An Insider Guide to Lisbon: Your Way through the City of Light


Welcome abroad! Here you’ll find information about your university stays to be programmed, or your next holidays to Lisbon, Portugal. We hope they’ll be helpful for student travels, short term stays or even a city break!

Studentsville’s network was born in 2012 to provide useful tips to students, travelers, researchers, and people who relocate outside their country of origin for working reasons.

So, if you are going to study abroad, to live, or simply to spend your vacations in Lisboa, you’re in the right place. Keep reading and you’ll discover things like:

Whether you’re visiting Lisbon for study, work or pleasure scopes, you need an introduction to the main offerings of this marvelous city.

Lisbon’s shining lights, uphill streets and colorfully dressed people, alongside its local markets laden with fresh catch-of-the-day and some of the best bakeries in Europe are bound to capture your attention. Its sequence of green areas and viewpoints, Fado music in the old town, street art, museums, universities and city life are all you can dream of, and more… What are you waiting for? Let’s read our insider guide and learn in minutes precious information about Portugal’s capital city.

portugal map

Weather in Lisbon

Whether you’re visiting Lisbon on business or for study purposes, you need to be aware of the climate and have an idea of the average temperatures. Lisbon, Portugal has a Mediterranean climate, which translates into dry summers and mild winters. The average temperatures in Lisbon, Portugal are moderate, summers can be quite hot, and dry. The average temperature in Lisbon in June is between 21 °C and 25 °C, so grab a swimsuit and sunscreen as well as a lightweight sweater. What to wear in Lisbon in July? Cotton or linen slacks, shirts, skirts, and dresses, because July is the hottest month of the year. Versatile lightweight apparel is also suitable for Lisbon Portugal September weather: you’ll have warm afternoons, but may need a sweater for the mornings and evenings, definitely cooler. What to wear in Lisbon in November and the winter months? Temperatures hardly go below 8° C, so you probably won’t need a heavy winter coat. But it can be cool and wet, so make sure you pack a raincoat, an umbrella, and a windbreaker.

Where is Lisbon, Portugal, located?

Looking at a map of Portugal, Lisbon is located in the western Iberian Peninsula. The city lies on the river Tagus, right by the river’s entrance to the Atlantic Ocean.
Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal, is the westernmost capital of mainland Europe, the only one that rises on the Atlantic coast, and the third-largest metropolitan area in the Iberian Peninsula.

Many travelers study Lisbon and Portugal maps to find out how far Lisbon is from Faro, or rather how far Algarve is from Lisbon. Faro, the capital of the Algarve region in southern Portugal, rises at 277 km. from Lisbon, that is to say about 2 hours and 40 minutes away by car.
Finally, UK nationals often ask how far London is from Lisbon.
London is about 1560 km. from Lisbon, and the fastest direct flight lasts 2 hours and 35 minutes.

Origins of the name Lisboa

Lisbon, Lisboa in Portuguese, is a lovely city that boasts legendary origins, both in terms of the etymology of the name, and in terms of history.
The origin of the name Lisboa is lost in the mists of time.
As the legend goes, in fact, the city was founded by Ulysses and thus Lisbon’s etymology would have been derived from the hero’s name: Ulyssippo or Olissipo or Olissipona. Yet, the same name Olissipo could, historians say, also come from the Phoenician language, specifically the phrase “alis ubbo” which meant “beautiful small harbor” or “safe port”, or from the ancient name of the Tagus River, once known as Lisso or Lucio.

Time in Lisbon, Portugal

What time is it in Lisbon, Portugal, or as the locals put it, “Que horas são em Lisboa?”.
Lisbon is in the WET (Western European Time) zone in winter, and the WEST (Western European Summer Time) in summer.

The WET, also called UTC+0 time zone, is 0 hours ahead of UTC (Coordinated Universal Time). As regards the time difference between Lisbon and London many are often surprised to learn that there is none: Lisbon and London share the same time zone!

How to find your way through the different Lisbon Areas Map

Below you find a map of Lisbon organized in 3 layers.

