Find a Place to Stay in Portugal
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Hotels and hostels in Portugal may be slightly more affordable than comparable accommodation found elsewhere in Europe. However, prices have continued to increase over the last decade, meaning, in most cases, particularly in urban areas and major cities, prices are comparable to elsewhere in Europe. The appeal of beaches in this area is also high, so you will find prices along the coast can be surprisingly high, particularly when accommodation is in demand during the peak seasons.
Rooms can be smaller than their American counterparts, but this is the norm for accommodation in Europe. Most hotels and hostels are now equipped with internet and wifi, but you may have to pay an additional fee to access it. If you choose not to go this route, many nearby cafes offer internet access to their patrons.
Finding the Best Deal
The price of accommodation in Portugal continues to rise, but there are several tricks you can use to help you keep your costs in check. Try finding a resident who rents a room out of their apartment. They may give you access to their kitchen or even give you some insider tips on the best things to do around town.
Alternatively, you could consider couchsurfing. It's good to already be active on the website prior to your trip so that you have some well written reviews. This is a great way to hook up with a local and experience a city from an insider's view, while you save yourself some money.
Portugal is a popular destination so hotels can be in high demand, particularly along the coastline. Before you book your trip, look into the European holiday schedule so that you can avoid any unnecessary inconveniences. Also consider traveling during the week and avoiding weekends, when the beach resorts can be particularly crowded.
In Portugal, you're likely to save the most money if you book well in advance. There are also some great last minute deals but it can be a gamble so if you're set on one date or or a specific hotel, go ahead and make the reservations well out.
Consider the exchange rate well in advance as well. While this is always changing, it will have a direct impact on what type of accommodation you can actually afford. If you're getting a good rate, don't be afraid to bump up your accommodation a little. Likewise, don't blow your bank because you've forgotten how much your dollar is really worth.
Accommodation with Character
You can find almost any type of accommodation in Portugal. If you're looking for a quaint, personal experience you can stay at a family run bed and breakfast. Backpacker hostels are a great place for independent travelers to stay and meet fellow travelers. There are different dorm options, but it's generally more comfortable to stay in a room with fewer beds. The likelihood of the room being overly loud is minimized when there are only a small handful of beds.
High end hotels are easy to find in Portugal as well. While it's very possible to find the larger chain hotels, consider staying at a locally owned boutique hotel where you might get a more localized feel and absorb some of the small town atmosphere. Mid range hotels are generally the norm in Portugal and can still be very reasonably priced. It's possible for a budget traveler to negotiate a fair price at a mid range hotel such that they can enjoy a better comfort for a minimal increase in price.
Most visitors to Lisbon who are in town for sightseeing prefer to stay along the Tram number 28 line. This is a conveniently located route that will help you avoid walking up many of the city's steepest hills. Many people compare Lisbon to San Francisco as both cities have dramatic hills that are beautiful but difficult to navigate, particularly if you're carrying luggage.
It is possible to find accommodation once you arrive in Lisbon. There are likely to be some options available in the city centre, but it is best to have an idea where you'd like to stay ahead of time so that you aren't wandering around the city with your luggage for too long. Another option is to check out the tourist service centre at the airport. It's staffed by some lovely and friendly ladies who can help you arrange a room before you head into town.
There are many different area's throughout Lisbon where you can find a high concentration of hostels or hotels. Within the old town area you'll find some good options in the areas of Chiado, Alfama, Bairro Alto and Baixa. In the city centre, between Marques Pombal and Campo Pequeno you'll also find a good number of options. Choose your location carefully as you want to be centrally located and avoid walking up too many hills on a regular basis.
This city of Porto has a handful of diverse options for visitors. You'll likely get the best deal if you stay in a three star hotel. This is probably the most common hotel style and class, and it is usually the best value. There are some hostels and cheaper hotels available for budget travelers who aren't looking to spend quite that much though. There are also plenty of luxury options available as well.
Another interesting option is to stay in a room in a residential house. A good number of residents offer rooms in their homes. These can often be found once you arrive in town, but it is possible to make arrangements ahead of time as well. There are very few full houses available for rent though so this is usually not a good option. There is also one camping site available, Prelada, but it is not conveniently located and is pretty far from the center of town.