A Guide on Cost of Living in Portsmouth: A Guide

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cost of living in portsmouth

Portsmouth, situated in the southern part of England, is a captivating city renowned for its beauty. Its strategic location close to London makes it a favoured destination for students aspiring to study abroad while maintaining convenient access to the capital. As a result, it has evolved into a vibrant hub, attracting young people from various corners of the globe. The city’s affordability, in contrast to London and other major UK cities, renders it particularly appealing to budget-conscious international students. In this article focusing on the cost of living in Portsmouth, UK, you’ll find a comprehensive breakdown of the various expenses that international students might encounter.

Also Read: Unique Places to Visit Around the University of Portsmouth

Why Choose Portsmouth to Study Abroad?

Portsmouth presents a host of compelling factors that make it an appealing choice for students seeking a study abroad destination. Here are some key reasons why Portsmouth stands out:

Academic Distinction

Portsmouth is home to renowned universities and institutions like the University of Portsmouth, providing a wide array of academic programs and courses. The city’s emphasis on research and innovation opens doors for students to excel in their chosen fields.

Affordable Cost of Living

Compared to other major UK cities, living expenses in Portsmouth are relatively affordable. This makes it an excellent choice for international students looking to manage their finances while experiencing life in the UK.

Strong Support for International Students 

Portsmouth’s universities and colleges are known for providing excellent support services for international students. From orientation programs to visa assistance and accommodation, students receive the necessary help to adapt to their new environment.

Diverse Student Community

With a large and diverse international student population, Portsmouth offers a multicultural and inclusive environment. Interacting with peers from different backgrounds fosters a global perspective and enriches the overall learning experience.

Proximity to London

Being close to London, one of the world’s leading cities grants easy access to cultural and professional opportunities. Students can explore London’s museums, theatres, and career prospects while enjoying a more relaxed and affordable lifestyle in Portsmouth.

Vibrant City Life 

Portsmouth is a lively city blending a rich history with a modern feel. Its vibrant waterfront, cultural attractions, thriving arts scene, and diverse entertainment options ensure students have a fulfilling and enjoyable time beyond their studies.

Also Read: Cost of Living in London for Students

Cost of Living in Portsmouth 

For students, the typical monthly living expenses in Portsmouth fall within the $1440 to $1590 range. It’s important to note that rent constitutes a significant portion of these costs. As for other expenditures, they can vary greatly due to the diverse array of lifestyles, preferences, and experiences among the city’s residents. 

While some individuals may opt to splurge on a delicious meal at an upscale restaurant, others might prioritize their spending on sports and recreational activities. Generally, students intending to study abroad in Portsmouth, UK, tend to align more with the latter group when considering the city’s cost of living.

Let’s have a look at the expenses you can expect in this city in detail: 

Transportation and Commutation 

If you plan to drive in Portsmouth, keep in mind that both gasoline and car insurance premiums are notably expensive. As a foreigner, utilizing public transport is a perfect option to acquaint yourself with the city, while also avoiding traffic congestion and the hassle of searching for parking spaces.

Look at the table given below to know the average cost of transportation in Portsmouth:

One Way Ticket $3.06
Monthly Pass $53.22
Gasoline $1.67

Food and Restaurant

In terms of restaurant prices, Portsmouth ranks almost as high as London or Oxford among all the cities in the UK. The cost of food significantly impacts meal prices, and it’s important to note that international cuisine, particularly in upscale restaurants, can be quite expensive here. 

When considering the data, Portsmouth stands out with one of the highest cost of living statistics, especially when it comes to food shopping. As the United Kingdom is generally known for its expensive living costs, it’s wise to be prudent when purchasing groceries.

Let’s have a look at the average prices of restaurant meals and groceries in Portsmouth:

Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant) $19.96
Water (0.33 Liter) $1.22
Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter) $5.32
Loaf Bread (500g) $1.24
Milk (1 Liter) $1.12
Eggs (12) $2.47

Must Read: Restaurants Around Oxford University

Utility Bill and Expenses

Despite having a high cost of living and relatively good incomes, it might be anticipated that service prices in Portsmouth would be above average. However, this is not the reality.

