The 5 cheapest cities to live in Portugal in 2022 WithPortugal
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The 5 cheapest cities to live in Portugal in 2022

If you are arranging immigration to Portugal, in addition to such large cities as Lisbon or Porto, we also recommend that you consider other, less well-known Portuguese towns. This will be especially true when you are preparing a move on a limited budget or do not want to live in a big metropolis and are looking for peace and solitude while being within maximum reach of shops, restaurants, and other urban infrastructure.

Lisbon and Porto can become great cities for living, but you need to understand that rents or the cost of real estate in case of purchase will be maximum in these cities, which means that you will definitely not be able to save money on living in such large cities.

In what cities in Portugal can you live with minimal costs? Let's explore this in detail in this article.

What determines the cost of living in a particular city?

 

If you have no idea what your main costs will be in a particular city in Portugal, then it is essential to highlight the following main categories:

  • The cost of renting an apartment: this article of expenditure will take the largest share of your expenses for the month. At the same time, depending on the city, this amount will be very different, and that is why in this article, we will consider those cities in which the amount of rent is as low as possible.
  • The cost of utilities: this article of expenditure will also differ slightly from city to city, but basically, everything will depend on how much you will spend on water, gas, and electricity. With maximum savings, such expenses can amount to 50-100 euros per month, and if you constantly turn on heaters, air conditioners, and take a bath every day, then get ready to pay 200, 300, or more euros for utilities. Since this aspect of costs is purely personal, we will not consider it within the framework of this article.
  • Food cost: here in this article we have already described in detail the cost of the consumer basket in Portugal and the fact it will not make much difference whether you live in Lisbon or the Portuguese village, because if you visit the same supermarket chains, the cost of groceries will be approximately the same and you will spend from 150 euros per person (and more, depending on your taste habits and needs). That is why we will not consider this point in this article either.
  • Transport cost: in March 2022, gasoline prices in Portugal rose strongly, and most likely, this trend will only continue (current fuel prices in the country can always be checked here), that's why buying your own car in Portugal will be more expensive than ever. If you buy a used car, there is always the risk of unexpected breakdowns and very high repair costs, and if you buy a new car or take it to lease, then you still have to pay for petrol and toll roads (fast lanes and good quality roads between cities in Portugal are primarily tolls). So in 2022, having a personal car will be an extremely expensive pleasure. Therefore, the most economical option would be to use public transport, but if you live in a small Portuguese town, you can move there on foot, or by bicycle or scooter, which is very popular now. So in this article, we will estimate the cost of public transport in various Portuguese cities to understand how much it will cost you to move to the city.

Top 5 cheap cities in Portugal

Braganza

The city of Braganza is located in the northern part of Portugal, on the border with Spain, and has about 35 thousand inhabitants. Braganza will definitely not disappoint you if you love nature, mountains, and small medieval towns. At the same time, the city has everything necessary for a comfortable life: shops, schools, clinics, museums, gardens, cafes, restaurants, etc.

 

Braganza is one of the cheapest cities to live in Portugal, and the cost of renting an apartment here is the lowest in the country, although it is worth mentioning that there will be very few apartments to choose from because the smaller the city, the fewer offers on the real estate market. Therefore, you will have to work hard to find apartments or houses for rent in this city (or municipality), but if you are lucky, housing costs will be minimal.

 

The average estimate of your income and expenses in this city will look like this:

  • Rent apartment T1 (apartment with 1 bedroom and 1 hall) - starting from 250 euros
  • Public transport (travel card for 1 person) - 24 euros
  • The average salary in the city latest PORDATA data- 1020 euros

At the same time, we do not recommend focusing on the average salaries in different cities because everything will depend on the specific job and your specialty. Just remember that for 2022 the minimum salary in Portugal is 705 euros per month, and even with this salary, it is quite possible to live and rent in Braganza.

Castelo Branco

Castelo Branco is located in the central part of Portugal, near the border with Spain, and currently has a population of about 52,000 people.

 

The city has all the necessary infrastructure for a quality and comfortable life, so you will definitely not have a lack of shops, restaurants, schools, clinics, parks, and museums. Furthermore, if you want to visit the Portuguese capital, you can get to Lisbon by train without transfers in just 2.5 hours (and for about 15 euros) from the city.

 

The average estimate of your income and expenses in this city will look like this:

  • Rent apartment T1 (apartment with 1 bedroom and 1 hall) - starting from 280 euros
  • Public transport (travel card for 1 person) - 25 euros
  • The average salary in the city latest PORDATA data - 995 euros

Just like in the case of the city of Braganza, the choice of houses and apartments directly within the boundaries of Castelo Branco is extremely limited, but, for example, at the time of writing this article, I found one apartment for 250 euros in the city center and one house for 300 euros on the Imovirtual website. Naturally, these prices are as low as possible, and for such money, it will be challenging to rent even a room in Lisbon, and in Castelo Branco, even with a minimum salary, it is quite possible to rent an apartment or a private house for rent.

