Tips for student life in Lisbon


This page was kindly written by our third-year student, Yohana Fontenla, with valuable tips for our upcoming cohorts upon their arrival in Lisbon.


Living costs

  • Rent: 500€ (this is the average but it should be between 470€-650€)
  • Monthly Metro pass: 30€ (adult/Lisbon central area)
  • Groceries: 120-220€
  • Gym membership: around 20€/month + joining fee 60€ (student discounts available)
  • Laundry: 2-2.5€/washing, 2/dryer
  • Clubbing: 10-20€/enterance (useable for drinks)
  • Eating out: 7-15€ (fast food), 15-25€ (restaurant)
  • Museums: 5-10€/enterance
  • Hairdresser: 10-20€
  • Cinema: 5-7€

To be able to estimate this, you can check a website called “numbeo”. Through this website, you are able to compare prices from Portugal and the country you are living in. Here I am giving some prices, so you are already able to judge the prices.


Shopping places

For groceries, Lidl, the Benfica market and Auchan are the cheapest places, but it truly depends on your eating habits. When we talk about shopping places, here are some places near the student residence:

  1. Colombo – a HUGE shopping mall that has hundreds of shop, a really big grocery store and many restaurants. Less than 5 minutes walking from Uhub. LINK
  2. Lidl – a grocery store. Around 5 minutes walking from Uhub. LINK
  3. Fonte Nova – a small shopping mall that has less shop but still has a grocery store as well as some restaurants.  Less than 5 minutes walking from Uhub. LINK
  4. Pingo Doce – a grocery store located in Fonte Nova. LINK
  5. Ikea. LINK
  6. Leroy Merlin – located in Colombo. LINK
  7. UBBO – a shopping mall with shops, restaurants as well as a grocery store. LINK
  8. Auchan – grocery store located in Fonte Nova. LINK
  9. El Corte Ingles – this is similar to a mall. LINK
  10. Mercado de Benfica – The market of Benfica. LINK

Where to

  1. Portugália| €€
  2. A Padaria Portuguesa | €
  3. Alentejo – Pão, Azeite e Alho |  €
  4. Bifanas de Vendas Novas – Casa Original | €

  1. La Focacceria Pugliese (Benfica) | €€
  2. Capri | €€
  3. Giorno | €
  4. Guacamole | €
  5. Noori Sushi | €€
  6. Taste of India | €€

  1. Café 3 | €
  2. Bagga | €
  3. Go Natural | €
  4. Mr Pizza  | €
  5. Poke House | €
  6. Pans & Company | € (use their app for discounts!)
  7. Wok to Walk  | €€

Café Jeronymo | € (there are several located near the residence, for hanging out or even studying, the one in front of Fonte Nova is the best option)

  1. Poke House | €
  2. Subway | €
  3. Bakeries | € (near the learning center there are several bakeries that offer meals)
  4. Capri |  €
  5. H3 |  €€
  6. Wok to Walk  | €€

ISIC card and discounts

ISIC virtual student ID card

What is it? The ISIC card is an internationally accepted student identity card that can provide proof. 

How to get it? This was done by Forward, however, individuals can also ask for it and they will be able to get it. It is a simple process and a small fee 

Use: This card can be used as an identification method, for example for the cinema or some museums.The ISIC card also offers discounts for activities to explore the city. You will receive an email with the access details to your ISIC virtual student ID during your first week of induction. 



What is it? This card is used to get access to Erasmus events and opportunities!

How to get it? Super easy, you just need to fill out a questionnaire and pay a small fee. You can access the website by clicking “ERASMUS CARD”.

Use: This card can be used as an identification method, for example for the cinema or some museums, as well as to identify yourself as an Erasmus student, and access events/opportunities.

Link: https://www.erasmuslifelisboa….


What is it? An online platform with discounts. Completely free platform.

How to get it? This needs to be done with the university of london email. We don’t get the proper information on how to access that email but it is super easy. You just need your username for the VLE +, and the same password. For example:

Use: They have student discounts. For example, Apple uses UNiDAYS to give educational discounts.



What is it? An online platform with discounts for other platforms/resources. Completely free platform.

How to get it? Creating an account and verifying that you are a student.

Use: Especially for BBL, you can get access to pro/premium accounts like Canva.



What is it? Platforms that offer students deals, similar to UNiDAYS.

How to get it? Creating an account, here are the details. I haven’t tried this one by the moment, so I have no insights yet.

Use: Student discounts.


What is it? Is the central hub for exploring discounts and deals from 4000+ brands, similar to UNiDAYS and SheerID but with my variety.

How to get it? Creating an account. I haven’t tried this one by the moment, so I have no insights yet.

Use: Student discounts.


Recommendations of places to visit during the day

  • Sintra

– Quinta da Regaleira

– Pena Palace

– Castle of the Moors

– Park and Palace of Monserrate

– Palace of Sintra

  • Cascais

– Praia da Rainha

– Boca do Inferno

– Praia do Guincho

– Santa Marta Lighthouse and Museum

  • Cabo da Roca
  • Costa da Caparica
  • Carcavelos beach
  • Torre de Belém
  • Ride Tram
  • National Tile Museum
  • St George’s Castle
  • Monastery of Jerónimos
  • Time out market
  • Palace of the Marquises of Fronteira

For night life, the best recommendation is to visit barrio alto! And also, be aware of the local festivities.

