Figuring out where to stay in Lisbon is a little more complicated than it seems off the bat. Even though Lisbon is a fairly compact city, each of its districts brings something surprisingly different to the table.
When I was traveling in Portugal, I discovered that the best places to stay in Lisbon depend on what you were looking for in an experience. Nightlife, famous attractions, shopping? It all depends on which of the many fun things to do in Lisbon are your priorities. Let’s figure out what is the best place to stay in Lisbon is for you!
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Best Places to Stay in Lisbon
Just looking for a quick answer on the best places to stay in Lisbon? Here are my top picks:
- 🏆 Best Overall Hotel – Rossio Plaza Hotel
- ✨ Best Luxury Hotel – Hotel Avenida Palace
- 💑 Best for Couples – Inspira Liberdade Boutique Hotel
- 👪 Best for Families – Famous Crows Lisbon Suites
- 👔 Best for Business – Hotel Convento do Salvador
- 🏨 Best Boutique – Alegria A Lisbon Boutique Hotel
- 📌 Best Near Tourist Attractions – Palacio do Governador
- 💵 Best Budget – Urbano FLH Hotels Lisboa
Ok, let’s do a deep dive into the best areas and neighborhoods in Lisbon:
7 Best Neighborhoods & Areas to Stay in Lisbon
One of the best things about Lisbon is that most of its beautiful neighborhoods are located fairly close to one another. Some are even within walking distance! Now, let’s dive into the details of where to stay in Lisbon.
Alfama is a fantastic neighborhood for first-timers and newcomers to Lisbon. It gives that classic Lisbon feels that you’re probably imagining when you picture the city.
As one of the oldest areas of Lisbon, the neighborhood is soaked in history. Acclaimed historic sites like Castelo de São Jorge, Lisbon Cathedral, and the National Pantheon are all conveniently located in Alfama.
Even if you’re not visiting an attraction, the narrow streets of Alfama are just beautiful no matter where you go. Follow the narrow cobbled lanes to one of the neighborhood’s many scenic viewpoints. Like Miradouro de Santa Luzia and Miradouro das Portas do Sol. These spots give you a full 360° perspective overlooking Lisbon.
If you’re staying in Alfama, you’ll definitely be whipping out your camera around every turn.
When you’re done exploring historic attractions and striking views, head over to one of Alfama’s delicious restaurants. There are a lot of choices in this department, but you can’t beat the sauteed octopus and prawns from Parreirinha de Alfama.
Pros of Staying in Alfama Neighborhood:
- Ideal location in the heart of Lisbon
- Easy to find a stylish or modern hotel
- Gorgeous, photogenic streets
- Lots of historic sites
- Fado music and cute shops all around
Cons of Staying in Alfama Neighborhood:
- Very touristy
- A little far from public transport
📚 Alfama Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Scenic Spots And Historic Charm
🏠 Apartments – Browse Apartment Rentals in Alfama
🍽️ Where to Eat – Parreirinha de Alfama ($$$), O Beco ($$), Ginja de Alfama ($)
🍸 Where to Drink – Tejo Bar, Outro Lado
🎟️ Top Attractions – Miradouro das Portas do Sol, Castelo de S. Jorge, Fado Museum, Miradouro de Santa Luzia
Bairro Alto is a multi-faceted neighborhood that seems to wear two different faces from day to night.
When the sun is out, Bairro Alto is a deceivingly laidback spot with quirky cafes, yummy food, and a cozy aesthetic. Pop Cereal Cafe is a particularly fun stop because they have every type of cereal you can imagine plus some. But as the sun sets on the weekend, party animals and young people flock to the Bairro Alto neighborhood to embrace its nightlife.
If you’re one of those people who loves to hop from bar to bar in the evenings, this is the Lisbon neighborhood for you. Simply walking around the streets will bring you to all different types of bar and club experiences – from LGBTQ+-friendly bars like Friends to Irish pubs such as Cheers.
