Matosinhos Sul represents the perfect balance between cosmopolitan Porto and the family refuge. This helps explain why more and more Portuguese want to buy a house there. Foreigners, namely Brazilians and Spanish, follow the preference.
Whoever lands in the north of Portugal for the first time will be unable to distinguish the border that separates Porto from Matosinhos. The two cities are located on the right side of the Douro River, most of the new housing is built in front of the beach, and both share the proximity of the City Park. Though similar in many ways, they are actually quite distinct. Matosinhos Sul is a younger, flatter and, in a sense, more modern fraction of the city. Where Porto unveils tradition, Matosinhos reveals contemporaneity. This is evident in the architecture, which is the city's watermark; in the characteristics of the apartments on sale in Matosinhos, where the design and exposure to the sun stand out; in the whirlwind caused by sports such as surfing, which attract thousands of young people; in the range of services and commerce available and, consequently, in the growing demand for apartments in Matosinhos Sul. The city therefore offers a perfect balance between a cosmopolitan place and a family refuge.
Five flags are inseparable from the city of Matosinhos: architecture, gastronomy, music, sport and beaches.
Let's start with architecture: the great gateway to the city by the coastline is a flying sculpture by American artist Janet Echelman. The work is called "She Changes", although most have renamed it "Anémona" (sea anemone) because of its resemblance to the sea animal. The net sculpture, inaugurated in 2005 and considered one of the most beautiful in Europe, is a tribute to the fishing community of Matosinhos. From there it is possible to take a look at the magnificent waterfront reconverted by the architect Eduardo Souto de Moura, born in Porto and awarded the Pritzker Prize in 2011. This 740-metre-long seafront promenade was designed to include a bicycle, skateboard and recently electric scooter track, as well as a pedestrian path.
This helps explain the popularity of that waterfront and the families' desire to find apartments for sale in Matosinhos Sul. To live there is to have the privilege of having the sea and all its versatile and bold equipment at hand, having the children entertained and the animals happy - and all this without even having to take the car. Still without leaving the “Anémona” roundabout, one can see, on the one hand, the extraordinary Terminal of the port of Leixões, not by chance chosen as the Building of the Year in 2017 by the highly-reputed architecture website "ArchDaily"; and, on the other hand, the profusion of buildings and private condominiums of Matosinhos with sea views and corridors of terraces, which awaken in any visitor the desire to settle there. If we deviate from the first line of sea and enter the adjacent blocks, we will discover, among many other treasures, an impressive House of Architecture endowed with valuable spoils donated by various architects of the region. And if we go straight ahead to Leça da Palmeira, we will find two priceless treasures, both signed by the most renowned contemporary Portuguese architect, Álvaro Siza Viera, also distinguished with the Pritzker in 1992: “Piscinas das Marés” (the Tidal Swimming Pools), the only Portuguese work on the restricted world list of the "One hundred 20th-century buildings", and “Casa de Chá da Boa Nova”, an extraordinary example of architecture designed in the shape of a butterfly and literally embedded in the rocks.
Choosing to buy an apartment in Matosinhos is, therefore, deciding to live in a kind of living and sacred museum of architecture. But it's also being neighbour of the best restaurants in the region. Recently, the legendary Spanish chef of elBuli, Ferran Adrià, said that Portugal deserved to have a hundred Michelin-starred restaurants. Many of them are precisely in Matosinhos, where there are plenty of glamorous spaces next to traditional houses, all of them privileging the proximity of the sea and, for that very reason, with a strong focus on seafood and fish dishes.
In addition to architecture and gastronomy, Matosinhos also stands out for its increased cultural offer, with special emphasis on music and, in particular, jazz. Created in 1999, the National Jazz Orchestra of Matosinhos is today one of the most respected entities inside and outside doors. It is not surprising, then, that one of the most relevant jazz festivals in the country was born there, and that the city hosts some of the most important music schools in Porto.
It's easy to understand why families choose Matosinhos to invest in 3-bedroom or 4-bedroom apartments, and why more and more foreigners are following this preference. And we haven't even approached two fundamental aspects of the city's identity, which are inseparable from each other: water sports and beaches.
Matosinhos has some of the most beautiful beaches in the north of Portugal: ten beaches have a Blue Flag and another ten bear the Golden Quality seal. These beaches are equipped with sanitary facilities, bars, restaurants and surveillance during the whole bathing season. And the bravery of the waves has turned Matosinhos beach into a kind of surfing capital that even Garrett McNamara can't resist. The American surfer, known for breaking the record of the biggest wave ever surfed in Nazaré, returns this summer, in August, to give free lessons there.
A city that can be easily walked, Matosinhos also benefits from a Metro line that connects it to Porto in fifteen minutes, and from being closer to the City Park than the city of Porto itself. And that is also an excellent place to buy a house.