  1. The first layer shows Lisbon’s universities and their locations.
  2. The second layer shows the most beautiful part of Lisbon to live in.
  3. The third one shows the city’s freguesias (a city’s administrative subdivision).

If you want to change the layer, click on the top left on the arrow symbol and select the layer you are interested in.

This map will help you to understand where the universities are, and the places where you will find the rentals.

Looking for short term rental in Lisbon?

Planning on moving to Portugal for a while for business or study purposes, and need to find a suitable short-term rental, or a room for rent in Lisbon for a limited period of time? Studentsville is the platform you need to locate, source, and secure your ideal short-term rental in Lisbon!
Preferential relationships with local agencies and owners, and privileged insight into the local neighborhoods allow us to provide a broad and diverse selection of housing solutions.

All our short-term rental accommodation options are well-equipped, pleasant, and handsome: in short, our rooms for rent in Lisbon are ideal for pleasing and convenient work stays, study periods, and even 2 or 3-month vacations in Lisbon!

Meticulously selected among the best apartments, houses, and flats in town, our collection provides a wide range of bright, spacious rooms for rent in Lisbon, alongside classy studios, perfectly outfitted one-bedroom apartments, and shared flats.

Aiming to provide our clients with a far-reaching and regularly updated selection, our local contacts constantly keep abreast of novelties on the rental market and secures the finest opportunities in all areas of the city.

The most beautiful neighborhoods in Lisbon

Looking to make the most of your time in the city of Fado? Well, if you are, you may want to check our availability of housing opportunities in Alfama and Graça, the city’s most ancient neighborhood and a haven of charm. A lot of students have chosen it over the last few years, so it’s bound to be an interesting meeting spot too! Those who like to have facilities and commodities close at hand will prefer Avenidas Novas for their short-term rental in Lisbon, an area with shops, restaurants, and convenient transportation. Want to dance the night away and enjoy the city’s period allure? Go for the Barrio Alto neighborhood, the bohemian nightlife district: it can be noisy at night, but you’ll enjoy the colorful ambiance! Finally, those who want to be close to the cultural scene, should probably choose the fascinating Belem.

Which neighborhoods are most popular with students

This, needless to say, is if you can afford to choose whatever your heart longs for. In this scenario, you’d probably choose Saldanha, Marquês de Pombal or Campo Grande in the center. But housing and short-term rentals here are costly and hard to find. Instead, you might find great alternative options in Benfica, Amadora, Moscavide or Odivelas.

In any case, whether you’re looking for a home close to the university, an easygoing flat close to the seafront, or an appealing haven to call your own in the historic center, our expert staff has what you need! All our apartments and rooms for rent in Lisbon, whether for exclusive use or shared, are selected with care to offer the best value for money, handsome furnishings, and comprehensive comfort.


What is the most beautiful part of the city to live in?

No matter if you are a long-term tourist, a student or someone who’s searching for a job and relocating. Those are the best districts of Lisbon! The most vivid and picturesque neighborhoods, the ones with music, museums, cultural events and excellent restaurants. Let’s take a journey to the coolest ‘bairros’ of the city.

You can see here a map of Lisbon's neighborhoods.

Baixa and Rossio

Both locals and visitors agree that Baixa and Rossio is the Neighbourhood. The original name of this district is Baixa – it stretches from the banks of the Tagus river to Rossio Square, right in the middle of the city’s most important hills. Bars, shops, squares and restaurants, this district’s profile dates back to the beginning of the 19th century – it has been built after the big earthquake of 1755. In Baixa you’ll find the Livraria Bertrand, the oldest bookshop in the world, the lively Praça do Comércio and the Rossio, one of the most famous places for artists and intellectuals in Lisboa.


