Located right in the middle of Portugal, Tomar is one of the most charming cities to visit and live in. Known for being a Templar’s city and for its amazing architecture, picturesque landscapes, delicious food with delightful Tomar wine, this medieval mid-sized and pedestrian-friendly town has been the obvious choice for many expats to live in.
If you are looking for a city with incredible historical significance (especially around the Templars), enjoy peaceful locations but with a bit of buzz and need to be right in the “heart” of Portugal, Tomar is definitely for you!
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Another wonderful city in Central Portugal, Tomar sits right in the heart of the country in the Santarém district. To those looking for a central city that allows you to easily travel and explore your future home, Tomar is definitely worth considering.
If you’d like to stay close to the country’s capital, Lisbon, you’re in just the right place: it’s around 1h40 drive (140km) easily accessible through a highway.
A quick 40 minute drive (67km) will land in Leiria and a 50 minute drive (78km) in Santarém. Feeling like hitting the Silver Coast beaches, in 1h (77km) will land you in the famous record-hitting waves of Nazaré and the smooth waters or São Martinho do Porto. If you’re fancying a quick central north trip, Coimbra is less than 1h away (80km).
Tomar’s ancient history can be traced back to more than 30 thousand years, as shown by the various archaeological finds that prove the human presence in the territory. We know that Romans, Barbarians, Suevi, Visigoths and Arabs were all here – and they all left marks of their passage.
However, Tomar is a world renowned historical city because of the Templars.
In 1159, D. Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal, donated this territory to the Order of the Temple, as a reward for the help given in the foundation of the kingdom and for the great military feats achieved.
A year later, the Knights Templar and the Grand Master Gualdim Pais ordered the construction of the Castle, which would become the headquarters of the Order in Portugal, and the founding of the town of Tomar. For this reason, the Order of the Temple is a big deal in this fantastic city, so expect to see many Templars and Medieval thematic restaurants, bars, memorabilia, souvenirs, etc all around the city.
Of course, the marvelous and mysterious monuments like Convent of Christ, Castle of Tomar and other fantastical buildings cannot go unnoticed. So, if you’re a history enthusiast, the beautiful Tomar should definitely be on your traveling plans.
If we had to describe living in Tomar in one word, it would be “peaceful”. If you prefer bigger, busier and more cosmopolitan cities, perhaps Tomar is not for you. However, it’s definitely a spot to consider if you are looking for somewhere quieter. For this reason, Tomar often attracts retired folk who are looking to rest, mostly.
Nonetheless, it has recently attracted more younger people, mostly due the recent possibility to work remotely and cheaper housing options, compared to bigger cities.
Fortunately, this newfound influx of interest in the city is attracting new small businesses, as well.
Tomar is truly a pleasant city to live in, and you’ll notice it right away as soon as you first set foot in it. The idyllic river city that passes right through the city, the quiet and clean park, the typical ‘Calçada Portuguesa’ and typical architecture (not a lot of modern and high buildings), the narrow streets with local and small businesses invoking the Medieval and Templars age, truly gives Tomar yet another charm besides the striking Castle and Convent of Christ.
Besides being a small town, it’s also very flat and walkable, so you can easily walk anywhere within the city. However, because it’s such a small town, there are not many amenities nearby (at least in walking distance), so a car may be needed to go to those since public transport outside the city is not very advisable. Speaking of public transport, there are small and frequent urban buses going around the city.
Recently, a private hospital opened in the nearby surroundings, but again you might need to go by car.
In terms of cultural events, Tomar holds a unique spot in the cultural scene because although it’s a small city, it’s also famous for hosting amazing cultural activities that attracts people from all over the country. Events such as a grand Medieval fair, the marvelous “Festa dos Tabuleiros” which only happens 4 in 4 years, the Templars Fair, the Soup festival, Beer fest, and a lot of musical, theatrical and movie events.
REAL ESTATE MARKET IN TOMAR
Like we briefly mentioned before, Tomar has more affordable options compared to a lot of nearby cities. However, the main problem with the real estate market in Tomar is that there aren't a lot of offers available, especially for renting. For renting, apartment prices still fall below 1000€ for a T1 - T2, and even for some T3 and T4. In terms of houses, prices can go up to 2500€ for a T4 house.
Regarding properties for sale, there are more options available than for renting. Prices are still quite affordable, starting from 100k for an apartment in good conditions or recently renovated. Houses are, of course, more expensive with prices ranging from 250k up to around 900k to 1 million, for bigger houses.
There are also a lot of houses to renovate in the area for under 100k and even 50k.
🔔Ana Caramujo and our Savvy team traveled to Tomar and we have a wonderful video all about it! Check it out below 👀😸
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