Last Updated on October 17, 2022 by Maryam Siddiqui
Living in Portugal is the dream of many people around the world. But contrary to what you may think, it is not necessary to pay dearly to live well. Discover some of the 15 cheapest cities to live in Portugal in this complete post.
Some of these cities may even be more than you could ask for! Unlike the most popular regions, these cities are often less crowded and offer more tranquility.
Find out what these cities have in common and what it’s like to live in each one of them. Follow up!
Get to know some of the cheapest cities to live in Portugal
We did extensive research on Portuguese cities to find the final list. Here, you will find cities with populations between 50,000 and 200,000 inhabitants. That is, neither too small nor too big. Furthermore, it was essential that they have their own economy and a strong local culture.
Without further ado, welcome to the cheapest part of Portugal!
1. Castelo Branco
The city of Castelo Branco is located in central Portugal, near the Spanish border. So it means it’s halfway between Lisbon, Porto, and Madrid. Castelo Branco is a traditional and cultural place, with wholesale and retail trade as its main economic sector. For those who want to study in Portugal, Castelo Branco has a polytechnic institute.
Day-to-day life is quiet, and Castelo Branco residents benefit from little traffic. In fact, many residents only get around by bicycle. Living here, you get to enjoy many green areas and historical monuments to visit.
The climate in Castelo Branco is mild and pleasant. In winter, however, it usually rains a lot. The average in January is 7.6 °C (45.8 °F), and in August, it is 25 °C (77.1 °F).
|Details about Castelo Branco||Values|
|Percentage of population that is foreign||3.8%|
|Percentage of the working-age population||60.1%|
|The average price for a property of 100 m²||€72,400|
|Average rental price for a 50 m² one-bedroom apartment||€315 per month|
|Average monthly earnings||€995|
Just an hour away from Lisbon, the city of Santarém, in the Santarém district, is one of the cheapest cities to live in Portugal. It’s also much calmer than the Portuguese capital, in what is called the Ribatejo region.
Although in the interior of Portugal, Santarém is a developed city, with good employment opportunities and excellent accessibility.
The local economy is traditionally focused on agriculture and livestock, and the Gothic monuments give the city a unique charm. Here, the weather is usually warm and humid, with mild temperatures throughout the year and cold and rainy winters. The average temperature in January is 9.9 °C (49.7 °F), and in August it is 23.2 °C (73.8 °F).
|Details about Santarém||Values|
|Percentage of population that is foreign||5.4%|
|Percentage of the working-age population||60.9%|
|The average price for a property of 100 m²||€97,000|
|Average rental price for a 50 m² one-bedroom apartment||€300 per month|
|Average monthly earnings||€1,065|
Viseu, in the center of Portugal, is one of the most famous cities to live well with little money. About 130 km from Porto, Viseu is another countryside town that has attracted many foreigners to restart their lives lately.
In addition, in the Portugal City Brand Ranking 2021, Viseu was considered the 5th best city to live in the entire country. Access to public health is great, the streets are calm and clean, and the city is also rich in history. Viseu definitely deserves the highlight it has. In other words, you should definitely have it on your list.
Winter is very cold, and the average temperature in January is 6.5 °C (43.6 °F). As for summer, it tends to be very much warmer and dry, and in August the average temperature is 21.6 °C (70.8 °F).
|Details about Viseu||Values|
|Percentage of population that is foreign||3.1%|
|Percentage of the working-age population||63.3%|
|The average price for a property of 100 m²||€92,600|
|Average rental price for a 50 m² one-bedroom apartment||€270 per month|
|Average monthly earnings||€1,037|
4. Viana do Castelo
The city of Viana do Castelo owns some of the most beautiful landscapes in Portugal and is located in the far north of the country. It is known as the Pearl of the Minho region, and still, it has one of the lowest costs of living.
In addition to the beauty of the beach, greenery, and historical monuments, residents of Viana do Castelo have good job and study offers. It is, though, much quieter than Porto, located 70 km south, but it still pleases families.
The city is subject to strong Atlantic winds, with very cold and rainy winters and average temperatures in January of 9.5 °C (49.1 °F). In summer, there are a few days of intense heat, and in August, the average temperature is 20.5 °C (68.9 °F), good enough to enjoy the beaches.
|Details about Viana do Castelo||Values|
|Percentage of population that is foreign||2.9%|
|Percentage of the working-age population||63%|
|The average price for a property of 100 m²||€122,100|
|Average rental price for a 50 m² one-bedroom apartment||€395 per month|
|Average monthly earnings||€1,115|
5. Figueira da Foz
Beautifying the Portuguese Silver Coast, Figueira da Foz is also one of the cheapest cities to live in Portugal. It is just 50 km from Coimbra, 200 km from Lisbon, and 140 km from Porto. It is, therefore, a great option for those looking for an environment close to big cities, but with silence and beautiful views.
