10 Best budget hotel options where the cost-conscious traveller can check in and save money.
By Paul Bernhardt
Lisbon Local Expert
Choosing a budget hotel in Lisbon can help you save money. The city offers a wide range of excellent value accommodation options including the chic and minimalist Evidencia Light Sta Catarina Hotel in trendy Bairro Alto, geared towards the more stylish traveller.
More traditional in appearance, Hotel do Chile is also a very popular choice, and has wheelchair access. Not far away is Pensao Residencial Princesa (known more commonly as the Princesa Hotel & Tea). Anjos Metro station is nearby.
Back in the Baixa (downtown), Pensao Nova Goa is the epitome of cheap and cheerful, with excellent amenities to boot.
Elsewhere, the high standard of rooms and guest facilities at the America Diamond’s Hotel makes it slightly pricier than other hotels in its range but the experience is worth it.
Practical accommodation in a lively neighbourhood is what Jardim Botanico is all about. But if you’re someone who appreciates a few creature comforts in funky surrounds then the smart, stylish Hotel Gat Rossio will tick all the boxes.
The Hotel Ibis Lisboa José Malhoa is a great standby option, and it doesn’t disappoint. A good bet when business expenses aren’t very forthcoming.
Just off Avenida da Liberdade is the pleasant Residencial Alegria. Don’t be put off by the slightly seedy locale – this is a safe area within earshot of several good bars and restaurants.
Visiting on a budget but would still appreciate use of a swimming pool? Check into Amazonia Lisboa Hotel and that’s exactly what your hard-earned cash will buy.
10 Amazonia Lisboa Hotel
Cheap, cheerful and with one big plus -- an outdoor swimming pool! This South American-themed budget hideaway offers 192 rooms and suites, including two for guests with reduced mobility. Five floors are non-smoking. The décor looks a tad tired, perhaps, and the rain forest motifs look out of place. But that's hardly the point. For a place to sleep in a European capital city without breaking the bank, staying in the "Amazon" is an option worth exploring. The hotel is a little tricky to find; it's based in a quiet residential zone between Marquês de Pombal and Rato but it's only a short walk to the Metro station and several bus stops. Guest services include Wi-Fi (at a surcharge) in the public areas and rooms from 5th to 8th floors, and a bar-lounge. Unless you book online, breakfast is not included in the rate.
9 Residencial Alegria
Unbeatable for its location, a 2-minute walk from Avenida da Liberdade, this 2-star lodging is fairly basic in its offer but the rooms are clean, comfortable and decorated in bright, breezy lilac and turquoise tones. Bathrooms are functional and some could use a makeover. That said, staff are helpful and attentive if sometimes a little aloof and as a budget option, the Alegria ("happy") hotel is certainly worth considering. A Continental breakfast of hams, cheeses, cereals, fresh fruit, bread and pastries, plus plenty of coffee is served as extra. At weekends, a number of late night bars kick into life and some noise is registered at ground level. The immediate district can appear ever so slightly seedy to the uninitiated, but don't worry. The area has a safe reputation and in fact is known for its local restaurants where authentic Portuguese dishes grace the menus.
8 Hotel Ibis Lisboa Jose Malhoa
The Ibis Lisboa Jose Malhoa enjoys a position in the city's business district and is one of the largest Ibis properties in the Portuguese capital. The 211 comfortable and functional rooms include 62 connecting units and 6 for guests with reduced mobility. Doubles, singles and doubles with one extra bed are available. All have Wi-Fi access. A traditional continental breakfast consists of an all-you-can-eat buffet, flavoured with one or two local specialties. A hot and cold snack service is also offered. Main points of interest include Lisbon's fun-packed zoo and the Gulbenkian Museum, one of the finest museums of art in Europe. Football fans can reach Estádio da Luz. 3km away, by taking the metro direct from nearby Praça de Espanha metro station.
7 Hotel Gat Rossio
Single, double standard and double superior rooms, plus a family suite, are the accommodation options at this smart, stylish 3-star bolthole positioned in the city's Restauradores district. A three-tone colour scheme -- black, white and lime green -- and the use of 1970s retro furniture lends this property a quirky and contemporary complexion, and a carefree youthful vibe is tangible throughout. The 71 rooms are bright, comfortable, and perhaps a little economic on space, but all have modern ensuite facilities and most have views across Lisbon's downtown area. Included in the rate is breakfast, an appetizing buffet affair served in a light and airy salon. The exterior wood-deck terrace is a real bonus -- a place to chill amid the cosmopolitan hustle and bustle of Portugal's capital. By the way, Wi-Fi is part of the customer service and there's even a Mac at guests' disposal!
