Best Part Of Lisbon To Stay For A Local Vibe: Alfama
The best part of Lisbon to stay if youre looking for a local vibe would be Alfama. This lively district located between the Sao Jorge Castle and the Tagus river is the perfect spot to attempt the traditional fado show of Lisbon.
In this oldest neighborhood of Lisbon, you can discover some of the main historical sights such as the iconic Tram 28. Youll also find plenty of bars and restaurants. In this neighborhood, you can enjoy the local vibe, but its also easy to access to the center either by foot or by using public transportation.
Another advantage of Alfama? Being close to the center, but a bit far from the crowded and crazy atmosphere to relax and rest.
Dont miss this place if you want to discover the local vibe!
Pros & Cons of Staying in Alfama
Where to Stay in Alfama
Looking for an accommodation in Alfama to get the best of Lisbon, but you dont know yet which one to choose?
Here are some options, all pretty convenient, so you can choose your favorite.
Best Hotel: Apartamentos Tandem Palacio Alfama
This place is absolutely gorgeous, definitely the best option in Alfama. The rooms are huge and amazing, all very clean, comfortable and modern. Youll love the wonderful view of the river and the big swimming pool. If youre looking for a beautiful place to spend time in Alfama, dont miss it. Its safe and has a friendly environment adapted for children. You can also pick up amazing vegetables from their organic garden.
Budget Pick: Alfama studios
Hotel Mercy A Chic Upscale Lisbon Hotel
A sleek, upscale hotel tucked away in the narrow streets of the Chiado, a district buzzing with cafés, shops and excellent restaurants. Converted from a historical building into a modern-day hotel, the 9 is awash with first class interior design elements that focus heavily on hues of black and gold.
The bedrooms at the hip Lisbon hotel have parquet flooring and large padded headboards and are incredibly stylish, whilst bathrooms are sleek and masculine with black Corian panels and rain showers. The 4-star exceptionally rated 9 Hotel Mercy Hotel also offers its very own compact library space, and appeals to the younger, hipper Lisbon set by offering an unusual tea cocktail bar, where a DJ plays on weekend nights, under the light of a giant illuminated snake, as well as a popular rooftop bar.
- To book, check prices or availability for 9Hotel Mercy Hotel
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Why You Should Stay In Alfama
Youre wondering why you should stay in Alfama? These are the main reasons:
1. First of all, if youre looking for a lively district with lots of bars, restaurants and Fado shows, this is a good spot. This place is full of energy and almost everything stays open at night. This is perfect to experiment with the local nightlife in Lisbon.
2. The second positive aspect is its close to the center. In Alfama, you can enjoy a few main sights. Its also pretty easy for you to go to Baixa, Lisbons center, since everything is within walking distance.
3. Last but not least, Alfama is very close to the tram 28 which is the iconic yellow tram in Lisbon. However, be aware that in this popular tram 28 there are lots of pickpockets. If you want to visit it, we would recommend going early in the morning.
Where To Stay In Lisbon Bairro Alto Is The Best Area In Lisbon For Nightlife
Bairro Alto is a hilltop neighbourhood that borders Chiado and Principe Real .
Quiet during the day, bars emerge from behind almost every doorway at night and, unless the weather is atrocious, people fill the streets to hang out, drink and chat.
If youre looking for a fun and bohemian neighborhood that comes alive at night , Bairro Alto is a perfect choice. If youre more into an early to bed travel routine, however, Id be wary of staying in this area because of the noise .
Even if you dont stay in Bairro Alto, be sure to at least visit the neighborhood at some point during your trip to Lisbon its filled with some gems that will appeal to all sorts of travellers, like the Santa Catarina viewing point , the Carmo Convent ruins , and the iconic Elevador da Bica .
For nightlife, BA Wine Bar do Bairro Alto and The Old Pharmacy Wine Inn frequently make the best of lists. For quirky cool, Cinco Lounge makes great cocktails, but note, many bars allow smoking , and are allowed to do so by law if they have adequate ventilation. If this is a concern, have your hotel call ahead!
Inn Bairro Alto Bed & Breakfast The Inn features a range of room styles to fit all budgets including private studio apartments to suit longer stays. Due to the location, its close to lots of bars and restaurants but it does have shared kitchen and dining facilities if you prefer to cook your own meals.
