Living in Lisbon has its perks, from its proximity to beaches, delicious restaurants, and iconic culture, but what makes it stand out from other European capitals is the low cost of living. At around 40% less expensive than Amsterdam and London, but a city that has just as much to offer, Lisbon’s quality of life is a no-brainer. However, keep in mind that while for many expats coming from abroad Lisbon is affordable, more and more locals are leaving the capital as they cannot afford to live there with the rise in housing prices and cost of living. How much money you need to live in Lisbon will depend on your lifestyle and situation, but in general, Lisbon is still a cheap city to live in. Let’s take a look at the average monthly budget in Lisbon for expats without children, families, and digital nomads.
Cost of Living in Lisbon for an Expat – Less than €1,500
The monthly budget in Lisbon for an expat with no children is naturally more affordable. You can get a one-bedroom apartment in the city center for around €830, although these can go for over €1,000. Utilities including electricity, wifi, etc won’t cost you more than €150 a month and public transportation is extremely affordable at €50 a month. Groceries are known to be cheap in Portugal, especially if you know where to shop, and should not run you more than €200 a month. However, similarly to going out to restaurants, bars, and museums, this portion of the budget is also dependent on your lifestyle.
Moreover, health care could be an additional cost to your cost of living in Lisbon. EU citizens with a valid European Health Insurance Card can use the National Health Service (SNS) for free for up to 90 days in Portugal. This allows them time to get registered as legal residents to continue using the public health system. However, no-EU citizens are only entitled to use the public health systemic they are employed and pay social security in Portugal, having to be registered as legal residents as well. Even if this is the case, before arriving in Portugal and becoming a legal resident, they must purchase private health insurance to cover medical care.
Cost of Living in Lisbon for a Digital Nomad – €1,000+
The monthly budget for a digital nomad in Lisbon will vary in relation to lifestyle, but it is more affordable than most European cities. Assuming you’re looking to rent a coworking space, this will run you at least €100 a month and transportation passes cost around €50 a month. Accommodation will also vary but for a shared room in a hostel, prices start at €15 a night, amounting to €450 a month. If you are looking for a private room in a hostel this will cost you around €1,200 a month and a private Airbnb is at least €1,500 a month. If you have a kitchen available, you can opt to cook your food, and groceries are around €200 a month. If you want to eat out 3x a day, budget at least €1,000 a month. To explore the city’s museums, clubs, bars, and more, you will need at least €200 a month. Therefore, the cost of living in Lisbon for a digital nomad can be anywhere from €1,000 to upwards of €3,000 if you are looking to splurge.
Cost of Living in Lisbon for a Family of Four – €3,000+
Having kids is expensive in any city. The cost of living in Lisbon for a family of four starts at €3,000 for a monthly budget. Rent for a three-bedroom apartment is around €1700 in the city center but can go way over for larger properties. Utilities start at €160 but if you have two teenagers who spend a lot of mobile data, instead of young children, it will increase.
Budget around €500 a month for eating out in restaurants, taking a family trip to the cinema, going to concerts, and more. Lisbon is incredibly child-friendly and has loads of events and activities for the whole family. This portion of the budget can naturally go way up, depending on your lifestyle. Weekly groceries for a family of four cost anywhere between €120 and €150 a week.
For health care, EU citizens with a valid European Health Insurance Card can use the National Health Service (SNS) for free for up to 90 days in Portugal. This allows them time to get registered as legal residents to continue using the public health system. However, no-EU citizens are only entitled to use the public health systemic they are employed and pay social security in Portugal, having to be registered as legal residents as well. Even if this is the case, before arriving in Portugal and becoming a legal resident, your whole family will have to have private health insurance to cover medical care which costs around €50 per person a month.
Schools can easily be the largest portion of your budget unless you opt for free Portuguese public schools. If you are looking for an international environment and English-speaking schools, private international schools can cost you anywhere between €6,000 and €20,000 a year per child. If you choose a school that costs €20,000 a year, this will cost you €4,000 a month for two kids.
Therefore, the cost of living in Lisbon for family of four can be anywhere from €3,000 (or less if you reduce leisure activities) to over €8,000.