Cost of living 2019 in Portugal

Hello everyone,

As we usually do each year, we invite you to share your experiences and tell us more about the average prices of products and services in your town/city/area, so that we have updated information regarding cost of living and inflation in Portugal.

Thanks to your contribution, future expats in Portugal will be more informed and will be able to refine their budget and better prepare for their big move.

How much does it cost to rent an apartment or a house in Portugal? How about buying an apartment or a house in Portugal?

How much do you pay on average for public transportation (bus, subway, train, tram, taxi)?

How much do you pay for basic food items such as rice, bread, and pasta?

What is your monthly budget for groceries?

How much does it cost to see a doctor or health specialist in Portugal?

How much do you pay for health insurance per month?

How much does childcare cost on average per month?

What is your child's schooling budget per month?

How much does it cost to fill up your car's fuel tank?

How much do you pay for electricity/gas/water etc., per month?

How much do you pay for your internet and phone subscription?

How much do you pay for your lunch pack on weekdays?

How much do you pay for an espresso coffee?

How much do you pay for a cinema ticket?

How much does a gym membership cost in Portugal?

Thank you for sharing your experience.


I have to say that Portugal is still, overall, a cheap place to live, relative to other eu nations (besides those in the east).
That said, the boom in tourism in Lisbon (and I suspect the same is true in Porto) has meant that renting or buying a home has become significantly more expensive. I bought my apartment in 2015, so I've not been affected, but I know that colleagues of mine, arriving in the years after me, have often paid 50% more than I did for a T1 apartment in a good area. Up to €900 per month.

Basic food purchases have increased, too, with my weekly food shop at something like €60 for my two person household, compared to €50 a couple of years ago.

Mercifully, public transport has increased very little and fuel has recently dropped, making it much easier to run my car than before.

I still think Portugal is cheaper than some other EU countries.  I have lived in France, Spain, UK and Portugal.

I take a ride on a large coach (very comfortable) between my town and Lisbon for a 45 minute trip.  The cost of that journey is 5 Eur (it would be 7 Eur if I was younger).

However, one thing that seems to be quite a lot more expensive is legal assistance.
A good example is that I had a WILL drawn up when I lived in Spain a year ago.  The cost was 95 Eur.
I gave the Spanish WILL to 2 lawyers here in Portugal (including the electronic draft) and both gave me similar quotes at more than 300 Eur.  (Even using the electronic wording which meant they did not have to do too much work).

That said, when I purchased my house in Spain in 2017 the cost of the impost (tax) was 17K Eur!!
I bought a similarly priced home in Portugal and the tax was just over 3K - a huge difference.

Also, when I sold the house in Spain to return to Portugal the agent was required by law to retain 4.5K to pay to the Spanish tax office (this is the law for foreigners).  I was told that we had to wait 4 months before we could make an application to have the money refunded (if there was to be a refund).  I am waiting for this refund!!

My water bill for a 2 person household is usually around 15-20 Eur per month, more in summer as I have a small garden.

My TV, WiFi and mobile phone with NOS is 40 Eur per month.

My electricity for a month (Nov-Dec) was 46 Eur, but then they added on tax of 14Eur which I think is unfair.

I cook with gas.  Recently I paid 59 Eur for 2 small cylinders (including 23% tax).

The 23% tax (IVA) on something like butter seems very unfair to me.  All groceries should (in my opinion) have the same amount of tax.

I hope this information is useful.