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Where to Stay in Lisbon

Delicious pastéis de nata, charming cobblestone streets, seven hills to explore, and a beautiful sunset by the 25 de Abril Bridge await you on your upcoming trip to Lisbon. But before rushing into booking the first hotel you come across, think about the vibe you expect from your time in Portugal. Lisbon neighborhoods each have their own special flavor, and getting stuck in a pistachio area when you are a cookies-and-cream kind of person will be a buzzkill.

Looking for the best neighborhoods in Lisbon for families? Perhaps you are traveling solo and are looking for some cool nightlife! Or maybe you are simply wondering where to stay in Lisbon for a first time visit. Let this tiny Portuguese (yeah, that’s me. Hi!👋) give you a hand in exploring Lisbon like a local. This guide will be your cheat sheet to find the best location and hotel in Lisbon to stay.

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Best Hotels in Lisbon: Quick Picks

If you don’t have time right now to read this complete guide on the best neighborhoods in Lisbon to stay in, and all you want is the name of some awesome hotels where you are guaranteed to have a great time, we’ve got you covered!

Lisbon Catredal and surrounding Alfama area from above, with the river and a cruiseship in the background. Some of the best hotels in Alfama captured from above.

Here are three of our all-around favorites and some of the best hotels to stay in Lisbon:

room of santiago de alfama one of the best hotels in lisbon
Rooftop with panoramic views of the lumiares hotel & spa, one of the best hotels in Lisbon
Rooftop pool of the one palacio da anunciada, one of the best hotels in the center of lisbon

If these options are a bit over your budget, you are looking for a hotel in a specific area, or you want some more useful tips about this city, keep scrolling down. We will break down the best Lisbon neighborhoods to stay in, tell you the nearby attractions, and give you alternative accommodation suggestions, catering to your budget and needs.

Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Lisbon

Finding out where to stay in Lisbon is key to truly experiencing the essence of the city. Lisbon's charm lies in its vibrant blend of history, showcased by the endless bright facades facing the river, and a modern energy that pulses through its trendy stores and bars with the coolest concepts. To ensure your decision suits your needs and you don’t feel overwhelmed (because ain’t nobody got time for that!), let's explore the best neighborhoods to stay in Lisbon.

Man walking in Terreiro do Passo, considered by tourists the center of Lisbon

Top Lisbon Neighborhoods for Your Stay in a Nutshell

Chiado: Elegant & Central | Best neighborhood to stay in Lisbon for first time visitors.
Alfama: Soulful & Historic | Best neighborhood to stay for an authentic old Lisbon feel.
Bairro Alto: Quaint & Bohemian | Best neighborhood to stay in Lisbon for nightlife.
Príncipe Real: Bohemian Chic | Best neighborhood to stay in Lisbon for an upscale bohemian scene.
Avenida da Liberdade: High-End & Well-Connected | Best neighborhood in Lisbon for a luxury stay.
Belém: Culture & Pastries | Best neighborhood to stay in Lisbon for the culture and history fans.

Chiado

Main attractions in Chiado: Santa Justa Lift; Carmo Convent; Livraria Bertrand (oldest bookstore in the world); The National Museum of Contemporary Art; A Brasileira; Praça Luís de Camões.

Chiado might just be the best location in Lisbon to stay for a first time visitor who wants to be in the center of it all. Perched on a hill, this neighborhood has a trendy vibe, with old-school bookshops, great restaurants, and some remnants of the pre-earthquake Lisbon. This was one of the most affected areas by the 1755 earthquake and underwent significant restoration.

Man looking at Bertrand Library facade. The oldest library in the world, which is in Chiado, one of the best neighborhoods to stay in Lisbon
Employees working inside of the iconic Brasileira cafe in Chiado, in one of the best areas where to stay in Lisbon.
Vintage jewelry shop in Chiado, the best neighborhood to stay in Lisbon for first time visitors

Sandwiched between the neighborhoods of Bairro Alto, Principe Real, Cais do Sodré and Baixa, you are within walking distance of many major sights and transportation options that can connect you to most of Lisbon.

Both the Blue and Green metro lines have a stop here, which is Baixa-Chiado.

Things to consider before booking your Chiado hotel: This is considered the center of Lisbon for tourists, so expect some noise from the crowds during the day and busy streets. If you have mobility concerns, the hill terrain might be a bit of a challenge.

