One of the requirements for a student visa in Portugal, once you have secured your university admission, is to arrange for accommodation. And it can be challenging to find a home away from home, especially if you don’t have access to crucial information to help you proceed. Knowing that your place of residence will surely affect your level of comfort and therefore your studies, we’ve compiled for you everything you need to know on student housing in Portugal: what types of accommodation are available, where to search, how much etc.
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What to consider when looking for student accommodation in Portugal?
When it comes to student accommodation in Portugal, there are a few important details to keep in mind. Starting with the fact that most higher education institutions in Portugal have accommodation not only for students but also for researchers and teachers. These are the first place to look at, once you’ve secured your admission at a Portuguese university.
On the other hand, the other options include the private market, to rent a place individually or flat share with other students. You can choose between private residences for students and rooms in family homes. One thing to keep in mind is that accommodation rent in university residences is lower while it is more expensive in big populated cities.
Moreover, apart from your university’s office that is in charge of international students, the best place to look for a place to live in Portugal is the internet. As a matter of fact, it’s not uncommon to find places to rent in the vicinity of higher education institutions in the country. And you have to access these online platforms to find out the best deals for you.
Tips on finding the right student accommodation
There are 4 other factors to consider when looking for accommodation in Portugal:
- Your budget which is tied up to the city you’ve decided to settle in Portugal. Keep in mind that rental prices in big cities such as Porto or Lisbon are much higher. Also, a room in downtown would be more expensive than one in the suburb of these cities.
- Distance between the place and your university that affects the time it takes to go to and from the university every day. The best way to find the best accommodation in this case is to consider alongside the proximity to the public transportation network.
- Needs and personal requests which decide what type of room you’re looking for and what facilities you want to have. You should define beforehand what you need and what are you willing to compromise for: private or shared bathroom, kitchen facilities, etc.
- The platform you’re searching on, so you avoid any scammers. Online photos can be misleading, therefore, don’t hesitate to request for more information if something is not clear. It’s more important to go and check the accommodation in person, so the best move would be to book a temporary place before choosing a permanent one once in Portugal.
Types of student housing in Portugal
In order to find the best place for you to live in Portugal, it’s only right to start by weighing down all your options. Your choice then depends on your personal preferences, the level of privacy you intend to have and what suits best your budget. Here are the types of accommodation you can choose from in Portugal:
University accommodation in Portugal
Most universities in Portugal have residence halls they rent out to students. However, these housings are rarely included in the central university campus. Accommodation, are instead spread across a city and their price depends on their proximity to the university.
Moreover, there is no central service where international students apply for a housing. They instead must contact the international office of their university in Portugal to find out how to apply for accommodation.
You should do so as soon as you’ve received your acceptation letter from an institution, since there’s a limited number of this type of accommodation available for international students. The earlier you apply, the more chance you have to secure a place to ease up your transition to your new home once in Portugal.
As for the advantage for this type of housing, it’s among the most affordable options you can pick. This will allow you to have a little more in your student budget to sustain your living expenses in Portugal. University accommodation is also the best way to socialize quickly with other students, Portuguese and international ones.
Private student halls
If you miss the shot of getting a room in a university residence hall, you can turn to private-owned student halls. This kind of student accommodation is growing in number in Portugal, and turns out to be one of the best alternatives for international students. Of course, the rent would be a little higher, however they offer additional facilities such as storage rooms or fitness center to their tenants.
Student apartments in Portugal
This is another common accommodation type for international students in Portugal. Since the rental market in Portugal is quite affordable compared to the rest of Europe, students can, in some case, get a studio-type room equipped with a kitchenette! However, the most common occurrence is that in order to save money, students opt to share an apartment. This means, each has their private bedroom and share the kitchen, the bathroom and living facilities.
Rent a private apartment
For those who want to prioritize their privacy in their housing hunt, their best option is to rent a private apartment. Of course, additional privacy comes together with a higher rental price. And the same goes if you rent a place with more rooms, and more facilities.
When it comes to your student living costs in Portugal, accommodation cost usually takes the biggest part of it. The good news is the rental market in the country is cost-effective yet high quality. You can easily find a place at an average cost that is as low as €150 to €250.
This is the case if you share the housing with other people. For those who prefer staying alone in an apartment, the cost will increase to up to €800. However, accommodation prices in Portugal remain in line with the international average. Here are the monthly cost ranges for the main student housing options:
- University halls of residence: between €150 and €250
- Private halls of residence: around €530 to €600 per month, not including utility bills
- Room in a shared apartment: between €150 and €550 per month
- Private one-room apartment: €200 to €800 per month
Moreover, in the event you rent a studio or flat share, and the utilities are not included in the price, set aside an additional €100 in your monthly budget for this purpose.
Where to search for student accommodation in Portugal?
There are many ways to find accommodation in Portugal for students. Starting with your university’s international office, if you choose this type of housing. The other ways you can look for a place include online portals such as:
A housing platform that lists student accommodation online, Uniplaces features listings in the best student cities in Europe, Portugal included. Its advantage is that you have access to thousands of properties, wherever you’re looking for a student accommodation in Porto, Lisbon, Coimbra, Braga, etc.
For those who are looking for private student halls, this is the portal to check out. HouzeStudent manages a network of fully-furnished housing in Lisbon’s city center, at a price ranging between €300 and €500 per month. Moreover, the rent includes water, electricity, Wi-Fi, TV and house cleaning costs.
Student Room Flat
For those looking to flat sharing in Portugal, this is the platform to go. Student Room Flat has been offering co-living accommodation to international students in Portugal for more than a decade now. Moreover, students looking for a place to live in Porto and Lisbon can enjoy the top-notch services as their team verify all hosts and properties they put on the market.
Students can also go through general websites and social media to find accommodation in Portugal. Of course, common sense would demand you remain aware that there can be a lot of scams going on. The best move is to check only official and legitimate posts, which have the most positive reviews.