Porto (the English call it Oporto) is in the northern part of Portugal right on the Atlantic. It has been occupied for centuries and the Romans built a fort at the mouth of the Douro River. It has always been a hub of activity and is Portugal’s second largest city, behind Lisbon. It has a cathedral on the bluff above the city and the older sections of town are near the river. UNESCO has named Porto as a World Heritage Site. Porto has about 2 million people in the area.
There are several areas of Porto that are ancient (possibly not safe for residences) so if you retire in Porto, Portugal, make sure you don’t rent or buy sight unseen. Use an agent.
Porto is famous for its, well, Port wine. True Port comes only from this region and dates back from the 17th century when British merchants added brandy to Douro wine to keep it from going sour while being transported. The process has been refined over the year and much of the trade is still controlled by the British. Port is usually consumed after dinner. It is a rich, full-bodied drink with the tawnies being lighter in color than the ruby or vintage ports. All ports are blended using several types of grapes. Unlike any other type, white port is chilled as an aperitif.
Those who retire in Porto, Portugal enjoy a low cost of living. Housing prices vary considerably, but the newer one bedroom apartments in town run $800 US a month and considerably less in the suburbs. Be sure to use a bi-lingual rental agent. The crime rate is quite low in Portugal, and in Porto the highest concern in corruption and bribery. Most people feel safe walking around during the day and about half feel safe on the streets during the evening.
Porto has several hospitals in town. You should have your own private health insurance while living in Portugal.
Porto has a large airport with service all over Europe on several carriers. The main train station of Campanha has been in service since 1877 with connections to the rest of Europe and local metro services around Porto.
The weather in Porto ranges between a high in January of 56 degrees F and the hottest months in the summer of 78 degrees. Porto gets 48 inches of rain per year and 2,500 hours of sunshine.
Big Deal: Portugal has no tax on retirement income!