If not booked early enough, it may be hard to find a hotel room in Lisbon during the high seasons or whenever there’s a major festival or conference in town. If you find yourself looking for reasonably-priced accommodation in the city when there are no more hotel rooms available, you shouldn’t give up on your trip and instead consider other options — and Lisbon offers plenty of them. The city’s central districts are still home to literally hundreds of decaying buildings, but many of them have now been renovated, others were completely rebuilt, and several are now rented out to tourists. With so many hotels found in the soulless business districts, these apartments really offer the best central and charming locations and, needless to say, much more space and privacy.
Another option is to consider staying in a hostel. In Lisbon a hostel doesn’t necessarily mean shared rooms and loud 20-somethings. The city has repeatedly been recognized as having the world’s best hostels, and many of them offer private rooms and welcome all age groups. Two of them just opened recently, and both are in excellent locations. Rossio Patio is housed in the landmark Rossio Station (meaning you can go straight from your bed to the train to Sintra), and The Independente faces one of the city’s most romantic sites, the viewpoint São Pedro de Alcântara.
But the best alternative to a hotel really is an apartment, and the ones rented out to tourists in Lisbon are all conformably-furnished and fully equipped. The difference between each one is therefore just the number of guests they can accommodate and the location. The neighborhood you choose will depend on the experience you’d like to have. Apartments in Chiado are perfect for those who want to stay in the center of the action, in the city’s liveliest neighborhood, for shopping and cafés. The apartments in Bairro Alto are best for night owls, or young people who don’t get much sleep at night, preferring to stay in bed until later in the morning after a night of drinking in the many neighborhood bars.
Those who choose one of the apartments in Alfama will be experiencing life as a local, in a neighborhood where life goes on as it has for centuries, where neighbors all greet each other in the morning, in a medieval atmosphere now gone from most other big cities in Europe.
The apartments in Baixa will probably be perfect for those who need complete silence at night, as although this is the city’s downtown, it becomes deserted at night when all the businesses close.
Finally, the apartments in Parque das Nações probably offer the most modern spaces, although guests will have to take the metro to reach most of the attractions downtown. Still, Parque das Nações itself offers a number of sights to see, including the Oceanarium.
So whether you choose a hostel or an apartment, you can be sure to find the perfect roof over your head for your nights in Lisbon at any time of the year.