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10 Good and Cheap Cities to Live in Portugal

3 de January, 2023

10 Good and Cheap Cities to Live in Portugal

Meet 10 good and cheap cities to live in Portugal with an excellent quality of life and great infrastructure.
Reading: 16 min

(updated in july/2024) Are you researching good and cheap cities to live in Portugal? The country is already famous for having a high quality of life at a low cost. And despite its booming real estate market, Portugal is still one of the cheapest countries to live in in Europe. So, if moving here is in your plans, but you haven’t chosen where exactly you intend to live yet, know that the city you choose to live in will make all the difference in your budget.

In this article we will present 10 cheap cities in Portugal with a population of up to 100,000 inhabitants, with excellent quality of life and infrastructure, where you can be happy, live well and spend little. Let’s do it?

*The information presented was obtained from the following sources: INE, SEF, Pordata, Idealist, Numbeo, Trud, ACM e Weather Spark. If you have chosen a different city to live in, you can always check the links above for updated data!

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Top 10 good and cheap cities in Portugal

Large and famous cities usually have the highest costs of living, a worldwide rule that also applies to Portugal. This happens especially because of the price of housing, both for buying and renting. Just to give a simple example, the square meter in the city of Lisbon, considered the most expensive in the country, is costing around 4,900 euros. On the other hand, properties in the district of Guarda are being sold for around 657 euros per square meter. See the difference!

So, if you are looking for a destination where you can live more economically, the ideal is to look for smaller cities, preferably in the interior of the country. Places that have all the facilities and infrastructure of a medium-sized city, but that also guarantee tranquility and safety. And this is something Portugal has a lot to offer! Besides that, the railway transport in the country is of quality, which makes it easier to go to other cities, especially for those who do not have their own car.

So, if you are looking for cheapest places to live in Portugal, read on…

Bragança

Bragança. Source: VagaMundos. Source: VagaMundos

Bragança is located in the northern region of Portugal, in the district of the same name, close to the border with Spain. It has a great health and leisure structure, museums, gardens, theater and large commerce. It is the eighth largest city in the country in area, with 1,173.57 km². However, it has few inhabitants, and is therefore an ideal option for those who are looking for peace and quiet. Most of its residences are houses, with land and plantations. One of the advantages of living in Bragança is the quality of life. Its residents can, for example, buy food directly from the producer.

Bragança’s gastronomy, typical of the Trás-os-Montes region, is also very famous, with the traditional Feijoada Transmontana as its main dish. It also has good job opportunities and agreements with higher education institutions. This makes it receive many immigrants, being in the list of the 20 cities in the country with the highest number of foreign residents.

Climate: As for its climate, Bragança has average temperatures between 30.2 °C (August) and 1.2 °C (January). The city’s summer is short, warm, dry and with almost cloudless skies; winter is very cold, with rain and clouds. Throughout the year, the temperature generally ranges from 1 °C to 29 °C and is rarely below -4 °C or above 35 °C.

Population: 34,589
Percentage of foreign population: 6.8%.
Average rental price for a one-bedroom apartment: €383 per month
Average monthly income: 1,020
Average purchasing power per capita: 97 (100 corresponds to the national average)
Transport (monthly pass): 24
Higher education establishments: 4

Covilhã

Covilhã. Source: VagaMundos. Source: VagaMundos

Covilhã belongs to the district of Castelo Branco, in the central region of the country. It is 230 km away from both Lisbon and Porto. Next to it is Serra da Estrela, a mountain range that is quite touristy during the winter, for being one of the few Portuguese destinations where there is snow and ski season. Also for this reason, it has many luxury hotels and spas.

Covilhã offers good transportation, leisure, and cultural facilities. It houses the University of Beira Interior, a public institution that ranks among the best in the country and attracts many students to the region. It was once one of the largest wool industrial centers in the country. Today, the old factories have been converted into hotels, museums, university residences, and creative hubs for artists, who use this raw material to make colorful handicrafts.

And speaking of art, Covilhã’s historic center is a veritable mosaic of urban art, with wool heritage painted on every corner. The city even hosts an annual street art festival, it also has very well known fluvial beaches, with crystal clear waters. Paul, Valhelhas, Sameiro, Unhais da Serra and Loriga are some of them. In other words, good programs in all seasons!

Climate: Throughout the year, in general Covilhã’s temperature ranges from 0°C to 29°C and is rarely below -4°C or above 34°C.

