Updated: February 6, 2023
Top Areas for a City Penthouse in Portugal
London, New York, Paris, Singapore. Maybe Madrid. These are some of the areas that spring to mind when imagining the most luxurious city penthouses. But where are the best places to buy a city penthouse in Portugal? Portugal boasts some elegant city apartments that could be an excellent lifestyle and investment opportunity to the buyer. With a perfect climate, stunning views, and buzzing cities, Portugal may well be a hidden gem.
Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve. These are the three hotspot locations that should be your first port of call when you are browsing for a penthouse in Portugal. However, you also have some very extravagant properties in Cascais and Tróia that could be your luxurious recluse. The islands, Madiera and the Azores, are also highly desireable.
In this article, we’ll provide you with a glimpse of what it could be like to own a penthouse in these exclusive locations.
How to buy a city penthouse in Portugal
The process to buy a city penthouse in Portugal is the same as with other properties. As a foreigner, you should not have any problems with buying a property in Portugal. With tax-friendly policies, Portugal is a good location to buy property. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the real estate market in Portugal thrived.
What’s more, the Portuguese market has proved to be resilient to the pandemic and looks set to continue on an upward trend. In Lisbon city, house prices fell by 3%. However, in other key areas, prices continued to rise – albeit at a slower pace. This includes the Lisbon Metropolitan area, the Algarve, and Porto. This also includes house prices at the national level.
We recommend having a good estate agent, an experienced lawyer, and a trusted financial advisor at hand to help you with the buying process. Portugal is notorious for bureaucratic matters and, particularly if you do not speak Portuguese, you may have problems.
Nonetheless, the purchasing process is relatively straightforward. Estate agents in Portugal work on a commission basis for the seller. Therefore, it is worth having a buyer’s agent, such as Goldcrest, at your side to provide you with impartial advice.
Prices of a city penthouse in Portugal
The prices for a city penthouse in Portugal will invariably depend on where you are buying. Even within Lisbon, a penthouse by the river is likely to cost more than elsewhere in the city. Other factors that influence the price will be the size of the apartment, the age of the apartment, the views and the facilities (pool, gym, etc), and the amenities, such as security.
Penthouse prices are likely to be cheaper than their equivalents in other European countries. This is because prices here are generally lower in comparison. A penthouse for sale in Portugal will typically range from €600,000 to €2,700,000. However, prices can be higher and lower than this.
Where to find the best places for a city apartment in Portugal
The gleaming cosmopolitan capital of Portugal. Home to traditional tascas (typical Portuguese restaurants) and Michelin-star eateries. Where the old ways of life are perfectly contrasted with the tech and startups that are setting up shop in the city. Taking the time to enjoy a café, perhaps with a pastel de nata, is almost sacred.
A Lisbon penthouse may be the ultimate way to view the city. With stunning views of the River Tejo and the Ponte 25 de Abril bridge, often compared to the Golden Gate Bridge of San Francisco, owning a penthouse in Lisbon provides you with dream views from morning until night. With the typical colorful houses visible from most high points in the city, you have a constant feeling of connection to the city. Below we’ve pinpointed some locations in the city that could be extremely desirable to own a Lisbon penthouse, offering spectacular city views.
The cosmopolitan Lisbon offers equal parts tranquility and bustle. Modern penthouses can be found in many parts of the city. Close to Marques do Pombal, for instance, you have views of the most exclusive avenue in the country, Avenida da Liberdade. Here, you can still see the River in the distance. Luxury buyers here include Cristiano Ronaldo. Along the avenue you have high-end rooftops and bars, where you can enjoy the balmy summer nights in style.
Elsewhere in the city, you have various locations where you will be able to buy a city penthouse. There are many different neighborhoods in the city, and each will provide you with something unique. Take Arroios, the coolest neighborhood at the moment, which offers multicultural flair. Or Príncipe Real, with its colorful 19th Century mansions, lush gardens, and air of modest luxury. It simply depends on which area of the city, and which property catches your eye.
