Category Archives: Lisbon

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Dez companhias aéreas estreiam-se este Verão no aeroporto de Lisboa

Category : Lisbon , Portugal

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Uma dezena de companhias aéreas estreia-se este Verão no Aeroporto Humberto Delgado, em Lisboa, com destaque para o reforço da operação de empresas originárias de países da Europa de Leste.

Das dez novas transportadoras a operar em Lisboa desde 27 de Março, data que assinala o arranque do verão na aviação comercial, quatro são provenientes da Europa mais oriental – a romena Blue Air, a búlgara Bulgaria Air, a croata Croatia Airlines e a russa Ural Airlines.

Passaram a voar para Lisboa ainda a grega Aegean Airlines, com ligação a Atenas, a espanhola Air Nostrum, a brasileira Azul, a inglesa Monarch e as portuguesas Everjets, para o Funchal, e a Orbest, com voos ‘charter’ para destinos turísticos, como Cancún e Punta Cana.

Em contrapartida, segundo os dados da ANA – Aeroportos de Portugal, Lisboa perdeu duas companhias também da Europa de Leste – a russa Transaero Airlines e a ucraniana Ukraine Airlines.

Do panorama geral, o aeroporto de Lisboa foi o mais atrativo para as companhias aéreas, seguido por Faro, que conquistou duas novas empresas (as ‘low cost’ espanhola Volotea e austríaca Niki), sem perder nenhuma das que já voavam para o aeroporto algarvio.

A novidade no Aeroporto Francisco Sá Carneiro, no Porto, foi a Wizzair, companhia aérea de baixo custo da Europa Central e de Leste, com sede na Hungria, com voos para Varsóvia.

Também o aeroporto do Funchal ganhou uma nova companhia, a portuguesa Everjets, que entretanto já pôs fim aos voos regulares entre o continente e a Madeira, prometendo continuar as operações, nomeadamente para o Porto Santo, mas apenas através de voos ‘charter’.

Segundo os dados da gestora aeroportuária, o aeroporto de Lisboa é também o que oferece este verão mais novas rotas, num total de 11, sendo seguido de perto pelo de Faro, que este verão tem oito novas rotas.

O Porto tem três novas (Colónia, Copenhaga e Varsóvia), Funchal e Ponta Delgada uma nova rota (Amesterdão e Providence, no estado norte-americano de Rhode Island, com o retomar dos voos da Sata, respectivamente).

Fonte: Economico

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New flights launched between Lisbon, Bulgaria and Russia

Category : Lisbon , Portugal

Aircraft landing on runway

Five new flights have recently been added to operations at Lisbon’s Portela airport, between the Portuguese capital, the Bulgarian capital Sofia and the Russian capital Moscow.

The once-weekly direct flight between Lisbon and Sofia is operated by Bulgaria’s national carrier Bulgaria Air.
Launched at the end of April the weekly flight lands in Lisbon on Thursdays at 11pm, and leaves again for Sofia 50 minutes later, linking the two historic capitals with a flight of just under four hours.

National airport management company ANA – Airports of Portugal said the Lisbon-Sofia operation is “another new company and another new destination for Lisbon, which has seen its connections grow and its options for Portuguese passengers diversify as well as amplifying the entry of tourists to Portugal.”

Passengers on the inaugural flight from Sofia were welcomed to Lisbon with a party atmosphere, including cake, champagne and a celebratory selfie to take away with them, to mark the occasion.

Also on 1 May, Lisbon Airport welcomed Russian Ural Airline’s inaugural flight from Moscow, a route so far operated only by Portugal’s national flag-carrier TAP.

The Yekaterinburg-based airline is using an Airbus A320 to operate the flights, on Thursdays and Sundays, with the incoming aircraft landing in Lisbon at 11.50am and set to depart again an hour later.

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UK’s Monarch opens Lisbon route

Category : Lisbon

As from this Friday, Monarch is to begin flying to Lisbon from Gatwick and Manchester, the company said Thursday.

Monarch begins flying to Lisbon from Gatwick and Manchester, the company said.

The new flights come in the run-up to the June 17 launch of flights between Lisbon and Birmingham with the Monarch statement adding that these flights would take place four times a week.