Population: 46,457 inhabitants
Average property price (per m2): 785 €/m2
Average rental price for a one-bedroom apartment: 550 €/month
Average monthly income: 988€ per month
Average purchasing power per capita: 86.6 (100 corresponds to the national average)
Transportation (monthly pass): 35€.
Higher education establishments: 1

Castelo Branco

Near Covilhã is Castelo Branco, the third largest Portuguese city in area, with 1,438.19 km². Located in the center of the country, it is 200 km from Lisbon and close to the border with Spain. Considered a reference of the cold industry, it is home to several refrigeration companies, which are responsible for hundreds of jobs in the municipality. Castelo Branco is also considered the city of embroideries. It even has a museum dedicated to the theme, which is worth a visit.

It is a very quiet city, with little traffic. Many residents use bicycles to get around. This captivating city also has many green areas and historical monuments to visit. For those who plan to study in Portugal, Castelo Branco has an excellent polytechnic institute, with more than 70 courses in several scientific areas, which attracts young people and students to the region. Take a virtual tour around Castelo Branco!

Climate: In Castelo Branco, the climate is mild and pleasant. In winter, however, it usually rains a lot. The temperature ranges from 2 °C to 32 °C and is rarely below -3 °C or above 37 °C.

Population: 52,291
Percentage of foreign population: 3.8%.
Average property price (per m2): 891 €/m2
Average rental price for a one-bedroom apartment: €450 per month
Average monthly income: €995
Average purchasing power per capita: 96.5 (100 corresponds to the national average)
Transport (monthly pass): €25
Higher education establishments: 5

Santarém

Santarém

Located in Alentejo, in the Ribatejo region, Santarém is a great option for those who wish to be close to the capital, since it is only one hour (80 km) away from Lisbon. Although it is located in the interior of Portugal, Santarém is a developed city, with good job opportunities, hospitals and health centers, and 5 higher education institutions.

It is known for being the capital of the Gothic style. It is there that we find the Fonte das Figueiras, a jewel of the XIII – XIV centuries, with a monumental church and a former convent of Franciscans. In Jardim das Portas do Sol you can find traces of the old Moorish castle conquered by Dom Afonso Henriques in the 12th century.

For those looking for work, the sectors that currently employ the most are: engineering, hospitality, telecommunications, logistics, and health.

Climate: It has a hot and humid climate, with mild temperatures throughout the year and cold, rainy winters. The average temperature in January is 9.9 °C, and in August it is 23.2 °C.

Population: 58,671
Percentage of foreign population: 5.1%.
Average property price (per m2): 832 €/m2
Average rental price for a one-bedroom apartment: €550 per month
Average monthly income: €1,065
Average purchasing power per capita: 100.4% (100% corresponds to the national average)
Transport (monthly pass): €40
Higher education establishments: 5

Figueira da Foz

Figueira da Foz

At the mouth of the Mondego River lies the beautiful Figueira da Foz. Although quite touristy, it is also one of the cheapest cities in the country. It is the second largest city in the district of Coimbra. As it is located at a distance of 140 km from Porto, it represents a great option for those looking for an environment close to the big cities, but with silence and beautiful views. Quite safe, it has excellent infrastructure of bars and restaurants, casino (the oldest in the Iberian Peninsula), having a busy nightlife. Its extensive beaches attract vacationers from all over the country. Therefore, it can be ideal for those who chose Portugal as a destination for rest or remote work.

Climate: Throughout the year, the temperature generally ranges from 7 °C to 25 °C and is rarely below 2 °C or above 31 °C.

Population: 58,962 inhabitants
Percentage of foreign population: 4.7%.
Average property price (per m2): 1,542 €/m2
Average rental price for a one-bedroom apartment: €665
Average monthly income: €1,195
Average purchasing power per capita: 95.1 (100 corresponds to the national average)
Transportation (monthly pass): 23€.
Higher education establishments: 5

Ponta Delgada (Azores)

Ponta Delgada. Source: VagaMundos. Source: VagaMundos

Have you ever thought of living on an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, waking up every day with the sea in front of you, surrounded by green fields and paradisiacal scenarios? If you want to say goodbye to stress and chaotic traffic, and connect with nature, Ponta Delgada can be an excellent destination, and at a low cost of living. The city is located on São Miguel Island, in the eastern group of the Azores Archipelago.

Despite the tranquility, thanks to the growth of local tourism, Ponta Delgada has evolved a lot in recent years. Today you can find everything you need in the city: shopping malls, clinics, schools, universities, among others. And yet, there is room for development of new ideas in the Azores, especially in the area of tourism and services. So, if you are thinking of starting a business, know that entrepreneurship and new ideas are very welcome in the city.

Finally, getting to the Azores is easier. After the liberalization of air space in the region, air travel has become cheaper both in and out of the archipelago. In addition, residents also have the advantage that they can be reimbursed through the Social Mobility Allowance.

