Living in Lisbon

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • Avenida Liberdade
  • Baixa / Chiado
  • Belém
  • Bairro Alto / Santos
  • Alfama / Castelo
  • Parque das Nações
  • The Riverside
  • Cascais and Oeiras beaches

The capital city and physically the largest in Portugal, Lisbon consists of a central municipality that is home to just over 550 000 people. It stands today as the economic, historical and cultural nucleus of the country and is generally considered the most desirable city in which to live in Portugal. It lies in the western Iberian Peninsula on the Atlantic Ocean and the River Tagus. The westernmost areas of its metro area is the westernmost point of Continental Europe.

The rich architecture that marks the city is a reflection of Lisbon’s long and rich history, which began over 1 000 years before Roman rule. It went through periods of Germanic and Moorish influence, as well as recapture by the Crusaders, and this colourful past is mirrored by the Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque, Traditional Portuguese, Modern and Post-Modern constructions that can be found all over. More impressive still is the fact that some of the sites still standing today survived an earthquake that hit the city in the mid-18th century.

In more recent years, Lisbon was named European Capital of Culture (1994), hosted Expo 98 and the 2004 European Football Championship and in 2007 welcomed world leaders for the historic signing of the Treaty of Lisbon forming the constitutional basis of the European Union.

Today Lisbon is home to an increasingly cosmopolitan and young population who are attracted by the warm Portuguese welcome, the temperate climate and the vast array of cultural opportunities offered by this truly global city.


For the Non-EU residents we strongly recommend to obtain insurance coverage before leaving their country of origin. Students must have a valid private health insurance. It is recommended that when contracting the insurance, students have prior knowledge of the terms, conditions and coverage provided for the Portuguese territory.

Students from EU countries should obtain the European Health Insurance Card in their country of origin prior to their arrival. The European Health Insurance Card gives access to the Portuguese public health system (National Health Service). All the exchange students are covered by the School Insurance, for accidents during their activities exclusively related to their scholarly activities at the university.


All students coming from a country outside the European Union need to apply for a Student Visa to enter Portugal and stay here for the period of mobility.

One of those documents is usually a proof from the host University that you are going to be a student there. We write a Letter of Acceptance that we send to the coordinators of the home University in case of regular exchange and to students directly in case of Free-Movers. The issue of the Visa is of the responsibility of the Portuguese embassy in the home country.

The renewal of the visa is made when students are already in Portugal. This action will probably be necessary for most of students, since the first emission only lasts for 120 days and the period of mobility lasts longer than that.

The renewal is done at SEF - Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras website (which means Service of Foreigners and Borders).


NOVA SBE does not make accommodation arrangements. We can suggest some sites that offer accommodation but we do not have any responsibility on them, so please have that in mind.

Send an This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Portuguese language course

An intensive Portuguese language course is offered at the beginning of each semester by the Faculty of Social Sciences (FCSH).

If you are coming under an Erasmus + programme, the course will be free of charge for you (will only be charged an enrollment fee). Instead, if you are coming from an agreement outside that program or as a free-mover, you will be charged a fee for the whole semester. This course is taught at the Faculty of Social Sciences (FCSH) – another school from Nova University. If you wish to find out more about the course and the procedures and fees for enrollment at this stage, please click here. You can also check more information on Moodle or in case you have doubts or concerns regarding the course, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. the responsible.

Facts & Figures

  • Best European Destination

    Best European Destination 2013

    according to Monocle magazine

  • Voted 7th most welcoming

    Voted 7th most welcoming

    country in the world

  • 16th most peaceful

    16th most peaceful

    country in the world

  • Connected via Lisbon Portela Airport

    Connected via Lisbon Portela Airport

    serving over 18 million passengers per year

  • Wealthiest city in Portugal

    Wealthiest city in Portugal

    responsible for 45% of the country’s GDP

  • 240 days of sunshine a year

    240 days of sunshine a year

    average annual temperature of 21.5C

  • Most people speak English

    Most people speak English

    as a 2nd language

  • 70+ student residences

    70+ student residences

    in the city center

  • Surf destination

    Surf destination

    2 of the best coastal sites in Europe

  • 60+ public gardens

    60+ public gardens

  • 75+ museums and galleries

    75+ museums and galleries

  • 20+ viewpoints

    20+ viewpoints