While locals are likely to disagree, Forbes ranked Portugal as one of the best places to live due to its arguable affordability. Those coming from abroad, in particular, will find their purchasing power goes a long way in Portugal.
For example, the cost of living in Portugal is around 40% lower than in the United States. Many expats can thus enjoy a comfortable living in Portugal at reasonable prices they would not encounter back home.
Our guide to the cost of living in Portugal provides an overview of monthly budgets and costs in Portugal. With everything you need to know, including the cost of living in different cities.
Moving to Portugal
To truly understand the cost of living in Portugal, let’s take a look at the monthly budgets for a single expat, a family of four, and a digital nomad. Keep in mind that most of the values are averages, as prices can differ dramatically depending on the region and/or city.
Single Expat in Portugal
On average, a single expat will need €1260 a month in Portugal on average.
A one-bedroom apartment costs around €750 a month in Portuguese city centers or around €600 outside city centers.
Keep in mind that this is an average and rent in Lisbon is more expensive, for example. Utilities will cost you around €130, including electricity, water, garbage, internet, etc.
A monthly transportation pass costs around €40. For your leisure budget, you will need at least €160 a month which is enough for eating out once a week, enjoying museums, etc. Budget around €180 for groceries.
These two last portions of your budget can go way up, depending on your lifestyle.
In regard to healthcare, EU citizens with a valid European Health Insurance Card can use the National Health Service (SNS) for free for up to 90 days in Portugal.
This allows them time to get registered as legal residents to continue using the public health system.
However, non-EU citizens are only entitled to use the public health systemic they are employed and pay social security in Portugal, having to be registered as legal residents as well.
Even if this is the case, before arriving in Portugal and becoming a legal resident, they must purchase private health insurance to cover medical care.
Family of Four in Portugal
As a family of four, expect to need at least €2600 a month in Portugal on average.
A three-bedroom apartment costs around €1300 in Portugal’s city centers. If you choose to rent outside centers, you can get apartments for less than €1000.
Budget €160 for utilities, which includes electricity, heating, water, internet, and more.
Transportation for a family of four should cost at least €150 for public transportation. If you want to drive instead, fuel can cost anywhere between €150 and €250 a month.
€500 is a good enough budget for leisure and eating out once a week as a family.
Education could cost you! Public schools are free in Portugal, but school is taught in Portuguese. If you want to place your child in a private international school, this could cost anywhere between €6,000 and €20,000 a year.
A weekly grocery shop should cost you around €125 a week, but this will depend on your food and supermarket choices.
Digital Nomad in Portugal
The monthly budget for a digital nomad in Portugal is around €1300, but this will depend on a number of factors.
The most important – accommodation. A shared room in a hostel costs around €20 a night, while a private room starts at €40 a night. Opting for a shared room will save you a lot of money.
On the other hand, if you want to book a private Airbnb, these could cost upwards of €1500 a month in most places in Portugal.
If you are looking for a co-working space, a desk costs an average of €150 a month. Budget around €40 for a monthly transportation pass.
We’re guessing you want to enjoy all that Portugal has to offer as a digital nomad. We recommend budgeting around €300 for leisure activities, including eating out, museums, etc.
Keep in mind that you can spend a lot more, depending on your lifestyle.
If your accommodation includes a kitchen, you can save a lot of money by cooking. Groceries cost around €45 a week.
If you decide to eat out, the average affordable meal costs around €10 without alcohol.
The monthly budget in Lisbon for an expat is around €1500.
You can get a one-bedroom apartmentin the city center for around €830, although these can go for over €1,000.
Utilities, including electricity, wifi, etc., won’t cost you more than €150 a month, and public transportation is extremely affordable at €50 a month.
Groceries are known to be cheap in Portugal, especially if you know where to shop, and should not run you more than €200 a month.
However, similarly to going out torestaurants, bars, and museums, this portion of the budget is also dependent on your lifestyle.
Cost of Living in Lisbon
The monthly budget for an expat in Porto is around €200 cheaper than in Lisbon, at around €1300.
You can get a one-bedroom apartment for €700, while these can cost up to €1000. A three-bedroom costs around €1250 a month.
For utilities, expect to pay around €140 a month, including heating, electricity, gas, as well as wifi and phone data.