Climate: Another great advantage of living in Ponta Delgada is enjoying a tropical climate. The temperatures in the city do not change so much in each season, and the weather is always pleasant, neither too hot nor too cold. Throughout the year the temperature generally ranges from 13°C to 25°C and is rarely below 10°C or above 27°C.

Population: 63,233
Percentage of foreign population: 1.7%.
Average property price (per m2): €1,932/m2
Average rental price for a one-bedroom apartment: € 625 per month
Average monthly income: 1,206
Average purchasing power per capita: 108% (100% corresponds to the national average)
Transport (monthly pass): 45
Higher education establishments: 5

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Viseu

Viseu
Viseu. Source: VagaMundos. Source: VagaMundos

Viseu is a city with a low cost of living that deserves to be highlighted in our list. This is because it is in the top 3 Portuguese cities with the highest quality of life (along with Leiria and Braga), according to a survey conducted by the Portuguese Association for Consumer Protection (DECO PROTESTE).

Viseu is located 90 km from Coimbra and 130 km from Porto, with easy access to other regions of the country. It has good access to public health, good structure of hospitals and health centers. Like many other cities in Portugal, it is rich in historical heritage.

And despite being a relatively small city, it has a good offer of cultural activities, monuments, museums, parks and gardens. For those coming to study in Portugal, it is important to highlight that Viseu also has great educational services and higher education courses. Regarding work, the main job opportunities in the city are in the area of commerce and services.

Climate: In Viseu, winter is very cold, and the average temperature in January is 6.5°C. As for the summer, it tends to be much hotter and drier, and in August the average temperature is 23°C, and can exceed 30 degrees on the hottest days.

Population: 99,561
Percentage of foreign population: 3.1%.
Average property price (per m2): €1,850/m2
Average rental price for a one-bedroom apartment: €645 per month
Average monthly income: €1,206
Average purchasing power per capita: 108% (100% corresponds to the national average)
Transportation (monthly pass): 45
Higher Education Establishments: 5

Alcobaça

Alcobaça Monastery

The name of this beautiful Portuguese city derives from the Alcoa and Baça rivers. Alcobaça is located in the district of Leiria, in the historic province of Estremadura. Only 110 km from the center of Lisbon, this town is home to some of the most important monuments in Portuguese history. This is where the famous Monastery of Alcobaça is located, which holds the tombs of the eternal lovers, King D. Pedro (1357-1367) and D.Inês de Castro. Thus, tourism (including school tourism) is a strategic axis of the county, which reinforces the local economy.

The city is also internationally renowned for its hospitality. It hosts a number of events of national appeal, such as the Medieval Aljubarrota, the São Bernardo Fair, the International Showcase of Conventual Sweets & Liqueurs, and New Year’s Eve in São Martinho do Porto. The most important economic activities in the municipality are tourism, fruit farming, pig breeding and ceramics. Alcobaça offers a relaxed standard of living, with access to culture and beautiful natural landscapes, such as Candeeiros Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean. Thus, it is recommended for those who want to live in a small and calm city in the center of Portugal.

Climate: Summer is warm, dry, and clear skies. Winter is cool, with rain and strong winds. The average temperature in Alcobaça is 10.5 °C (winter) and 21 °C (summer).
Population: 54,973 inhabitants
Percentage of foreign population: 4.6%.
Average property price (per m2): 1.639 €/m2
Average rental price for a one-bedroom apartment: 460 €
Average monthly income: 1,070 €
Average purchasing power per capita: 87.4 (100 corresponds to the national average)
Transportation (monthly pass): N/A

Aveiro

Aveiro

The so-called “Portuguese Venice” not only has charm, but an excellent infrastructure and quality schools. The University of Aveiro is considered one of the best in the country. All this is about 70 km away from Porto! The city is considered the 10th best in the country to live, visit and do business, according to Portugal City Brand Ranking 2022.

Aveiro has water channels that enter the city, where the traditional Moliceiros boats navigate. Its beauty attracts many foreigners. It is one of the favorite destinations for Brazilian immigrants. It offers excellent access to health, security, leisure, and a rich cultural heritage. The city’s job openings are concentrated in the areas of construction, IT, administration, and engineering. Moreover, as it is a tourist city, it is always hiring professionals for this sector.

