Where To Stay In Lisbon Best Hotels & Neighborhoods
Last Updated: March 30, 2022 · Portugal
Knowing where to stay in Lisbon for the first time without already having been there to feel the vibe for all of Lisbons neighborhoods is quite the challenge .
When we were moving to Lisbon, I did an ungodly amount of searching online to try and get an idea of the best hotels, apartments, and neighborhoods to stay in. But it wasnt until I lived there that I got a true feel for where to stay.
Lisbon is a large, sprawling city so you dont want to just book a place without knowing what youre getting into.
Lisbons neighborhoods that make up the heart of the cityBairro Alto, Chiado, Alfama, Sé, Baixaare inevitably going to be the best places to stay in terms of convenience and proximity to Lisbons top things to do, restaurants, museums, bars, brunch spots, coffee shops, and even sunset spots!
Having lived in Lisbon as a digital nomad for a couple of months, I was able to explore and scope out Lisbons most sought-after locations, which Ill reveal down below!
In this guide, Ill share with you the most popular, unique, and well-rated apartments and boutique hotels so your stay in Lisbon can feel perfect no matter which central neighborhood you choose.
Say goodbye to FOMO because here is the ultimate guide for where to stay in Lisbon!
Bairro Alto Where To Stay In Lisbon For Nightlife
Nestled between popular Baixa and trendy Principe Real is Bairro Alto. One of the most vibrant neighbourhoods in Lisbon, Bairro Alto is the centre for nightlife in the capital. Here youll find streets packed with everything from small bars and cosy cafes to upmarket restaurants and rooftop terraces.
Weekends are a particularly fun time to explore Bairro Alto as tourists and locals flock to the area. Youll find the neighbourhoods narrow cobblestone streets filled with people eating, drinking and enjoying life in the capital. This is possibly the best area to stay in Lisbon for sightseeing. There are also some great Lisbon Airbnbs here.
Choose Your Area Before Looking For Accommodation
Always choose which location in Lisbon you wish to be based in before looking for accommodation. This may sound obvious, but it is all too easy to be sucked in by an amazing discount or outstanding reviews, without really considering whether the area suits your needs.Tip: If you are to be based a little further out, always make sure youâre close to a metro station.
Where for a more relaxed holiday to Lisbon?
The Baixa/Alfama/Bairro Alto areas lie within the heart of the bustling tourist centre, but you may prefer a calmer location for your holiday. If this is the case, consider the districts of Estrela or Principe Real, which are prosperous and affluent neighbourhoods with classical houses, leafy streets and cafes filled with Portuguese locals.
While these areas may sound appealing, they can feel remote from the tourist buzz, and significantly more walking will be required when visiting the cityâs main attractions.
An alternative is GraÃ§a, which is a working-class Portuguese district that is full of character.
For the business traveller
For a business trip, it is best to be based within the Parque das NaÃ§Ãµes district. This area is packed with modern business hotels, as well as numerous restaurants and bars aimed at business travellers.
Partying, stag or hen group: Where to be based?
Where to avoid in Lisbon?
Accommodation with a car
Discover more of Lisbon with our most popular guides
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Whats So Special About Principe Real Neighbourhood
If you walk up Rua da Misericordia from Chiado or head west up the hill from Avenida da Liberdade, you will find yourself in Principe Real, one of Lisbons trendiest and LGBTQ-friendliest neighbourhoods and a great place to live in Lisbon, too.
Not only does it boast fabulous urban designer and concept shops and small attractive parks, it is also packed with restaurants and cafés. I love this area, which is why its also part of my Lisbon walking tour.
Its also on the doorstep of Bairro Alto, one of Lisbons most famous nightlife spots, but not so close that youll have revellers under your bedroom window until the wee hours. For all of these reasons, its one of the best places to stay in Lisbon if you want to balance day and nighttime activities with ease.
Principe Real is about 7 minutes walk from two metro stations Rato on the yellow line and Baixa/Chiado on the blue and green lines. Buses run through the centre to connect you with Cais do Sodre and other parts of the city if you want to save your legs.
Entry Requirements For Portugal
Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission if you purchase something through one of these links. Thank you for supporting the free content on this site! For more information on affiliate links and cookies, see my disclosure page for more details.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there are certain entry requirements in place for entering the country of Portugal.
Ive updated this post as of February 9, 2022, and all information was correct at the time of writing.
However, confirm with Portugals official website, as youve probably figured out after the last few years of pandemic times things can change quickly!
Check the list of countries allowed to enter Mainland Portugal on their website. The USA and UK are currently included .
You must present one of the following if you are over the age of 12.
You must also submit a Passenger Locator Card before departing.
Until recently, the EU digital certificate was required for staying in hotels and eating at restaurants.
This meant that non-EU citizens who werent one of the 33 listed countries could effectively enter the country but not dine at restaurants or stay in hotels making travel very difficult for them!