A monthly transport pass costs around €35, which is much more affordable than renting a car and paying for fuel.
Budget at least €150 for eating out in restaurants and exploring the city’s culture and nightlife.
This part of the budget can be reduced or increased depending on your lifestyle, along with your monthly grocery budget, which averages around €200 a month.
Cost of Living in Porto
The monthly budget for an expat in Funchal is less than €1100, making it around €200 cheaper than Porto and €400 cheaper than Lisbon.
A one-bedroom apartment costs around €740, although you can always opt for renting a room which should cost less than €500.
The public transportation system is quite efficient, and a monthly pass is around €35.
Utilities are a lot cheaper than in mainland Portugal at around €120, including phone data and cable TV.
For exploring the island, eating out at your favorite restaurants, and exploring the nightlife, budget at least €150 a month.
Groceries for a single person average out at around €40 a week.
Cost of Living in Funchal
The monthly budget for an expat in Faro is less than €1400.
A one-bedroom apartment costs around €750. However, you can save here by renting a room for less than €400.
A monthly transportation pass is around €50 or less for buses. You can also get a train to many cities from Faro, such as Lisbon and Porto.
Utilities cost around €150, including phone data and cable TV.
For exploring Faro, eating out at your favorite restaurants, and exploring the nightlife, budget around €200 a month. You can easily spend less or more, depending on your lifestyle.
Groceries for a single person average out at around €50 a week.
Cost of Living in Faro
The monthly budget for an expat in Braga is at least €1090.
A one-bedroom apartment costs around €590 in the city center. However, you can save by renting outside the city center for around €445.
A monthly transportation pass is around €30 or less. You can also get a train to many cities from Faro, such as Lisbon and Porto.
Utilities cost around €130, including phone data and cable TV.
For exploring Braga, eating out at your favorite restaurants, and exploring the nightlife, budget around €160 a month. You can easily spend less or more, depending on your lifestyle.
Groceries for a single person average out at around €45 a week.
Cost of Living in Braga
Portugal vs. the USA
Consumer prices are around 40% cheaper, and rent is over 50% cheaper in Portugal on average. However, keep in mind that salaries are, on average, 75% lower in Portugal.
Rent is more affordable in Portugal than in the US. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Lisbon is around €1,150, whereas this will cost you around $2,300 in Washington DC.
A monthly public transportation pass in a Portuguese city is less than €50 a month, while in the US, these go for over $70 dollars, although prices can differ highly by state.
According to Numbeo, Knoxville, Tennessee, is one of the most affordable cities in the US. Even so, grocery prices in Knoxville are 44% higher than in Lisbon. Restaurant prices are around 16% higher.
Portugal vs. the UK
Consumer prices in the UK are 35% higher, and rent is almost 40% more expensive than in Portugal.
Rent is a lot more affordable in Portugal than in the UK. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Lisbon is around €1,150, whereas this will cost you around €2,250 in London.
A monthly public transportation pass in a Portuguese city is less than €50 a month, while in the UK, these go for over €70. In London, a monthly transport pass goes for over €150.
According to Numbeo, Leicester, is one of the most affordable cities in the UK. Even so, grocery prices in Leicester are 7% higher than in Lisbon. Restaurant prices are around 25% higher.
Take a look at:
- Cost of Living in Lisbon
- Cost of Living in Cascais
- Cost of Living in the Azores
- Cost of Living in the Algarve
- Cost of Living in Madeira
- Cost of Living in Porto
- Cost of Living in Aveiro
- Cost of Living in Braga
- Cost of Living in Coimbra
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How much money do I need to live comfortably in Portugal? ›
How much money do you need to live comfortably in Portugal? Compared to other European countries, Portugal is one of the most affordable. A couple with a mid-range income will be able to live comfortably in Portugal's interior cities for around €1,700 per month. A couple in Lisbon can live on around €2,000 per month.How much money a month do you need to live in Portugal? ›
A couple with a solid, mid-range income can live comfortably in Portugal's interior cities for around €1,700 per month, while a couple in Lisbon can live from €$2,000 or upwards a month. If you're single, then you can get by with €1,200 per month in Lisbon or Porto and even less in Portugal's quieter towns.How much is the cost of living in Portugal? ›
Family of four estimated monthly costs are 2,199.8$ (2,023.8€) without rent. A single person estimated monthly costs are 625.1$ (575.1€) without rent. Cost of living in Portugal is, on average, 35.8% lower than in United States. Rent in Portugal is, on average, 52.1% lower than in United States.What is negative about living in Portugal? ›
Low wages in Portugal
A major downside to living in Portugal is finding a well-paying job. Whether you are making minimum wage or the average salary, do not expect to make a lot of money. In 2022, the national minimum salary in Portugal is €705 a month before tax.
