This City Many Tourists Haven't Heard Of Is Known As The Best Place To Live In Portugal

It's no secret that the beautiful European country of Portugal has become an increasingly popular hotspot for tourists and expats alike in recent years. As of 2022, over 750,000 immigrants were living in Portugal — an 8% increase over the year prior, according to Portugal.com. It's no surprise that those seeking a new country and culture gravitate toward Portugal. People are drawn to the warm and sunny climate, the beautiful cities and landscapes, and the delicious food and pastries (pastéis de nata, anyone?)

Whether they're traveling on vacation or in search of a new home, most people head to well-known areas like Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve region. But as it turns out, the best place to live in Portugal seems to be flying under the radar. The city of Viseu is frequently mentioned, for example in Portugal Travel, as one of the best cities to live in Portugal. So it's certainly good for a visit. 

As Audrey Hepburn famously said in Sabrina, "Paris is always a good idea." We couldn't agree more, but we'd also argue that Portugal is always a good idea — and if you're heading to Portugal, you certainly won't want to skip this charming city.

Traveler Blog the historical and cultural attractions

Viseu is rife with history and the city is full of stunning architecture from the medieval and Renaissance eras. Be sure to visit the Sé Catedral de Viseu (Viseu Cathedral). Initially built in the 12th and 13th centuries, the building is a unique blend of architectural styles including Baroque, Gothic, and Manueline. The cathedral also features Portugal's signature azulejos tiles, and the tower offers stunning panoramic views of the city. 

"The Cathedral, with its interior grandeur, is a must-visit in Viseu. The entire main altar is worth seeing," wrote one reviewer on TripAdvisor. "There are paid visits to the choir, roof, and the like. It costs €2 and is a good way to see the city as a whole."

What better way to immerse yourself in Viseu's culture than by visiting a museum or two? Museu Nacional Grão Vasco is not to be missed — it's home to an impressive collection of Portuguese paintings and sculptures from the 12th through the 18th centuries. If you want to take a deeper dive into local history, head to Museu História da Cidade, which offers an immersive experience that will take you back through 2,500 years of history.

Enjoy Viseu's green spaces

Portugal is famous for its lovely, sunny weather so you'll certainly want to take advantage of the outdoor spaces. Viseu has picturesque parks and gardens that provide a serene retreat from the city center and are perfect for relaxing, reading a book, having a picnic, or taking a leisurely stroll.

Jardim das Mães is a beautiful garden in the center of the city that you'll definitely want to visit. Full of trees and colorful flowers, the park is named for a bronze sculpture of a little boy asleep in his mother's lap. Other parks worth visiting include Aquilino Ribeiro Park, which has a lake, playground, cafe, and chapel. There's also Fontelo Park, which is on the larger side and has great walking paths where you'll likely spot one or more peacocks who call the park home. It also has recreational areas such as tennis courts, swimming pools, and a jogging circuit.