It’s unfortunate that the cost of living in Lisbon has risen in the past years, particularly rental cost.
Although there are more expensive restaurants and coffee shops than there were a few years ago, most of the other living costs have risen in a much less drastic way. It’s possible to find a lunch menu that you like, less than 10€, a glass of wine for 2€ or less or a coffee for 50 cents.
It all depends on where you eat! It’s possible to find a nice 3-course lunch menu with wine for less than 15€, but you’ll struggle to get the main meal for less than that if you go to a more international restaurant.
The average price of the main meal in an upmarket restaurant selling quality food is probably around 17€ or more. Not that bad, right?
Are you a coffee lover? Well, coffee is the same! You can get an espresso for somewhere between .60€ and 1.20€ in most cafes in Lisbon, but go to a more upscale cafe and your costs will double.
Groceries are very affordable in Lisbon, particularly if you live near a decent supermarket. This can make a big difference to your overall living costs and also lookout for a big supermarket such as Lidl or Continente when your house hunting.
If you’re struggling to find one near you, don’t worry!! Portuguese markets are great for fruit, vegetables and all types of meats and often more affordable than the supermarkets.
A public transport ticket (valid for the bus, train, tram, or ferry) costs €1.50 and you can get a monthly pass for €30-40. Even if you don’t get a monthly pass, be sure to get a rechargeable Via Viagem card to get the cheaper rate. Without this card, you’ll pay almost double on the buses and trams.
Taxis and Ubers are also very affordable. A 9km trip from Praça do Comércio to Lisbon Airport, for example, would cost around €10. That said, regular taxi rides quickly add up.
Lisbon is a very small city and, although it’s hilly, it’s easy to get around on foot. Most districts are very small, and you can walk across them in 10 or 15 minutes.
You don’t need a car in Lisbon, so whether you get one is up to you. Parking in Lisbon is competitive, and the streets are often very narrow so you may want to just hire one as and when you need it.
Lisbon is GREAT! There are gyms to suit every need and budget. At the cheaper end of the scale, Time to Fitness 24 costs around 19.99€ – 34.99€ depending on the package you choose. Most of the other gyms average at around 50€ but can increase to 250€ a month.
If you’d prefer to run, there are numerous of amazing areas around the city particularly the waterfront between Cais do Sodre and Belem and in Monsanto.
Rent in Lisbon
Finding long-term accommodation is a mission impossible. You need to have quite a lot of money to find something decent. Otherwise, you either need to share a flat with others or live in a place that looks like a cave.
Flats in the city centre are quite expensive. The below numbers are only an estimated average. You can still find something for that price, but it will take you a very long time. It’s cheaper to live in the suburbs. It’s easier to find something there, too.
- 1 bedroom apartment in the city: 843€
- 1 bedroom apartment outside of the city centre: 550€
- Utilities (electricity, water, …): 90€
- Landline internet connection: 20-30€ depending on the speed
This may only apply if you like art – but who in the hell doesn’t like art? Lisbon has some wonderful museums and the majority of them are ignored by locals and tourists alike. That means you can head to most of these museums and stand and stare at a painting for hours instead of fighting tourists who merely want a selfie with the Monalisa or Nike of Samothrace. On top of that, many of the museums offer incredibly cheap entrance prices. Some include:
- Museu de Arte Antiga
- Berardo Collection
- Fundacao Gulbenkian
- and Pimenta Palace
Are you thinking of moving to another European country, check out our Barcelona blog. Click here.