Consumer prices in the United States are 58.21 percent higher than in Portugal (excluding rent) Consumer prices including rent in the United States are 74.55 percent higher than in Portugal. Rent prices in the United States are 110.67 percent higher than in Portugal.How much is an average house in Portugal in US dollars? ›
The average house price in Portugal reached $248 per square foot in January 2023, averaging $496,000 for a 2,000 square foot home.How much income do I need to retire to Portugal? ›
How much do I need to retire in Portugal in 2023? Portugal is one of the most affordable European countries, and you'll find many things are low-cost. You can retire in Portugal with an income of between €1,400 to 2,400 per month, depending on which part of the country you choose to live in.Can US citizens move to Portugal? ›
Can a US citizen move to Portugal? A US citizen can enter Portugal without a visa and stay there for 90 days. You will need to secure a visa and obtain a residence permit for a long-term stay. Different visa options are better suited to different people.What is the average rent in Portugal? ›
|Rent (furnished two-bedroom apartment)||$1,300|
|Utilities (electric, water, gas, trash)||$150|
Will my credit or debit card work in Portugal? Yes. Many Portuguese shops, restaurants, and museums will accept international cards, especially in more touristy areas. American cards like Visa, Mastercard, and American Express are accepted in a majority of locations.
Is there free healthcare in Portugal? ›
Yes, Portugal does have state-provided healthcare, which is free for all citizens and legal residents in Portugal. Even though medical care is mainly free, you may have to pay some fees when visiting emergency rooms, your family doctor, or requesting ambulance services.Is Portugal safer than USA? ›
The Global Peace Index rates 163 countries worldwide for safety and Portugal came in at number six in 2022 for an overall peace safety rating. The U.S. sadly was ranked 129. The U.S. State Department rates Portugal as a Level One which means that normal safety precautions should be taken.Where do Americans live in Portugal? ›
Where do American expats live in Portugal? Expat life in Portugal is a dream. The biggest American expat communities are Lisbon, the Algarve, and Porto.Why are there so many abandoned houses in Portugal? ›
In Portugal, “there are so many empty houses because it does not cost the owners much” to keep them, he sums up. António Frias Marques, president of the National Property Owners Association, has another take on the problem, which focuses on the historic neighbourhoods of Lisbon and Porto.Do I have to pay US taxes if I live in Portugal? ›
US Expat Taxes in Portugal
If you're living abroad in Portugal, you'll need to file both US taxes and Portugal taxes.
|Municipality||Median value per m2|
- Castelo Branco. The city of Castelo Branco is located in central Portugal, near the Spanish border. ...
- Santarém. ...
- Viseu. ...
- Viana do Castelo. ...
- Figueira da Foz. ...
- Ponta Delgada. ...
- Alcobaça. ...
The country has no restrictions on foreigners looking to buy a house in Portugal. You won't have to fill in any extra paperwork or meet any criteria to buy a home per say. All you need is a VAT identification number, known as a número de identificação fiscal (NIF) or número de contribuinte in Portugal.How much does utilities cost in Portugal? ›
The monthly cost of utilities in Portugal depends on how big your house or apartment is and how many people live there. For example, heating, electricity and water for one person in a 45m2 studio can cost between €80 to €90 per month. Utilities for two people in an 85m2 apartment can be between €120 and €130 per month.Where is the safest place to live in Portugal? ›
According to a Securitas Direct Survey, Bragança and Guarda are among the safest places to live in the country.