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How Do You Get From Alfama To Bairro Alto
Depending on where youre staying in Alfama, its pretty easy to get from Alfama to Bairro Alto on foot.
First, youll cross next to the national theater of Sao Carlos and then youll go to the sight Praça Luís de Camões. Its easy to find but be warmed: in Bairro Alto, alto means hight, there are many steep hills.
You can also choose public transportation which is going straight from Cais Lingueta to Rossio. If you prefer to use your own car it would be the same itinerary.
Pretty easy right?
Looking for more hotel options in Lisbon?
Well, I have some suggestions for you.
Want to see the very best hotels in Lisbon? Here they are: The Very Best Hotels in Lisbon
Best Hotels With A River View In Alfama
Fall asleep checking Lisbons rooftops, admiring the wide River Tejo, and listening to fado. These are amazing experiences to live in the medina-like Alfama neighbourhood.
For an unforgettable stay, weve picked some of the best hotels in the middle of the old Alfama with the perfect river view.
These hotels have a great location on the tram 28 route, close to major attractions, such as Lisbons cathedral and castle.
A note on Alfama hotels: If you happen to be in Lisbon on 12 June, and a good nights sleep is important for you, beware. The Feast of Saint Anthony is celebrated all night in Alfama and other historic neighbourhoods. You may want to check these Central but Quiet Hotels in Lisbon instead in order to get a decent nights sleep.
Highlights: Itineraries |
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Is Alfama Safe At Night
Lisbon and more specifically Alfama are usually considered very safe in daylight as well as at night. The only concern is pickpockets, most of the time close to the main sights, but its a problem all over the city and not a specificity of Alfama.
Dont panic, enjoy this beautiful place without too much stress and stay safe!
The Best Apartments In Alfama
The Lisboans are impeccably designed apartments featuring a great balance of thoughtfully sourced artisanal and contemporary pieces, and upcycled or vintage furniture. The effect is a sophisticated home-away-from-home, with tasty breakfasts delivered each morning. A great base for discerning, independent guests.
Still not sure?
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Principe Real Where To Stay In Lisbon For Antique And Curio Hunting
Principal Real, is the epitome of Lisbons modern day, affluent, cosmopolitan lifestyle. Many of its old 18th century buildings are being demolished, to be replaced by high-end, expensive apartments, which are being snapped up by Lisbons new money.
Around the Principe Real district, new international restaurants are opening up alongside traditional stores, art galleries, antique and speciality shops, and trendy fashion outlets. But there is still plenty of its hippie style culture, traditional art, and relaxed lifestyle to be enjoyed.
If you prefer casual, unhurried sightseeing and exploring during the day, Principe Real could be the place to stay in Lisbon. Relax in the Jardim do Príncipe Real , and explore the Jardim Botânico .
Visit Embaixada, an 1877 palace converted into a Portuguese concept gallery, and revamped to be one of Lisbons premier dining and shopping malls.
International brands like Shoes Closet, Organii Bebé, VLA Records, Cosmética Biológica, Linkstore , and many others can be found inside, with cafes and coffee shops to rest those tired feet.
Other places of interest include an indoor. For a little antique shopping, look up Isabel Lopes da Silva, and AR-PAB. Take a stroll into the São Bento neighbourhood, home to Portugals parliament, and more antique shops.
Look up Deposito da Marinha Grande for hand blown glasswork, Alma Lusa for designer jewellery, fashions and accessories, and Jorge Welsh for Chinese and Japanese porcelain.
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.
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Where To Stay In Lisbon: A Note From Our Lisbon Expert Julie
Ive lost count of how many times Ive stayed in Lisbon over the 9 years Ive been living in Portugal. Its such a fascinating, ever-changing city that theres always an excuse to visit. Almost every time Ive been, Ive stayed in a different area in order to get a more rounded feel for the different Lisbon neighborhoods, and find the best places to stay in Lisbon.
As I prefer getting around on foot, I tend to pick central locations. That said, Ive also stayed in some that are a little further away from the centre but easily accessible by public transport, like Alcântara.
Each Lisbon neighbourhood has a different personality so depending on what you want to do while youre visiting, theres an area to suit you.
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Where To Stay In Lisbons Principe Real Neighbourhood
Casa do Principe is right next door to Embaixada mall and overlooks Principe Real gardens. Its a cosy bed and breakfast that will treat you like royalty. The ceilings in the Dom Pedro suite are a sight to behold and the whole place is beautifully and tastefully decorated. Choose the best room.
