Cost of Living in Portugal

The reasonable cost of living in Portugal has attracted expats from all over the world. Though still not as tempting as its Iberian neighbour, the country is increasingly appealing to more Northern Europeans and Britons. Retirees and pensioners looking to invest in overseas housing have taken a particular liking to the market of affordable property in Portugal.

As is the case in most destinations, in major cities such as Lisbon, Estoril and Cascais the cost of living is much higher than in more rural communities. For expats who can manage a modest way of life, a single person with a steady job earning a moderate salary will be able to attain a decent standard of living on Portugal. Overall, the cost of living in Portugal depends very much on location and the lifestyle of the individual but generally offers good value to expats and retirees.

Cost of food in Portugal

The cost of food in Portugal is much cheaper compared to other Western European countries. Two adults can easily survive on a food and drink budget of less than a third of the average salary in Portugal.

Portugal is a coastal country and thus enjoys abundant and affordable seafood. Several regions in Portugal also make and distribute wine, both locally and internationally, making it extremely affordable. Meat products are slightly more expensive, as are poultry and eggs.

Cost of accommodation in Portugal

Except for extremely expensive expat resorts and golf homes, such as in the Algarve, property in Portugal is less expensive than the European average. Unlike most expats elsewhere, a significant number of foreigners living in Portugal actually opt to buy property rather than renting. 

Renting is also good value, though. An expat living in Portugal will spend around half of the average Portuguese salary on rent, including water, electricity and gas bills, except in the areas of Lisbon and Porto, where prices are higher.

Cost of transportation in Portugal

Expats should note that car and petrol costs are considerably expensive in contrast to many other parts of Portuguese life. Some expats find themselves paying thousands of euros for a rust-bucket on its last legs. Alternatively, public transport options are generally cheap and efficient. 

Cost of schooling in Portugal

Expats have the option of sending their child to a public school in Portugal at little or no cost. However, due to the fact that the standards at these schools vary and the Portuguese public school system has been heavily criticised, most expats prefer to have their children educated at private or international schools.

Fees at international schools in Portugal can be very high. In addition to exorbitant school fees, parents will need to budget for additional costs such as textbooks, uniforms, extra-curricular activities and school excursions.

Cost of living in Portugal chart 

Note that prices may vary depending on product and service provider and the list below shows average prices for Lisbon in August 2018.

Accommodation (monthly rent in good area)

Furnished two-bedroom house

EUR 1,700 - 2,800

Unfurnished two-bedroom house

EUR 1,500 - 2,000

Furnished two-bedroom apartment

EUR  1,400 - 2,200

Unfurnished two-bedroom apartment

EUR 1,200 - 1,900

Food and drink

Milk (1 litre)

EUR 0.70

Dozen eggs

EUR 1.80

Loaf of bread (white)

EUR 1.10

Rice (1kg)


Chicken (whole per kg)

EUR 6.25

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

EUR 4.90


Monthly internet (uncapped ADSL or cable)

EUR 31 

Mobile call rate (per minute – mobile to mobile)

EUR 0.20

Monthly electricity for small apartment

EUR 95

Hourly rate for a domestic cleaner


Eating out and entertainment

Three-course meal at a mid-range restaurant

EUR 18

Big Mac meal



EUR 1.40

Coca-Cola (330 ml)

EUR 1.35

Local beer



Taxi per km

EUR 0.50

City bus

EUR 1.50

Petrol per litre

EUR 1.55


Expat Health Insurance Partners

Aetna International

Aetna is an award-winning insurance business that provides health benefits to more than 650,000 members worldwide. Their high quality health insurance plans are tailored to meet the individual needs of expats living and working abroad.

Get a quote from Aetna International


Cigna Global

With 86 million customer relationships in over 200 countries, Cigna Global has unrivalled experience in dealing with varied and unique medical situations and delivering high standards of service wherever you live in the world.

Get a quote from Cigna Global