Portugal is generally considered to be one of the more affordable destinations in Europe. But how affordable is it actually? If you are planning to visit Portugal you may want to know how much to budget for your trip. To help you with that, we’re sharing here how much we spent while exploring Portugal in March 2019.
- The costs are based upon a couple travelling together.
- We did not travel as part of an organised tour group but as independent travellers.
- Not considered is the entry or exit transport into/out of the country.
- We are digital nomads so base ourselves in accommodation that has good Wi-Fi.
- Included in the overall daily costs (for the period of time we are in the country) are:
Where We Travelled
We travelled from Lisbon to Caminha, staying in four locations: Lisbon (5 nights), Sintra (3 nights), Porto (4 nights) and Caminha (1 night).
In three of the four locations, we stayed in private short term rental accommodation sourced through the short-term rental accommodation platform, Airbnb. We prefer to stay with locals as this gives us a more personal experience (than staying in an anonymous hotel), our funds go directly to our hosts and their communities, and we always learn heaps by chatting to our hosts.
For our final accommodation in Caminha, we chose a small local guesthouse close to the Camino Portuguese.
|Casa Do Galvão||Lisbon||Entire home|
|At home in Sintra||Sintra||Private double room with bathroom|
|Soares do Reis Bed & Breakfast||Porto||Private double room with bathroom|
|Arca Nova Guest House||Caminha||Private room with bathroom|
In Lisbon, we only used public transport, including from the airport. Lisbon has the Viva Viagem card which you can load up with money and then tap on to the card reader as you enter the bus/tram, metro or train station. You can even use the card to take the train to/from Sintra.
Apart from a short taxi ride up the hill from Sintra’s train station to our accommodation, we walked everywhere in Sintra. Likewise in Porto, as we stayed close enough to the city centre.
For inter-city travel in Portugal, we found buses and trains to cost pretty much the same. To have the experience of both, we travelled from Lisbon to Porto by bus (with Rede Expressos) and from Porto to Caminha by train.
Groceries and Dining
Dining made up 75% of our total groceries and dining expenses. It is normally a lot less, as we try to stay at accommodation that allows us to cook and eat at the property. The food though was so nice in Portugal that we found ourselves eating out for lunch every day (usually the plate of the day option which is always good value). We also enjoyed way too many pastries.
At least, in Sintra, Porto and Caminha, some form of breakfast was provided as part of the accommodation costs, which was a nice way to kick off the day.
Some of the things we did and saw around Portugal are subjects of separate posts: Lisbon and Sintra as well as Porto. It was the first time since returning from the Americas in 2017 that we had done any real tourist activities outside my own country.
We are always on the look-out for activities that give us an insight into local life but also enable us to contribute directly to local communities, and we ended up with a mix of paid and free (or low cost) activities.
Nomadic Matt gave us this tip: Most museums are free on Sundays.
Travel Costs Summary Table
|Categories||EUR per person per day|
|Health (including Travel Insurance)||EUR2.92||6%|
|Total per person per day||EUR49.21|
Other Cost Summaries and Budgets
Travel budget websites calculated the costs as shown in the below table. We are unsure whether their data includes entry/exit cost. However, it is good to compare our actual versus their data.
|Name||Daily Amount Per Person||Travel Style|
|Budget Your Trip||EUR40.00||Budget|
|Love and Road||EUR45.34||Budget to Mid-range|
|Lonely Planet||EUR50.00||Budget (up to)|
|My Funky Travel||EUR55.00||Budget|