How much holiday money do you need for Portugal?

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Portugal has always been a popular destination for British holidaymakers. Whether it’s the beautiful sandy beaches and blue seas of the Algarve or the historic and cultural cities like Lisbon and Porto.

Portugal is set to become even more popular for a while because it’s the only European country on the Governments green list at the moment! So, if you are planning a trip to Portugal and you’ve never visited before we can give you a little guide as to how much euro holiday money you may need.

At the time of writing £10.00 is about 11.30€.

Food & drink

Portugal is very reasonably priced for food and drink. Like every destination there are the very expensive classy restaurants and the cheaper street food eateries, but overall you will find a restaurant to suit most budgets. In the northern cities of Porto and Braga for example you will find a good meal for 7.00€ and a decent 3 course meal for 15-17.00€. If you are in the Porto region look out for an amazing speciality sandwich in the restaurants called Francesinha. A good one will only cost around 10€ and will fill you up for hours! As in Spain, Portugal has some amazing Tapas restaurants and you can pick and choose dishes to suit your budget.

A local beer comes out at 2.00€ a pint, a cappuccino 1.50€, a coke 1.40€. You will find a decent bottle of wine in the local shops for a little as 3.00€.

If you are self catering, you will find food prices are generally much lower than in the UK, especially in the local markets.

Further south in Lisbon, you may pay a little more as you would expect in most capital cities. In the most popular part of Portugal, the Algarve in the south of the country you may pay more in bars and restaurants because of the ‘tourist factor’. However, food and drink in the local supermarkets will still be great value compared to prices in the UK. Even in Lisbon, the cost of living can be 35% lower than in London.

Transport & travel

One way tickets on local transport vary slightly from around 1.35€ in Porto, 1.70€ in Lisbon and 1.85€ in the Algarve. Still very good value compared to the UK. Taxis will have a starting tariff of around 3.00€ with a further 0.50€ per kilometre. So a 10km (6mile) journey will cost around 6.00€.

Hiring a car also varies from location. We looked at car hire for 7 days from 19th June and a small car like a Volkswagen Polo hired from Faro airport would cost 103.00€ for the week. For Lisbon and Porto it’s a quite a bit less at around 70.00€. At the top end of the scale, if you fancy a bit of luxury you can hire a Porsche 911 for a mere 3292.00€ for the week from any of the airports. The downside is, this car can only carry one suitcase!

Petrol is very similar to the UK at around 1.50€ per litre.


Like all holiday destinations, the cost of accommodation ranges from the downright cheap in hostels or campsites to the most expensive luxury hotels. Whatever your budget you will find suitable accommodation. A majority of travellers from the UK will have booked package holiday because it does all the work for you. If you book independently then websites like and Air B&B will find you accommodation in most price brackets. I actually found a place on called Casa da Arvore located in Ervedeira (see picture) that you could rent for a whole week from June 19th for 34.00€ (£30.00). That really is budget accommodation!

On the other side of the fence, if you can afford to hire a Porsche 911 for the week then you may well want to stay in some nice apartments. We found some for only 137,000€ (£98,000) for 2 people for a week. That really is luxury accommodation!


Leisure attractions

There are many great attractions to visit while you are in Portugal but how much do they cost to enter or see. Here is a sample of some from around the country that you may visit with current prices:

Ribeira, Porto. (The historical heart of Porto city) Free to wander round and enjoy.

Castelo de Guimarães, (Guimarães Castle situated between Porto and Braga) Entry 6€ with 50% discount for families and seniors.

Mosteiro dos jerónimos, Lisbon. (Huge, famous historical monastery) Entry 10€

Oceanário de Lisboa, Lisbon. (One of Europe’s largest Aquariums) Entry Adult 19€, Child 10€, 65+ 13€ under 4’s free.

Palácio nacional de sintra, Lisbon. (Sintra National Palace) Entry 10€

Torre de Belém, Lisbon. (15th Century Tower) Entry 6€

Slide & Splash (Huge water park near Lagoa, Algarve) Entry 25€ Adults, 10€ kids under 10.

Zoomarine park, Algarve. (Huge marine park) Entry 25€ Adults, 17€ seniors 65+ and kids under 11.

There is a taster of some of the attractions on offer. There are many, many more across the country. And, like every destination there are plenty of fantastic places such as parks and gardens, churches and cathedrals and not to mention beautiful sandy beaches, that are free to visit. Ice cream and sunbeds optional. A great resource for researching your trip to this fantastic country is Visit Portugal.

Posted by Graham Morley

Graham is the Business Development Manager for Compare Holiday Money.


  • David Magalhães says:

    Hi Graham, that is the best description about Portugal I ever found!
    Congratulations for your hard work and hope that one day you wish to visit Portugal too.


  • Graham Morley says:

    Thanks for your compliment on the article David!

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