Vivre à LisbonneIyna Bort Caruso
Lisbon is Portugal’s sunny and charismatic capital built on seven hills and stretching along the Tagus River. It is also one of the oldest cities not only in Europe but in the world.
Affluent millennials have been relocating here, creating a burgeoning expat community. They’re attracted by the Mediterranean climate, gig economy opportunities and easy access to beaches. According to a recent Expat Insider report, the country was rated number one in quality-of-life issues such as safety, security and well-being.
The region has numerous beaches and a world-class surf zone only about 30 miles away. The fishing village of Ericeira is Europe’s only designated World Surfing Reserve. Golfers have their choice of some 20 nearby courses.
The sounds of fado, a kind of mournful Lisbon-born folk music, pour through the streets from bars and cafes. There’s even a museum in the city dedicated to this signature sound. Another indigenous art is calçada portuguesaor stone paving. Throughout the city, streets are a pageant of tile designs including floral, geometric and maritime motifs. The Avenida da Liberdade, Lisbon’s grand answer to the Champs Élysees, is a place of stunning sidewalk designs. Intricately painted azulejostile work adorns walls and ceilings, too.
For those who appreciate architecture, Lisbon delivers. The influences of more than 400 years of Moorish occupation can still be seen.
Its Golden Age was in the 16thcentury when explorers like Vasco da Gama took off on their global voyages. Like da Gama, many left from Belem Tower, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a prime example of Manueline style. The architectural style was named after King Manuel I and employed complex and imaginative ornamentation in its windows and columns. A 1755 earthquake, however, left little of Lisbon’s city center intact.
There are no restrictions on international ownership. Many investors hail from Britain, France and Germany. Compared to other European capitals, real estate prices offer good value and transition fees are generally low. The most in-demand neighborhoods are in the historic central core, which has a limited housing stock.