It doesn’t matter whether you’re a student or a professional, moving to a new city and finding a room can be hard. Unfortunately, that’s definitely the case in Lisbon as well.
There’s a lot of demand for accommodation in Lisbon; from locals, students, and professionals, and overall the quality of accommodation in Lisbon can be quite disappointing. Even the houses aimed at professionals can feel quite “studenty,” and most have very poor insulation, and feel very expensive for what you’re getting. Finding that perfect place is definitely a lot of work.
Although contacting people and arranging viewings is challenging, the first stumbling stone is just finding the available rooms. Hopefully, this article will lessen that challenge a little and help you to find that perfect room in Lisbon.
In Portugal, as with everywhere else, available rooms are mainly advertised on classifieds websites and increasingly through Facebook groups (see below). These rooms are normally the cheapest available, as many of the accommodation services below (like Airbnb, Uniplaces, and Spotaroom) all charge a service fee.
For Lisbon, the main classifieds sites to look at are:
These days, more and more people are posting adverts in Facebook groups as opposed to on classifieds websites. There are numerous Facebook groups for rooms in Lisbon, with new ones popping up all the time.
Some of the most popular groups are:
- 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
There’s also Facebook marketplace, which is increasingly growing in popularity.
Spotahome is a little like Airbnb, but for 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, wi-fi, 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 (yes, these exist).
Unfortunately, even if you’re already in Lisbon, you can’t go and see the property yourself first. You also don’t know who you’re going to be living with although, in fairness, neither does the landlord yet: you’ll notice that yours usually isn’t the only room available, and the landlord is renting out all of the rooms on Spotahome. Some properties also don’t allow overnight guests, which is quite unusual for a long-term rental.
Spotahome have given Portugalist readers a discount code which will give you 10% off your one time reservation fee. Simply use the code PTUGALIST437 at the checkout and 10% will be deducted.
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.
Uniplaces is, as the name suggests, primarily aimed at students but it’s definitely 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. You can also see how many rooms there are in the house, if you’re trying to avoid those 10-bed places.
Strangely, a lot of places don’t allow overnight guests which is unusual for long-term rentals. Normally in a long-term rental it’s accepted that you might have a friend or partner come to stay occasionally.
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 other accommodation sites like Airbnb.
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.
EasyQuarto is another website that focuses solely on flatshares, and it’s available in both Portugal and Brazil. Unfortunately, to contact advertisers about the room, you have to have a premium membership. As a free user, all you can do is click a button to show your interest.
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.
There are some filters on the site: you can filter to show entire apartments, student dorms, studios, or rooms in a shared flat.
Housing Anywhere is another accommodation site aimed at students, where you’ll find apartments, rooms, and studios for rent in Lisbon and throughout the world.
It’s an easy way to find and rent student accommodation in Lisbon, even if you’re somewhere else in the world: although you do pay the first month in advance, Housing Anywhere don’t actually transfer the money to the landlord until 48 hours after you move in. This gives you some time to check over the property and to make sure that it lines up with what you expected.
Geared towards digital nomads, freelancers, entrepreneurs, and other technies, Nomadx lists both rooms and entire apartments that are available for rent. Rooms typically include a desk and a good internet connection, all essentials for those that work for themselves.
If you’re a digital nomad, another place to look is the Accommodation for Digital Nomads in Lisbon group on Facebook. Also, be sure to read the digital nomad guide to Lisbon which is full of tips and pointers for living here as a digital nomad.