Porto is one of the most charming cities in Portugal. So it is no surprise that a lot of people dream of living in Portugal, and when you look at the cost of living in Porto, it often goes to the top of the list. The city is one of the most culturally and historically rich cities in Portugal and has a lot to offer when it comes to entertainment of all sorts. Not to mention the incredibly delicious cuisine it offers, which is to die for.
In general, Porto is a lovely city in which to live. Unlike Lisbon, Porto is more laid-back and chill, and not as hectic as Lisbon. Thus, if you are a person that enjoys more relaxed and safe cities, Porto is definitely for you.
However, living in the city does not go without the celebrations that are more often than in any other country. So, you will be guaranteed to have lots of fun there too and meet some very friendly and hospitable people.
In this post, all of the important information about living in Porto is gathered. From accommodation costs to the costs for entertainment, along with some tips on how to save some cash.
Cost of Accommodation in Porto
Porto is not as expensive as the other big cities in Europe. In fact, it is a relatively affordable city in which to live. The cost of accommodation in Porto can be anything between 500 euros to 1200-1300 per month. The accommodation price depends entirely on the type of property you are about to rent and its location.
If you want to live somewhere in the city center you will have to prepare at least 600 euros for a 1-bedroom apartment or 1200 euros for a 3-bedroom apartment. The most expensive Porto neighbourhoods are Ribeira, Villa Nova da Gaia, Miragaia, Baixa, Villa do Conde, Bonfim and Campanhã. However, these are the most charming neighbourhoods of Porto, and they are situated around the riverside. Thus, the price of rent for a month is quite reasonable.
On the other hand, if you prefer to save some cash on rent, then you should search for accommodation in neighbourhoods such as Maia, Matosinhos, Ramalde, Foz do Douro and some upper parts of Campanhã. There you can expect rent to cost from around 500 euros for a 1-bedroom apartment to 900 euros for a 3-bedroom apartment.
In case you don’t need to rent a whole apartment, you can always opt for renting just a room, which can cost as little as 300 euros. However, you will probably have to share the rest of the property with other people. Thus, this is something to consider beforehand.
The easiest way to find accommodation in Porto is through Netspick. This is an accommodation website that the locals use. It is quite convenient and saves you the hassle of dealing with agencies or other types of intermediaries.
The Price of Utilities in Porto
Utilities in Portugal are quite affordable, although the Portuguese have pretty high electricity bills. Thus, a bill for water and electricity can cost around 120 euros for a 3-bedroom apartment. It is half the price for the smaller apartments, but it can vary, especially during the winter when the heating is on.
When it comes to additional utilities such as the internet, cable TV and sim card, the prices vary greatly. However, the internet price at home can cost around 30 euros per month, which is relatively cheap. Whilst, adding cable TV to the package can increase it to 50 euros, you can eventually even get a free sim card. The most well-known provider in Porto of such services is MEO (www.meo.pt). They always have offers, and it is quite a deal, especially if you are a new user.
Transportation Costs in Porto
Public transport in Porto is pretty well-developed, and it’s very convenient if you plan to travel around the city. Porto’s metro is considered the most reliable means of transportation, which is why most of the people in the city use it.
To use the metro, it is advisable to purchase an Andante Azul Card, which costs 0.60. It is a reusable card, which can be bought in any ticket machine or at any ticket office. Before boarding the metro, it is good to check in advance, which zone you will travel to. Thus, if you plan to travel around the center you will have to charge your card with a ticket for Z2 zone, which costs 1.20 euros. In case you need to get to the Airport from the center you will need to charge it with 2 euros.
If you plan to use the metro often and travel around the city for a month, the best option is to buy the monthly pass. It costs 40 euros and is quite convenient, as you can use it in all zones and there is no limitation as to how many times you can use it per day. It is good to note that before you go into the metro, you have to validate your ticket or card at the metro station’s validators. If you forget to do that, you might get fined by the authorities that regularly check for irregular travelers.
When it comes to using a bus, the logic is the same – you charge your Andante card with the proper ticket. Then, you have to validate it once you get on the bus. However, Porto buses are not as convenient as the metro and are not the most reliable means of transportation. Thus, it is best to avoid them.
Uber and Other Taxi Options in Porto
In case you need fast means of transportation from point A to point B you can check for a taxi. The best options in Porto are Uber and Bolt. The start tariff is 3.50 euros, and then it is 0.50 euros for every kilometer. Thus, it is pretty affordable and for sure, a more convenient means of transportation.
Cost of Food and Eating Out in Porto
If you like Portuguese food, eating out in Porto is for sure affordable and may save you lots of time hassling in the kitchen, as well as even cash. Dining out in Porto may cost you, as little as 7 euros per person for a meal. Or it might cost you around 20 euros for a three-course meal.
However, if you plan to cook for yourself, you can expect to fill your fridge for as little as 20 euros per person. The price of the milk in Porto ranges between 0.40 to 0.80 euros per liter. Cheese is around 7 euros per kilogram, but eggs are considered expensive and are sold for around 2 euros for 12 eggs. In general, fruits and vegetables are relatively cheap, and meat costs about 10 euros per kilogram. Thus, if you are living on a budget in Porto, you are guaranteed to survive.
Where to Buy Groceries in Porto
The best shops to buy groceries is Pingo Doce, Continente and Lidl. Pingo Doce has the best options when it comes to meat and vegetables. It sells fresh fish and shrimps at reasonable prices, and it is an excellent option to check it.
When it comes to buying alcohol, you should be aware that there are only two local beer companies – Sagres and Super Bock in Portugal. Sagres is the beer of the southerners, and Super Bock is of the northern people. Both beers are quite nice, but they are rarely sold in bigger bottles than 330 ml. The usual price is 1 euro, and that of the imported beer is 2 euros.
However, if you have come to live in Porto, you will be more keen to try the wine. In Porto, wine can be found for as little as 1 euro, however, it is good to pay a bit more and taste the better options as Porto Tawny. Its price starts at 10 euros, but there are sometimes relatively cheap deals.
Entertainment Costs in Porto, Portugal
Having some fun in Porto is quite affordable, so it is highly advisable. If you want to have some fun at the local bars in Ribeira, you can expect to pay around 20 euros for a night out. However, if you’re going to go clubbing it can cost about 50 euros, but this would cover your entrance fee and drinks.
If you want to go to the cinema and watch a movie, you can expect to pay 7 euros for the ticket and another 7 euros for popcorns and glasses. This is also applicable for theaters in the city that offer various concerts or plays to enjoy.
In case you want to be active and hit the gym, the monthly subscription ranges from 30 euros to 60 euros. However, this includes group training, access to saunas, pools and steam baths. Usually, the subscription requires you to sign a contract; thus it is good to ask for a copy in English.
Last but not least, it is good to mention that exploring the city is not expensive. The admission fees to most of the landmarks in the city are less than 10 euros each. The price to enter Porto’s cathedral cloisters is 3 euros, whilst exploring the Clerigos complex is 6 euros. Thus, it is quite affordable to explore Porto and not worry about how much you are spending.
About the Author
Alex is a blogger at EarthOSea who has extensively travelled around Europe for the past three years. She has lived in Portugal in since 2019 where she got more familiar with the Portuguese culture, traditions and language.
Alex’s specialty is mainly in travelling in a sustainable and less harmful to the environment way. She is focusing more on ways to travel on a budget or money-for-value. Along with that, she loves hiking and discovering uncharted islands, but she also loves staying at the beach with a book in hand.