“We continuously refine and develop our network strategy looking closely at where and at what time our customers want to fly. We are delighted to announce that for Summer 16 we will launch two new destinations to Lisbon and Madrid both of which we know will be a popular choice with our customers,” said Marjan Schoeke, Head of Network Development, Monarch.

Lisbon becomes Monarch’s third Portuguese destination with flights to and from Faro and Gatwick, Luton, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds Bradford whilst Funchal, Madeira is served by flights from Birmingham, Gatwick and Manchester.

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Lisbon – Europe´s best work-and-play capital

Category : Lisbon

Trams criss-cross the entire city (Credit: Alamy)

A city still getting back on its feet after the Eurozone crisis which battered the national economy, Lisbon’s working hard to support home-grown businesses and attract fledgling entrepreneurs from around the globe.

Over the last three years the council’s support for start-ups has helped the city win the title of 2015 European Entrepreneurial Region of the Year. At the same time, it’s also undergone a facelift: crumbling city centre properties have been renovated and new shops and cafes have opened, as workers return.

Trams criss-cross the entire city and are a great way to get up some of the steeper hills (Credit: Alamy)

“The change has been dramatic,” said Rui Coelho, executive director of InvestLisboa, Lisbon’s investment promotion agency. “We saw all-time record investment in real estate, tourism and entrepreneurship in 2015. This is fantastic. However, we’re not complacent. Unemployment is still very high and regarding rehabilitation of the city centre there is still a lot to be done.”

Although unemployment nationally has dropped from a high of 17.5% in 2013 at the end of 2015 it was still running at 12.2% of the population.

The change has been dramatic. We saw all-time record investment in real estate, tourism and entrepreneurship in 2015.

Startup Lisboa, founded in 2011 has helped create more than 250 businesses. About 30% of new entrepreneurs are foreigners. “Because of technological evolution, talented people can work and live anywhere so they choose a nice place to live and for sure Lisbon is one of these places,” he said. Among the start-ups, high-tech, tourism and creative industries are particularly well represented, he said.

Set on the Atlantic coast this port city is a relatively small capital of 548,000 people, with golden sandy beaches and 220 days of sunshine a year. Lisbon offers a work-live-surf-and-golf culture in a picturesque setting where English is widely spoken. Plus, office and staffing costs are relatively low compared with other capitals in Western Europe.

25 de Abril bridge crosses the Tagus river (Credit: Turismo de Lisboa)

25 de Abril bridge crosses the Tagus river (Credit: Turismo de Lisboa)

With practically no heavy industry, the service sector is everything. Major players who have established service centres here include Japanese IT equipment and services provider Fujitsu, French bank BNP Paribas, US IT networking equipment firm Cisco, Finnish data networking and telecommunications company Nokia Networks, and the Belgian chemical firm Solvay among others. Energy firms Subsea 7, Technip and National Oilwell Varco have their service sector operations here, as does business jet firm Netjets.

Office and staffing costs are relatively low compared with other capitals in Western Europe.

The city pulls in more than four million visitors a year, with around 40% arriving for business.

Cultural know-how

This relatively small capital operates with a subtle mix of formality and spontaneity. “Oftentimes in the States, when you ask for a meeting, people will look at their calendar and say, ‘Can we meet in three weeks?’ But in Lisbon people will say, ‘Sure, why don’t you come over this afternoon for a coffee?” said Maureen Ferguson, a consultant in food, beverages and hospitality, who recently moved to Lisbon from Philadelphia in her native US.

“People are very warm and friendly and their English is spectacular but friendship has to be earned. It takes a little while to move from talking about business to sharing personal information,” Ferguson said. The perfect icebreaker is to enquire about regional cuisine and wines, she advised.

There’s a real can-do entrepreneurial spirit in Lisbon right now.

Due partly to the financial crisis (which overturned career expectations for so many Portuguese), there’s a tangible openness to new ideas in the city. “There’s a real can-do entrepreneurial spirit in Lisbon right now. People love their traditions but they are also very open to innovation,” she said. “During the crisis lots of people found opportunities to live elsewhere and to discover different ways of doing things. Now that there’s starting to be more opportunity here they’re coming back and bringing all that energy with them.”

