Updated: May 28, 2024

 

While New York City, Tokyo, Singapore, London, Milan, and Paris may spring to mind when considering where the ultra-rich live, many may not think of Portugal. However, multi-millionaires are increasingly setting their sights on this gem in southwestern Europe.

Why are the ultra-wealthy turning their attention to Portugal?

Portugal has many selling points, whether it’s the glorious weather, the availability of a range of profitable investments, the rich culture and history, the pristine beaches, or the welcoming nature of the Portuguese. In addition to this, Portugal has progressive legislation and ranks in seventh position in the 2023 Global Peace Index, which focuses on societal safety and security, the extent of ongoing domestic and international conflict, and the level of militarization. This is without mentioning the high quality of life, incredible cuisine, world class golf courses, and award-winning marinas.

Alongside this, attractive residency by investment programs, such as the Portugal Golden Visa, and the booming real estate market are further cementing Portugal’s place on the map. From north to south, you’ll find diverse cities and landscapes and an array of stunning luxury property types, from swish coastal villas to sleek city apartments. You will also find a wide selection of vineyards, farms, historic palaces, and equestrian properties on the market.

While property prices are no doubt high when buying luxury properties, you’ll find your money goes much further in the Portuguese real estate market compared with many other Western European countries, such as the UK and France, for example.

Where do the rich live in Portugal?

Portugal has been attracting the wealthiest individuals for many years now, with recent studies showing multimillionaires favoring two locations to snap up homes in the country. Lisbon and the Algarve each have a distinctive charm and a thriving luxury market making them highly sought-after locations for the rich and famous to enjoy life to the fullest.

Below we delve into some of the top areas where the rich choose to live in Portugal, where you’ll find exclusive resorts and luxury properties that have become hotspot locations for the rich and famous.

Lisbon 

lisbonThe Portuguese capital really needs to introduction and Lisbon luxury real estate has really come into its own in recent years. An array of celebrities have been captivated by this city, including Scarlett Johansson, John Malkovich, and Madonna, who has property in Sintra, a short 30-minute drive from Lisbon.

From modern apartments in the heart of the city boasting stunning views of the fabulous Tagus River and Ponte 25 de Abril bridge, reminiscent of the Golden Gate Bridge in California, to spacious mansions that come with private pools, you’ll find all types of real estate in Lisbon. From boasting a lively nightlife to its thriving artistic scene, Lisbon has become one of the top cultural hubs in Europe. With famous landmarks. and historic points of interest across the city, in addition to charming parks and proximity to stunning beaches, Lisbon holds all the cards.

Lisbon is the most wealthy city of Portugal, hosting the most expensive street in the country, Avenida da Liberdade, where you have designer and boutique shops, five-star hotels, and fine dining restaurants lining a wide boulevard, where the likes of Christiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese footballing sensation has snapped up property. Some of the most expensive properties in Portugal can be found on this street. Other Lisbon neighborhoods that are popular with the richest residents in the city are Principe Real, Baixa, and Parque das Nações.

The Algarve 

The Algarve region is renowned worldwide for its incredible climate, world-class golf courses, and high quality of life, which has been attracting wealthy people to its shores for many years. The most popular destination in the region for the ultra-wealthy has to be the Golden Triangle of Quinta do Lago, Vale do Lobo, and Vilamoura located in the Loulé municipality between Faro and Albufeira.

The Golden Triangle Algarve is a prestigious resort area that boasts luxury villas, some of the best golf courses in the world, and upscale amenities that have attracted affluent buyers chasing privacy and sophistication. You’ll find splendid beaches close to the Golden Triangle and incredible properties that come with private swimming pools and gyms.

Elsewhere in the Algarve, Lagos is another top location to consider for the discerning buyer looking for luxury properties in the sundrenched south of Portugal.

Porto 

While traditionally not as sought after in the circles of the wealthy, Porto, the second largest city of Portugal, located in the north, is now a key attraction to luxury buyers. According to Knight Frank’s The Wealth Report 2023, Porto, alongside the Algarve, were identified as two of the fastest-growing real estate markets in the world, both ranking inside the top ten luxury real estate markets.

From the historic center to Foz do Douro, where you’ll find spacious properties with Atlantic views, there is a wide range of stunning properties to be found here. Alongside a high quality of life, incredible gastronomy, and investment opportunities, Porto looks set to continue cementing itself on the map as a location for multi-millionaires to snap up property.

The city of Matosinhos to the north of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia, just across the Douro River to the south of Porto are also top locations where the wealthy have been snapping up homes in Portugal. From Vila Nova de Gaia, you will be able to enjoy spectacular views of Porto, on the opposite river bank.

Cascais 

sailing in cascaisThe Portuguese Riviera is one of the most exclusive regions in Portugal, located between Lisbon and Cascais.

Cascais is undeniably one of the top locations for lifestyle buyers and property investors and while Lisbon is the richest city in Portugal, Cascais is close to the top of the list. This charming seaside town is located a short 30-minute drive from Lisbon and drips luxury, from its modern marina to its high-end eateries.

While once highly sought after by Portuguese nobility, Cascais is now a favorite with the affluent locals and internationals. Cascais and neighboring Estoril, which houses the Estoril Casino Estoril, where Ian Flemming famously drank martinis and penned the James Bond spy novels, are top locations where multi-millionaires have been heading to for many a year.

Sintra, to the north of Cascais, is also a top location to consider, with its unspoiled nature, pristine beaches, and Cascais-Sintra Natural Park.

Other Highly Desirable Locations

From the north to the south of the country, you’ll find an array of locations that are highly sought after by the ultra-wealthy who have found living in Portugal to be a dream. While most wealthy buyers focus on Lisbon, the Portuguese Riviera, and the Algarve, below, we’ve presented some alternative locations that could prove to be increasingly popular in the future.

  • Comporta: A chic coastal gem, Comporta boasts upscale beachfront villas, designer boutiques, and a serene atmosphere favored by affluent travelers. Known as the “Hamptons of Europe,” this is one of the best places for luxury buyers to snap up property.
  • Melides: Effortlessly blending sleek modern elegance with traditional Alentejan architecture, Melides delivers an unmatched luxury lifestyle close to the Portuguese coast and just an hour’s drive from Lisbon. Many internationally renowned designers have bought property in this unique town.
  • Tróia Peninsula: The southwest has become one of the most exclusive Portuguese regions. Close to Compora and Melides, Tróia offers endless sandy beaches, proximity to the Sessimbra Natural Park, lavish fine dining, and five-star hotels.
  • Madiera: For those seeking the ultimate island lifestyle, Madeira ticks all the boxes. The capital, Funchal, is home to some of the finest properties in Portugal, where you’ll be able to enjoy spellbinding ocean views throughout the year. The constantly lovely weather is another plus for buying property here.

Portugal: Firmly on the Radar of the Ultra-Wealthy

Portugal is now firmly on the map of the wealthiest individuals in the world, and there are so many different Portuguese regions to consider, from the luxury destination of the Algarve to the charming Portuguese Riviera. Boasting properties that effortlessly combine local architecture with modern designs and unique finishings, a range of stunning locations to choose from, easy residency options, and a high quality of life – not to mention the sublime climate and pristine beaches, world-class amenities, award-winning marinas, and gastronomy – and it looks like Portugal will continue to be a highly sought destination in the future.