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Most people who fly in to Portugal come in to the Algarve by faro airport, however very few people seem to actually venture into the city! When moving to Portugal faro has to be counted as a possible base thanks to the plentiful amenities, lovely beaches and proximity to the border with Spain.
instead of getting off the plane and heading straight for your destination in the Algarve why not have a read through this guide and then explore this historic city which may just be the perfect place for you in Portugal!
Learn more about different places that you should consider when looking to moving to Portugal by browsing through our Moving to Portugal guides on the site.
Faro is the capital of the Algarve and is most well known as the place that you fly in to when visiting the region. If you have ever looked through the window of the plane as you come in to land you will have noticed the beautiful beaches in this area and this is just one of the benefits of living in this buzzing city.
If you are looking for the best of the Algarve combined with city living then Faro could well be the answer for you when moving to Portugal.
The EN125 road actually runs right through the centre of the city so if you follow this road from any direction you are sure to find yourself in Faro.
The A22 runs alongside the city and you can turn off where it is signposted and then drop down into the city from here.
If you are coming directly from the airport then you are already almost there and you can easily take a bus into the centre of the city from here if you are looking to explore for the day.
The traffic in faro can get quite heavy, especially during rush hours, although it is nothing compared to many other European cities! Take your time and drive with care or better still get a bus or a cab into the city if you are nervous about driving in a Portuguese city.
As you fly into faro you can see the beautiful long sandy Praia de Faro, the main beach of the city that is located very close to the airport and can be accessed by driving through the pine trees and parking up.
This beach is easy to find and very popular in the summer as people from the city come to spend afternoons and weekends at this lovely beach that has plenty of amenities including restaurants, bars and water sports.
If you are looking for something a little special then you have to take a trip out to the Ilhas and the beaches there.
These little islands are only accessible by boat and are truly beautiful, ferries to the islands can be caught by going into faro itself and heading to the Porta Nova Pier near to the Marina and just past the fire station.
The ferries can take you to Ilha da Barreta and Ilha da Culturas, both being beautiful.
Ilha Barreta is uninhabited and has an amazing restaurant that is very popular with many people making the trip just to visit it while Ilha da Cltura has a lighthouse on it and is easy to spot.
Visiting the islands is a great day out in itself and makes Faro as very desirable destination, especially in the summer time.
The city also has theatres and a football stadium while the Algarve stadium is just down the road and often hosts international sporting events.
Faro known for being the student capital of the Algarve and because of this there are plenty of nightclubs and live entertainment venues appealing to a younger crowd.o
The feel in Faro is very different from many of the other destinations in the Algarve and it is a place where you can emerge yourself in modern Portuguese culture easily.
Because the city is not a big place for tourism in general it also keeps going all year round and is actually perhaps quietest in the summer months when all the students have gone home and the office workers are away on holiday!
Faro has a main shopping area in the centre of the city where there is an underground car park that you can use so you don’t have to walk too far. there are also hundreds of shops dotted around the city with many specialist shops being located here in the capital.
If you would rather have everything all in one place then head for Forum Algarve shopping centre on the outskirts of the city where there are all the main high street shops and even a cinema complex – a rarity in the Algarve nowadays!
There are several large supermarkets dotted about the city as well as a large Jumbo supermarket in Forum Algarve shopping centre if you want to do all of your shopping all in one place.
There is a large public hospital as well as a private hospital in the Algarve with the public hospital having many specialist units.
In Faro you can sort out all of your paperwork possible and there is even a place where you can go and deal with car documents and licences- the only place in the Algarve!
One of the major amenities of Faro has to be the airport making travelling around Europe easier than anywhere else in the Algarve thanks to the proximity of the airport to the city itself.
If you enjoy having everything at your fingertips then living in a large city such as Faro is definitely the place for you.
There are literally thousands of apartments in Faro with some being amazing and others being pretty low stands as with every city and the good ones clearly cost more than the ones in the less desirable neighbourhoods.
If you want to live in a villa then really you should be looking on the outskirts or perhaps in another area as this is not really normal city living in Faro.
Prices are actually very competitive at the moment and this is a great time to see what is on the market.
Find out more about the real estate market in Far by paying a visit to the town and speaking with local agents who specialise in the are and will be able to advise you on plots of land for sale, ruins for renovations, large villas or apartments to fit your budget.
If you are looking for work then moving to faro is a good bet as there is a more positive job market here than elsewhere in the Algarve while it is also close to many of the top resorts in the Algarve and a quick commute for anyone working in these places in the tourism industry.
The train station in the city is a good place to start if you want to travel around the Algarve with trains here heading both east and west along the Algarve coast and running daily.
THE BEST AND THE WORST BITS
Not being a tourist destination primarily makes Faro a genuine Portuguese place to live and you are far more likely to live and work with Portuguese people rather than with expats which could be seen as the best or the worst bit depending on your point of view!
Being right next to the airport is great for travelling but of course you do have to put up with the planes overhead!
This is a vibrant and young city full of entertainment and opportunities and should definitely be looked at as a possible place to live and base yourself in when moving to Portugal.