@ianmcshane We have stayed in Barreiro for almost a year now. It being the first and only place we have had a permanent rental since arriving.
- Cheaper rentals (a nice spacious and furnished T2 is around 700 - T3 from around 800/850 - depending on whether you are laid back and don't mind dated aesthetics or want new and flashy), much cheaper than Lisbon and slightly cheaper than Almada / Montijo. Many locals I have spoken to chose to buy apartments here and then catch the ferry (20 minutes) to Terreiro do Paco (Ferry station at the bottom of the Lisbon hill).
- For long term rental apartment investments between 100k and 200k - this is area has excellent potential.
- Good medical amenities / options - mainly private - the public health centres are OK - you will get helped but may have to wait a few hours - this seems to be usual in most places.
- Small mall - lots of small shops / restaurant options / bakeries etc. There is a large Continente, 2 or 3 Lidls and an Aldi or two.
- Nice parks and walkway / green areas next to the Estuary. The outdoor areas have improved since we have gotten here.
- The Ferry has been a lifesaver to connect us with Lisbon without a car - so this is a big bonus. Once you arrive in Lisbon, you can take the metro to get anywhere - the metro card is 40 euro p/m including all transport in the greater Lisbon / Setubal area, and it includes the bus and ferry in Barreiro. If you wanted to go to Porto for example you would do Ferry <-> Lisbon Metro <-> Lisbon Oriente <-> Porto Campanha - in half a day.
- We did our SEF appointment and IMT drivers exchange in Setubal which had less waiting times and shorter arrival times for our cards (much better than the big cities)
- The train from Barreiro Terminal (same location as the ferry station) that takes you down to Setubal - which is a great day trip on the weekend.
- Fibre internet everywhere.
- It is a vibrant area with many families with kids etc.
The cons (nothing bad, just observations):
- You cannot swim in the water, it is not that clean. I have seen people do it and you could, it probably won't be very refreshing though and you may have a slight smell afterwards.
- Some parts of Barreiro look pretty run down from the street (google maps will be a good help here). The areas along the water generally have the nicer looking / feeling apartments / streets.
- I doubt you will find a place with a garden to rent - its mainly apartment blocks here.
- Getting to Almada / Costa da Caparica from Barreiro is a long 20 euro+ Uber drive. It's possible via the train. Barreiro -> Pinhal Novo -> Pragal (Almada) - but that can take up to 2 hours as its a bit of a trip.
If you enjoy the "flashy things" in Lisbon or if you want to spend most of your time there and you don't like relying on public transport and taking time out of your day to get to there, Barreiro is not for you. If you are more budget conscious or want a more authentic and out of the way location that is still close to Lisbon, at up to half the price, then its a good option.
Overall I would recommend it as a starter base - but maybe not for the long term - its very subjective. It all depends on what you have planned and your preferences. But its great value and has all the modern conveniences you would expect 🙂
There are plenty of rental agents around.
Let me know if you have any questions.