Renowned for its rich culture, beaches, art, and architecture, Portugal is an amazing place to live. This southwestern European country is strategically located and has a high standard of living — be it the country’s world class healthcare system, education, work and business opportunities, or its low cost of living, Portugal is one of the best places to live comfortably.
So, if you are planning to live in one of the most affordable countries in Europe, Portugal should definitely be on top of the list. Keep reading this article to learn more about the cost of living in Portugal.
Is it expensive to live in Portugal?
Are you wondering if Portugal is an expensive place for a holiday, or even to live? Well, in reality, Portugal is relatively affordable and has been recognized as one of the cheapest countries in western Europe because of its economical food prices, affordable accommodation choices, and cheap transportation prices. If you have sufficient finances, then you will find the country to be very affordable.
Portugal has long been regarded as an attractive holiday destination. Roughly speaking, you will only need to pay around €68-115 per person per day. If you are planning to fly to Portugal, then it will cost you between €715.76 and €1,175.10 per person for economy flights and €2,287.75 to €3,690.19 for first class (Please note that the flight prices are an average approximation and will fluctuate as per time and location). Since Portugal is very strategically located, it is easily accessible from the United States and other European countries. Flight prices from the USA to Portugal start from $151 and if you are flying to Portugal from Europe, it is quite affordable as various low cost airlines are available. Make sure to keep aside €34.56 to €70.11 per person per day for transportation and food.
When traveling to Portugal, you will need to pay approximately:
- €20 per night for accommodation (per adult or even per room via Airbnb)
- €15 for a two-course meal per person
- €1.40 if you are taking the metro ride around Lisbon or Porto for a one-way trip
- €5 for visiting galleries or museums in Portugal, barring few exceptions
Please note that the cost of accommodation will completely depend on what you are looking for and the location of your stay.
If you’re planning to settle in Portugal, you should expect to pay approximately:
|Milk (regular), (1 liter)||€0.67|
|Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g)||€1.12|
|Rice (white), (1kg)||€1.01|
|Eggs (regular) (12)||€1.91|
|Local Cheese (1kg)||€7.25|
|Chicken Fillets (1kg)||€5.31|
|Beef Round (1kg) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat)||€9.19|
|Lettuce (1 head)||€0.98|
|Water (1.5 liter bottle)||€0.53|
|Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range)||€4.00|
|Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle)||€1.07|
|Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle)||€1.87|
|Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro)||€5.00|
- Basic (electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage) for 85m2 apartment – €108.52
- 1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff local (no discounts or plans) -€ 0.15
- Internet (60 mbps or more, unlimited data, cable/ADSL) – € 33.43
- Apartment (one bedroom) in the city center*- €726.12
- Apartment (one bedroom) outside of the city center – €551.79
- Apartment (three bedrooms) in the city center – €1265.24
- Apartment (three bedrooms) outside of the center -€ 920.45
Real Estate & Other costs
- Price per square meter to buy an apartment in the city center – €2953.34
- Price per square meter to buy an apartment outside the city center – €1990.49
- €670 for a one-bedroom flat that is close to the city center
- €100 in utility bills per month
- €40 for a monthly transportation pass
- €150 for a monthly grocery shop
You should keep in mind that the cost of your living will completely depend on your budget and lifestyle.
For more information on costs, you can check out Numbeo.
*City Center – The cost of city center location is based on average cost of utilities and rentals of the major city hubs in Portugal.
Cost of living in Portugal
If you are planning to relocate to Portugal, especially from the United States of America, then you’ll find that Portugal is very affordable indeed. In comparison to the United States, Portugal is around 46% cheaper. Be it affordable housing costs, cheap food options, or an amazing beach lifestyle in a beautiful country, Portugal is very economical which makes it an amazing place to stay.
If you are planning to relocate to one of the interior parts of the country then you can live comfortably from around €1,700 per month, including rent. However, if you are considering staying in Lisbon, the capital of the country, you will need to pay approximately €2,200 a month as a couple. But you should also keep in mind that the cost of living completely depends on your finances and budget.