Figueira da Foz is a city of great tradition and historical importance, being one of the main cities to visit in the Centro region. The city’s extensive beaches attract people from all over the country, and the city’s lifestyle mainly appeals to those looking for calm days.
The average in January is °C ( °F), and in August it is °C ( °F).
|Details about Figueira da Foz||Values|
|Percentage of population that is foreign||4.7%|
|Percentage of the working-age population||62.7%|
|The average price for a property of 100 m²||€139,200|
|Average rental price for a 50 m² one-bedroom apartment||€320 per month|
|Average monthly earnings||€1,195|
6. Ponta Delgada
Have you ever thought about living on an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean? You’ll be glad to know that Ponta Delgada, the capital of the Azores archipelago, is also one of the cheapest cities to live in Portugal. And, of course, the quality of life here hardly disappoints anyone. Welcome to the island of São Miguel!
The Portuguese archipelago of the Azores is famous for its breathtaking natural settings, and living in Ponta Delgada is an affordable dream.
Unlike most of Portugal, Ponta Delgada has a tropical climate. That means that temperatures don’t change as much in each season, and the weather is always pleasant.
The average temperature in January is 14.5 °C (58.2 °F), and in August it is 22.1 °C (71.8 °F). Sure, it rains a lot here, but it’s worth it if it’s for keeping Mother Nature happy.
|Details about Ponta Delgada||Values|
|Percentage of population that is foreign||1.7%|
|Percentage of the working-age population||70.6%|
|The average price for a property of 100 m²||€155,300|
|Average rental price for a 50 m² one-bedroom apartment||€345 per month|
|Average monthly earnings||€1,206|
Located in the central-western region of Portugal, Alcobaça is a deeply cultural city and a great place to live. At only 110 km from central Lisbon, Alcobaça holds some of the most important monuments to Portuguese history.
Residents of the small town of Alcobaça benefit from a relaxed standard of living. In addition to access to culture, living in Alcobaça allows you to have contact with incredible natural environments in the surroundings. In other words, from Serra dos Candeeiros to the Atlantic Ocean.
Living here is ideal for those looking for a calm small town in central Portugal. The average temperature in Alcobaça in January is 10,5 °C (50,9 °F), and in August it is 21 °C (69,8 °F).
|Details about Alcobaça||Values|
|Percentage of population that is foreign||4.6%|
|Percentage of the working-age population||65%|
|The average price for a property of 100 m²||€133,400|
|Average rental price for a 50 m² one-bedroom apartment||€245 per month|
|Average monthly earnings||€1,007|
Also known as the city museum, Évora is one of the most important cities in the Alentejo region. It’s in a south-central location, below Lisbon and above the Algarve, surrounded by vineyards, extensive plantations, and cattle raising. The city itself is protected by centuries-old walls, and the streets are full of history.
Living in Évora is to be living inside a UNESCO World Heritage. Its churches, Roman ruins, and university enchant any visitor. And also, the capital of Alentejo was considered the best city to live, visit and do business in the region by the Portugal City Brand Ranking 2021.
At 140 km from Lisbon, life here is marked by good quality of life. Évora is a small town, but there is no lack of essential services for its residents. The average temperature in January is 9.2 °C (48.6 °F), and in August it is 24.8 °C (76.7 °F).
|Details about Évora||Values|
|Percentage of population that is foreign||4.4%|
|Percentage of the working-age population||63.2%|
|The average price for a property of 100 m²||€112,000|
|Average rental price for a 50 m² one-bedroom apartment||€405 per month|
|Average monthly earnings||€1,122|
9. Póvoa de Varzim
The humble yet beautiful small town of Póvoa de Varzim is also one of the cheapest cities to live in Portugal. It is located only 35 km from central Porto, the capital of the northern region of the country. Besides being close to many big companies, Póvoa de Varzim has also been a renowned bathing beach for centuries, the most popular in the north.
Living in Póvoa de Varzim, you can expect a calm lifestyle, with the great advantage of being very close to a metropolis with a lot of life. The buildings are newer than in Porto, in addition to being cheaper, and there is no lack of good infrastructure.
