international living home base. You may not want to travel so much once you have found your new home. Also, I have not reached retirement age yet. I make money using my computer no matter where I am in the world. Jump on my email list if you are interested in learning more.

Finally, we only had six weeks to explore Portugal so there may be places we didn’t explore that may interest you. We visited Lisbon, Sintra, Evora, Coimbra, Aveiro, and Porto.

Live or Retire Cheap Tour of Portugal

Click ==>here<== or on the below map to see the path we took on our live or retire cheap tour of Portugal.

Fly into Lisbon. You will find the cheapest flights ==>here<==. For information about how to (1) transfer between each city, (2) where to stay cheap, (3) eat delicious-cheap meals, (4) the must-see places in each town, and (5) our cost of living notes, visit our blog posts: Lisbon, Sintra, Evora, Coimbra, Aveiro, and Porto. Next, we tell you our favorite place to live or retire cheap in Portugal.

Best Place to Live or Retire Cheap in Portugal for Cultural Explorers

The following destinations are ordered (best first) based upon my dominant archetype which is “Cultural Exploration.” Each destination includes a link to my blog about my visit there. The best places are on top of the list. Remember, these are all beautiful places that you must see. The below comments are limited to whether I would want to establish a home base there or not.

Ranking: Plus Our Blog Post:

  1. Lisbon: Live or Retire Cheap in Lisbon Portugal (<==details)  Yes. Lisbon is one of the most culturally diverse and culturally rich cities in the world with a surprisingly temperate climate high walkability factor and excellent public transportation.  No. If street art and crowds bother you, this may not be your place.
  2. Porto: Live or Retire Cheap in Porto Portugal
    Yes. Almost as culturally rich as Lisbon but slightly smaller in size, more quaint and focused around a city center with cobblestone streets and river-bridge landscapes. Could easily be #1 if Lisbon is too big for you.  No. Almost as culturally rich as Lisbon is why it is second.
  3. Sintra: Live or Retire Cheap in Sintra Portugal
    Yes. Sintra is one of the most beautiful (mind-blowing) landscapes in the world with castles and palaces and it is only 35 minutes to Lisbon by train.  No. Totally sleepy after dark. I like larger walkable cultural cities. I rather live in Lisbon and visit here for hikes on weekends.
  4. Coimbra Live or Retire Cheap in Coimbra Portugal
    Yes. I love university towns. Coimbra has a University at the center and is surrounded by cobblestone streets. No. Okay for people that feel comfortable in a population of under 200k people. I would just visit for a few weeks or months, rather than establish a home base.
  5. Evora Live or Retire Cheap in Evora Portugal
    Yes. Inside the castle walls, everything is 10 minutes or less on foot.  No. Too small and not much diversity in international food choices.
  6. Aveiro Live or Retire Cheap in Aveiro Portugal
    Yes. Small seaside community with ancient roots and beautiful river landscapes. On the ocean and only about an hour from Porto.  No. The city mainly focuses on tourism so that limits things somewhat.

Next, we provide a video collection of our live or retire cheap in Portugal tour.

Videos of Live or Retire Cheap in Portugal Tour

Here are the 21 videos we created during our live or retire cheap tour of Portugal. Click ==>here<== or on the below picture to start our Youtube Portugal playlist.

Subscribe to Vagabond Buddha or our Youtube channel to receive future posts about the best places to live or retire cheap in Portugal for the other two archetypes: action adventures and rural self-reliance.

Here is our Vagabond Buddha Youtube Channel with videos about the best retire cheap in paradise locations worldwide. For example, if you loved Portugal, you may also love Mexico. Here is a link to my Best Place to Live in Mexico Guide.

To learn how to live internationally possibly with less money than you spend at home, grab a free copy of my Ebook.

This is Dan of Vagabond Buddha. Thank you for stopping by. The world is your home. What time will you be home for dinner?

Please book using our links to recommended flights, tours (Viator Tours, Get Your Guide Tours) courses, or accommodations. You will pay nothing extra, but we will earn a small commission. That will encourage us to keep making these travel guides and videos for you.

6 thoughts on “Best Places to Live or Retire Cheap in Portugal”

  1. I am more interested in culture but I also want to be in or near a scenic destination.

  2. Look for Facebook expat pages with a bunch of subscribers. Then ask them how many are American. I don’t know because we don’t pay much attention to expats. Sorry.

  3. this is terrific! it’s giving me a lovely taste of portugal. all the cities featured look wonderful. i would like to find a place with a strong community of ex-pats from the U.S. did you find any particular places with such communities?
    thank you so much,

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