With its Mediterranean climate, Portugal is undoubtedly one of Europe’s most attractive destinations. But more than its contemporary culture and nightlife, the country is also known for its high-ranking universities.

As an international student, it is necessary for you to be well-acquainted with the popular student cities and universities in Portugal to help you start on the right footing. Hence, refer to the practical information on cost of studying and living we provided below to get closer to your Portuguese dreams.

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Cost of Studying in Portugal for International Students

Most courses in Portugal are taught in Portuguese, except for postgraduate programs. The country does not entirely rely on the English language as the medium of instruction, so you must take that into consideration before choosing to study here.

The University of Lisbon offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses for international students, which can fall between €3,500 to €12,500 a year.

The Catholic University of Portugal, a public higher educational institution, estimates at least €6,000 a year for all its course offerings.

If you want a cheaper option, the University of Porto provides more budget-friendly tuition costs. Annual university fees for international students vary between €3,500 to €8,000. That can even be reduced if you are a grantee from any scholarship programs acknowledged by the university.

The University of Minho is also one of the most prestigious universities in Portugal. For a minimum of €4,500 per year, you can already enroll yourself in one of their undergraduate or postgraduate courses.

Cost of Living in Portugal for International Students

1. Cost of Living in Lisbon

Unlike other cities in Europe, living in Lisbon is not that expensive. But since Lisbon is Portugal’s capital city, expect that things can cost more here than in other parts of the country.

There are a lot of dormitory options in Lisbon, and prices can go around €160 a month. If you want your own apartment, the monthly rent can range from €400 to €850. It highly depends on the area and the quality of the room you want, but apartments outside the city center are generally a lot cheaper.

The price of eating out can vary from time to time, but lunch out at an inexpensive restaurant can cost you an average of €10. Transportation around the area is not a problem for students because of the transport pass. It is advisable that you buy one if you live in Lisbon because you will enjoy a 25% student discount on all your transportation fares. Currently, the regular price for a monthly pass in Lisbon is €40.

Other expenses that you might incur in Lisbon are your utility bills. Including the electricity, heating, water, and Internet, the average monthly utility expenses for a single person in Lisbon is €150.

2. Cost of Living in Porto

Porto is the second-largest city in Portugal and has become a hub for innovative start-ups. The number one university in Portugal is located here, which is why international students are mostly seen within the area.

If you are an international student who wants to stay in Porto but with a strict budget, you can choose to stay in a university residence since it is the cheapest option in Porto. The average price per month is between €130 to €250 only. If you really want private accommodation, you can pay around €500 monthly, excluding utilities. On average, you can spend a minimum of €120 on your essential utility bills in Porto.

Since Porto is naturally a low-cost city compared to Lisbon, you will not spend beyond €300 a month on food if you mostly eat indoors. The monthly pass in Porto is also only worth €30, which is already a good save.

3. Cost of Living in Amadora

Amadora is essentially a residential city, but it has grown to become one of Portugal’s commercial zones throughout the years.

It is estimated that the average cost of living in Amadora is €1,100 per month. That is already inclusive of your rent, food, utility, and other expenses.

Rent in the central area of Amadora is better because you have easier access to commercial establishments, universities, and supermarkets. Also, you can save a lot in terms of transportation costs since everything will be within walking distance. However, rental prices here can be expensive. On average, a one-bedroom apartment in the central area costs €575 a month.

4. Cost of Living in Braga

Braga is considered the cheapest city to live in Portugal. The prices of transport, nutrition, accommodation, and even tourist attractions are very low, which is why it is undoubtedly one of the best places if you want to avoid spending much money.

A shared apartment in Braga only costs an average of €210 a month, including your water, electricity, and internet bills. Taking a bus is also not a big problem since a one-way ticket only costs €2.

Of course, if you want a more comfortable and private lifestyle, you can choose higher accommodation rates. A one-bedroom apartment in Braga may reach up to €450 a month. That is still exclusive of your monthly utility bills, which can go around €130 a month.

Again, food prices are low in Braga, so you can enjoy eating out from time to time. For €7, you can already have a good meal from a restaurant near you.

5. Cost of Living in Setubal

Famous for its sweet muscatel wine and sardine industry, the city of Setubal is just thirty minutes away from Lisbon, the country’s capital. This makes the area convenient and suitable for students who want to take part-time jobs between studies.

A single person can live nicely and affordably on around €1,300 a month on Setubal. It depends mostly on your lifestyle, but it is proven that the cost of living here is 8.10% lesser than in pricy Lisbon. A one-bedroom apartment in the city center can be found for around €500 and more. You also need to set aside another money for your utilities, which can cost up to €112 a month.

Setubal has an efficient public transportation system, so going in and out of the city will not cause you any trouble. The monthly pass for public transportation in Setubal can be bought for €40.

Those who prefer cooking can attest that it will cost you less money than dining out frequently. The average monthly food cost for a student living in Setubal can run around €300.


I hope that this article on the Cost of Studying and Living in Portugal for International Students was helpful. To know more information on how you can study in Europe, visit the Europe Scholarships Page.