Lisbon’s Student Housing Guide
Looking for accommodation takes time & effort. However, we have just launched this platform to make the process of finding accommodation easy!
Finding accommodation in a new city can be overwhelming, stressful and confusing. Here at Erasmus Life Lisboa Housing, we can help make this process easy, relaxed and secure. With 100% of our properties being verified and checked by us, and working only with trusted landlords, we can guarantee that our properties are real & they match what you can see in the photos.
We have been working in Lisbon finding accommodation for students, interns and young professionals for the last 5+ years. In this time we have collated a group of landlords who we trust. We work closely with our landlords and ensure that there is regular communication to guarantee that all of the rooms really match their appearance and quality, as shown on our website.
Here’s a whistle-stop tour of finding accommodation in Lisbon!
There are 4 main things to consider when looking for accommodation.
Your budget – Lisbon is the capital city of Portugal. This, of course, means that accommodation isn’t cheap. However, we have a range of apartments, from affordable to high luxury so we will work hard to accommodate your financial requirements. Prices range from €250-€600 for a private room. The average private room in Lisbon is €400 per month, so expect to pay around this amount in most central locations.
Location – Lisbon has great transportation links so thankfully, wherever you choose to live, you can move around easily and affordably. However, distance from your university, or from central attractions, could be important to you. We would recommend that before you start to search for accommodation, you do some preliminary research on what is important to you. Also, bear in mind that if you are in a central area, such as Bairro Alto, noise can be expected.
The platform – The platform that you choose to reserve from is very important. Scams are ever too common when looking for accommodation as many scammers know how to make their listings look & seem realistic. Here at Erasmus Life Lisboa Housing, we can assure you that all of our accommodation is checked personally by us and we verify that all of the information that we share with you is correct. Check out our listings today, and send us a message to get any further information that you may require!
Personal requests – What is important is to evaluate what is the most important for you, is it having a large number of flatmates to socialise with? A desk for studying for university? Having a private bathroom? Once you have considered what is important to you, and what you are willing to compromise on, you will be ready to start your accommodation search!
Lisbon has various neighbourhoods and this can make it challenging to find the best place to live! So we want to make your choice easier by providing you with a brief description of the main student neighbourhoods in Lisbon.
The most common areas
Alameda/Areeiro/Roma – These areas are great for students who want to live in a quiet area, but with links to all of Lisbon. Not only this but in the centre there is a beautiful Park, Jardim Alameda Dom Afonso Henriques which is a lovely place to relax with friends.
Anjos/Intendente/Arroios – These nearby areas are very common for students to live. The areas are known for their individuality and alternative vibes, with bars and clubs such as Anjos 70. These locations are on the green metro line, which is a great metro line for anyone who likes to go to the beach, with access to Cais do Sodré and Areeiro which both have quick transport to Caparica & Carcavelos beach!
Bica/Santos/Alcantara – If living by the water is important to you, then these neighbourhoods would be wonderful. All close to Cais do Sodré so that you can quickly get to central Lisbon, whilst also being on the train line towards Cascais and Caparica, perfect for any water lover! Santos-o-Velho or “Santos The Old” is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Lisbon. It is attractive with its narrow streets and old buildings. If you are an art and design enthusiast, you will find different kinds of small art shops. Additionally there you can find art galleries and museums. If you are planning to study at IADE which is a well-known design college, then Santos is the perfect neighborhood for you to live in. If you are a food lover then you will find different restaurants that offer the most popular local dishes. Santos neighborhood is also great for a small walk – there is not much traffic which makes your walk even more enjoyable. If there is public transport in your daily routine then Santos is also perfect for you. It has access to a bus and train station, and also takes 10 minutes to walk to the closest metro station. For nightlife lovers it is also a wonderful place to live as it is located not far from the main party district – Bairro Alto.
Baixa and Bairro Alto – Baixa is the commercial center of Lisbon, this is the place for real shop fanatics. Up to the riverfront is the world famous Praça do Comércio, it definitely feels like the gateway to the city. You can stroll in the various streets between the Rossio square and the waterfront, with many musicians on the streets and the endless terraces. As it is the heart of Lisbon, everything can be found in Baixa. If you walk for 15 minutes, you will arrive in Bairro Alto, the Erasmus Party Area! At night, the students of Lisbon take over the cute little streets of this area. At day, the graffiti-slashed streets are asleep, but around 6 p.m. every night, it will be the most lively area of Lisbon. Although there will be noises in the evening, all the bars close at 2 a.m. throughout the week and 3 a.m. during the weekends. If you want to get the best experience of your Erasmus, Baxia and Bairro Alto could be your favored options! Bairro Alto is commonly known as the party area. We think this location can be perfect for students who love to socialise, have fun & party! The buildings in Bairro Alto tend to be traditional and there are lots of cultural elements to this neighbourhood. If that isn’t enough, there is a beautiful viewpoint with lots of seating to relax and take in the wonderful views.
