Welcome to the vibrant country of Portugal, where historic charm, breathtaking landscapes, and a relaxed lifestyle await you. If you’re considering a move to this captivating nation, one crucial aspect to consider is the cost of living.
Understanding the expenses associated with day-to-day life is essential for making informed decisions and ensuring a smooth transition.
In this article, we will explore the key factors that contribute to the cost of living in Portugal, providing you with valuable insights and practical tips to help you navigate this exciting new chapter in your life.
Whether you’re dreaming of strolling through Lisbon’s narrow cobblestone streets or basking in the sun-kissed beaches of the Algarve, join us as we delve into the economic aspects of Portugal and discover how to make the most of your budget while immersing yourself in the beauty and culture of this enchanting country
Portugal cost of living overview
Living costs in Portugal are generally more affordable compared to the remaining European countries. For expats considering a move to Portugal, it’s important to have a good understanding of the cost of living in the country.
According to recent Numbeo statistics (as of June 2023), a family of four, including rental expenses, you can expect to spend around €4,000 per month. This amount covers various aspects of daily life, including housing, food, transportation, utilities, healthcare, education, entertainment, and miscellaneous costs.
On the other hand, a single individual looking to live in Portugal, the estimated cost of living is around €1,500 per month, including rental expenses.
If you are considering relocating to Lisbon or Porto, you can expect these amounts to be higher.
Housing Costs in Portugal
Buying a property
According to data from Idealista, a popular real estate website in Portugal, the average purchasing price for a property with 100 square meters in Portugal is €251,200.
The price for a 100m2 property can vary significantly depending on the city as you can see from the below table
Renting an apartment
The average rental price for an apartment with 75 square meters in Portugal is €1,057. However, it’s important to note that rental prices can vary throughout the country. Here are some examples showcasing the range of rental prices in different cities and regions:
Living Expenses in Portugal
Dining out costs
When it comes to dining out in Portugal, there are options to suit various budgets and preferences. Here are some approximate costs for dining out in different types of establishments:
Inexpensive Restaurant: If you’re looking for an affordable meal, you can expect to spend around €6 to €15 per person in an inexpensive restaurant. These establishments often offer local dishes and a casual dining.
Mid-range Restaurant for Two where you can enjoy a more upscale dining experience, the cost for two people can range from €25 to €70. These restaurants often offer a wider range of menu options, including both local and international cuisines, with attentive service and a pleasant ambiance.
McDonald’s (or Equivalent): If you’re in the mood for a quick and familiar meal, a visit to a fast-food chain like McDonald’s can cost around €7 for a typical meal.
When considering the cost of living in Portugal, one important aspect to take into account is the expense of groceries. On average, it is advisable to budget around €217 per month for groceries in Portugal.
This estimate covers the cost of essential food items such as fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy products, grains, and other household necessities. However, it’s important to note that individual shopping habits, dietary preferences, and family size can greatly influence the actual amount spent on groceries.
Portugal is known for its fresh and affordable produce, especially when purchased from local markets or smaller grocery stores.
When it comes to transportation costs in Portugal, the country offers various options to suit different needs and budgets.
For a single one-way trip on local public transportation, such as buses, trams, or the metro, you can expect to pay from €1.50 to €2.50. This fare allows you to conveniently travel within a specific zone or city.
If you plan to use public transportation frequently, opting for a monthly pass can be a cost-effective solution. The average price for a regular monthly pass in Portugal is approximately €40. This pass grants you unlimited travel within a specific area or city for a whole month.
Utilities and home communication expenses
According to data from Numbeo, a trusted source for cost of living information, the average cost of utilities for a 85 square meter apartment in Portugal is around €111 per month. This cost includes basic utilities such as electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage services.
In terms of home communications, the average monthly cost for internet in Portugal, with a speed of 60 Mbps or more, unlimited data, and cable or ADSL connection, is approximately €35.
Healthcare Costs in Portugal
In Portugal, healthcare costs can vary depending on the healthcare system chosen – the public healthcare system (SNS) and private healthcare providers.
