Types of accommodation

University accomodation

  • Universities offer residence halls for students at very good prices, but spots are more limited.
  • Because the number of international students is growing every year, we recommend that you start looking with as much time as possible
  • Here you can find the Student Hall lists of some main universities:
  1. Student halls of Universidade de Lisboa (U.Lisboa)
  2. Student halls of Universidade Nova de Lisboa
  3. ISCTE Residence

Rooms in Apartments

  • In the city center, most students live in rooms rented out separatedly to the owners or agencies.
  • Alternatively, you can also rent a room (shared or individual) in a private-owned residence or apartment with shared common areas with other international students.

Owners

  • It is still relatively common for owners to rent their apartments without contract. This is illegal, so it is up to you to decide if you accept this type of arrangement or not.
  • It is also illegal, according to Portuguese law, to rent out rooms without windows.
  • It has also become a standard for owners to rent out the living rooms of the house as a bedroom. 
  • Some of them will ask your for a month deposit, and then you will not have to pay the last month of your stay.

Flatmates

  • It's normal for people to share a house with five or more people.
  • If it’s your first experience abroad, remember that living with new people can be a very enriching experience, and a good chance to learn about your host country or many others, by trading experiences, sharing culture, cooking together, and much more.

 

Tips for Accommodation

Safety tips

  • The normal price range for a room in the city center should go from 250€ to 350€, for a mid-sized room with a window. If somebody is asking you much more than that for a room in not a good condition, far away from the center, think about it twice before taking it. 
  • Don't send large amounts of money to an unverified source. Gather as much information about the owner as you can, or use verified portals like Uniplaces to avoid any problems. Ask for pictures of the house, information on flatmates, and check the address on Google Maps.
  • Also, ask your owner for a contract or some written document as proof of the housing arrangement. Sometimes they won't provide one, but it does not hurt to ask.
  • In a similar way, it is better if you make payments by bank, rather than by hand, to keep some track.
  • Facebook groups can be a good resource to find a house, because some other flatmates may be posting the ad on behalf of the owner, so you will have some feedback on the house. However, be careful, and don't just take a stranger's word unless they give you the actual contact with the owner.
  • We know you may feel a bit in a rush if you are house hunting in Lisbon months like August or January. Even if you want to save as much money as possible, it is probably better to use a verified portal and pay the service fee than risking being tricked if you feel that something is not completely right about a house offer.
  • Alternatively, you can also come earlier and check in a hostel for a few days to house hunt in person. 

Things to ask for

Contract: A contract makes the renting arrangement legal and you will have some protection if some issue comes up. We encourage you to look for rooms with a contract

Heating: Lisbon has a priviledged weather, but houses often lack heating of any type. Check about this in advance (specially if you will stay in the city during the winter) to know if you should buy a portable heater, an extra blanket, or put some extra sweater in your suitcase. 
 

Does the room have a window?: It is very illegal to rent rooms without windows, so try to avoid this kind of rooms.

What does the price include?: Get a clear picture of what is included in the price. Normally you have or a all inclusive monthly rent for your room or room and expenses. Check if there is also cleaning service for the apartment and wether it includes only shared spaces or all the house.

Location: The location of the apartment also has some influence in its price. If you are not planing to go out much, you can afford to live further away from the city center. Our suggestion is to look for the night bus lines and check if you are closer to one (in the 20min/half hour range).

Number of flatmates: The bigger the apartment the more noisy it can be, however this should be compensated in the price. Compare the price/flatmates/quality ratio before making a decision.

Number of bathrooms: Consider the number of bathrooms/room ratio.

Can I bring a friend: Some landlords are quite strict in letting you bring visitors to your house. Check this before renting a house, specially if you are planing to have many visits during the semester.