Another charming bed and breakfast near the gardens is the recently opened 1869 Principe Real, which has original painted tiles in some of the bedrooms, air conditioning and excellent customer service. Check current prices.
For a more residential location and the possibility of self-catering you have Flores Guest House, just off Praça das Flores. Beautifully renovated and stylishly decorated, the accommodation comes in the form of apartments, rooms and studios. Take a look at the rooms.
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Its My First Visit To Lisbon Which District Should I Stay In
Alfama is one of the oldest districts of Lisbon, and has a wide selection of characterful apartments hidden within the warren of alleys and side streets which make up the district. Alfama is a popular choice to be based in, but be warned that there are many steep hills.Note: The Baixa and Avenida da Liberdade area has significantly fewer hills than Alfama, Chiado and Bairro Alto.Related articles:Alfama guide â Baixa guide
Where To Stay In Lisbon: Lisbons Coolest Neighborhoods And Best Areas To Stay
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Where to Stay in Lisbon: Advice from a local British expat and travel blogger about the best neighborhoods to stay in Lisbon, Portugal! Includes recommendations for 21 of the best apartments and hotels to stay in Lisbon.
Disclosure: This Where to Stay in Lisbon guide contains affiliate links. That means we earn a commission when you use the links on this site to book a hotel, buy your travel insurance, shop for travel essentials, etc.. You dont pay anything extra. If youd like to learn more about how this works, you can read more under our Disclaimer page.
We created this guide in collaboration with Julie Dawn Fox, a British expat, travel blogger and photographer who has been living in Portugal since 2007. Julie has served as the local expert for this post by choosing and describing the best areas to stay in Lisbon. I have added in the hotel recommendations, as well as my own thoughts!
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Lxboutique A Creative And Arty Boutique Hotel Perfect For Millenials And Gen Zs
An artsy but unpretentious boutique hotel close to the bars of Bairro Alto and the shops of Chiado, with wonderful views out across the river. The 4-star exceptionally rated LX Boutique Hotel has a fresh, modern feel with an arty vibe, and each of the five floors has its very own theme.
Bedrooms have a cosy, waterfront feel and are dressed in hues of blue and grey, whilst the bathrooms are bright and modern. The stylishly quirky hotel has a nice, friendly bar that is perfect for a cold beer or two, and the Confraria do Sushi serves delicious sashimi. There are plenty of bars and restaurants just outside the hotel doors, so if Sushi isnt your thing you certainly wont go hungry here.
- To book, check prices or availability for LX Boutique Lisbon
The Best Area To Stay In Lisbon For You
- THE Best Place to Stay in Lisbon Portugal: Chiado
- Best Neighborhood to Stay in Lisbon for Families: Baixa
- Best Area to Stay in Lisbon Portugal for Nightlife: Bairro Alto
- Best Part of Lisbon to Stay for a Local Vibe: Alfama
- Best Area of Lisbon to Stay to Get Away from the Crowds: Príncipe Real
So there you have it, the answer to What are the best areas to stay in Lisbon?. If you want more info about each area including photos, best hotels and pros & cons, keep reading below!
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The Best Hotel In Alfama: Apartamentos Tandem Palacio Alfama
- Swimming pool
- Qualified staff
In Apartamentos Tandem Palacio, the rooms are absolutely gorgeous, it will totally exceed all your expectations. Its an amazing place where to stay in Alfama Libson.
This is also a perfect spot to enjoy your stay in Lisbon and relax close to the swimming pool after you experienced the vibrant local nightlife.
Moreover, the host is highly qualified and very friendly, theyll make sure youre comfortable.
Interested in luxury hotels? Check out this post about the best 4 star hotels in Lisbon.
Alfamas Sights And Attractions
- Beneath the 12th century Romanesque cathedral lies excavated Roman ruins and Islamic baths
- São Vicente da Fora Monastery is an interesting museum with fabulous views
- The National Pantheon also offers spectacular views from the domed rooftop
- St. Georges Castle is well worth a visit, again for the views from the battlements
- Alfamas most popular viewing spots are Santa Luzia and Portas do Sol
- The Museum of Decorative Arts is inside an aristocratic house with period decor
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