Lisbon has become a population destination among expats —  from digital nomads to retirees —  for several reasons. Benefitting from its location in Southern Europe, the Portuguese capital has pleasant year-round weather, stunning views of the Tagus River, picture-perfect buildings, a high quality of life, friendly locals, and a vibrant expat community.

Lisbon is also a very affordable city, especially when compared to other European capitals. The city’s fairly low cost of living attracts citizens from all around the world, but especially from the US and Western Europe, where living expenses tend to be considerably higher.

Whether you’re in the process of relocating to Lisbon or exploring your options, gaining insights into the city’s cost of living is essential. You should take various factors into account, including rental prices, healthcare expenses, and everyday costs.

That’s why we’ve created this comprehensive guide on the cost of living in Lisbon. In the sections below, we’ll give you a detailed overview of key expenses and consumer prices associated with life in the vibrant Portuguese capital.

Here’s what we’ll cover in this guide:

  • Lisbon property prices and rental prices
  • Food prices
  • Restaurant prices and eating out
  • Public transport and taxis
  • Education and healthcare expenses

Is Lisbon an affordable city?

Lisbon (Slider)One of the pros of living in Portugal as an expat is that the country, in general, is very affordable. In fact, the cost of living in Portugal, including expenses such as accommodation, food, and transportation, is the lowest in Western Europe. The country offers tax benefits for new residents, and although it’s inexpensive, it has a high quality of life. 

Lisbon, specifically, is considered a pretty affordable city, especially compared to other capitals in Western Europe. However, it’s crucial to factor in the lower average salary in Portugal, which can impact the overall affordability. It’s also worth nothing that the cost of living in Lisbon is subjective and depends on individual circumstances.

As the capital, Lisbon naturally comes with a higher price tag than other Portuguese cities. Despite this, the city offers exceptional value for money in various aspects. Public transport and dining out, for instance, are relatively affordable. Additionally, Lisbon provides free primary education and boasts a great public healthcare system that is both accessible and economical for residents. Ultimately, while certain expenses may be higher, the overall cost of living in Lisbon is influenced by individual situations and lifestyle choices.

Here’s a summary of the updated cost of living in Lisbon, Portugal, for 2024, based on information from Numbeo:

  • A family of four estimated monthly costs: €2,530.0 without rent
  • A single person’s estimated monthly costs: €714.6 without rent

Housing Costs in Lisbon

Buying Property in Lisbon

So, how much is an apartment in Lisbon? In the city of Lisbon, the average asking price for an apartment in 2020 was €5,139/m2. When broadening your search to look at the entire metropolitan area of Lisbon, this falls significantly to €3,225/m2, highlighting the high demand in the city itself.

Note that these are the average asking prices, and the transaction price can be either higher or lower than this. Lisbon has many different neighborhoods that each have their unique vibe and characteristics, with housing options for both families and single residents.

Prices will vary considerably depending on the neighborhood. To see more about the prices in different neighborhoods, you can consult our article on where to buy property in Lisbon.

Average Rent Prices in Lisbon: Estimated Monthly Costs

According to data from Idealista, published in April 2022, the average rent for a Lisbon apartment is €16.85 per m² per month. To give you some indication, we’ll provide you with some price brackets below:

  • A one-bedroom apartment in the city center – €855
  • A three-bedroom apartment in the city center – €1,700
  • A one-bedroom apartment outside the city center – €650
  • A three-bedroom apartment outside the city center – €1,100

Again, the rent prices will vary depending on which neighborhood you opt for, plus the size of the apartment, the age of the apartment, among other factors. Some apartments will include utility costs in the rental price; for others, you’ll be required to pay extra for them.

Cost of Everyday Expenses in Lisbon


It is important to understand the average cost of utilities per month in order to gauge the cost of living in Lisbon. To give you an indication, basic utilities (electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage) for an 85m2 apartment will cost you around €115 per month. One minute of a prepaid mobile local tariff, without any discount or plan, will cost you €0.15. Internet (60 Mbps or more) will cost you €33.

