Ultimate Guide: Portugal’s Cost of Living for Expats

Are you tired of the high cost of living in your current city? Are you dreaming of a place where your hard-earned money can stretch further? Look no further than Portugal, a country that offers a high quality of life at a surprisingly affordable price.

As a seasoned expat living in Portugal, I can attest to the many benefits of this beautiful country. From the warm climate and stunning beaches to the rich culture and delicious cuisine, Portugal has something for everyone. But perhaps the most enticing aspect of Portugal is its low cost of living.

In my experience, the cost of living in Portugal is significantly lower compared to other European countries. From housing to groceries to entertainment, everything is more affordable here. For example, a meal at a local restaurant can cost as little as €10, a monthly transportation pass is around €30, and a one-bedroom apartment in a desirable area can be rented for €600-€800 per month.

But don’t just take my word for it. The latest data from Numbeo, a website that compares the cost of living between cities and countries, ranks Portugal as the 34th cheapest country in the world. This is based on factors such as consumer prices, rent, and restaurant prices.

So if you’re looking for a place to live where your money can go further, Portugal should be at the top of your list. Stay tuned for more practical tips and personal experiences on how to make the most of your budget in this wonderful country.

How much money do you need to live comfortably in Portugal?

If you’re considering a move to Portugal, one of the first things you’ll likely want to know is how much it will cost to live there. Portugal is a beautiful and affordable country, but the cost of living varies depending on your lifestyle, location, and personal preferences. In this article, we’ll dive into the details of the cost of living in Portugal, and give you an idea of how much money you’ll need to live comfortably.

The basics

The cost of living in Portugal is generally lower than in other Western European countries, but it’s still important to have a clear idea of what your basic expenses will be. The cost of rent, food, transportation, and utilities will vary depending on where you live, but here are some rough estimates:

– Rent: In Lisbon or Porto, you can expect to pay between €700 and €1,200 per month for a one-bedroom apartment. Outside of these cities, you may be able to find cheaper accommodation.
– Food: A basic grocery shop for one person costs around €150 per month. Eating out can be affordable, with a meal in a mid-range restaurant costing around €10-€15 per person.
– Transportation: A monthly pass for public transportation in Lisbon or Porto costs around €35. Taxis are relatively affordable, with a 10km journey costing around €10-€15.
– Utilities: The cost of utilities (electricity, gas, water) for a small apartment will be around €70-€100 per month.


Portugal has a good public healthcare system, but if you want to be able to access private healthcare, you’ll need to have health insurance. The cost of health insurance will depend on your age, health condition, and the coverage you require, but it’s usually around €50-€100 per month.


Portugal is known for its beautiful beaches, historic cities, and vibrant culture. Enjoying everything the country has to offer will depend on your interests, but here are some rough estimates for entertainment costs:

– Cinema ticket: €7-€10
– Museum entrance fee: €5-€10
– Nightclub entrance fee: €10-€20
– Gym membership: €30-€50 per month

Total cost of living

Adding up all of the above expenses, you can expect to spend around €1,200-€1,800 per month to live comfortably in Portugal. Of course, if you have a more expensive lifestyle or live in a more expensive location, your costs will be higher.

Additional expenses to consider

When budgeting for your move to Portugal, it’s important to consider additional expenses such as:

– Visa costs: Depending on your nationality and the length of your stay, you may need to pay for a visa or residency permit.
– Initial setup costs: When you first move to Portugal, you’ll need to purchase furniture and household items, which can be an additional expense.
– Language lessons: If you don’t speak Portuguese, you may want to take language lessons to help you integrate more easily. This can be an additional expense.

Final thoughts

Living in Portugal can be affordable and enjoyable, with plenty of opportunities to enjoy the country’s culture and lifestyle. By budgeting carefully and keeping in mind the additional expenses that come with moving to a new country, you can enjoy a comfortable and fulfilling life in Portugal.

Is Portugal cheaper to live than the US?

Portugal has become an increasingly popular destination for expats and investors, but many people wonder if the cost of living is cheaper in Portugal compared to the United States. The answer is: it depends.

Housing Costs

For those moving from major U.S. cities like New York or San Francisco, the cost of housing in Portugal will likely be a pleasant surprise. According to Numbeo, the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Lisbon is around €800 ($950), while the same apartment in New York City would be around $2,900. However, if you’re coming from a smaller city or town in the U.S., you may find that the cost of housing in Portugal is higher.

