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Living Like a Local: Apartment Living in Lisbon

lisbon livingroom

Our living room at Lisbon Lounge Suites, which we booked through Roomorama.com.

When we were planning our trip to Lisbon, we knew we wanted to stay in an apartment — as opposed to a hotel — because it was our first big trip with our 11-month-old baby. A one-bedroom apartment would give the baby ample space to play, as well as provide a sleeping area separate from the living area. An added bonus would be that apartment living makes you feel more like a local or an expat than a traveler or tourist. We found all this and more in our apartment rental through Roomorama.com.

Of course, we didn’t want just any ol’ one-bedroom apartment in Lisbon. First of all, the apartment had to be non-smoking. That was not negotiable, and that really complicated our search because most apartments seemed to allow smoking as smoking is still quite popular in Portugal.

view from Living Room in Lisbon

Great view from the living room!

Second, it had to have WiFi because as a blogger, I don’t stay anywhere (knowingly in advance!) without WiFi. That eliminated a surprising number of apartments — I guess that hotels feel far greater pressure to offer to offer WiFi than individual apartment owners.

Third, it had to have an elevator if we were not going to be on the ground floor because we had so much stuff with us, including a stroller.

modern kitchen lisbon

Yes, it had a dishwasher! The dishwasher is at the far end.

Fourth, it had to be well-located to the historic center for convenient sightseeing. Lastly, the kitchen had to have a dishwasher, which is really asking a lot in the historic parts of town.

marble bathroom portugal

Gorgeous marble bathroom

Oh, and did I mention that I was looking for this apartment less than three weeks in advance?

I thrive on the challenge of making travel arrangements — for me, planning the trip is part of the fun. But this time I was worried that I embarked on Mission Impossible, not to mention all of the additional stress I was feeling because this would be the baby’s first trip abroad. It seemed like every apartment I tracked down was already booked. I enjoy a challenge but this had become too challenging to be enjoyable.

Lisbon bedroom

Our bedroom, where we also kept the travel crib that we brought with us.

Thankfully, it was Roomorama.com to the rescue! Roomorama is a short-term apartment rental website with listings all over the world. The site is very user-friendly — I especially liked how you can correspond with the apartment owners directly through the site. I was impressed with the Lisbon selection, and one apartment, a modern one-bedroom by Lisbon Lounge Suites, stood out as being perfect. I was so relieved when it was free for the dates that we needed in late October!

The apartment looked just like how it did on the Roomorama.com site, which is always a good sign. In fact, the photos on there look just like the photos in the post, although I took these. I’m not sure that the photos can even do the apartment justice though.

The apartment was seriously awesome — it was located in a modern building but tucked away among very old buildings in the Mouraria district, which is east of the Baixa district and right below Castelo de Sao Jorge. It was an excellent location, as it was walkable (despite major hills reminiscent of San Francisco) to so many sites. Plus, our little street had all of lot of little markets that were just like the little delis that we’re used to in NYC that sell all of the basics and are open late into the night.

Because the building was very new, it had an elevator. And yes, the apartment had WiFi and a dishwasher. An unexpected bonus was that the building had an enclosed garage with free parking. It also had an outdoor pool, but we didn’t use it because the weather wasn’t that warm.

It was hard to leave this apartment after four nights, and it definitely made our stay in Lisbon very comfortable. It felt like home immediately, even to the baby! Although we don’t have any plans to return to Lisbon any time soon, when we do we already know exactly where we’ll stay…

Discount Disclosure: I received a discount from Roomorama.com in exchange for reviewing this apartment, but I am free to write whatever I want.

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