Shopping Basket

Shopping Basket Cost London vs Lisbon

Following up from my previous post on the cost of living in London and Lisbon I have now researched some common shopping items to compare the prices. This will give you a deeper insight on the cost of living in both cities.

Food items

Fresh Milk        £0.66 per litre     vs 0.79€
Oats                   £0.13 per 100g   vs 0,25€
Bread                £0.7 per 400g      vs 0.65€

Apples               £2 per per Kg      vs 1.59€
Bananas           £0.76 per Kg        vs 0.99€
Black Grapes   £4 per Kg              vs 3.49€

Chicken Breast £6 per Kg             vs 5.99€
Salmon               £16.35 per Kg     vs 9.99€
Minced Beef      £8 per Kg             vs 8.48€

Spaghetti            £1.70 per Kg       vs 0.85€
Basmati Rice     £1.43 per Kg       vs 1.79€

Broccoli               £1.30 per Kg       vs 2.59€
Sweet Potato     £1 per Kg             vs 0.99€

Lettuce                  £1.25                     vs 1.59€
Tomatoes             £2 per Kg             vs 1.29€
Cucumber            £0.5                        vs 0.59€

Olive Oil                 £4 per Litre         vs 5.59€
Sea Salt                  £2.14 per Kg       vs 0.19€

London Total £54 or 59€
Lisbon Total £43 or 48€

Household Items

Fairy Liquid                       £2.17 per litre                  vs 3.88€
Ariel Liquid                        £5.5 for 24 washes         vs 8.99€ for 27 washes
Cif Cream Lemon            £5 per litre                        vs 4.99€

London Total £13 or 14€
Lisbon Total £16 or 18€

Toiletries

Sensodyne Original Toothpaste         £4.5                               vs 4.79€
Garnier Shampoo                                     £6.30 per litre            vs 12.48€
Nivea Shower Gel                                      £4 per litre                 vs 7.99€
Nivea Soft Moisturiser                              £4                                  vs 4.69€
Tampax Tampons                                      £2.85                            vs 3.99€

London Total £22 or 24€
Lisbon Total £31 or 34€

Summary

London Total £89 or 98€
Lisbon Total   £90 or 99€

It looks like your basic needs when it comes to grocery shopping, household products and toiletries cost pretty much the same in both cities. Needless to mention again the difference when it comes to the minimum wages in both cities as you can check that here.

Hope you found this information useful!

Note: I have used the current exchange rate of £1 = 1.10€

The prices shown are for similar products and no items on offer were selected. Sainsbury’s and Continente were the chosen supermarkets for this research. 

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COST OF LIVING IN LONDON VS LISBON

Cost of Living in London vs Lisbon

I have lived in both cities so I have a rough idea about the living costs. For the purpose of providing you with more accurate information I have carried out a thorough research on the cost of living in London vs Lisbon. If you are considering living in one of these two cities this information should be helpful.

The minimum wage in the UK is roughly £1300 (1430€) and in Portugal it is 650€ (£591) per month. Please note that for the Portuguese minimum wage I have included the extra salaries you get in the Summer and in December. These amounts are both before taxes.

In Portugal it is very common to be given an extra daily allowance (not taxable up to a certain amount) usually in vouchers to help with the costs of any meals during working hours. This is currently set at a minimum of 4.52€/£4.11 per working day. As this is not mandatory I will not be taking it into consideration. If you want to do so just add roughly 100€/£90 per month to the available budget.

You need a place to sleep:

London: 1210€ or £1100 (to this amount you should add about £100 / 110€ of Council Tax)
Lisbon:   700€ or £636 per month

I have looked at 1 and 2 bedroom apartments with good transport links not more than half an hour away from the city center.

And you might have to pay bills:

Electricity:         39€/£36 in London and 45€/£41 in Lisbon
Gas:                     30€/£27 in London and 45€/£41 in Lisbon
Water:                 30€/£27 in London and 29€/£26 in Lisbon

Utilities’ Total:  98€/£89 in London and 118€/£107 in Lisbon

I have estimated the usage at 2200 kWh a year for electricity, 8000 kWh for gas (686 m3) and 125 m3 for water.

If you want to watch TV in the UK you need a TV license which will cost £12.25/11€ per month. In Portugal this is not optional and even if you don’t watch TV you have to pay 3€/ £2.7 per month (this will show up in your Electricity bill).

Also in the UK you have different options when it comes to cashback, you get a percentage of what you spend in certain places as a discount on your bill, at the moment this saves me about £20 a month. I have not taken this into consideration on the numbers shown here.

Can’t forget you need Social Media in your life

Phone and Broadband: 32€/£29 in London and 23€/£21 in Lisbon
Mobile Plans SIM only:   20€/£18 in London and 23€/£21 in Lisbon

So the basic bills (including 2 mobiles) will cost you around 1502€/£1365 in London and 887€/£806 in Lisbon.

