Budget hotels in Lisbon offer inexpensive accommodation options for visitors seeking to economise in the Portuguese capital. At Pensão Residencial Portuense the emphasis is very much on value for money but not at the expense of comfort and cleanliness. Likewise, Evidencia Light Sta Catarina Hotel provides a pretty basic but economical base from which to explore the city. Amenities at Pensão Globo are more basic but this guesthouse is still popular with visitors counting the pennies. Traditionally styled Casa do Patio by Shiadu is a rare combination of budget and boutique, where good design doesn’t mean high prices. A little out of the city centre (but on the metro circuit) is Hotel do Chile. Here 2-star amenities are clean, comfortable and wholly adequate for cost-conscious visitors. Similarly, Princesa Hotel & Tea is another 2-star property highly regarded by budget travellers for the quality of its guest facilities. Backpackers often make a beeline for the smart Pensão Nova Goa, where the bed and breakfast offer is entirely adequate. Meanwhile, the Botânico Hotel up in Principe Real is known for its comfortable and stylish presentation, with prices set below the norm for this kind of property. For something a bit different check in to the South-American themed Amazonia Lisboa Hotel. A bit dated perhaps, but still very convenient. But if you’re looking for a more familiar brand, the Ibis Lisboa Liberdade is always worth staying in.
Ibis Lisboa Liberdade
Centrally located and handy for the shops and restaurants on Avenida da Liberdade, the modern and comfortable 70-room Lisboa Liberdade is typical of the Ibis branded chain of hotels, with value for money one of the main selling points. Accommodation choice is divided between double bed units or double bed with one single. Fourteen of the rooms are connecting, and there's 1 designed for guests with reduced mobility. The hotel's restaurant is open 24 hours where diners can order from a simple but healthy menu. The bar also operates all night and throughout the day. Guest services extend to admission of pets at a modest surcharge. (+351 21 330 0630)
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. (+351 21 387 7006)
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. (+351 21 342 0392)
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. (+351 21 888 1137)
Princesa Hotel & Tea
Smart 2-star Princesa Hotel & Tea 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. (+351 213 193 070)
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. (+351 21 354 9171)
Casa do Patio by Shiadu
This traditional Portuguese patio townhouse has been transformed into a delightful boutique guesthouse. The 8 rooms are designed for 2, 3 or 4 persons and are individually decorated in a fresh and contemporary manner to complement the original architecture – all sloping ceilings, wooden flooring and rustic furniture. All rooms are air-conditioned and have private bathrooms. Guest amenities include cable TV and wireless internet. During fine weather the full breakfast, brimming with delicious homemade goodies, can be taken on the cobblestone open-air terrace and is served with fine views of the surrounding Santa Catarina district. Despite its quiet location, the guesthouse is only a five-minute walk from the bars and restaurants in Bairro Alto. (+351 914 176 969)
A highly regarded budget option set in the heart of Lisbon's Bairro Alto neighbourhood, Globo' s 15 rooms are set across four floors within an attractive townhouse. Simply furnished but clean and comfortable, the single, twin, double or triple rooms all have private bathrooms and feature TV and telephone. Some of the larger rooms have showers and others a view of sorts. A few at the top of the house are quite small and have no windows. Guest amenities are sparse, with a modest living room and lobby with bar comprising the "public' areas. There is no breakfast, but the owners offer a laundry service. The real draw here is the location. Despite Bairro Alto's nightlife, the property is in one of the area's quieter streets, but still within striking distance of plenty of bars and restaurants. (+351 213462279)
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. (+351 21 346 1009)
Pensao Residencial Portuense
Family-run and with a well-deserved reputation for good value and personal service, the lovely little inn offers three different air-conditioned accommodation categories, single, double and triple rooms (all non-smoking). Each is spotless and well maintained, with private bathroom (shower and WC) as standard. Hair dryer, safe deposit box, satellite TV and telephone number among the modest guest amenities, although Wi-Fi is only available in the public areas. A continental breakfast is included in the tariff and the reception is staffed 24 hours. The property is situated on one of Lisbon's most popular streets within easy walking distance of the city's historic centre. (+351 21 346 4197)
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.
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