Good Weather, Affordable Living & Studying Abroad

The City of Light: Lisbon is the capital of Portugal, known for its vibrant nightlife, formative history and amazing food. More importantly than this is that Lisbon is known for its inexpensive lifestyle, which comes in handy if you want to study here on a budget.

Accommodation

Lisbon offers a range of different options within this topic. Before start of the semester and depending on the availability of (your) accommodation, there is the possibility to either stay in a Youth Hostel, where prices for shared rooms range between 15 – 18 EUR/night (Camacho, Rocky , Flakus, Lep, Cavadas & Silva, n.d.) or AirBnB also offers a wide variety of rooms, or even private apartments, which can be offered for more or less than 500 EUR/month (for 4 people).

In regard to wanting to find something more permanent, there are other options available. When wanting to live near campus, the University often offers student residency halls or dormitories to stay in during your exchange. Next to this being the most sociable option since it is easy to find (international) friends extremely quickly, costs for such rooms often lay within the 400 EUR/month range. Such residency halls do set aside spots for international students, but they are on a first come, first served basis.

Surely, it is also possible to rent a private room or apartment. Again, there is no clear indication of price, since it depends on the budget and standards you set, but it should be doable to find a place within 450 EUR/month. An extra tip would be to find friends and students, wanting to share an apartment and split the rent. The positive aspects is that you are fully free in deciding where to live within the city (Educations.com, n.d.)

Historical sites in Lisbon
Photography by Britt Kamphuis

Above: Historical sites in Lisbon

Picturesque streets in Lisbon
Photography by Britt Kamphuis

Above: Picturesque streets in Lisbon

Here are some helpful sites, which might help you find the perfect, most affordable solution. Kayak, Booking, and TripAdvisor are good choices.

Food & Entertainment in Lisbon

As mentioned above, Lisbon is known for its outgoing student life and good-quality food. Surely, everybody knows that saving money in regard to food might be the easiest through buying weekly groceries in low-cost stores such as LIDL, and meal-prep for university days or trips. BUT, in such a city as Lisbon, eating out is very tempting. Pratos de dia, meaning “Special of the day” are daily and fair offers, which mostly all restaurants offer. So, when going out for lunch or dinner, always make sure to check the daily offers first, since they are way more affordable than the regular menu (Zara, 2017)

Moreover, it depends on preferences, but it is up to you to explore the city and find the best restaurants. One tip that can be given is: Stay away from main streets, since the restaurants there are the most popular and can, therefore, increase their prices just because of the optimal locations. But as an adventurous student, you will quickly find out that this is only popular amongst tourists.

Next to gastronomy, Lisbon has a very popular party street, called “Pink Street”. Within this street, a wide variety of clubs and bars open their doors each night and welcome a dozen of visitors. Even though it should be on your bucket list, the quarter Bairro Alto is way more attractive to students. Many bars (not clubs necessarily) offer free entry, there are long happy hours, and drinks only cost a few EUR.

Transportation around Lisbon

Luckily, Lisbon is a very walkable city. Most important quarters and places are reachable by foot. Especially, for students who travel on a low budget, this option is the most affordable AND adventurous, since you will be exploring parts of the city which you otherwise might not see. Biking would also be an option, but this is more or less hard, since Lisbon has many city hills, which might be hard to tackle by bike.

If walking is an absolute no-go for you, public transport is very affordable as well. There is this certain pass, called the “ Navegante Metropolitana”, which costs 40 EUR a month and lets you reach the metropolitan areas within the city (Buy, 2020) with public transport.

These tips and tricks should help you with your low-budget travelling plans and make the Erasmus one to never forget. Obrigada y até à vista!


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References

Zara. (2017, May 07). Best cheap eats in Lisbon. Retrieved February 28, 2021, from https://bkpk.me/best-cheap-eats-in-lisbon/

Educations.com. (n.d.). Student accommodation & cost of living in Portugal. Retrieved February 28, 2021, from https://www.educations.com/study-guides/europe/study-in-portugal/living-costs-7821

Camacho, V., Rocky, A., Flakus, I., Lep, I., Cavadas, A., & Silva, A. (n.d.). Erasmus Portugal. Retrieved February 28, 2021, from https://erasmusu.com/en/erasmus-lisbon/erasmus-experiences/lisbon-how-to-survive-and-have-the-time-of-your-life-79787

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