General tips

Obviously, studying is the main reason why you are coming to Lisbon, but your mental health is also key!

  • Study and do your readings since the first week, you will for sure appreciate when exam period comes.
  • If you are struggling, is ok! The soonest you ask for the soonest you will feel better. If you are studying personally, contact the wellbeing coordinator and if you are having problems with academics, talk with your professors, personal tutors or teaching coordinator.
  • For most students, english is not their first language, so it is ok to struggle sometimes. We all make mistakes every single day! It is not bad to look for a word in the translator or to commit grammar mistakes, your english is not bad just because you struggle sometimes!
  • Enjoy Lisbon and Forward, take advantage of all the opportunities you will have!
  • From experience, do not trust the fridge of your room that much, the freezer part is not always great, so try to keep things in your freezer for short periods of time. The fridge accumulates a lot of ice, once in a while you may need to remove it to avoid ice explosions :)
  • Exercise, do anything. It can be swimming, going to gym, walking or dancing, just doing something. Exercising is extremely important and beneficial for many reasons!
  • If you wish to buy meat, tofu, fish, or vegetables, you may want to do so on the weekends in the afternoon. They put discounts on products that need to be consumed soon.
  • To save some money in eating out, you can use apps like “TooGoodToGo”.
  • Trust me, buses are NEVER on time, they are usually earlier than their scheduled time.
  • Download apps of restaurants like Pans & Company, Burger King, McDonald’s, or Lidl Plus. They offer discounts, promotions and coupons.
  • Everytime you make a purchase, the person that is attending you will ask you if you need a bag, bag = saco and if you wish to add your “nif” to your purchase. The nif number is related to taxes.

Best deals in

This platformhas a great deal for students seeking a good workout! If you are five or more university students, a full membership is only 16€/month. They have a bunch of classes within martial arts, dance, weights, meditation and cardio, as well as apparatuses and weights.

Address: Rua dos Anjos 63, 1150-035 Lisbon


All Humana second-hand stores regularly change collections, the next time will be in October, where they will keep reducing their prices over the whole month until every article costs 1€ on the 22/10.

Address: R. dos Fanqueiros 225, 1100-319 Lisboa

Although using TooGoodToGo, an app where you buy a “magic box” filled with food that would otherwise be thrown away, is always a good idea to prevent food waste and get deals. Using it for bakeries and especially for one of the “Copenhagen Coffee Labs” in Lisbon can get you 4 breads plus cinnamon rolls and other goodies for as little as 4€.

Address: Copenhagen Coffee Lab Baixa – R. de Santa Justa 14, 1100-230 Lisboa (Or just have a look at the TooGoodToGo app)

If you don’t want a fancy restaurant but a fast lunch (9.5€) or dinner (11.5€) close to our learning centre, check out the restaurant Jardim das Cerejas.

Address: Calcada do Sacramento 36, Lisboa 1200-393 Portugal

The restaurant offers a wide variety of dishes like burgers, grills, pasta as well as vegan salads catering to everyone’s taste at a very convenient price ranging from 5€ to 9€. They also operate through the app Vitaminas providing extra discounts and opportunities for students.

This restaurant organises all you can eat buffets with numerous vegan options on a daily basis for 7€ at lunch time and 8.5€ at dinner. The price-quality relationship is optimal and it represents a perfect opportunity to meet and befriend other university students as well over a delicious vegan meal.

Address: Rua de Arroios 175, Lisbon, Portugal

The works of contemporary art in the Berardo Collection can be seen for free all day on Saturdays, while the Gulbenkian Museum is free after 2pm on Sundays.

We suggest visiting the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology in Belém on the first Sunday of the month as the entrance is free, while the Museu do Oriente is free on Fridays from 6pm until 10pm.

The entrance discounts can be found on the website of each museum.

If you have proof of residency in Lisbon, you can get into the Castelo de Sao Jorge for free. This works for some other attractions as well, for example the National Museum of Tiles on Sundays until 2pm. Always check the website of something you want to visit, it might be free for you on certain occasions!

Clubs are students’ associations which promote Forward College’s values and enrich students’ co-curricular and extra-curricular life through their objectives and activities, thus fostering a sense of community.

They are under the supervision of the Student-life body. Student clubs can stem from the 1st year BBL projects, but are not limited to those only. They are created and managed by students to fulfil a need or special interest, either recreational or co-curricular, that is not already addressed by an existing club.

Contact us

FF – Contact Us
Privacy policy
Your data will be used exclusively for processing your application and will not be transferred to third parties without your consent. Please read our privacy policy here.
Marketing policy
We may wish to send you information on Forward College that we think might interest you, besides transactional messages related to your application. You will be able to modify your choices at any time.