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Portugal - Lisbon

Lisbon is instantly recognisable as the capital city of Portugal, but the city has lent its name to the surrounding district. The district is located in the southern central part of the country and is made up of 16 municipalities. The city of Lisbon is the largest in the country and has a population of just under half a million people. There are large expat communities already located in Lisbon, as many people have moved to the city for work, and to find a better quality of life.

The climate of the district is subtropical/Mediterranean. Average winter temperatures are around 15°C and summer temperatures are twice that figure and the summer can typically last for around six months or more. Rainfall is higher during the winter, although it is much lower than in some northern districts.

The city of Lisbon is not an obvious choice for those who are retiring as it is a very busy city. The surrounding areas may offer more for those who are giving up work. The city itself is also much more expensive than the areas around it. The advantage of the city is there are more apartments available than in some other towns, although there are not many developments which are aimed at retirees.

Lisbon is a good place to begin a business as it offers opportunities in many areas. Bars and restaurants are always busy, as are the hotels in the area. There are also many more opportunities for those with a skilled trade to start their own business. Hairdressers, electricians, plumbers and beauty therapists are all areas in which there are opportunities for business growth. Lisbon also has the advantage of having numerous established businesses in all fields which are for sale.

The city of Lisbon has a number of areas for expats to consider when moving to retire or work. The Alfama district is one of the oldest in the city and its look has changed little in the last few hundred years. Properties do become available in this area but rarely, and some are available as rental properties. Property prices are on a par with the city’s average. The Barrio Alto district has a large residential area and a large shopping area. The district now has a thriving night life and the area is considered to be quite trendy, which has put the property prices up a little. Most of the streets around the shopping area are pedestrianised.

The Chiado district is famous for its traditional shops and cafe culture. The area is popular with tourists and properties in the district are a mix of apartments and houses. Prices are on a par with the regional average and most properties date back several hundred years. The Baixa district is an upper class residential area with good schools and a variety of property styles. Prices are higher in this district than most others. The Graca district is another historical part of the city and has narrow streets that are filled with small houses that used to belong to the workers in the area. Prices in the area are on a par with the city’s average, although there are some bargains to be had.

The town of Cascais is located around 30km away from the city of Lisbon and is ideal for those who do not want to be based in a busy city. The town has both old and new sections, with a variety of properties available in each. The older parts of the town have mostly houses on offer and there are bargains to be had if you are prepared to renovate. The newer part of town has a number of apartment complexes which are ideal for those who are looking to retire as these are also part of leisure complexes and are situated close to the beach. It is worth noting that further building work is restricted due to environmental conservation so there is little chance of buying a home and being constantly surrounded by developers. The town has good shops and schools and is an ideal base for getting to and from the city. The area does attract tourists although not as many as the city.

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