How much does it cost to live in Porto, Portugal?

by Gigi Griffis
Porto grocery counter

Bemvindo a Porto! 

As you may know, I’ve been living in Porto since last winter. Learning Portuguese. Settling in. Making new friends. And, as usual, I’ve been tracking my budgets. 

In the early part of the year, they were all over the place. I moved from a bad roommate situation into my own apartment. I furnished the whole thing myself (ouch, my pocketbook). I had a series of unexpected expenses. And then I gave in and got a series of roommates because I was feeling the strain of those big financial pinches.

But now that I’ve settled a bit more, gotten a roommate, sorted out my electric bill woes, and found my rhythm, it’s time to share an average Porto budget with you. 

So, what does it cost for this solo lady to live in Porto city center? Here’s a real month’s baseline expenses. 

Category EU Dollars
Accommodations 693  $681.13
Transportation (international) 0 0
Transportation (local) 5 $4.91
Groceries 380 $373.49


Eating/drinking out 248 $243.75
Entertainment & activities 9 $8.85
Internet + phone 55 $54.06
Totals 1689 $1366.19

Notes on my spending:

Normally, the budgets on this site reflect a travel lifestyle, but it’s important to note that this budget is for me living here in Portugal. I have a long-term lease. I handle my own utilities and internet (instead of renting an Airbnb with all included). Etc. This means that those traveling here short-term (especially during high season) will likely spend more on accommodations (or have to stay farther from the center).

It’s also worth reminding you how I live. I have a fancy two-bedroom in a very nice part of town, which I share with a roommate. I’m still working, so I’m not out and about spending money as much as a retiree or traveler might. But I do go out to events, for drinks or meals with friends, etc. I have a nice kitchen and like to cook at home. And a lot of the things I do in my spare time are free or low-cost (e.g. a two- or three-euro entry fee to an event). 

Now, with that in mind, let’s dig deeper into the categories above and why I spent what I spent…

My accommodation cost includes my rent, bi-weekly apartment cleaning (the roommate handles alternate weeks), and utilities (water, electric). I live in a two-bedroom apartment in a newly renovated building with a roommate and I pay a bit less than half the rent for the smaller, less fancy room (and for the fact that all the furnishings are mine and thus the wear and tear on them is also mine to absorb).

Weekly cleaning on its own costs about 50 euros per week, including tip, so since I handle it twice a month, that makes my cleaning bill around 100 euros.

Transportation includes an uber back from a doctor visit in the rain. Otherwise, I pretty much walked everywhere this month.

The grocery category represents both groceries (including Luna’s food since I feed her a homemade diet) and toiletries/supplies. My eating out bill this month was on the high side because I splurged on big sushi nights twice to celebrate and I got takeout burritos more often than usual this month.

My entertainment bill includes entry fees for local events I’ve been attending.

For internet/phone, I use pre-paid sim cards, which are a bit more expensive but give me more flexibility than long-term plans.


Health and wellness (not included above) has shifted significantly now that I’m here in Portugal. Instead of paying for a monthly private insurance, I am now on the public system. This means that this line item now represents my out-of-pocket expenses (doctor visits, pharmacy expenses, my flu shot, physiotherapy, massages…) and not my insurance costs. I also pay a yearly $120 for a health concierge who helps me schedule appointments and answer health questions.

I didn’t include my health costs above because I’m not sure how helpful it would be (since everyone’s costs likely vary considerably on this kind of thing), but here is the line item if it’s helpful:

Health & wellness 299 $293.88

Also not included above are Luna the traveling pooch’s expenses, which came out to:

Luna (vet bills, supplies)  141 $138.58

Again, I share these separately from the main total above because Luna’s costs may not be relevant to the majority of readers. They include vet visits, treats, pee pads (for a little balcony dog potty I set up so that she and I can avoid trudging through rainstorms for pee breaks and because as she gets older, she needs to go out more often), etc.

Also not included above are business expenses, random for-fun or supply purchases not related to travel, including a new carrier backpack for Luna, charitable contributions, a bunch of audiobooks I splurged on, etc. I don’t include these because these posts are meant to give you a sense of baseline cost of living for me in a place, which these don’t feel relevant to.

Looking for more European budgets? Here they all are

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Erick E Arnell November 20, 2022 - 7:07 pm

Thank you so much fot these thorough cost of living breakdowns. So helpful to understand what are reasonable expectations. Estou muito obrigado a você!

Veronica Hanson October 3, 2023 - 4:11 am

Thanks for the breakdown. We are hoping to move to Sintra this summer and I suspect our expenses will be quite a bit higher. But, good to see items like food and internet are so low.


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