Airport:

About 7 km (4 miles) north of the city centre, Lisbon Portela is Portugal’s slick, modern, primary airport with direct links to 43 countries and 110 destinations. In addition to flights from many European cities, these include the African cities of Accra, Bamako, Dakar, Luanda, Maputo, and in the Americas, Rio de Janiero, Sao Paolo and Brasilia; Boston, Miami and New York; Bogota, Caracas, Panama.

Lisbon's colonial buildings have taken on a whole new lease of life (Credit: Flickr)

Lisbon’s colonial buildings have taken on a whole new lease of life (Credit: Flickr)

Terminal 1 offers a range of high end shops and restaurants, while Terminal 2 is used mainly by budget airlines and has very limited facilities.

Metro trains run directly from the airport into the city centre (Saldanha metro station) from 06.30 until late and take 21 minutes. Tickets cost 1.40 euros ($1.52).

The majority of business travellers will take a taxi to reach the town centre quickly, this will cost about 15 euros ($16.33) and take about 15 minutes, but prices are higher at night and there is also a charge for luggage. Hiring a car is also popular as it’s a low cost alternative for meetings beyond central Lisbon, costing around 30 euros per day, plus fuel, for an economy car such as an Opel Corsa.

Money matters

Amex and Visa are widely accepted, Mastercard slightly less so, but it’s useful to carry around 50 euros ($54) in cash for all small purchases, taxis and snacks. A bica (espresso) costs 60-80 euro cents (67-85 US cents) in a neighbourhood café, apastel de nata around one euro (the famous custard tarts baked in Belem).

Much of the fish and seafood is priced by weight so make sure you’re clear about the quantity you want.

It will cost more if you sit outside on the terrace or if you’re in a tourist hot spot. If service isn’t included the customary tip is around 5%, or up to 10 % in a formal restaurant. No need to tip at all if you’ve just had a snack or a coffee but if you wish, leave the change from the nearest euro.

Hotels

Popular options for business travellers include near Marques de Pombal, the 311-bedroom Epic Sana is a sleek and ‘zeitgeist-y’ five-star option, eight minutes-walk from the nearest metro station, but also offering paid-for covered parking. With 2,169 sqm (23,346 square feet) devoted to flexible event space, the hotel can host anything from a small meeting to a vast banquet. For downtime there’s a spa with indoor pool plus a rooftop outdoor pool.

Also downtown, close to Avenida da Liberdade, the 89-bedroom Inspira Santa Marta is a popular boutique hotel with feng shui styling, a wellness spa and a restaurant which prides itself on offering veggie and vegan options. There are two meeting rooms and a cinema-style auditorium. The nearest metro station is only four minutes-walk. Rooms cost from 106 euros ($115) non-refundable.

Stunning Torre de Belem, Lisbon (Credit: Turismo de Lisboa)

Stunning Torre de Belem, Lisbon (Credit: Turismo de Lisboa)

Dinner for one

Beneath the landmark 25th April suspension bridge, 5 Oceanos is an airy dockside restaurant with a market-style display of glistening fresh fish and seafood. Whether upstairs in the airy modern interior or outside on the terrace, you can enjoy painterly views over the River Tagus as you sample local specialities such as octopus a Lagareiro (oven-baked with potatoes) and razor shell clams Bulhao Pato (in garlic sauce). Much of the fish and seafood is priced by weight so make sure you’re clear about the quantity you want. Open seven days-a-week.

For a great people-watching spot, set within the elegant arcades on the waterfront square of Praca do Comercio (also known locally as Terreiro do Praco), café-restaurant Martinho da Arcada has been a favourite rendezvous since 1782 and is popular with local business people and civil servants. Used in the last century as a writing haunt by Fernando Pessoa, the renowned Portuguese poet, you can pop in for a coffee andpastel de nata (eggy custard tart) on the terrace, or head into the atmospheric interior for white-tablecloth service and hearty local fare such as sardinhas assadas (grilled sardines) orbacalhau (salted cod).

Traditional Portuguese folk music, fado (Credit: Turismo de Lisboa)

Traditional Portuguese folk music, fado (Credit: Turismo de Lisboa)

Off the clock

It would be remiss to leave Lisbon without going to hear some fado music, Portugal’s homegrown sound.

