Lisbon has grown rapidly from a hidden gem to one of Europe’s must see cities over the past few years. With winding cobbled streets, gorgeous viewpoints and cultural attractions, the city has plenty to offer! Whether you’re looking for lively nightlife or quieter spots to relax, there’s something for everyone.
The city is quite spread out over a large area, and it can be difficult to figure out where is the best place to base yourself. Though Lisbon is far safer than it used to be, it is important you have an idea of the best places before you arrive.
That’s why we have created this guide! We’ve discovered the seven best neighborhoods in Lisbon and categorised them into what they best offer visitors.
So let’s just get started!
Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Lisbon
- Alfama & Mouraria – Best neighborhood in Lisbon for your first time
- Baixa Chiado – Where to stay in Lisbon close to everything
- Bairro Alto & Cais do Sodré – Where to stay in Lisbon for nightlife
- Belém – Best neighborhood in Lisbon for families
- Almirante Reis – Where to stay in Lisbon on a budget
- Sintra – Best neighborhood in Lisbon for couples
- Liberdade & Saldanha – Best upmarket neighborhood in Lisbon
Where to Stay in Lisbon
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Lisbon.
Best Hostel in Lisbon
This hostel is truly next-level when it comes to quality accommodation for backpackers! They aim to create luxury experiences at great prices and offer a rooftop pool with excellent views across the river. It is also located right next to Cais do Sodré station, giving you great access to the rest of the city.
Best Budget Hotel in Lisbon
This is one of the best-located hotels in Lisbon, right on Rua Augusta! They also offer great facilities including a buffet breakfast every morning and airport transfers. The 24 hour reception are very helpful and can assist you with booking tours of Lisbon and beyond in Portugal.
Best Splurge Hotel in Lisbon
Without a doubt, Avenida da Liberdade is the most luxurious place to stay in the city and Valverde is one of the best-rated hotels on the avenue! They offer top-notch facilities and the popular on-site restaurant even provide live Fado performances and themed nights for guests to enjoy.
Lisbon 7 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in
Let’s take a look, in more detail, at the five best neighbourhoods in Lisbon. Each caters to different interests, so be sure to pick the neighbourhood that’s right for you.
(Best neighbourhood in Lisbon for your first time!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Alfama & Mouraria – discover local culture at a live Fado show at Tasca do Chico
- BEST place to visit in Alfama & Mouraria – take in the stunning views and unwind with locals at Portas do Sol
Alfama is one of the most popular destinations to visit in Lisbon and it is easy to see why! As one of the few areas remaining intact after the Lisbon Earthquake, Alfama is a great place to discover the history of the city and admire the old architecture. The local culture is infectious, with local fado performances every night.
Neighbouring Mouraria is also becoming a hotspot for tourists. Relatively untouched by tourism until recently, it showcases some of the most authentic Lisbon culture – whilst still retaining a multicultural vibe! The area is full of local restaurants and magnificent viewpoints – with the castle separating it from the city centre.
- Visit Feira da Ladra every Tuesday and Saturday to pick up local crafts and antiques
- Take a self-guided food tour through Mouraria – simply look for the green plaque outside each Tasca guaranteeing high quality
- Learn about Portugal’s most famous historical figures – from Marquês de Pombal to Eusébio – at the Panteão Nacional
- Visiting in June? The entire city transforms with night markets and parties during the Santo António Festival, with Alfama hosting the largest party
- Head to São Jorge Castle where you can learn about the Portuguese victory over Moorish invaders, and enjoy great views over the city
Best Hostel in Alfama & Mouraria
This is Lisbon is located between Mouraria and Graça, giving you great access to the surrounding neighborhoods! There is a small terrace, giving you a private miradouro to enjoy with other guests. The hostel also organises social activities – ranging from Portuguese classes to trips to surrounding areas.
Best Budget Hotel in Alfama & Mouraria
This hotel is located within a former convent, taking you right to the heart of Portuguese history! It is only a short walk from São Jorge Castle, as well as many other major attractions in the area. Rooms are decorated with work from local artists, and many provide great views over the river.
Best Splurge Hotel in Alfama & Mouraria
This boutique hotel is truly a hidden gem right in the heart of Alfama! The on-site restaurant serves excellent Portuguese and international cuisine, as well as a complimentary breakfast each morning. All rooms are fully air-conditioned and come with luxurious, modern furnishings and bathroom suites.