Bairro Alto

The Bairro Alto is not only the place to visit if you are looking for the true atmosphere of the city. Here you can find the best bars in Lisbon to spend a Saturday night listening to fado music live or partying with friends. So this district can be considered 70% true/original and 30% with tourist-related activities.
How to get to the Bairro Alto? This is one of Lisbon’s central neighborhoods, you can reach it on foot from Chiado, but remember the way is uphill. If you are tired, you can take the Streetcar 28 (Tram 28), connecting Matrim Moniz to Campo Ourique. It passes through Graca, Alfama, Baixa and Estrela.


Here we go with one of the most charming and oldest parts of the city. Its narrow, labyrinthine streets take you to some of the most traditional restaurants where you can enjoy a fantastic meal while listening to fado during the cool nights.
During the day you will enjoy the permanent exhibition and the temporary displays inside the Castelo de São Jorge, comprising buildings, ruins and gardens. Please remember that a full visit can take several hours.
While getting to the castle, you’ll meet Portas do Sol, an incredibly beautiful mirador (panoramic point) offering one of the best views in the city.


Located between Baixa and Belém, the district of Alcântara is a combination of present and past elements. Being a port on the Tagus River Port for centuries, in the past years it has been transformed into a lively nightlife center. A trendy crowd frequents the riverside restaurants and the authentic clubs housed in the former Docks (Docas de Santo Amaro).
Culture, contemporary art, ateliers and trendy bars, as long as the LX Factory and the Museu do Oriente are the things to see here.

Príncipe Real

Between Avenida da Liberdade and Bairro Alto you will find Príncipe Real. This is a residential area full of shops and gardens. Here you’ll find many locals as long as foreigners living in the city. Here life is not as cheap as in other areas, because of the architecture you’ll find. Here buildings are more majestic and more expensive than in other parts of the city – that’s why if you translate this district’s name it will be ‘Prince Royal’.

Park of Nations

Here we go with one of the youngest districts in Lisboa: Parque das Nações, Park of the Nations in English. This is an area alongside the Tago river, including the Oriente railway station and Lisbon’s Oceanário. It was built to host Expo ’98 and today it is the place to go to catch sun rays during autumn and winter seasons. The place for a drink or if you love running or like to go for walks with your dog, this is a great place to enjoy Lisbon’s sunny climate.

Avenida da Liberdade

It is not really a district but one of the main streets of the city. Avenida da Liberdade is Lisbon’s main artery. A place where you’ll meet the cultural and economical center of the city. If you are looking forward to a day of wild shopping, then you have got it. The boulevard runs from Rossio in the south to Parque Eduardo in the north. Luxury hotels, banks, shops like Burberry, Gucci, Armani and the Hard Rock cafè can be found here.

Graça and São Vicente

We are in the hills, where you can have unbelievable views of Lisboa. Graça e São Vicente is known for its narrow streets and monuments such as the Pantheon and the Igreja de São Vicente. Don’t miss the Feira da Ladra, an open-air flea market where you can find everything from antiques to bargains. A unique flea market – here you can find antique Portuguese ceramics at bargain prices, antiques and much more.


Here we are in the fado district. It is located between Largo do Intendente, Martim Moniz square and the Alfama district. La Mouraria extends north-northeast and west of the Castle of Saint George, one of the most secret (less-known) areas of Lisbon. While visiting Mouraria you can walk among the old buildings, finding ancient signs of the millennial history of the city and residential houses.

Cais do Sodré

Along with Bairro Alto and Santos, Cais do Sodré is a district devoted to those who like nightlife. So, do not consider living here if you are willing to go to bed early! This neighborhood is perfect for hanging out with friends, as it has many trendy places such as the Time Out Market or the Mercado da Ribeira, where you can enjoy a traditional meal, a cocktail, or buy artwork from Vhils, one of the best street artists in Portugal. In addition, from Cais do Sodre you can also take a ferry and sail across the Tagus River to Almada.

Where are most students’ accommodations located?

Many students are now living in Alfama – a district that until 10 years ago was abandoned, now revitalized by students and young people, with artists’ studios, cafés and markets.

Where are the cheapest rooms located?
What are the areas to live in in order to get quickly to the main universities?

If you want to find room for rent in lisbon or simply know more about those topics, please visit our dedicated page.