Lisbon: Hotels vs Airbnb
With the Airbnb platform spreading across the world like wildfire, choosing accommodation in Lisbon offers more options than ever before.
Deciding between hotel versus Airbnb living can pose much indecision even for the most experienced travelers. There are so many factors to now consider, especially since Airbnb is infiltrating neighborhoods in Europe’s main cities in which hotel industries were previously unable to.
A significant portion of your experience while traveling depends on the comfort of your accommodation. While some are able to write it off as simply “a place to store your luggage and rest your head”, others need a bit more from their temporary home base.
Here is a simple look at hotel versus Airbnb living in Lisbon and what you can expect from each in the Portuguese capital. Hopefully by the end you’ll be able to make your choice!
Airbnb in Lisbon
If you’re new to Airbnb, let’s break down this revolutionary concept first.
Airbnb gives homeowners a platform on which to rent out their homes to travelers for a stipulated price per night. Instead of staying in a hotel environment, you will instead live in someone’s actual residency, usually amongst their personal possessions.
In Lisbon there are Airbnb spaces available throughout the city center, the greater suburbs and even across the Tagus river onto the right shores. Prices of each space depends largely on how close they are to the city center — the center is considered the most preferable place to stay in Lisbon.
Most of the Airbnb’s in Lisbon’s center are apartments, as there is no suburban space here and thus no houses. The apartment buildings tower over the bustling streets that are laden with bookstores, cafes, restaurants, bars and retail shopping hubs.
There are different kinds of Airbnb experiences available in Lisbon since the city has a city center, suburban areas and a coastal region on offer all at once.
In the center it is apartments that are most popular, but as you make your way into the outlying suburbs of Lisbon you’ll find more townhouses and full-sized homes on offer on the platform.
The size of each home will differ depending on your personal accommodation needs. If you are traveling alone, the platform will link you to smaller Airbnb’s best suited to solo travelers or couples. If you’re bringing the whole family, then you’ll be linked to spaces with multiple rooms and bigger communal areas — some even with gardens and pools!
There are also some unique-stay Airbnb’s on offer on Lisbon’s Tagus coastline. One in particular that actually does quite well amongst travelers is the mobile home that individuals can rent to live inside of, as well as some room rentals on boats on the water!
Best Suited For
What it really comes down to is whether or not Airbnb is best suited to you or if you would be more comfortable in a hotel.
Airbnb’s are the most suitable accommodation option for anyone who values their freedom, and would like to experience saying in Lisbon like a local. Airbnb’s eliminate the restrictions that come with hotel living, such as the inability to cook in a full scale kitchen.
Smokers also prefer Airbnb because they have the opportunity to source smoking friendly units, such as apartments will outdoor terraces! The same goes for travelers with pets!
With an Airbnb you’ll actually be living in Lisbon, as opposed to just staying. There’s a big difference between the two.
Hotels in Lisbon
Hotels have been the go-to for accommodation since the minute Lisbon became a sought after travel destination. Across the city you’ll find hotels of different qualities and designs; they are the trusted and preferred forms of accommodation for many that flock to the Portuguese capital.
They are much easier to spot compared to Airbnb’s, just take a free guided walking tour though the center and you’ll see.
Lisbon’s luxury hotels are usually opulent, world class establishments built into old palace buildings or abandoned castles. This is the perk of having such old architecture in a city that is developing toward new age trends.
It is not uncommon for 5 star hotels in Lisbon to cater all daily meals to their guests, which eliminates the need to source meals from the outside at any point, which is something one usually has to do while living in a hotel.
3 to 4 Star Hotels
I have noticed there is little difference between the 4 and 3 star hotels in Lisbon. After much pondering I have decided it’s that Lisbon’s 3 star hotels are so willing to compete with 4 star establishments in terms of both hospitality and price that one ends up getting equal treatment across both, with a happier cost per night in lower star hotels.
It’s an interesting dynamic, and I wouldn’t fuss over whether to spend extra for that 4th star in Lisbon. But that’s just my personal two cents.
Hostels & 2 or 1 Star Hotels
Affordable living in Lisbon is widely accessible. Lisbon is youthful city in terms of travelers from around the world (just walk into any bar in Bairro Alto and you will see for yourself).
Remember I mentioned some hotels in Lisbon simply being a space in which to “store your luggage and rest your head”? That’s would be these.
Hostels in Lisbon are interesting because most of them are centered around a creative concept such as partying, rooftop bars and pools or even fado music. They are the most affordable forms of accommodation in Lisbon and are great if you don’t mind sharing intimate space with strangers!
Best Suited For
In summation, hotel living in Lisbon depends largely on one’s budget, space requirements and location preferences. If you don’t mind living without a kitchen and you quite like having your room cleaned on a daily basis, then a hotel is absolutely the perfect option for you.
Keep in mind that hotels in Lisbon also offer concierge services that can be valuable to travelers who might not be the self-guiding-through-the-city type. Airport pickup is also a big bonus of booking hotel accommodation — something Airbnb is not yet offering as a standard addition!