What is urbex?

Urban exploration, or abbreviated “urbex” from English Urban Exploration, is an activity that consists of visiting places built and abandoned by men. In Portugal, a lot of property is abandoned, about 14% of all the housing in the country, 700,000 housing to be more precise. To this must be added the industrial, commercial or military buildings that are abandoned.

Many people are interested in urbex, we can estimate that the movement started in San Francisco in the 70s with a club of enthusiasts called The Suicide Club. Visiting ruins, underground passages, refuges, but also castles, houses, buildings, even abandoned towns or villages is of great interest to our adventurers who are thirsty for history and discovery.
The profile of Urbex explorers is quite varied: mainly photography enthusiasts, but also history enthusiasts, nostalgic for the past, or simple tourists who take pleasure in discovering atypical, unique places that have unfortunately been abandoned by their owners.
This practice has become known thanks to the emergence of social networks. Unfortunately it is not always practiced legally, in some countries it is highly regulated and supervised, events are even organized in its honor such as the OPEX in Canada.
The Urbexeur code of ethics is to leave no trace of its passage: visit without touching, without degrading or without taking anything away. Unfortunately not everyone shares this philosophy and many abandoned buildings are degraded and looted...

"The Urbexeur code of ethics is to leave no trace of its passage"

Social media have enabled all urbexers around the world to be able to communicate and discuss their discoveries, and sometimes even to meet to explore places together. The groups of explorers are formed around the different motivations of each, some are focused on the historical aspect, the old and the abandoned. For others, it will be the “hidden” aspect of modern cities. Still others will be motivated by the artistic aspect, i.e. video and photography.


Today we talk more and more about the urbex thanks to the means of communication which are developing massively and to new technologies. Many websites have been created with the aim of presenting abandoned places by giving locations and photos. Thanks to Google Street View in particular and other search engines, a lot of grouping around the urbex is being prepared via forums and social networks.

The young people of the last generations who are passionate about urbex have also decided to take pictures and film themselves during their adventures to share them with their community on their Youtube channel, blog, and / or their social networks.

Here are some influencers that we follow at De Brito Properties and who are passionate about this activity, especially in Portugal:

André Ramolho :

André has been a blogger passionate about urbex since 2014. An experience with friends in an abandoned nightclub made him want to join this adventure. Being passionate about photography, this activity takes on its full meaning in his eyes and he therefore decides to share it with the rest of the world on his blog Abandonados.
André says he sees photographic potential in each of the abandoned places he visits, but above all he likes to seek and find the history of these places, to know what they were used for and why we don't know. no longer used today.

Today André has a hundred abandoned places visited to his credit.
In the future he wants to find another place to discover to be able to tell their stories.
You can find his adventures on his blog: Abandonados

Daniel Pereira :

Daniel is a well-known influencer, especially on YouTube, who shares his adventures in abandoned places. For him, urbex has been since childhood. At 6, he was already going to visit old abandoned mansions. As he grew up he began to search for abandoned places on his own where he could venture.

Daniel is passionate about photography, architecture, old places and adventure, we feel it strongly in the content he shares.

Today, at only 16 years old, he has about 200 abandoned places to his credit. For him, each place has its own value and its own beauty, but he still admits to having many sites in France and Spain that he would like to visit, as well as Chernobyl.

You can find Daniel on Youtube and his various Instagram accounts:


We have discovered a passion, like the Urbexeurs, these modern explorers, for discovering these abandoned places on weekends or when traveling to make visits where we take the time to stop to enter and fall under the spell of a ruin. abandoned.

Like many urbexers, after the discovery we regret the state in which the property is, try to understand why it is abandoned and imagine reconversions. Because of our job, we have an increased responsibility: how can we help save these places? Far too many properties are abandoned in Portugal, for reasons of complicated inheritance, or lack of means. It would be enough to renovate them or refresh them to allow them to regain their splendour...

If you would like to help recover abandoned heritage contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We recently posted an article on the subject on our Facebook page “French in Portugal”, here is the link below if you want to know more (article in Portuguese):

Today our client portfolio extends internationally and the requests are very diverse and varied. De Brito Properties wishes to contribute to the preservation of the Portuguese architectural heritage by directing investments towards these lost and abandoned properties today.