How Much Does it Cost to Live in Portugal

Are you considering a move to Portugal and wondering about the cost of living? It’s essential to have a clear understanding of the expenses you can expect when moving to a new country, especially when it comes to everyday necessities such as housing, food, and transportation. In this article, we’ll explore the cost of living in Portugal and provide you with a comprehensive guide to help you budget and plan for your new life in this beautiful country.

Key Takeaways:

  • Understanding the cost of living in Portugal is an essential factor when considering a move to this country.
  • Housing, food, transportation, healthcare, education, utilities, and entertainment are the main expenses to consider when budgeting for your life in Portugal.
  • The cost of living in Portugal can vary depending on the region and your lifestyle choices.
  • By creating a financial plan and considering all the factors discussed in this article, you’ll be well-equipped to understand and plan for the cost of living in Portugal.
  • Portugal can be an affordable country to live in compared to other European countries, especially if you’re willing to adapt to the local culture and ways of living.

Average Cost of Housing in Portugal

Portugal offers a range of housing options, from modern apartments to traditional villas. The cost of housing in Portugal is generally lower than in other Western European countries, but it can vary depending on location, size, and type of property.

According to Numbeo, the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Portugal is around €572 ($675). However, the cost of housing can be higher in major cities like Lisbon and Porto.

If you’re planning to buy a property in Portugal, the average cost of a square meter of an apartment in the city center is around €3,900 ($4,605). Outside the city center, the average cost drops to €2,600 ($3,075) per square meter.

When it comes to renting vs. buying a property, it’s important to consider your long-term plans and financial situation. While renting provides flexibility, buying a property can offer stability and potential financial benefits in the long run.

Affordable Accommodation Tips:

  • Research different neighborhoods to find the best balance between cost and convenience.
  • Consider sharing a flat with roommates to split the costs.
  • Look for properties outside of major cities, where the cost of housing is generally lower.
  • Consider properties that require some renovation or updating, which can often be purchased at a lower price.

“Portugal has some of the cheapest property markets in Europe. The cost of housing in Portugal is much lower than in most Western European countries, thanks to the country’s relatively low cost of living.”

Type of PropertyAverage Cost per Square Meter
Apartment in City Center€3,900 ($4,605)
Apartment Outside City Center€2,600 ($3,075)
Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment€2,914 ($3,450)

Overall, while housing costs in Portugal can vary, the country offers a range of affordable options for those looking to live comfortably. By doing your research and considering your long-term plans, you can find a property that fits your budget and lifestyle.

Cost of Food and Grocery Shopping in Portugal

Portugal is a food lover’s paradise, with fresh seafood, delicious pastries, and flavorful wines. The cost of food in Portugal is generally affordable, and there are plenty of grocery stores and food markets where you can find high-quality products.

The cost of groceries in Portugal varies depending on where you shop and what you buy. Generally, large supermarket chains like Pingo Doce, Continente, and Lidl offer competitive prices on everyday items. Alternatively, local produce markets like Mercado da Ribeira offer excellent deals on fresh fruits and vegetables.

ItemPrice (EUR)
One liter of milk0.65
Loaf of bread0.90
One kilogram of chicken breasts5.00
One kilogram of beef9.00
One kilogram of potatoes0.80
One kilogram of tomatoes1.50
One dozen eggs1.50

For dining out, the cost of food in Portugal is also reasonable. A meal at a mid-range restaurant can cost around 15-20 EUR per person, while a three-course meal for two with wine can cost around 50 EUR.

Overall, the cost of food and groceries in Portugal is reasonable, and you can find excellent deals if you shop around. By budgeting around 150-200 EUR per month for groceries and 200-250 EUR per month for dining out, you can enjoy a delicious and healthy lifestyle without breaking the bank.

Transportation Costs in Portugal

When moving to Portugal, it’s essential to consider the cost of transportation. Whether you choose to use public transportation or own a car, it’s important to understand the expenses involved.

Public Transportation

One of the most affordable ways to get around Portugal is by using public transportation. The cost of a single ticket varies depending on the mode of transport and the city or region you’re in. For example, a single tram or bus ticket in Lisbon costs €1.50, while in Porto, it costs €1.90. If you plan to use public transportation frequently, it’s worth considering purchasing a monthly pass, which costs around €30-€40, depending on the city.

