Cost of Travel in Portugal

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Portugal, albeit a smaller country, has so much to offer, from wine country in Porto to the gorgeous coast of the Algarve. This post is going over how much it costs to travel in Portugal. 

Portugal is the perfect country to visit during the “off-season” in Europe. It’s not too hot or too cold and you practically get the place to yourself. We visited in early Spring and loved being able to drive all the backroads of the country and try all their amazing food. 

We’ll cover the cost of travel in Portugal, two week Portugal itinerary, answer: is Portugal expensive? and more!

As a quick note, we are not backpackers, we rarely stay in hostels and are very cautious with street food. We like to save money where we can, be we certainly spend it on what is important to us. Luckily, Europe is a little easier to trust low-cost food and accommodations than Southeast Asia or South America.

This is not representative of what you will spend in Portugal, even for the same period of time or season. This is merely an overview of what we spent and some of our tips and reasons for the amounts. Please use it as a guide to your future trip to Portugal!

This post is all about the cost of travel in Portugal over 2 weeks.

Cost of travel to portugal

Portugal Itinerary: 2 Weeks

  • Dates: 03/19 – 04/03/2023; 15 nights

We visited Portugal between their Winter and Spring season (actually exactly over those dates). We found the weather to be perfectly wonderful. Sweaters and pants were perfect but in the Algarve, we could layout on the beach during the day no problem. It was sunny and only rained on us 1 day the whole trip! It also was not crowded at all. We definitely saw other tourists and had to wait in lines for certain attractions but overall, we felt free to roam about and get tables at restaurants without reservations.

Since we wanted to see as much of Portugal as possible, we decided to rent a car for the trip and make it a two week road trip throughout the country. Here is the itinerary we followed. It’s really easy to add and change the stops since there is so much to see and do in Portugal.

  • Porto – 2 nights 
  • Vouzela – 1 night
  • Evora – 2 nights 
  • Algarve – 4 nights 
  • Lisbon – 4 nights 
  • Aveiro – 2 nights 
  • Misc. Cash: $350
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Cost of Travel in Portugal

Flights

Total: $375

We booked round-trip flights within Europe (to and from our home in Albania). These were booked within a month of leaving so may reflect slightly higher prices than normal, however Tirana airport in Albania (TIA) is not the most frequented airport meaning not the cheapest.

I did find that flying to Porto (OPO) was cheaper for us than flying to Lisbon (LIS). We had long-ish layovers in Switzerland (ZRH) and Germany (MUC) but overall an easy flight. Also, we traveled with just 2 carry-on suitcases and personal backpacks for our camera gear. That means no extra bag fees.

Entry Fees

Total: $0

There is no additional fee for Visas to the Schengen Area for US citizens. You’ll need to check your local embassy to see if it’s different for you. There were no other necessary requirements for entry.

Accommodations

Total: $995

Average: $66 / night

Let’s just be honest. Europe is not cheap. We did our best to really try to stay around our budget ($45/night) but it’s not easy. I found that booking on Airbnb was the cheapest, but sometimes you definitely get what you pay for. We stayed in some really cool Airbnbs (like this Pod House in Vouzela) and a few not-so-nice ones. Overall, I think we did really well but the time of year we went definitely helped that. Everywhere we stayed had a kitchen so that helped us to not eat out every night as well.

Food & Drink

Total: $1,200

Average: $75 / day

Average: $37.50 per person per day

To break it down a bit more:

  • Restaurants: $500
  • Misc. Cash: $350
  • Groceries: $275
  • Fast Food: $75
Overall, it was a bit high compared to what we like to spend and are used in cheaper countries (like Southeast Asia). However we got great value from our restaurant visits. We loved all the food we tried and never felt like we were grossly overpaying for a meal. We probably could have cut back on the spontaneous grocery/snack runs on the driving days but hey, could have been worse. 
Also, wine is hecka cheap here so a glass or bottle at a restaurant won’t cost you an arm and a leg. It’s honestly probably cheaper than the bottle of water you’ll get anyways. 
Last note on dining in Portugal, they will set bread, butter, pate, olives and other goodies on your table when you get there. They are not free. They usually cost around €2 per person. If you really don’t want them, you’ll have to say no thank you when they bring it over. 

Transportation

Total: $517

Average: $32 / day

We decided on a rental car for our trip to Portugal. We booked our rental through Discover Cars and got a great deal on the daily rate. Our car was a super tiny two-door Fiat, but it was perfect for just the two of us and our carry-ons.

And we always book the insurance through Discover Cars (~$7/day) to protect us incase anything were to happen (*knock on wood). In total the rental car cost us $200 or $13 per day.

The remaining $300+ was spent mostly on gas. We drove roughly 1,500 km through the country over the two weeks. While we were there gas was around €1.75/liter (or $7.30/gallon). EEK!

We had a few places we had to pay for parking but we always found free overnight parking (even in Lisbon and Porto!).

You can also take trains all around the country. They have a great transportation system, especially within the major cities! 

Excursions

Total: $172

We kept most of exploring to walking and eating. However, there were some things we just couldn’t pass up. Our biggest expense was renting a SUP to explore the Benagil cave. We spent €50 on a two-person SUP for 3 hours. Because we paid cash, the company gave us a great deal on the rental. I would recommend booking ahead of time, especially in summer! And check the weather before going, since the ocean can be rough at times.

We also visited a few churches, cathedrals, and towers for less than €10 each person each visit. The other two more expensive excursions was the entrance to Sintra Palace ($35 for two people) and the boat ride in Aveiro ($30 for two people).

excursions & Tours

Personal

Total: $95

I could have spent much much more on the personal category if I could. Shopping in Portugal was so much fun. They have so many hand-crafted souvenirs and gorgeous boutique shops. I ended up buying a few gifts for friends and family and this ring at a local jeweler. 

We also had to pay to do laundry once and spent €16 on that. They have these cool laundromats in parking lots, so we just parked and ate lunch while we did our laundry one day on the road trip, expensive but convenient. A few of our Airbnbs also had laundry machines so that helped us too.

Total Spend in Portugal

Total: $2,980

Average: $186 / day

Average: $93 per person per day

Total with Flights: $3,355

In total, it was a slightly expensive trip but we did and saw a TON. And for a European country, I say we did pretty good. Compared to our budget for traveling nearly full-time, we were over budget by $600. That could have been worked on a bit better with our groceries, booking our flight earlier, and maybe even using more points or rewards for hotels.

This post was all about the total cost of travel in Portugal! We hope it was helpful for you!

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