Growing in popularity as a travel destination and famous for its beaches, port wine and custard tarts, Portugal is a semi-affordable European country that can be visited with a budget of $50 to $200 USD a day.
My one-week trip to Portugal cost a total of $1,341 USD. In this post, I share:
- 💰 Portugal expected costs
- 💡 Portugal-specific budgeting tips
- ✈️ My trip’s travel expenses
- 💵 How much cash is needed in Portugal
- 🏦 A breakdown of my Lisbon and Porto costs
- Is Portugal Expensive To Travel To?
- About My Portugal Trip
- Total Cost for a Portugal Trip: $1,341
- Cost Breakdown for Portugal
- Cost Breakdown by City in Portugal
- Do You Need Cash in Portugal?
- Portugal Trip Planning Template
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Is Portugal Expensive To Travel To?
💰 Portugal is a semi-affordable country to visit in Europe. Portugal is considered an affordable country in Western Europe and all-around cheaper than its Iberian neighbor, Spain. Portugal’s most popular cities, Lisbon and Porto, are cheaper to visit than Spain’s top cities, Barcelona and Madrid, on average.
For comparison, here’s how much I spent per day in the European countries that I visited in the same year as Portugal:
- My Portugal trip’s cost per day: $116
- My Italy trip’s cost per day: $131
- My Spain trip’s cost per day: $155
- My Iceland trip’s cost per day: $306
Portugal is affordable compared to some of Latin America’s most expensive countries, but is still nowhere near as affordable as countries in Southeast Asia. I traveled to Portugal in the same year that I visited these countries:
- My Costa Rica trip’s cost per day: $233 (most expensive country in Central America)
- My Belize trip’s cost per day: $207
- My Vietnam trip’s cost per day: $84 (one of the cheapest countries in Southeast Asia)
- My Cambodia’s trip cost per day: $123 (could have easily been closer to $85)
🎒 A budget traveler can expect to spend approximately $50 per day or $350 for one week of travel in Portugal, not including flights. To travel on a budget in Portugal, here are some things you can do:
- Attractions: With its walkable neighborhoods and outdoor spaces, Portugal can be thoroughly enjoyed without having to pay for entrance fees, tours, etc. For example, a typical Sintra day tour starts at $60, but visiting on your own can cut the cost in half if you take public transportation and limit visits to attractions that have an entrance fee.
- Transportation: Get around Portugal by walking or taking advantage of its well-maintained metro and train systems. Lisbon and Porto both have metros that are less than $2 per ride (€1.65 for the Lisbon metro and €1.20 for the Porto Metro) and even less if you get a special visitor card.
- Food: Dining out is not generally very expensive in Portugal if you avoid popular or nice restaurants, but you can still save $5 to $10 per day by buying groceries or eating at “tascas”, which are Portuguese eateries.
- Accommodation: Stay at hostels in Portugal for $20 to $25 per night. Even during Portugal’s peak season, which runs from June to early September, you can find hostels for $20 a night in some areas.
💳 A mid-range budget traveler can expect to spend approximately $110 per day or $770 for one week of travel in Portugal, not including flights.
About My Portugal Trip
To give context to the expenses below, here’s what you need to know about my trip to Portugal:
🗓️ One week. I spent a week in Portugal and visited Lisbon for five days and Porto for two days doing an itinerary similar to this one.
☀️ Low season. I went to Portugal in late May, which is considered the low season. Portugal’s peak season runs from June to early September.
✌️ Two to three travelers. I traveled with one to two other people at all times in Portugal, so I was able to split accommodation, transportation and food costs.
💰 Mid-range budget. I don’t aim to travel on a budget, but I’m thoughtful about how and where I spend. I consider myself a mid-range budget traveler and these expenses reflect that.
Total Cost for a Portugal Trip: $1,341
During my one-week trip in Portugal, I spent $1,341 USD doing an itinerary similar to this one.
All costs listed here are per person and in USD, converted from the euro ($1 USD equaled €0.92 at the time of writing).
Cost Breakdown for Portugal
Here are my Portugal travel expenses by category:
|Cost||% of Total Cost||Cost Per Day|
Cost per Day in Portugal: $116
If I include my flight costs, my Portugal trip came out to $192 per day.
A mid-range budget traveler can expect to spend approximately $110 per day in Portugal. This generally means staying at a accommodation that’s about $65 per night, eating at primarily $ to $$ restaurants that come out to roughly $25 per day, using Portugal’s metros and trains for transport, and booking group tours for some of the top attractions.
Flight Cost to Portugal: $528
My flight from Barcelona, Spain to Lisbon, Portugal was $130.
My flight from Lisbon to the the US east coast was $398. Round-trip flights from the US will generally be the most expensive cost to visiting Portugal.
The most expensive months to fly to Portugal from the US are July and August and the cheapest month to fly to Portugal is November, according to Kayak.
Accommodation Cost in Portugal: $420
My average cost of accommodation in Portugal was $60 per night.
I stayed at mid-range Airbnbs and was able to split my accommodation cost with one or two other people at all times.
