Where To Stay in Lisbon, Portugal – 7 Best Areas and Gorgeous Hotels
Lisbon is the capital of Portugal and one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Lisbon has it all: both modern and neoclassical buildings, narrow streets, amazing shopping opportunities, a vibrant nightlife and, of course, unforgettable gastronomy.
If you’re planning a trip to Lisbon soon, I guarantee you’ll have a good time. And in case you’re wondering where to stay in Lisbon, rest assured that the article below will answer any questions you may have.
Lisbon is a perfect destination all year round and it’s divided into different neighbourhoods catering to different needs. But which one should you choose?
Worry not, just scroll down as I’ve got you covered:
Best areas in Lisbon - Where to stay by type of traveller
I know that choosing the BEST place to stay in Lisbon can seem dreadful at times, especially if you’ve never travelled to this destination before. That’s why I created the following list of recommendations below – it will help you choose the best area to stay in Lisbon depending on your travel style and budget too!
- Where to stay in Lisbon for the first time: Baixa and Chiado
- Where to stay in Lisbon for luxury: Chiado or Avenida da Liberdade
- Where to stay in Lisbon on a budget: Principe Real
- Where to stay in Lisbon with a family: Belém
- Where to stay in Lisbon for nightlife: Bairro Alto
- Where to stay in Lisbon for shopping: Avenida da Liberdade
For a better idea of the city, check out the map below:
7 Best neighborhoods in Lisbon, Portugal
There are countless places to stay around the city, but I selected the 7 best neighbourhoods for tourists below. All of them are rich in tourist attractions and food places, are well-connected to the rest of the city and all of them have different accommodation options for your preferences.
Here they are below:
1 - Chiado
Chiado and Baixa are hands-down the two best areas to stay in Lisbon for a first time visit. And for sightseeing. And for being within walking distance to all the main attractions. And for food, bars and public transport. After all, they share one metro station. And they’re both considered to be the city center. Convinced? You should be!
Now I know that some articles on the web present Baixa and Chiado as one single recommendation, but, except for the fact that they’re near one another, I think these two areas are pretty different from each other. Chiado is chic and elegant; Baixa has more 18th century buildings. Both of them are pretty darn amazing.
Some highlights of Chiado include the National Museum of Contemporary Art, São Roque Church, Filigree Museum, plus lots of belle-epoque shops and cafes. And a couple of world-class restaurants as well (some even Michelin-starred!). Oh, and the famous Café A Brasileira café as well, which is definitely a must.
This being said, here are the best hotels in Chiado to choose from:
BIG SPLURGE. Bairro Alto Hotel
BOUTIQUE HOTEL. Le Consulat
MID-RANGE HOTEL. Hotel Borges Chiado
HOSTEL. Lisb’on Hostel
APARTMENT. Martinhal Lisbon Chiado
2 - Baixa / Lisbon Historic Centre
Baixa district, also known as Lisbon Downtown or Lisbon’s Historic Centre is my second recommendation for a fabulous stay in the city. This is the place where you’ll find lots of new, amazing hotels in Lisbon, as well as shops, museums, bars and restaurants. Staying here means you’ll be within walking distance to all the highlights in the city centre, including Praça do Comércio overlooking the Tagus River, Santa Justa elevator, Rua Augusta elevator and Rossio Square, Lisbon’s main square with a gorgeous train station. By the way, the view of Praça do Comércio from Rua Augusta elevator is unmissable!
Baixa was completely rebuilt in the 18th century after the horrible earthquake in 1755, but the district still preserves a traditional feel with numerous neo-classical buildings. While you’re here, make sure you enjoy a cup of coffee at Martinho da Arcada, also known as the oldest cafe in Lisbon.
As I mentioned before, Baixa-Chiado is the perfect location duo for a first-time stay in Lisbon, so regardless of which one you’ll choose, you’ll be in the centre of it all.
