Finding a good place to stay in Lisbon, without spending too much, is quite easy. The Portuguese capital is one of the cheapest European cities for travel and vacations. But what are the best places to sleep?
In recent years, Portugal's capital has established itself as a major European tourist destination, with a rapid proliferation of new hotels, apartments, B&Bs and hostels, so it's not difficult to find accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets.
Lisbon may not be as flashy as other European capitals, but it is by far one of my favorites: the city is on a human scale, it is perfectly connected by an efficient public transport system and it has that little bit of something ramshackle and nostalgic that tugs at the heartstrings and that makes it special.
That said, choosing which area to stay in isn't easy if you've never been there before.
Lisbon has neighborhoods "for all tastes" and, if you think about it, it is also one of those few cities where their names are well imprinted. Usually we remember maybe the subway stops, since we get off at a certain stop after a while we remember it. We hardly remember the neighborhoods.
Overview of the best districts in Lisbon to sleep in
- 1 - Baixa: Where to sleep in Lisbon for the first time.
- 2 - Chiado: where to sleep in Lisbon for shopping
- 3 - Bairro Alto: Where to sleep in Lisbon for nightlife
- 4 - Alfama: Where to stay in Lisbon on a budget
- 5 - Graça: Where to sleep in Lisbon for the "local" ambience
- 6 - Avenida da Libertade: Where to stay in Lisbon with children
- 7 - Belém: Where to sleep in Lisbon in a quiet area
- 8 - Parque das Nações: where to sleep in Lisbon near the airport
- 9 - Mouraria / Intendente / Anjos: Where NOT to sleep in Lisbon
Best places to sleep in Lisbon
Since December 2012, the city of Lisbon has been divided into five zones or neighborhoods. Each zone reflects well the actual characteristics of each area, and this also helps tourists in their orientation.
The center of Lisbon includes the grand commercial and recreational boulevard of Avenida da Libertade, the large green parks, its important museums, and the modern office skyscrapers scattered between the Avenidas Novas and the Campolide hills.
Lisbon's historic center, and the one with most of the attractions and sights, is made up of the waterfront areas, the flat Baixa area and the hills of Bairro Alto and Alfama.
The best areas to stay in Lisbon are therefore undoubtedly Baixa, Chiado, Alfama and Bairro Alto, as they allow you to walk to almost all the interesting and attractive places in the city.
Baixa: the best area to sleep in Lisbon
This part of the city was completely rebuilt, after the 1755 earthquake, by the Marquês de Pombal. Baixa is the most central area and the best area to sleep in Lisbon. The planned layout, very different from the older neighborhoods of the Portuguese capital, is a testimony to the ideas of the Enlightenment.
1.- Baixa - The center of Lisbon - Best place to sleep for the first time
This is the most central district of Lisbon. Also called Baixa Pombalina is the heart of the Portuguese capital. With the beautiful Praça do Comércio, Baixa overlooks the Tagus. It is a district "divided in two" by the Rua Augusta that connects the commerce square with the splendid Praça do Rossio, characterized by a really fascinating black and white floor.
Baixa is composed of elegant pedestrian streets closed to traffic that winds along the main street, in fact, Rua Augusta. It is the Renaissance district. Almost completely destroyed by the earthquake of 1755, it was rebuilt in a classical style by the Marquis of Pombal and now features elegant palaces.
In addition to Praça do Rossio and Praça do Comércio, we find other important squares such as Praça do Restauradores and Praça da Figueira. If you haven't read the article about tips for a trip to Lisbon, go and read them because I recommended you precisely for this square a special package where to taste the famous pastéis de Nata. Be sure to try them. The best way to discover Baixa (and Chiado too) is a free tour.
The hotel offer is very wide and varied, there are both budget and luxury accommodations, but as it is the most requested area for the high season it is advisable to book well in advance to be able to find an available room.
