There are only three neighborhoods in this seaside town, but deciding where to stay in Nazare still requires some planning. Many people initially think they should just stay right by the beach in the Praia neighborhood. However, some of the best places to stay in Nazare are in the other two areas of the city.
After staying at hotels in Nazaré for over a week and getting to know the city, I discovered that each neighborhood offers something unique to visitors. In this guide, I’ll share my insights. After you read it, bookmark my guide to the best things to do in Nazare.
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Best Places to Stay in Nazare
Just looking for a quick answer on the best places to stay in Nazare? Here are my top picks for Nazaré hotels:
- 🏆 Best Overall Hotel – Hotel Mar Bravo
- ✨ Best Luxury Hotel – Nazare Marisol Praia
- 👪 Best for Families – Ocean Views Condominium
- 👔 Best for Business – Hotel Miramar Sul
- 🏨 Best Boutique – Casa do Mar
- 🏖️ Best Near the Beach – Nazare Marisol Praia
- 💵 Best Budget – Zulla Nazaré’s Surf Village
Ok, let’s do a deep dive into the best areas and neighborhoods in Nazare:
3 Best Neighborhoods & Areas to Stay in Nazare
The three neighborhoods of Nazaré are situated very close to each other, all about 10 minutes apart. However, they each offer something very different to visitors.
Praia, or Praia da Nazaré, is the first place people think of when they’re considering places to stay in the city. In fact, many people even incorrectly assume that it’s the only place to stay when you’re in Nazare. While this isn’t the case, Praia is still one of the best places to stay in Nazare for many travelers.
As the most central neighborhood of Nazare, you can’t really beat the location of the Praia area. No matter which part of the neighborhood you’re staying in, you’re always only a couple-minute walk from Nazaré Beach.
Plus, many of the city’s best restaurants are conveniently located in this area. Places like Maria do Mar and Bonta Italian Bistro and A Tasquinha can provide you with one of the best meals to ever grace your tongue.
The only downside to staying in the Praia part of Nazare is that it gets very busy. Especially during the summer months of the high season. During this time, things get a little more expensive all around and it’s a bit more difficult to find available accommodation options.
Pros of Staying in Praia Neighborhood:
- Right next to the ocean
- Many restaurants and cafes around
- Plenty of accommodations available
Cons of Staying in Praia Neighborhood:
- Busy during the high season
- Hotels can be more expensive here
📚 Praia Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Praia
🏠 Apartments – Browse top apartment rentals in Praia
🍽️ Where to Eat – Maria do Mar ($$), Taberna da Adelia ($$), Bontà Bistro Italiano ($$), Blue Jardim ($)
🍸 Where to Drink – Sunset Boulevard Bar, Inn Bar, Nitto’s
🎟️ Top Attractions – Praia da Nazare, Municipal Market of Nazare, Parque da Pedralva
The second most popular neighborhood in Nazare is Sítio. It’s located only a short funicular ride on the Ascensor da Nazaré up the side of a mountain, which gives this area some of the most breathtaking views over the city and surrounding mountainside.
Sitio is a little quieter and easygoing than the more hectic and touristy neighborhood of Praia. It’s a great alternative for travelers who want to separate themselves from all that.
One of the best things to do around Sitio is to visit the viewpoints, such as Farol da Nazaré and Miradouro do Suberco. You can also take in the wonderful views at most of Sitio’s delicious restaurants. Taberna Afficion has particularly good food and an amazing perspective above Nazare.
The most notable attraction in Sitio is North Beach – it has some of the biggest waves in the world and is loved by surfers everywhere.
While Sitio is one of the best places to stay in Nazare, it does have one major drawback. You’ll always have to ride up and down the funicular to get around. This area also doesn’t have a great nightlife. However, that tranquility can be a benefit for a lot of people.