Here are the best hotels for your stay in Baixa, all of them close to Praça do Comércio, Rossio Square, Santa Justa and the rest of the famous attractions in Lisbon:
BIG SPLURGE. My Story Hotel Figueira
BOUTIQUE HOTEL. The Lift Boutique Hotel
MID-RANGE HOTEL. The 7 Hotel
BUDGET. The ART INN Lisbon
HOSTEL. Home Lisbon Hostel
3 - Principe Real
Principe Real is one of the best places to find budget hotels in Lisbon and one of the trendiest areas in the entire capital! Aside from this, one of the best advantages of this area is that it’s only a 10-minute walk to central Lisbon and to other parts of the city as well such as Avenida da Liberdade and Bairro Alto, so you’ll surely be close to all the most important sights, but with a little more luxury!
Príncipe Real is the perfect spot for a relaxed walk and the place you’ll find lots of designer shops, charming restaurants, Principe Real Gardens, São Pedro de Alcântara viewpoint, the Botanical Gardens and more. I totally recommend Príncipe Real for all travellers that want to be close to the city centre but not really in the “tourist bubble” – and to those that can spend more than two days in Lisbon. You’ll be close to more than one metro station and you’ll be able to choose from different priced hotels in Lisbon.
Here are the best ones below:
BIG SPLURGE. Memmo Príncipe Real
BOUTIQUE HOTEL. Alegria A Lisbon Boutique Hotel
MID-RANGE HOTEL. Casa do Jasmim by Shiadu
HOSTEL. Royal Prince Hostel
APARTMENT. Glória by Central Hill Apartments
4 - Bairro Alto
Looking for a place where you can dance the night away? Bairro Alto is for you! This is one of the most vibrant areas of Lisbon that comes to life right after the sun sets and the place where you’ll find endless bars, clubs and restaurants as well. So if you hate loud crowds, then you might want to stay away from Barrio Alto (the “high district”). Still, a walk around the narrow streets here is mandatory – maybe a cocktail too!
In terms of accommodation, you’ll find everything you need in Bairro Alto, from boutique hotels to apartments and budget-friendly guesthouses. The public transport is pretty good, but the streets are very narrow and the entire district is uphill, so you might want to think again about walking long distances.
And here are the best hotels for your stay in Bairro Alto:
BIG SPLURGE. The Lumiares Hotel & Spa
BOUTIQUE HOTEL. 9Hotel Mercy
MID-RANGE HOTEL. Raw Culture Art & Lofts Bairro Alto
BUDGET. My Suite Lisbon Guest House
HOSTEL. Lookout Lisbon Hostel
APARTMENT. Apartamentos Rosa do Bairro Alto
5 - Avenida da Liberdade
Avenida da Liberdade is the Champs-Elysees of Lisbon, a.k.a. the BEST place for shopping in Lisbon! Avenida da Liberdade connects Baixa to Parque Eduardo VII, the main park in the city and it’s full of designer shops hosted in pretty art deco buildings and luxury hotels. If you’re looking for 5-star hotel options, this area is for you! The surrounding streets also have nice shops and some pretty good restaurants and bars as well.
Another great advantage of Avenida da Liberdade is that it’s literally only a 5-minute walk to the city center of Lisbon, Chiado and Baixa district included. If you’re not fond of shopping, you can always take a stroll in Parque Eduardo VII or simply take a walk to other parts of the city.
If you feel like this is your place to stay, check out my list of hand-picked hotels below:
BIG SPLURGE. Tivoli Avenida Liberdade Lisboa
BOUTIQUE HOTEL. Valverde Hotel
MID-RANGE HOTEL. Hotel Lisboa
BUDGET. Hotel Dom Sancho I
HOSTEL. Bluesock Hostels Lisboa
APARTMENT. Charming central sunny penthouse
6 - Alfama
Alfama is the oldest neighbourhood in the city and an excellent place to stay in Lisbon if you want to enjoy the more authentic side of the city compared to the tourist centre. With its narrow, steep streets, Alfama sometimes feels more like a traditional village than a district in the capital, which is exactly why I’m recommending it to people looking for a laid-back experience and unforgettable views.
