Moving to a new city might be scary, but from the very beginning you must know that this will be one of the most amazing chapters of your life. So, deep breaths and with these tips you’ll be able to find your new happy place without any stress. This new step is part of growing up and sometimes most of the paperwork, the research and the phone calls you’ll have to do them on your own, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be alone because by following these steps you are already on your way to Lisbon. Let’s get started!
One room to go please!
“I need a place to stay…Wait, where do I get one?” If this just came through your mind, well you’re in the right place keep reading. Looking for accommodation doesn’t have to stressful, it actually can be kinda fun! The first step is to see what your tools are. While looking for apartments or rooms in Lisbon, your best friend is the internet, because it’s not common for people to visit the apartments first so you’ll do everything mostly online. You’ll be able to find a lot of websites were you can have a lot of posts about rooms for rents and many more.
Early bird is the best bird
Since Lisbon has become a very attractive city for students, landlords are used to having students leasing their rooms. It’s a place that seduces a lot of people, and that means that there’s a lot of demand. Heads up here, the earlier you begin your research the more options you’ll have so you’ll basically feel as if you were going shopping! There are a lot of verified platforms that work like agencies were you can find offers in the matter, such as Uniplaces, but there are also many other options depending on what you are looking for (I’ll get back to this point a little bit later) and of course particulars that post their own offers.
Be aware of scams
If you decide to search on non-verified platforms this is a very important point to bear in mind. You have a lot of posts on social media, like Facebook, so don’t hesitate on looking for groups of students that are going to live in Lisbon as well, you’ll find a lot of people looking for flatmates or maybe they know a place that will be perfect for you! However, try to be careful with the offers that you might see, if it seems “too good to be true”, well maybe it isn’t. If you think you’ve found the perfect spot for you, don’t be afraid of asking for more information or even for more pictures about the place. Not only it avoids any future surprises but it also helps you to see what extra stuff you might need (blankets, pillows, etc.), but don’t worry the majority of the rooms here come with furniture so you’ll just need to unpack and start decorating.
Two, three… or maybe ten?
For a lot of people, going to a different country is the perfect opportunity to discover new cultures and what better way than starting at home. In Lisbon is very common to share a flat with 5 or even more people, by doing so not only you’ll always have someone to talk to but it’s also a very fun way to learn new languages, you never know! With a lot of people comes a lot of bathrooms and a common area like living room for movie nights or fun chill outs on Sunday. Just to be sure, always check the amount of flatmates (and the amount of shared bathrooms) that you are going to have, especially if you like a quiet place. Don’t forget that is a great chance for you to open yourself to international experiences.
This part is very important. You don’t have to be scared of living alone. This new chapter can also be the chance for you to rediscover yourself and do things that you love. To make your research easier, make a list of the things that you must have on your apartment so you’ll know what to seek for while you are browsing. It doesn’t mean that you won’t have any social contact, there are a lot of residences for students where you have your own space and also terraces or study places on the same building where you can hang out with other people.
One thing to bear in mind, is the difference on the prices. When it comes to renting one single room, the average price is about 350€, for an entire place, like a studio, the price goes around 800€. The price range for both cases can also vary depending on the areas, so always check the average rent on that freguesia so you won’t overpay anything. If you want to find student neighborhoods, you can always look up near universities but in general you’ll find a student on every corner of the city. Otherwise Lisbon is a cheap place to live, that means you won’t have a lot of expenses on food or transport (or parties!), so that can help you to balance your budget.
And that’s it, you are set and ready to go discover this beautiful city plenty of sun, fado and of course pastéis de nata!
Ivana is a Political Sciences student currently doing her third year of Bachelor’s with the Erasmus exchange programme in Lisbon. Growing up in Caracas, Venezuela and studying in a French school, allowed her to apprehend the world in a very unique way. Her eager to discover new cultures and her passion for writing, took her path to the world of journalism. She is looking forward to share her stories about her experiences abroad and today more than ever, she has a lot say!