There are also upscale jazz shows at Páginas Tantas and live concert performances at Jam Club.
The only downside to all the lively nights of partying in Bairro Alto is that it comes with quite a bit of noise. So, this isn’t the best place to stay in Lisbon for people who want complete silence in the evenings.
Pros of Staying in Bairro Alto Neighborhood:
- Endless options for nightlife
- Bright, colorful area with street art
- Eclectic and delicious restaurants
- Walking distance to other neighborhoods like Chiado and Baixa
Cons of Staying in Bairro Alto Neighborhood:
- Loud during the evenings and weekends
- Not as many tourist or historic attractions
- Expensive (especially during the high season)
📚 Bairro Alto Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for The Party Scene
🏠 Apartments – Browse Apartment Rentals in Bairro Alto
🍽️ Where to Eat – Taberna do Bairro alto ($$), A Nossa Casa ($$$), La Piadina ($$)
🍸 Where to Drink – SPOT Bairro Alto, Portas Largas, Friends Bairro Alto, Groove Bar, Pavilhão Chinês
🎟️ Top Attractions – Miradouro de Santa Catarina
Located near Avenida da Liberdade, the Baixa area is the most centrally-located neighborhood in Lisbon.
It’s an amazing spot for people who want to be in the center of it all and have easy access to other parts of Lisbon. The Baixa-Chiado metro station can take you anywhere else you need to go in the city.
Besides its prime location, there is a ton of stuff to do inside the boundaries of Baixa. Here you can check out some of the city’s famous sites including the Santa Justa Lift, Tram 28, and Praça do Comércio.
The Baixa district is also a hotspot for shopping. Avenida da Liberdade is the main shopping street in the neighborhood and all of Lisbon. However, you can also hit Rua Augusta and Rua da Prata. Some of the shops in this area have as much history as the city itself, so take your time going through all the one-of-a-kind stores.
The main drawback of staying in a distinguished area like Baixa is that it’s extremely popular with tourists. In the summer during the high season, it gets almost unbearably crowded.
Pros of Staying in Baixa Neighborhood:
- Top-notch restaurants with international options
- Near lots of landmarks and attractions
- Perfect central location with a big metro station
- Easy to get around on public transportation from Rossio train station
Cons of Staying in Baixa Neighborhood:
- Extremely popular with tourists
- Crowded and hectic for most of the year
📚 Baixa Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Central Location
🏠 Apartments – Browse Apartment Rentals in Baixa
🍽️ Where to Eat – Taberna da Baixa ($$), NAVEGA ($$), da Prata 52 ($$)
🍸 Where to Drink – Cerveja Canil Baixa, Delirium Café Lisboa, Trobadores
🎟️ Top Attractions – Santa Justa Elevator, Mercado da Baixa, Tram 28, Praça do Comércio
Baixa and Chiado are two sides of the same coin and are sometimes even grouped together as one single neighborhood. But they’re technically two different districts and definitely each has its own distinct atmosphere.
Chiado has everything that’s amazing about Baixa with a little something extra. It’s in an amazing location and has tons of shopping. On top of that, Chiado is brimming with adorable coffee bars and tasty restaurants. Like O Português Chiado for some classic Portuguese dishes and O Português Chiado for inventive twists on beloved recipes.
You won’t have trouble finding a place to lay your head at night in this Lisbon neighborhood. Chiado has some of the nicest boutique hotels in the area. Many of these accommodations are surprisingly affordable. But it’s also possible to find a luxurious hotel if that’s your preference.
For people who aren’t 100% sure what they want in a Lisbon neighborhood, Chiado is a very safe bet. Even if it’s not your favorite area of Lisbon, you’re never too far from another one.