Climate: Summer is pleasant, dry with almost cloudless skies; winter is cool, with rain. Throughout the year, the temperature generally ranges from 5 °C to 25 °C and is rarely below 0 °C or above 31 °C.
Population: 80,978 inhabitants
Percentage of foreign population: 6.9%
Average property price (per m2): 1.800 €/m2
Average rental price (per m2): €9,60
Average rental price for a one-bedroom apartment: €600 per month
Average monthly income: €1,243
Average purchasing power per capita: 93.8 (100 corresponds to the national average)
Higher Education Establishments: 4
Transportation (monthly pass): 32.50

Viana do Castelo

Viana do Castelo

Another city near Porto (70 km away) that offers an excellent quality of life is Viana do Castelo. Its tranquility pleases above all families. Viana is famous for its embroidery and filigree jewelry. The pilgrimage in honor of Nossa Senhora da Agonia, in August, is the maximum exponent of the Viana festivities, when women dress in the traditional Viana costume and cover themselves with gold, exhibiting their family jewels.

With an area of about 314 km², Viana do Castelo is a relatively small municipality. Nevertheless, it offers diversified scenery, with beach, countryside and city. Besides the beauty of the beaches, vegetation and historical monuments, the residents of Viana do Castelo have good job and study offers. Marketing and administration are two strong areas in its job market.

Climate: Viana do Castelo has very cold winters, with strong winds and rain. The average temperature in January is 9.5 °C. In summer, it can have days of intense heat, with an average temperature of 20.5 °C.
Population: 85,784 inhabitants
Percentage of foreign population: 2.9%.
Average property price (per m2): 1.804 €/m2
Average rental price (per m2): 8,4€
Average rental price for a one-bedroom apartment: €550
Average monthly income: €1,115
Average purchasing power per capita: 93.8 (100 corresponds to the national average)
Transportation (monthly pass): 35€.
Higher education establishments: 3

Evora

Historic Center of Évora

One of the most important municipalities in Alentejo, it is located 140 km from Lisbon. Évora is one of the oldest cities in Europe, and also one of the cheapest places to live in Portugal. It has more than 5 thousand years of history.

Its preserved historic center, protected by centuries-old walls, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986. For this and other reasons, it attracts many tourists, which guarantees development and a great quality of life. It offers a good transport structure, hospitals, schools, and basic services.

Despite being a small city surrounded by vineyards, plantations, and cattle ranches, there is no shortage of essential services for its residents. Évora is also considered the best city to live, visit, and do business in the Alentejo region, according to Portugal City Brand Ranking 2022. Regarding its job market, the areas of health, industry and security are the ones that offer the most jobs at the moment.

Climate: Its summer is short, hot, and dry. The winter is cold and cloudy. Throughout the year, the temperature generally ranges from 5 °C to 33 °C with an average temperature in January of 9.2 °C; and in August, 24.8 °C.

Population: 53,591 inhabitants
Percentage of foreign population: 4.4%.
Average property price (per m2): 2.160 €/m2
Average rental price for a one-bedroom apartment: €700 per month
Average monthly income: 1.122€
Average purchasing power per capita: 117.8% (100% corresponds to the national average)
Transportation (monthly pass): 30€.
Higher education establishments: 5

Learn about the D7 Portugal Visa, the retirees’ visa!

Benchmark: how much does it cost to live in Lisbon?

Lisbon is the most populous, most cosmopolitan city, with the largest number of educational establishments, hospitals and services in general, as is expected of a country’s capital. Consequently, it is the most expensive in the country. It is true that the cost of living in some cities in the Algarve has been approaching Lisbon’s values. Still, we leave the capital as a price reference so that it is easier to make a comparison with the other cities mentioned here.

Climate: In Lisbon, the summer is warm, dry and with almost cloudless skies; winter is cool, with precipitation, strong winds and partly cloudy skies.

Population: 545,923
Percentage of foreign population: 21
Average property price (per m2): 4,900 €/m2
Average rental price for a one-bedroom apartment: € 900
Average monthly income: € 1,669
Average purchasing power per capita: 205.6 (100 corresponds to the national average)
Transportation (monthly pass): 40€.
Higher education establishments: 67

ALSO READ: How to Live in Lisbon: A Guide to Living in the Portuguese Capital

How much money do I need to comfortably stay in Portugal?

This is the question we hear most often from our customers. It is also a very complicated question to answer, since the definition of comfort can vary greatly from person to person. Some are keen, for example, to have their own car (and a house with a garage). Others feel comfortable using public transportation. Some people don’t mind having their children in public schools; others, not so much. The same applies to food and clothing.

We usually say that the ideal is to have an income of 1,200€ to live alone in an apartment in Portugal. For a couple, something around 1,350€. But this amount can be much lower if you live in the interior.

Before choosing where to live, try to learn about all the options that the country has to offer. See if the chosen city offers the lifestyle you are looking for and if the cost-benefit of living there is worth it.

And if you need help on your journey to Portugal, talk to Atlantic Bridge.

Want to Live in Portugal? Click Here To Contact Us >

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