Ultimate Guide: Cost of Living in Lisbon for Expats

Welcome, fellow adventurers! If you’re reading this, you’re probably interested in moving to the beautiful city of Lisbon, Portugal. And let me tell you, I can assure you that Lisbon is one of the most vibrant and welcoming cities in Europe. But before making the move, it’s important to understand the cost of living in this charming city. Fear not, for I am here to guide you through the ins and outs of Lisbon’s financial landscape.

First things first – let’s talk about the basics. Rent prices in Lisbon can vary greatly depending on the neighborhood you choose to live in. I’ve personally lived in both the bustling Baixa and the trendy Bairro Alto, and while the former tends to be more expensive, the latter offers a bit of a bargain. Keep in mind that if you’re willing to venture outside of the city center, you can find even more affordable options.

But what about day-to-day expenses, you ask? Well, I’m happy to report that Lisbon is quite affordable when it comes to food and transportation. You can easily grab a delicious coffee and pastry for under €2, and a hearty lunch at a local restaurant will typically set you back less than €10. Public transportation is also very affordable, with a single ticket for the metro or bus costing just €1.50.

Of course, there are some expenses that may catch you off guard – for example, utility bills tend to be a bit higher than in other European cities. However, when you factor in the city’s ample sunshine (which can help to keep your electric bill down), it all balances out in the end.

All in all, while Lisbon may not be the cheapest city in Europe, it certainly offers a high quality of life for a reasonable price. So if you’re considering making the move to this vibrant, welcoming city, fear not – the cost of living is more than manageable.

Is Lisbon expensive to live in?

If you’re considering a move to Lisbon, you’re probably wondering about the cost of living. As someone who has lived in Lisbon for several years, I can say that while it’s not the cheapest city in Europe, it’s definitely not the most expensive either.


The biggest expense in Lisbon is housing. Rent prices have been steadily rising in recent years, especially in popular neighborhoods like Alfama, Bairro Alto, and Chiado. However, if you’re willing to live a little further from the city center, you can find more affordable options. A one-bedroom apartment in the city center can cost anywhere from €700 to €1200 per month, while a similar apartment outside the center can cost €500 to €800 per month.


Food prices in Lisbon are quite reasonable. A meal at a mid-range restaurant can cost around €12 to €20, while a meal at a fast food restaurant can cost around €6 to €9. Groceries are also reasonably priced, with a loaf of bread costing around €1 and a liter of milk costing around €0.60.


Public transportation is affordable in Lisbon. A single metro ticket costs €1.50, while a monthly pass costs €36. If you prefer to take a taxi, the starting fare is €3.25 and each kilometer costs €0.47.


There are plenty of free and low-cost entertainment options in Lisbon. Many museums offer free admission on Sundays, and there are plenty of parks and gardens to explore. If you’re looking for something a little more exciting, a night out at a club or bar can cost anywhere from €10 to €20.

Can you live in Portugal on $2000 a month?

If you’re considering a move to Portugal, or already living here as an expat, you may be wondering if it’s possible to live comfortably on $2000 a month in Lisbon. We asked around and did some research, and the answer is yes – but it depends on your lifestyle and expectations.

Firstly, let’s look at the cost of living in Lisbon. Compared to other European cities such as London, Paris or Amsterdam, Lisbon is quite affordable. However, prices have been rising in recent years due to the booming tourism industry and increasing demand for housing from locals and foreigners alike.

Rent is the biggest expense for most people, and it can vary widely depending on the location, size and quality of the apartment. In central areas such as Baixa and Chiado, you can expect to pay around €1000-1500 per month for a one-bedroom apartment. In more residential neighborhoods like Alvalade, you can find cheaper options starting from €700-800. Sharing a place with roommates or living in a studio can also save you money.

Other expenses to consider include groceries, transportation, utilities, and entertainment. A weekly grocery shop for two people can cost around €50-70 depending on where you shop and what you buy. Public transportation is relatively cheap, with a single metro ticket costing €1.50 and a monthly pass €36. Utilities such as electricity, water, and gas can add up to around €100-150 per month. Eating out and socializing can vary widely depending on your preferences, but a meal in a mid-range restaurant can cost around €15-20 per person, and a beer or glass of wine around €3-5.

So, with all of that in mind, can you live in Lisbon on $2000 a month? The answer is yes, but it will depend on your lifestyle. If you’re used to luxury living and high-end entertainment, you may struggle to make ends meet on that budget. However, if you’re willing to make some compromises, such as living in a cheaper neighborhood, cooking at home more often, and avoiding expensive activities, you can definitely live a comfortable life on $2000 a month.

As an expat living in Lisbon, I can attest to the fact that it’s possible to live on a budget while still enjoying all that the city has to offer. I’ve found that the key is to find a balance between saving money and treating yourself occasionally. For example, I shop at local markets and cook most of my meals at home, but I also enjoy going out for dinner or drinks with friends once or twice a week.

