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How Much Does It Really Cost To Live In Portugal?

Fueled by foreign demand and the possibility of obtaining residency in exchange for investing money, the Portuguese property market is on the up. Since analysts are predicting this upward trend to continue, prices keep rising. Portugal’s property market was pretty resilient during the global financial crisis compared to some of the neighbouring countries.As well as the booming property market, Portugal has a lot to offer. People come to the country to enjoy the good life in every sense of the word, including the varied landscapes, amazing food, nature, music or wellness treatments at the spas and thermal resorts, to name but a few.

Travelling through the country from north to south, with a short trip to the islands of the Azores and Madeira, the scenery is nothing short of magical. From a good vantage point over the old houses of Porto, the castle of São Jorge in Lisbon or the beautiful beaches of the Algarve, there are numerous possibilities for discovering something new and amazing. For all you wine connoisseurs out there, a glass of good Portuguese wine from the Douro, the Alentejo or the Dão is a must.

The spas in Portugal are not just for pampering but will also assist you with your general health. Depending on what type of treatment you are after (relaxation and stress prevention, anti-ageing, detox or beauty treatments), the Algarve and Madeira are the leaders in the market.

Other regions also have quality facilities in hotels or at thermal resorts. If you are after a good rest, then Portugal’s 5-star hotels – which have every comfort you could dream of – are there to cater to your every whim. As expected, prices will be on the higher end of the spectrum, but still reasonable when compared to most of Europe.

Another great reason to live in Portugal: the country has evolved significantly in terms of its security and now is considered the third safest country in the world according to the Global Peace Index. The first and second places belong to Iceland and New Zealand respectively.

Just like the National Health Service in the UK, the SNS health system is free and available to all residents, including expats in Portugal, although charges have been introduced for many services in recent years.

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Listed below are the average costs of basic items and entertainment, which are correct as of June 2019.

Restaurants and cafes

• Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: £7.15
• Three-course meal for two people at a mid-range restaurant: £26.81
• McDonalds combo meal: £5.36
• Domestic beer (0.5-litre draught): £1.34
• Imported beer (0.33-litre bottle): £1.79
• Cappuccino (regular): £1.17
• Coke/Pepsi (0.33-litre bottle): £1.11
• Water (0.33-litre bottle): £0.80


• Milk (1 litre): £0.56
• Loaf of fresh white bread (500g): £0.99
• Rice (white) (1 kg): £0.78
• Eggs (regular) (12): £1.52
• Local cheese (1 kg): £6.48
• Chicken breasts (boneless, skinless) (1 kg): £4.77
• Beef round (1 kg) (or equivalent back leg red meat): £8.58
• Apples (1 kg): £1.40
• Bananas (1 kg): £0.99
• Oranges (1 kg): £1.04
• Tomatoes (1 kg): £1.24
• Potatoes (1 kg): £0.74
• Onions (1 kg): £0.84
• Lettuce (1 head): £0.77
• Water (1.5-litre bottle): £0.49
• Mid-range bottle of wine: £3.57
• Imported beer (0.33-litre bottle): £1.58
• 20 Marlboro cigarettes: £4.47


• One-way ticket on local transport: £1.34
• Monthly travel pass: £31.28
• Basic taxi starting fee: £3.04
• Gasoline (1 liter): £1.37
• Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (or equivalent new car): £22,340.46
• Toyota Corolla 1.6l 97kW Comfort (or equivalent new car): £21,429.53

Utilities (Monthly)

• Basic (electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage) for 85m2 apartment: £83.84
• One minute of prepaid mobile local tariff: £0.15
• Internet (60 Mbps or more, unlimited data, cable/ADSL): £27.17

Sports And Leisure

• Fitness club, monthly fee for one adult: £29.82
• Tennis court rent (one hour on weekend): £10.02
• Cinema, international release, one seat: £5.99
• Two tickets to the theatre (best available seats): £50.00


• A month of full-day, private preschool (or kindergarten) for one child: £320.37
• International primary school, yearly for one child: £6,891.84

Clothing And Shoes

• Pair of jeans (Levi 501 or similar): £68.44
• Summer dress in a chain store (Zara, H&M): £25.39
• Pair of mid-range Nike running shoes: £62.21
• Pair of men’s leather business shoes: £70.42

Rent Per Month

• One-bedroom apartment in city centre: £543.40
• One-bedroom apartment outside of city centre: £387.51
• Three-bedroom apartment in city centre: £973.08
• Three-bedroom apartment outside of city centre: £645.90

Buying Property

• Price per square meter to buy an apartment in city centre: £2,426.38
• Price per square meter to buy an apartment outside of centre: £1,349.90

Salaries and Financing

• Average monthly net salary (after tax): £727.37

If you plan on residing in Portugal long-term, you’ll need to open a Portuguese bank account to pay bills and receive your salary. This can also be useful for withdrawing cash as it will help you avoid charges and get the best exchange rate. Portuguese banks typically charge a small monthly fee (around €5-10) for their bank accounts, so you’ll have to factor this into your monthly budget.

Portugal is:

• 48% cheaper than New York
• 22% cheaper than Munich
• 9% cheaper than Madrid
• 14% cheaper than Brussels
• 33% cheaper than Paris
• 45% cheaper than London

However, it is true what they say; the best things in life are free, and Portugal is living proof of this. The friendly local people, the laid-back lifestyle, the mild weather, the beautiful countryside and the stunning beaches are all at the very reasonable price of £0.00.

Have you lived in Portugal? Share your thoughts in the comments below, or answer the questions here to be featured in an interview!

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