Note that with utilities, this will depend greatly on your usage. One good thing about living in Lisbon is that the climate is very favorable, and for much of the year, you will not need to spend much on heating. However, the winters can be cold inside, so be prepared in advance.

Transportation costs in Lisbon

When looking into the cost of living in Lisbon, getting around is very important. Is it going to break the bank going to work each day? Well, you’ll be pleased to know that public transportation is generally very affordable, with taxis and ride sharing apps also offering fairly affordable fares.

In terms of public transport, buses and the Metro are both inexpensive and the most popular ways to get around. The Metro, in particular, is much more convenient and quicker in a lot of ways than getting around by car, particularly during rush hour. A one-way ticket will cost you €1.50, and a monthly pass will cost you €40 at a regular price. You also have the iconic yellow Lisbon trams to get from place to place.

You can also get from city to city cheaply and, within cities, taxis are quite affordable. However, for significantly cheaper prices, Uber and Bolt will usually give you better deals.

Buying a mid range car, such as a Volkswagen Golf (or an equivalent new car), is actually slightly more expensive in Portugal than in the States. If you run a car in Portugal, gasoline will cost you €2.03 per liter.

Cost of Healthcare

Portugal is known for its quality healthcare that is almost completely free for Portuguese residents and citizens, with only small costs applicable. It’s worth noting that Portugal’s healthcare system is ranked 12th globally by the World Health Organization. For those who use Healthcare in Portugal, a couple of procedures will require fees, and these will generally be affordable. This will include paying a visit to the emergency room, taking a diagnostics exam, or getting a particular doctor’s appointment. Routine checkups will also need to be included in the cost of living in Lisbon, with a medical exam typically costing around €40, while medical procedures begin at €5.

It goes without saying that public healthcare is cheaper than private healthcare. However, private insurance is quite affordable, and many use it as a complement to the Portugal public healthcare system.

You will have to pay between €20 and €30 for a doctor’s appointment in a private healthcare facility. Private health insurance starts at a yearly fee of €400, with comprehensive healthcare cover costing around €1,000.

Download Portuguese Healthcare Guide

Cost of Food in Lisbon

Grocery prices

Daily essentials are very good indicators of the cost of living and affordability of a city, and what better place to start than by checking out the food prices to get a better understanding of the cost of living in Lisbon?

You’ll be happy to know that food is, in general, pretty affordable in Lisbon. If you factor into your budget between €300-€400 per month, you should be well within your limits as meat, fish, vegetables, and fresh fruit are all relatively inexpensive and of very good quality.

You’ll find much of the produce here is grown in the country. Try the oranges from the Algarve, the local cheeses, or the dourada fish and you’ll see firsthand the excellence of Portuguese fresh produce. If you’re looking to save money, it’s worth noting that shopping local is usually considerably cheaper.

Prices for daily essentials are shown below, with data from Numbeo:

Daily Essentials

Average Price

Milk (regular), (1 liter)


Loaf of white bread (500g)


Rice (white), (1kg)


Eggs (regular) (12)


Local cheese (1kg)


Chicken filets (1kg)


Beef round (1kg)


Apples (1kg)


Banana (1kg)


Oranges (1kg)


Tomato (1kg)


Bottle of wine (mid-range)


Domestic beer (0.5-liter bottle)


Imported Beer (0.33-liter bottle)


Cost of restaurants and eating out in Lisbon

The best thing about eating out in Lisbon is that you’ll find all sorts of restaurants. As Portuguese people like to dine out and enjoy good food, this can be a great way to embrace the local culture and connect with your local community.

From small, traditional, family-owned restaurants called tascas that serve typical Portuguese foods, such as Bacalhau, grilled sardines, or an assortment of meat dishes, to higher-end luxury places. What’s more, the city now boasts a vibrant brunch scene, and there are hoards of international restaurants springing up all over town. Whatever you are looking for, you are pretty sure to find it in Lisbon.