The best hotels to stay in Baixa
Among the 3-star boutique hotels, the Lisboa Prata Boutique Hotel is a good choice with many interesting features: it is a comfortable and relaxing hotel.
Thecentral hotel This ideally located 4-star hotel offers elegant and relaxing decor in spacious rooms in the heart of the square streets of Baixa. Choose from city views or quiet interior rooms.
As the name suggests, the Internacional Design Hotel is a 4-star hotel, modern and with a particular design. A member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World (they also have some crazy hotels in Santorini), it is located in Rossio Square, very convenient for visiting the city.
In the beautiful Piazza Município you will find the elegant and relaxed Alma Lusa with very friendly staff and comfortable beds.
2.- Chiado: where to sleep in Lisbon for shopping
On the border with Baixa is Chiado.
If you asked me if Chiado is the best neighborhood to stay in Lisbon, Iwould say yes: Chiado combines the best of everything you could want from a trip to Lisbon. You can walk to stores and places of interest.
Not only from here it is possible to walk to stores and sights, this is also Lisbon's shopping district par excellence, but at night it becomes quite quiet and therefore also one of the best areas to stay in Lisbon with children. Here you will find many trendy stores, but also theaters and museums.
This area is also well served by public transport (blue and green metro lines, buses and the famous streetcar no. 28), so I recommend it if you are looking for a starting point to explore the city with ease.
Chiado: the best choice for families with children
Staying in Chiado allows tourists to have many attractions within walking distance, in addition to being able to do various activities. It is an elegant and alternative neighborhood, and is well connected to other parts of the city by subway. Don't miss a stroll through the historic streets of this elegant shopping district or a coffee break in its characteristic bars.
Being well connected to the airport and other areas of the city, it is a good area for families with children and for all those looking for a comfortable trip. In addition, the wide and varied offer of accommodation, and the good location, make it one of the best areas to stay in Lisbon.
The best hotels and accommodations in Chiado
The 4-star Lisboa Pessoa Hotel has just about everything you need, such as subway parking, a rooftop bar and restaurant, a small gym, spacious and elegant rooms and pleasant public spaces. They are named after Fernando Pessoa and offer guests a free weekly walking tour so they can learn more about the Portuguese poet.
If you are looking for a small luxury hotel, the Hotel Lisboa Carmo is a fantastic option and, located on the beautiful Largo do Carmo, offers excellent views from the rooms on the upper floors.
Casa Balthazar, located in a wonderful square, offers a rooftop Jacuzzi overlooking Lisbon and a small pool in the garden. The luxurious self-catering apartments are the kind you'll miss when you get home, and breakfasts come from Confeitaria Nacional, one of Lisbon's oldest bakeries.
For a charming bed and breakfast near Largo de Camões and Largo do Chiado, try La casa de Barao. The garden and small children's pool offer a little oasis of tranquility in the center of the city, while the tree-lined room is a cozy place to relax when the weather isn't good.
3.- Bairro Alto: Where to stay in Lisbon for the nightlife
The Bairro Alto is the upper part of the city of Lisbon. The neighborhood is characterized by narrow alleys, steep climbs, small boutiques, restaurants and typical bars.
This area of bohemian charm seems almost asleep during the day because it is when the sun goes down that it really comes alive: the Bairro Alto is the center of Lisbon's nightlife.
I recommend this neighborhood especially to young people and lovers of late-night fun: here you'll find clubs and discos perfect for staying up until the wee hours of the morning!
If you are looking for peace and quiet, Bairro Alto is not the best place to sleep in Lisbon!
This, however, is also the area of the tascas, the small family taverns where you can taste the typical gastronomy of the city.
If you do not want to miss this opportunity, but prefer to sleep in a quieter area, remember that Bairro Alto can be easily reached from Baixa thanks to the elevators.
The best hotels in Bairro Alto
A good option is the Palacio das Especias. It is located in a restored building full of beautiful historical details and decorations. Unfortunately, there is no air conditioning, but the rooms have fans. There is a lovely little garden and some rooms have balconies. Warning: the smaller rooms can feel a bit stuffy and cramped, so try to stay in others (perhaps request an upgrade from the hotel).
