Where to stay in Lisbon? Expatriation location!

Where to stay in Lisbon? Expatriation location!

That’s it, your decision’s made, it’s Lisbon! Whether you just want to visit the city for a weekend or whether it’s the location you’ve chosen for your expatriation, you’ve opted for the capital of Portugal. A very good idea, because the city is famous for many things, including the particularly delicious welcome of the Lisbon people. One imperative is therefore essential and not the least: you will have to find accommodation.

Let’s be clear, I’m not going to talk about online booking solutions such as Booking, for the simple and good reason that my website aims above all to provide useful information to english-speaking people planning to move to Lisbon. This page does not talk about agencies or real estate research but rather about short term and temporary solutions to accommodate you upon your arrival, the time to find your final accommodation and finalize your settlement process.

Since it is necessary to have a Portuguese tax identification number to rent your first apartment in Lisbon, you will most likely (especially if you arrive between June and September) have to go through short-term rentals while you find your final accommodation. So here are some options.

Rentals from individual to individual

If you want to move to Lisbon, whether temporarily or for the long term, you will look for the most sustainable and least expensive solution. I was personally fooled on my arrival by this financial abyss of seasonal rentals, the number of long-term rentals being very low during the summer months. My first piece of advice is to direct you to the sites of rentals between private individuals. Let’s not kid ourselves, many accommodations become more expensive in the summer and some Portuguese people get paid hand to hand to have the freedom to increase the rates during the summer period. So you have to choose well and look around but you might have some good surprises and find a place to stay while you settle down and finalize your Portuguese administrative procedures.

You can check out www.olx.pt which is one of them. On the latter you can get in touch with local landlords, see the properties they offer and possibly conclude a lease. The “coup de coeur” is just a click away. And if you want to use a well-known platform, there is www.custojusto.pt. For your information, the Portuguese real estate market still have nice opportunities and these rental websites between individuals can reserve good surprises.

Lisbon real estate on Facebook

And yes, it may come as a surprise, but you can find many real estate opportunities on Facebook groups. It should be noted that the internet is much less developed here than in some european countries and that a lot of things happen on Facebook. Wherever you want to settle, you can find a group of “English people in…”. (Lisbon, Setubal, Faro, Lagos…). So I advise you to join these groups and share your search, whether you want to rent or buy a property in Lisbon.

Members will propose rooms for rent, availability for flat-shares, houses for sale in the region or apartments for rent by english expatriates in Portugal. It is therefore important not to cut yourself off from this possibility and to invest yourself in these groups of english speakers who could help you find the house of your dreams. It is important to note that many prefer to have direct contacts for rentals and will therefore put on these pages exclusive real estate rentals. They are therefore less visible and you will be more likely to have the one that really suits you.


lisbon youth hostel

It is the ideal solution for young people, students or couples who have been in a hurry to leave. It’s also the most economical way to get out of the situation without any hassle. For 15€, put your luggage in the Golden Tram 242 Lisbon Hotel. Located in an almost century-old building, this hostel has an ideal location, right in the centre of Lisbon and close to the sea. For those who wish to share with the locals, why not book at We Love F. Tourists. Created by and for discovery lovers, you will be pampered by the staff who know the city like the back of their hand. And if you want to get away from it all, I can only recommend the In Belém Hotel. Each of its rooms has a unique decoration that makes your stay more pleasant than ever.

It should be noted that the people of Lisbon have a spirit of mutual help. The youth hostels in Lisbon will therefore have several advantages:

  • Being able to communicate with the locals to facilitate your installation.
  • Benefit from the knowledge of owners (generally accessible) to discover the city and validate your choice of expatriation.
  • A reduced price that offers a nice alternative to hotels that will quickly cost you a lot of money.
  • Starting to develop your network in Lisbon, it is important to know the world to explore the paths you need.

If you wish to discover the city from the point of view of someone who lives there, I suggest you take a look at our selection and book a guided tour of Lisbon.

But of course the rooms are shared, as are the sanitary facilities, the living room and the kitchen. So it is a temporary accommodation in Lisbon and not ideal for families.

Airbnb rentals

housing airbnb lisbon

Renting via Airbnb is suitable for short stays, without having to produce administrative documents. Given the reputation of the platform, this is the first option you’ll think of but you’ll quickly see that the prices become unaffordable if you want to stay there for more than a week. However, I propose this option for the simple and good reason that many owners do not fill their accommodation all year round and may therefore be interested in long-term rentals for the periods from October to May. A semi-temporary solution that can help you to take the time to properly carry out your property search in Lisbon or its region.

I can advise you to rent for a few days via Airbnb and discuss it directly with the owners. Of course, foreigners swear by short term rentals, especially in Lisbon, but this may not be the case for locals who also have the knowledge and leads to find the rare pearl. For my part, I rented a house for more than a year and a half that I had initially booked for only 10 days.

As far as the choice of location is concerned, I advise you to make arrangements in advance if you want to rent in the middle of Lisbon. The closer you get to the summer periods, the less choice you will have, which will force you to move a little further away from the Portuguese capital every day.

Hotels in Lisbon

I am not going to develop this option of hotel accommodation in Lisbon, simply because this is the one you can only choose if the financial aspect is absolutely not a problem, and I think that few are in this case. Sleeping in a hotel can be considered for very short stays. Lisbon is full of atypical and/or luxurious addresses, I give you some of them here:

  • The Altis Avenida Hotel, for example, is one of the most exclusive addresses in Lisbon. Located in a historical building, the view from each of its balconies is simply breathtaking.
  • The PortoBay Liberdade, also located in the heart of the city, will seduce you for the same reasons.
  • If you wish to take a little bit of altitude, you can also book a room at the Olissippo Lapa Palace. Located on a hill overlooking the Tagus – the river that crosses Lisbon before flowing into the Atlantic – you will be charmed by the subtropical garden that will surround you.
quality of life lisbon

Essencial Portugal

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