Meals can generally be as cheap, or as expensive, as you want. According to Numbeo, you can have a meal in an inexpensive restaurant for €10. However, we are pretty sure that you’ll be able to find a tasca where you can get a good lunch, coffee and dessert included, for around €7 or €8. A meal with wine at a mid range restaurant will cost closer to €20.

Note that for luxury restaurants you can expect to pay international prices. You will find several Michelin-starred restaurants in Lisbon, that are worth visiting if you are in the city.

Indeed, whether you are looking to find a relaxing coffee to head to start the day, a convenient lunch stop, or fancy trying some new cuisine, Lisbon will be able to cater to your wishes. Plus, new innovative restaurants are constantly springing up across the city.

Other Costs to Consider

Cost of leisure and entertainment

leisure options in portugalThere are plenty of leisure and entertainment options in Lison, and prices are generally lower than other major European cities.

Movie theaters: You can catch the latest blockbusters at multiplexes such as Cinema City Alvalade, find independent gems at Cinemateca Portuguesa, a national film archive showcasing classics and world cinema. At unique venues like Black Cat Cinema add a touch of quirk, you can see cult classics and B-movies. No matter your taste, Lisbon’s diverse cinema prices are generally around €8 a ticket.

Concerts: Concert experiences in Lisbon cater to diverse taste buds and budgets. Small bars where rising stars and international talents rock the €10-€15 stage, or soak up the sun at free or affordable open-air concerts. Historic venues like Coliseu dos Recreios offer grandeur for €20-€30, while classical delights range from €15 chamber music recitals to symphony orchestras. From soul and electronic nights to traditional Fado, there are genre-specific experiences, often within the €15-€30 range. Festival day passes start at €20.

Sports events: A soccer game at Estádio da Luz, home to the legendary Benfica team, for tickets starting around €20-€30. You can also go to a Portuguese basketball game at Pavilhão João Lobo, where tickets typically hover in the same range. Beyond these major sports, Lisbon offers options for diverse athletic interests, from tennis tournaments and international rugby matches to adrenaline-pumping skateboarding contests and local running events.

Gym memberships: Monthly gym memberships typically cost €30-40 and offer access to state-of-the-art equipment and diverse workout options from cardio and strength training to yoga and swimming. While this is generally lower than in major European cities, remember that local salaries can also be lower. Lisbon offers a  budget-friendly environment for fitness enthusiasts.

Childcare costs

Lisbon offers childcare options at various price points. Public daycare starts at around €200 per month, making it a budget-friendly choice for many families. If you seek more personalized care, private options climb to €500-€700.

Occasional outings are still manageable, with babysitting services ranging from €10-15 per hour. However, remember that availability and affordability can vary across the city, so research is key.

By exploring public and private options, you can find a childcare solution that fits your family’s needs and budget, allowing you to navigate Lisbon’s vibrant culture with peace of mind.

Educational costs

Public education is free for Portuguese citizens and legal residents of the country, and public schools in the country generally provide a good standard of education. However, if you opt for private education, then this will cost you between €800 and €1,500 per month for primary through to high school, not including book fees and enrollment fees.

You will also have the option to choose an international school in Lisbon. The capital has many outstanding options to choose from, which you can see in our article on International Schools in Portugal. The average fee is almost €1,500 a month, but this will vary from school to school. Again, enrollment feeds, books, and so on will be extra costs that you will need to factor in.

When it comes to universities, private universities are more expensive than public universities. Public universities have a fee limit that can change on an annual basis. In recent times, the maximum fee is almost €900. The fees are not the same as for private universities, however, whereby they will cost, on average, €3,000 per year. You will also find that the cost of living for students in Lisbon is often cheaper than in other countries.