A man walking in business attire in front of the street art of two birds in Chiado, Lisbon
Man smiling with the building of Armazens do Chiado behind him, one of the main attractions in this trendy Lisbon area

Where to Stay in Chiado, Lisbon – Our Top Recommendations

Room detail of hall chiado best budget hotel in chiado, lisbon
Bed of montebelo vista alegre, one of the top hotels in chiado, lisbon
Living room in Flora Chiado, a luxury apartment in the central Lisbon location of Chiado

Baixa is usually paired with Chiado as one of the best neighborhoods to stay in Lisbon. While we love window shopping on Rua Augusta and strolling along the iconic squares of Praça do Comércio and Rossio, we would personally not stay here. The packed streets, tourist-trap type of restaurants, and street vendors selling counterfeit goods and dodgy substances unfortunately take away some of the charm of this central location.

Alfama

Main attractions in Alfama: São Jorge Castle; Sé – Lisbon’s Cathedral; National Pantheon; Miradouro de Santa Luzia; Miradouro das Portas do Sol; São Vicente da Fora Monastery; Tram 28; Feira da Ladra (flea market); Fado House (enjoy dinner at a Fado house, such as Parreirinha de Alfama).

Alfama is the best area in Lisbon to stay for hopeless romantics and those who enjoy a good stroll down a city’s memory lane. Winding narrow cobbled streets, colorful houses, fantastic viewpoints over the city and Tagus river, and the melancholic tunes of Fado music wafting from a restaurant window are only part of the charm you will encounter in picturesque Alfama, the oldest district in Lisbon.

The oldest house of Lisbon in Alfama, with a lady sitting at the door
Man exploring the neighborhood of Alfama, one of the best places to stay in Lisbon
woman sitting at a viewpoint in Alfama, overlooking the river and dozens of white houses

Tram 28 used to be a daily mode of transportation for locals, but nowadays it is also a famous tourist attraction. It provides a fantastic scenic ride, though it gets very crowded. Try to board at the first stop to secure a seat, or purchase a ticket for the Hills Red Tram tour*,which follows the same route with fewer people. If you choose to do so, we suggest you get a combined ticket with other buses and tours, as it is better value for money.

Things to consider before booking your Alfama hotel: This neighborhood is not the most accessible area due to the uphill climbs and limited public transportation options. Even taxis struggle to reach certain areas. Nevertheless, if you are ok with walking a bit, you will love it here!

Lovely graffiti in a building of Alfama, one of the best neighborhood to stay in lisbon
Man going up stairs in a Alfama street, with green tiles in the background

Where to Stay in Alfama, Lisbon – Our Top Recommendations

Lobbey at hotel convento do salvador best budget hotel in alfama lisbon
Room of sao vicente alfama hotel, one of the top hotels to stay in Alfama, Lisbon
Bedroom at pousada alfama, the best luxury hotel in alfama, lisbon

If it is not your first time in Lisbon, consider staying in Graça, one of the most charming Lisbon neighborhoods, offering stunning views of the city. Graça is close to Alfama, but even more uphill. However, it is not the most practical area to stay at if you plan to explore all of Lisbon in a few days. If you are looking for a place to stay in Graça, we really like Dona Graça*.

Bairro Alto

Main attractions near Bairro Alto: Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara; Miradouro de Santa Catarina; São Roque Church; Bica Funicular; Glória Funicular; Cardaes Convent.

The vibrant Bairro Alto is the best location in Lisbon to stay for nightlife enthusiasts. By day, it's a charming maze of narrow streets with street art and enchanting quaint buildings, cute cafes, and irreverent designer stores. But come nightfall (mainly on Fridays and Saturdays), this place transforms into an endless hub of small bars. When the weather is inviting, people buy a drink and come outside, where the streets get completely packed with people talking and dancing the night away.

Street details in Bairro Alto, with blue tiles and the street name Travessa da Queimada

Rua da Atalaia and Rua do Diário de Notícias are the two main streets where gatherings outside of bars are common. So bear that in mind when looking for a place to stay in Bairro Alto.

If you are looking for a bohemian and alternative vibe in the center of the bustling nightlife scene, but still want to have plenty of Lisbon’s highlights within walking distance, Bairro Alto is the place for you.

Streets of Bairro Alto, the best neighborhood for nighlife in Lisbon

In Bairro Alto you will also find plenty of traditional fado houses, which are absolutely worth a visit. Have dinner while enjoying a live performance that will show you the other side of Lisbon’s nightlife.

Things to consider before booking your Bairro Alto hotel: This peaceful neighborhood during the day can be quite noisy at night, especially if you are staying in older buildings with very thin walls. Nevertheless, there are quite a few quiet and lovely accommodations – you just need to know your way around Bairro Alto (good news for you: we know our way around it). Due to the nightlife tag, expect a younger crowd in this area. Also, bear in mind that some streets are only accessible by foot or taxi.