Maybe public transports too. Unless you can afford a car

If you don’t want to be at home all the time and assuming you are commuting to work a monthly travel pass will cost you 164€/£149 in London and 60€/£55 in Lisbon.

These costs are for zone 1 to 3 travel card in London and zone 1 to 2 in Lisbon. This is because the zones in Lisbon cover a bigger area than in London.

So far (without food, clothing, toiletries and household items) these are the figures you will be looking at if you are a couple living in one of these two amazing cities and earning the minimum wage:

London: Take home 2546€/£2315, spend 1666€/£1514 and have 881€/£801 left
Lisbon:   Take home 1156€/£1051, spend  947€/£861 and have     209€/£190 left

In conclusion, things are looking pretty grim for Lisbon with not much money left after covering the basic living expenses. London does have the fame of being a very expensive city but in this comparison it doesn’t look too bad after all.

Food, toiletries and household items are covered in this post. Might even write a post on the health services for both cities. It will be interesting to give you (and myself) a good picture on how these two cities compare.

Note: I have used the current exchange rate of £1 = 1.10€

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Tagus River

My Secret Trip to Lisbon

Yes. I did it. After thinking about it several times before I finally had the guts to go to Lisbon and not tell anyone about it.

It was my first holiday with a friend and I took her to meet my lovely city, Lisbon.

Being a tourist in my own city was amazing. We used public transport and Uber a lot, visited some of my favorite places and even discovered new ones.

We stayed in a very central hotel and loved the place. The beds were so good that we were fine with an average of just 5 hours’ sleep per night.

Day One:
We dropped the bags at the hotel as it was too early to check in and headed to Belém for lunch. We had steaks with river views at Portugália. Grabbed some “pastéis de Belém” and visited the tropical gardens nearby. We got a Uber back to the hotel as we were super tired then and needed to recharge our internal batteries to be OK for the night ahead of us.
Tagus RiverSteak at Portugalia

 

 

 

 

Casinha ChiadoTemplarios Bar XPTOLater we had a light dinner at Chiado before our big night out with live music at Templários bar with XPTO.The show was incredible and the fact that we can smoke inside mind-blowing for my friend. Even though we were tired we stayed up until pretty late that night.

Day Two:
OceanariumParque das NacoesWe spent endless hours at the Oceanarium and strolled around Parque das Nacoes enjoying the sunshine. I was pretty much dead by the end of the day and needed to lay in bed for a quick nap before going out for dinner. We had a lovely fondue, good wine and chocolate mousse for dessert in great company. The conversation flow was great even with the non-fluent English.

Day Three:
Alfama Street ArtBasilica da EstrelaThe 28 tram! What a mission it is nowadays to get to ride on it. I used to take this to and from school every day and I swear it was not nearly as busy. We still did it but it was not the best experience. We visited Basilica da Estrela and got the stairs all the way to the rooftop. Back on the 28 we headed to Alfama and from there we walked to get the boat to the other side. It was a cute short boat ride on the old “cacilheiro”. It was cool we got an old boat and not the new ones that might be faster but like in character.

CacilheiroCosta da Caparica BeachWe used Uber from Cacilhas to my favorite beach. We had lunch at the beach bar and decided to walk a few miles back to town by the sea. Walking made us hungry so we ate some “caldo verde” (cabbage soup) and “pao com chourico” (bread with chorizo). I thought I wasn’t going to be hungry to have dinner but after a spa session back at the hotel and close to 11pm I decided I wanted to have dinner! Got Sanam to put on some clothes and we walked around the corner for delicious burgers and Caipirinhas at Honorato.

Day Four:
Galapos BeachBeachWe were lucky enough to get our own personal tour guide for the day. He drove us around the Arrábida area, we walked the most beautiful beaches, visited cape Espichel and Sesimbra castle. Chilled at the beach before a dinner of grilled sandwiches with the most entertaining service. And finally had drinks at Fonte da Telha at a beach bar. I never expected to do so much in one day! I don’t get to visit that area very often so it was amazing to revisit and share it with friends made it even more special.

Cabo EspichelCastelo de SesimbraCabo Espichel

 

 

 

 

 

Day Five:
Sintra! We got there by train and it was an easy and cheap journey. The first stop was Quinta da Regaleira and the queue was of a decent size. We walked around one of the most photographed places in Portugal and enjoyed it. It was my first time there believe it or not. From there we decided to get a Uber to Palácio da Pena and were lucky enough to get one with a panoramic roof! If you’ve ever done that road you will know how amazing that is. The queue for the palace was not as bad and we got in pretty quickly. Visited the palace and after that we were dead and ready to get back to Lisbon.

