Where to Stay in Lisbon? The Best Lisbon Areas

Where to Stay in Lisbon? Review of The Best Lisbon Areas

Wondering where to stay in Lisbon? Keep reading because we will review the best areas of Lisbon and find the most suitable location for you.

Lisbon is the capital of Portugal and despite its compact size, it is not an easy task to pick the best area to stay in Lisbon. This city is known for its stunning architecture, rich history, and lively neighborhoods, each offering a unique experience.

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a frequent traveler, choosing where to stay can make all the difference in your trip. From the historic charm of Alfama to the trendy vibes of Bairro Alto, there’s something for everyone.

In this travel guide, we are going to explore the top areas to stay in Lisbon, highlighting the best hotels and accommodations for different kinds of travelers and budgets. We’ll help you find the perfect spot to enjoy all that this beautiful city has to offer.

Let’s unlock the best areas to stay in Lisbon together!

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Quick overview of the best areas to stay in Lisbon for tourists

  • Baixa, Chiado and Cais do Sodre – best areas to stay in Lisbon for first-time visitors
  • Alfama – best area to stay in Lisbon for couples and history lovers
  • Principe Real – a modern area of Lisbon with an international vibe
  • Marquês de Pombal & Avenida Liberdade – wide choice of hotels with great amenities
  • Bairro Alto – best area to stay in Lisbon for nightlife
  • Intendente and Graca – residential and affordable neighborhoods in Lisbon
  • Santos & Lapa – best area to stay in Lisbon with family

Top 10 areas to stay in Lisbon

1. Baixa – best area to stay in Lisbon for first-time visitors

Where to Stay in Lisbon? The Best Lisbon Areas

Baixa, also known as the “Lower Town,” is the heart of the city, which makes it the best area to stay in Lisbon for first-time visitors. It serves as the perfect introduction to the city’s rich history and top Lisbon attractions.

If you are staying in Baixa, you will be walking distance away from Praça do Comércio, Rua Augusta, Arco da Rua Augusta, Rossio, and Santa Justa. These are some of the most iconic landmarks in Lisbon that simply can’t be missed.

Baixa is a popular district for foodies, but despite it is reputation, this area is filled with tourist traps, so make sure you do your research before you sit down for a meal. On the other hand, it is great for brunch and cocktails.

Rua Augusta, the main pedestrian street, is lined with a wide choice of shops, from fast fashion shops to Portuguese stores. I have to say that fast fashion dominates the area, but you can certainly find some unique local shops.

When it comes to accommodation, Baixa offers a wide range of luxury and mid-range options, but it is not so great for budget travelers. However, if you have limited time and this is your first time visiting Lisbon, Baixa is the place to be.

Pros: central location, walkable area, a lot of entertainment, shopping, and dining options, great public transport connection.
Cons: busy area, tourist traps, pricey accommodation, commercial district.
Metro: blue and green lines.

Here are the best hotels in Baixa for every budget:

2. Chiado

Where to Stay in Lisbon? The Best Lisbon Areas

Chiado, an elegant and charming district in Lisbon, offers a sophisticated atmosphere with plenty to see and do. Similarly to Baixa, this is another great location for first-time visitors considering its central location close to the main attractions.

One of Chiado’s most significant landmarks is the Convento do Carmo. The nearby Largo do Chiado is a lively square with a statue of the famous Portuguese poet Luís de Camões. Chiado is home to the oldest bookstore in the world – Livraria Bertrand.

Keep in mind that Chiado is located next to the Baixa, so you have easy access to the top Lisbon attractions as they are just a short walking distance away.

Compared to Baixa, Chiado offers a more upscale shopping and dining experience. Also, Chiado, with its focus on arts and culture, hosts The São Carlos National Theatre and the National Museum of Contemporary Art.

And just like Baixa, Chiado has a wide range of luxury and mid-range options. It is filled with modern boutique hotels and stunning views from your accommodation.

Baixa vs. Chiado: what are the key differences?

  • Baixa is the commercial heart of Lisbon while Chiado offers charm and elegance.
  • Baixa district is flat and easy to navigate while Chiado boasts some steep streets.
  • Baixa offers an international atmosphere while Chiado has an upscale vibe.
  • Baixa is home to significant historical landmarks while Chiado hosts cultural experiences.