Owning a Car

If you plan to own a car in Portugal, you’ll need to budget for several expenses, including the cost of the car, insurance, fuel, and maintenance. The cost of a new car in Portugal can range from €10,000 to €25,000, depending on the make and model. Insurance rates can also vary significantly, depending on your age, driving experience, and location. On average, expect to pay around €500-€800 per year for car insurance.

The cost of fuel in Portugal is relatively high, with a liter of gasoline costing around €1.50. To save money on fuel, consider using a diesel car, which is more fuel-efficient. Additionally, maintaining a car in Portugal can be expensive, with the cost of an oil change ranging from €70 to €100 and the cost of replacing tires starting at €50 per tire.

Cost Comparison

Transportation MethodAverage Cost (per month)
Public Transportation (monthly pass)€30-€40
Owning a Car (including insurance, fuel, and maintenance)€400-€600

Overall, the cost of transportation in Portugal can vary significantly depending on your location and mode of transport. However, by choosing public transportation or owning a fuel-efficient car, you can keep your transportation costs manageable.

Healthcare Expenses in Portugal

Healthcare is a crucial aspect of daily life, and it’s essential to consider the costs associated with it while living in Portugal. Here, we’ll outline the expenses related to healthcare services and insurance that you need to consider. Let’s dive in!

Healthcare ExpensesAverage Cost in Euros
General Practitioner Visit€40-60
Dentist Visit€50-100
Hospital Stay (per day)€15-30

It’s important to note that these costs can vary depending on the region and the healthcare provider you choose. Therefore, it’s always recommended to do your research and compare the prices of different healthcare providers in your area.

When it comes to insurance, there are two main options:

  • National Health Service (SNS) Insurance: This is a public insurance scheme provided by the Portuguese government and is available to both residents and non-residents. The cost of SNS insurance is based on your income, and it ranges from 6.5% to 11% of your monthly salary.
  • Private Health Insurance: This type of insurance provides more comprehensive coverage and faster access to healthcare services. The cost of private health insurance depends on the scope of coverage you opt for and your age.

While healthcare costs in Portugal are generally lower than other European countries, it’s crucial to have adequate insurance coverage to avoid any unexpected expenses.

Cost of Education in Portugal

Education is a crucial aspect to consider when planning to move to Portugal. The country offers a range of educational opportunities, from public to private schools and universities.

Public Education

Public education in Portugal is free for all children between the ages of 6 and 18. However, there may be additional costs for books, transportation, and uniforms.

Primary schools follow a four-year cycle, while secondary schools have three-year cycles. After completing secondary education, students can take national exams to enter university or vocational schools.

Private Education

Private schools in Portugal offer an alternative to public education. These schools usually have smaller class sizes and a higher level of individual attention. However, private education can be costly.

The cost of private education in Portugal varies depending on the institution and location. Tuition fees can range from €3,000 to €20,000 per year, with additional costs for books, uniforms, and extracurricular activities.

Higher Education

Portugal has several universities and higher education institutions, both public and private. The cost of tuition varies depending on the institution and program.

Public university tuition fees are relatively affordable, ranging from €1,000 to €1,500 per year, but private universities can charge significantly more.

Type of InstitutionAverage Annual Tuition
Public University€1,000 – €1,500
Private University€3,000 – €12,000

Additional costs for higher education include books, accommodation, and living expenses.

Utility Costs in Portugal

When budgeting for your life in Portugal, it’s important to consider the cost of utilities. These costs can vary depending on the region, the size of the property, and your usage habits. Here’s a breakdown of the average utility costs in Portugal:

UtilityAverage Monthly Cost

Keep in mind that these are just rough estimates, and your actual costs may vary. It’s also worth noting that some properties in Portugal may include utilities in the rent or condominium fees.

If you’re looking to save money on utilities, here are some tips:

  • Choose energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs
  • Take shorter showers to reduce water consumption
  • Unplug electronics when not in use to save electricity
  • Shop around for the best internet deals

By being mindful of your utility usage, you can keep your monthly expenses in Portugal at a manageable level.