6 Botanico Hotel
Named after its proximity to the city's Jardim Botânico, this 30-room 3-star choice is a useful option for those wishing to explore nearby Bairro Alto and Principe Real, districts known for their nightlife, and who don't mind a bit of a climb (the hotel is situated half way up a steep hill with narrow sidewalks). Accommodation is fairly basic but clean, comfortable and with ensuite bathroom. Rooms are equipped with TV, mini-bar and benefit from air-conditioning. Guests staying in Superior double rooms on the upper levels are greeted with sparkling wine on arrival and can enjoy city views from their windows. Breakfast is included in the rate, which is very competitive for a 3-star. Prices dip even further during the winter season.
5 America Diamond's Hotel
While not exactly falling into a budget category, this quirkily-named 3-star hotel deserves special mention for the excellent value afforded guests, all of whom point out the high standard of rooms and amenities, and professionalism of the staff. Accommodation comprises 60 rooms of single, double and triple units with ensuite bathrooms -- some even have Jacuzzis -- set over eight floors. The property, a building dating from the early 1950s and of considerable architectural merit, is located in the heart of Lisbon's commercial district and is just a few metres away from Picoas Metro station and several bus stops. Guest facilities include free Wi-Fi throughout and panoramic breakfast saloon on the upper floors where a nourishing buffet is offered that's included in the room rate.
4 Pensao Nova Goa
Smack bang in the middle of everything is this no-nonsense budget abode with its 42 rooms, all with private bathroom, satellite TV and air-conditioning. A recent makeover has left the exterior gleaming and while the interior is rather uninspiring in design, this place is all about staying in a clean, safe environment with some of Lisbon's most alluring visitor attractions on the doorstep. The seasonal rates include a simple breakfast that can be supplemented by anyone of the excellent cafés lining nearby Praça de Figueira. The front desk is staffed by courteous individuals who happily impart useful, local knowledge to send you in the right direction for great value Portuguese food, cheap bars and fun night out.
3 Pensao Residencial Princesa
Now re-branded as the Princesa Hotel & Tea, this smart 2-star property benefits from a major refurbishment that has seen the interior themed around tea, with each of the hotel's four floors named after a particular blend of this wonderful beverage, colour co-ordinated in natural tones and individually furnished. Single, double or triple air-conditioned rooms are available, and all have ensuite bathroom facilities. Upper tier rooms at the front of the building afford pleasant city views. Guest facilities include free Wi-Fi in the lobby, and there's a lounge and bar. Breakfast is served at a modest surcharge. The hotel is slightly off the beaten path, about a 15-minute walk from Marquês de Pombal, but its budget credentials makes the effort to find it makes it worthwhile.
2 Hotel Do Chile
This comfortable and centrally located 2-star lodging is applauded for its friendly service and excellent vale for money. The 35 double or triple rooms, all with ensuite bathrooms, are relatively spacious, fully soundproofed and have air-conditioning. Guest amenities extend to satellite TV (50 channels) and Wi-Fi. Some of the rooms open on to a small balcony. Wheelchair access is available for those with mobility issues -- another reason why this unassuming property wins in the popularity stakes. Breakfast is available at a small surcharge and there's a (tiny) bar. The hotel is just a five-minute walk from Arroios Metro station, which is linked to the airport, and is ideal for those on a tight budget seeking a low cost city break.
1 Evidencia Light Sta Catarina Hotel
Located a short walk from Lisbon's vibrant Bairro Alto district, this is an ideal place to stay if you're travelling on a budget but still appreciate style and some comfort. More habitat than hotel, rooms here can accommodate 2 or 3 occupants and accommodation options range from 13 double bedrooms with ensuite facilities and 3 triple bedrooms, also with ensuite facilities. The refreshing apple-green décor matches the mood -- bright and breezy. The vibe is communal, the character irreverent. This is a young, friendly hang out that manages to maintain a whiff of sophistication about it. Blog or catch up on emails in the lounge or just relax with a drink under hanging lanterns on the outside terrace. Note that breakfast is not served.
About Paul Bernhardt
Paul Bernhardt cut his teeth as a press photographer in England before leaving the UK to settle in Portugal, where he has lived for over a decade, and where he started to focus on more travel-related topics. He has journeyed the length and breadth of his adopted homeland and its islands, interacting with locals and photographing a fascinating range of subjects.
Paul waxes lyrical for a number of specialist travel magazines, blogs and websites, and Lisbon is a frequent subject. In fact, he never tires of rediscovering this most beguiling city, usually over a coffee at his favorite downtown café.
Read more about Paul Bernhardt here.