Best Areas to Stay in Lisbon 2022
Trying to determine the best areas to stay in Lisbon when planning your vacation? The capital of Portugal is a vibrant city in Western Europe. Lisbon’s attractions, world-class restaurants, fantastic location, rich history, and amazing weather, make it a worldwide five-star tourist destination.
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Best Areas to Stay in Lisbon Portugal
Our Lisbon neighborhood guide covers the area we feel is best suited for a short stay in Lisbon.
City Center: Something for Everyone
Baixa District and Chiado
Downtown Lisbon, which includes Baixa and Chiado, underwent a major renovation after the earthquake of 1755, making downtown a breeze to walk around when compared to the usual steep streets and cobbled lanes lining other parts of the city.
Who Should Stay in Baixa and Chiado
Centrally located, Baixa and Chiado have rows of shops, local restaurants, cafes, and plenty of historical sites, like Praça do Comércio (former royal square), Santa Justa Elevator, and Rossio Square, where the Portuguese Neo-Gothic styled Rossio Train Station is located.
Local Tip: If this is your first time visiting Lisbon, Baixa and Chiado are some of the best areas to stay in Lisbon. Not only is every other area of the city just a short metro away, but here you can also find an abundance of boutique hotels with modern amenities, like air conditioning (a must for Lisbon’s hot summer).
What to consider: Being the number one hotspot for tourism in Lisbon, it is quite busy and noisy during the daytime.
Our favorite hotels in the city centre
- Corpo Santo Lisbon Historical Hotel – A luxury 5-star property in the center of Lisboa and the favorite hotel for travelers wanting to stay in the center’s heart but in calm and luxurious surroundings. Guest regularly report being offered free minibars, massages, champagne and chocolates, fresh fruit, and room upgrades. Corpo Santo Lisbon Historical Hotel is a thoughtful, considered, and peaceful hotel with delightful staff.
- Hotel Mundial – With 8,000 very positive reviews, travelers find Hotel Mundial to be perfectly located with parking and electric car charging stations, kids menus and family menus, a bar, two restaurants, and a mini-mart on site. This list of facilities means that you have everything you need when you arrive. Situated in the Baixa Pombalina district, another wonderful feature of this 4-star hotel is a terrace with stunning panoramic city and São Jorge Castle views. Try and book this hotel several months ahead of your visit.
- Rossio Garden Hotel – The best three-star hotel in the Baixa-Chado district is undoubtedly the Rossio Garden Hotel. Easily spotted by its hot pink facade, there is a large outdoor dining area on the street that is very welcoming. The rooms are modern and light, with contemporary chrome, glass, and marble-tiled bathrooms. Get in early to book the best rooms in this very popular hotel.
- Chiado Mercy Apartments – Chiado Mercy apartments are well equipped and spacious with air-conditioning and soundproofing. The location is excellent as the apartments are surrounded by restaurants. Rossio train station is 200 meters away and two metro stops are each 300 meters away. A basement car garage, car rental service, and a free mobile hotspot device are extra features of the 17 apartments. Find out the best ways to book this hotel.
Central Lisbon: Cool, Hip, and Bohemian
Bairro Alto is right next to Lisbon City Center, and it’s well-known for its lively nightlife, pubs, taverns, and entertainment.
Who Should Stay in Bairro Alto
Just a short walk from Lisbon’s central area, this is one of the best areas to stay in Lisbon if you are in town to party all night long, taste some appetizing traditional petiscos with a glass of sangria while listening to fado and chatting away with people from all over the world.
Local Tip: If you are not a fan of the nightlife but want to enjoy what Bairro Alto has to offer, I advise you to visit at the end of the day while the sun is still out (in the Summer around 4-6 pm) and return before the sun sets.
What to consider: In the morning every narrow street will be quite dirty with all the remnants left by the night owls. Plus, if this is where you choose to stay in Lisbon, make sure to ask if your accommodation has a private bathroom since many houses rent several rooms at a time.