As for the weather, the average temperature in January is 11 °C (51,8 °F), and in August it is 20 °C (68 °F). It’s in the colder region of Portugal, but still a great summer destination.
|Details about Póvoa de Varzim||Values|
|Percentage of population that is foreign||3.5%|
|Percentage of the working-age population||66.2%|
|The average price for a property of 100 m²||€193,400|
|Average rental price for a 50 m² one-bedroom apartment||€320 per month|
|Average monthly earnings||€1,034|
Aveiro is one of the most famous cities in Portugal. Also known as the Portuguese Venice, Aveiro has channels of water that enter the city, where the traditional Moliceiros boats sail. It is well located in the Silver Coast, at 250 km from Lisbon and 75 km from Porto.
As you can imagine, life in Aveiro is usually calm and blessed with beautiful views. The city is near the beach, has a great university, good schools, and hospitals, but it still feels like a small town. However, the labor market is still lively and there are many good companies in the city.
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Also, if you’re a fan of mild to cold weather, Aveiro will please you. The average temperature in January is 9.8 °C (49.6 °F), and in August it is 21.8 °C (71.2 °F).
|Details about Aveiro||Values|
|Percentage of population that is foreign||3.6%|
|Percentage of the working-age population||66%|
|The average price for a property of 100 m²||€193,400|
|Average rental price for a 50 m² one-bedroom apartment||€450 per month|
|Average monthly earnings||€1,243|
11. Caldas da Rainha
Known to be the birthplace of many significant figures of Portuguese culture, Caldas da Rainha is uniquely remarkable. Since the popularity of the Silver Coast, it has also gained admiration. However, it still remains one of the cheapest cities to live in Portugal. The city is located nearly an hour away from Lisbon, approximately 92.6 km, and twice the distance from Porto.
Here you’ll find the colorful Praça da República, the only fresh fruit and vegetable market that opens daily. You can spend the perfect Sunday munching on the town’s famous desserts or fresh fruits while sitting nearby a beach.
Caldas da Rainha has a higher percentage of foreigners than other cities we’ve talked about above. The numbers are thanks to international students who’re enrolled in universities here. The weather is pleasantly chilly; January is the coldest at 10.7°C and the hottest month is August at 20.9 °C.
|Details about Caldas da Rainha||Values|
|Percentage of foreign population||6.9%|
|Percentage of the working-age population||62.2%|
|The average price for a property of 100 m²||€149,400|
|Average rental price for a 50 m² one-bedroom apartment||€466 per month|
|Average monthly earnings||€971|
Portimão is at an ideal location between the Central and Western Algarve. But, despite being one of the biggest cities in Southern Portugal, you’ll be surprised to know that it isn’t crowded.
In the summertime, thousands of tourists stay here to enjoy the attractions and beaches nearby. Here, you find a big expat community, like anywhere in the Algarve, but also a considerable number of Portuguese families.
It’s considerably far from Lisbon and Porto, about 281km and 554km, respectively. This is a huge plus point for many because they prefer living at a distance from bustling cities.
Portimão may be a city, but it’s still quite small, and you can live here without a car, for example. There are malls, hospitals, and many hotels and restaurants.
If you’re tired of the amazing beaches around Praia da Rocha, Portimão also has excellent outdoor areas for exercise, in case you feel like enjoying the warm Algarve weather. It’s also got proper public transport making it easier to explore the city, but at your own slow pace.
In Portimão, you get to live far away from the chaotic metropolis and enjoy the perks of a developed city. As for the weather, the hottest month is August at 30.2 °C, and the coldest is January at 1.2 °C.
|Details about Portimão||Values|
|Percentage of foreign population||20.5%|
|Percentage of the working-age population||63.2%|
|The average price for a property of 100 m²||€229,800|
|Average rental price for a 50 m² one-bedroom apartment||€525 per month|
|Average monthly earnings||€1,338|
Braga feels like a delicious cup of coffee that warms your soul. It’s one of the oldest cities in Portugal, with beautiful historic streets, buildings, and super friendly locals. Braga is situated on the northeast side of Porto, almost 40 minutes away from Porto’s city center.
As you can tell by looking at the data in the table below, Braga has the highest number of inhabitants. It’s one of the most important cities in Portugal, but it’s also quite affordable. The city has excellent housing offers; rent is cheap, so it’s home to many families, university students, and pensioners.
