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Rato neighbourhood guide – where to live in Lisbon

Rato neighbourhood guide – where to live in Lisbon

Rato best places to live in Lisbon

For many students in Lisbon, Rato is one of the favourite neighbourhoods to live in. It is ridiculously central and has some really great restaurants and bars to discover – it’s one of those neighbourhoods with a thousand little secrets to discover and uncover.

Best neighbourhoods to live in Lisbon Rato
Rato seen from above.
Photograph by Ivo Gomes

Rato: a neighbourhood worth exploring

The most charming part of Rato is that it is a crossroads between a number main roads that lead to very different neighbourhoods – but it is also criss-crossed by dozens of small lanes and bystreets. If you take a walk along any of the main roads you can end up in any of the gardened squares of Principe Real, down in the shopping avenue Av. da Liberdade, or in the beautiful Jardim da Estrela. If you stick to the small streets, you’ll find a number of great spots, cool bars, quiet cafés and much more. I’m not going to tell you all about it – or else what would the point of you exploring it be?

Rato is central and convenient

One of the main practical advantages in living in Rato is transport. Not only are you already living practically in the centre of town, getting around is ridiculously easy. Rato has its own metro station. A number of bus routes start, stop or run through the main square. You have a few supermarkets, stationer’s and all kinds of other shops around. It’s just one of those neighbourhoods that’s really easy.

Student accommodation in Rato
Rato might be busy, but there’s always room for another cyclist!
Photograph by Cenas a Pedal

Getting around Rato

As I said above, Rato is easy to get around. Most people arrive here on the Metro: the yellow line starts and finishes here. The Marquês de Pombal is only one station away, so you can reach anywhere on the blue line very, very quickly too. You can catch buses in Praça do Rato, the main square, or some of the major roads around. Taxis are easily available.

Rato rental rates

Living in Rato is cheaper than many of the nearby neighbourhoods: rents here can be nearly half of what they are in Principe Real for example. This central-but-affordable quality makes it very appealing. Single rooms will be around €260-€360 and doubles will start around €400. Whole apartments can start around €650 but will cost more for special features (balconies, air conditioning, new or refurbished, etc.).

Where to live in Lisbon Rato
Some of Rato’s most colourful houses.
Photograph by Jim Budd

Fact sheet: Rato

One place to eat: Real Fábrica dishes out some typical Portuguese food. The quality is great, the prices are accessible, the beer is cold, and the fish is fresh. What more can you ask for? Address: Rua da Escola Politécnica, 275

One place to drink: Procópio. This is one of those hidden off-the-beaten-track bards you just have to see. It’s a tiny drinking den, all pannelled in old woods and cluttered with antiques. Coming here, it’s not just the decor, but the service as well, is like stepping through a time machine. Not easy to find! Address: Rua São Francisco Sales, 21

One place to study: Quatro ao Rato. Sit down and ask for a coffee and one of the home-made pastries. 4A Address: Largo do Rato, 4A

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One thing to see:  find the comical little rat made out of basalt stones in the Portuguese pavement. It’s a humorous take on the neighbourhood’s name, which means “Rat” in Portuguese.

One thing to do: Head out to the Casa de Chá, or tea house, more commonly known by its old name: Vicentinas. Bring friends along for good company and conversation and enjoy the hot, steaming tea and scones that have follow a recipe that’s nearly a hundred years old. Address: Rua de São Bento 700


Check out our neighbourhood page about Rato, with all the available student accommodation listed there!

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And remember! If you need to find Student accommodation in Rato – or you know someone that does – you’ll find the student home you’re looking for on
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