Cost of Living in Portugal

Cost of Living in Portugal
Cost of Living in Portugal

There are many things to consider when moving to Portugal but the one question that seems to be the top of most peoples list is…

“How much will it actually cost to live in Portugal?”

It was certainly on the very top of my list and I spent hours on the internet looking for clues, but with very little success. The problem being I was unable to find any actual ‘real life’ examples on general websites. With this in mind I have spoken to various people and compiled some basic ‘Cost of Living examples’ which I hope you will find useful.

The figures are approximate and based on 2 people living in a 3 bed villa with pool. There are so many variables I now know why I found it so difficult to research, so rather than just compile a list figures I have tried to expand on these with links to useful sites so you can investigate further*. Costs do vary tremendously depending on where you live and of course your lifestyle. Some people I have spoken to live on as little as €800 per month while others spend three times that amount and more!

So what is the cost of living??

*Groceries €4200pa

Meal for 2
Lunch (3 courses including jug of house wine) €17.00
Dinner(3 courses including bottle of house wine) €50
Coffee €1.30
Small Beer €1.00


Council tax (Imposto Municipal Imoveis) IMI tba
*House Maintenance Allow €300-€500 pa

Bottled Gas (45kg) €90 each
(Allow 3-4 bottles a year for just heating the hot water and cooking).
*Electricity €95 euros per month

* Heating
We opted for a log burning fire. (Fogo Montana)
Logs 6m3 per year €280pa

Water €240 pa (water meter)

Prices are a guide only.

House insurance €400pa

Medical insurance €1200pa
(NB with some insurance companies there are additional costs on top of this figure as you are required to pay a percentage of the invoice for each doctors appointment or treatment)
Additional costs last year approx €250
Car Insurance (small estate car). €450pa

Line rental
€145 pa
* ADSL €305 pa
* Telephone Calls €120pa
* Mobile (pay as you go) €60pa
* Skype €100pa

* Road tax (small engine, diesel and low emissions) €16.50 pa
* MOT costs €27.72
Fuel diesel €1200pa
Car Maintenance €500pa

* Groceries – There are various loyalty cards available. Worth signing up to as you receive some really good discounts. Continete, Mini Preço etc
* Council Tax
(This depends on the age and size of your property).
* Electricity
Very expensive in Portugal EDP have the monopoly. However, there are various tariff options available) Here are the tariffs for 2010

Electricity cost simulator

*HeatingThere are various forms of heating: electric, gas, oil, wood and pellet fires and solar panel.
Gas heating seems to be a popular option as it is convenient but the downside is you do require a large gas tank which is expensive if not preinstalled but definitively worth investigating if you have the space in your garden to site one. Gas can then be delivered in bulk at a significantly reduced price.
Solar panels are increasing in popularity but the initial investment is very high so ROI, will take years to recoup.

*ADSL We use Sapo. Check the special offers.
You will need to continually review these as it’s surprising how much money you can actually save. The best option is to visit your local PT shop. It’s easier than trying to negotiate on the telephone! There are other companies offering various packages and I will post details of these when my research is complete.

*Portugal Telecom: PT Telecom

*Skype– Call Rates: Skype
Calls are free to other Skype Users


Medicines – The cost of medicines in Portugal are very expensive compared to the UK as there is not a set price per item. If you are resident and have a cartão de utente, you do receive discount on certain medicines, but this varies as some attract a higher discount than others.

Doctors – Centre de Saúde (NHS) €2.20 every time you visit the doctor or request a repeat prescription.

Private (Hospitals GP’s and Specialists) – Costs vary. Here are some links to a couple of Private Hospitals. They are a good standby even if you do not have medical insurance. Most have a GP surgery.


Hospital Particular do Algarve S.A.

Dentists – the cost of dental treatment is expensive in Portugal. Last time I had treatment it was €110 just for a check up, clean and polish


I do hope you found the above information of some assistance. 

Look out for the next update!

In the meantime, if anyone has any comments regarding the above or money saving tips they would like to share – please let me know, I’d love to hear from you!

NEXT UPDATE: November 2011


13 thoughts on “Cost of Living in Portugal

Add yours

    1. Hi,

      I am not sure whether you would survive here on 400 euros a month! I suppose it really depends on whether you need private medical cover, perscriptions, a car etc etc. Medication can be expensive and you can easily spend 100euros plus per month on that alone (I speak from experience) Prices are rising drastically and there is only so much you can save by making cuts.

      I am going to review this page shortly when the new IVA taxes are in place.

      Where do you live at the moment?



  1. I don’t know about the cost of living in Portugal, but it sure is a beautiful country. Cost of living has grown leaps and bounds everywhere!! 🙂


  2. We love portugal, though the cost of living has changed over the past 10 years, prices of imported goods are high and taxes have increased.


    1. Hi Simon,
      Yes we have certainly noticed a difference Gas Bottles has doubled in price and of course petrol and diesel have risen dramatically over the last few months…you wonder sometimes where it will end 😦

      Where are you based?



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