The museums, theaters, and galleries always have diverse activities to keep you entertained and connected to the culture. Also, it experiences slightly chilly winters, with the lowest temperature being 7.4 °C in January. August is the hottest but still pleasant at 20.9 °C.
|Details about Braga||Values|
|Percentage of foreign population||6.4%|
|Percentage of the working-age population||68%|
|The average price for a property of 100 m²||€141,100|
|Average rental price for a 50 m² one-bedroom apartment||€350 per month|
|Average monthly earnings||€972|
Beja is a small city considered the capital of the southern Alentejo region. It’s located nearly 2 hours from Lisbon, with a peaceful atmosphere and mouthwatering cuisine, in a hilly area in central-southern Portugal. Beja has a unique tranquility thanks to its ancient origins and landmarks, and like all the region, strong ties to agriculture.
The town’s main square, Pelourinho de Beja, is a cozy terrace where you can sip coffee and enjoy the weather. If you’re up for some thrill, you can go on a hot-air balloon trip, go off-roading, cycling, or kayaking!
You’ll love Beja if you’ve lived in cold regions your entire life but also enjoy the warmth of summertime. The temperature in summer goes up to 32.6 °C, but you can also enjoy chilly winters at 5.6 °C.
|Details about Beja||Values|
|Percentage of foreign population||4.9%|
|Percentage of the working-age population||62.3%|
|The average price for a property of 100 m²||€88,100|
|Average rental price for a 50 m² one-bedroom apartment||€425 per month|
|Average monthly earnings||€953|
Our list of cheapest cities to live in Portugal ends with Sines, a small seaside town on the Alentejo coast. You can travel to and from Lisbon in roughly an hour and a half, with a distance of only 159km. In fact, many Lisbon residents spend their holidays in this area.
Fun fact: The great Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama was born in Sines! His statue stands tall behind the castle walls where he grew up, known as Monumento do Vasco da Gama.
The city is popular for fishing and surfing on its incredible ultramarine beaches. Would you like to know the best part? The population is significantly lower than in other cities we’ve talked about! So you can fully relax by the beach or go check out the yearly Sines Music Festival.
As for the weather, August experiences temperatures up to 22.5 °C, while January is the coldest at 10.9 °C.
|Details about Sines||Values|
|Percentage of foreign population||7.0%|
|Percentage of the working-age population||63.4%|
|The average price for a property of 100 m²||€312,400|
|Average rental price for a 50 m² one-bedroom apartment||€495 per month|
|Average monthly earnings||€945|
Why is it cheaper to live in smaller cities?
You may have noticed that the cheapest cities to live in Portugal have some things in common. Besides being known for their quality of life, they have a low crime rate, mild climates, and low population density.
We came to the conclusion that living in a smaller city, like those we presented, benefits you with a more egalitarian and better standard of living.
But living in a small town in Portugal is a completely different experience. You, as an expat, get to explore the rough, real Portugal. Far away from tourism and the crowds. A much more authentic and cheap way of life.
What is the cost of living in Lisbon, Porto and Algarve?
The cost of living in Lisbon is the highest in Portugal. The Algarve region is also known for its foreign inhabitants with high standards and high expenditures, so this region comes in second. Porto comes as a close third.
In relation to rent, the average price for one-bedroom apartments in Lisbon is €650, in Porto €550, and in Faro €450.
These are also the most famous places in Portugal, so it may be more expensive to live here. Living in Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve are the most common choices expats make. But they are not necessarily better. Living well goes beyond the price you pay for your rental.
What is the best city to live in Portugal?
There isn’t a “best city” in Portugal for everyone. The truth is that Portugal is a diverse and fantastic country, with many enchanting cities. You are the only person who can tell which of the Portuguese cities is best for you.
That’s why we recommend you visit Portugal before relocating so that you know first hand what life’s like here. Go on a scouting trip to Portugal to make your decision with certainty!
Which Portuguese city did you like?
How’d you find our extensive list of the cheapest cities to live in Portugal? Talking to other expats can help you decide a lot quicker. Our Facebook Group – All About Portugal For Expats, can connect you to individuals already living in these cities. Feel free to ask as many questions as you wish!
Portugal does not lack anything regarding the quality of life. Whether you choose to live in Portugal’s most expensive to the cheapest cities, you won’t regret relocating.
Do you need any help relocating? Viv Europe can help you at any stage of your relocation process to Portugal. From visa appliances to buying property or even opening a bank account. You can count on our professional team to guide you to this beautiful country.
Contact us and tell us how we can be of service. We’d love to help to make your Portugal dream a reality.