Many UK residents are moving to Portugal to enjoy an excellent quality of life. There are some fantastic cities that many people now call home, with plenty of housing, schooling, and career options suitable for a bustling hustling life or a laid-back atmosphere.

Many people prefer visiting Portugal on the Schengen visa and then applying for other visas depending on their preference. It's best to consider all visa and work permit options before shifting lock, stock, and barrel. While you are getting the documentation done, it is a good idea to start considering all the different cities and places in Portugal.

Since there are many, let us help you narrow down a few options, so you can make an informed choice about the various cities to live and work in Portugal.


Lisbon is one of the prettiest cities in Portugal, with its stunning architecture and cobbled streets. It also has beautiful beaches, historic locations, excellent schools, colleges, and universities for families with children, and great career opportunities. Thanks to the substantial population, the city sees plenty of large multinationals around the commercial district, giving rise to several expats choosing to put down roots in Lisbon and enjoy the change in daily life.

Besides the city's beauty, Lisbon has exceptional weather all year round and is known for its great public transportation. It also has a huge expat population and great opportunities to meet new people, interact with people from different countries, and get to know and love different cultures. However, like many other large cities in the world, Lisbon is slightly noisy and crowded.


Many UK residents tend to stick to Lisbon and overlook Porto. Located in the gorgeous region of northern Portugal, on the bank of the estuary of the Douro River. Porto is popular with tourists, with the historic district classified as a World Heritage Site in 1996. Porto is a vibrant bustling metropolis. Despite this, most expats prefer living in Lisbon, so there aren't too many foreigners in Porto.

The schools, education, recreational activities, shopping centres, outdoor sports, and entertainment are fantastic in Porto. Living costs are cheaper than in Lisbon, and housing costs, rents, utilities, and groceries are much more reasonable. The lifestyle is as fabulous as Lisbon, but more cost-efficient. Not only is Porto safer than other cities, but also affordable. The only drawback about Porto is the extreme cold. During winter, residents of Porto prefer going to other cities or visiting friends and relatives to avoid the cold.


Coimbra is one of the hidden jewels of Portugal. You will find Coimbra hard to beat when it comes to a low cost of living. The rent, utilities, transportation, groceries, and other bills are incredibly affordable, the opportunities to start small businesses and scale up are excellent, and the city also has great schools and colleges. Coimbra is known for the oldest university in Portugal and has a thriving student population with plenty of entertainment, nightclubs, dining, and pubbing options.

Coimbra is superbly connected to other parts of Portugal like Porto and Lisbon by the extensive train system. Since it is situated halfway between the two largest cities in Portugal, most modes of transport stop at Coimbra. Apart from the facilities, amenities, and healthcare options, the town also has interesting architecture and is culturally rich. The only drawback is that Coimbra is away from the coast, so there are no beaches.


If you've always considered living in a city like Venice in Italy, but want the same experience in Portugal, you should choose Aveiro. Aveiro is situated in the centre of Portugal, so there aren't any beaches, but you will find plenty of waterways and canals. Aveiro is known for fewer tourists but plenty of settlers and immigrants. There are colourful gondolas (moliceiros in Portuguese), beautiful winding (and thankfully, clean) canals, and excellent architecture to capture your attention.

The city centre is modern, has undergone plenty of change over the last few decades, and is environmentally conscious. The quiet life, great eateries, outstanding entertainment, and family life have given rise to many expats choosing to live and work in Aveiro over the past 20-odd years. Unlike most cities, you will find plenty of apartments and complexes with various housing styles for people wishing to purchase a property. Aveiro is known for a good standard of living, low rent and utilities, and is a great place to raise a family.