Wander through the historic districts of Alfama or Bairro Alto to discover a fado club for yourself or book at a restaurant such as Clube de Fado, a cosy stone-vaulted venue in Alfama near the cathedral. In the Bairro Alto, behind a yellow-tiled façade, the Adega Machado, founded by musician Armando Machado in 1937, also offers poignant performances, accompanied by local and international cuisine.

An ideal way to explore this city of steeply winding streets is to jump on one of the local trams.

To see where Vasco da Gama and other great navigators set sail, head to the western district of Belem, a UNESCO world heritage site where the square shaped Belem Tower has guarded the waterfront for nearly 500 years. Close by lies the sublimely beautiful Jeronimos monastery where sailors returning from the seven seas used to make confession.

Special considerations

An ideal way to explore this city of steeply winding streets is to jump on one of the local trams. Tram line 28 is particularly scenic but as an established tourist highlight it also attracts pickpockets. If you can, ride it when it’s less crowded, first thing in the morning or early evening, and however fascinating the view, keep tabs on your wallet or bag.

Credit: http://www.bbc.com/

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Why Lisbon is Europe´s coolest city right now

Lisbon

LISBON GLOWS. YOU WALK ON LIGHT. This isn’t a figure of speech. It’s a matter of fact, of science. The seven hills on which the city sits form a vast natural amphitheatre that collects and reflects light. This amphitheatre is open at one end, where it meets the broad estuary of the Tagus, which acts as a huge mirror, reflecting still more light. The pale stone buildings, many painted yellow, pink or ochre, send the light bouncing around the hills; innumerable windows redirect it into the deepest and narrowest of alleys, so that even the shadows seem radiant, reverberant. Above, the prevailing northerly winds disperse clouds and increase visibility. Below, the intricately patterned limestone pavements, calçada portuguesa, cause the light to rise from the ground as well as from the water.

It’s the combination of these various factors – geographical, topographical, material and meteorological – that give Lisbon its otherworldly luminosity and make it unique among European cities.

The attitude here is different too. You find none of Berlin’s angst or Paris’s hauteur or Rome’s braggadocio. Instead, a modesty that borders on reticence, a wistful humour tinged with melancholy. (Note that the less-than-modest and not obviously reticent José Mourinho, perhaps the most famous living Portuguese outside Portugal, is from Setúbal, not Lisbon, and should be understood as exceptional in any case.) You see it in people’s eyes and hear it in their music, their poetry. The word saudade is sometimes mentioned in this connection. It’s impossible to translate. It refers to a bittersweet kind of longing, although it can also refer to a premonition of future loss, nostalgia for something that hasn’t happened yet. The loss may be personal – lost love, most likely – or collective – an apprehension of the distant but unforgotten glory of the nation as a whole.

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Distant but unforgotten glory is something of a Portuguese speciality. The explorers who set sail from Lisbon during the Age of Discovery – principally during the 15th and 16th centuries – were among the greatest seafarers the world has ever known. ‘O mar sem fim é português,’ as Fernando Pessoa splendidly put it: ‘The endless sea is Portuguese.’ And so, for a while, it was – along with all the spoils that the endless sea afforded. If you’re curious about what that order of imperial success could buy, pay a visit to the Jerónimos Monastery, where Vasco da Gama is buried among mad stony flourishes in the Manueline style; or to the Chapel of St John the Baptist in the Church of São Roque, a baroque hymn in marble, amethyst, alabaster, ivory, porphyry and lapis lazuli, and reputedly the most expensive – not to say ostentatious – chapel ever constructed.
This was a very high point from which to fall. And in Lisbon’s case, the fall, when it came, was dreadful. The Great Earthquake of 1755 reduced 80 per cent of the city to rubble. The shock was felt as far away as Brazil. The terrible fires that followed were extinguished by a tsunami. Afterwards the Portuguese king refused to live within stone walls. He moved into a tent while his prime minister, the Marquess of Pombal, rebuilt the capital in a style widely admired by architects for its resistance to seismic disturbance and by everybody else for its exquisite, pared-down elegance.

Lately Portugal has entered a second Age of Discovery – only this time the traffic is flowing in the opposite direction, as travellers from all corners of the globe make their way over land and sea to discover Portugal, and Lisbon in particular.