Entertainment and Lifestyle Expenses in Portugal

Living in Portugal isn’t just about necessities. It’s about enjoying life and experiencing the country’s unique culture and lifestyle. The cost of entertainment and leisure activities in Portugal is relatively affordable compared to other European countries. There are plenty of options available for people with different tastes and budgets.

Entertainment Costs in Portugal

The cost of entertainment in Portugal varies depending on the activity you choose. Going to the movies costs around €7 to €8 per ticket, while attending a music concert or a festival can cost upwards of €50. Museums and art galleries usually charge a fee of around €5 to €10. For sports fans, the average price for a football match ticket is €20 to €50. Golfing enthusiasts can expect to pay around €40 to €90 for a round of golf.

Entertainment Expenses in Portugal

Dining out is a popular entertainment activity in Portugal, and it’s relatively affordable. A meal for two people at a mid-range restaurant costs around €30 to €50. If you’re on a tight budget, you can opt for a meal at a local café or a roadside eatery, which can cost as little as €5 to €10. Portugal is also known for its wine industry, with a bottle of wine costing an average of €5 to €10.

Other entertainment expenses in Portugal include visiting the beach, hiking, and cycling. These activities are either free or relatively affordable. Beaches are open to the public and don’t charge any fees. Renting a bicycle costs around €10 to €20 per day, while hiking trails are mostly free and accessible to everyone.

Average Salary in Portugal

When considering moving to Portugal, it’s essential to understand the average salary levels in this country. The average monthly net salary in Portugal is €1,200, which is lower than the European Union average.

However, salaries can vary depending on the industry and region. For example, those working in tech or finance in Lisbon or Porto may earn higher salaries than those working in other industries or regions.

It’s essential to research and understand the average salary for your industry and location before committing to a move to Portugal. This will give you a clear idea of the income you can expect and how it will relate to the cost of living.

Financial Planning for Living in Portugal

When planning to live in Portugal, it’s essential to have a solid financial plan in place. This will help you budget effectively, manage your expenses, and make the most of your time in this beautiful country. Here are some tips for financial planning when living in Portugal:

Create a Budget

The first step in financial planning is to create a budget that outlines your monthly expenses. This should include all your essential expenses, such as housing, food, transportation, healthcare, utilities, and any other costs specific to your lifestyle. Use a spreadsheet or budgeting app to track your expenses and ensure you’re staying within your budget.

Save Money

Another important aspect of financial planning is to save money wherever possible. Consider ways to reduce your expenses, such as cooking at home more often, using public transportation, and shopping at local markets for fresh produce. You can also save money on entertainment by taking advantage of free events and attractions in your area.

Manage Your Expenses

Managing your expenses is key to staying on top of your finances in Portugal. This means keeping track of your spending, monitoring your bank account, and avoiding unnecessary purchases. You can also use budgeting apps or online tools to help you manage your expenses more effectively.

Consider Taxes and Fees

When living in Portugal, you’ll need to be aware of any taxes and fees you need to pay. This includes income tax, property tax, and other fees related to your residency. Make sure you understand the tax laws in Portugal and how they may affect your finances.

Plan for Emergencies

Finally, it’s important to plan for emergencies when living in Portugal. This means having an emergency fund in place to cover unexpected expenses, such as car repairs or medical bills. Consider setting aside a portion of your income each month to build up your emergency fund.

By following these tips for financial planning, you’ll be well-prepared for living in Portugal and managing your expenses effectively. With a solid plan in place, you can enjoy all the beauty and culture this country has to offer.

Monthly Expenses in Portugal

As we’ve explored in previous sections, the cost of living in Portugal can vary depending on your lifestyle and the region you choose to reside. Here, we’ll provide a breakdown of the average monthly expenses you can expect to face in Portugal.

Housing (rental)$500-$1,500
Housing (buying)$1,500-$3,500 per square meter
Food and groceries$300-$400
Utilities (electricity, water, gas, internet)$150-$250
Entertainment and leisure activities$100-$300

Note that these are average estimates and can vary depending on where you live and your individual choices. Additionally, if you choose to purchase a car or have additional expenses such as pets or travel, your monthly costs will rise accordingly.