Our Recommended Hotels in Barrio Alto
- The Lumiares Hotel & Spa – Small Luxury Hotels of the World – This luxury hotel is 400 meters from Chiado as is Rossio and there are rooftop views across to the River Tagus on one side, and the Castelo de São Jorge on the other. The rooms are gorgeous units, there is a wellness spa on site, and the rooftop bar makes this the perfect retreat among Bairro Alto’s busy streets.
- My Suite Lisbon Guest House – Principe Real – These lovely suites and studio apartments are smack in the middle of Lisbon’s historical center. (Ask for the suite with views of the garden!). Although named ‘Príncipe Real,’ they are in Bairro Alto and less than a 5-minute walk to many cafes and restaurants.
- Lisbon Serviced Apartments Chiado Emenda – The popular and well-reviews Lisbon Serviced Apartments brand has several properties in the Bairro Alto and Príncipe Real districts. The Chiado Emenda apartments are the best-located apartments with great restaurants, shops, and public transport very close by.
- The Independente Hostel & Suites – From large double rooms with private terraces to dormitory rooms, this renovated palace (yes, palace!) has several restaurants and is right next to public transport, and overlooks the Tagus River. There is a beer garden and many rooms have riverside balconies.
Príncipe Real is one of the trendiest residential neighborhoods in Lisbon. It’s also both charming and sophisticated, with renovated century-old townhouses, buildings, and mansions. It’s a place where both luxury hotels and guest houses coexist, making it a popular locale among diverse visitors.
Who Should Stay in Príncipe Real
At walking distance from Bairro Alto and the city center, filled with designer boutique shops and home to a beautiful botanical garden, Príncipe Real is one of the best areas to stay in Lisbon if you want to have the best of both daytime and nighttime.
Local Tip: If you stay here and love shopping, I would advise you to visit the “Embaixada”, a neo-Arab XIX palace breathtakingly beautiful. Within, you will find Portuguese designers (and others) shops, restaurants, and more.
What to consider: Even though you won’t have to deal with night revelers resting about on the streets like in Bairro Alto, Príncipe Real is still a hotspot for the night crowd and parties. Also, there is very little parking nearby, so to travel around you have to either walk or use public transport.
Recommended hotels in Príncipe Real
- Memmo Príncipe Real – Design Hotels – An outdoor pool and lounge/terrace with panoramic city views are a feature of this exclusive hotel. Breakfast is served on this terrace and cocktails and snacks throughout the day. The quality of the in-room amenities set this hotel apart with Bang & Olufsen TVs, Hermés amenities, and professional quality hair dryers.
- Casa Oliver Boutique B&B – Príncipe Real – Across several historic buildings on Praça do Príncipe Real Square, this boutique B&B has large windows, wooden floors, and retro décor. With large ceilings and excellent room amenities such as a wine-stocked mini bar, this grand but cozy Boutique B&B across from the Jardim do Príncipe Real is the perfect Lisboa experience!
- Hotel Botanico – Hotel Botanico is a very popular three-star hotel that offers value for money not just because of its central location, but also because of its air conditioning, bar, room service, and 24-hour front desk for late-night arrivals and departures.
Dive into Portuguese Culture
Lisbon’s oldest district, Alfama spans from the hill of Castelo de São Jorge to the river. An authentic village of its own with narrow cobbled lanes, tight-packed houses, and a close-knit community, Alfama is one of the most atmospheric areas of Lisbon.
Who Should Stay in Alfama
A short distance from the Mouraria, the birthplace of fado, Alfama is an enchanting neighborhood near St George’s Castle, a landmark on top of one of the seven hills of Lisbon. From atop St George’s Castle, you have a panoramic view of Lisbon and the river. Between Alfama and the Mouraria, you can also find the historic building Cathedral Sé, the oldest church in the city built in 1147.
Local Tip: Be prepared to walk, a lot, up and down hills and slippery streets, so wear good and comfortable shoes. If you stay in Alfama, you might be lucky to find a guest house, holiday apartment, or boutique hotel with a river view.
If you rather stay in a more well-established locale, there is Hotel Convento (see below), conveniently equipped with laundry facilities and a terrace with a view to São Jorge Castle.
