Planning to go to Portugal and wondering about various prices and how much money you may spend there? We were also thinking about that and were really curious if sites like numbeo.com are telling the truth. Spending about €1100 per month without rent wasn’t looking very encouraging. Actually, it seemed overpriced, especially since Portugal is considered one of the cheapest countries to live in Europe. In this post, you’ll discover the real cost of living in Portugal, come!
We lived in Portugal for 4 months and now we can show you the prices and tell you what the costs of living really look like from the perspective of a digital slowmad. We’ll share with you how much money we spent on average while living in Portugal.
Important notes. This post was written mostly for digital slowmads / slow travelers staying for longer in one place. The prices used in the post are valid for the period February – May 2022.
Interested in the costs of living in other countries?
- Real Cost Of Living In Portugal As Digital Slowmad
- What can you save on while traveling?
- Summary of the real cost of living in Portugal as a digital nomad
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Real Cost Of Living In Portugal As Digital Slowmad
Accommodation in Portugal
We used Airbnb to find our temporary homes in Portugal. As digital nomads we have specific requirements that each place must meet:
- a whole place for ourselves,
- fully equipped,
- with great Internet,
- with a place to work,
- a parking spot is a must too, as we are traveling by car.
All of this translates into a higher price we have to pay for a place.
In Portugal we were staying at Albufeira in Algarve & Ponte da Barca in Alto Minho.
Our average monthly accommodation cost: €850
Of course, the price will depend on various factors. For example, you’ll pay much less if you’ll be satisfied with renting only a room in someone’s place, or if you’re traveling alone.
Other possibilities to look for accommodation in Portugal are idealista.pt or good old booking.com. But if you aren’t planning to stay for a really long time, we don’t recommend idealista, as you’ll probably have to pay a high deposit.
Grocery prices in Portugal
We do our shopping in supermarkets. In Portugal, you’ll find stores like Continente, Inter Marche, Lidl, Pingo Doce, or Aldi. We did our grocery shopping mostly in Lidl and Continente.
Our average monthly groceries cost: €335
It’s the price for vegetarian groceries as we don’t eat meat (there was quite a good choice of vegetarian/vegan products).
Below we leave sample receipts and photos from stores so you can see the prices of various products.
Cosmetics prices in Portugal
In Portugal cosmetics are mostly sold in supermarkets, so look for them there. From our observations, prices are very similar to those in Spain, but the selection is quite poor.
Our average monthly cosmetics cost: €20
Going out in Portugal
- Restaurants in Portugal
You can find a wide variety of restaurants, and bars, and hence a wide variety of prices. As for us – we usually paid about €50 for one dinner out for two.
Here are some examples of prices.
- Cinemas in Portugal
We love going to the cinema so we’ll mention it here too. We usually paid about €7-8 per person. Cinema set (popcorn + drink) cost about €10. Compared to cinemas in Poland, it’s a really high price, but compared to Spain – very similar. A huge plus for Portugal for playing movies in the original language (VO).
Our average monthly going out cost: €100
Cost of transportation in Portugal
We’re traveling by car so the only thing we need is gasoline. On average we paid €2/L (95), but we could see that prices were steadily going up during the last weeks. In February 2022 we paid about €1.9/L, and in May 2022 we paid about €2.1/L.
Prices vary a lot depending on the gas station. From our observations of “major players” Galp is the cheapest, then Repsol, and BP is the most expensive. Local small gas stations were always the cheapest (like ones near Inter Marche stores).
When traveling by car, you also need parking. We always look for free ones. During 4 months in Portugal we only paid 2 times for parking – on average it cost us about €1.5 per 1 hour (in parking lots not in the city center).
If you’re traveling by plane we advise you to rent a car as it’s a very comfortable way of discovering Portugal. You can use websites like rentalcars.com or look in local rental offices. The cheapest options we’ve found cost about €1500 per month, of course, plus fuel.
Another option is public transport, but here we also can’t say anything from the experience. For example, according to rome2rio.com, a train from Porto to Faro will cost €45- €65, and a trip from Lisbon to Porto €23 – €35. You can also choose to travel by bus, which will take you to many more places than trains – Portugal is well connected by them. For more information check out the rede-expressos website.
Our average monthly transportation cost: €150
Tourist attractions prices in Portugal
Prices depend on the place. In our opinion entry fees are quite cheap. We usually paid around €3 per person.
Here are some examples of prices for one adult:
- Silves Castle €2.8
- Guimarães Castle €2
- Gil Eannes (Viana do Castelo) €4.50
- Clérigos Tower (Porto) €6
- Municipal Museum of Faro €2
- Igreja do Carmo (Faro) €2
- Braga Cathedral €2
- Porto Catedral €3
- Museu Municipal de Arqueologia (Albufeira) €1
- Sand City (Lagoa) €11,90
Some attractions like Tavira Castle, Lindoso Castle, Santuário de Santa Luzia in Viana do Castelo, Archeological Museum in Barcelos, or Bom Jesus do Monte Sanctuarium are free to enter.
Our average monthly tourist attractions cost: €10
Going to the doctor in Portugal
Fortunately, we didn’t have to use any doctor’s services in Portugal. If you’re from one of the EU countries (and insured in your residential country) you can use a free EHIC card (European Health Insurance Card) to receive treatment in another member country for free or at a reduced cost, if that treatment becomes necessary during your visit.
But EHIC doesn’t cover a lot of things so more important is to have travel and/or health insurance. Its prices may vary a lot depending on your country and your needs. We’re using one offered by a Polish company, which cost us about €70 per month for two people. We highly recommend buying good insurance as you never know when you’ll get sick or something bad will happen. Also, you probably won’t be happy with paying thousands for hospitalization, treatments, etc.
You can take a look at special insurance for digital nomads, like SafetyWing. Prices start from $42 per month.
Internet costs in Portugal
We already mentioned at the beginning that we always look for a place with a good Internet connection. Outside the apartments, we use roaming data plans (in very small amounts). Another popular option is to get a local prepaid SIM card. Here’s what we’ve found about the prices from some providers in Portugal
What can you save on while traveling?
Looking for savings during traveling? We’ve prepared a whole post where we’ve listed tips on how to save money while traveling. Check it out:
💰💰 20+ Tips On How To Save Money While Traveling 💰💰
Summary of the real cost of living in Portugal as a digital nomad
Looks like the cost of living in Portugal was almost the same as in Spain. At the very beginning, we noticed that groceries and gasoline are more expensive – and these two things definitely translate into a higher final amount. Just keep in mind that we cannot compare it to 1:1 as the war in Ukraine changed a lot recently (especially the gasoline price).
To sum up… Our average monthly cost of living in Portugal was about €1500.
For us, it was an acceptable price. For us, people who lived in Wrocław, one of the biggest and most expensive cities in Poland, the costs of living in Portugal are still attractive and very similar. And for sure the costs could be different for different people. Everyone needs something different and has different requirements for daily life, but we’re sure everyone will find something for every budget.
Oh, one more thing! For us living in Portugal was twice cheaper than the numbeo.com claims. So always take this kind of information with a grain of salt.
We hope you found this post useful and it will help you plan your expenses or even convince you to start your own journey shortly.