How to find a place to live in Lisbon
Lisbon is a great place to live. If you’re reading this blog, then you’ll already know that as you’re looking for advice on how to find a place to live in Lisbon. Unfortunately, Lisbon is going through a period of intense popularity with tourists, students, foreign workers, retirees and of course people from other Portuguese cities. This all means that sometimes it can a bit tricky to know where to look. Happily, we’ve put together a list of the best resources you can use to make your search easy and painless.
First things first, it’s good to know the hotspots for students. Lisbon is the largest city in Portugal and the 11th biggest in the whole of the EU. It’s a large area so while it might be relatively easy to find a place, you have to ask yourself whether it’s the right place!
You’re going to be spending a lot of time there so you’ll want to consider transport links, safety, amenities, proximity to your school and that certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ (for students this is usually a bar with a nice student discount).
Lisbon is the 12th biggest city in Europe and as such it has lots offer. From hip and up-and-coming areas, commercial hubs and student-centric spots, you will find a place to fit your budget and style quite easily.
A bit further away from the city center, there are Sintra Cascais (40-50 mins by train). These areas remain popular for their excellent beaches, natural parks and more sedate way of life. This is the place to stay for people who love the outdoors.
Where to look?
Facebook – If you’re not overly concerned about Mark Zuckerberg knowing what your favorite kind of cereal is, then Facebook is an essential place to start. There are dedicated Facebook groups for helping people (and students) find rooms and apartments to rent in the city. Some of the most popular groups are Lisboa Quartos e Apartamentos, International Friends and Lisboa arrendamento. You can either post about your needs or scroll through the activity feed to see what people are offering. It couldn’t be easier.
OLX – The Portuguese Craigslist. Here you can find listings of both apartments and rooms to rent. The interface makes it easy to filter results according to your budget, the amenities you want and the area you want to live in. The popularity of this site varies depending on the times of year but during the months of student intake it is buzzing with results. It also acts a market place for other things, so once your find a place but decide you need a new mattress or hello kitty lampshade, this is great place to come to.
Custojusto – This operates in exactly the same as OLX. It has less users which means that the chances of being in competition for a nice place are significantly decreased!
Uniplaces – This is an online marketplace for connecting students with landlords in most European cities. It has a large supply of accommodation so it’s certainly worth a look. This company partners with schools like Nova SBE to ensure the best rooms and the best prices in the shortest possible time frame.
SeaHousing – This was set up by alumni from Nova school to help students find accommodation specifically around the Carcavelos campus. This was students can be confident in finding a place near the school and near the sea.
Other options – Outside of digital solutions, there are some more old-fashioned alternatives. Your University will almost certainly have a student services department who will be more than happy to assist you in your search. They might even have their own student accommodation to offer you. Additionally, their common spaces are usually filled with notice boards that will have plenty of adverts from people looking for new roommates.
Regardless of where you find a place to live in Lisbon, make sure you’re careful. Portuguese people are some of the kindest and most generous in the world, but there are some scams around. Never hand over money before seeing a place and talking to the owner and if the landlord will be living with you, make sure you get a good idea of what they expect of you in terms of late nights and having friends over. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is!
You should be looking to spend €250-€500 per month so budget accordingly. Most importantly, always tell someone where and when you go to look at places. When you want to find a place to live in Lisbon make sure you follow these tips and you’ll be ok! Happy hunting!