After all, Alfama is not known as the most cinematic district in Lisbon for nothing! The only downside is that this area is not that well connected to the rest of the city by public transport, but there are some public elevators that can be used for free if you want to get around. Plus, there’s always walking and Tram #28 passed right through the middle of Alfama.
Some highlights of the Alfama area include São Vicente da Fora Monastery museum, St. George’s Castle, Castelo de São Jorge complex, Portas do Sol and Santa Luzia viewing points, Sé Cathedral and, last but not least, The Museum of Decorative Arts.
NOTE: This district is EXTREMELY hilly, with lots of steep ups and downs to get around. If you have limited mobility, this area will not be the most comfortable for you and may even be best to be avoided.
7 - Belém
Belém is one of the best places to stay in Lisbon Portugal for families with kids that don’t want to be in the hustle and bustle of the centre. It’s a gorgeous riverside area at the mouth of the Tagus River, scattered with UNESCO World Heritage Sites and amazing museums. Belem is also the place where you can enjoy a Portuguese meal by the river and where you’ll find multiple hotels for all budgets. The only downside here is that Belém is not as central as Baixa, Chiado or Príncipe Real, so you’ll have to use public transportation (train, tram) to get to the main sights in the city. Belem is 6.5 km from the centre.
Historically speaking, Belém is the spot from which Vasco da Gama departed his discovery journey to India in 1498, the first step that made Portugal a powerful country thanks to the trade routes that were formed here afterwards. Jerónimos Monastery (Mosteiro dos Jerónimos) is a monument built to celebrate this historical episode. There’s also Belém Tower here, as well as Berardo Collection art gallery and the Maritime Museum. All three should be on your list of must-visit places during your stay in Belém!
Here are the best Belem hotels in Lisbon:
BIG SPLURGE. Palacio do Governador
MID-RANGE HOTEL. Altis Belem Hotel & Spa
BUDGET. Geronimo Guest House Belém
HOSTEL. Impact House Belém
APARTMENT. Belém River Apartment II
BONUS: Other notable Lisbon areas to look into
- Cais do Sodré – the best area to stay if you want to combine nightlife and amazing restaurants! Cais do Sodré is Lisbon’s former Red Light District, now a perfect place to dance, have a drink and enjoy some very good food as well. It’s similar to Bairro Alto, but Cais do Sodré has a nice riverfront promenade as a bonus;
- Graça – this part of the city is close to Alfama but is less touristy, it’s more like a working-class district where you can experience an authentic side of Lisbon. Here is where you’ll find charming squares, artisan shops, art galleries, local eateries and more.
- Estrela – a great area to stay for a laid-back experience, away from the tourist crowds. Estrela is a residential district, well-connected to the rest of Lisbon by bus, tram and metro stations. In short, you’ll only be a metro ride away!
- Lapa and Madragoa – very similar to Estrela, Lapa and Madragoa are two of the best places to stay if you like a residential vibe. You’ll find different Lisbon accommodations here, from 4-star luxury hotels to affordable guesthouses.
- Mouraria – located right near Alfama, Mouraria is the district where you’ll find lots of apartments, cute cobbled lanes, old charming buildings and more.
- São Vicente – another beautiful district of Lisbon located only a short walk away from Alfama.
This was my complete guide on the best areas in Lisbon! From Baixa, Chiado, Bairro Alto, Príncipe Real and Avenida da Liberdade, you’ll find hand-picked hotel recommendations for all these and more! Regardless if you’re looking for gorgeous 5-star hotels or cheap guesthouses, I’m sure you’ll find a perfect hotel for your stay in the city in the article above!
Are you ready to plan your trip? I recommend clicking here to access all my articles about Portugal. Pssst, I seriously recommend a road trip!