Pros of Staying in Chiado Neighborhood:
- Affordable accommodations
- Excellent central location
- Walking distance to lots of other neighborhoods
- Less hilly than other neighborhoods in Lisbon
Cons of Staying in Chiado Neighborhood:
- One of the busiest areas of Lisbon
📚 Chiado Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Being Close to Everything
🏠 Apartments – Browse Apartment Rentals in Chiado
🍽️ Where to Eat – O Português Chiado ($$), Sacramento do Chiado ($$), Palácio Chiado ($$)
🍸 Where to Drink – Entretanto Rooftop Bar, Toca da Raposa
🎟️ Top Attractions – Praça Luís de Camões, Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara, Carmo Convent
Principe Real is known as one of Lisbon’s chicest neighborhoods and you’ll quickly pick up on this atmosphere when you get there.
Even though most of Portugal is incredibly clean and beautiful, this neighborhood has a special, polished charm to it. Maybe it has something to do with its location up on the hillside that provides remarkable views over all of Lisbon.
One of my favorite things about Principe Real is its lush public parks. Such as Principe Real Garden that’s named after the neighborhood and the Botanical Garden of Lisbon. Exploring a popular city like Lisbon can get a bit hectic, so it’s always nice to have some nature close by.
Principe Real totes a variety of accommodations. You can book a luxury hotel to a boutique hotel. If you’re staying in this neighborhood, you’ll be staying in the lap of luxury for sure.
However, all that glitz and glamor comes with a heftier price tag than in other neighborhoods in Lisbon. Another thing to consider is that Principe Real has some of the steepest streets in the city. So, you’ll be getting a workout every time you leave the house.
Pros of Staying in Principe Real Neighborhood:
- Chic, easygoing atmosphere
- Less crowded and touristy than other neighborhoods in Lisbon
- Amazing restaurants and cafes
Cons of Staying in Principe Real Neighborhood:
- Hilly streets with lots of uphill walking
📚 Principe Real Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Chill And Trendy Vibe
🏠 Apartments – Browse Apartment Rentals in Principe Real
🍽️ Where to Eat – La Paparrucha ($$$), Atalho Real ($$), Rua ($$)
🍸 Where to Drink – Gin Lovers Bar and Restaurant, Red Frog Speakeasy, Cerveteca Lisboa
🎟️ Top Attractions – Botanical Garden of Lisbon, National Museum of Science & Natural History, Principe Real Garden
For people wondering where to stay in Lisbon with children, head straight over to Belem.
Lisbon has a reputation for being ultra-crowded and constantly busy. Belem breaks that mold. The neighborhood is about 20 minutes outside of the Lisbon city center, but it’s still simple to reach on public transportation. Its removed location provides a calmness that is almost impossible to achieve if you’re staying right in the city center.
There are interesting tourist attractions all over Lisbon and many of them are located right in the neighborhood of Belem. Famous sites like Belem Tower, Palácio Nacional de Belém, and Jerónimos Monastery are all conveniently located in this area. Even though this area is best known for its historic and tourist attractions, there is more to Belem than that.
I’m a dessert queen and Belem didn’t disappoint in this department. Particularly, the Pastéis de Belém pastry shop is famous for the Portuguese specialty of Pastel de Nata. I can tell you firsthand, they’re to die for.
Pros of Staying in Belem Neighborhood:
- Home to many of Lisbon’s top attractions
- Filled with Portuguese history
- A lot of accommodations with spacious rooms
- Lots of parks and green spaces
Cons of Staying in Belem Neighborhood:
- Far from the main city center
- Not much of a nightlife scene
📚 Belem Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Famous Attractions
🏠 Apartments – Browse Apartment Rentals in Belem
🍽️ Where to Eat – Adega de Belém ($$), Taberna dos Ferreiros ($$), Pão Pão Queijo Queijo ($)
🍸 Where to Drink – The View Rooftop By Frize, Plateau
🎟️ Top Attractions – Belém Tower, Belém Lighthouse, Palácio Nacional de Belém, Jerónimos Monastery, Jardim da Torre de Belém, Museu de Marinha
👉 Pro Tip: While Belem is a great spot for families with kids, it might not be the ideal neighborhood for people who want to party. There is virtually no nightlife scene around this area and things shut down pretty early.
