Lisbon enjoys a reputation as an affordable destination for the cost conscious, and spending less doesn’t necessarily mean compromising on comfort and safety.
There are dozens of good quality low cost hotels and guesthouses in the city, far too many to mention in a single blog. So for the sake of this guide, we’ve concentrated on Lisbon’s downtown (Baixa) district and the neighbourhoods of Chiado and Bairro Alto to select a few places that stand out for their wallet-friendly rates and convenient location. Note that prices can vary depending on the season.
A favourite budget option, Duas Nações Residence is set on the corner of Rua da Vitoria and Rua Augusta (both pedestrianised) right in the heart of the Baixa with its plethora of shops, cafés and restaurants.
Tidy and comfortable, if a little cramped, this guesthouse offers single, double and quadruple rooms and basic amenities. Most rooms have private bathrooms, but guests can opt for shared WC facilities to save extra pennies. Breakfast is included in the price, which is a Continental affair, adequate but rather plain. The guesthouse is within walking distance of several well known landmarks including Praça do Comércio and the Sé (cathedral). Doubles with bathroom from €85.00
At Gat Rossio the emphasis is on minimalism, and that includes the rate. This fashionable 3-star is in an unbeatable location, tucked into a pedestrian side street just off Restauradores, a stone’s throw from Rossio railway station and the Metro. The hotel’s trendy interior and contemporary complexion belies its relative low cost for such a stylish and centrally located property. The price includes a breakfast buffet and there’s a wood deck terrace for guests to chill out on. Ideal as a city break bolthole, double standard rooms with bathroom start from €88.00.
Benefiting from a recent exterior makeover, the friendly Pensão Nova Goa is one of Lisbon’s most popular budget guesthouses. It’s located near Martim Moniz, not one of Lisbon’s prettiest neighbourhoods but still very central and convenient for public transport and Praça da Figueira. This squeaky clean and unpretentious property has 42 rooms, all with private bathrooms and basic mod cons like satellite TV and air conditioning. Serviced daily, room rates include breakfast. Guests should note that the Tram 28 stop is just five minutes away – handy for the castle and Alfama. Doubles from €55.00.
Chiado is one of the city’s most elegant and refined quarters. Renowned for its fashionable boutiques, historic cafés and visitor attractions like the Museu do Chiado and Teatro Nacional de São Carlos, it is essentially 19th century in looks and atmosphere. And right in the middle of this period environment is Hotel Borges.
This well-regarded 3-star property charges a little more simply because of its location – but it’s still a bargain. Standing on Rua Garrett, its neighbours include the charming Café Bernard, a gem of a venue and great place to meet for a drink and a snack. The hotel is clean and tidy but fairly basic. All rooms have bathroom and TV and look out either over the main street or an interior terrace. Light sleepers should consider a room at the rear as Rua Garrett buzzes late into the night, especially in summer. The service can at times be rather offhand but it’s a small price to pay for such a convenient base. Doubles start from €99.00.
One of the newest budget draws is Evidencia Light Santa Catarina in Rua Dr Luís Almeida e Albuquerque! This smart guesthouse offers 2- and 3-bedroom units while the top floor dormitory, with separate male and female bathroom facilities, can sleep 14 people – a great option if you’re travelling in a large group. The décor matches the service – bright and breezy with a youthful vibe. The lounge bar extends onto an open terrace where the mood is calm and mellow. Breakfast is not included in the price but there are dozens of excellent cafés nearby and the property is just a short walk from the lively Bairro Alto district. Prices from €44.00.