Cost of living in the Algarve for Retirees
I you are thinking of taking the plunge and retiring to the Algarve we have put together a simple guide pointing out the current average cost of various items and living costs.
While the cost of living will vary from person to person, generally speaking, the Algarve is quite affordable, particularly when it comes to food, drinks, and utility bills.
Should You Rent or Buy?
First is the decision to rent or buy a property in the Algarve. If you are looking to buy you can find the relevant costs involved in the purchase of the Algarve property here. Obviously, rental costs depend on the location and size of the property you are looking at.
Either way here’s the good news it is quite possible for a retired couple to live in the Algarve on €700 – €1,200 per month, of course, this is depending on the style of living you choose and does not include rent or mortgage payments.
For 16% of the working public, the minimum wage in Portugal is only around €720. Which puts the figures in some kind of perspective.
Monthly Costings of the Essentials
Here’s a rough guide of what the prices you should expect to be paying in the Algarve:
- For a weekly grocery shop, expect to pay around €100 for a couple
- Utilities for a small apartment typically come to €100-150 per month,
- Monthly rental prices start from around €600 for a basic 1 or 2-bedroom apartment, and there are many apartments in the €600-1500 range.
How Expensive are Algarve Supermarkets?
An approximate cost for some Algarve supermarket essentials is shown in the table below.
Meat (per kg)
Chicken (per kg)
Eggs (for a dozen)
Milk (for one litre)
Banana (per kg)
Apple (per kg)
Bread (per 500 gr)
Rice (per kg)
Potatoes (per kg)
Onions (per kg)
Local Cheese (per kg)
A Simple Simulation of Monthly Living Costs
Below is a simulation of the approximate monthly budget for living in a coastal city in the Algarve in a 2 bedroom apartment.
Rent for a furnished two-bedroom apartment
Eating out twice per week and cultural activities
Healthcare in Algarve
Health Care in the Algarve is very good and quite cheap for those who are residents. As a resident of Algarve, you will have access to quality health care services at low costs, if you prefer private hospitals and clinics, they offer reasonable monthly rates.
If you are not covered by the state, you will need health insurance.
Eating Out – Restaurant costs
Restaurant costs obviously depend on where you are to eating. If you opt for luxury restaurants, then expect to pay expensive tourist prices.
If you are eating in local restaurants you will be able to eat around €10, which will often include the main course, coffee, and dessert.
Eating in mid-range restaurant costs around €20 per person, with the drink and dessert included in the price. At a more expensive restaurant expect to pay around €40+.
Internet and Utility Costs in Algarve
Basic utilities (heating, electricity, garbage, water, etc) will cost around €200 per month. Internet and TV costs will be around €60 euros per month.
Transport in Algarve – Getting Around
Getting around Algarve is very easy and travelling by car is probably the best option. Fuel is quite cheap at around €6 euros per gallon or €1.70 per litre.
Public transportation is very good and buses are the most popular mode of transportation around the Algarve. A day pass will cost you approximately €2.50 to €7 depending on the route you are riding.
Travelling by train is also a great way to travel in Portugal with prices being very affordable. For example, a train ticket from Faro to Lisbon would cost approximately €12 each way off-peak rising to 20 in peak times.
The Cheapest Cost – The Quality of life in the Algarve
Portugal is a very safe country, ranking 4th in the World on the 2021 Global Peace Index. Get to know your local neighbours the Portuguese people are also very friendly and hospitable and will be happy to help you out should you need advice.
Picturesque landscapes, loads of history and some of the best beaches in the world make the Algarve a great place to live. Throw in the 300+ days of sunshine every year and English is a second language so is spoken almost everywhere you go, the Algarve really is a great place to retire.
How to retire in Algarve?
If you are looking to retire to the Algarve there are currently three visa options to Fastrack your residency depending on your situation, follow these two guides for more information.
However, if you are in no rush there are other visa options available.
Google Local Guide for the Algarve. Been living in the Algarve for over 20 years and loving the experience. Now writing about and photographing the Algarve experience to share with others. Contributor to all that is Algarve on Wikipedia