90592626When I first came to Lisbon in my late teens I was struck not so much by the light as by the lettering. Lisbon is a living museum of fonts, a safari park of typographic styles, in paint, in neon, etched in glass, carved in stone, on signs and storefronts and trams, everywhere. The country’s political and economic difficulties during the 20th and early 21st century – dictatorship followed by the doldrums followed by near-bankruptcy – meant that, commercially, little changed at street level. The international names didn’t come, or not until very recently. So Lisbon isn’t a ‘branded’ city in the way we’ve become used to. The quirky, the independent, the family-run is still the norm, not yet the exception. The writing that was on the wall 20, 50, 100 years ago is still on the wall. ‘Reading’ Lisbon is one of the delights of spending time here, even if you don’t speak the language.

Hence the sense you get of drifting effortlessly through layers of history. This impression isn’t limited to one part of the city. You feel it wherever you go. Suppose you were to pause for a moment to refresh yourself with a sip of ginjinha, a cherry liqueur, at one of the atmospheric, hole-in-the-wall bars around Rossio station that dispense the stuff (and nothing else) for about a euro a shot. Having greeted the nonagenarian regulars and sprightly bartender – a whippersnapper in his sixties – you might find yourself glancing across the street at the entrance to a hip new graphic-design studio or hi-tech start-up outfit. Doing your best not to turn an ankle on the ginjinha-cherry stones that have been cast like so many ball bearings onto the footpath outside, you might step further into the street and extend your gaze towards the nearby square, which is dominated by a towering statue of Dom Pedro IV. (Though some say it actually represents Emperor Maximilian of Mexico, who looked a little like Pedro. Maximilian was executed by firing squad soon after the statue was completed; no longer needed, it was supposedly sold on to Lisbon at a knock-down price.) It’s overlooked from a hilltop by a severe scowl of Moorish fortifications, which were built over existing Roman ramparts. Which were erected on the site where, some 3,000 years ago, pre-Celtic peoples – the forebears, no doubt, of the cherry-stone-chuckers whom you greeted at the ginjinha bar just a few minutes ago – pitched their rudimentary encampments.

Lisbon is like that. I once met the claimant to the Portuguese throne. Portugal became a republic in 1910 but Dom Duarte continues to fly the flag for the House of Bragança, which had ruled until then. With his proud bearing and well-tended moustache, he reminded me of William Faulkner. With his polite but firm insistence on his family’s role in the life of the nation, he reminded me, too, of Faulkner’s observation that, to certain people in certain places, the past is never dead – it’s not even past.

Be that as it may, there is plenty happening in the present. New bars, restaurants, boutiques, clubs, galleries and hotels are multiplying at a dizzying rate. Parts of town that five or 10 years ago were no-go areas, or at least areas to which you had no obvious reason to go, have been reclaimed and reinvented. The entire city is thronging with visitors bearing pleasantly baffled expressions that seem to say: ‘Awesome. Who knew?’

Which must, I suppose, be an odd spectacle for those old enough to remember the lean years when nobody paid Lisbon any attention at all. During my most recent visit this past summer I popped into a shop called A Vida Portuguesa, which sells traditional bits and bobs. I commented on the tremendous charm of the place and then suggested that this must be something that only a foreigner would say. The assistant corrected me. No, she said. Elderly Portuguese who have heard about the shop will sometimes burst into tears of joy at the sight of simple things – a particular kind of toothpaste, a certain style of ruled exercise book – that they remember from their childhood but thought had ceased to exist. Saudade sorted.

I’ve been coming to Lisbon for nearly a quarter of a century. I honestly don’t know what took the rest of the world so long. I can’t think of another city that more richly deserves the attention. Long may Lisbon’s moment last. Long may it see its extraordinary beauty mirrored in the eyes of others. Long may it rejoice, in its own modest way, in its own inimitable glow.

Source: Condé Nast Travel

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TAP launches new routes to America

Category : Lisbon

tap portugalNational flag carrier TAP is from this week selling flights to Boston and JFK in New York, doubling its routes to the U.S. which until now had been limited to Miami and Newark.

 While bookings are now being taken, the routes will only start on 11 June to Boston and three weeks later to New York. These new destinations also mark the launch of a campaign in America. The ‘Portugal, Europe’s first gateway and Portugal Stopover – discover Lisbon on the way’, campaign will see TAP offer American tourists three nights’ free accommodation in the Portuguese capital when using the airline to travel on to another European destination.

