A Useful Guide to Apartment Hunting in Lisbon

In Lisbon, it is best to schedule your search for the best short-term rentals in Lisbon for certain parts of the year. It is a seasonal activity because social factors have an impact on the availability of certain properties.

For example, there may be plenty of openings in the summer. However, competition will be a little stiff because you will be hunting alongside students going back to school and tourists hoping to spend some time in the city. If you cannot postpone your apartment hunting, make sure you follow the market with a sharp eye during this time of year.

The winter months are usually the best time to start looking for a place to stay. This is because the city is quieter, and many leases end around the New Year. As a result, you have more options and less competition. This could also translate to more affordable prices, as homeowners and landlords are more willing to negotiate.

Starting With Listings

Lisbon has plenty of furnished and unfurnished apartments you can choose from. It is strongly recommended that you try looking into furnished apartments in the city first, because these properties will have all the amenities you need to live comfortably. In addition, many rentals include the utility bills when calculating monthly rent.

If you want to push through with renting unfurnished apartments, you will be responsible for setting up all your utilities and buying your furniture.

Making Your Offer

Now that you know where you want to stay, you need to submit your offer. If you are from the United States, you may be used to signing on rental apartments immediately. However, this is not the case in Portugal. Prepare for listing agents to draw out the process, allowing for as many different visitations as possible. There have been instances where landlords decide to increase an apartment’s asking price based solely on the number of viewing inquiries made in the past few days.

Expatriates may go through double the stress when apartment hunting because landlords are likely to favour a Portuguese national. This could be out of a desire to help their own people and the familiarity of local renters. To gain a competitive edge, prepare an initial offer with a hefty guarantee. You could try offering to pay for three or four months’ worth of rent in advance. Landlords also favour potential tenants who want a longer contract.

Choosing Your Ideal Neighbourhood

Here are some of the most prominent neighbourhoods in Lisbon:

Alfama

This is the oldest neighbourhood in Lisbon. Alfama has tons of picturesque places around the area and some of the best views of the city. It is home to plenty of elderly people who have lived in the neighbourhood for decades. Young professionals and families have also settled down here.

Alfama is located on a hilltop, which means that you will need to prepare for plenty of walking up steep streets. This is not an ideal neighbourhood for car owners because the roads are so narrow.

Baixa

Baixa is a neighbourhood with one of the highest footfall rates in the city. It is located in the heart of Lisbon, with plenty of eighteenth-century architecture and allure to keep you coming back for more. For people who need to commute, transportation is not a problem. There are plenty of tram spots, metro stations, and buses around the area.

If you want to stay in a vibrant neighbourhood where you can see plenty of tourists and youths alike, then Baixa is where you should start looking for a place to stay.

Cascais

In the past, Cascais was a fishermen’s village. Today, it is a coastal town where many people choose to live because of the breath-taking bays, golden beaches, and proximity to luxury hotels. This is only a thirty-minute commute away from the Lisbon city proper. It has plenty of seafood markets, local shops, and local restaurants for people who want a uniquely Portuguese experience.

One thing to keep in mind is that Cascais is one of the more expensive neighbourhoods. Adjust your budget accordingly.

Principe Real

Here’s a hip and trendy neighbourhood with something to offer for everybody. Principe Real is one of the most in-demand areas in Lisbon. If you want to rent an apartment here, then you need to have a sharp eye out for changes in the market.

Principe Real has plenty of nineteenth-century buildings and a variety of green spaces scattered around the area. It has a strong multicultural community, which shows in the diversity of restaurants and shops.

Sintra

Sintra is only a 30-minute train ride away from Lisbon. Its mountainside is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and this neighbourhood has plenty of natural scenic spots for those who want to be closer to the environment.

Sintra does not have as many tourists as Cascais and it is also slightly more affordable.

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