Pros of Staying in Sitio Neighborhood:
- Amazing views over the ocean and Praia neighborhood
- A more chill, less touristy vibe
- Religious sites to see
- Close to one of the world’s best surfing beaches
Cons of Staying in Sitio Neighborhood:
- Must ride the funicular to get down to the city center
- Fewer nightlife options
📚 Sitio Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for A Calm Atmosphere and Big Waves
🏠 Apartments – Browse top apartment rentals in Sitio
🍽️ Where to Eat – Le petit chef belge ($$), Sitiado ($$), Tia Caia ($$), Sitio dos Petiscos ($$)
🍸 Where to Drink – Taberna Afficion, Zulla Terrace Bar (seasonal)
🎟️ Top Attractions – Mirador del Suberco, North Beach, Forno de Orca Cave, Santuário de Nossa Senhora da Nazaré
The final neighborhood that you can stay in Nazare is Pederneira. This is definitely the least-known area of the Nazare trifecta. It’s located up in the mountains slightly east of Praia and south of Sitio. From here, you can see every other neighborhood in Nazare and almost all the way out into the middle of the ocean.
Pederneira is the most laid-back option out of the three as it is completely removed from the central tourist area. In Pederneira, you won’t find many restaurants or hotels. However, there will be a ton of holiday homes and condominiums. Making it an excellent choice for large families who can’t fit in a single hotel room and want silence at night.
Pros of Staying in Pederneira Neighborhood:
- Removed from the busy tourist areas
- Panoramic views over all of Nazare
- Several big condos and apartments available for families
Cons of Staying in Pederneira Neighborhood:
- Very few hotels (apartments and homes are more common)
- 10-15 minute drive away from other Nazare neighborhoods
- Must travel for most restaurants and nightlife
📚 Pederneira Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Million-Dollar Views And Families
Tips for Staying in Nazare
Eat Lots Of Seafood
Nazare is located right on the shores of the ocean, which is why it has some of the tastiest seafood in the country. That’s saying something in a country known for its culinary arts like Portugal.
When you’re in Nazare, at least one (or five) of your meals has to be indulging in this local delicacy.
Go Visit The Nearby Attractions
Portugal is a small country, and Nazare is perfectly positioned in the middle for day trips to explore other nearby Portugal destinations. Some popular nearby adventures include climbing to the top of Monte de São Bartolomeu or spending an afternoon at the nearby beach of Praia da Areeira. If you ever get bored, these are great options to fill your time.
When you’re visiting sun-heavy beach locations like Nazare, sunscreen isn’t just an option. It’s an absolute necessity. Nothing kills a trip to Nazare faster than a sunburn!
For more tips on what to bring with you, check out my Portugal packing checklist.
Don’t Go To Nazare For Swimming
When you think of a Portuguese beach destination, you’ll probably imagine a place with lots of spots for swimming. But, that’s not what you’ll get in Nazare.
Even during the dead of summer, the water of the Atlantic Ocean is pretty cold and rough. However, it’s an excellent spot for watersports thanks to these conditions.
Visit From November To February To See The Big Waves
Nazare is one of the best places in Portugal to see ferocious, enormous waves crash onto the beach. If you’re an experienced surfer, it’s one of the coolest places to participate in the sport. However, if you’re not, it’s best to just appreciate these waves from the safety of dry land.
Read Guest Reviews for Hotels
Your Nazaré hotel could end up being a total disappointment if you don’t do a little research beforehand. Sure, you can find out if a hotel has an outdoor pool or air conditioning by reading the listing. But, it’s only former guests that can provide all the dirty deets about a stay.
🏝️ Read Next: Where to Stay on São Miguel Island
FAQs About Where to Stay in Nazare
Is Nazare worth visiting?
The beach city of Nazare is absolutely worth visiting. It’s a peaceful little place by the ocean with tons of amazing seafood restaurants and a surprisingly long list of things to do. There are many accommodations in Nazare that can accommodate a wide range of budgets.
How many days do you need in Nazare?
Even though Nazare seems like a very small place, there are enough things to do that it’s easy to spend three to four days here. However, for travelers who don’t have enough time for that, Nazare also makes for one of the best day trips from Lisbon.
What time of year are the big waves in Nazare?
The big wave season in Nazare lasts from November to February. During this time, Nazare’s beaches get hit with some of the biggest waves in the entire world. It’s a paradise for professional surfers, but inexperienced ones shouldn’t go near the water in the big wave season.
Thanks for reading my guide to where to stay in Nazare! Which part of Nazare do you want to stay in? If you’ve never been to the country before, don’t miss our guide to the best time to visit Portugal to make sure you have the trip you’ve always imagined.
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