What to consider: If Alfama is where you choose to stay in Lisbon, know that it’s an authentic labyrinth of medieval-like narrow streets, where it’s impossible to drive. Taxis will have a hard time finding your location and, many times, refuse or not be able to go inside the neighborhood. Many houses are old, so even though accommodations usually have tastefully decorated rooms, it’s common for there to be no elevator.
Our Preferred Hotels in Alfama
- Santiago de Alfama – Boutique Hotel – This elegant 5-star boutique hotel is well priced for its charming ambiance and modern renovation of a 15th-century palace. Only a stone’s throw from the River Tagus and with a spa and 24-hour room service, the Santiago de Alfama is a perfect spot from which to explore the main sights and streets of Lisboa.
- Lisbon Best Choice Apartments Alfama – Lisbon Best Choice Apartments has 23 locations throughout the city. Its Alfama apartments are very close to the Tagus River, and some of these well-equipped apartments have views over the rooftops to the River. Try to book a room that opens onto the wonderful terrace.
- Hotel Convento do Salvador – The rooms at Hotel Convento do Salvador are simply decorated, but the former convent is modern, cozy, and amid some of the city’s most important sights. The most famous Lisbon tram routes run past the door, so it is an excellent location for a few days’ sightseeing.
Near the Tagus river, you can find Belem, where many of the more grandiose museums and monuments of Lisbon are situated. Not only that, Belem is the birth cradle of the famous pasteis de nata (or pasteis de Belem).
Who Should Stay in Belem
Even though it’s far away from Lisbon’s city center, Belem is one of the top tourist spots in the city. A place where you can enjoy a relaxing afternoon thanks to its green spaces and a long stretching promenade alongside the river or, if hungry, eat a pastel de nata at the Fábrica dos Pastéis de Belém. At walking distance, you can visit Jerónimos Monastery or the monument Padrão dos Descobrimentos.
What to consider: If Belem is where you choose to stay in Lisbon, consider Altis Belem Hotel & Spa, a five-star luxury hotel occupying a unique waterfront location with a view over the Marina.It offers an indoor pool, contemporary rooms, free wifi access, a spa, and a fitness center.
If you are looking for more wallet-friendly accommodation it’s hard to find it in Belem, look in the two nearby neighborhoods, Ajuda or Restelo.
Hotels We Recommend in Belem
- Pálacio do Governador – This large 5-star property is by Nau Hotels & Resorts. Some features of the hotel are its Spa & Wellness center. The hotel also has an outdoor year-round pool, an indoor pool, free wi-fi, private parking, a garden, and a terrace. Restaurants are in-house but also all around the hotel. The hotel is a 6-minute walk to Belem Tower, and you can also walk to Jerónimos Monastery, Lisbon Cathedral, and Lisbon Oceanarium.
- Famous Crows Lisbon Suites – Well located, with friendly staff and comfortable rooms, the Famous Crows Lisbon Suites is a very popular apartment hotel. The location is terrific, less than 200 m from Jerónimos Monastery and next door is the famous Pastéis de Belém. The train station is a 10-minute walk and the Tagus River is only 500 meters away.
- Setubalense – Setubalense is a great option for budget-conscious travelers in Lisbon for a few days. The room amenities are basic as is normal in a 3-star hotel, but they are also modern, light, and spotless rooms, within a wonderfully renovated 17th-century building. The location is outstanding, with views over the tiled rooftops to the River and some rooms have private balconies with city and river views.
Modern and Fast-Paced
Avenidas Novas and Avenida da Liberdade
Avenidas Novas is where award-winning architecture from the XIX century meets modern apartments. Connecting Avenidas Novas to Downtown Lisboa is Avenida da Liberdade, an important boulevard known for being one of the most expensive shopping streets in Europe.
Who Should Stay in Avenidas Novas and Avenida da Liberdade: Things to See and Do
If you want to stay away from the city center and stay at an affordable modern hotel, boutique hotel, or four-star accommodation, then Avenidas Novas is one of the best areas to stay in Lisbon.