Pros: central location, cultural experiences, upscale shopping, and dining options, great public transport connection.
Cons: busy area, steep streets, pricey accommodation.
Metro: blue and green lines.

Here are the best hotels in Chiado for every budget:

3. Alfama – best area to stay in Lisbon for couples and history lovers

Where to Stay in Lisbon? The Best Lisbon Areas

Alfama is one of the oldest districts in the Portuguese capital and the best area to stay in Lisbon for couples. If you are looking for charming historical streets and a romantic atmosphere, you will love staying in Alfama.

Alfama is an attraction itself and can’t be missed during your trip to Lisbon. One of the most significant landmarks is the São Jorge Castle and the iconic Tram 28 goes right through the heart of Alfama. 

Other important attractions include Sé de Lisboa, Miradouro de Santa Luzia, Portas Do Sol, São Vicente de Fora, and the National Pantheon. Fado in Alfama deserves special mention as it is one of the most romantic things to do in Lisbon for couples.

You won’t need a busy itinerary for Alfama, but I am sure you will love wandering through the narrow alleys of Alfama. I have to say that big streets get packed with tourists, but this is a great excuse to wander off the popular route and discover something new.

Alfama offers a range of dining options that are perfect for romantic meals. Quaint tascas (taverns) and small family-run restaurants serve up authentic Portuguese dishes. It hosts many coffee shops if you are looking for a cute breakfast date with your special someone.

Many accommodations in Alfama offer picturesque vistas of Lisbon’s iconic rooftops and the Tagus River. You will also find a lot of small boutique hotels in Alfama that are perfect for couples and not only.

Pros: multiple historical attractions, intimate atmosphere, fantastic views, and boutique hotels.
Cons: no metro access, difficult to walk around with limited mobility, few parking options.

Please note! Alfama is the hotspot for the Saint Anthony Festival in Lisbon which takes place in June. During this time, the district turns into an open-air celebration so you can forget about privacy and might even lose some sleep. Saint Anthony Festival is a lot of fun and one of the best experiences in Lisbon, but I don’t recommend staying in Alfama during this period.

Here are the best hotels in Alfama for every budget:

4. Principe Real

Where to Stay in Lisbon? The Best Lisbon Areas

Principe Real is an upscale neighborhood in Lisbon known for its trendy atmosphere. It offers a unique blend of modern lifestyle and historical elegance

In the heart of Principe Real, you will find Jardim do Principe Real, but other than that, there are no major attractions in the district. At the same time, you shouldn’t miss Embaixada which is one of the best hidden gems in Lisbon.

Bairro Alto and Chiado are just a short walk away, so you can still take advantage of the great location without crowds that attract top sights in Lisbon. Principe Real is a lively area, but it is not as crowded as Rua Augusta during the peak season.

The neighborhood is dotted with chic boutiques, high-end stores, and fashionable cafes. It has become a place for creative minds and entrepreneurs, which is evident in the numerous concept stores and designer shops.

Trendy brunch spots, gourmet restaurants, and cozy wine bars are located all over Principe Real. It will be harder to find small taverns, but you can savor Portuguese cuisine with a modern twist instead.

When it comes to hotels, Principe Real hosts a great amount of modern accommodation. If the budget is not an issue, I am sure you can find some amazing newly renovated options in Principe Real.

Pros: international restaurants & concept shops, modern hotels.
Cons: no metro access, no major attractions in the area, not many local eateries.

Here are the best hotels in Principe Real for every budget:

5. Marquês de Pombal & Avenida Liberdade

Where to Stay in Lisbon? The Best Lisbon Areas

The area of Marquês de Pombal and Avenida Liberdade is among the busiest in the city of Lisbon. It is considered one of the best Lisbon areas for business visitors, but there is more to it, so let’s dive in.

The Marquês de Pombal is known for the picturesque Parque Eduardo VII and its famous and busy square. Avenida Liberdade catches the attention of visitors with its high-brand boutiques, green spaces, and the Calcada Portuguesa.