Recommended article! Also – if you’ll be in this area, you HAVE to check out our article about some of the other best hostels in Lisbon
(Where to stay in Lisbon close to everything!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Baixa Chiado – ride to the top of Elevador de Santa Justa for magnificent views of the city
- BEST place to visit in Baixa Chiado – head to Praça do Comércio where there are always great events throughout the year
Baixa is the beating heart of Lisbon! The magnificent Praça do Comércio is the main square in the city, with great views over the Tagus and a whole host of events. From Eurovision to major sporting tournaments, this is where the city gathers to watch the events on the big screen and enjoy a local beer.
Chiado is located right next to Baixa and is a major shopping district in the city. Here you will find some of the best restaurants and bars in the city, all with a bustling and vibrant atmosphere. Rossio Station, itself an architectural marvel, is one of the major connections Lisbon has with the rest of Portugal!
- Climb to the top of Arco da Rua Augusta for good views of the main square and interesting facts about Pombaline Architecture
- Wander down Rua Augusta itself – it is beautifully decorated with small tiles and has many stores such as the Benfica and Sporting Lisbon outlets
- Enjoy Pastel de Bacalhau – a typical Portuguese snack made from codfish – at Casa Portuguesa do Pastel de Bacalhau
- Pick up another classic Portuguese food at the Fantastic World of Portuguese Sardines, where you can buy a tin with your birth year on it
- Learn about Portugal’s dark history throughout the dictatorship years, and the revolution that ended it, at the Aljube Resistance and Liberty Museum
Best Hostel Baixa Chiado
This hostel has a very social vibe, with a communal dinner every evening provided for a small fee! A free breakfast, as well as tea and coffee, are also available – setting you up for a day of exploring. High-speed WiFi is available throughout the hostel as well as small work desks.
Best Budget Hotel in Baixa Chiado
This hotel is located right on Rua Augusta giving you excellent views over the city’s busiest street! Rooms are fully air-conditioned and come with free WiFi and toiletries. A buffet breakfast is provided each morning. The multilingual help desk also offers tourism advice and airport shuttles.
Best Splurge Hotel in Baixa Chiado
This small but perfectly formed hotel is in the ideal location – right on Terreiro do Paço! This gives you excellent views over the main square and river, as well as easy access to the metro. Rooms are elegantly decorated and come with soundproofing and air-conditioning. A traditional Portuguese breakfast is included.
(Where to stay in Lisbon for nightlife!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Bairro Alto & Cais do Sodré – enjoy a night out on Pink Street – the heart of Lisbon’s nightlife
- BEST place to visit in Bairro Alto & Cais do Sodré – visit Miradouro de Santa Catarina, the most popular viewpoint in Lisbon
Bairro Alto is the most popular nightlife area in Lisbon with both locals and visitors! The action is based along Rua da Rosa, where the bars have a very local vibe and offer a variety of musical styles. Neighbouring Principé Real is popular with the LGBT crowd.
Cais do Sodré is mostly a major transport hub, connecting you to the smaller suburbs in the west of the city. This is where Pink Street is located – notorious with locals as for where the tourists go to drink thanks to the variety of international bars.
- Head to the Time Out Market which showcases some of the best food vendors in Portugal
- Next door is Mercado da Ribeira which offers a more traditional market atmosphere in the morning with fresh food, flowers and souvenir vendors
- Sample some of the best coffee in the city and learn about the street art scene that is taking over the city at Montana Lisboa
- Want to explore the other side of the river? Ferries depart from Cais do Sodré terminal, giving you access to Caparica and the Christ Statue
- For a more relaxed night out, check out the bars and clubs in neighbouring Santos
Best Hostel Bairro Alto & Cais do Sodré
Located right on the waterfront at Cais do Sodré, this hostel aims to bring you a luxury experience at good prices! They have a swimming pool with a terrace where you can admire the view and mingle with other guests. They also organise regular activities including pub crawls and cultural nights.
Best Budget Hotel in Bairro Alto & Cais do Sodré
Located right next to Miradouro de Santa Catarina, this is another hotel that offers spectacular views across the city! The minimalist rooms have a calm and airy feel, giving you the perfect place to relax. The on-site restaurant offers a typical Portuguese breakfast, and there is an adjoining terrace.
Best Splurge Hotel in Bairro Alto & Cais do Sodré
The Lumiares Hotel offers apartment suites close to Bairro Alto and Chiado. Each room comes with a kitchenette and luxury bathroom suite. The on-site bar is the perfect place to unwind and mingle with guests – and they provide a complimentary breakfast every morning! This hotel is particularly popular with couples.
MUST READ – Heading to Porto next? Check out our post about the amazing hostels in Porto!
(Best neighbourhood in Lisbon for families!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Belém – hire a kayak, SUP or small yacht and enjoy a trip on the Tagus
- BEST place to visit in Belém – Pastéis de Belém is the home of Portugal’s famous custard tarts
Belém is a quiet neighbourhood to the west of Lisbon that features many of the city’s major historical attractions. It is also home of the country’s famous pasteis de nata, and is a great place to sit back and enjoy a drink whilst admiring the scenery!
