While you may not be raking it in with a huge salary in Portugal, the cost of living is low and you can afford a great lifestyle. In Western Europe, Portugal is the cheapest country to live in, beating other top TEFL locations like Spain, France, Italy and Germany. Prices are highest in cities such as Lisbon, Cascais, Porto, Braga and Aveiro, but get out into smaller locations and the cost of living will drop. Even in the most popular cities, prices are astonishingly low compared to other nearby countries.
When you live in Portugal, you can afford to embrace the Portuguese lifestyle. Eating out in Portugal is quite different to home dining in the country. At home, the diet is Mediterranean-style – plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, side salads, lots of bread, soup and hearty dishes. When dining in restaurants, you’ll notice a distinct lack of vegetables – many of the dishes are meat or fish-heavy, with assorted appetizers such as bread and olives. Vegetarians can struggle when dining out in Portugal. Dinner is eaten late in the evening, from about 19:00 – 23:00.
Café culture is a huge part of daily life in Portugal. Unlike other Western countries where you order a latte and a slice of cake and sit nursing it for an hour, in Portugal the café drinks are often short (even shot-sized) and the cakes are bite-sized. As such, locals can be seen dashing into the coffee bars, knocking back an espresso and a tiny pastry, then heading out to carry on with their day just minutes later. With the low cost of these treats (small coffee and assortment of tiny cakes for two people, under €5) you can afford to dine out frequently.