Here you can stroll at Parque Eduardo VII (where many events are held every year) or explore a cool greenhouse (Estufa Fria). You can also do some shopping at the shopping centers in Avenida da Liberdade or visit Marquês Pombal Square.
What to consider: Avenidas Novas is busy all day long, being at the heart of many large companies’ offices. Traffic jams are common, so despite there being plenty of buses, it would be best if you made your way to the metro station or walk.
Suggested Hotels in Avenidas Novas
- Sheraton Lisboa Hotel & Spa – All the expected touches of the global Sheraton brand are here in the Sheraton Lisboa Hotel & Spa. You’ll find friendly staff, amazing breakfasts, a lovely spa and pool area, and rooms that are spacious and well equipped with air conditioning, designer glass-wall bathrooms, and LCD TVs.
- Hotel 3K Barcelona – This wildly popular 4-star hotel has wonderful facilities including a bar, gym, buffet breakfast, mini-bars, and very clean and funky rooms decorated with Barcelona motifs and artwork. Book early!
- Lisbon Serviced Apartments – Campos – Guests consistently describe the apartments as simple, modern, cozy, spacious, efficient, well-equipped, private, and of incredible value. You can see why Lisbon Serviced Apartments- Campos gets lots of repeat guests!
- Ibis Styles Lisboa Centro Marquês de Pombal – On Avendia Novas, Ibis Styles Lisboa Centro Marquês de Pombal is a quality 3-star hotel from a trusted hotel brand. Renovated in December 2018 and with internal laundry facilities, the Ibis Styles has comfortable modern rooms in a wonderful location next to Eduardo VII Park.
Parque das Nações
The most modern and recent area of Lisbon, Parque das Nações is known for being a quiet and safe district.
Who Should Stay in Parque das Nações
This area is a great point of attraction for whoever wants a full view over the Tagus river from Lisbon’s tallest structure Vasco da Gama tower, bet their luck on Casino Lisboa, or visit the Aquarium.
Local Tip: If you want to stay near the airport, and favor spacious rooms, this area is a good choice. Not only that, it’s quite tranquil since is further away from Lisbon’s city center but with convenient public transport, like the Oriente Metro Station where you can also catch trains and buses to travel to the north or south of Portugal.
What to consider: You won’t see any of the typical Lisbon here. The Infrastructure in this area is modern and new.
Properties in Parque das Nações
- MYRIAD by SANA hotels – The 5-star luxury MYRIAD by SANA hotel has beautiful rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows looking onto the Tagus River. It is billed as a unique and futuristic oasis. The decor and rooms are impressive. The indoor pool has a massage area and there is a gym and spa center.
- Tivoli Oriente Hotel – The Tivoli Oriente Hotel is a very popular 4-star hotel that looks and feels like a 5-star hotel! The soundproofed rooms have been recently renovated and include designer furniture. As well as an indoor pool and refurbished fitness center, the standout feature of the hotel is the sky bar, with its panoramic views over Lisbon and below to the Tagus River.
- Your Lisbon Home Parque das Nações – Your Lisbon Home Parque das Nações are real value for the very spacious and comfortable apartments with their views over Lisbon. Contemporary four-poster beds, fully equipped kitchens, and private parking make this well-located apartment hotel a favorite for those staying in Lisbon for a long holiday.
How long should I stay in Lisbon?
If you are intending to explore Lisbon fully but also surrounding cities like Cascais (where there are beautiful beaches) or Sintra (where you can sightsee the amazing Castelo da Pena), you should stay in Lisbon for about five days.
Other Areas Worthy of Mention
Easily accessible by Rato Metro Station, in this area, delight your taste buds in the nearby Mercado de Campo de Ourique, sightsee beautiful green parks, and museums, and visit the beautiful Basilica da Estrela (Baroque church), where many University students receive their graduation blessings.
Cais do Sodré
Before an infamous area, it has regained new popularity after the old red-light district was demolished and in its place surged the famous pink street, where colorful and quaint cafés were built. Right next to it is the Mercado da Ribeira where fresh produce is available and you can enjoy hearty meals of traditional Portuguese dishes.