Cais do Sodré
Even though Bairro Alto is known as the party center of Lisbon, Cais do Sodre might even be more fun. One of Lisbon’s most famous party areas, Pink Street, is right in the heart of Cais do Sodre.
Located on the coastline, the lively nightlife in this Lisbon neighborhood comes in the form of dance clubs and disco bars. Such as Pensão Amor and Tokyo Lisboa. These establishments stay open well into the morning. So it’s the place to be if you want to dance the night away.
Before you hit the clubs, you need a high-end meal to keep you sustained throughout an evening of dancing. Cais do Sodre has you covered in that department, too. Thanks to its seaside location, this neighborhood has some of the freshest seafood in all of Lisbon. Restaurants like Sol e Pesca will serve you up delectable fish dishes and cocktails to match.
Pros of Staying in Cais do Sodre Neighborhood:
- Near the coast
- Lots of clubs and bars around
- Close to lots of public transportation including the ferry
Cons of Staying in Cais do Sodre Neighborhood:
- Fewer hotel accommodations available
- Can be a bit too loud and hectic for families with young children
📚 Cais do Sodré Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Excellent Food and Bars
Tips for Staying in Lisbon
Walking Tours Are a Great Way to Get a Feel for Lisbon
One of the best ways to get a feel for central Lisbon and the surrounding areas is by joining a walking tour. Most of these tours are free or cheap and give you an excellent foundation for wandering the city by yourself. Such as this best of Lisbon guided walking tour that costs less than $25.
Be Prepared For Hills And Wear Comfortable Shoes
Lisbon is notoriously one of the hilliest cities in Europe. You’ll be walking up and down the city’s steep streets for most of your time there. So, make sure you bring a pair of extra comfortable walking shoes.
Lisbon’s Narrow Cobblestone Streets Are Extremely Slippery
Walking around Lisbon could be considered an Olympic sport because it takes a professional not to slip and slide all over the place. Especially when it rains. It’s important to stay mindful when you’re walking on these slick streets. One misstep can lead to a very painful fall.
Think About The Season You’re Visiting Portugal
Despite its reputation for having a temperate climate, the weather in Lisbon actually does change throughout the year. The changing seasons bring new availability for activities and fluctuating crowd sizes. That’s why it’s so important to consider the best time to visit Portugal for you.
Getting Rideshares Is Easier Than Renting A Car
While you can totally rent a car when you’re visiting Lisbon, driving on these skinny streets isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s difficult to fit through the avenues and even more difficult to find parking spaces. That’s why it’s better to avoid the whole headache and just rely on rideshares in Lisbon. Uber and Bolt are both readily available throughout the city.
Take A Day Trip Out Of Lisbon
Visit The Most Famous Attractions Early In The Morning
There are so many fun and unique things to do in Lisbon. But the issue is that most of Lisbon’s top sites get extremely busy. The best way to beat the crowds is to show up first thing in the morning. Some attractions may also require that you purchase your ticket in advance.
👉 Read Next: Best Places to Travel in Portugal
FAQs About Where to Stay in Lisbon
Which is the best area of Lisbon to stay in?
The best area to stay in Lisbon is the Baixa neighborhood. Baixa is considered the downtown area of Lisbon and is conveniently located right in the city center. Everything visitors might want to see in Lisbon is located within a short walk or drive from this neighborhood.
How many days in Lisbon do you need?
Visitors need at least four days to explore Lisbon and get a full picture of the city. There are so many sites to see, foods to try, and bars to visit on a Lisbon trip. While many people think that they can do it all with only a day or two in Lisbon, it’s almost impossible to accomplish everything with such little time. Four days gives you enough time to wander everything Lisbon has to offer without feeling stressed about time.
You’ve completed my guide to where to stay in Lisbon. Whichever Lisbon neighborhood you choose, have a blast in Portugal’s capital! Before you pack your bag and head to Lisbon, make sure you read my Portugal packing list first.
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