Cost of Living in Portugal – Expenses in 2024

Living Expenses in Portugal

Imagine a paradise where every meal feels like a celebration, the sea whispering stories and sunshine cleansing beautiful streets. That is Portugal, a wonderful country rich in culture, history, and stunning scenery. On another note, how about if you imagine exploring lively marketplaces, sampling tasty pastries, and experiencing the friendliness of others in the area where you live?

Finding a home or a school isn’t the only thing to consider; joining a community that cherishes happiness and simplicity is as important. Here, our trip explores the core of Portugal’s many experiences rather than only a manual on living expenses. So, come with me as we explore Portugal’s wonders in this article about a country where the scenery is always breathtaking and life is equally excellent! 

What is the Cost of living in Portugal?

There are several fees associated with moving from the US to Portugal, and the total amount of money spent will depend on the specifics of each case. Moving alone can cost less than driving with a spouse and/or kids. On the other hand, taking pets abroad often involves additional costs and complications because of documentation and possible quarantine rules.

Putting these factors aside, let’s concentrate on the necessary moving expenses you’ll have when organizing your move from the US to Portugal. Portugal is renowned for being an affordable European travel destination. Talking about that, I believe a modest salary can go a long way, making it a desirable alternative for people who want to relocate. In short, after taxes, the average monthly pay is between USD 881 and USD 1,077.

Furthermore, Portugal is a country where one can live cheaply; many people make do with less than USD$870-$1,060 a month. Let me give you an example of a couple thinking that living in one of Portugal’s smaller cities might lead to a comfortable life on a monthly budget of USD 1,200 to $1,990. Also, do not forget that weekend getaways and dining out are possible on this budget, even though luxury may have to be unavoidable.

Nevertheless, it’s important to remember that living in Lisbon, Portugal, the capital of Portugal, is more expensive. Given Lisbon’s relatively high cost of living, individuals or couples should plan to spend between USD 1,450 and USD 1,770 per month for a reasonably comfortable existence.

Factors to Consider When Living in Portugal

1. Housing Cost in Portugal

Portugal has exceptionally cheap housing, especially in the interior, where you can get tiny apartments for as little as $315–385 a month (though the average is more like $500–610). However, comparable-sized homes could cost up to four times as much in hip sections of Lisbon. Nevertheless, these rates are relatively reasonable when compared to other European cities.

Housing Cost in Portugal

A tiny apartment in the centre of Lisbon would often cost between USD 900 and USD 1,100 a month for foreigners. A huge three-bedroom property might cost between USD 1,800 and $2,200 for those who want additional space. Living outside the city centre can save you up to USD$800 for a more prominent place and roughly USD$220 for a one-bedroom.

The cost of living in Portugal is comparatively lower in Porto, especially when renting an apartment. Foreigners wishing to purchase a small apartment in the city centre should budget between USD$660 and USD$810, while a three-bedroom home can vary between USD$1,200 and USD$1,460. More savings can be had in Porto by residing in a suburban area, where costs drop to roughly USD 510–$620 for a one-bedroom apartment and USD 850–$1,030 for a three-bedroom.

If we address rent in Portugal, it is not unlike many other countries in that rental prices tend to be higher in larger cities and more affordable in smaller villages. Furnished rentals in charming interior communities of Portugal can be found for as little as $450 per month.

If you’re more drawn to the city, Lisbon has furnished one-bedroom apartments in the heart for less than $1,000, or you can find a more modern, two-bedroom apartment for $1,300. A detached house outside the city centre may cost $1,300 in Porto, while a one-bedroom flat in the city centre might cost about $850.

Portugal’s interior, particularly in areas like Castelo Branco or along the Silver Coast, offers more significant properties with the possibility of land, sometimes priced under $200,000. This is a good option for individuals considering property ownership. But, you must remember that any Portuguese lawyer should be consulted before making real estate transactions because renovations might be necessary. Insulation or heating sources might not be assured.

2. General Utility Expenses

Moving onto our second factor, it’s crucial to consider home services and utilities in addition to rental prices while preparing to relocate to Portugal. Internet packages come in various alternatives to fit your needs and are reasonably priced, usually ranging from USD$31 to USD$38 each month. The monthly cost for garbage collection, water services, gas, electricity, and waste collection typically ranges from USD 98 to USD 120, and invoicing occurs every two months.

It’s important to remember that the scorching summers in the south may make air conditioning necessary for comfort. So, considering the effect on overall utility expenses, you should budget for the extra electricity used during the summer. 

3. Healthcare Expenses

The high cost of healthcare in the US has many considering moving to Portugal, particularly as they age and health problems become more prevalent. Portugal boasts one of the most significant public health systems in the world. It’s affordable, even if it’s not free like the NHS in the UK. For example, cleaning your teeth is free in the public system and costs about 25 euros if you choose private care, a vast difference from the United States, where the identical procedure can run up to $120.

Portugal offers free public healthcare to seniors and children, with a minimal co-pay for everyone else. Compared to the US, where many people struggle to pay for primary healthcare, this is a significant savings. Portuguese healthcare is excellent and moderately cheap, yet foreigners may have to pay a lot for primary medical conditions. Therefore, it makes sense to think about overseas health insurance.

For foreign nationals seeking a residency or work permit in Portugal, proof of their health insurance is required. Portugal offers public healthcare to its citizens, yet there are costs associated with different treatments. Because certain parts of health, including dental and vision care, are not covered, 20% of Portuguese citizens have private health insurance. International health insurance allows expats to access private clinics that speak English, giving them peace of mind. If you travel outside of Portugal, these plans also cover healthcare in other nations.

