How much does it cost to explore Portugal?

How much does it cost to explore Portugal?

Paul RykenFirst Published: Last Updated: Afford your trip, Portugal Leave a Comment

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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.


When reading our travel costs for Portugal, please keep the following in mind:

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).

Map of Portugal and the destinations we explored
Map of Portugal and the destinations we explored


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.

Accommodation NameCityType
Casa Do GalvãoLisbonEntire home
At home in SintraSintraPrivate double room with bathroom
Soares do Reis Bed & BreakfastPortoPrivate double room with bathroom
Arca Nova Guest HouseCaminhaPrivate room with bathroom

Most Expensive Sleep (Casa Do Galvão): USD47.75 / EUR42.56
Least Expensive Sleep (At home in Sintra): USD32.52 / EUR28.99

Our Lisbon accommodation was a typical Portuguese house, lovingly restored and cozy
Our Lisbon accommodation was a typical Portuguese house, lovingly restored and cozy


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.

Travelling around Portugal by train is comfortable and inexpensive
Travelling around Portugal by train is comfortable and inexpensive

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.

Most expensive meal (Noobai Cafe, Lisbon): USD52.28 / EUR46.60
Least expensive meal (Lebanese Corner, Lisbon): USD11.22 / EUR10.00

Prices are for two adults


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.

Most expensive activity (Pena Palace in Sintra): USD29.84 / EUR26.60
Least expensive activity (Livraria Lello): USD11.22 / EUR10.00

Prices are for two adults

The Chapel of Souls, one of many churches in Porto (covered in blue tiles) that are free to enter
The Chapel of Souls, one of many churches in Porto (covered in blue tiles) that are free to enter

Travel Costs Summary Table

CategoriesEUR per person per day
Health (including Travel Insurance)EUR2.926%
Government CostsEUR0.000%
Total per person per dayEUR49.21

13 nights in Portugal: USD1,435.46 / EUR1,279.49 (two people)
Daily Expenses in Portugal: USD55.21 / EUR49.21 (per person)

How much money do you need to travel? We keep tabs on how much we spend as we roam around the world. Check our countries list and work out how much your next trip may cost you.

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.

NameDaily Amount Per PersonTravel Style
Budget Your TripEUR40.00Budget
Love and RoadEUR45.34Budget to Mid-range
Lonely PlanetEUR50.00Budget (up to)
My Funky TravelEUR55.00Budget

Other web sites such as Numbeo and Price Of Travel do not show consolidated daily averages but break it down by the various items (for example, bread, milk, etc).

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SaleBestseller No. 1
Rick Steves Portugal
Steves, Rick (Author); English (Publication Language); 460 Pages - 03/26/2019 (Publication Date) - Rick Steves (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 2
Lonely Planet Portugal (Country Guide)
Lonely Planet (Author); English (Publication Language); 544 Pages - 11/19/2019 (Publication Date) - Lonely Planet (Publisher)
Bestseller No. 3
DK Eyewitness Portugal (Travel Guide)
DK Eyewitness (Author); English (Publication Language); 400 Pages - 01/22/2019 (Publication Date) - DK Eyewitness Travel (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 4
Fodor's Essential Portugal (Full-color Travel Guide)
Fodor's Travel Guides (Author); English (Publication Language); 448 Pages - 05/05/2020 (Publication Date) - Fodor's Travel (Publisher)

Have you visited Portugal? Where did you go and how much did it cost you? Please leave a comment below or send us an email.

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How much does it cost to explore Portugal?
How much does it cost to explore Portugal?
How much does it cost to explore Portugal?

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