Can I collect my Social Security if I live in Portugal? ›
If you have social security credits in both the United States and Portugal, you may be eligible for benefits from one or both countries. If you meet all the basic requirements under one country's system, you will get a regular benefit from that country.Can a retired US citizen move to Portugal? ›
Retirees from non-EU countries need a visa to move to Portugal. After you move to Portugal, you must apply for a residence permit. You can also apply for permanent residency or citizenship after five years.How long can an American stay in Portugal? ›
U.S. citizens may enter Portugal for up to 90 days for tourism or business without a visa. Your passport should be valid for at least three months beyond the period of stay. If you plan on transiting a Schengen country, review our U.S. Travelers in Europe page.Is it hard for an American to live in Portugal? ›
According to Expat-Insider, 83 percent of expats find moving to Portugal and settling there to be very easy and straightforward, where the worldwide average is 59 percent. Besides, the Portuguese culture is so welcoming that 82 percent of expats living in Portugal say that they feel largely at home.Can you drive in Portugal with a US license? ›
U.S. Citizens are entitled to drive in Portugal with their U.S. issued driver's license for a period no to exceed 185 days, provided they are not legal residents.Can a US citizen have dual citizenship with Portugal? ›
Dual citizenship - Portugal allows dual citizenship. Portuguese citizens holding or acquiring foreign citizenship do not lose their Portuguese citizenship. Likewise, those acquiring Portuguese citizenship can keep their citizenship of origin.How much does it cost to rent a house for a month in Portugal? ›
On average, housing in Portugal costs around 1,100 EUR (1,200 USD) in rent per month.What does T3 mean in Portugal? ›
T1, T2, T3, etc: T is used for Type, and corresponds to a type of apartment with the number of main rooms indicated. By main room, one means living room, dining room, and bedrooms. Kitchens and bathrooms are not included in the number. Therefore, an apartment with a living room and two bedrooms is a T3.Is retiring in Portugal pros and cons? ›
Living in Portugal offers many advantages: a warm climate, the Atlantic ocean, mountains nearby, a low crime rate and a relatively low cost of living. Medicine and education are well developed here, and residents are offered tax exemptions. The disadvantages include the need to learn Portuguese and carry cash on you.Can you retire in Portugal with 500k? ›
An investment will cost you at least between €350,000 and €500,000. Not only will this visa allow you to retire in Portugal, but the Golden Visa also comes with tax incentives and allows you to travel around the Schengen area without any restrictions.
Can a US citizen live in Portugal? ›
Can a US citizen move to Portugal? A US citizen can enter Portugal without a visa and stay there for 90 days. You will need to secure a visa and obtain a residence permit for a long-term stay. Different visa options are better suited to different people.How much savings do I need to retire in Portugal? ›
You can get a golden visa through one of these methods: Make a minimum investment of 500,000 euros in scientific research. Purchase real estate worth at least 500,000 euros. Make a transfer of 1.5 million euros or more to Portugal.How much do you need to retire in Portugal per year? ›
Depending on lifestyle choices a couple could live nicely in Portimão including rent, basic health insurance coverage, utilities, food, and more for around $2,500 a month or $30,000 a year.Can I collect Social Security if I move to Portugal? ›
If you have social security credits in both the United States and Portugal, you may be eligible for benefits from one or both countries. If you meet all the basic requirements under one country's system, you will get a regular benefit from that country.Where do most Americans live in Portugal? ›
Where do American expats live in Portugal? American expats live all over Portugal. While Lisbon has the most American expats, other popular landing spots include the Algarve, Porto and the Silver Coast. There are even vibrant expat communities on the Portuguese islands in the Azores and Madeira.Can an American just move to Portugal? ›
Can American citizens move to Portugal? Technically you're allowed to enter the country visa-free and stay there for up to 90 days. If you wish to live there long-term, then you need to get a residence permit.Can I buy a house in Portugal as a US citizen? ›
One of the most encouraging qualities of Portugal is that there are no restrictions for foreigners who want to buy a home in the country. Furthermore, the Portuguese government incentivizes foreigners to invest in real estate property in Portugal through the Golden Visa program.What is the number 1 place to retire in the world? ›
With an overall score of 81%, Norway comes in at number one as the most retirement-friendly country on the list.Why are Americans retiring in Portugal? ›
Americans Retiring in Portugal
Portugal is frequently featured in articles on the best places in the world to retire – and with good reason. Excellent health care infrastructure, a sublime climate, and the fact that you can spend much of the year outside are key attractions for retirees.
Benefits for retirees
Foreign pension income in Portugal is taxed at only 10% and most double taxation agreements (DTAs) grant exclusive taxation rights on pension income to the country of residence.