Parque das Nações
Perhaps more reminiscent of an American city, Parque das Nações is definitely not your typical Portuguese neighborhood. With the cable car moving back and forth across the sky you may even feel like you are in some futuristic film.
If you were to look at Parque das Nações on the map, you may see that it is a little further out of the city and you may be concerned that it lacks some amenities. On the contrary, the large Vasco da Gama shopping center is located here, as are some of the top restaurants in the city. Indeed, many flock to this part of the city for its shopping and culinary scene.
You can see both locals and expats enjoying the late evening sun by the river here with a cold beer. Buying a penthouse here provides you with the sunrise of the Vasco da Gama bridge and the River Tejo.
Properties by the river, for example, close to Belém and Algés, offer outstanding river views.Close to the famous Ponte de Abril bridge, you have the promenade of Lisbon, where you can cycle and walk close to the river. A little further to the west you have the beaches of Carcavelos, Estoril, and Cascais. If you are looking for a penthouse outside the city center, and with a little more space, then Belém offers the perfect fix.
The most exclusive postcode in Portugal. Internationally recognized for its high-end restaurants, luxury yacht marina, and beaches. Although not specifically a city, owning a penthouse in this lucrative area would be the ultimate way to relax in style.
With views of the seaside town and the gleaming Atlantic, you can remain in your tower of peace while daily life passes by. The bustle in the summer months as locals and expats take a trip to the beach is noted here, yet in the winter months, Cascais is typically very calm, a contrast to the busy summer months.
Cascais lies at the doorstep of Sintra National Park, where Madonna once lived. Also, a short 30-minute drive from Lisbon, you have easy access to the capital. If you would like an overview of the different neighborhoods, take a look at our article on the different Cascais neighborhoods. Take Estoril, for example, where Ian Flemming famously found inspiration for the famous James Bond spy novels in Estoril Casino.
Endless sunny days, a beach close at hand wherever you are, and the fresh Atlantic coast enticing you for a swim in the summer heat. The smell of grilled golden bass or squid, crisp Vinho Verde by the glass, and maybe even an indulgent cocktail. Over the years, the Algarve has transformed from a sleepy fishing region to the leader in tourism opportunities that caters to all expats – retirees, sunseekers, and those looking for a fabulous touch of luxury.
So, if you are looking for a top city penthouse in Portugal, the Algarve can provide you with some truly stunning properties. The cities of Portimão and Albufeira offer viable properties, close to the glimmering Atlantic.
Slightly further east, you have the resorts of Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo, where you can find killer penthouses close to Vilamoura. Here you have amazing views and all the amenities that you could possibly need. This area is renowned for its iconic beach resorts and a multitude of amenities. Cultivated with luxury in mind, the market is focused on creating not just the most sought-after lifestyle, but on making each day a unique experience.
In the North of Portugal, Porto has fast become the city of the moment in Europe. Forbes has highlighted that Porto is one of the best cities to invest in at the moment. With house prices considerably cheaper than Lisbon and demand continuing the increase, it is not difficult to see why.
With its historic center, cultural significance, and buzzing riverside restaurants, Porto is a special city indeed. The city is known to have some of the most friendly people in the country. Maybe it’s the delicious food, the Douro wine, or the less hectic pace of life here when compared to Lisbon.
Imagine waking up in your penthouse to see the charming city waking up. The River Douro passes by slowly. The breeze from the ocean coming in through the window. Or winding down for the day with a glass of Douro or Port, with the gleaming light from the wineries shining brightly from the opposite side of the river.
Porto offers a splendid selection of locations. From its historic center, where you can feel the beating heart of the city, to penthouse views of the glimmering Ocean from Foz do Douro. You even have potential properties on the other side of the River Douro. Vila Nova de Gaia offers beautiful beaches, stunning restaurants, and may be a little more friendly for your wallet than on the Porto side.
While expats and locals alike typically go for Lisbon, the Algarve, and Porto, the south west of the country is an upcoming area to invest in. Indeed, Tróia is an indulgent gem that is now turning the heads of expats and investors.
