8 Places to Live on Portugal’s Silver Coast

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Last updated on June 14, 2024 | Est. Reading Time: 4 minutes

The Silver Coast, the unofficial name for the stretch of coastal Portugal between Lisbon and Porto, is rapidly growing in popularity with prospective expats, particularly those from the US and UK. The coastline stretches for around 150 km (93 miles) which means there are lots and lots of beaches to choose from. It also gets good weather, and is close to larger cities like Lisbon and Porto where there are international airports. 

If you’re thinking about moving to the Silver Coast, the following are some of the towns and cities you should consider. 

Caldas da Rainha

square in Caldas da Rainha

Caldas da Rainha is one of the most popular destinations for prospective expats moving to the Silver Coast. The spa town is picturesque, a short drive from several nearby beaches, and just a short drive from Lisbon (around 70 minutes). The city attracts students, retirees, and families, and is particularly popular with Americans starting a new life in Portugal. 

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Tomar river

The charming town of Tomar is famous for its connection to the Knights Templar, and attractions like the Convent of Christ and the nearby Convento de Cristo aqueduct. Tomar is further inland than most of the other suggestions, roughly an hours’ drive from the coast. Don’t worry, you’ll still be able to cool off during summer: there are lots of praias fluviais (river beaches) close to the town where you can dip off and relax during the warmer months. 

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Nazare beach from above

Nazaré is famous for two things: fishing and surfing. The town makes international headlines on an annual basis as surfers from all over the world compete to break world records on its gigantic waves. The town itself is still quite traditional and so despite the tourists that visit for surfing or to relax on the beach, you’ll still get a good taste of traditional Portugal.  

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Figueira da Foz

figueira da foz sign

The beach town of Figueira da Foz has long been popular with Portuguese tourists, but is now growing in popularity with those that want to live somewhere that’s right on the beach. Living on a beach town will make you feel like you’re constantly on vacation, which may be exactly what you’re looking for right now. 

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A photo of Aveiro's canal

Known as the Venice of Portugal, Aveiro is a popular day trip destination for tourists stopping off at the towns and cities between Lisbon and Porto. But it’s also becoming a popular destination to move to as well. The small city is quite flat, well-maintained, and close to beautiful beaches. It also has good public transport connections to Lisbon and Porto. 

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Peniche Fortress

Peniche is a destination that’s growing in popularity, particularly with surfers. Surfing isn’t all Peniche has to offer. The town also has some historical attractions, such as a 16th century fortress, but overall, it mainly attracts surfers.

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largo da portagem square in Coimbra

Coimbra is famous for being a university city and home to the oldest university in Portugal. It’s a popular tourist destination for people visiting Portugal as it has lots of historical and cultural attractions, but it’s also growing as a destination for living. The city is ideal for those that want to live in or near a small city, and who are okay with hills, students, and tourists. 

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Óbidos is an incredibly beautiful town and it attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists every year, most of whom come on day trips from Lisbon and Porto. Although it is primarily a popular destination for tourists, that doesn’t mean that you can’t live there. It’s ideal for those that want somewhere quaint, medieval-looking, and picturesque. 

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Bonus: Ericeira

Beach in Ericeira

Most maps of the Silver Coast don’t include Ericeira, but it is quite close to the region, so it’s worth including it in your considerations. The upmarket town is popular with surfers, digital nomads, and young professionals who are looking for a smaller, quieter alternative to Lisbon – but still want to remain close to Lisbon City Centre. 

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James Cave is the founder of Portugalist and the author of the bestselling book, Moving to Portugal Made Simple. He has visited just about every part of Portugal, including Madeira and all nine islands of the Azores, and lived in several parts of Portugal including Lisbon, the Algarve, and Northern Portugal.

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