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Advice for buying property in Portugal

Migrating to for instance Cascais in Portugal is a dream for many. Portugal has a comfortable climate, the living costs are lower than in other European countries and it has a great vibe/culture. Moving to Portugal is very simple but it is important to prepare yourself well and ideally to have some contacts in place that can advise you. Over the following pages we try to cover all the important basics you should take into account. Also, A fair bit of helpful information can be found on the website of the Portuguese immigration office: Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras.

Buying a villa in Portugal

What you can expect from buying a house in Portugal depends mainly on the region and location. Do you prefer a house in the city or in the countryside. Should it be more inland or right at the coast?

Villas at the coast

The most expensive area’s for buying a villa or apartment are the coastal towns. Buying a house in a popular region for foreigners such as the algarve is significantly more expensive. This is due to the amount of foreigners that have moved here over the last decades. The Cascais region is certainly not a cheap region either. In this region the prices are based on a combination of factors such as distance to Lisbon. The region is very popular with both locals and foreigners.

Houses in Portuguese cities

The main portuguese cities such as Lisbon, Faro and Porto mainly consist of apartments. The houses you find in these cities are usually located in the suburbs or are small and expensive.
Apartments are available in all price categories and is mainly influenced by the location of the property. A large number of apartments have a balcony or roof terrace.

Villa’s in the countryside

The cheapest houses can be found in the Portuguese countryside. There are plenty large houses for sale for a reasonable price. These houses are usually located far from the main cities and coast.

Real estate agents in Portugal

The sale of houses are mainly done through real-estate agents in Portugal. Like in every country there are good and bad agents and a bad experience can also happen to a local. It is important to deal with an agent with whom you connect well. There is a significant difference between the efficiency of agencies. If an agents does not show significant interest it is recommended to look for another one.

There are various ways to find a decent real-estate agent in Portugal. Often people find an agent through an agent in their own country that is affiliated to an agency in Portugal. Also many Portuguese real estate agencies advertise in your country. Most of these are specialized in the more popular regions and have employees that speak English and other languages. We at Cascais Villa can help you with finding the right agent and/or property. Even Though we are specialized in the Cascais region, we have good contacts throughout Portugal.

Important: If you make use of a foreign agent, confirm and reconfirm the price and verify whether the property is still for sale before traveling to Portugal for a viewing.

Qualifications of Portuguese real estate agents

Portuguese real estate agents are monitored by the government. They must possess a licence called “mediador autorizado”. The agent must have proof of this licence. Usually this licence will be prominently displayed. If you do not see it, ask to make sure the real estate agent has it. It’s recommended to choose an agent connected to one of the recognized associations such as:
de Associação de Mediadores Imobiliários (AMI), Sociedade de Mediação Imobiliária of de Associação dos Mediadores do Algarve (AMA).

Fees for the real estate agency

The incurring fees for the selling real estate agents are usually between 5% and 10% but are included in the sales price. Meaning the costs are paid by the party selling the property.

Protection of the agency fees

Portuguese real estate agents can ask you to sign a document before showing you the property. This is to secure his commission in case you want to buy the property and so you will not go for the same property through another agent.

It is custom to schedule a viewing in advance. It is in most cases not possible to arrange a viewing ad hoc.
Viewing at the cost of a real estate agent

Many agents organize viewing trips for foreigners with a reduced rate for the accommodation during the trip. Once you decided to buy the property they usually reimburse the costs of the trip. Make sure you do not base your decision on this principle and the costs incurred to the agent for organizing. In the end the decision should be the right one for you.

Buying a house in Portugal

Buying a house consists of three phases. The process starts with the orientation, followed by the subrogation and is completed with the negotiation.

Orientation

When you start looking for real estate agents, it’s important to clearly indicate for what you are looking. The following points address some key questions:
– Do you want to live in the house parttime or fulltime?
– Would like to rent it out?
– In what region should the house be located
– What kind of property are you looking for: villa, appartment, nr of rooms etc.
– What is your budget

Once this is clear, you run through all property that matches your criteria and turn it into a short-list for viewings.

Subrogation

It is important to understand a Portuguese law called subrogation, meaning that debts such as mortgage, taxes and shared expenses are included in the property. So when buying a house these debts are included. To prevent this from happening to you, you will need an experienced lawyer.