Clothing and personal care costs

Lisbon’s fashion scene caters to your style and budget. Basic tops average €20-30, and jeans come in at a reasonable €50-€70, while footwear ranges from affordable €30 sneakers to pricier designer options, giving you diverse choices.

Personal care products generally fall within European averages. Remember, Lisbon’s cost of living is relative, so compare prices with local salaries to ensure comfortable living.

Extra costs

Miscellaneous expenses add to your overall living costs. Household essentials such as cleaning supplies and toiletries are generally on par with European averages. Occasional electronics purchases might be slightly pricier, so keep an eye on local deals.

Furnishing your home involves exploring flea markets and design stores, with lamps and rugs starting around €50-€100. When trying to calculate your estimated monthly costs, factor in the occasional weekend trip or unexpected appliance repair, and plan accordingly.

Remember, Lisbon’s affordability is relative, so compare costs with local salaries to ensure comfortable living. By being resourceful and embracing Lisbon’s unique charm, you can navigate miscellaneous expenses and make the most of your vibrant new home.

Take a look at our Portugal Golden Visa Guide by local experts

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Cost of Living in Lisbon Compared to the US

Lisbon has generally been considered more affordable than many major cities in the United States. The city’s cost of living is significantly lower than cities like New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Expenses such as housing, transportation, and dining out were often more budget-friendly in Lisbon. Additionally, healthcare costs and some other daily necessities tended to be less expensive.

According to Numbeo:

  • Lisbon is 48.9% less expensive than New York (without rent)
  • Rent in Lisbon is, on average, 65.3% lower than in New York.

It’s essential to consider that average salaries in the United States are typically higher than those in Portugal, including Lisbon. While the cost of living may be lower in Lisbon, the income disparity can affect the overall financial dynamics for expatriates or individuals moving between the two locations.

Recommended reading: The Cost of Living in Portugal vs USA

Cost of Living in Lisbon Compared to the UK

Lisbon is more affordable than many major cities in the United Kingdom, such as London, Edinburgh, or Manchester. Housing, transportation, and certain daily expenses are often more economical in Lisbon.

Again, average salaries in the United Kingdom are typically higher than those in Portugal, including Lisbon. While the cost of living may be lower in Lisbon, the income disparity can impact the overall financial dynamics for expatriates or individuals moving between the two locations.

Below is a comparison between the cost of living in Lisbon and London, according to Numbeo:

  • Consumer prices, including rent, in Lisbon are 43.2 percent lower than in London
  • Rent prices in Lisbon are 50.6 percent lower than in London
  • Restaurant prices in Lisbon are 42.1 percent lower than in London
  • Groceries prices in Lisbon are 29.8 percent lower than in London

How to Move to Lisbon, Portugal

Living in Lisbon is an appealing prospect due to its affordability and diverse visa options. Among the notable choices are the Golden Visa and the D7 Visa, both offering attractive pathways for individuals looking to immerse themselves in the vibrant lifestyle of Lisbon. These visa options provide unique opportunities, whether through investment or demonstrating financial means, making the process accessible for those seeking to call Lisbon their new home.

Portugal Golden Visa

cost-of-food-in-Lisbon-pngIf you are considering moving to Portugal, then the Portugal Golden Visa could be a good option for you. The Portugal Golden Visa allows you to reside in Portugal, with the possibility of securing Portuguese citizenship within five years through naturalization.

Here are the investment options available for the Portugal Golden Visa:

  • Fund subscription: Make a contribution to a qualified investment fund worth at least €500,000 
  • Investment or donation in the arts or reconstruction of national heritage with a donation of at least €250,000 (Read more: Portugal’s Cultural Production Golden Visa)
  • Scientific Research: Science or Technology research contribution of at least €500,000 
  • Creation of ten jobs: Creation and maintenance of ten jobs during the required period
  • Share capital and job creation: Incorporation of a company or reinforcement of a company’s share capital, in either case with an investment of €500,000, combined with the creation of five or maintaining ten jobs (five of them permanent)

D7 Visa Portugal

The Portugal D7 Visa is an affordable and attractive visa that allows non-EU citizens to obtain Portuguese residency as long as they have sufficient funds to sustain themselves during their stay in Portugal.

