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Living costs in Portugal





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Cost of living in Portugal For Students

With a rich history and culture, picturesque towns and bustling cities, and world-renowned study facilities, the beautiful country of Portugal is any student’s dream study location. If you’ve decided to study here then congratulations, you’re in for the time of your life!

As a student, you should feel super excited about the idea of studying in Portugal and starting your journey as a student. There are so many amazing things to do and places to see, you’ll never be stuck for something to do. However, we understand that you might be worrying about the cost of living in Portugal, especially if you’ve got a tight budget.

We’re here to reassure you that you can absolutely live your best student life in Portugal on a budget. From student discounts at museums and restaurants to affordable public transport, there are so many ways to save money as a student.

Planning out your budget before you move to Portugal is important, and you need to think about regular living costs such as accommodation, transport, food, healthcare and more. To help you understand more about cheap living in Portugal, we’ve put together this guide on the cost of living in Portugal. We will cover the following topics:

  • Budgeting for the cost of food in Portugal
  • Saving money on public transport in Portugal
  • Student friendly Portugal on a budget

Grab a drink, get comfy and let us make preparing to live in Portugal on a budget as easy as possible for you with our guide on the cost of living in Portugal.

Budgeting For The Cost of Food in Portugal

When you’re budgeting for uni and working out the average cost of living in Portugal, one thing to consider is the prices of food and drink. When you move to a new country to study, tasting all the delicious foods and learning about the local cuisine is an amazing experience. Portugal is renowned for seafood, as much of the food is influenced by Mediterranean culture. 

With so many wonderful delicacies to try, it’s important to budget for the cost of eating out in Portugal, as well as your weekly groceries.

Grocery prices in Portugal

Every week, or more frequently depending on how you prefer to shop, you’ll likely be doing a grocery shop to pick up all the supplies you need. When you’re thinking about the cost of living in Portugal and budgeting, grocery shopping is definitely something to keep an eye on as it’s essential and happens regularly. 

You’ll be pleased to know that, when shopping in supermarkets, the prices of food and drink in Portugal are usually very low in cost. This covers all your cupboard staples such as pasta, rice, bread, meat, fruit and vegetables. If you have specific dietary requirements, you may find that Portugal food prices increase slightly for you so make sure to factor this in when creating your monthly budget. Cheaper grocery chains that you should take note of include:

  • Pingo Doce
  • Auchan
  • Contiente

If you want to fully embrace Portuguese culture, you can also enjoy high-quality food from local markets! Prices will vary depending on where you’re living in Portugal, but you’ll be sure to uncover some treasures in the Portuguese markets!

Cost of eating out in Portugal

Everyone loves a takeaway or visit to a restaurant every now and then, especially to celebrate finishing assignments or a friend’s birthday. The cost of eating out in Portugal is definitely affordable if you’re not going out every single day; from delicious seafood to tasty pastel de natas.

The prices of food and drink in Portugal will vary depending on where you’re eating. Portugal is filled with wonderful restaurants, cafes, bars, bakeries, fast food restaurants and takeaway options! Wherever you look, you can enjoy a lovely meal with friends, family when they visit or alone if you’d prefer.

The average meal in Portugal is around 8 Euros. Fast food restaurants are considerably cheaper than this too. The best part about eating out in Portugal is that there are so many student discounts available! 

Saving Money on Public transport in Portugal

One of the best ways any student can save money is by using public transport in Portugal. From buses to trams, Portugal has a great public transport infrastructure at affordable prices. Want to learn more about public transport in Portugal? We’ve got you covered:

Public transport in Portugal

  • Metro – Portugal’s metro system is one of the cleanest and well looked after subway systems in Europe! The metro is the fastest transport when it comes to getting around the city, so if you’ve got places to be then this is for you. 
  • Bus – Local buses can take students around the cities quickly and easily. The bus routes go far and wide around Portugal too so you don’t need to worry about getting stranded somewhere. 
  • Train – The train network in Portugal is renowned for its affordability, especially if you book your journey in advance. If you’re planning any day trips out to other cities to explore more of Portugal, this is a great option. 
  • Coach – The train network covers only the main cities, so if you want to discover what Portugal’s like off the beaten track then the long distance coaches are the way to go. They are cheap and comfortable, often with aircon and wifi! 
  • Tram – The picturesque trams in Portugal allow you to explore the cities in a different way. One tram in particular, tram 28 in Lisbon is very popular because of its journey around the steep and narrow hills that modern trams can’t use . Single tram tickets cost around 3 Euros when you buy them onboard.

Public transport in Portugal is by far the quickest, easiest and cheapest way to explore Portugal. Want to hear a secret? You can buy monthly transport passes for around 40 Euros to make your journeys even more affordable! Living in Portugal on a budget doesn’t mean you have to stay inside all day, in fact with the public transport prices in Portugal, you can go anywhere you want.

Student Friendly Portugal on a budget

You might be wondering, how expensive is Portugal when it comes to things to do outside of uni? We’re delighted to tell you that there is an amazing range of things to do in Portugal on a budget.

Similarly to the food options, students will be offered discounts almost everywhere, from shops to entertainment venues. Whether you want to learn more about Portugal’s rich culture or take in its beautiful green spaces, there’s something for everyone to do in Portugal on a budget.

Want a sneak peek at some of the free things you can do in Portugal in your spare time? Here you go:

  • Free entry into many Portuguese museums and other attractions
  • Free walking tours  around Lisbon
  • Free fado shows – Fado is a music genre that dates back to the 1820s that typically involves a solo singer and a classical Portuguese guitar player
  • Picturesque parks that anyone can visit for free

Want to learn more about all the brilliant things to do in Portugal on a budget? Take a look at our recent blog on how to live your best life in Portugal.

Not Found Your Perfect Student Accommodation in Portugal?

We know that every student will have the cost of living in Portugal in mind when planning to move to this beautiful country to study. Once you understand average prices in Portugal, you can budget accordingly and learn about how you can still live your best student life in Portugal on a budget.

Portugal has so many amazing things you can do without breaking the bank, as well as affordable public transport and amazing food options. Our mouths are still watering, thinking about seafood and enjoying a pastel de nata!

Something that will affect your cost of living in Portugal per month is where you choose for your student accommodation. Portugal rent prices will differ depending on which city you plan on living in, however at Nido, we have stylish student accommodation options for every budget. You can choose between private studios with ensuites and kitchenettes, or apartments with shared kitchens. Whatever your accommodation needs are, we’ve got something for you!

The best part? We recognise the importance of downtime so alongside our study spaces, we also have plenty of social spaces, including a gym and a yoga and wellness room for you to relax and unwind in. Sounds perfect, right? We have accommodation in both Lisbon and Porto, so if this sounds like your ideal accommodation, book a tour today. You can also get in touch with us if you have any questions and a member of our team will be happy to help