When buying a house in portugal, it’s recommended to have a real estate agent that is registered with the Portuguese law as ‘mediador autorizado’. Also hire a descent property lawyer in your own country who can do the necessary checks.

To ensure there are no debts linked to the property you need to acquire a certidão de registro from the local registry. It is important to register the certificate (escritura) shortly after signing the deal because it is possible that between purchase and completion debts are transferred to the property.

Negotiation

The negotiation phase starts with an offer from the buyer. The seller will come with a counter offer or accepts your offer directly. Once both parties have come to an agreement, talks can be started about extra costs for the movable goods. When buying the property you are ought to request a fiscal number and to sign a temporary contract. Next, a down payment must be made and an independent lawyer will be involved to complete the sale.
Once the balance payment has been made, the official contract of purchase can be signed with the solicitor, who will provide the registration in the land register.

Pitfalls of buying a property

There are various potential pitfalls when buying a house in Portugal. Unfortunately there are plenty of stories about people and bodies who profited of ignorant foreign investors. The most important advice is to hire an independent lawyer who speaks both your language and Portuguese fluently and who is familiar with the Portuguese laws and affairs.

Situations you want to avoid when buying a house in Portugal:
– Buying a house without constitutional rights
– Buying an illegally built house
– Outstanding mortgages
– Properties sold with overdue utility bills
– Buying a property that is being sold to multiple buyers at the same time
Letting your property

There are two ways for letting your villa. You can either do it yourself or hire an agent.

The agent is a person or company who lets your property. They will ensure that tenants receive the keys upon arrival and arrange the cleaning afterwards. Often extra services are offered such as maintenance and repairs. On average an agency charges 25% of the rental rate.

It is recommended to ask various agencies, located close to the property, for a tender. Once you have found a potential agency, try to find some references. Also check whether they handle the reservations for you, their forecasted occupancy rate and how payments are structured.

It is also possible to work with a tour operator who lists your property in their registry. Tour Operators generally ask for a higher percentage but they are more likely to achieve a high occupancy rate.

Property tax (fixed assets) in Portugal

People who own fixed assets in Portugal must pay an annual property tax called contribuição autárquica/CA. If you rent out the property you are allowed to pass on the costs. The level of property tax depends on the value of the fixed asset. This is called “valor tributavel” and is based on the tax register. In these calculations, market value, location and some other factors are taking into account. You will receive this statement annually and most be paid in halves.

There are three levels of property tax.
Municipal: ~1% – highest rate
Rural: ~0.8% – lowest rate
Medial

Advice for viewings

Good preparation is key for an effective viewing trip. Below you can find a checklist of points to take into account when going for a viewing in Portugal.
– Create an agenda with daily viewings, do not plan more than 3 per day.
– Rent a car in advance to easily travel to each property.
– Make a list of phone numbers of contacts that may come in hand.
– Note down the addresses of each property you are going to visit.
– Have a clear overview of the requirements a property should meet.

When you are on your way to the property take a good look at the neighbourhood. Ideally the agent could share some information about the area. Often the agent also wants to show you other properties. If he is pushing to much for a certain property be aware that this may be because he can earn more on that specific deal. Once arrived at the property let your common sense be in charge.

In case you would like to make an offer immediately bring the following with you:
– Passport / ID
– Tax assessment of the past year
– Money for a potential deposit (€3000 – € 6000)
– Payslips
– Overview of financial liabilities

Overview of costs that occur when buying a villa in Portugal

There are many additional costs when you buy a house. Here we sum the most important costs you should take into account. Firstly, you need to know the fiscal value of the property, because most of the additional costs are based on this number. The fiscal value is usually lower than the market value of the property:
– Stamp duty
– Value added tax for new properties
– Solicitor fees
– Legal fees
– Land registration certificate
– Surveyor costs
– Real Estate agency fees
– Mortgage costs

Most of the taxes are paid by the buyer and can in some case already be included in the sales price. It is important to know which costs are included and which ones not.

Stamp duty (IMT)

When you buy a property in Portugal, a stamp duty must be paid. The stamp duty is paid to the municipality.and is called IMT. IMT is calculated over the total price of purchase, which is stated in the sales contract. The IMT must be paid before signing the land registration certificate. In portugal one is exempted from IMT up to € 92.407. There are fixed tables for IMT up to € 574.323. Above € 574.323, the IMT has a flat rate of 6.0%, plots in cities without remains of ruins 6.5% and rustic property 5.0%.

