Porto is a wonderful city for expats and digital nomads looking to explore culture and history, visit beaches, and enjoy high-quality restaurants for an affordable price. Porto’s rent prices are 20% lower than in Lisbon and a whopping 65% lower than in London. While the cost of living is on the rise around the globe, for many coming from places such as the United States and the United Kingdom, Porto remains an affordable city with as much to offer as their places of origin. However, it is clear that the rise in housing prices and products is causing many locals to have to leave the city in order to find a budget that meets their salaries. If you’re considering Porto as a permanent or temporary home, let’s take a look at the average monthly budget in Porto for expats without children, families, and digital nomads.
Cost of Living in Porto for an Expat – Less than €1300
The monthly budget for an expat in Porto is around €200 cheaper than in Lisbon. You can get a one-bedroom apartment for €700, while these can cost up to €1000. A three-bedroom costs around €1250 a month. For utilities, expect to pay around €140 a month including heating, electricity, gas, as well as wifi and phone data. A monthly transport pass costs around €35 which is a lot more affordable than renting a car and paying for fuel. Budget at least €150 for eating out in restaurants and exploring the city’s culture and nightlife. This part of the budget can be reduced or increased depending on your lifestyle, along with your monthly grocery budget which averages at around €200 a month.
Health care could be another extra cost. 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 Porto for a Digital Nomad – €1000
The monthly budget for a digital nomad in Porto is a lot cheaper than in most European cities, making it the perfect location to work from while discovering a new city. Co-working spaces are less common than in Lisbon, although there are plenty at the moment, and prices start at €115 a month. A monthly transport pass is extremely affordable at €35 a month, while this would cost you over €100 in cities like London and Amsterdam. For accommodation, you can choose to save by booking a shared dormitory room starting at €15 a night or a private room starting at €40 a night. For a more luxurious experience, you can book an Airbnb in Porto which will cost you between €1,500 and €2,500 a month. Budget at least €200 a month for exploring the city’s monuments, museums, clubs, and bars, as well as some of the best food in the country. If you have a kitchen at your disposal this will save you a large portion of your budget as groceries cost around €50 a week, depending on your lifestyle (and appetite). If you choose to eat out 3x a day, budget at least €10 per meal so around €900 a month.
Cost of Living in Porto for a Family of Four – €2600+
The monthly budget for a family of four in Porto is naturally more expensive than for a single expat. However, it is more affordable for a family to live in Porto than in other European cities, including Lisbon, particularly due to cheaper rent prices. The average rent of a three-bedroom apartment in the city center costs around €1300 a month, but prices can reach over €1,800. Transportation costs €35 per person so a monthly pass for a family of four will cost you around €140. If you rather opt for driving around the city which might be more convenient for kids, fuel can cost anywhere between €150 and €250 a month, depending on the current gas prices. Budget around €500 a month for activities with the kids such as going to the movies and museums, as well as eating out once a week. You can always spend less or more, that will depend on how you budget and your wishes. Utilities cost around €150 a month, including wifi and phone data. A weekly grocery shop will cost anywhere between €125 and €150 a week if you know the best spots to shop.
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 be expensive if you opt for private international schools that are English-speaking. These can cost you anywhere between €4,000 and €15,000 a year per child. However, Portugal has a free public school system that residents can take advantage of. Nevertheless, these are often underfunded (depending on where you live) and are obviously in Portuguese.
In conclusion, a monthly budget for a family of four can be anywhere from €2,600 (or less if you reduce leisure activities) to over €6,000.