Updated: July 2, 2024


For many expats in search of a new home in a location that offers an exceptional quality of life, Portugal ticks all the boxes. With 300 days of sunshine a year, delicious local cuisine, and stunning cities like Lisbon, Porto, and Braga to choose from, this welcoming European destination offers a lot to be excited about.

Finding apartments for rent in Portugal will most likely be the first item on your to-do list when relocating. Demand for housing in some parts of Portugal outweighs the supply, so the prices of rental apartments can be quite high especially the city centers of Lisbon, Porto and Faro in the Algarve region. As such, affordable options get snapped up quickly.

We’ve put together a brief guide that will help you in your search and help you find the best apartments in the perfect location.

Types of Apartments Available for Rent

If you are considering renting in Portugal, the country’s dynamic real estate market offers a great variety of housing types to choose from. If you’re not yet looking to purchase property, renting is a smart and economical option.

Portuguese apartments are classified into studio, T1, T2, T3, and T4, and are available as both short-term and long-term rentals. The numbers indicate the number of rooms in the dwelling.

Studio (T0)

A studio apartment has one room that serves as a bedroom and living room. It has an integrated kitchen area (sometimes called a kitchenette), but the bathroom and toilet are separate.

T1 apartments

A T1 apartment has only one room that serves as both the living area and bedroom. The kitchen area is separated from this room by a wall or partition, and the bathroom and toilet are also separate.

T1 bis

A T1 bis apartment contains a single main room that serves as the bedroom and living area, with a closed kitchen and separate bathroom and toilet. It also has a small extra room, mezzanine, or alcove.

T2 apartments

A T2 contains two rooms, typically a bedroom and a living room. The kitchen, bathroom, and water closet are closed.

T3 apartments

T3 Portugal rentals have rooms, and the kitchen, bathroom, and water closet are separate.

T4 apartments

A T4 apartment in Portugal has four rooms, and the kitchen, bathroom, and water closet are separate.

How much does it cost to rent an apartment in Portugal?

The cost of living is generally affordable, particularly in comparison to other Western European countries. However, the cost of renting an apartment has increased in recent years, particularly in popular cities like Lisbon, Porto, and Faro. Your rent will depend greatly on the type of rental you are looking for and where the property is located, as well as whether it is an unfurnished or furnished apartment. Our cost of living in Porto and the cost of living in Lisbon guides offer more insight into the detailed rental prices in the popular Portuguese cities.

What is the monthly rent in Portugal?

americans living in portugal

It largely depends on the property’s location. According to Numbeo, a one-bedroom apartment in the in the Lisbon city center can cost upwards of €1,340 per month while a three-bedroom apartment can cost around €2,511.32 a month (or €1,656.82 outside the center).

In Porto, it is possible that one-bedroom flats outside the city center cost around €744.77 per month. The cost of renting an apartment is lower in regions like the Algarve, Braga, and Coimbra. In these regions, a one-bedroom apartment outside of the city center will cost you €850, €600, and €548, respectively.

Some of the districts with the lowest average rental prices per month include Guarda, Portalegre, Castelo Branco, Vila Real, and Santarém.

The most affordable option is to share a room in an apartment, a common practice among students and young professionals. It is also important to check with your landlord or leasing agency whether your rental price includes utilities like water, gas, internet, and electricity. If these costs are included, they will often come with a fair usage amount. You may also be required to put down a security deposit, which will be returned in full if no damage is done to the apartment. A security deposit can be the equivalent of one- or two-months’ rent.

Take a look at our ultimate guide to renting in Portugal

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Can a foreigner rent an apartment in Portugal?

The simple answer is yes, foreigners can rent an apartment in Portugal. In order to sign your tenancy contract, you will need a NIF number (tax number) and your identification documents. You can learn more in this article, How to Get A NIF (Tax Identification Number) Portugal: A Guide for Expats, by our citizenship and residency partner Global Citizen Solutions. You may also need your last pay stub or tax return, depending on whether you are renting short- or long-term. If you are unable to provide these documents, you may be asked for a guarantor who can.

Your contract will usually state the lease period, the amount of rent to be paid month to month and when, the notice period you need to give before moving out, and when the rent can be reviewed. It should also include information about the tenant and landlord, such as nationality, date of birth, and information about the apartment.

In some areas, a less formal agreement (with no contract) can be entered into when dealing directly with a landlord. This instance is common among landlords who do not have a rental license for the property. To avoid being scammed, we recommend you view the apartment before paying any deposit fees or signing any promissory notes. You should also ensure you have a formal contract as this provides legal cover in case of any disputes, particularly if there is a language barrier between you and the landlord.

Goldcrest: Who We Are and How We Can Help You

Goldcrest is a buyer’s agent based in Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve. We provide expert, impartial advice on real estate investments and how to buy property in Portugal. From scouting out the perfect property through to acquisition, we have you covered.

If you are looking to purchase, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Goldcrest offers a rental service that helps expats who are ready to relocate but not buy property yet to find rental properties. Our team of skilled experts is available to solve all your real estate doubts, offering insightful expertise and strategic advice. We are focused on securing the best deal for you.

Frequently Asked Questions about Rent in Portugal

You can search for apartments or flats for rent on online classified ad sites, Facebook groups, and Facebook marketplace. Alternatively, you work with a real estate agency or a buyer’s agent like Goldcrest. Buyer’s agents like Goldcrest not only work with clients who buy and sell property in Portugal, they also offer property management and relocation services and will be able to help you find flats for rent in Portugal.

The most common rental contracts start at one or two years but can go up to six years. It is less common to have rental contracts for longer than six years, but it is possible. The maximum period is 30 years.

Portugal offers a range of apartment types or flats that are classified as studio (T0), T1, T1 bis, T2, T3, and T4. Each home will cater to different needs and preferences.

To sign a contract for a rental property in Portugal, you will need a NIF number (Portuguese tax number), valid identification documents, and your latest pay slip or tax return. These required documents can vary depending on whether you are renting short- or long-term and on what the owner of the property requires. Therefore, be sure to clarify the exact requirements before you email or hand in your information.