With some careful planning and smart choices, you can live a great life on $2000 a month in this beautiful and vibrant city.

What is a good salary for Lisbon?

Lisbon has become an increasingly popular destination for expats, investors, and tourists in recent years. The charming city boasts a rich history, beautiful architecture, delicious food, and a laid-back lifestyle. If you’re considering a move to Lisbon or investing in the city, one of the first things you’ll need to consider is the cost of living.

The Cost of Living in Lisbon

Compared to other major European cities, Lisbon is relatively affordable. However, it’s important to note that the cost of living can vary depending on your lifestyle, accommodation preferences, and other factors. Here’s a breakdown of some of the key expenses you’ll need to consider:

  • Housing: The cost of renting or buying a property in Lisbon can vary depending on the neighborhood, size, and condition of the property. On average, you can expect to pay around €800-€1,200 per month for a one-bedroom apartment in a central location.
  • Transportation: Lisbon has an efficient public transportation system that includes buses, trams, and a metro network. A monthly pass costs around €35, while a single trip on public transport costs €1.50.
  • Groceries: The cost of groceries in Lisbon is relatively affordable. A loaf of bread costs around €0.50, a liter of milk costs €0.60, and a dozen eggs cost around €1.50.
  • Entertainment: Lisbon has a vibrant nightlife and cultural scene, with plenty of options for dining, drinking, and entertainment. A meal at a mid-range restaurant costs around €15-€20, while a beer at a local bar costs around €2-€3.

What is a Good Salary for Lisbon?

Now that you have an idea of the cost of living in Lisbon, you may be wondering what kind of salary you’ll need to live comfortably. The answer to this question depends on a variety of factors, including your lifestyle, family situation, and career field.

According to Numbeo, the average monthly net salary in Lisbon is around €900-€1,000. However, keep in mind that this figure may not be sufficient for a comfortable lifestyle, especially if you have dependents or high expenses.

Generally speaking, a good salary for Lisbon would be around €1,500-€2,000 per month. This would allow you to live in a central location, enjoy a modest lifestyle, and save some money for the future. Of course, if you have a high-income job or are investing in property, you may require a higher salary to meet your needs.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, the cost of living and ideal salary for Lisbon will depend on your individual circumstances. It’s important to do your research and carefully consider all of your expenses before making a move or investment. With its affordable cost of living, beautiful scenery, and laid-back lifestyle, Lisbon can be a great choice for expats, investors, and tourists alike.

Is it cheaper to live in Portugal than the US?

If you’re considering a move to a new country, one of the most crucial factors to consider is the cost of living. Lisbon, Portugal, known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant culture, is an increasingly popular destination for expats and investors alike. But is it cheaper to live in Portugal than in the US?

The cost of living in Lisbon

Lisbon is known for being one of the most affordable capitals in Europe, with a lower cost of living than many other major cities on the continent. The cost of living will vary depending on your lifestyle and spending habits, but overall, you can expect to pay less in Lisbon than you would in many major cities in the US.

One of the biggest expenses in any budget is housing, and Lisbon offers a range of options for every budget. Renting a one-bedroom apartment in the city center will cost you around €800-€1000 per month, while a three-bedroom apartment will cost around €1400-€1800 per month. Outside of the city center, prices drop significantly, with a one-bedroom apartment costing around €500-€700 per month and a three-bedroom apartment around €900-€1200 per month.

Food is also relatively affordable in Lisbon, with a basic meal in a local restaurant costing around €10-€15 and a mid-range restaurant meal costing around €25-€30. Supermarkets offer a range of affordable options for groceries, and local markets offer fresh produce at very reasonable prices. A monthly transportation pass in Lisbon costs around €40, and taxis are also relatively affordable, with an average ride costing around €8-€10.

Factors to consider

While the cost of living in Lisbon is generally lower than in many US cities, it’s important to note that salaries in Portugal are generally lower as well. Additionally, Portugal has a higher VAT tax, meaning that goods and services are subject to a higher tax rate. It’s also important to consider the exchange rate between the Euro and the US Dollar, as this can greatly affect your budget.

Personal experience

As an expat who has lived in both the US and Portugal, I can attest that the cost of living in Lisbon is significantly lower than in many US cities. I’ve found that I can afford a higher quality of life in Lisbon for a lower cost, with more opportunities for travel, dining out, and entertainment. Additionally, the slower pace of life and strong sense of community in Lisbon make it a welcoming and enjoyable place to live.

Portugal is an attractive destination for expats seeking a high quality of life at an affordable cost. The cost of living in Portugal varies depending on the region, lifestyle, and personal preferences. However, with a deep understanding of the local customs, cultural events, investment opportunities, and legal aspects of visas, citizenship programs, and golden visas, expats can make informed decisions about their move to Portugal. By taking advantage of the various benefits and opportunities, expats can enjoy a comfortable life in this beautiful country while embracing its unique culture and way of life. If you’re considering a move to Portugal, be sure to do your research and plan accordingly for a successful and enjoyable expat experience.


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