When looking for the best areas to rent student accommodation in Lisbon, it’s normal to get indecisive. After all, each area in Lisbon has a distinct personality. Some are more central and vibrant, others are more residential and peaceful. But all of them have great things to offer.
Choosing a great area to live as a student in Lisbon will depend on what is essential to you. Do you want to live near the metro? Do you prefer to stay close to your university? Do you prefer a place that has many nightlife options, or a more quiet one?
To make your life easier and help you make up your mind, we made a list of the top 5 areas for Erasmus students in Lisbon. From peaceful residential neighbourhoods to areas that sizzle with culture and leisure, there’s something for every taste. Have a look!
There are a few reasons why Arroios has been named the Coolest Neighbourhood in the World by Time Out in 2020. Located in central Lisbon, Arroios has a bit of everything: spacious apartments for students, shops, restaurants, and bars.
Arroios was created after the union of 3 former parishes, Anjos, Pena and São Jorge de Arroios. This area is crossed by a large avenue called Almirante Reis, where you can find everything you can think of: from retail stores that sell Burberry coats for 20 €, to hair salons, pharmacies, supermarkets and more.
Inside the parish of Arroios, there are some cool and trendy areas, such as Intendente and Anjos. Aside from being close to two green line metro stations, these neighbourhoods are packed with international restaurants. Craving some Portuguese seafood? Looking for delicious dim sums and noodles? Up for some pizza? You and this and much more in Intendente and Anjos. These two areas also bring together many nightlife options, as they’re home to bars and hype nightclubs like Casa Independente.
Arroios is also home to healthy vegan restaurants, such as Bio, Las Vegan, and Lisbon Vegan Restaurant.
Perfect if you: Are looking for a trendy non-touristic place to live in Lisbon. In Arroios you’ll also have everything at your eyesight, and you’ll never run out of things to do.
Cool spots: Anjos 70, a cultural centre that houses an alternative market and hosts parties; Mercado de Arroios, the local market where you can find everything fresh; and Viúva Lamego’s pottery shop in Intendente
Metro Stations: Intendente, Alameda and Anjos (all green line)
Just like Arroios, Alvalade is part of the centre of Lisbon. This area is home to some of Lisbon’s most prestigious universities, such as the University of Lisbon, the biggest in Portugal, Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE), Universidade Católica Portuguesa and Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias. So here’s the first pro about living in Alvalade: there’s a huge probability of you living close to your uni.
But opposite of Arroios, Alvalade is more peaceful. While the multicultural -but not touristy- Arroios has large communities of Indians, Paquistanese and foreigners in general, Alvalade is home to many Portuguese families.
Even though in Alvalade you’ll enjoy a quieter atmosphere, you’ll still find many good restaurants and big supermarkets, such as Lidl, Continente, Celeiro and Pingo Doce, pharmacies, stores, and even a street movie theatre, the Cinema City Alvalade.
U.hub Xior has brand new student studios and suites in Alvalade. These are the perfect match for those who want to live in a calm neighbourhood, but still enjoy the perks that a student residence offers. U.hub residence in Alvalade has many common areas, such as gardens, a movie theatre and a gaming room, where students can interact and make new friends.
Perfect if: You want to enjoy the calmness of a familiar neighbourhood, while still being close to the student life in Lisbon.
Cool Places: The charming Avenida da Igreja, lined up with restaurants, and the Campo Grande Park, where people go for a run, a picnic and sunbathing in the summer.
Metro stations: Alvalade (green line), Campo Grande (green and yellow), and Entrecampos (yellow), which is also a train station
Alameda is located south of Alvalade and north of Arroios, and even though it’s mainly residential, it also displays a range of supermarkets, stores, cool cafes, and restaurants.
Home to spacious apartments, Alameda became a very popular area among students, especially because it’s located close to the Instituto Superior Técnico (IST). Alameda is also well-served by public transportation, which can take you to other areas in Lisbon. If you take the Alameda metro, you can easily go to more central areas in Lisbon, and also to the airport.
Leafy and pleasant, Alameda is also close to many green areas, and the centre of this area is crossed by a large garden, where students can lay down and chill after class.
Perfect if: You want to be surrounded by the student life in Lisbon. Alameda also offers a very casual and relaxed lifestyle.
Cool Spots: The Arco do Cego Garden for some time around nature. But students who live in Alameda like to go have fun in even more central areas of Lisbon. If you take the metro, you’ll arrive in Baixa Chiado in about 12 minutes.
Metro: Alameda (green and red line)
If you wanna stay near some of Lisbon’s most famous cultural sights, the Misericórdia parish is the place for you. Rent prices here can be expensive because it’s more touristy than the other areas, and many of the apartments were transformed into bed and breakfasts. But you can still find some good student housing options in Misericórdia as well.
The parish of Misericórdia is where historical Lisbon areas like Praça do Comércio, Alfama, and Rossio are located. These places are always full of people walking from one place to another, either going to work or exploring the city. It’s a lively tourist area, close to many of Lisbon’s monuments.
It’s super easy to navigate around the city centre of Lisbon, as there are buses, metro stations, and even a train station, Rossio, that can take you to a few short trips outside of Lisbon. But if you live in higher areas such as Alfama or Castelo, the streets get very narrow and there are no subways, so the best way to get around in these places is by walking or taking the charming yellow tram, the Eléctrico.
Miradouros and rooftops to grab a beer? There are plenty as well! So if nightlife and fun are what you’re looking for, Misericórdia is the place to be. The thing is: sometimes it can get noisy at night, which for some people is a turnoff.
Perfect if you: You like vibrant areas where you can be surrounded by things to do, from cultural sights to nightlife options.
Cool spots: Too many to count! Topo Chiado rooftop, for the best mojito in Lisbon; the Saint Jorge’s Castle for the most amazing view of the city; the Alfama neighbourhood, for a bit of history; and Tasca Zé dos Cornos, for an authentic Portuguese meal.
Metro: Rossio (green), Martim Moniz (green), Baixa Chiado (green and blue), Terreiro do Paço (blue), Cais do Sodré (green)
Different from the previous areas, Benfica is less central. But we had to include it in this list for a few important reasons. One: rent prices there are much more affordable. Second: there are lots of new and renovated student housing options in areas like Benfica. And even though it’s not super central, Benfica is not far away.
Benfica is placed in northern Lisbon, north of Belém, Ajuda, and Alcântara. It’s one of Lisbon’s oldest neighbourhoods and it used to be very familiar until it started to drawn lots of young people thanks to its affordable rent prices. Benfica is also extremely safe, it has many supermarkets and green areas. Did you know that Benfica is home to the huge Parque Florestal Monsanto? If you feel like running outside, this is the place to go!
Also, if you want to spend a bit less in rent, but still live in a good area in Lisbon, U.hub also has student accommodation in Benfica. You’ll be close to the Colégio Militar subway station that can quickly take you to central places like Baixa Chiado, Santa Apolônia and Avenida da Liberdade in a few minutes. You’ll also be next to universities such as Universidade Europeia and Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa, and to Centro Comercial Colombo, the largest shopping mall in Lisbon.
You might know the name Benfica from the famous football team, right? Well, the neighbourhood is where the Estádio da Luz (the Benfica Stadium) is located. We have a feeling that sports fans will love living in Benfica!
Perfect if: You want to spend less, but still live in a well-located area, that has not been deeply affected by tourism and has a homey vibe.
Cool spots: The Monsanto Park, for a morning run, and the Panorâmico Monsanto, for a privileged view of the Tagus River.
Metro Stations: Colégio Militar (blue line), Benfica (red)
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