Rato is one of the favourite neighbourhoods to live in for many students in Lisbon. It is very, very central and has some really great restaurants and bars to discover: it's one of those neighbourhoods with a thousand little secrets to discover.
One of the main practical advantages in living in Rato is transport. Not only are you already living practically in the centre of town, getting around is almost too easy. Rato has its own metro station and plenty of bus alternatives. You have a few supermarkets, stationer’s and all kinds of other shops around.
Living in Rato is cheaper than many of the nearby neighbourhoods: rents here can be nearly half of what they are in Principe Real for example.