4. Transportation Expenses

One significant benefit of living in Portugal is the availability of inexpensive transportation choices, which makes travelling around the country economical. A single ticket for use on public transit networks costs less than $2, with prices ranging from $1.48 to $1.80, and a monthly pass costs a fair USD 36.65 to $45.03. An average cross-country rail ticket from Lisbon to Porto costs between USD 29.25 and USD 35.75 if you plan to travel between major cities.

Cost of Living in Portugal in 2024 – Complete Guide

While it’s true that cars cost less and gas is almost a euro less in the US, Portugal’s public transportation system provides a more cost-effective option. Practical and dependable rail and bus networks linked cities in Portugal and even reached Spain. So, owning a car in Portugal’s larger towns might not be necessary.

When comparing transportation expenses, the average monthly pass for public transit in Portugal is about 40 euros, which is substantially cheaper than the average pass in the US, which is about 65 euros. Therefore, Portugal offers the chance to live an economical and ecologically responsible lifestyle, regardless of whether you drive a car or use public transportation. In a nation where automobiles are not as essential as in the US, this can lead to cost savings and a more environmentally friendly way of life, making it the best country in Europe to live in.

How is living an average life in Portugal? – Pros and Cons

Generally speaking, I would take Lisbon here when we discuss Portugal’s living cost. In Lisbon, Portugal, the average monthly price of living is approximately 1,700 euros per person, though this can vary slightly based on shared housing or neighbourhood preference. Living in Lisbon gives significant annual savings compared to major US cities, even though it is the capital and significantly more expensive than other Portuguese cities.

Portugal has several benefits, such as socialized healthcare and education, easy European access, a higher standard of living, and a cheaper cost of living. Initiatives like the Digital Nomad Visa demonstrate how the nation has embraced the taste of internet startups and digital nomads.

Even though the labour market has always been difficult, particularly in non-tech industries, Lisbon is actively establishing itself as a centre for remote work and technological innovation. A rapid tech boom has been fueled by establishment of major corporations’ headquarters in Lisbon, including Google, Dell, Siemens, Unilever, Cisco, and IKEA.

Portugal’s cost of living is 40–50% lower than that of the United States. It’s essential to consider the possibility of lower compensation in Portugal, which makes it desirable for people who can work remotely while receiving a paycheck from the US. In most Portuguese cities and towns, this scenario allows people to live comfortably, making it an appealing choice for those looking for affordability and a high standard of living.

Estimated Monthly Budget for Couple in Portugal

ExpenseEURO €
Real Estate Rent (Furnished TWO TBS Apartment)€ 700-1000
Utilities (Electricity, Water, Gas, Trash)€ 200-250
Internet/Cell Phone/Cable TV Package€ 29-69
Public Health Care Centers (per couple)Free
Private Health Insurance Centers (per couple)€ 129-179
Public Transportation (Buses, Metro, Tram & Combio)€ 80-160
Groceries€ 200-250
Miscellaneous Expenditure€ 200-300

Estimated Monthly Budget for Couple in Portugal

ExpenseEURO €
Single Room Rent€ 250-450
Utilities (Electricity, Water, Gas, Trash)Included in Rent
Public Health CentersIncluded in Rent
Cell Phone€ 20
PUblic Health CentersFree
Public Health Centers€ 40-80
Public Health Centers€ 100-150
Miscellaneous Expenditure€ 100-150

Grocery Prices in Portugal in 2024

ProductPrice in Euro (€)
Fresh Milk Regular ( 1 Liter )€ 1.10
A Dozen Eggs€ 4.99
Apple€ 2.45
Chicken (Frango)€ 3.25
Mutton (Lame)€ 7.25-16.75
Cheese € 6.25
Olive Oil (Per Kg)€ 8.49-10.99
Brown Sugar€ 2.85
White Suger€ 1.65
Fruit Cake€ 12.00
Onion (Per Kg)€ 2.15
Potato (Per Kg)€ 2.65
Tomtato (Per Kg)€ 1.65
Banana (Per Kg)€ 1.00
Grocery Prices in Portugal in 2024

List of Top 5 Cities to Live in Portugal

The top cities to live in Portugal, based on factors such as quality of life, amenities, cost of living, and cultural offerings, are:

  1. Lisbon: The capital city is known for its vibrant culture, historic neighbourhoods, and thriving arts scene.
  2. Porto: Portugal’s second-largest city, famous for its picturesque riverside setting, charming old town, and port wine cellars.
  3. Cascais: A coastal town near Lisbon offering beautiful beaches, a relaxed lifestyle, and proximity to nature.
  4. Braga: A historic city in northern Portugal known for its rich heritage, beautiful architecture, and lively atmosphere.
  5. Coimbra: Home to one of the oldest universities in Europe, Coimbra boasts a mix of historic charm, cultural events, and a youthful vibe.


Although doing the Portuguese residency procedure can seem complicated, we have committed professionals who make it much more manageable. The experts specialize in assisting you in obtaining the NIF (Número de Identificação Fiscal) and NISS (Número de Identificação de Segurança Social), which are two essential ID numbers in Portugal. Your legal stay and ability to access social services depend on these IDs. For that, we have the professionals who ensure a hassle-free process by guiding you through the web of paperwork.

NIF Portugal’s dedication to streamlining the bureaucratic complexities, not only for your ID numbers but for all sides of residency, distinguishes our experts. Our one-on-one assistance makes the process easier overall, from comprehending local regulations to ensuring everything is organized. With our friendly and supportive assistance, you may confidently start the process for residency in Portugal, turning what could otherwise seem like a challenging procedure into a smooth and enjoyable move. So, better contact and end all your worries with just one click!

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