COST OF LIVING IN LISBON

Cost of Living in Lisbon (2019)

Lisbon among the 100 most expensive cities in the world in 2019. Hong Kong is the most expensive city in the world. Zurich (Switzerland) is the most expensive city in Europe.

Lisbon is the 95th most expensive city in the world in terms of cost of living (97th in 2018). Living in Lisbon is affordable in comparison to other European countries. However, in Lisbon (especially in the city centre) prices across the board have risen a lot in the last 5 years. This article aims to give you a good and more realistic perspective of the current (2019) cost of living in Portugal. Have a read!

1. Housing – Cost of living in Lisbon

Renting a house

Prices differ a lot depending on which area of Lisbon you want to live. In the city centre, a one-bedroom flat costs between €900 and €1,500 per month (bills not included). But, if you don’t mind living on the outskirts, you will find the same type of accommodation for about €500/€700 per month.

Rent is undoubtedly the heaviest expense currently in the cost of living in Lisbon. The most recent survey by the National Institute of Statistics (INE) found that renting a house in the capital cost twice as much as the rest of the country. In a quick query to a real estate listings website, the prices found for a 1 bedroom apartment, between 50 and 70 square meters, ranges from 700 € to 1,350 € per month.

Buying a house

If you want to buy a house the prices can be also vary greatly depending on the preferred location. In the city centre prices range from between €4000/m2 to €6000/m2.  Living in the outskirts prices can be far cheaper such as €2000 to €4000/m2 (many of these places have metro connections nearby and are just 20-25 minutes from the city centre).

If you want to buy a house in Lisbon you have to be prepared for the high prices, especially if you choose the most expensive areas. Parishes like “Santa Maria Maior” and “Santo António” register prices well above the national average, set at 4,566 € per square meter. In places, the values ​​are € 5,934 and € 5,852, respectively. In the parish of “Santa Clara”, listed as the cheapest, the square meter is 2,577 euros.

2. Learning Portuguese in Lisbon

If you have decided to live in Lisbon, you have to think about learning Portuguese. An A1 course of 25-30 hours costs between €250 and €600 (all materials included).

If you want to compare the different prices of the many (!) portuguese language schools, click HERE!

3. Salaries in Lisbon

Salaries in Lisbon are low. The minimum salary (2019) is €585 ( based on 40 hours per week). The average salary is around €850 per month. From a Portuguese citizen perspective, if you have a monthly salary of €1,200 you will have enough money to have a decent quality of life. However, finding a job in Lisbon (and in Portugal) can be challenging. Make sure that you consider all aspects of this part of your move thoroughly and have everything organised beforehand.

4. Food prices

In Portugal, the most common type of food is Mediterranean, which is based on olive oils, seafood, fish, salads and fresh and dried fruits. In the capital and other larger cities, such as Porto, you can find all the elements to compose other types of food.

A person needs at least € 184.47 per month to maintain a 2,400 calorie diet. If we think of a couple, the value would come close to 400 €. This considering a home-cooked diet. When the routine includes eating in restaurants, the values ​​are different. A meal in a cheap restaurant in the city costs on average € 8.50. Already in a medium-sized establishment, with entry, main course and dessert, the price rises to 35 €, for two people.

Check out a few price examples:

Supermarkets

1 liter of milk: 0,70 €

1 kg of chicken breast: 5,89 €

1 dozen eggs: 1,68 €

1 kg of rice: 0.97 €

1 kg of red meat (back leg): 9,43 €

1 kg of bananas: 1.21 €

1 kg of apples: 1,65 €

1 bottle of Coke: 1.36 €

In a restaurant

It really depends on the restaurant you choose. Prices can be super affordable but there are also “restaurants for tourists” that can be expensive. If you take a little time to do your research for a restaurant, we are more than sure that you will find plenty of cheap (and good) ones. A full meal (starters, main course, wine, dessert and coffee) can cost between €10 and €25. Doesn’t that sound good to you?

5. PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

Portugal has a good supply of public transport. Buses, subways, trams, taxis, ubbers, tuk-tuks, trains and boats. The waiting time is quite variable. In the subway it is normal to wait between 3 and 7 minutes. Buses, trains and boats are less frequent (every 20 or 25 minutes).

Through the study it was also possible to conclude that the price of gasoline in Lisbon is one of the highest considering the other cities in the ranking.

In conclusion, the public transport system in Lisbon works well and thousands of people depend on it daily. The monthly pass is from 30€ to 40€. For those who prefer to use their own car, should include in the account the value of gasoline. On average, the liter costs 1.57 €.

6. Schools

For those with children, there is certainly also concern with schools and day care centers. For children from 3 years, there are public day care centers. From 4 months to 5 years, there are private establishments that have an agreement with Social Security and practice values ​​according to family income. In addition to these two options, there are, of course, private establishments. In Lisbon, the tuition of a full-time private daycare center is on average € 414.61.

7. Health Clubs and entertainment

Those who want to attend a gym should be prepared to pay (per month) from 29 € to 50 €. At the time of entertainment, if the choice is cinema, it is important to know that the ticket price is between 6 € and 7,50 €.

Summing up

Lisbon is indeed a delightful city and has several points in its favor. It is the heart of the country and there are some of the biggest shows and important events like Rock in Rio and Web Summit. It is easier to access certain types of service, multiculturalism is much more “widespread” and easy to reach with people from all over the world. The capital is also where several national and international companies are established. The result is a more dynamic job market with more opportunities than smaller cities.

On the other hand, living in Lisbon is getting more and more expensive. Lisbon is witnessing a rise in the price of rents, services and consumer goods. Residents, especially in areas of greater economic interest, are suffering from pressure and evictions from building owners. Renting a place to live has become a real nightmare and many people have chosen to work in Lisbon but live in another nearby city. More people moving also means more traffic and more overloaded public services.

The important thing is to always have a realistic and informed view before making any decisions. Living in Lisbon may be the best alternative for one person, but for another it may no longer be.

If you want to know more about our portuguese classes, click HERE!

Summary