Public Healthcare (SNS)
The SNS is the primary healthcare system in Portugal, providing comprehensive and affordable healthcare services to residents. While individuals may need to pay small fees for certain services, such as doctor’s appointments or hospital stays, overall costs within the SNS are generally much lower compared to private healthcare.
Private healthcare in Portugal offers additional benefits such as shorter waiting times, a wider range of specialists, and enhanced facilities. However, private healthcare services come at a higher cost compared to the SNS. The cost of an appointment with a private healthcare provider can range from €30 to €50, depending on the specific service required.
Education Expenses in Portugal
In Portugal, public education is generally affordable or even free for Portuguese residents. For example, primary and secondary education in public schools is typically free, with minor costs for textbooks and supplies.
The monthly cost of a private preschool can vary depending on various factors such as location, facilities, curriculum, and additional services however you may expect to pay a range from €250 to €550.
In case of an International primary school in Portugal you can expect tuition fees ranging from €6,000 to €12,000 per year, depending on the school’s location and reputation.
You may would like to read our International School Guide.
What are the cheapest cities to live as an expat in Portugal?
Located in northern Portugal, Braga stands out for its rich history, vibrant culture, and relatively lower cost of living. The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is approximately €470, which is around 30% lower than the national average.
Outside the city center, the average rent drops to around €350, representing a 40% difference compared to the national average.
Home to one of Europe’s oldest universities, Coimbra offers a charming atmosphere and affordable lifestyle. The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is around €500, which is approximately 25% lower than the national average.
Looking outside the city center, the average rent is approximately €400, representing a 33% difference compared to the national average.
Famous for its picturesque canals and colorful boats, Aveiro provides an affordable living option for expats. The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is about €550, which is around 10% lower than the national average.
Outside the city center, the average rent is around €400, representing a 20% difference compared to the national average.
Situated in central Portugal, Leiria offers a peaceful lifestyle at an affordable cost. The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is approximately €450, which is about 20% lower than the national average.
Outside the city center, the average rent drops to around €350, representing a 33% difference compared to the national average.
What are the most expensive cities to live in Portugal?
As the capital city, Lisbon stands out as one of the most expensive areas in Portugal. Rental prices in Lisbon can be significantly higher compared to the national average.
The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is approximately €1,200, while outside the city center, it is around €850.
The living expenses in Lisbon are also higher, with an estimated monthly expense of around €950 for a single person, excluding rent.
Cascais and Estoril
Located near Lisbon, Cascais and Estoril are upscale coastal areas known for their luxurious lifestyle. Rental prices in these areas can be significantly higher compared to the national average.
The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is around €1,500, while outside the city center, it is approximately €1,000.
The cost of living in Cascais and Estoril is also higher, with an estimated monthly expense of around €1,200 for a single person, excluding rent.
Algarve (luxury resorts)
The Algarve region, particularly its luxury resorts, caters to an affluent clientele and commands premium rental prices. Rental prices in luxury resorts in the Algarve can be significantly higher compared to the national average.
The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in these areas can range from €1,500 to €2,000 or more.
Living in luxury resorts is also higher, with additional expenses for amenities and leisure activities.
While generally more affordable than Lisbon, certain areas within Porto can have higher rental prices. Upscale neighborhoods near the Douro River, for example, may have higher rental costs compared to other parts of the city.
The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is around €900, while outside the city center, it is approximately €650.
The cost of living in Porto is also higher, with an estimated monthly expense of around €800 for a single person, excluding rent.
Taxes and social security in Portugal
Income tax, known as “Imposto sobre o Rendimento das Pessoas Singulares” (IRS), is applicable to individuals’ income from various sources, including employment, self-employment, pensions, and investments.
The income tax system in Portugal operates on a progressive scale with different tax brackets and rates based on income levels.
Deductions, allowances, and tax credits are available to reduce the taxable income.
Typically, individuals in Portugal are responsible for contributing 11% of their salary towards pensions, while employers contribute 23.75%.
