How much do you need to live in a city that bursts with European romanticism close to Lisbon? Discover the true cost of living in Sintra!

Last Updated on September 4, 2023 by Laila Oliveira

Living close to Lisbon doesn’t mean you’ll have to burn a hole in your pocket. Several smaller towns outside the city offer stunning natural landscapes, historic architecture, and a romantic atmosphere. Sintra is roughly 30 minutes from Lisbon, and the cost of living in Sintra will prove that it doesn’t have to cost you everything to move there.


Before moving to a different country, the first thought that often comes to mind is the cost of living in that particular place. Fortunately, Portugal is one of those destinations in Europe where the cost of living is comparatively affordable compared to others. Sintra, just like the rest of Portugal, is no different.

So how much should you have to live comfortably in this city? Is Sintra nearly as expensive as advertised? If you’re asking yourself these questions, this post is for you. Sit tight as we shed light on the cost of living in Sintra and also give you tips on living here.

How expensive is Sintra?

The cost of living in Sintra varies because of different factors, for example, your lifestyle, housing choices, and personal preferences. However, Sintra is often considered relatively more expensive compared to most destinations in Portugal.

The proximity to the capital is one of the reasons why the cost of living is relatively higher compared to most destinations around the country. Nonetheless, there’s no need to worry about your everyday expenditures. 

Your daily costs, such as food shopping and eating out, won’t significantly impact your budget. Local markets and supermarkets provide affordable fresh products, simplifying preparing tasty meals in the comfort of your home.

What is the cost of living in Sintra for expats?

While the cost of living in Sintra might appear higher compared to the national standards, expats coming from bigger economies around the world will find it relatively cheap to live in Sintra. 

To estimate exactly how much you should expect to pay if you choose to live in this Sintra,  here is a cost breakdown of different commodities necessary for daily living.

Cost of rent in Sintra

The cost of rent is often the most significant bill regarding general monthly expenditure. One of the reasons why Sintra is quite popular among expats is because it is relatively affordable compared to Lisbon. 

This is particularly advantageous because Sintra is only a short drive from the capital. However, how much you will pay per month will depend on factors like the size of the house, the current condition, and the location. 

The beauty of living in Sintra is that there are different apartments depending on your needs. Whether it is a townhouse, a beach house, or even a rental in the countryside, there is something for you. 

On average, renting a flat in Sintra costs about €11.9/m2, and prices roughly start from €650 for a one-bedroom apartment. 

House bills

Fortunately, household expenses are reasonably priced in Portugal. They remain consistent throughout the country, with minor differences from one city to another. 

It’s important to note that the extent of services and conveniences you desire will influence the amount you spend on household bills.

The standard household bills you should anticipate covering encompass electricity, internet, cable TV, waste disposal, water, and gas, among others. 

As an individual, you should expect to pay about €78.9 for your utility bills every month. On the other hand, a family of four would need approximately €123 for the necessary utility.

Average spending on food

Apart from the rent, the cost of groceries is another substantial expense that significantly impacts your budget. This is especially true if you frequently dine at restaurants in the city center. One effective approach to trimming your food-related expenditures is embracing the practice of home cooking.

Thankfully, the custom of enjoying home-cooked meals with friends and family is an integral part of Portuguese culture. Spending considerable time in Sintra will likely lead you to adopt this cultural norm.


Beyond financial considerations, preparing your own meals offers you the advantage of overseeing your dietary choices and cooking methods. This allows you to opt for a healthier lifestyle if you so wish. Curious about the expense of groceries in Sintra? 

Below, you’ll find the cost of various food items in a general shopping list.

Milk, 1 L€0.82
Bread, 0.5 kg€1.18
Rice, 1 kg€1.12
Eggs, x12€2.18
Cheese, 1 kg€8.69
Chicken Breast, 1 kg€5.81
Round Steak, 1 kg€5.81
Apples, 1 kg€9.51
Banana, 1 kg€1.29
Oranges, 1 kg€1.43
 Tomato, 1 kg€1.79
 Potato, 1 kg€1.13
Onion, 1 kg€1.32

Estimates are from Living Cost.Org (as of September 2023).

Expected transport cost in Sintra

Sintra is well-connected to Lisbon and other nearby areas through public transportation, including trains and buses. A single train ticket from Sintra to Lisbon might cost around €2.15 to €2.50. 

If you use public transportation frequently, you might consider purchasing a monthly pass, which could cost around €40 to €50 for local transport within Sintra and nearby areas.

Taxis are available in Sintra but are more expensive than public transportation. The cost of a taxi ride within Sintra or to nearby attractions will depend on the distance and taxi rates.

On average, an 8 km taxi ride will cost about €10.4. It is a relatively compact town, and many of its attractions are within walking distance of each other if you’re comfortable with walking. Walking is, of course, the most cost-effective way to get around.

Leisure expenses

You’ll be pleased to know that there are plenty of leisure options to enjoy in the area. Sintra offers a range of entertainment choices, like dining out at local restaurants, exploring the vibrant markets, and attending cultural events. Eating out at restaurants can be a significant leisure expense.

A meal at a mid-range restaurant might cost around €15 to €25 per person, while a fast food meal could be around €5 to €8. Sintra’s natural surroundings offer opportunities for hiking, picnicking, and enjoying the scenic beauty.

Many of these activities are low-cost or free, aside from any minor expenses like transportation to trailheads. Furthermore, Sintra is known for its historic palaces, castles, and gardens.

Admission fees to these attractions can range from around €5 to €15 or more per person. Some of the most popular attractions include the Pena Palace, the Moorish Castle, and the Quinta da Regaleira.