Quinta da Regaleira Pena Palace Quinta da Regaleira

Day Six:
Easyjet Planetime to go snapIt was time to leave so we chilled at the hotel after a good breakfast at our usual spot around the corner at Delta. We finished packing and checked out. On our way to the airport we stopped at Vasco da Gama shopping center for lunch outside in the balcony with river view. From there it is a quick tube ride to the airport.

It was an amazing break in Lisbon in great company. Cannot wait to do another holiday like this one!

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Praia dos pescadores

Portugal Travel Diary III

This is the last post of this travel diary. Hope you have enjoyed it so far.

Lazy Sunday

CrepeAfter a late breakfast at the local café we headed to a family lunch. That stretched through the afternoon with the conversation flowing.

Once we reached Ericeira we were feeling peckish and ended up at the café again for crepes and milkshakes. Totally skipped dinner after that!

Mad Monday

x-rayWe had a quiet morning and lunch at home before the long day ahead. Afterwards we drove to Lisbon. I had to get an x-ray of my elbow before my second appointment at the hospital. Once that was done we quickly went to collect our passports (not far from the hospital). We got back just in time to see my doctor. The news were not terrible but I will need further treatment. To start off with we had to go buy an elbow brace somewhere else in Lisbon. This is becoming quite an expensive elbow as I have spent over £250 on it already!

Once my elbow affairs were sorted we did some shopping at Decathlon and Zara. We also picked up some of our stuff from my mum’s place (the one closer to Lisbon) before heading back to Ericeira.

Leaving Tuesday

The day was spent with family just enjoying a foggy day at Ericeira. A walk by the beach and an amazing homemade lunch totally made the day. The lobster was delicious!

I was not missing home yet. I felt I could stay a little longer this time. And it’s not just the weather as it is not even that hot at the moment. Can’t really pinpoint why to be honest but I am going to miss Portugal a little more than usual.

sunset at ericeira

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Praia da Gaivota

Portugal Travel Diary II

As promised I am back for a Sunday post.

Alentejo Wednesday

Quinta do Moinho de VentoAfter a good night sleep we headed to Mabi for breakfast. This is the most popular choice in the area for breakfast and it didn’t disappoint.

To soak up the Sun we picked Almograve and stretched our beach towels at Nossa Senhora beach. The water was cold but still we went in for a little bit. After getting all the Vitamin D we went back to Milfontes for lunch.

Farol Cabo SardaoIn the afternoon we went for a little Instagram mission and visited a lighthouse and another beach. No matter how many times we visit this part of Portugal we always discover something new. The beach was stunning and there was no one else there (check my Instagram for pictures).

Back at our room we showered and got ready to go out for dinner. Even though it is September and midweek the restaurants were packed and we struggled to find a table!

Road Trip Thursday

Heading back North we visited a few beaches on the way and it took us all day to reach home in Ericeira.

PatachoThe first stop was at Patacho beach to check out a shipwreck. We visited Pessegueiro Island beach and a few amazing beaches around Porto Covo including Sao Torpes which is known for its hot waters. The water was not exactly hot but it wasn’t as cold as the other beaches.

 

Comporta Beach

Lunch was in Sines and it was pretty good. Last minute we decided to visit Comporta to enjoy the sunshine. This place is pretty spectacular as the stretch of sand is so long you cannot see where it ends.Cais Palafitico

 

Before getting back on the road home we stopped at “Cais Palafitico” in Carrasqueira to take a few pictures. This is quite a picturesque place and worth a visit if you’re around.

Once we reached Ericeira we were super tired! We showered and enjoyed a lovely homemade meal at my mum’s place before bedtime.

Chilled Friday

We didn’t do much all day. Lunch was at a closeby restaurant and the afternoon was spent sunbathing at home on the terrace.

After a delicious dinner at home we drove to a town nearby to spend time with some friends. It was such a nice chat time flew by and we only got back at around 2am.

Family Saturday

My brother and his girlfriend came round for lunch and we had a lovely time catching up over lunch. It is nice to just talk and have no pressures to do “all the things”. Feels good to just relax and enjoy each others’ company.

Home

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Galé Beach

Portugal Travel Diary I

Thought I would do a different type of post as it is the first time I am away since I launched the blog. I even managed to fit my laptop in my hand luggage just to keep you all updated with new posts on the usual days.

This is what I have been up to so far in Portugal:

Travel Day

Luton Airport Rain Drops and Rainbow

We got delayed at rainy Luton and got to Portugal a bit later than planned ending up only reaching the arrivals’ area around 10pm. It had been a long time since we were in Portugal and the family was waiting for us. Even the dog came to the airport! Once we were all hugged out we walked to the rental car place together. Only to find out that as we were quite late they did not have the car we had picked online. We rented Diesel as we are going to travel a bit and Diesel is cheaper here. But Sixt did not let us down and quickly found a car for us. A black and beautiful Audi A1. I am super happy with this one, it is the first time we rented an Audi.

