Budget breakdown: what we spent to live in Lisbon, Portugal, for a month

Last Updated on June 7, 2023 by Ellen

I posted our Kotor, Montenegro, monthly budget breakdown to give people an idea on how much it cost to live there for a month as slow travelers. Lisbon, Portugal, is another European location where we spent a whole month earlier this year.  Below is the exact 'dollar converted' cost for a married couple staying 29 days/nights in the hilly Portuguese capital.

We use the app 'Spending Tracker' to record daily what we spend as we hop around the globe.  What does it cost you to live for a day?  Do you know?  What is your daily/weekly/monthly budget?  If you want to retire or travel - or both - you better figure it out.

Apartment Rent.....  $1,015.00 US property...........  $308.00 Groceries...............  $266.50 Restaurant/Bar......  $188.30 Travel.....................  $167.00 Excursions.............  $148.75 Miscellaneous.......  $96.00 Gifts/Charity..........  $42.65 Clothing.................  $37.00

Total = $2,269.20

A few notes: -We could have saved $200 to $250 by booking a less desirable Airbnb apartment.  We chose to stay in the historic Alfama neighborhood. (A video tour of the apartment is at the end of this post.) -U.S. property accounts for taxes and insurance on our Ohio house. -Excursions are major sightseeing trips, museum admissions, etc. -Travel includes initial ground transport from Seville, Spain, and all local Lisbon buses and trams, the metro, and taxis. -We currently have no health insurance - we pay out-of-pocket as needed.

We lived in Lisbon in early spring.  It was NOT tourist high season.  Some days were sunny and warm – others, pretty raw and blustery.  Poor weather tended to keep us indoors and limit our spending.  Also, we are not regular bar patrons, wine connoisseurs, or ‘shoppers’.  Those activities can dramatically increase costs.  Just some things to keep in mind if budgeting for life in Lisbon – or anywhere, long-term.

Overall, we found Lisbon to be a cultured, picturesque and moderately priced destination.  In fact, our ‘landlord’ said he compared cities all over Europe before settling – and investing – in Lisbon.  Some day we will return.

Here is a video of our Airbnb rental in Lisbon.

If anyone has a similar, detailed, monthly breakdown of costs for living in a foreign location – join our Facebook group here.  Hopefully specific information like this can help other retired budget travelers like us to gauge potential travel/living expenses worldwide.

(Editor’s note, May, 2023: When we started sharing these budget breakdowns from slow travel, no one else was doing it. Now, there are many websites and Facebook groups to help people, in addition to our group.)


Afraid of health care overseas? Don’t be!

Our special guide on global health care shows you:

  • 7 easy steps to find the right doctors and hospitals
  • Specific price examples for various medical services
  • What to know about medical visas
  • And more!

We go without travel health insurance, but many of the principles apply to those with coverage.

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3 thoughts on “Budget breakdown: what we spent to live in Lisbon, Portugal, for a month”

  1. Jennifer Clark

    I love all the information, thanks for keeping up with the details and sharing. I’ve just been moved to a 100% remote position, so I’m debating working some place other than home. What internet options have you found to be best in Europe. I’ve had trouble in the past just getting a connection I can use for social media? Thanks

  2. I did like a lot the enthusiasm of Tedly showing your picturesque apartment in Alfama. I agree with you , Lisbon is one of the nicest capitals where to spend a time in Europe, and economical enough. One embrace Tedly, brave actor and a kiss to Ellen camerawoman of great value from both of us

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