Il Verride Palacio de Santa Catarina is a 5-star hotel with incredible views, brightly lit rooms and decorated tiles that will make you fall in love. If that's not enough, know that there is a rooftop pool and a restaurant overlooking the river and the city.
At Casa de ventanas con vistas (literally: house of windows with a view) you will not only find wonderful rooms but also (as the name implies) beautiful views. The decor is a bit quirky for my taste, but the restored building on a quiet side street in the heart of Bairro Alto is a great choice. breakfast is fabulous!
The 3-star Hotel Monte Belvedere by Shiadu Offers spacious and elegant rooms, some with river views. There is a lovely rooftop restaurant to admire the view.
4 - Alfama: Where to sleep in Lisbon on a budget
The Alfama is the oldest neighborhood in Lisbon and one of the most characteristic areas to sleep: there are many apartments here and, speaking of central areas, it is the place I recommend where to sleep in Lisbon on a budget.
This is a truly unique and fascinating neighborhood: it develops through winding streets that move between traditional houses and the Viewpoint, the famous panoramic terraces from which to observe the city.
The streets are dotted with bars, restaurants and nightclubs. where to attend a Fado show, traditional music born in the alleys of Alfama.
In this area you will also be close to some of the city's most famous attractions, such as the Sé Cathedral and Lisbon Castle.
Accommodations in these parts are usually small self-contained apartments: the perfect way to fully experience the daily life of the Portuguese capital.
The best hotels in Alfama
The Memmo Alfama - Design Hotels is a charming 4-star hotel on a quiet side street with a stunning panoramic rooftop terrace. The rooms are very comfortable and the interior living areas are furnished with the original elements of the 19th century building. It's not exactly cheap, but it's one of my favorites in the city.
For a fairly inexpensive option and for apartment lovers I recommend you check out the Alfama - Lisboa Lounge Suites, which offers modern and comfortable accommodations, some of which have river or garden views.
Once a religious building, theHotelConvento do Salvador The 3-star hotel has been completely modernized and, in addition to comfortable and bright rooms, you'll find some extraordinary works by contemporary Portuguese artists scattered throughout the building. The inner courtyard is the ideal place to relax or sunbathe.
One of the best budget options is undoubtedly theAlfamaby Lisbon Inside Out where you will find comfortable apartments, very clean and with all the amenities, including WI-FI.
There are MANY AirBnB apartments in Alfama and near Mouraria, but be aware that the buildings are old and the quality is questionable in some cases. So be careful when you decide to opt for budget accommodation.
5 - Graça: Where to sleep in Lisbon for the "local" atmosphere.
Not far from Alfama, on the nearby hill, is another of Lisbon's most romantic and characteristic neighborhoods: Graça.
Here you can visit the National Pantheon and the beautiful cloisters of the São Vicente de Fora Monastery.
Graça is perfect for those looking for a very "local" atmosphere in Lisbon.
6 - Avenida da Libertade: Where to stay in Lisbon with children
Avenida da Libertade is the elegant district of Lisbon: a long avenue characterized by large palm trees, many trendy stores and luxurious hotels of international chains.
Lisbon's big and rich street is not far from Baixa and is therefore close to many of the city's attractions that can also be reached on foot. The area is also well served by public transport.
However, being a bit far from the center, I recommend this area to families or those who prefer tranquility to the liveliness of the central areas.
The best hotels in Avenida de Libertade
Avenida Palace Hotel: a historic hotel (a bit opulent to be honest) with neoclassical architecture, in an excellent location in the city center near Rossio train station. Rooms and suites have classic decor with striped wallpaper, gilded headboards, antique prints, marble bathtubs, minibars, and beautiful panoramic views of the city or courtyard. Buffet breakfast is included in all rates.
laInspiraSanta Marta Hotel & Spa This 4-star hotel offers excellent value for money and is the perfect place for those who like to spend time at the hotel between thermal pools and wine tasting.