Avenida/Marquês de Pombal – These areas of Lisbon are the more prestigious districts. There are many large corporations based in these areas, so they can be popular especially among young professionals. As the area is peaceful and quiet, with the beautiful Avenida da Liberdade running through it, it makes for a wonderful location for your time here in Lisbon.
Graça – is one of the oldest neighborhoods of Lisbon, located just northeast of the São Jorge Castle. There are many beautiful lookouts and viewpoints as it is located on the highest hill of Lisbon. It has great access to the city center, as you can either walk, take a bus or the famous tram 28. The Miradouro da Senhora do Monte is the perfect place to see the falling sunset over Lisbon and enjoy the view with your Erasmus friends! The streets of Graça are like a maze, with many narrow and cobbled little streets and many painted tiles. The neighborhood pubs and cafes that line the streets offer some of the freshest traditional Portuguese cuisine. Every Tuesday and Sunday there is a sprawling flea market that is as old as the Middle Ages! Students that will study at ISPA should definitely consider this location, as well as any other student that loves an authentic neighborhood! According to other students who have lived here, Graça is like a small village, where other residents know each other and greet each other while walking on the streets!
Campolide – This calm neighbourhood is right next to the Parque Florestal de Monsanto, a nice forest where you can spend your weekends with your friends or you can even go for a morning run. There is also a great chance that you would have a nice view of the forest from your room. Even though Campolide is not located in the city centre, it could be a great choice if you are looking for accommodation in Lisbon. Also, the famous Marquês de Pombal square and Parque Eduardo VII are also within walking distance. Check out the amazing view of the city from the top of the park or take a nice walk in the Estufa Fria, Lisbon’s greenhouse with an amazing botanic garden. Amoreiras Shopping Center is also located in Campolide. You have various shops, cafés and a cinema at your disposal. Campo De Ourique, a neighbourhood right next to Campolide, is also accessible by walk and you will find many nice restaurants and unique small shops. As for transportation, you have various options! Buses and trams can take you to the city centre easily, but you can even walk to the main attractions or the nearest metro stations (Marquês de Pombal and Rato). If you are going to study at NOVA IMS Information Management School it’s the best location for you!
Benfica – A little bit out of the center of Lisbon, but through train and metro still very well connected to it, this is a beautiful, friendly neighborhood – excellent, for students and young professionals that enjoy outdoor activities. It is very close to the Monsanto Forest park where you can bike, go for a run or enjoy a casual beer with your new Erasmus friends. Benfica is one of the oldest neighborhoods of Lisbon, and you are always a short stroll away from the various authentic Portuguese local shops, the Benfica market and multiple larger supermarkets. At night you can enjoy one of the many traditional Portuguese restaurants that are scattered throughout the neighborhood. For the football lovers, it is no coincidence the football club Benfica is called Benfica, the club has its home here, make sure you will go to a game at Estádio da Luz. If you will study at Escola Superior de Educação or ESCS, this will be a good option for you, close to the universities, a beautiful forest and with the metro very close to everything else Lisbon has to offer.
As previously mentioned, Lisbon has great public transport links and these are also popular areas that are easily accessible from most of Lisbon.
TYPES OF ROOMS – shared room, private room, residence, whole apartments
Shared Room – One great option for living in Lisbon on a tight budget is to share the room, we have some properties that are set up specifically with this in mind. Generally, we recommend reserving the room with someone you already know well, to avoid any potential mishaps. The average price of a shared room is €250-€300 per person.
Private Room – The most common type of room that students and young professionals are interested in, is a private room in a shared apartment. We have a large range of options from single rooms, to full suites with a kitchenette included! Therefore it is important to check the amenities to make sure you are getting everything you hope for from a private room. The average price of a private room is €400+.