The drive home was quick and when we got home my mum had dinner almost ready. One of my favourites. Fricassé chicken.

Touristy Sunday roam and exploring an abandoned building

Azenhas do Mar Beach

Sunday started a little blue with us feeling a bit uneasy with the fact that we had no plans and no commitments for the day. Soon we sorted that out by deciding to go for a drive to check out the beaches around Sintra and later going to an abandoned restaurant to take some pictures.

First we went for a walk at Azenhas do Mar beach as this is one of my favourite places around Lisbon.

magoito beach

Afterwards we struggled to find a restaurant that had free tables and allowed dogs. Once we found one (at Praia das Macas) the service was so slow that we waited an hour to get our starters. The food was OK but I would not go back due to the poor service.

No longer starving we headed to Magoito beach. Shockingly I had never been there before. It has the most beautiful views! We soaked in the Sun and got some nice shots before we left.

The golden hour was running out so we rushed to the next photo mission place. The abandoned Panoramic Restaurant in Monsanto. The signs outside warn about entering this place as it is strictly forbidden and doing so could lead to spending 3 months in prison. This is a little scary but seeing some kids inside we did not hesitate in going in too.

Panoramico Monsanto

Everything was pretty clean inside and even though the walls are covered in graffiti the place is really impressive. The views of the city are great too. It is a shame that this place is not open for the public to visit legally.

Sunset at Panoramico de Monsanto

I have to say I was a little scared of getting caught as I am not one to just ignore the law and enter private property without authorization. Because of that we ended up getting out pretty quickly and not getting great shots.

At the end of the day we were exhausted!

Admin Monday

As this was the first working day of our time in Portugal we had already planned to go get our passports renewed. We had a bet on how long the wait would be. The bets were between 30 to 46 minutes but we ended up being called less than a minute after we got there! And were out in less than 10 minutes. Great service too as the guy was in good spirits and did everything so efficiently.

With time to spare we tried to book a haircut. And failed! They were booked up for the whole day already.

Portugalia Steak and Egg

Then we moved on to going to the bank to sort out some paperwork. This took a lot longer than expected and we were super hungry by the end of it. Lunch was at Portugália and it was lovely.

It was super hot outside so we decided to go home to get some rest. Later we went to the private hospital for an orthopedic appointment as I was (and still am) suffering from pain in my right elbow. The diagnostic was elbow tendonitis. I will need to go back for a second appointment next week.

Road Trip to Milfontes Tuesday

Praia da Gale Rocks

The plan was to get up early and make a move but we ended up enjoying breakfast in family instead. Our first stop was Praia da Galé just to take some pictures. The easiest access is via the camping site so we walked through it to reach one of the most beautiful beaches in Portugal. A few shots after we got out of there and gave a lift to a couple of hitchhikers that were leaving the camping site and were heading South.

Milfontes Beach

After lunch we got back on the road towards Vila Nova de Milfontes. We checked in once we arrived and headed to town to do a little shopping before exploring the local beaches. As it was too windy we didn’t do a lot of sunbathing as there was a lot more of “sandbathing” going on instead.

Even though the Sun was pretty much gone I braved into the cold waters of the swimming pool for a little bit before a hot shower.

Dinner was Pizza and Sangria and we loved it. It is so good to be back to one of our favourite holiday spots in the World.

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one of my favourite spots apples beach

Portugal. Is it really a holiday?

I absolutely love Portugal. But it is RARELY a real holiday when I go there. You might ask, why?

Because I grew up there and all my family and some friends still live there. This means everyone expects me to arrange some kind of meetup, family will be calling and I will be expected to spend a decent amount of time around the table catching up on lost time. As a result there won’t be much free time left to just enjoy my boyfriend’s company and to relax.

Don’t get me wrong. I love spending time with family and friends back in Portugal. But with only 25 days of holiday a year I need to make the most out of those to rest and to explore new places too. Finding a balance is hard sometimes. We end up not enjoying as much of Portugal as we would like to due to all the social events.

Sometimes we plan trips away from Lisbon to explore new places, to enjoy Portugal and to have some alone time. But we rarely get to be tourists in Lisbon.

For anyone considering Portugal for a holiday break I 100% recommend it. And I will try to write more about my Country and bring you some tips on cool places to visit.

Quick tip for now:
I would avoid package holidays in those spots everyone at your work place has already visited. Unless you like to feel “at home” while away. Then go ahead and enjoy the sunshine at “the pub” by the beach in Algarve. But please try the sardines on the slice of bread with a salad (no fries).

Now Enjoy the below old videos of some of our good times in Portugal.

If you’re curious about any of the places in the videos just ask away in the comments. And if you like these videos go ahead and check out our YouTube channels here and here and subscribe for more.

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