Living in Portugal: Expenses
It is quite affordable to live your life comfortably in Portugal. Here is a detailed break up of the expenses that you need to pay:
- €100 for utility bills (this includes electricity, water, gas, and wifi)
- Around €200 or more for your monthly grocery expenses
- €5 for a ‘lunch menu’ deal at a bakery or an extensive lunch menu for €10
- €1,500 in rent for a good three-bedroom apartment that is close to the city center
- The cost of public education for children is free. The fee for private school starts from around €600 per month and above. This completely depends on your child’s grade and your choice of school
- The public healthcare infrastructure is quite advanced in Portugal and also offers free or economical medical care to citizens and legal residents
Cost of food in Portugal
Generally speaking, food prices in Portugal are quite affordable, particularly if you are buying local products. Food items like fresh fruits, vegetables and dairy products are readily available across the country and are relatively cheap. If you are planning to purchase imported products like a certain brand of beer, toothpaste or any other food item, expect to pay more money.
How expensive is Portugal to eat out?
Wondering if Portugal is expensive for eating out? Well, it completely depends on your budget, lifestyle, and choice of restaurant. Considering various factors, eating out in Portugal is quite economical. It will cost you as little as €4 to go for a breakfast menu at a pasteleria (Portugal’s bakery shops) with an espresso shot included. For €8 per person, you can also get a good lunch deal at various restaurants in Portugal.
If you are planning to go for a three-course dinner at a traditional Portuguese restaurant, expect your bill to be around €20. But if you are considering something more edgy at a restaurant with a cool décor and more modern touches, you can expect to pay around €25- €30 per person.
Keep your food budget at around €50 per single person/day if you are on a holiday in Portugal.
Living expenses in Lisbon
If you are considering visiting Lisbon or relocating to the city, then expect to pay more than in other parts of the country. But don’t worry, as it is still possible to live comfortably in the capital city without burning a hole in your pocket. From groceries to accommodation and utility bills, you will need to pay around €1700 in monthly costs. Moreover, you can save money within this budget. You should keep in mind that this completely depends on your budget and spending habits. If you are a couple planning to stay in Lisbon, you can expect to pay around €2,200 or more per month.
Travel costs in Portugal
When it comes to traveling in Portugal, it completely depends on your budget allocation and will vary depending on your personal choices of travel.
Luxury transportation prices in Portugal
If you are looking to travel across the country luxuriously, then Portugal will offer you one of the world’s best traveling experiences. From amazing hotels and resorts, golf courses and stunning beaches, you are in for a treat if you are planning to travel across Portugal. For a long weekend getaway, guided luxury tours begin from €6,295. If you are traveling solo in Portugal, you can get reasonably priced accommodation in comparison to the United States.
For instance, if you are looking to stay in a five star hotel in the Algarve region, you will need to pay around €150 per night for a double bedroom. If you are looking to dine out in Lisbon, you can visit various Michelin star restaurants in one of most the bustling cities in the world for around €95, but again this is dependent on the restaurant that you choose.
Budget travel in Portugal
If you are planning to travel between Portuguese cities on public transport, then it is quite cost-effective. For instance, a one-way train ticket from Lisbon to Faro will cost you around €20. If you are comfortable with bus rides, then you can travel the country by buying a ticket that will cost €5 for a one-way trip. Traveling in the interiors of Portugal is always cheaper than traveling to big business hubs and cities. For a week-long trip around Portugal it is likely to cost you around €1,000 (this includes your flights and accommodation charge, depending on where you are flying from and your choice of accommodation).
Your average Portugal trip cost will be massively reduced if you are backpacking or doing a solo trip, you can pay as little as €5 for a bed/night. If you are traveling with a group of friends, it will cost you around €140-€480 per night for accommodation for all of you if you are staying close to Albufeira, in the Algarve.
Benefits of living in Portugal
- With a Portugal Golden Visa you can travel visa-free to more than 180 countries across the world
- The country offers affordable investment options starting as low as 250K
- Portugal has a thriving economy and an attractive real estate market
- Portugal is an extremely tax-friendly country
- World-class education and healthcare infrastructure
- High quality of life and safe environment
If you are not looking to invest a significant amount of money into Portugal, then the D7 Visa is an excellent alternative to gain residency in Portugal. You can read more about it in our article on How to Get Portuguese Residency.