If you're looking for a classic setting with historic touches and thoroughly modern amenities, you might like the Heritage Avenida Liberdade - Lisbon Heritage Collection, a 4-star boutique hotel in an 18th-century building that features an indoor pool.
The Torel Palace is located in the hills, a short elevator ride from Avenida da Liberdade and offers spectacular views of the city. Accommodations are in 2 traditional 19th-century mansions, surrounded by a lovely garden with a pool. The staff is friendly and the rooms are spacious.
7 - Belém: where to stay in Lisbon in a quiet area
The Belém neighborhood is outside the center of Lisbon and can be reached in about 50 minutes by streetcar. I recommend you to choose this area to stay alone if you have already visited the Portuguese capital, if you want to live a different experience or if you are looking for a particularly quiet area.
The neighborhood is full of monuments and attractions: here you will find the famous Belém Tower, a fortress and port from where the many Portuguese explorers set off.
In addition to the famous Tower, here you can visit the Maritime Museum, the incredible Berardo Collection, one of the most important art galleries in Europe and the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos.
Belém is an elegant and quiet neighborhood and is the perfect place even for those with a sweet tooth: it is said that the best pastry shops in the city are located here!
The best hotels in Belém
Among the high-end hotels, the AltisBelem Hotel & Spa is definitely one of the best. It is located in the Belém area and offers spacious rooms and modern suites with garden or river views. Superior rooms have private balconies or balconies with Jacuzzis, and suites include living rooms. The hotel has a Michelin-starred restaurant, a luxurious spa with hammam and a shuttle service to the city center.
If you're looking for something cheap, you should check out the Casa de huéspedes cozy rooms offering impeccable rooms, with private or shared bathrooms. It also offers family rooms.
Looking for other budget accommodation? Then check out Setubalense too!
8 - Parque das Nações: where to stay in Lisbon near the airport
The Parque das Nações is located outside the city center, near the airport.
The area was built for the 1998 Expo and over time has been transformed into an area full of new and modern facilities, perfect for business stays.
The Park of Nations is a real futuristic citadel, full of gardens and avenues. Here you will also find some of Lisbon's most popular attractions: the Science Museum and the Oceanarium, the aquarium.
The Parco delle Nazioni is well connected to the center thanks to the metro.
I hope my tips on where to stay in Lisbon can help you find the perfect accommodation in the Portuguese capital.
The best hotels in the Parco das Nações
The TRYP Lisbon Airport has twice been selected as the best TRYP hotel in the world. With restaurant, pool and spa services, you can enjoy the first or last hour of your stay in Lisbon in a modern and bright 4-star hotel, just 100 meters from the terminal building.
The Star Inn Lisbon Airport Hotel offers everything you need for a good night's sleep in a modern hotel. It offers a free shuttle service, but is only a 300-meter walk from the airport.
9 - Mouraria / Intendente / Anjos: Where NOT to sleep in Lisbon
Lisbon is similar to all the big cities in the world, that is, there are areas that are more touristy and more recommended and areas that are less so.
Don't get me wrong: Lisbon is a safe city during the day and the biggest danger (if you can define it that way) are the thieves that frequent the tourist areas (in particular "working" on the streetcars) and parading wallets.
However, there is one thing to keep in mind: some neighborhoods, culturally rich, urban or very local, may please some tourists a lot, but may generate anxiety in others (like my parents).
To decide where NOT to sleep in Lisbon is therefore very subjective and based on personal opinions.
Some of the more difficult and less desirable neighborhoods in central Lisbon follow the green line of the metro and include butler and Angeles. Arabic It is a multicultural area and is nice to visit, but some tourists may not feel comfortable choosing a hotel here.
Note: I would never recommend Mouraria / Intendente / Anjos to my parents, but if you are a more experienced traveler and that scares little, I highly recommend them!