Where to Stay in Bairro Alto, Lisbon – Our Top Recommendations

Bed at correio velho suites, the best budget hotel in Bairro Alto, Lisbon
Room at patio do tijolo, one of the best hotels in Bairro Alto, Lisbon
Palácio ludovice facade in the evening. This is one of the best luxury hotels in Lisbon

As an alternative to Bairro Alto, you have Cais do Sodré, famous for its Pink Street. This is a great area for nightlife, with clubs, cool bars, trendy restaurants, and the Mercado da Ribeira food hall. If you are looking for a place where to stay in Cais do Sodré, we suggest Look Living Apartments*.

Príncipe Real

Main attractions near Príncipe Real: Príncipe Real Garden; EmbaiXada; National Museum of Science & Natural History; Botanical Garden of Lisbon; Praça das Flores; Reservatório da Mãe d'Água das Amoreiras.

This Lisbon trendy neighborhood is by far one of our favorite areas to stay at for its calm environment. With streets lined with 19th-century mansions, the lovely Príncipe Real garden, cool concept stores, art galleries, and a wide selection of restaurants, this is a fantastic place to lay your head after a long day exploring the city.

View from Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara in Lisbon, one of the trendy areas to stay in Lisbon

This gem of a place manages to remain without big tourist crowds and keep its laid-back atmosphere, while having great public transportation alternatives to get you anywhere in the city. Príncipe Real is also one of the best neighborhoods in Lisbon to stay for the LGBTQ+ community, having been for years a safe place to celebrate the night away, in a vibrant scene within some of the most well known clubs in Lisbon.

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Painter selling her art at View from Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara in Lisbon, one of the trendy areas to stay in Lisbon

Things to consider before booking your Príncipe Real hotel: Príncipe Real might not be ideal if you are on a tight budget, it is one of the most upscale Lisbon neighborhoods.

Where to Stay in Príncipe Real, Lisbon – Our Top Recommendations

Bedroom at marino lisboa boutique, a great budget hotel in principe real
Bed with breakfast on top of a tray, at alegria a lisbon boutique hotel. One of the best hotels in principe real, lisbon
Pool area at dawn of Memmo Principe Real, one of the best hotels in Lisbon

Avenida da Liberdade

Main attractions near Avenida da Liberdade: Casa do Alentejo; Glória Funicular; Parque Eduardo VII.

Avenida da Liberdade is the best area in Lisbon to stay for those who are looking for a luxurious stay in the heart of the city. A wide tree-lined avenue adorned with cute cafes once newspaper kiosks, surrounded by high-end boutiques and embassy buildings. This elegant area that connects the Baixa to Marquês do Pombal has not only a handful of delightful restaurants, and the most iconic speakeasy bar in Lisbon, but is also extremely well connected by all types of public transportation. You will definitely find the most luxurious and unique hotels in Lisbon in this area.

Aerial view of Avenida da Liberdade, one of the best areas where to stay in Lisbon
Aerial View of Restauradores, in the center of Lisbon

Things to consider before booking your Avenida da Liberdade hotel: As you can imagine, if you are wondering where to stay in Lisbon on a budget, this is not the place. This area of the city doesn’t provide a local, lived-in vibe at all.

Where to Stay in Avenida da Liberdade, Lisbon – Our Top Recommendations

Room from room select liberdade, a great budget accommodation where to stay in Lisbon
Bedroom at bessahotel liberdade, one of the top places where to stay in Avenida da Liberdade, Lisbon
Bedroom at one of the top luxury hotels in Lisbon, a great place where to stay at Avenida da Liberdade

The nearby area of Avenidas Novas is not as glamorous, with mainly big hotel chains and offices, but offers more affordable accommodation, and convenient public transportation (which you will need as it is not so easy to walk from here to most Lisbon must-visit spots), making it a nice choice when central areas are full or pricey. Just like Avenida da Liberdade, this is one of the best neighborhoods in Lisbon for families with strollers due to its flat terrain.

Belém

Main attractions near Belém: Belém Tower; Jerónimos Monastery; Padrão dos Descobrimentos; Belém Palace; Pastéis de Belém; MAAT; Tropical Botanical Garden; CCB (Centro Cultural de Belém); National Coach Museum; Quake.

Belém is the best location in Lisbon to stay if you want to wake up somewhere beautiful and full of history, and you don’t mind being outside the city center. This charming and historical district has several iconic landmarks, amazing museums, and the absolute best pastries in the world – Pastéis de Belém (yeah they have the award to prove it). Can this turn very fast into a problem? Yes! Will it be worth it? Absolutely!