However, when compared to other European countries, Portugal still presents a relatively affordable cost of living. Keep in mind that these expenses do not include taxes, savings, or any other unexpected expenses that may arise. To create an accurate budget for your life in Portugal, it’s important to consider all aspects of your lifestyle and financial goals.


Living in Portugal can be an affordable and enjoyable experience compared to other European countries. With a bit of planning and research, you can live comfortably within your means and enjoy all that this beautiful country has to offer.

Consider Regional Differences

It’s important to keep in mind that the cost of living can vary widely depending on the region you choose to live in. While Lisbon and Porto are popular cities for expats, they can come with a higher price tag. Consider exploring other regions of Portugal that may offer a lower cost of living.

Be Mindful of Lifestyle Choices

Your lifestyle choices will also play a significant role in your monthly expenses. While dining out and cultural experiences can be enjoyable, they can also add up quickly. Consider finding a balance and exploring affordable options.

Create a Realistic Budget

Creating a realistic budget is key to managing your expenses effectively in Portugal. Be sure to factor in all the costs we’ve discussed, including housing, food, transportation, healthcare, education, utilities, and entertainment.

Embrace the Experience

Living in Portugal can be an incredible experience. Embrace the culture, meet new people, and explore everything this country has to offer. By staying financially savvy and making smart choices, you can enjoy a comfortable and affordable life in Portugal.


How much does it cost to live in Portugal?

The cost of living in Portugal can vary depending on factors such as location, lifestyle choices, and family size. However, on average, you can expect to spend around €1,000 to €1,500 per month for a comfortable life in Portugal.

What are the average housing costs in Portugal?

The average cost of housing in Portugal depends on the city and region. In major cities like Lisbon and Porto, renting a one-bedroom apartment can range from €600 to €1,200 per month. Buying a property also varies, with prices starting at around €1,500 per square meter.

How much does food and grocery shopping cost in Portugal?

The cost of food and groceries in Portugal is relatively affordable. On average, a person can expect to spend around €150 to €250 per month on food expenses. Dining out at a mid-range restaurant can cost around €15 to €25 per person.

What are the transportation costs in Portugal?

Public transportation in Portugal is generally affordable, with the cost of a single bus or metro ticket ranging from €1.50 to €2. Owning a car includes expenses such as fuel, insurance, and maintenance, which can add up to around €200 to €300 per month.

How much does healthcare cost in Portugal?

Portugal has a public healthcare system that is accessible to residents. The cost of healthcare services depends on factors such as insurance coverage and specific treatments. However, the overall cost of healthcare in Portugal is relatively lower compared to other European countries.

What are the education costs in Portugal?

Education costs in Portugal vary depending on whether you choose public or private education. Public schools are generally free, but private schools may have tuition fees ranging from €500 to €1,000 per month. Additional expenses for books and supplies should also be considered.

How much do utilities cost in Portugal?

Utility costs in Portugal, including electricity, water, and internet, can vary depending on your usage and location. On average, you can expect to spend around €100 to €150 per month for these essential services.

What are the entertainment and lifestyle expenses in Portugal?

The cost of entertainment and lifestyle expenses in Portugal depends on personal preferences. Dining out at a nice restaurant can cost around €30 to €50 per person, while movie tickets are typically around €7 to €10. Cultural experiences and leisure activities vary in price.

What is the average salary in Portugal?

The average salary in Portugal varies depending on the industry and job position. On average, the monthly salary in Portugal is around €900 to €1,200. It’s important to consider salary levels when planning your budget for living in Portugal.

How can I financially plan for living in Portugal?

To effectively plan for living in Portugal, it’s important to create a budget, track your expenses, and save money. You can also consider opening a Portuguese bank account, which can help you manage your finances and avoid unnecessary fees.

What are the average monthly expenses in Portugal?

The average monthly expenses in Portugal can vary depending on individual circumstances. However, taking into account housing, utilities, transportation, food, and other expenses, you can expect to spend around €1,000 to €1,500 per month for a comfortable lifestyle in Portugal.

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