Food and Dining

One of the perks of living in Portugal is the abundance of fresh, locally-grown produce and seafood. Eating out can be affordable, with set lunch menus (menu do dia) often costing around €7-€10 ($8-$12). However, imported goods, such as certain types of cheese or cereal, can be more expensive in Portugal than in the U.S.


Public transportation is widely available and affordable in Portugal, making it easy to get around without a car. A monthly pass for public transportation in Lisbon costs around €36 ($42), while a monthly pass in New York City is around $127. Gas prices in Portugal are higher than in the U.S., though, so owning a car can be more expensive.


The healthcare system in Portugal is generally considered to be of high quality and affordable. Public healthcare is available to all residents, and private healthcare is also available at a reasonable cost. However, if you require specialized medical care or procedures, costs can add up quickly.

Can you live in Portugal on $2000 a month?

Portugal is a beautiful country that offers a high standard of living at a relatively low cost. With its stunning beaches, rich history and culture, and delicious cuisine, it’s no wonder that many people are considering moving to Portugal. One of the most frequently asked questions is whether it’s possible to live in Portugal on $2000 a month. The answer is yes, it’s possible, but it depends on a few factors.

The Cost of Living in Portugal

The cost of living in Portugal is lower than many other European countries. According to Numbeo, a website that compares the cost of living between countries, the cost of living in Portugal is 31.66% lower than in the United States. The cost of living is lower in smaller cities and towns than in the bigger cities like Lisbon and Porto. However, even in the bigger cities, it’s still possible to live on a budget of $2000 a month.

The Factors that Affect the Cost of Living

The cost of living in Portugal depends on several factors such as accommodation, transportation, food, and entertainment. Let’s take a look at each of these factors in more detail.


The cost of accommodation in Portugal varies depending on the location, size, and type of property. In Lisbon and Porto, the cost of rent is higher than in smaller cities and towns. A one-bedroom apartment in Lisbon can cost anywhere from $600 to $1200 per month, while a similar apartment in a smaller city can cost between $400 and $800 per month. Sharing an apartment with roommates can also help reduce the cost of rent.


The cost of transportation in Portugal is relatively low. Public transportation is readily available and affordable, with a monthly pass costing around $40. Taxis and ride-hailing services like Uber are also affordable, with a typical ride costing around $5 to $10.


The cost of food in Portugal is reasonable, especially if you shop at local markets and cook at home. A meal at a mid-range restaurant can cost between $10 and $20, while a coffee or beer can cost around $2.50. Groceries can cost between $200 and $400 per month, depending on your eating habits and preferences.


The cost of entertainment in Portugal varies depending on your interests and lifestyle. There are plenty of free and low-cost activities to enjoy, such as visiting museums, parks, and beaches. Movie tickets cost around $7, and a gym membership can cost between $30 and $50 per month.

Can a US citizen live in Portugal?

If you’re a US citizen considering a move to Portugal, you might be wondering if it’s even possible to live there. The good news is, yes, it is possible! Portugal is a popular destination for many expats, with its relatively low cost of living, beautiful scenery, and warm weather all year round.

As a US citizen, you’ll need to obtain a visa to stay in Portugal for an extended period of time. The good news is, Portugal offers a few different options for visas, including a retirement visa, a work visa, and a student visa. There’s also a “Golden Visa” program, which grants residency to those who invest in Portuguese real estate.

One important thing to note is that if you plan to work in Portugal, you’ll need to obtain a work visa before you arrive. This can be a bit of a process, so it’s important to start the application process well in advance of your planned move.

In terms of the cost of living in Portugal, it’s relatively affordable compared to many other European countries. Housing is generally the largest expense, but even that is much cheaper than in cities like London or Paris. Food and transportation are also relatively inexpensive, and healthcare is of high quality and affordable.

Another thing to consider when moving to Portugal is the language barrier. While many people in Portugal speak English, the official language is Portuguese. If you plan to live and work in Portugal, it’s a good idea to learn at least some basic Portuguese to help you navigate day-to-day life.

With its low cost of living, beautiful scenery, and welcoming culture, Portugal is definitely worth considering as your next home.

Portugal is a fantastic destination for digital nomads seeking a balance between work and play. With its rich culture, friendly locals, and vibrant community of expats, Portugal is the perfect place to call home while pursuing your career goals. Whether you’re looking to invest in the local real estate market, explore the country’s historic landmarks, or simply enjoy the laid-back lifestyle, Portugal has something to offer everyone. So why not join the growing number of digital nomads who have chosen to make Portugal their base, and discover all that this beautiful country has to offer? With its welcoming community and endless opportunities for adventure, Portugal is truly a destination like no other.


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