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Best Hotel In Cais Do Sodre: Lx Boutique Hotel
Lx Boutique Hotel can be found in the best area in Lisbon to stay in for nightlife. This fantastic four-star hotel is just a short walk from popular bars, hip restaurants and trendy clubs. Rooms have modern amenities, free wifi, and private bathrooms. This hotel also boasts great views and offers on-site bike rentals.
Where To Stay In Bairro Alto
- For stellar views: part hostel, part boutique hotel,The Independente is in a fantastic old building, Lower floors house dorms with towering ceilings. Upstairs, quirky double rooms offer balconies with great views. Theres also a downstairs bar and patio.
- For boutique stays: go for charming boutiqueBairro Alto Hotel set in an 18th century building in the heart of the lively district and known for its award winning restaurant.
- For lively stays: Casa de Sao Mamede sits on a busy street north of Príncipe Real. It’s a superb 18th century magistrates house with period fittings, bright breakfast room and a grand stained-glass window.
- For budget stays: Pensao Londres is a wonderful old building with high ceilings and pleasant enough rooms sleeping up to four. Some have tiny bathrooms, but the best have great views over the city.
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Cheap Accommodations In Lisbon
If youre traveling on a budget, in this section youll find the best cheap accommodations in Lisbon. There are many nice options for where to stay in Lisbon on a budget, but please avoid the neighborhoods weve advised you to avoid.
These are the cheap hotels in Lisbon that are well located:
- Lisbon Destination Hostel, one of the best hostels in Lisbon
You may also be interested in our article on how to get cheap rates at hotels.
Mouraria Graa & So Vicente
Joining Alfama on its hill are 3 more historic neighborhoods Mouraria on the northern slopes towards Martim Moniz, Graça to the northeast and São Vicente to the east. These are working-class areas, full of local color, relatively undisturbed by tourism. Graça and São Vicente are Alfamas more peaceful cousins, while Mouraria is both more multicultural and undergoing more regeneration. Landmarks include the church and convent of São Vicente de Fora, Miradouro da Graça, a scenic gathering place, and Portraits of Fado, a street exhibition of photos in Mouraria, fados birthplace. You can find contemporary art galleries like Hangar alongside the latest street art and shop for bargains at Feira da Ladra, the thieves market. There are great, affordable local restaurants Portuguese cuisine at Taberna Sal Grosso, Mozambican at Cantinho do Aziz, Goan at Tentações de Goa. At night, find a cool local bar, such as alternative Damas, or dance till late at supercool club Lux Frágil. Some lovely guesthouses, and a couple of high-end hotels.
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Praca Do Comercio And Rua Augusta
On the Baixa Lisbon map, visitors will find the likes of Praca do Comercio and Rua Augusta.
Being home to these top attractions, it would be absolutely criminal not to mention this area on the Lisbon neighborhood guide. Due to Baixa offering the Praca do Comercio and Rua Augusta, many hotels in this area also boast some intriguing historic features.
For those traveling on business, the Baixa Chiado area offers close proximity to the Lisbon city center, where large banks and companies share wide avenues with supermarkets, restaurants, and more. Take a walking tour for more insight.
Cais Do Sodre Coolest Place To Stay In Lisbon
If youre someone who likes to stay where the cool kids are , look no further than Cais do Sodre. This cool yet understated neighbourhood was once one of the more rundown areas of the city. Thanks to a major transformation in recent years, Cais do Sodre is one of the coolest places to stay in Lisbon, and should definitely be added to your Lisbon itinerary. Tucked throughout its cobblestone street youll find a variety of trendy boutiques, lively bars and innovative restaurants, as well as stunning waterfront views.
Looking to let your hair down? Head to Pink Street. This colourful and decorated street is home to energetic bars and bustling clubs where you can drink, dance and party the night away.
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Best Apartments In Parque Das Nacoes: Lisbon Apartments Rent4stay
These stylish apartments are in one of the best places in Lisbon to stay for families. Situated in Parque das Nacoes, this property is within walking distance of excellent tourist attractions and activities, as well as restaurants and shops. Each apartment comes complete with free wifi and swimming pool access.
Where To Stay In Avenida Da Liberdade
- For comfortable stays: affordable, three-star comfort is the signature at Hotel Dom Carlos Park, off Praça Marquês de Pombal. Rooms are fair-sized and spread over eight floors.
- For charming stays: set in a fine mansion, Heritage Avenida blends tradition and contemporary style. Though the dining area/bar is small, the rooms more than compensate with retro fittings and great city views.
- For family stays: Casa Amora Studios lie close to the picturesque Praça das Amoreiras. There are five tastefully furnished rooms in the main house and six large, family-friendly studios in a separate building.
- For design stays: created in the 1940s by influential architect, Cassiano Branco, Hotel Britania Art Deco features huge airy rooms, each with traditional cork flooring and marble-clad bathrooms. The hotel interior, with library and bar, has been declared of national architectural importance.
- For cultured stays: Eurostars Das Letras is a modern hotel with its own small gym and bar. Rooms, named after writers, come with comfy beds, a choice of pillows and a complicated array of power showers.