Families particularly enjoy this neighbourhood due to its calmer atmosphere. It is well connected to both Cais do Sodré and Praça do Comércio by tram. If you are looking for something a little livelier, the neighbouring Alcântara district has some great hipster bars and alternative restaurants!
- Learn about Portugal’s colonial history at Torre de Belém and the Padrão dos Descobrimentos, both on the waterfront
- Marvel at historical and modern artwork from across Portugal and the world at the Belém Cultural Centre
- Discover Portugal’s religious history, and marvel at ancient artifacts, at Mosteiro dos Jerónimos
- Check out local listings to discover which events are happening at the park surrounding Torre de Belém – from kids festivals to world-famous Brazilian singers
- Head out to LX Factory in neighbouring Alcântara to discover the alternative culture and intriguing street art
Best Hostel Belém
This clean and airy hostel is the perfect base in Belém for backpackers! It is located only a two-minute walk from Pasteis de Belém and the historic waterfront. Rooms are fresh and airy, and the hostel, in general, has a calm atmosphere. There is a communal kitchen and lounge area.
Best Budget Hotel in Belém
Belém itself is short on budget options, however, this hotel is located in neighbouring Alcântara – perfect if you are looking for a livelier district! It has an indoor pool and a fitness centre on-site and offers a complimentary buffet breakfast. The on-site restaurant also has an excellent Portuguese wine selection.
Best Splurge Hotel in Belém
This luxurious hotel is the best rated in Belém! Located right on the waterfront, rooms come with magnificent views of the Tagus. The on-site restaurant has a Michelin star and produces food of the highest quality. Rooms have high-speed WiFi, Nespresso machines and luxury bathroom suites.
Recommended article! Also – if you’ll be in this area, you HAVE to check out our article about some of the adventurous day trips from Lisbon
(Where to stay in Lisbon on a budget!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Almirante Reis – unwind with a beer and local food at the bars on Largo Intendente
- BEST place to visit in Almirante Reis – check out Jardim da Alameda, where many events are held throughout the year
Once Lisbon’s most notorious street, Almirante Reis has seen a revival over the past few years and is now a multicultural hub! Stretching from Martim Moniz Square in Baixa to Alameda, this road runs through Intendente, Anjos and Arrois – three of the best areas in the city for alternative culture.
The street is lined with bars and restaurants inspired by food and culture from across the world. Many of the city’s alternative events are based in Alameda and Intendente, and the neighbourhood is well connected to the city centre and airport! It is also, by far, the most budget-friendly part of the city.
- Looking for an alternative nightlife spot? Crew Hassan is a cultural collective that runs an underground bar and cultural events
- Chinês Clandestinos is perhaps the area’s worst-kept secret – an illegal Chinese restaurant offering great food at low prices
- Pick up fresh food from across the country – as well as imported items from Brazil and the US – at Mercado de Arroios
- Check out independent theatre performances and music concerts at Teatro Bocage
- Interested in vintage shopping? Humana has two stores based on Almirante Reis that offer great selections
- Vegan’s can struggle in the seemingly meat-obsessed city, but Veganeats Caffe has you covered with an excellent menu
Best Hostel Almirante Reis
This newly refurbished hostel has a surprisingly calm atmosphere to contrast the bustling vibe of Almirante Reis! It has excellent communal facilities where you can mingle with other guests. They offer dorms, private rooms and even family suites to suit all types of traveller. There is also a terrace.
Best Budget Hotel in Almirante Reis
This hotel is located right in the heart of Almirante Reis next to Anjos Metro Station! All of the rooms are fully air-conditioned and beautifully decorated with local artwork. The 24-hour reception offers advice on tours in the area and can help you book activities.
Best Splurge Hotel in Almirante Reis
This is perhaps the most unique splurge hotel in Lisbon as its theme is bathrooms! Staff come dressed in towelling robes, creating a surprisingly homely atmosphere. The Banho Restaurant is on-site and offers high-quality Portuguese cuisine. Rooms are fully soundproofed and come with modern fixtures.
Editor’s recommendation – Best day trips from Porto, Portugal
(Best neighbourhood in Lisbon for couples!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Sintra – take a tour out to Cabo da Roca, the Westernmost point in Mainland Europe
- BEST place to visit in Sintra – enter a fairytale at Palácio da Pena, a multicolored castle high in the mountains
Sintra is definitely Lisbon’s most romantic destination! The town itself has winding cobbled streets filled with the smells of local bakeries. There are three famous castles in the area, each adding to the fairytale setting of the village.
