Although Lisbon is not as a cheap as it once was, it's still very budget-friendly. Food, travel, shopping and accommodation are relatively less expensive than in other Western European capitals.
Lisbon Hotel Overview
In late September in Lisbon, a double room in a basic guesthouse, hostel or tiny pension in central Baixa or the Barrio Alto will run you between €30 and €50. If you want more services and comfort, then a sleepy mid-size hotel or charming Residencial will cost between €55 and €85. Business-class hotels, most of which are located north near Marques de Pombal & Saldanha, can be had for between €70 and €120. These will be newly renovated and efficient, with office centers, elevators, individual climate control and sparkling modern bathrooms.
If there is a European city where a Cheapo should splurge, it's Lisbon. Something elegant will set you back in the €120-€170 range, which won't feel cheap until you visit Rome or London. But for this price tag, you can end up in a room with original art, refined elegance or fabulous views—sometimes all three! Super-savvy folks will wait for the off-season or the heat of August, when such luxuries can be had for as little as €100.
Here's a quick neighborhood primer. Convenient Baixa, though packed during the day, empties out at night. If you're a head-to-bed-early kind of traveler, then this won't be a problem. Bairro Alto is much livelier. Its bar crowds spill out onto the streets on weekend nights. Pricey Chiado is best for sophisticates. Sleepy and serene Alfama and Castelo make a great romantic getaway or quiet retreat. Staying on the Avenida da Liberdade will put you near swank shopping, though not too far from the Baixa. Staying just off the Avenida in a smaller pension will cut down on costs.
Budget Hotels in Lisbon: What to Expect
Lisboetas tend to be a friendly, easy-going lot, which means you can expect comfortable, though not over-the-top, service at most budget to mid-range digs. Bidets are very popular, particularly in older guesthouses and hotels. On occasion, smaller pensions tout bidets as "toilets" in their private bathroom rates. Ask ahead.
Quite a few accommodation types can be found within the budget range, from rooms with shared toilets and air conditioning at a nice guesthouse, to a private, fan-only room at a hostel with few services. Albergarias, like hotels except that they don't occupy the entire building, are an accommodation option unique to Lisbon.
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