Love Portugal? Planning to visit Portugal or relocate there? You should definitely check out the following articles for more information:
If you're considering making the move to Portugal, it's essential to be informed about the various visa and residency options available. The Golden Visa Portugal program is an attractive option for many, offering residency to investors and their families. For those eyeing retirement in this beautiful country, the Retirement Visa (D7) is tailored for you. Digital nomads can take advantage of both short and long stay options with the Nomad Visa (D8). Meanwhile, the NHR - Non Habitual Tax regime provides significant tax benefits for new residents. For the entrepreneurial spirit, Portugal offers the Entrepreneurship/startup Visa (D2) - Start-up Visa (open company) tailored for those looking to establish their businesses in the country. Those with specialized skills can explore the Work visa for highly qualified employees (D3). Additionally, if you have Portuguese ancestry, you might be eligible for Citizenship by descent. However, moving to a new country isn't just about visas. If you're thinking of buying property, our guide on Buying Property in Portugal can offer invaluable insights. Dive deeper into the immigration process with our comprehensive Portugal immigration guide. For Americans specifically looking to relocate, we have curated information on Americans moving to Portugal. Lastly, one can't forget the importance of the NIF (Tax Registration Number), a crucial step in any relocation process.
Exploring Visa and Immigration Options for Portugal
If you're considering making the move to Portugal, it's essential to be informed about the various visa and residency options available. The Golden Visa Portugal program is an attractive option for many, offering residency to investors and their families. For those eyeing retirement in this beautiful country, the Retirement Visa (D7) is tailored for you. Digital nomads can take advantage of both short and long stay options with the Nomad Visa (D8). Meanwhile, the NHR - Non Habitual Tax regime provides significant tax benefits for new residents.
For the entrepreneurial spirit, Portugal offers the Entrepreneurship/startup Visa (D2) - Start-up Visa (open company) tailored for those looking to establish their businesses in the country. Those with specialized skills can explore the Work visa for highly qualified employees (D3). Additionally, if you have Portuguese ancestry, you might be eligible for Citizenship by descent.
However, moving to a new country isn't just about visas. If you're thinking of buying property, our guide on Buying Property in Portugal can offer invaluable insights. Dive deeper into the immigration process with our comprehensive Portugal immigration guide. For Americans specifically looking to relocate, we have curated information on Americans moving to Portugal. Lastly, one can't forget the importance of the NIF (Tax Registration Number), a crucial step in any relocation process.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Portugal cheap?
Portugal is actually more economical than other European countries especially in terms of transportation and accommodation costs. If you are living in Lisbon, your monthly budget can be around €1,700 per month. It can come down even more if you are staying in the interior parts of the country.
What is the cost of traveling to Portugal?
The cost of traveling to Portugal depends on your budget completely. If you are planning for a mid range budget holiday, then it will cost you around €1,000 (including flights and accommodations, although this will depend on where you are flying from and the type of accommodation that you choose). Also, this is also very dependent on the amount of time you are choosing to stay in the country.
Are the food prices in Portugal expensive?
The cost for drinks and food are quite affordable in Portugal. If you are planning to dine out in a city, you will need to spend around €15 for food and €10 for a bottle of wine at most restaurants. You can also find more economical places, where it can cost you around €10 for food options.
Housing costs in Portugal?
Accommodation is pretty affordable in Portugal. You will need to pay around €1,000-1,500, depending on the location and amenities to rent a two-bedroom house in Portugal. If you are planning to purchase a house in Lisbon, the capital of the country, it can cost you around €400K. If you are purchasing a house outside of the capital, it can cost you around €150K.
What are the Portugal Visa free countries?
If you are a Portugal passport holder, you can travel visa free to the following countries:
Albania, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Comoros, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Oman, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vatican City, Venezuela, Zambia and Zimbabwe.