How to move to Portugal
If you’re a non-EU citizen considering moving from to Portugal, there are several visa options you may consider. Here’s a the most demanded Visas:
Portugal D7 Visa
Portugal D7 Visa, which is perfect for retirees or those with passive income. This visa requires proof of regular income or savings, and the ability to support yourself without working in Portugal. It’s a great option for those looking to enjoy the country’s relaxed lifestyle and stunning natural beauty.
Portugal Digital Nomad Visa
Portugal Digital Nomad Visa for remote workers and freelancers allow them to live and work in the country for up to a year, enjoying all the benefits of the Portuguese lifestyle while earning an income from their remote job or business.
D2 Visa Portugal
D2 Visa in case you are an entrepreneur looking to start or develop a business in Portugal, which allows you to obtain a residence permit for up to two years.
Portugal Work Visa
Portugal Work visa for those with a job offer in Portugal is the way to go. The employer must sponsor the visa and prove that the position could not be filled by a Portuguese citizen or EU national. Once approved, the visa is valid for up to one year and can be renewed.
Why choose to work Portugal Residency Advisors?
We know Portugal. Due to our extensive local knowledge, we believe that concentrating our services in a single country destination is the best way to give you the most thorough and useful information.
One single channel of communication for the entire process. We provide you with a comprehensive service that covers all aspects of your move, from identifying the ideal residency visa to finding your new home or helping you to settle.
We recommend what’s best for you based on an extensive process experience that saves time and money to clients. Our pricing is clear and competitive, and we don’t sell services that make us more money.
Technology plays a very important role in our company. We minimize our clients’ involvement in paperwork. We are customers ourselves and we know how to serve you.
Frequently asked questions about Cost of living in Portugal 2023
What is the cost of living like in Portugal?
The cost of living in Portugal is generally lower compared to many other European countries. On average, the cost of accommodation, groceries, transportation, and entertainment is affordable, making Portugal an attractive destination for expats.
Is it easy to find accommodation in Portugal?
Yes, it is relatively easy to find accommodation in Portugal. Rental properties are widely available, and you can choose from apartments, houses, or even traditional Portuguese villas.
What are the pros of living in Portugal?
Portugal offers a great climate, stunning natural beauty, and a relaxed lifestyle. The cost of living is relatively affordable, and the country has a strong healthcare system. You can find out more in our Guide Pros and Cons of living in Portugal.
Are healthcare costs high in Portugal?
Healthcare costs in Portugal are generally reasonable compared to many other countries. The public healthcare system, SNS, provides affordable access to healthcare services, with small fees for certain services. Private healthcare costs can be higher, with appointment fees ranging from €30 to €50.
How much does it cost to rent an apartment in Portugal?
On average, the monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in a city center can range from €500 to €900, while outside the city center, it can range from €400 to €700. Prices may be higher in popular tourist areas or major cities like Lisbon and Porto.
How can i relocate to Portugal?
There are several visa options available: The D7 visa is ideal for retirees. The D2 visa is for those who want to work or start a business in Portugal and for digital nomads, Portugal offers the Digital Nomad visa, allowing individuals to live and work remotely while employed by a foreign company.
Is there any tax benefit for expats?
NHR is a tax regime that offers attractive tax benefits to eligible individuals. Under this program, qualifying individuals can benefit from a flat income tax rate of 20% on certain types of foreign income, including pensions, capital gains, and rental income, for a period of 10 years.
Is Portugal a good place to retire?
Yes, Portugal is often considered a great place to retire for several reasons. The country offers a warm climate, beautiful coastal areas, and a relaxed lifestyle. It has a low cost of living compared to many other European countries, which can make retirement savings go further.
Where do expats retire in Portugal?
The Algarve region in Portugal is a highly sought-after destination for expats looking to retire. Its stunning coastline, warm climate, and relaxed lifestyle make it an ideal place to enjoy retirement. Cities and towns like Faro, Lagos, Albufeira, and Tavira in the Algarve offer a vibrant expat community.
You may would like to read Top 10 Reasons to Retire in the Algarve.