The surrounding Estoril Coast area also has a lot to offer – from Cabo da Roca in the west to Cascais in the south. Cascais is a popular beach town that is so picturesque that Madonna herself now calls it home! There are plenty of excellent tours of the area, and the scenery is incredible.
- Visit Quinta da Regaleira – a sprawling garden with old monuments and constructions, as well as the famous Initiation Well
- Head down to Cascais to admire the beautiful coastline and relax on the Queen’s Beach, or simply enjoy a cocktail in the sun
- Climb to Castelo dos Mouros, a castle built by the Moorish invaders of Portugal with plenty of excellent insight into this period of the country’s history
- Try travesseiros – a famous pillowcase-like pastry local to the area – at Casa Piriquita in central Sintra
- Looking to keep your fitness levels up? Hire an e-bike from Park E Bike and explore the winding hills of the area
Best Hostel Sintra
Casa Azul is the most popular hostel in Sintra with previous guests! It has a very youthful atmosphere and offers both dorms and private rooms – ideal for couples looking to save some cash. A complimentary breakfast is included, as well as high-speed WiFi throughout the property.
Best Budget Hotel in Sintra
This gorgeous hotel is located on the Estoril Coast in Praia Grande! You are given access to the local beach, a true hidden gem that is often ignored by tourists. The outdoor swimming pool provides sweeping views over the Atlantic. This hotel is excellent value for money, and very peaceful.
Best Splurge Hotel in Sintra
This elegant hotel offers marvellous views of the Moorish Castle and Pena Palace! The hotel has excellent facilities including a pool, tennis courts and even horse riding facilities. Rooms are beautifully decorated and equipped with rain showers and Nespresso machines. A complimentary buffet breakfast is provided.
(Best upmarket neighbourhood in Lisbon!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Liberdade & Saldanha – wander around the magnificent Asian style garden at the Gulbenkian Museum
- BEST place to visit in Liberdade & Saldanha – shop luxury brands and international chains at El Corte Inglés
Avenida de Liberdade is Lisbon’s premier luxury shopping destination! Luxury brands from across Portugal and abroad are available for the full length of the road. It is also where most of the upmarket hotels are based, and the Marquês de Pombal monument at the end of Liberdade is a popular meeting point.
Neighbouring Saldanha is also a more upmarket area but has a quieter atmosphere. The leafy streets are home to local boutiques and modern cafés serving dishes inspired from across the globe. The Gulbenkian Museum in the north has some excellent gardens and unique art exhibits!
- Visit the Quiosques that run along Liberdade for a relaxing drink or snack with a calm vibe
- Head to Parque Eduardo VII, one of the largest public parks in the city with views towards Marquês de Pombal and Avenida da Liberdade
- Pick up some high-quality produce and unique souvenirs at Mercado 31 de Janeiro in the heart of Saldanha
- Marvel at high-culture spectacles with an intimate atmosphere at Teatro Villaret
- Sample some modern, high-quality Portuguese cuisine with a twist at Olivier Avenida
Best Hostel Liberdade & Saldanha
This fun hostel is incredibly well rated by previous guests thanks to the excellent customer service and facilities! They provide a free breakfast of fruit pancakes every morning, as well as tea and coffee making facilities. The well equipped common lounge has games and film nights to enjoy with fellow guests.
Best Budget Hotel in Liberdade & Saldanha
This hidden gem is located right in the heart of Saldanha! There is a small outdoor pool located on the roof terrace, and a varied breakfast is provided every morning. Rooms are well equipped with modern conveniences and complimentary toiletries and are decorated in a way that creates a calm vibe.
Best Splurge Hotel in Liberdade & Saldanha
Visitors looking to splurge are truly spoiled for choice on Avenida da Liberdade, and Valverde Hotel is one of the best rated in the area! There is a small patio with swimming pool, and a popular restaurant offering fado nights on-site. Rooms are well equipped with luxury fittings and large ensuites.
Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Lisbon?
Lisbon is a real diamond of a city with lots to offer. Becoming an increasingly popular destination on European itineraries, the city has a vibrant atmosphere with excellent culinary and cultural delights to keep you entertained!
For the best area, it has to be Alfama & Mouraria. This is the oldest part of the city and the best place to discover local culture and history! It also has some excellent restaurants and bars at great prices.
We hope this guide has helped you figure out where to stay during your trip to the Portuguese capital! Whether you want culture or relaxation, there is somewhere for you to discover in the city.
Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments.
Editor’s Note – No matter where you are traveling, you NEED to have great travel insurance. We have personally tested TONS of travel insurance companies, and can say without a doubt that World Nomads is the absolute best (and most affordable!). Fill out the form below to get a quote.
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