If you want to do a lot of sightseeing, you will need to use a taxi or public transport to reach the central area. Walking to Baixa takes around 30 minutes, which is a lot if you have to do an extensive walking tour for the rest of the day.

Unlike other areas in Lisbon, the hotels around this area are modern and can accommodate a lot of guests. As the area boasts some of the most popular 5-star hotels in Lisbon, you might also find a great number of facilities to make your stay comfortable such as a pool or a gym.

If you are traveling to Lisbon by car you will most probably find accommodation with private parking or comfortable parking on the street. This makes it ideal for visitors traveling with families or those who are planning to visit Portugal beyond Lisbon.

Pros: a wide choice of hotels with fantastic amenities, luxury shopping, great public transport connections, and parking options.
Cons: 30 minutes walk away from the main attractions.
Metro: blue and yellow lines.

Here are the best hotels in Marquês de Pombal & Avenida Liberdade for every budget:

6. Bairro Alto – best area to stay in Lisbon for nightlife

Top 10 areas to stay in Lisbon

Bairro Alto is one of Lisbon’s most vibrant and lively neighborhoods, known for its bohemian spirit and fun nightlife. It is a perfect area to stay in Lisbon if you are a young adult, a solo traveler, or simply a party lover.

As the sun sets, the neighborhood comes alive. The streets are filled with bars, clubs, and Fado houses, offering everything from live music to dance clubs. A lot of bars are located in small spaces, so most partying and socializing is happening directly on the street.

This means that some hotels have to deal with noise complaints, especially hotels located inside older buildings. If you are a light sleeper or a family traveling with kids, this is not the right place for you. Yes, there are some quiet streets in Bairro Alto, but overall, it is not ideal.

When it comes to visiting Lisbon attractions, you are very close to Baixa and Chiado. Elevador da Bica and Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara are around the corner as well. 

Pros: lively area, great nightlife, a short walk away from main attractions.
Cons: no metro access, difficult to walk around with limited mobility, noisy, and not family-friendly.

Here are the best hotels in Bairro Alto for every budget:

  • Independente – great selection of mid-range private rooms and affordable dormitory beds 

7. Cais do Sodre

Top 10 areas to stay in Lisbon

Cais do Sodre is another central area in Lisbon, offering easy access to public transport, including trains, trams, and ferries. If you are planning some day trips to the beach, this is the place to be.

One of the main attractions in Cais do Sodre is Time Out Market. Nearby, you will find Pink Street and Bica is just around the corner. Cais do Sodre is surrounded by Baixa and Chiado, which means that all the main attractions are within walking distance.

When it comes to nightlife, a lot of great bars and clubs around Pink Street. Most parties happen in that area, so the rest of Cais do Sodre is pretty peaceful.

Cais do Sodre has one of the main train stations in Lisbon which connects you to Cascais and other great beaches on the route. If you want to stay close to the main attractions and fun nightlife but enjoy beach days as well, this is the right place for you.

Accommodation options offer something for every budget. You can easily find luxury hotels, relax at the smaller boutiques, or socialize at the hostels.

Pros: lively area, great nightlife, a short walk away from main attractions, well connected with beaches around Lisbon.
Cons: busy area, few parking options.
Metro: green line and train to Cascais.

Here are the best hotels in Cais do Sodre for every budget:

8. Intendente

Top 10 areas to stay in Lisbon

Once considered an unsafe place in Lisbon, Intendente has transformed dramatically over the past few years. Today, it is a vibrant and popular neighborhood, flourishing with hotels, restaurants, and a lively cultural scene.

Intendente’s central location makes it an ideal base for exploring Lisbon and offers reasonable fares compared to other parts of the city. The neighborhood is well-connected by public transport, including the green line of the metro and the iconic Tram 28.

This area is home to popular bars and restaurants like Casa Independente, a great place to party, and Ramiro, renowned for its seafood. The local “tascas” continue to serve traditional food in an old-school manner, preserving the authentic Portuguese culinary experience.

Staying in Intendente allows you to escape the crowded tourist areas and blend with the local Portuguese way of life. The neighborhood’s evolving character and charm make it an attractive choice for those seeking a more authentic experience of Lisbon.

Another compelling reason to stay in Intendente is the excellent value for money it offers. The cost of accommodation and dining in this area is generally more affordable compared to other parts of the city.

