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Currency and Cost of Living

Portugal - Currency and Cost of Living


Portugal changed its national currency to the Euro between January and March of 2002. Prior to that the local currency was the Escudo.

Wages in Portugal tend to be quite a bit lower than those in some other EU member states. In 2003 the average annual per capita income was approximately $17,000 US. This has had the effect of keeping the overall cost of living low as well. The cost of living in Portugal can be half of that in France or Germany, and even a bit cheaper than in Greece, depending on your tastes.

Dining out, alcoholic beverages, and meats, fish, fruits, vegetables etc. are relatively inexpensive. For example, it is possible to enjoy a three-course meal for two, including excellent wine, for less than 10 pounds sterling.

Automobiles are more expensive to purchase than in many other western European countries, as are electronic consumer goods like computers, CD players and so forth.

Although property prices have increased in recent years, it is still possible to find real estate bargains, especially when compared to other resort areas in Europe. The best deals are often in areas away from the coast.

Rents are, on average, between 20 to 40 percent lower than in the UK or Germany.


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