Portugal is a country in the Iberian peninsula, at the south-western tip of Europe with Spain.
It is famous for its rich, unique culture, vibrant cities and beautiful countryside.
There is a big difference between the north/center of the country and the south: in the south there is much more tourism and jobs in general have better wages.
Generally speaking, life outside of Lisbon is considerably cheaper, even in Porto, the second major city, where rent is about 40% cheaper.
All in all, people have many different lifestyles and each person spends their money differently, so how much you spend depends on your priorities.
Many restaurants in Portugal, especially in in non-tourist areas, do not have a menu and you have to go in and ask for the prices of a few different meals. The best advice is to write down the prices, so as to avoid any uncomfortable surprises when the bill comes. In this type of restaurants, the price for meals is usually similar for each meal, varying from 6$ to 12$ per person.
It is definitely much cheaper to buy your own groceries and cook in your house (and considerably healthier, mind you!) than to eat out in, albeit delicious, Portugal’s restaurants. Shopping for groceries will set you back around 150$ a month, but you can find fresh produce at much lower prices in Portugal’s many open markets, especially in the south.
Though many Portuguese cities are surrounded with gorgeous nature and many cities are built so that everything is easily accessible and you don’t even need transportation to go around the town, if you want to visit most natural areas you’ll depend on transportation, and you cannot simply walk or ride a bike. A one-way ticket by public transport costs around 1.70$, while a monthly pass is above 40$.
Utilities, generally speaking, are rather cheap for a country of Portugal’s caliber. In an apartment with two people, of about 85m2 in size, all basic utilities like electricity, gas, heating, cooling, garbage services and water cost just a bit above 100$. Internet is rather inexpensive too, costing around 30$.
SPORTS & LEISURE
Like in most countries and cities, practicing sports is more expensive if you’re a member of a gym or a fitness club. Though Portugal is full of natural beauties and you can always indulge in outdoor sports like running or hiking, if you want a gym membership, it will cost you around 40$ a month.
CLOTHING & SHOES
Portugal is brimming with large shopping malls, especially major cities and its capital. It also has many independent shops where you can buy unique pieces of clothing. However, don’t expect low prices. Prepare for quality jeans costing around 87$, while running sneakers of quality brands like Nike, cost around 80$.
RENT PER MONTH
A decent one-room apartment with a 20–25 minutes commute to the center of any of the major cities (by car or metro) will cost you around 350$ a month. It will, of course, be twice as much in the city center or by the sea-side. If you’re a student and want to be close to the university, renting a room will cost around 230–280$ a month.
Cost of Living Averages Table for Portugal
|Average Restaurant Prices|
|Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant)||$8.58|
|Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter)||$1.72|
|Water (0.33 Liter)||$1.01|
|Average Market Prices|
|Milk (1 Liter)||$0.72|
|Loaf Bread (500g)||$1.25|
|Average Transport Prices|
|One Way Ticket||$1.77|
|Average Utilities Prices|
|Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling)||$105.24|
|1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local||$0.18|
|Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)||$34.40|
|Average Leisure Prices|
|Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult||$38.73|
|Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour)||$12.31|
|Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release||$7.43|
|Average Clothing Prices|
|1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable)||$87.27|
|1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...)||$31.36|
|1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range)||$79.93|
|Average Rent Prices|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center||$691.92|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center||$493.48|
|Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center||$1209.55|
How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in Portugal?
Groceries are, like in most countries and cities, the biggest expense for the people of Portugal, and this is understandable since they’re necessary for literally everyone.
Taking into consideration that rent is the single most expensive aspect of living in Portugal, it’s no wonder that it’s the second biggest expense for those living in Portugal.
Transportation is next on the list, with 15% of one’s income getting spent on buses, trams and cars.
As in most countries, clothing and apparel are the least of everyone’s worries.
Portugal: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages
In Portugal, the minimum monthly wage is just a little over 800$, that value is net and is paid 14 times a year.
Here, salaries are paid 14 times: 13th month is usually paid in August and the 14th in December – so this is a great aspect of living in this country.
The standards here are high, and with an average salary of around 900$, you can easily manage all your expenses, cover them all, be able to travel and even save some money without having to worry about your existence.
Even those that earn a minimum wage can easily live here and make ends meet without any problems.
Cost of Living by City in Portugal
*Click the name of the city for more information.
|City||Cost of Living Index|