Residences – Residences usually have a large range of room types, from shared rooms to fully equipped private apartments. The average price of rooms in residences are usually higher than an equivalent private option, due to the amazing facilities provided by the residence. Many residences have large communal areas, kitchens and even bonus features such as media rooms and gyms, making them great options for socialites and those wanting to get to know a wide range of other people!
Whole Apartments – If privacy is important to you, then a private apartment is a great option for you. But it is important to note that with added privacy, comes a higher rental price. We have a range of Studios, T1s, T2s and up, depending on the number of tenants you wish to share with. Any studios, or apartments, that we have available come with a fully equipped kitchen/kitchenette so there will always be sufficient cooking facilities for full-time use.
SCAM/METHODS OF FINDING ACCOMMODATION – platforms, in person, word of mouth
There are many ways to find accommodation in a city, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Whilst looking for a place here, you will come across several types and we wanted to take the time to inform you of them, and their potential risks.
Accommodation Platforms – Platforms for housing are a common tool for students to find accommodation and they can be reliable. Most platforms charge a service fee to cover the costs associated with running a platform, and the service fees vary from platform to platform. However, we advise you to be very cautious about the platform that you choose to reserve with. All of our properties are verified by us & we only work with landlords who we can trust, and this is part of the reason behind the service fee so that we can go and personally verify each apartment to ensure it is realistically presented on the platform.
General Marketplaces – Accommodation can also be advertised on general websites or social media, such as WhatsApp or Facebook. Beware that there are scams around, and many properties can be made to look official and legitimate. We do not recommend reserving an apartment directly from Facebook posts as you cannot ensure the validity of the apartment. We suggest going through registered organisations with previous bookings and positive reviews to ensure that the accommodation really exists.
Facebook Groups – The student posted in a Facebook group to say that they were searching for a room. They were contacted privately by a Facebook profile and then via email. The housing scams usually follow the pattern of a Facebook message and conversation. They will send you a photoshopped passport picture to ‘prove’ their identity and will ask you to transfer money to a non-Portuguese bank account, giving the reason that it belongs to a friend or a lawyer.
Here at Erasmus Life Lisboa – Housing, we see many students come to us for accommodation help and advice who have been scammed. It is shocking how often scams occur. Every semester we hear about this and we want to warn all students to be careful when searching for a room, especially when searching online.
So, here are a few tips to avoid Housing Rental Scams:
- If you are contacted by a private person, make sure to verify that they work for an official organisation/company and that they are able to continue the conversation through official channels.
- If the rental will not be done through a rental organisation/company, you can always ask for a video chat to see the apartment or the person – you can also ask for an ID to make sure this matches.
- What is the price? Check the rent of similar rooms to make sure that the rent is similar. If the room sounds too good to be true then it probably is!
- Where possible, visit the apartment to make sure it corresponds with the pictures you have been given.
- Search the address on google maps and make sure the building exists.
- If you are asked to make a payment to a bank account that is not in the name of the landlord OR to a bank account that is not in Portugal (the IBAN must start with PT) then this should catch your attention.
These tips are not 100% effective and we advise all students and interns to be wary when booking a room for your stay and to verify the room in every way possible.
If you have any doubts about a room you are about to book, you are welcome to contact Erasmus Life Lisboa – Housing or firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to verify it.
HOUSING VOCAB – essential housing terms that you will need to know if you’re looking for accommodation in Portugal
T0 – is a studio apartment
T1 – is a 1-bedroom apartment
T1+1 – is a 1-bedroom apartment with a living area that could be used as, and converted into, a second bedroom
T2 – is a 2-bedroom apartment
Bills included up to €XX – This implies that bills are included in the rental price, to an individual limit of €XX, and once that limit is exceeded the excess will be divided by all tenants equally.
Fully equipped – is one that is equipped with all required items of a household. From sofa to a table lamp, from bed to a dresser and even electronic appliances, utensils and glassware in the kitchen – a fully-furnished apartment has everything required in your day-to-day life.
Fully furnished – the rental property has all the furniture it needs.
We advise all students and interns that housing scams have been affecting Erasmus students in Lisbon. Please be wary when booking a room for your stay. The housing scams usually follow the pattern of a Facebook message and conversation. They will send you a photoshopped passport picture to ‘prove’ their identity and will ask you to transfer money to a non-Portuguese bank account, giving the reason that it belongs to a friend or a lawyer. Many Erasmus students have been caught by these scams and we advise you to be wary when looking for accommodation.