Updated 2024: Cost of Living in Lisbon

Written By Lara Silva

Residing in Lisbon comes with advantages, including its closeness to beaches, access to culture, and incredible food scene. What sets it apart from other European capitals is the affordability of living, though the cost has been noticeably increasing, posing a challenge for the residents on a local Portuguese salary. Still, Lisbon is around 30% cheaper than Paris and 50% cheaper than London. 

Keep in mind that the highest cost for anyone moving to Lisbon is the rent. The average price for an apartment in Lisbon is 21€/m2 (December 2023), a 17% increase in comparison to December 2022. Let’s take a look at the average monthly budget in Lisbon for expats without children, families, and digital nomads in 2024. 

Guide to Lisbon

Cost of Living in Lisbon for an Expat

  • Housing: For a one-bedroom apartment that’s around 60 m2, expect to pay over €1200. Alternatively, you can also find studios for €700 to €900 a month but expect cramped conditions. Rooms in shared homes tend to go for around €600 at the moment.
  • Utilities: You need to budget at least €100 to €150 for bills such as electricity and gas, but this can go up in the winter with a lot of use of your heating. Also, keep in mind that your internet and phone bill should run you around an extra €50.
  • Groceries: The price of groceries depends on your lifestyle, diet, choice of products, as well as where you shop. But for a safe bet, budget at least €100 a week for groceries for one person. 
  • Eating Out: Full meals for €10 are a thing of the past in Lisbon. While you can still find a few bargains, prices this low are rare and hard to find. A meal out will cost you at least €20 without alcohol at most mid-range restaurants but can be a lot more expensive. If you eat out twice a week, for example, you will need to budget at least €160 a month, but this amount is still pretty conservative. 
  • Transportation: Lisbon has new transport passes for €40 called Passe Navegante which allows you to use all public transport companies in the 18 municipalities in greater Lisbon.
  • Healthcare: Much like the UK’s NHS, Portugal’s public healthcare system provides essential medical services free of charge to residents, though certain state healthcare services may necessitate standard user fees. These fees range, with examples including €15 for Accident and Emergency Department visits and €5 for basic GP appointments. If you want to go private for easier access to appointments and a wider range of services available (dermatology and dentistry, for example), health insurance will cost you anywhere between €40 to €100 a month.

Cost of Living in Lisbon for a Digital Nomad 

  • Housing: If you are looking for a short stay of less than a year, you might still be able to rent a place with a rental contract and pay around €1200 for a one-bedroom. However, it’s more likely that you will have to book a place on Airbnb. This will cost you at least around €1500 for a small apartment during the low season, and anywhere from €2500 to €3000 during the summer. Alternatively, renting a bed at a hostel for around €30 could help you save some money. 
  • Groceries: Digital nomads tend to want to explore the food scene since they might be staying in Lisbon for shorter periods of time. However, if you are keen on making most of your food at home, budget €100 a week for groceries for one person. 
  • Transportation: Lisbon has new transport passes for €40 called Passe Navegante which allows you to use all public transport companies in the 18 municipalities in greater Lisbon. Uber and Bolt also offer quite affordable fares in Lisbon.
  • Eating Out: A meal will cost you around €20 at an average mid-range restaurant without alcohol. But you can easily spend €40+ on a meal for one at certain restaurants in Lisbon.
  • Sightseeing & Leisure: Make the most out of Lisbon while you’re here. The city has plenty of museums, theaters, cinemas, and bars to explore. Budget around €30 to €50 a week for these kinds of activities. 
  • Coworking: Coworking spaces in Lisbon are becoming more expensive, matching other European cities. Renting a desk for a month can cost around €200 or more.

Cost of Living in Lisbon for a Family of Four

  • Housing: A 3-bedroom apartment in Lisbon will cost you around €2,100 but can easily go up to €3,000. You can find more affordable apartments in areas just outside Lisbon like Odivelas (13,2 €/m2), Amadora (13,4 €/m2), and Loures (12,9 €/m2), but then having a car is recommended. 
  • Utilities: You need to budget at least €200 for bills such as electricity and gas, but this can go up in the winter with a lot of use of your heating. Internet and phone bills will depend on the amount of phones, but budget at least €100 for a family package.
  • Groceries: The price of groceries depends on your family’s lifestyle and food choices. But for a safe bet, budget at least €200 to €250 a week for groceries for a family of four.
  • Transportation: Lisbon has new transport passes for €40 called Passe Navegante which allows a person to use all public transport companies in the 18 municipalities in greater Lisbon. But for families, the deal is even better! Each family only needs to pay a maximum of two passes for €80 and the whole family gets transport included. If you have children under 12, they can also get a pass for free.
  • Eating Out: A meal out will cost you at least €20 without alcohol at most mid-range restaurants but can be a lot more expensive. If you eat out once a week with your family, for example, you will need to budget at least €300 a month, but this can be a lot more depending on the choice of restaurants.
  • Education: 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 €7,000 and €20,000 a year per child. A private Portuguese school will cost you around €6,000. 
  • Healthcare: Portugal’s public healthcare system provides medical care for free to residents, though certain state healthcare services include standard user fees (like €5 for basic GP appointments). At this moment, however, your family is unlikely to be given a family GP as there are none available, making access harder. Therefore, if you want to go private, you should get health insurance for your whole family which can cost at least €200, depending on factors such as age and previous illnesses. 

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