Cost of Living in Portugal

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The cost of living in Portugal is relatively cheaper than popular expat areas in EuropeThe 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 who have spied a fine opportunity to stretch their Euros and Pounds on Portugal's sun-soaked shores. Not to mention, 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; and depending on lifestyle choices, has nearly reached European averages.

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.


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

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

Renting is also good value. An expat living in Portugal will spend around half of the average Portuguese salary on rent. This often includes water, electricity and gas bills.

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 find themselves paying thousands of euros for a rust-bucket on its last legs. Alternatively, public transport options are cheap and efficient.

Cost of schooling in Portugal

While expats have the option of sending their child to a public school in Portugal at little or no cost, due to the fact that the standards at these schools vary and that 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. Expats should expect to pay at least EUR 2,500 per term. In addition, parents need to budget for additional costs such as textbooks, uniforms, extra-curricular activities and school excursions.

Overall, the cost of living in Portugal heavily depends location and the lifestyle of the individual, but in general, offers good value to expats and retirees.

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 2016)
Accommodation (monthly rent in good area)
Furnished two-bedroom house EUR 1,500 to - 2,500
Unfurnished two-bedroom house EUR 1,000 - 1,800
Furnished two-bedroom apartment EUR  1,200 -2,000
Unfurnished two-bedroom apartment EUR 1,000 - 1,800
Food and drink
Milk (1 litre) EUR 0.60
Dozen eggs EUR 2
Loaf of bread (white) EUR 1
Rice (1kg) EUR 0.90
Coca-Cola (1 litre) EUR 1.50
Chicken (whole per kg) EUR 6
Packet of cigarettes (Marlboro) EUR 4.60
Monthly Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable) EUR 25 
Mobile call rate (per minute – mobile to mobile) EUR 0.15
Monthly electricity (100sq.m apartment) EUR 100
Hourly rate for a domestic cleaner EUR 6-15
Eating out and entertainment
Three-course meal at a mid-range restaurant EUR 30
Big Mac meal EUR 5.50
Cappuccino EUR 1.50
Coca-Cola (500 ml) EUR 1.15
Beer in a bar EUR 3
Taxi per km EUR 0.50
City bus EUR 1.50
Petrol per litre EUR 1.50

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