We love Porto
In the late 90’ties we played with the idea of “doing” something in Portugal. At that time it was Porto we fell madly in love with. But after we getting to know Lisbon, we realized that Porto was too small and that we preferred Lisbon’s vibe, climate, its surrounding beaches and its proximity to all corners of Portugal… from here we can reach Porto in a couple of hours 🙂
But knowing Porto and especially its location at the beginning of the D’Ouro Valley – one of he most beautiful destination in Europe in our opinion – we do understand why people with money start looking into the real estate market in Portugal’s second largest city, and recommend to combine a real estate visit with river cruise, train ride, wine tasting, shopping etc. in the stunning settings.
Investors are heading to Portugal’s second city, with its hipster bars and high-end hotels
If you wandered into the Porto Baixa, the historical centre of Porto, five years ago you might have felt as if you were in a ghost town. Street upon street of once elegant townhouses — their façades of colourful azulejo (tiles) chipped and dirty — lay empty and unloved, with gaping lintels inhabited by pigeons.
Since the 1950s the population of the heart of Portugal’s second city has dropped from 500,000 to 280,000 as locals have moved out to the upmarket suburb of Foz, which is closer to the beach. Meanwhile, tourists — beguiled by scenic cruises along the Douro and the city’s 300-year-old port houses — were puzzled by how such a lovely Unesco world heritage site could fall into such a sorry state.
However, the rehabilitation of the Baixa has begun and blocks of scaffold-clad medieval townhouses plastered with avisos (planning consent forms) are proof that the developers have arrived. Stylish restaurants, hipster gin bars and trendy hostels are popping up and the locals venture back into the Baixa for lunch.
Read Liz Rowlinson’s Forget Lisbon. It’s chic to buy in Porto in The Sunday Times