Homeaway rentals in Portugal

By Neil Johnson
This item appears on page 28 of the December 2015 issue.

My wife and I spent two weeks in Portugal, mainly focusing on Lisbon and Porto, in September 2015. In each city, we rented an apartment for six nights. I would highly recommend these apartments, both of which were booked through Homeaway.com (www.homeaway.com).

• In LISBON, we booked Homeaway Rental No. 841261, for which we paid 100 (near $110) per night plus a 40 cleaning fee. A 30% deposit was made via PayPal at the time of booking, with the remainder paid in cash upon arrival.

This apartment was located in a residential area of the Bairro Alto neighborhood. The location was good, with two tapas bars next to the apartment. Two grocery stores were a few minutes’ walk away.

After climbing four flights of stairs (no elevator), we opened the front door to a dining room and living room that had access to the front balcony. The balcony was narrow, with room for a couple of stools, but it offered excellent views of the Cristo Rei statue across the Tagus River and of the 25 de Abril Bridge.

A hall led past two bedrooms and a bathroom to a well-equipped kitchen at the rear. From the kitchen, we could walk out to the rear balcony, where we had a table, chairs and umbrella. The apartment was clean, and the WiFi worked well. 

About 10 minutes’ walk away was the Cais do Sódre transit hub, with trains and trams to Belém. We were also near a spot where we could catch a ferry across the river (for excellent fish meals in Cacilhas) and close to a metro station that was two stops from the Rossio main station.

The owner of the apartment, Tânia, was easy to communicate with and provided lots of good information.

• In PORTO, we booked Homeaway Rental No. 854456, for which we paid 80 per night, with a 30% deposit via PayPal and the rest paid in cash on arrival.

The building was located next to the General Torres metro and train stations. We used the metro to get into central Porto and the trains for trips to Aveiro, Guimarães and Braga. There was a grocery store down the road plus an excellent bakery, and a bank with an ATM was nearby. 

The building was secure and had an elevator. In our apartment, the living room, dining room and kitchen were at one end, and the two bedrooms and bathroom were at the other end. The balcony off the living room had views over Porto, and the balcony off the bedroom had river views. The kitchen was small but adequate. 

The property was clean and well maintained. The WiFi worked well; we didn’t try the TV. 

The owner, Shaz, was quick to answer questions and provide information. She picked us up from the airport, which made our arrival easy. Shaz also offered a one-bedroom apartment in the same building.


San Jose, CA