The Tróia peninsula offers mile after mile of pristine white beaches, turquoise-blue waters, and pine-forested sand dunes. Around the peninsula, you have some well-thought-out tourist developments and beautiful apartments. A penthouse here would be the Crème de la Crème.
With fine dining, a casino complex, and chic bars, the night scene is one you won’t forget. Close to Comporta, the “Ibiza of Portugal”, this region of Portugal is unlike the rest of the country. The high-class image of Tróia emerged in the 1980s when the Tróia golf club was built, and it remains one of the best to this day.
The contrast of exclusivity and wealth with the tranquility of nature and pristine beaches is very unique. If you are looking to buy a city apartment in Portugal that is both stylish and calm, Tróia could be the location for you.
The unique autonomous islands of Portugal are desirable Madeira and the Azores offer very different experiences, yet both remain utterly unique. To buy a city penthouse in Portugal, the islands could be an excellent lifestyle and investment opportunity.
Perched in the middle of the Atlantic, the islands of Madeira and Porto Santa are isles of calm and tranquility. Here, the pace of life is slower than in continental Portugal. Madeira has a mild climate and has even been coined the “island of the eternal Spring”. With long sandy beaches, incredible fauna and flora, and landscapes worth hiking for, Madeira is perfect if you like a little adventure or prefer to sit back, dream, and relax.
There are two things to consider when buying in Madeira. Firstly, the island is very mountainous, with 180 tunnels cutting through the terrain. Indeed, the airport runway is probably the only flattest part of the island. Indeed, the runway needed to be extended because it was too short.
Secondly, the island is very prone to weather changes since it has its own unique climate. It is said that Madeira can experience all four seasons in a day. Therefore, when buying, take into account that good weather is not always a given on all parts of the island. One part can be cloudy and rainy while down below in the valley you can see the sun shining.
The most developed areas of Madeira are on the southern side of the island. This is where the weather tends to be more stable. Close to Funchal, you have excellent properties that could be a good place to buy a city penthouse. You may be surprised by the capital of the island. Funchal boasts all the amenities that you could need and is a very cosmopolitan city.
Vivid green, rolling hills, and a beautiful coastline. Buying in the Azores is for those that want to be at the heart of nature. Not so busy with expats, there is a tranquility to the Azores that you can imagine has not changed since the islands were discovered in the fifteenth century.
The capital, Ponta Delgada, is where most of the development on the island has evolved. If you are therefore looking for a city penthouse in the Azores, you will probably find it here. The Azores are renowned for their seafood specialties, with some simply excellent restaurants.
However, in comparison to Madeira, the Azores are still developing their luxury market. Although there are many amenities and services to cater to your wishes, it is not quite as advanced as in Funchal. Nonetheless, you have your five-star hotels, resorts, and top-quality restaurants here, so do not let this put you off. If you are looking for an island of calm, then the Azores could be the ideal island for you.
Frequently asked questions about the best places to buy a city Penthouse in Portugal
1. Where are the best places to buy a penthouse in Portugal?
Lisbon and Porto are good places to begin when looking for a city penthouse with spectacular views. Both have magnificent views of two beautiful rivers, the Tejo and the Douro respectively and each is very special in its own way. Close to Lisbon, Cascais is also a hotly sought-after location.
You are likely to find gems in the Algarve. Here, you have views of the Atlantic and more than 300 days of sunshine each year. Tróia, in the south-west, is nowadays an increasingly popular location. With luxury apartments, incredible restaurants, pristine beaches, and a nature reserve, it has all you could want.
2. Can you buy a penthouse in Portugal as a foreigner?
Yes, you should have no problems buying a property here as a foreigner. This said, if you would like residency here and are not a member of the EU, you will need to apply for a visa. The Golden Visa and D7 Visa could be good options.
Note that from 1 January 2022, for the Golden Visa, you need to invest in a designated interior area.
3. Is the Golden Visa a viable option?
The Golden Visa can be a good option for you. You must be a non-EU national and be able to invest in a new property worth €500,000 and that is located in a designated interior area of Portugal (€350,000 for real estate rehabilitation projects).