Portugal Country Guide

Everything you need to know about moving to Portugal

Cost of Living in Portugal Compared to the U.S. & Canada

Many Americans and Canadians are interested in finding better quality of life at a more affordable expense than what they might find in their home countries. Portugal is an excellent option for anyone moving to a foreign country to find lower cost of living.

 

The cost landscape in Portugal varies across regions. The biggest factor is usually rental price, which can range from €500 to upwards of €3000 per month. Check out the sample budgets provided below for a comprehensive overview. Typically, expenses tend to be higher in coastal areas and major cities such as Lisbon and Porto.

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Key Cost Considerations for Expats in Portugal

Your cost of living in Portugal will vary depending on your specific location and lifestyle. Generally, costs will be higher in and near Lisbon as well as in the Algarve. Costs in cities will be higher than in the countryside, and coastal towns will cost more than inland locations.

 

Here are some key cost considerations to take into account when creating your budget:

 

1. Rent: The real estate market in many parts of Portugal has experienced substantial growth in recent years, making long-term rentals increasingly expensive in popular locations like Lisbon. For instance, a T1 (one-bedroom) apartment in a popular Lisbon neighborhood may cost €1000-1500 per month, although in a small town you could find a 3 bedroom house for the same price.

 

2. Utilities: While the cost of living is generally reasonable, utilities can be on the higher side. A small apartment might incur over €100 per month for water and electricity. Additionally, phone and internet packages range between €20 and €60 per month.

3. Transportation: When it comes to transportation, Portugal offers affordable options. A metro ticket in Lisbon or Porto is under €2, and intercity train travel typically costs around €20 for a 3-hour roundtrip journey. However, purchasing a car, even a used one, can be relatively expensive, especially in comparison to the United States.

 

4. Food Food in Portugal is not only delicious but also budget-friendly. A lunch menu (menu do dia) often costs under €5 and typically ranges from €5 to €12. Even a cup of coffee is reasonably priced, with rural areas charging around €0.50 and cities rarely exceeding €1. Grocery shopping is also cost-effective, especially for locally sourced fresh produce.

5. Insurance & Banking – Other costs to consider include private health insurance, where costs can vary considerably, but where you are certain to pay significantly less than in the U.S. If you decide to open a Portuguese bank account you should expect to pay €5-10 per month in fees.

Sample Budget #1: The Algarve

Please note that these sample budgets are directional only. The town you live in, changing prices, and your lifestyle will all influence your ultimate budget.

Living in the Algarve for Two People per Month (USD)
 

Sample Budget #2: Porto

Please note that these sample budgets are directional only. The town you live in, changing prices, and your lifestyle will all influence your ultimate budget.

Living in Porto for Two People per Month (USD)
 

Sample Budget #3: Lisbon

Please note that these sample budgets are directional only. The town you live in, changing prices, and your lifestyle will all influence your ultimate budget.

Living in Lisbon Center for Two People per Month (USD)
 
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