Retirees, entrepreneurs, or other expats who are living off a recognized stable income can apply for the D7 Visa. A recognized stable income includes movable property, real estate, intellectual property, pensions, or financial investments. To qualify, you’ll need to earn a minimum wage, which is dictated by the Portuguese Government.

Lisbon Life Cost: A Summary

There’s no getting around the fact that, as the capital city, Lisbon is the most expensive part of Portugal to live in. However, compared to most other Western European countries, you will find that the cost of living is relatively inexpensive.

While housing prices have been increasing steadily over the last few years, if you do some digging, you should be able to find an affordable property. It is worth having some inside knowledge of the market, which is where having a buyer’s agent can do wonders. Our real estate division, Goldcrest, will be more than happy to discuss your options for you to determine which neighborhoods in Lisbon to consider and help you find top properties on the market. You can book a call with one of our consultants by contacting us.

Global Citizen Solutions: How We Can Help You

Global Citizen Solutions is a boutique residency and citizenship by investment consultancy focused on finding the perfect investment, citizenship, or residency program for individuals across the world. We work solely on behalf of our clients throughout the process for an easy and hassle-free journey to your desired route.

With offices worldwide and an experienced, hands-on team, get in touch today to see how we can understand your objectives and help you move towards becoming a global citizen.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Cost of Living in Lisbon, Portugal

How much money do you need to live comfortably in Lisbon, Portugal?

For a family of four estimated monthly costs are approximately $2,152 (€2,045) without rent. The estimated monthly costs for a single person are $612 (€582) without rent. The cost of living in Lisbon for a couple will be something in between.

Note that, like your housing costs, your living expenses in Lisbon will vary depending on your lifestyle.

Is it expensive to live in Lisbon?

While Lisbon is the most expensive city to live in in Portugal, compared to large cities in other Western European countries, it is quite affordable.

Indeed, the cost of living in Lisbon for international students, digital nomads, reitreees and other expats is usually very affordable for a major city.

It is worth noting, however, that while Portugal is one of the most affordable countries in Western Europe and Lisbon is relatively inexpensive, the average salary in Lisbon is lower than that of cities in other European countries.

Is Lisbon a good place to live?

Lisbon is one of the best cities to live as an expat, with a relatively low cost of living, high quality of life, excellent weather, and welcoming locals. The city also has many excellent international schools, good healthcare, and extensive public transport options.

In addition, the city is seen as welcoming for people from other countries. This is evidenced by the LGBT rights Portugal guarantees for all of its residents. Progressive policies and a welcoming atmosphere make Portugal LGBT friendly, and attitudes in Lisbon certainly reflect this.

Because of this, there is a large digital nomad community, with many digital nomads working remotely for an online business.

How does the cost of living in Lisbon compare to living in major cities in other countries in Western Europe?

Compared to many major Western European cities, Lisbon offers a good level of affordability. Costs stay well below the cities in Western Europe, such as London, Paris, and Amsterdam and US cities, such as New York, often slipping even under Madrid and Barcelona.

Like any other capital city, Lisbon has its own price range, which makes living there more expensive than living in other cities in the country, but it offers a comfortable standard of middle class living without breaking the bank.

How much is rent in Lisbon city center?

Studios in the center of Lisbon typically start around €600. In trendier areas, such as Chiado, you can expect to pay rent upwards of €800.

How much net income do I need to live a good life in Lisbon?

A single person can enjoy a comfortable life in Lisbon on €1,200-€2,000 per month (excluding rent), while couples can expect €2,400-€3,500. Families will naturally have higher expenses, but Lisbon, Portugal, offers a balance of affordability and quality of life, so you can find a lifestyle that matches your budget and priorities.

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