A golden op-port-unity?
August 20, 2006 10:02 AM   Subscribe

Can I survive (or perhaps thrive?) on €950/month in Portugal?

I'm an English teacher currently in Indonesia. I spend a relatively small proportion of my salary each month, and my life is rich with fantastic food, art, travel, and culture. Can this be replicated in Portugal, when I look for a job there next year?

I'd probably be teaching in a larger city like Lisboa or Oporto, so how far would €950 a month - the minimum I've seen, for a job in Porto with a free apartment - go? (And what if I had to pay rent?) I imagine that life in the larger cities will be more expensive than the countryside, but how much more expensive? Double? Triple? Where can I look for apartment ads for these two cities?

There are all sorts of questions here, really: what would be great would be a guide to living in different parts of Portugal that not only broke down costs of things (bread, movie tickets) but costs of services (health care, internet service, electricity). Does this exist online? If not, what offline resources can you recommend?


a) I can't speak Portuguese, but I can speak French and Spanish, so if you've got Lusophone resources, send them along and I'll try to decipher them.

b) I'm into traditional/organic/local foodways, old buildings, local music scenes, cheap day trips, beaches, and reliable, safe, and clean public transportation. Any recommendations on places to check out on a possible scouting trip this winter would be fantastic.

posted by mdonley to Work & Money (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Speaking as a Portuguese living in Lisbon:

950 EUR is pretty good money if you intend to have a "normal" life. There are a lot of people that can keep on living for about 500 EUR per month, believe me.

If you won't have any expenses (i.e. free apartment), I can say that 950 EUR is way way a lot of money to keep yourself busy while you are here.

Lisbon and Porto are the most expensive cities in Portugal, but not for that much I believe;

Let me give you a general look based upon my life:

A complete meal on a cheap restaurant: 7/8 euros
A complete meal on a good restaurant: 20 euros
A subway token: I think less than 1 euro
Gas/water/electricity: around 50 per month (in my case)
Internet: around 20 per month
A coffee: about 60 cents
A muffin: about 60 cents

Both Porto and Lisbon have a lot of history and places to go, but the country side and seaside is also a must; can't give you links now, but will later check on some resources.

If you need more answers, drop me a quick email (on my profile).

Best of lucks.
posted by LittlePrince at 10:21 AM on August 20, 2006

LittlePrince: Do you have any vague numbers for rent (and possible taxes associated with that)?
posted by wackybrit at 3:04 PM on August 20, 2006

If you had a free apartment it should be extremely easy. Living in Madrid, food at the grocery was very cheap. The bill for my GF and I was at most €20/ month. Lisbon should be about the same. It is probably best to cook for yourself for the best economy.

You can save more money by hooking up with other english teachers and rooming together. AFAIK, Lisbon is cheaper living than Madrid. We managed to find a good quality and decent sized apt for around €800 but you could find much cheaper, medium quality apts for much less.
posted by JJ86 at 7:29 AM on August 21, 2006

You can find a 2 bedroom apartment in Lisbon for around 400/450 Euros month. There are no taxes nor any extra fees (besides utilities). You will have to pay the normal two months rent (one being the deposit) at entry.

I live in the most expensive area of Lisbon and pay around 700 Eur for a (somewhat) big apartment. Expensive to your budget, I know, but remember, this is the *most expensive* zone in Lisbon.

Porto's prices are somewhat cheaper (around 10 to 20%, depending on the zone).

Outside the big cities you can expect to pay around 300/350 euros for a one bedroom apartment. (at least that was what I was paying two years ago on a *new* apartment in Maia, next to Porto.)
posted by LittlePrince at 8:39 AM on August 21, 2006

Awesome! This is great news. Any further links anyone wants to post, ever, feel free - I'll be checking this thread in the future. E-mail's in the profile!
posted by mdonley at 9:55 AM on August 29, 2006

« Older How do I limit my salivation?   |   What happened to Triumph vs. Eminem??? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.