Cost of living in Portugal

5 min read

Lower cost of living, sense of security, weather, traditions, and local hospitality. Before moving to Portugal, it is crucial to gather information on the cost of living. Is life genuinely cheaper in Portugal than in the UK? What salary is needed to live in Portugal?

Cost of living 26.3% lower than in the United-Kingdom

Enjoy lunch or dinner at affordable prices in Portugal

A full meal at a typical restaurant is on average 42.3% cheaper than in the UK. In a fast-food restaurant, the menu is around £6.50 on average. Drink prices are equally attractive—local beer (50 cl on tap) is £1.73, 61.5% less than in an English restaurant. Imported beer (33 cl) is £2.60, Coca-Cola (33 cl) is £1.31, and cappuccino is £1.42.

Mid-range restaurant Fast-food Local beer Imported beer Coca-Cola (Coke) Cappuccino
United-Kingdom £60 £7 £4.50 £4 £1.74 £3.10
Portugal £34.68 £6.50 £1.73 £2.60 £1.31 £1.42
Good to know: What is the price of a pastel de nata, symbol of Lisbon?

Depending on the shops, you can buy this typical pastry for a price ranging from €1 to €1.20 (£0.87 to £1.04).

Get around without breaking the bank

In Portugal, the average price of a bus ticket costs £1.69. The monthly subscription to public transportation networks in a city or municipality is more affordable than in the UK, around £34.61. If you’re used to taking taxis, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the rates in Portugal. The cost is £0.69 per kilometer, 44.2% less than in the UK.

You can also opt for rideshare services like Uber. For a journey between Lisbon and Sintra (30 km), budget around €20 (£17.34).

One-way ticket Monthly subscription Taxi (1 km)
United-Kingdom £2.50 £67.80 £1.24
Portugal £1.69 £34.68 £0.69
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Cook up delicious meals on a budget

Food and grocery products are more affordable than in the UK. For example, a pack of cigarettes will cost you £4.59 (£13 in the UK), a kilogram of chicken cutlets £5.88, 12 eggs £2.39, and £1.37 per kilogram of oranges, compared to £2.12 in the UK. Milk is also more affordable, with a liter of milk costing £0.80 (£1.23 in the UK).

Cigarettes 1 kg of chicket cutlets 12 eggs 1 kg of oranges Milk
United-Kingdom £13 £6.51 £2.97 £2.12 £1.23
Portugal £4.59 £5.88 £2.39 £1.37 £0.80
A Guide to Portugal’s Golden Visa

Shop for discounted branded clothing

Love shopping? In Portugal, you can indulge yourself! Buying a dress from a major retailer like Zara or H&M for £27.12, and £60.92 for a pair of athletic shoes.

Dress Pair of athletic shoes
United-Kingdom £30.89 £73.76
Portugal £27 £61.18

Affordable sports and leisure activities compared to the UK

How about going to the movies after your shopping spree? A ticket will cost you an average of £6.49, which is 35.1% less than in the UK. The monthly subscription fee at a fitness club is slightly lower than in the UK. If you want to rent a tennis court, budget around £10.51 per hour.

Cinema (ticket) Monthly subscription fee at a fitness club Tennis court (1 hour)
United-Kingdom £10 £32.18 £10.96
Portugal £6.50 £31.08 £10.53

Enroll your children in a Portuguese or international school

In Portugal, school is mandatory from the age of 6. You can register your child in a public or private Portuguese school. In public schools, tuition fees are limited to the purchase of books and lunch. In private schools, fees range from €350 (£303.42) to €550 (£476.80) per month, depending on the institution.

You also have the option to enroll your child in an international school, with an annual budget of €7,402 (£6,416.90).
In Portugal, one month of daycare costs £335.05.

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Benefit from a good healthcare system

In Portugal, the healthcare system is universal and funded by taxes. Accessible for free to residents and expatriates, it covers basic medical care such as visits to the general practitioner, maternity services, and prescription medications.

Good to know: What is the cheapest city in Portugal?

It’s Castelo Branco, located 260 km northeast of the capital, Lisbon. The cost of living there is lower compared to the UK. Other cities like Chaves, Portimao, Tomar, or Vila Real are particularly affordable as well.

What is the average salary in Portugal?

While the cost of living is significantly lower in Portugal compared to the UK, the local purchasing power is 48% lower. The average monthly salary, after taxes, for a Portuguese individual is £893.1, compared to €2,315.92 net for an English person. It is more than twice as low. The advantage for you? If you want to renovate or maintain your property, labor costs won’t be too high.

Portuguese workers have a 40-hour workweek spread over 5 days. They are entitled to 22 days of vacation per year, plus an additional 13 national holidays. Various elements can increase the salary, such as meal allowances, 13th or 14th-month bonuses, or attendance bonuses.


Attractive property prices

Whether for renting or buying, Portuguese property prices are affordable.

If your project is to buy your dream home, the budget will depend on the region where you want to settle. The price per square meter is higher in Lisbon (£4,551.30 in the city), in the Azores archipelago (£1,646.75 on average), or in the Algarve region (£1,733.42 in Albufeira). It goes below £1,733.42 in most cities in northern Portugal, in the Alentejo region, and on the Madeira archipelago.

For an 85 sqm apartment, budget around £94.73 per month for utilities (water, electricity, heating). The average price of an ADSL subscription is £31.63. Regarding property taxes, the Municipal Property Tax is imposed at:

  • 0.3 to 0.45% of the property value in urban areas;
  • 0.8% in rural areas.

Is your dream to settle in Portugal? Our iad Overseas consultants* are here to help you find your dream home and start a new life in the sun! They will guide you through all aspects: legal, financial, administrative. Until the final signature, our specialists in the Portuguese property market provide you with advice to make your project a reality.

Want to buy abroad?
Tell us about your project, our specialized agents* will guide you!
[] * In France, all iad consultants are independent sales agents of I@D France SAS, registered with the RSAC, and hold a real estate canvassing card on behalf of I@D France SAS (without holding funds). In Spain, Italy, Portugal and Germany, all the consultants are independent agents acting on behalf of the subsidiary to which they are attached (without holding any funds)
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