What are the cheapest areas in Sintra?

Sintra is generally considered a desirable and picturesque area, which can impact the cost of living across the town. While there aren’t specific “cheap” areas like you might find in larger cities, some neighborhoods or parts of Sintra might have lower housing costs than more central or touristy areas. 

Some of the cheapest neighborhoods in Sintra include the following.

  • Azenhas do Mar
  • Mem Martins
  • Rio de Mouro
  • Cacém
  • São Marcos

Let’s Move to Europe

With Viv Europe your plans for Europe will come to a reality

Articles CTA

What are the most expensive areas in Sintra?

There is something for everyone in Sintra, including those who are after the luxuries that life can provide. Although Sintra might not be the most luxurious city in Portugal, some areas tend to be more upscale or sought after due to their amenities, views, and proximity to attractions.

One of these destinations is the Historic Center. This is the heart of Sintra, where many of the town’s historical landmarks and attractions are located and can have higher housing costs due to its central location and convenience.

Another upscale neighborhood is Praia das Maçãs. This coastal area is known for its beautiful beaches and proximity to the ocean, which can contribute to higher property values. Other options that you can explore include Colares, São Pedro de Sintra, and Quinta da Beloura.

Is Sintra more expensive than Lisbon?

Generally, Sintra is less expensive than central Lisbon, especially when it comes to housing costs. However, it’s important to note that both Sintra and Lisbon have various neighborhoods with different price ranges, so the cost of living can vary within each city.

Lisbon, Portugal’s capital city and a major European hub, tends to have higher overall costs, including housing, dining, entertainment, and other amenities. The demand for housing in central Lisbon can drive up prices, making it relatively more expensive than many areas in Sintra.

While popular among tourists and expats, Sintra might offer more affordable housing options compared to prime areas in Lisbon. However, costs in Sintra can vary depending on the neighborhood, proximity to attractions, and other factors.

Is Sintra more expensive than the Algarve?

The Algarve region of Portugal is generally considered to be more affordable than Sintra, especially when it comes to housing costs. The Algarve is a popular destination for tourists and expats, offering beautiful beaches, a Mediterranean climate, and a lower cost of living compared to some other parts of Portugal.

Sintra, on the other hand, while still less expensive than larger cities like Lisbon, might have higher housing costs due to its popularity among tourists and its proximity to historic attractions.

However, costs can vary within both regions. The Algarve encompasses various towns and cities, each with its own cost structure. Similarly, Sintra has different neighborhoods with varying levels of affordability.


How much do the Portuguese earn in Sintra?

Unfortunately, Portugal is not known for having the best salaries in Europe. In fact, Portugal is among the 13 nations in Europe with a minimum wage of less than the recommended €1,000. However, salaries tend to be higher in larger cities and metropolitan areas due to increased job opportunities, industries, and cost of living.

Sintra, being a part of the Greater Lisbon region, generally has higher average salaries compared to more rural or less densely populated areas of Portugal. However, salaries in Sintra might be slightly lower than those in central Lisbon due to the central location and demand associated with the capital.

The average monthly salary for employees in Sintra is about €1,109, which is good considering the country’s minimum wage is currently at €760.

Is it worth the cost of living in Sintra?

Certainly, Sintra is undoubtedly an appealing destination! Nevertheless, it’s essential to consider that relocating to a different country is a significant life decision that warrants careful contemplation before taking a courageous step.

However, Sintra fits the bill perfectly if you’re seeking a tranquil locale just a short distance from Lisbon. This enchanting town seamlessly blends elements of modernity, history, and nature into a harmonious whole.

Irrespective of your personal interests, Sintra is a distinct destination offering something for everyone. Ultimately, the decision of whether the cost of living in Sintra is worth it depends on how well it aligns with your values and goals. 

It’s a good idea to visit the town, explore the neighborhoods, talk to locals and expats, and gather firsthand experiences to make an informed decision.

When are you moving to Sintra?

And there you have it – a comprehensive analysis of the cost of living in Sintra. We trust that this detailed breakdown has provided you with a clearer understanding of what it’s like to live in Sintra.

It’s not by chance that approximately 6.7% of the population comprises foreigners. People from various corners of the globe must truly appreciate the decision to relocate and call this place their home. So, when might you be considering your move to Sintra? 

Whenever you are ready to start the process for your dream relocation, contact Viv Europe’s professionals for expert advice and guidance. From Visas to housing, we get you through it all. 

Also, consider joining our Facebook Group – All About Portugal For Expats, and ask other expats what they think of Sintra. Read stories and get answers to your questions!



Subscribe to our newsletter for insights and updates on relocating to Europe!



Check out our recent Facebook posts for valuable insights, engaging stories, and tips on making your European relocation dream a reality!

Get in Touch with Us

Viv Europe can help you practice your plans to move to Portugal. Our team of experts knows what it takes to handle all the paperwork to make your move as smooth as possible.

Short Contact Form

Latest Articles


Retire In Spain: Complete 2024 Guide

Living in Spain

NIE Number in Spain: How To Get The Foreign Identity Number

Moving to Portugal

10 Things To Know Before You Move To Portugal From Canada

Living in Spain

Cost Of Living In Spain: Estimates For Expats

Living in Spain

Living in Seville: The Pearl of Andalusia

Info for Expats

Living Abroad: Expat Interview with Bruce Joffe

Newsletter PopUp

Looking For exclusive Relocation Tips?

Sign up for our Newsletter to receive the latest updates, visa tips, and more!

Articles CTA