Where to Find Good Accommodation in Lisbon
Lisbon’s huge housing crisis just keeps getting worse. If more visitors keep choosing Airbnb over hotels, more landlords will give up their long-term rentals to make extra money on Airbnb. Almost everyone living in Lisbon has felt it, and it sucks.
Actually, it’s one of Lisbon’s biggest social issues right now. It might seem like just another city having a quarrel against the sharing-economy giants, but due to the smaller paychecks in Portugal when compared to the rest of Europe, it’s where it’s had the biggest impact. It’s affecting everyone; students struggle to find rooms whether they’re Portuguese or not, and older locals have been forced into the suburbs in droves, which in turn has created a rent spike on the southern margin of the Tagus River.
It seems like dark humour: How can such a sunny city be one of the most inhospitable places in the world? Accommodation plays a huge part in this zeitgeist of Lisbon-living, the housing market speculation is lasting so long, we don’t even know if it’s a bubble or a permanent state. This quickly progressed to a state of complaint from locals towards tourists and travellers, but it never gets out of hand (and that you’ll probably never notice) because Portuguese people can’t resist going the extra mile in what comes to service and hospitality. Our warm reception towards travellers often masks the fact that we’re not at peace with how Lisbon is being stolen from locals.
The best way to get around the extreme Airbnb-ification of Lisbon is to stay at local owned hotels or guesthouses. From the upscale stays in the city centre to budget friendly options all-around town, there’s plenty of great options to choose from without disrupting the housing situation even more. If you’re looking for a longer stay, try to find a place to sublet on the Portuguese website OLX, the r/Portugal channel on Reddit or by asking around on Instagram.
There are lots of neighbourhoods to choose from, but please make an effort not to play loud music or yell after midnight (Cais do Sodré suffers intensely from this), tap into Lisbon’s nightlife scene for that.