Pros: great value for money, a lot of new hotels, lively yet very local, well connected.
Cons: all major attractions are located 20 minutes walk away, not fancy.
Metro: green line.

Here are the best hotels in Intendente for every budget:

9. Graça

Top 10 areas to stay in Lisbon

Graça is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Lisbon, offering a residential atmosphere that has preserved its Portuguese soul like no other place in the city. Despite its growing popularity, Graça maintains a unique charm.

Its appeal lies in its authenticity and residential character. The neighborhood is home to old taverns and shops that provide a glimpse into the genuine heart of Lisbon. Unlike the more commercialized areas, Graça retains a sense of the city’s traditional way of life.

The Miradouro da Graça and the Miradouro da Senhora do Monte are the main attractions in Graça and while it attracts a lot of visitors, they rarely explore beyond viewpoints.

As a primarily residential area with historical significance, Graça does not have many hotels. Therefore, the best choice for accommodation is to find an apartment. This allows visitors to live like locals and enjoy the neighborhood’s unique atmosphere.

I have to say it can be challenging to navigate Graça on foot due to its hillside location. The steep streets might make walking difficult. Although there is no metro access in Graça, the area is well-served by trams and local buses.

Graça is the perfect neighborhood if you want to embrace Lisbon’s life, enjoy great value for money, and have some amazing viewpoints near your accommodation.

Pros: great value for money, very local atmosphere, peaceful vibe.
Cons: not many hotel options, not easy to navigate, farther away from main attractions.

Here are the best places to stay in Graca for every budget:

10. Santos & Lapa – best area to stay in Lisbon with family

Top 10 areas to stay in Lisbon

Santos and Lapa are two of the best neighborhoods in Lisbon for families. These areas offer a blend of safety, tranquility, and accessibility, making them ideal for a family-friendly stay in the city.

If you are not a family, but you want to enjoy a laid-back vacation in Lisbon, this is a great location for you as well. It offers a peaceful and local oasis in Central Lisbon.

These residential neighborhoods are less crowded, providing a more relaxed environment that is perfect for families. The tree-lined streets, charming parks, and beautiful old buildings create a pleasant and inviting setting for a family vacation and not only.

There is no metro, but both neighborhoods are well-connected by public transportation, making it easy to get around Lisbon. The tram and bus services provide convenient access to the city center and top Lisbon attractions.

The neighborhoods of Santos and Lapa are rich in cultural and recreational activities. Families can visit nearby museums, art galleries, and cultural centers. There are also opportunities for outdoor activities, such as biking and picnicking in the local parks.

Pros: safe and peaceful, well connected, family-friendly, with a lot of green spaces and parks.
Cons: farther away from main attractions.

Here are the best hotels in Santos & Lapa for every budget:

Don’t want to stay central? You will love these areas of Lisbon

Don’t want to stay central? You will love these areas of Lisbon
MYRIAD by SANA Hotels in Parque das Nações

Belem

Belem is rich in monuments and museums. It’s perfect for history lovers and those who enjoy sightseeing. It’s a bit further from the city center but has excellent public transport.

Here are the best places to stay in Belem for every budget:

Parque das Nações

Parque das Nações is modern and spacious. It’s great for families and those attending events at the convention center. You’ll find parks, an aquarium, and contemporary architecture here.

Here are the best places to stay in Parque das Nações for every budget:

Alcantara

Alcantara is trendy and industrial. It’s known for its docks and nightlife. Ideal for younger travelers and those interested in Lisbon’s creative scene.

Here are the best places to stay in Alcantara for every budget:

Final thoughts…

Where to Stay in Lisbon? The Best Lisbon Areas

This is the end of the best areas to stay in Lisbon and I am sure that by now you have a good understanding of Lisbon neighborhoods. Make sure you book your accommodation next!

I would love to hear your feedback, so feel free to leave a comment below. If you need further help with planning, check out these Lisbon travel tips, hotel recommendations, or food guides.

Pin it for later and save the best areas to stay in Lisbon!

Where to Stay in Lisbon? The Best Lisbon Areas
Where to Stay in Lisbon? The Best Lisbon Areas

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