A single pastel de Belem on a plate, the best sweet in Portugal and one of the top attractions in Belem, Lisbon
Man in front of Mosteiro dos Jerónimos in Belém, one of the best areas to stay with family in Lisbon
Detail of the side statue of Padrão dos Descobrimentos, one of the top attractions in Belém, Lisboa

This is one of the best neighborhoods in Lisbon for families who are not in a rush to visit all the city attractions. Spend some quality time with the kids renting some electric scooters to explore the riverside, and take a day trip to Cascais for ice cream and a dip in the ocean. Belém is well connected with Lisbon’s city center by public transportation, but expect around a 30 minutes journey to get there.

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Ferry Station in Belém a quiet are where to stay in lisbon with family
Woman in front of Belém Tower, one of the top attractions of one of the best areas where to stay with family in Lisbon

Things to consider before booking your Belém hotel: Belém lies in the city outskirts, so you will need to regularly use public transportation to reach the center of the action. We don’t suggest you stay here if your time in Lisbon is reduced, unless the main purpose of your stay is to explore Belém exclusively. In the evenings Belém is very quiet.

Where to Stay in Belém, Lisbon – Our Top Recommendations

Room at Geronimo guest house, one of the best budget accommodations in belem, lisbon
Outside pool area of Nau palacio do governador. One of the best hotels to stay in Belém, Lisbon
Views of the rooftop of Altis Belém Hotel, with 25 de Abril bridge and Padrao dos Descobrimentos in the background. This is one of the best hotels to stay in Lisbon

Lisbon Stay FAQ

How many days in Lisbon is enough?

While Lisbon can be a lovely weekend getaway, we strongly suggest you stay longer, so you can cover more than just the city highlights at full speed. In our opinion, the sweet spot is 4 to 5 days, but the longer you stay the more amazing day trips you can add to your itinerary, such as a day in magical Sintra.

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Aerial view of Palacio da Pena in Sintra, one of the recommended day trips in Lisbon

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Is English widely spoken in Lisbon?

English is widely spoken in Lisbon, mainly in tourist areas. People working in the service industry are usually comfortable with English, and it is not uncommon to see them delve also into other languages, such as Spanish and Italian. Nevertheless, learning a few basic Portuguese phrases will endear you to the locals. So go ahead, and practice your “Obrigado” (thank you).

Is Lisbon a walkable city?

Absolutely! Lisbon is an extremely walkable city, but prepare that cardio and pack your comfiest shoes as the seven hills are no joke. Nevertheless, you can go down the hills on foot, and come back up using public transportation. Get a Navegante card and travel with ease on trams, metro, buses and even the ferry that crosses the river Tagus, or if you have limited time but want to make the most out of it, get a Lisbon Card*, which includes entry to many museums and attractions, unlimited access to public transportation and other offers.

Aerial view of Alfama and the Castle surroundings. The most authentic area where to stay in Lisbon

Is there Uber in Lisbon?

Yes, there is Uber in Lisbon. You can use the app to order food, get a ride, or even rent an electric scooter at various points around the city.

Is Lisbon worth it?

Lisbon is worth it no matter how many times you visit. Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in Europe, and it manages to keep an unparalleled charm, with its pastel-colored buildings, castle overlooking the city, amazing gastronomy, and soulful Fado. This city is a captivating blend of history, charm, and vibrant culture, which you won’t regret to visit.

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Rossio square seen from Chiado, one of the best area in lisbon to stay

How to get from Lisbon Airport to the city center?

The two best ways to get from the Lisbon airport to the city center are:

Metro

The most affordable option. The journey takes around 30-40 minutes and costs €1.80. . You may need to change to a second metro line to reach your accommodation, but the signage is clear, so it should be fairly easy (as long as the escalators are working, which is often not the case and with luggage is never a fun surprise).

Taxi/Uber

This is the most comfortable and fastest option (the ride takes around 20 minutes). Taxis are readily available outside the arrivals terminal and can cost around €15 (prices may be higher at nighttime, on weekends, holidays, or if you have luggage). Uber prices depend on demand, but expect to pay around €8 to the city center. Note that Uber drivers are only allowed to pick up clients from the departures exit.

Graffiti of an April Captain with a carnation in his mounth, in the must-visit Belém area

Planning Time

If you are ready to start planning your next trip, here you have all the usefull links you need to make it happen! By using them you are supporting our work as we might get a small fee from it. But hey! You pay the same (or might even get a discount), so is a win-win situation!

This applies to all the links in this website marked with a *

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