The cities of Lisbon and Porto have an Airbnb tourist tax that must be paid in cash. See below for more tips on using cash in Portugal.
|Accommodation||Total Cost||Cost Per Day|
|Lisbon Airbnb||$258||$52 (including tax)|
|Porto Airbnb||$162||$81 (including tax)|
|Lisbon City tourist tax||$2||–|
|Porto City tourist tax||$3||–|
Portugal’s accommodation prices are moderate, but affordable compared to other popular European countries. Mid-range accommodations will start at around $60 per night, but you’ll likely have to pay closer to $80 per night during the high season, especially if you’re in Lisbon. Here’s where I stayed in Lisbon and where I stayed in Porto.
Food Cost in Portugal: $170
My average cost of food in Portugal was $24 per day.
- My two most expensive meals in Portugal were a $25 dinner at Bartolomeu Bistro & Wine in Porto and a $24 dinner at The Food Temple in Lisbon. Both were incredibly delicious and affordable compared to what you could get for $25 in the US.
- My most affordable meal in Portugal was a $6 dinner at a hole-in-the-wall restaurant that sold momos, a type of dumpling.
You can expect to spend approximately $25 a day eating in Portugal if you’re on a mid-range budget. Some of the unique food that Portugal is known for includes pastéis de nata (custard tarts), sardines and francesinha (Portuguese sandwich). I averaged two pastéis de nata per day and among the most popular places, Fábrica de Nata was my favorite (they have several locations).
Transportation Cost in Portugal: $105
My average cost of transportation in Portugal was $15 per day. I was able to split my Uber costs with at least one other person at all times.
- Total metro costs in Lisbon: $9
- Total Uber costs: $10
- Round-trip train tickets between Lisbon and Porto: $86
Both Lisbon and Porto have straightforward and well-maintained metros that cost less than $2 per ride (€1.65 for the Lisbon metro and €1.20 for the Porto Metro). This Portugal travel guide has more on getting around the country.
Entertainment Cost in Portugal: $117
My average cost of entertainment in Portugal was $17 per day.
Many of Portugal’s tourist attractions will have an entrance fee and an optional guided tour fee. To minimize entertainment costs, you can thoroughly enjoy Portugal by doing more sightseeing and walking through its colorful neighborhoods and avoid paying for entrance fee and tours.
|Activity or Misc.||Cost|
|Sintra day tour (Lisbon)||$75|
|Cable car ride (Porto)||$6|
|Clérigos Tower entrance fee (Porto)||$6|
|Livraria Lello entrance fee (Porto)||$5|
|Miscellaneous + Shopping||$19|
Cost Breakdown by City in Portugal
Lisbon Cost Breakdown ($538)
My average cost in Lisbon was $108 per day. I stayed at two Airbnbs and was able to split accommodation costs with friends. I also paid for an amazing Sintra day tour (one of my trip’s highlights) which significantly increased my costs.
Lisbon is the most visited city in Portugal. The influx of expats into Lisbon in recent years has driven its cost up, so Porto, the second most visited city in Portugal, is now more affordable to visit. This Lisbon travel guide has more tips on visiting the capital.
|Total Cost||Cost Per Day|
Porto Cost Breakdown ($272)
My average cost in Porto was $136 per day. I booked an Airbnb at the last minute in a central location and was able to split accommodation costs with two others. I also visited Livraria Lello, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world. This Porto travel guide has an improved version of my Porto itinerary.
|Total Cost||Cost Per Day|
Do You Need Cash in Portugal?
Portugal, like many European countries, has a well-established credit card infrastructure. Although rare, some places still rely on cash transactions, so make sure to bring some cash.
Here are some tips on bringing and using cash in Portugal:
Tip #1: Withdraw cash in euro.
Portugal’s currency is the euro (€) and shops in Portugal do not take USD.
Avoid Euronet ATMs when withdrawing cash in Portugal. Throughout Europe, Euronet ATMs consistently have high fees and use terrible exchange rates, so unless you’re in desperate need of cash, I would avoid them.
Multibanco is a Portuguese banking network that can be trusted and won’t charge you an ATM fee (although your bank might still have foreign transaction fees).
Tip #2: Carry at least $20 worth of cash while traveling in Portugal.
It’s rare that you’ll need cash in Portugal, especially if you’re staying in Lisbon and Porto. During my 1-week trip, I spent roughly $20 in cash on tipping tour guides, buying small souvenirs and paying for the Airbnb city tax. I otherwise used my credit card.
I kept my cash in my crossbody phone pouch (it feels secure enough for me), but if you want extra protection against pickpocketing, you can carry a hidden money belt.
Tip #3: Tipping in Portugal is not mandatory nor expected.
Tipping is generally only done for exceptional service in Portugal.
- At restaurants, locals will leave a 5% to 10% tip for great service. Being an American, I tried to tip a waiter more than 10% at a restaurant and he initially thought I was confused about the bill’s total.
- For tour guides, tipping is more common in Portugal and a 10% tip is customary.
This Portugal travel guide has other travel essential tips.
Portugal Trip Planning Template
To help make your travel planning easier, you can download the trip planning template below and use it as a starting point. The template has country-specific travel information as well as an itinerary, packing list and map with recommended places pinned.
The template is built on Notion, which is what I use for all my travel planning (I’m not paid to say this; I just like the tool). If you don’t have Notion, creating an account is free.
If you have any questions or thoughts, feel free to leave them in the comments below.
More Portugal Travel Guides
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