Basic tax (VAT in Portuguese IVA)

When buying newly built property in Portugal, one must pay a tax rate (IVA) of 19%. This percentage must be included in the advert price and agreed sales price. Meaning the price you see is the price you get.

Solicitor fees

The compensation paid for the solicitor is set by law. This fee used to depend on the price of sales. A new legislation introduced a system where one pays approximately €153 per transaction, plus €1.25 for each amendment or additional clause.

Legal Fees

The legal fees for buying a property in Portugal are generally between 1% – 2 % of the purchase price. The exact amount is dependent on the amount of work needed when buying the property. Usually the minimum charged legal fee is €1000,-

Land registration certificate

The occurring costs for the land registration certificate are generally between 0.75% – 1% of the property value. This fee is paid to the solicitor in the final settlement.

Real estate agency fees

The compensation paid to an agent for buying a property is generally 5% – 10%. This is dependent on the price of the sale and type of contract. The buyer agrees with the agent on a fee in advance and is included in the sales price.

Mortgage fees

The fees from the mortgage are generally around 1% of the borrowed amount of money for buying the villa/house/apartment.

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Marchas Populares 2012

This year the Marchas Populares takes place during the night of the 13th of June. The Marchas Populares is one of the peaks of the one month long Festas Santos Populares.

It’s officially called the Desfile das Marchas Populares, a colourful parade on the Avenida da Liberdade. The parade is a competetion between the various ancient neighbourhoods (Bairros) of Lisbon. Each neighbourhood is competing for the best representation of their neighbourhood through dances, music and beautiful songs. The songs are about the history and traditions of the Bairro often referring to the ocean, fisherman and famous people from the regarding bairro.

Approximately 10 days before this big nights, each bairros presents their performance to a pannel of judges in the Pavilhão Atlântico. This combined with the celebrations on the nig night decides which bairro wins. The grand prize is the victory over other bairro’s.

Our villa’s are located 25 minutes from Lisbon in the tranquille Cascais natural park, providing the ideal balance between the festivities and relaxation. Send us an e-mail now to enquire about our special Marchas Populares offer.

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Lisbon’s art scene comes alive

A few years back an interesting article, about Lisbon’s upcoming art scene, featured in the NY Times. The city of Lisbon forms a great transcultural platform for the creative industries because of the good weather, food and number of unused spaces. It’s a nice meltingpot of architecture, art, photography and literature, mixed with a rich history. Also the city is relatively cheap compared to other South-European places.

Around 2008 a  long-disused facility was reborn as Lisbon’s most ambitious new cultural venue. What used to be the place where weapons were made during the dark years of dictatorship in Portugal, was replaced by concert rooms, exhibition spaces, a sprawling bookstore, a cinema, a restaurant and various bars. Fábrica Braço de Prata’s typically diverse offerings: a jazz combo, a reggae outfit, a Leonard Cohen documentary and a 1 a.m. after-party featuring D.J.’s and alternative bands visited by a wide variety of people such as a buzzing crowd of tweedy academics, tattooed cool kids, bourgeois couples and bespectacled grad-student types.

Fábrica Braço de Prata’s transformation is emblematic of the city’s sudden cultural emergence. Like the factory, Portugal languished for much of the 20th century on Europe’s geographic and cultural margins. From the 1920s until the 1970s, a repressive dictatorship smothered the nation, sending the creative classes fleeing to London and Paris and severely stunting any potential arts scene. The economy also slumped. Once the center of a global trade empire, Portugal sunk into notoriety as Western Europe’s poorest nation.

Lisbon is avidly making up for lost time. All over the city, an upstart generation is laying waste to the sepia-toned stereotypes and gleefully constructing edgy and forward-looking ventures amid the time-worn monuments and quaint cobbled lanes.

Lisbon is great to explore from a more ‘tranquil’ Cascais villa, as it is only a 25 minute car drive from the buzzing city. Providing a great balance between beaches, nature (Cascais natural park) and a roaring cosmopolitan city of Lisbon.

To learn more, please check the complete article at the NY Times.

 

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