Every month, people from all over the world come to Lisbon to visit, to stay temporarily, or to put down permanent roots. Regardless of whether you’re just visiting Lisbon for a few days, or thinking about staying here long-term, this guide will help you find the perfect room, apartment, or house for your stay.
- If you’re signing an official rental contract, you’ll most likely need a NIF number (get one from Bordr here)
- You shouldn’t need a NIF if you’re renting short-term accommodation (e.g. an Airbnb) or renting without an official contract
- If you’re not sure whether to live, be sure to read up on Lisbon’s neighbourhoods
- Be sure also to read this guide to renting in Portugal
Short Term (Less than 30 Days)
If you’re just visiting Portugal for a few days or a few weeks, there are rentals for every need and just about every kind of budget.
Booking.com is a good option, particularly for hotels but also for apartments.
Flatio is designed for medium to long-term stays (1-6 months), but you can book for as little as 14 days at a time. The site lists rooms, studios, apartments, and houses.
Airbnb is one of the most popular options for finding an apartment to rent. There are other sites out there – like Wimdu, VRBO, and Homeaway – but Airbnb is often cheaper and has more options. That said, renting an Airbnb in Lisbon isn’t cheap and it’s often hard to find very good deals.
Medium-Term (1-6 Months)
While there are plenty of websites that focus on short-term rentals, and plenty of real estate agents and services that focus on long-term rentals, medium-term rentals are much, much harder to find – especially reasonably-priced ones. Thankfully, things are becoming a little more flexible.
While Airbnb is designed for shorter term rentals, Flatio is designed for stays of 1-6 months (although the minimum is 14 days). Like Airbnb, it’s possible to rent either a room or an entire apartment.
Similar to Flatio, Housing Anywhere is an Airbnb-style platform that focuses on medium-term apartment rentals (the minimum stay is two months). There is a large inventory of rooms, studios, and apartments in Lisbon and a range of prices to suit. The only downside that sites like Housing Anywhere (and Flatio, Spotahome, etc) have in comparison to Airbnb is that properties don’t tend to have as many reviews.
Blueground offers medium to long-term high-end apartments in Lisbon (and many other cities worldwide). There’s a minimum stay of one month, but you can potentially stay for several months or even years.
Airbnb is designed for short-term rentals, but many hosts set discounted monthly prices if you stay 28 days or more – sometimes 20% or more. These prices are unlikely to be as cheap as a standard rental lease, but sometimes they can be reasonable for a 1-2 month stay. And, you can always try to haggle as well (success rates vary).
Spotahome is an Airbnb-style website that actually focuses on medium and long-term rentals, and it’s aiming to improve the entire rental experience – particularly the process of finding an apartment. Unlike listings on classifieds websites or Facebook, their listings all have plenty of photos, video tours, are verified by a home checker, and many have reviews from previous tenants as well.
Uniplaces is a Lisbon-based startup which primarily focuses on student accommodation (although non-students can rent through the site as well). It’s like Airbnb but as it’s not as big, the properties don’t have as many reviews. Uniplaces lists thousands of rooms and apartments across Lisbon, Porto, and Faro, as well as other European cities like Milan, Paris, and Berlin. The site is easy to use, and it allows you to filter through the results depending on your needs (places with Wi-Fi, air conditioning, or central heating, for example).
Long Term Lettings (6+ Months)
If you’re staying in Lisbon for a longer period of time, you’ll most likely want to rent an apartment directly from a landlord or through a rental agency rather than stay in a short-term rental through a site like Airbnb.
Facebook groups one of the most popular ways for landlords to advertise properties – probably more so than classifieds websites such as Idealista. As well as searching through all of the ads, it’s worth posting a wanted ad as you should get a few responses to that.
There are a number of Facebook groups dedicated to apartments and rooms for rent in Lisbon such as:
- Casas e apartamentos para arrendar em Lisboa
- Arrenda Lisboa Low Cost – Apartamentos
- Lisboa – Quartos e Apartamentos.
It’s also worth looking on Facebook Marketplace, as you will find properties advertised there as well.
Although Facebook is very popular, many landlords and, in particular, rental agencies still use sites like Idealista and OLX to advertise their properties. Generally, these are the two most popular sites but it can be worth looking at the others as well.
What about Craiglist and other more international sites? Well, while you will find properties on there, a lot tend to be scams, so be careful.
Finding an apartment can be a lot of work, and it can be even more challenging if you’re doing all of this work before you move to Portugal. There are independent property specialists who can find rentals on your behalf, with some that will even attend the viewings and share the details with you via recorded video or video call. There’s obviously a fee for this, but if you’re short on time, not in Portugal, or unsure of how the Portuguese rental market works, it could be worth it.
There are lots of letting agents in Lisbon. Most advertise on sites like Idealista, but it’s also a good idea to look at their websites. Even if you can’t find what you’re looking for on their websites, it can be worth emailing: some agencies don’t list all of their properties and some will have access to more properties through their partnerships.
Popular rental agencies:
The following sites aren’t particularly big, but could be worth a look if you don’t find anything else.
- Sabbatical Homes is a website that’s primarily aimed at academics but is open to everyone. It usually has around 20+ properties listed, which isn’t a huge number, but it’s always worth looking at. Because these are other people’s homes you’re renting, as opposed to standard rentals, they’re usually very nicely decorated.
- Red Apple Apartments focus on ‘corporate lettings,’ and apartments tend to cost between €1500 and €2500 per month (bills included). It’s too expensive for most people visiting Lisbon, but maybe not for everyone.