Opening a bank account in Portugal is recommendable to third country nationals as withdrawal from foreign banks can be rather expensive and foreign credit cards may not always be accepted.
The procedure to open a bank account is quite simple. You will need: your passport or international ID card, an address in Portugal and a Portuguese fiscal number which can be provided in the Citizen Shop (Loja do Cidadão).
Students can usually benefit from special arrangements between universities and banks which offer free or low service fees accounts.
Cost of Living
Although the cost of living has risen considerably in the last decade, Portugal remains less expensive than most other Western & Northern European countries. In particular, rents, food & primary goods, and entertainment are reasonably cheap: you can eat out for around 5€ at lunch time and have good meat or fish dish at a restaurant for less than 10€ for dinner. A full meal at the university canteen costs around 2,50€ and alcoholic drinks vary roughly from 0,80€ for a beer up to 5€ for a cocktail. A theatre ticket rarely costs more than 30€ and going to the cinema is rather inexpensive.