Viseu

Viseu is the largest city in our article, with a population of around 60,000. Viseu is located in the central region and has been repeatedly recognized by various ratings as the city with the highest quality of life in Portugal. At the same time, it has a significantly developed infrastructure, and it has many schools, hospitals, museums, parks and gardens, shopping centers, shops, theaters, and art galleries.

The municipality also has many factories and manufacturing enterprises, which means that if you want to find a job as a salaried employee in Portugal, then in Viseu, it will be easier to do than in the previous two cities on our list.

Viseu is full of historical monuments and archaeological heritage, so if you love history, medieval cities, and fortresses, then the city will definitely not disappoint you.

 

At the same time, from Viseu, you can quickly get to Porto in just 1.5 hours with your car.

 

The average estimate of your income and expenses in this city will look like this:

  • Rent apartment T1 (apartment with 1 bedroom and 1 hall) - starting from 400 euros
  • Public transport (travel card for 1 person) - 30 euros
  • The average salary in the city latest PORDATA data- 1037 euros

At the same time, we can find a considerable number of ads for renting apartments and houses on real estate search websites, which distinguishes Viseu from the two previous cities on our list, in which the number of ads was minimal.

 

For example, in the picture below, you can see an example of a furnished studio apartment in the very center of the city for 350 euros.

 

Starting from 450 euros, you can find many ads for renting apartments with 1 or 2 bedrooms, so in Viseu, you will definitely have no problems finding housing for rent, which is much cheaper than in large Portuguese cities.

 

Vila Real

Vila Real is a city located in the country's northern region with a population of about 29 thousand inhabitants in the town. Vila Real is a good place for those looking for a quiet city with a good quality of life and good infrastructure. At the same time, you can get to Porto by public transport or your own car from the city in a little more than an hour.

 

The average estimate of your income and expenses in this city will look like this:

  • Rent apartment T1 (apartment with 1 bedroom and 1 hall) - starting from 350 euros
  • Public transport (travel card for 1 person) - 30 euros
  • The average salary in the city latest PORDATA data- 1001 euros

Vila Real also has a lot of ads for apartments and houses for rent, so you can choose precisely the accommodation that suits you best.

 

So, in the picture below you can see an example of an apartment with furniture and a new renovation in the very center of the city with 1 bedroom and 1 hall for only 400 euros and there are a lot of similar ads on real estate websites.

 

Leiria

Leiria is a city in the central region of Portugal with a population of about 42,000 people.

In this historical medieval Portuguese city, you will find a fortress, a lot of museums and parks, a developed infrastructure, schools (the municipality even has an international school), hospitals, cafes and restaurants, shops, etc. At the same time, Lisbon can be reached from the city in just 1.5 hours by private car.

 
 

The average estimate of your income and expenses in this city will look like this:

  • Rent apartment T1 (apartment with 1 bedroom and 1 hall) - starting from 400 euros
  • Public transport (travel card for 1 person) - 20 euros
  • The average salary in the city latest PORDATA data- 1126 euros

There are a lot of ads for renting apartments on real estate search websites ranging from 400-450 euros, but sometimes you can find cheaper options.

 

So, in the picture below, you can see an example of a studio apartment in the city center for only 260 euros, which is why Leiria will be an excellent option for those who want to live close to Lisbon while saving on rental costs.

 

Inexpensive cities in Portugal are a great option for a comfortable life

Especially if your budget is limited and you are not ready to spend around 1000 euros just to rent an apartment in a major Portuguese city. As part of our article today, we have shown with specific examples that there are still cities in Portugal where you can rent an apartment for 300 euros or even less. And at the same time, you will not live in a village, but in a city, not very big, but a city, where all the infrastructure necessary for a comfortable life will be.

In addition, choosing a small and inexpensive city can be a great option for your first year after immigration to Portugal, because you will significantly save on renting real estate and will be able to travel around the country (this can be done easily and inexpensively by trains or intercity buses), choosing exactly the city and region in which you will be as comfortable as possible, and where you can later move.

 

Immediately after arriving in a new country, you are unlikely to understand which region and city are right for you, so why pay 1000 euros or more to live in Lisbon or Cascais if you are unsure that this city and area are correct for your permanent life? In this regard, small and inexpensive cities in Portugal will be just the perfect option for the first time, especially if you are a freelancer and are not tied to a specific place of work.

We hope that the material in this article has given you more information about how things are with the cost of living in small Portuguese cities and that with its help, you will be able to choose the city for living that is right for you, both in spirit and on budget.