The city offers excellent communication technology with fast Internet connections, available at approximately $30 per month. Additionally, other basic utilities cost around $165, which is surprisingly reasonable given the overall cost of living.

Let’s have a look at the utility expenses you may face in the city:

Basic (Electricity, Water, Garbage, Heating, Cooling) $164.93
1 minutes of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local $0.18
Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) $31.93


In Portsmouth, the average individual earns a substantial income, but a significant portion of their monthly budget is allocated towards rent due to the necessity of finding a place to reside. As a newcomer, purchasing an apartment might not be financially feasible, resulting in the need to pay monthly rent, which typically ranges from $800 to $1600 or even higher. 

Let’s have a look at the table below to know the average rent you need to pay in Portsmouth:

1 Bedroom Apartment in the City Center $1001.60
1 Bedroom Apartment Outside of the Center $810.80
3 Bedrooms Apartment in City Center $1679.80

Looking for Student Accommodation in the UK? Reach out to Fly Homes.

Average Tuition Fees in Portsmouth

The average tuition fees in Portsmouth differ based on the level of study and the particular university or institution. Here are the approximate ranges:  

Undergraduate Programs: 

For international students, undergraduate tuition fees in Portsmouth usually fall within $12,912 to $19,368 per year. Certain specialized courses or programs might have higher fees.  

Postgraduate Programs: 

Postgraduate tuition fees for international students in Portsmouth were approximately between $15,494 to $23,242 per year. However, fees may vary depending on the chosen field of study.

Also Read: Cost of Living in France: Rent, Food, Expenses and More

Things to Consider Before Moving to Portsmouth

When relocating to Portsmouth, it’s essential to be well-informed and prepared to make the most of your experience. Here are some key considerations:  

Cost of Living

Expect a relatively lower cost of living in Portsmouth compared to other UK areas. Plan your budget accordingly to manage expenses effectively. The city’s popularity as a coastal destination and its vibrant cultural scene contribute to the expenses. This cost is evident in various aspects of daily life, including housing, utilities, groceries, dining out, and entertainment.


Portsmouth experiences changeable weather, with mild summers and cool winters. Pack appropriate clothing for various seasons. During the summer months, you can expect mild temperatures with occasional warm and sunny days, perfect for enjoying the city’s coastal charms and outdoor activities. However, don’t forget to prepare for the occasional drizzle or showers that might pass through, as the weather can change unexpectedly.


Portsmouth is renowned for its reputation as a safe city, but as with any place, it is essential to exercise standard safety precautions and remain vigilant, particularly in areas that may be unfamiliar to you. 

While the city is generally welcoming and hospitable, being aware of your surroundings and taking common-sense measures will help ensure your safety and peace of mind during your time in Portsmouth.

Explore the Area

When you find yourself in Portsmouth, allocate ample time to immerse yourself in the city’s charm and its surrounding areas, as they hold a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be explored. 

With a rich history that dates back centuries, Portsmouth is steeped in stories and landmarks that narrate the past, offering a glimpse into its fascinating heritage. Visit historical sites, such as the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, where you can delve into the city’s maritime history and even tour the HMS Victory, a famous warship that played a pivotal role in British naval history. 

Also Read: Cost of Studying in Germany


Q1. Which are the best areas to live in Portsmouth?

Ans. Netley, Ocean Village, West End, Bassett, and Swaythling are some of the most famous areas in Portsmouth that students can consider moving to.

Q2. Is Portsmouth a good city to live in?

Ans. Portsmouth is a city that never lacks excitement, catering to the interests of both locals and tourists alike. Being a coastal city, it provides an abundance of opportunities to indulge in delightful seaside activities. 

For residents who relish waterfront experiences, Southsea stands out as the perfect destination to fully enjoy the best seaside attractions that Portsmouth has to offer.

Q3. What is Portsmouth known for?

Ans. Portsmouth has gained international recognition as the Royal Navy’s home and a popular tourist destination. The city hosts prominent UK and global corporations such as BAE Systems, EADS Astrium, IBM, and the Pall Corporation. Its reputation extends to its robust presence in knowledge-based industries and advanced engineering sectors.

Many Indian students dream of pursuing education in developed countries due to the exposure and career growth they offer. Consider joining a free counselling session with Leverage Edu if you are also planning to study abroad

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