It doesn’t matter whether you’re a student or a professional, moving to a new city and finding a room can be challenging.
One of the main challenges is knowing where to look, but hopefully this guide will make that a little easier.
Not in Lisbon yet? Sites like Flatio allow you to book a room in advance. Alternatively, you could rent a room or apartment on Airbnb for a few weeks.
A large number of the available rooms that get posted daily end up on Facebook, usually in one of the following groups but you can also find rooms through Facebook Marketplace. This is where the majority of people find a room to rent.
It isn’t as easy to use as any of the specialist accommodation websites as you can’t really filter the results with things that you might want like a double bed, private bathroom, etc, but it’s where you’ll find the most listings.
Many of the groups also allow you to post your own listing saying what you’re looking for and when. Be warned that many people will respond saying that they have a room available, but won’t give much information: you’ll have to request specific information like the price and ask for photos.
There are lots and lots of these Facebook groups, but some of the most popular are:
- Lisbon Expat Rooms, Flats & Roommates
- Lisbon International – Accommodation
- Arrendamento Quartos e Casas em Lisboa
- Aluguer de Quartos em Lisboa
- Casas e Quartos Para Alugar até 350€ em Lisboa e Grande Lisboa
- Lisboa – Quartos e Apartamentos
- Casas / Apartamentos / Quartos para arrendar em Lisboa
- Quartos, Casas e Apartamentos em Lisboa e Arredores
- Casas e Quartos em LISBOA
Classifieds websites are still a very popular place for listing properties, particularly for entire apartments but also for rooms. The main sites are probably OLX and Idealista.
These sites have a little more functionality than Facebook groups, and you can filter by price and neighbourhood.
Some sites to look at include:
Spotahome is a little like Airbnb, but for mid and longer-term rentals (the minimum rental period is 30 days). You can either rent an entire apartment or just a room, and most of the rooms are professionally checked over by the Spotahome team.
The filters allow you to choose your bed size (single, double, twin, or bunkbed), as well as other filters like whether it’s ensuite, has a desk, wifi, a balcony, heating, parking, etc. It also tells you how many rooms there are in the apartment, which is good if you’re trying to avoid a 7 or 10-bedroom apartment.
Spotahome charges a one-off fee, which varies but is usually around €150, but after that, it’s just a case of paying rent and any other costs to the landlord.
One downside of sites like Spotahome is that you never get to see the property first or to meet the other tenants. Many of the properties do have reviews from previous guests, though, which gives you an idea of what the landlord might be like.
Uniplaces is, as the name suggests, primarily aimed at students but it’s not limited to those that are studying: anyone can rent an apartment or a room through Uniplaces, whether a student or a professional.
The site has a lot of filters, so you can click to show rooms that have amenities like a double bed, en-suite bathroom, or air conditioning (not really common in Lisbon), as well as normal features like a washing machine, wi-fi, etc.
Although there is a one-time service fee (which makes Uniplaces better for long-term rather than short-term rentals), Uniplaces is generally a lot more affordable than accommodation sites like Airbnb that charge a monthly service fee.
Roomster normally has a handful of room listings in Lisbon, as well as the occassional entire apartment. The listings include a bit about the property as well as about the other people in the property as well so you can see whether they’re party animals or likely to be quieter.
Roomster is a little like a classifieds website, but just for properties, which means that you have to get in touch with the landlord or other tenant directly rather than going through a company (as is the case with Spotahome or Airbnb). This does keep the costs down as there are no service fees to pay, but it does mean you have to do a lot more due diligence as a renter.
BQuarto is a Portuguese and Spanish website that lists available rooms. There are quite a lot of filters available, so you can filter the results to only show rooms for professionals or students, rooms with a double bed, ensuite rooms, etc.
You’ll notice that the landlords on here aren’t just renting out one room, but several. In these situations it does mean it’ll be bit of a lucky dip as to who you’re sharing the house with.
BeRoomers is an accommodation site that primarily focuses on flatshares, but you can also rent entire apartments, accommodation in a student hall, or stay with a host family. The site is very student-focused, so may not be ideal for a lot of professionals.
Many of the apartments have the bills already included, which can be helpful if you want to know exactly how much your rent and utilities is going to cost.
As well as entire apartments, you can also rent a room or share a room through Airbnb. Normally people use Airbnb to rent rooms on a short-term basis, but you can also rent on a medium or long-term basis as well.
There are plenty of pros to renting through Airbnb. The first is that your bills are included within the price, and the second is that the long-term rental agreement on Airbnb is quite flexible and so it may be a lot easier to leave an Airbnb rental early as opposed to a normal rental.
The main con is the price: Airbnb, even on a monthly rental, is a lot more expensive than renting a room traditionally. For this reason, most people only rent through Airbnb on a short or medium-term basis – often just to get themselves settled in Lisbon while they look for a more permanent solution.
Erasmu is really aimed just at students, especially those on Erasmus. It lists student-friendly accommodation in Lisbon, as well as some student jobs, places to visit, and recommended experiences to take part in. If you rent a room through Erasmu, it’s likely it will be with other students.
There are some filters on the site: you can filter to show entire apartments, student dorms, studios, or rooms in a shared flat.