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Is Alfama A Good Place To Stay In Lisbon
Lisbons oldest district spreads down the hill from St. Georges castle and encompasses the 12th century cathedral. Alfamas narrow cobbled streets and tightly packed houses make it feel like a village within the city and there is still a close-knit community living here despite the ever-increasing volume of tourists.
Dont be surprised to see remnants of street decorations or see people barbecuing sardines in the street, especially in June when theres basically a month-long street party going on.
While atmospheric and definitely a place to get lost in during the day, you might find Alfama more frustrating when the taxi driver cant find your accommodation or youre trying to make your way back at night.
Tram #28 trundles through this neighbourhood but otherwise, its not the most convenient of neighbourhoods in terms of public transport. There are some free public elevators that make it easier to cope with the hill during working hours. Other than that, youll have to walk or take a cab.
Dont even think of driving in this part of Lisbon its not even possible to get a car down some of the narrow cobbled lanes.
Where To Stay In Lisbon: The Best Places To Stay
Lisbon was both our first stop in Portugal, and was also our last stop in Europe a couple of months later when our 89 days in Europe were up .
We really enjoyed Lisbon, and spent the better part of a week wandering the streets of Libsons neighborhoods, stopping here and there for a cup of coffee or a glass of Portuguese wine, which is both cheap and delicious the two best wine tasting notes, in our opinion.
Lisbon is a city not unlike San Francisco, our former home, in that each neighborhood has a distinct look, style, and overall vibe. As you walk from the cosmopolitan grid that is Baixa, Lisbons downtown, towards the narrow, winding cobblestone streets in Alfama, the oldest-feeling part of the city, youll understand what we mean.
The areas are a few short blocks apart, but couldnt look and feel more different.
Once you begin to understand the history of Lisbon, youll start to understand why. Were obviously not Lisbon history experts, but we did a couple of walking tours and connected with locals who are.
Our Drunk History take on the reason that Lisbons neighborhoods look and feel so different is that, after the earthquake in the 18th Century, the city brought in various architects from different places around the world to help rebuild and replan the city.
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Where To Stay In Lisbon Best Areas For Budget Travellers Families & Couples
Posted on Last updated: May 7, 2022
If youre wondering where to stay in Lisbon for the perfect city getaway, worry not, I have you covered!
I had the pleasure of visiting the Portuguese capital twice, and staying in different parts of the city each time. Every neighbourhood in Lisbon has a distinctive feel, and is best suited for a certain type of traveller.
The best area to stay in Lisbon will ultimately depend on you and what youre looking for from your Lisbon trip.
Whether youre a group of friends looking for a great night out, or a couple looking for a romantic getaway, Lisbon, and this guide, have something for you.
In this Lisbon accommodation guide I listed all the best neighbourhoods to stay in Lisbon, outlining what type of traveller theyre best suited for, as well as including some accommodation options for every budget.
So without further ado, lets dive in and discover where to stay in Lisbon!
Belem Tower in Lisbon, Portugal
Things To See And Do In Bairro Alto
Sip cocktails and enjoy the view at Park Bar.
Dine on delicious Portuguese food at Cantinho do Bem Estar.
Indulge at Belcanto, a two Michelin star restaurant.
Eat fresh and unique fare at Estrela da Bica.
Enjoy a glass of local wine at BA Wine Bar do Bairro Alto.
Drink refreshing cocktails in a cosy setting at Maria Caxuxa.
Try incredible cocktails at the Bali bar.
Pique your curiosity at Clube da Esquina.
Spend a fun night out at Majong.
Dance the night away at Incognito.
Choose from red, white and everything in between at The Old Pharmacy Wine Bar.
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Best Neighborhoods To Stay In Lisbon
Much of the accommodation in Lisbon is found between the waterfront and Edward VII Park, and that central area is where most tourists want to stay. There are different neighborhoods, each with its unique feel:
Avenida da Liberdade
The cityâs central boulevard is the luxury shopping street, so its hotels are of the 4- and 5-star categories. If youâre looking for high-end accommodation, willing to splurge, or are lucky to find a deal, this is the best area to stay . Itâs within walking distance of the entire center, and has good links to the airport .
See the recommended hotels on Avenida da Liberdade.
The downtown area, with a grid of flat streets connecting the cityâs grandest squares , is home to the largest number of hostels and boutique hotels. Theyâre all in renovated buildings from the late 1700s, so rooms vary in size, but are usually well decorated, often with Lisbon-related themes . From here, you can walk to many of the sights, and can reach other parts of the city and beyond on all kinds of public transportation .
See the recommended hotels in Baixa.
Rising up the hill from Baixa, this is Lisbonâs most elegant district, with historic cafÃ©s, theaters, some of the most sophisticated restaurants and the best shops. Itâs also close to the nightlife districts of Bairro Alto and Cais do SodrÃ© , and has good transportation links. Nearly all accommodation is boutique hotels in renovated buildings, and many of them have rooftop bars .