Where To Stay In Lisbon, Portugal (2024 Guide)

Jade Poleon
Last Updated: January 22nd, 2024

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As someone who has visited Lisbon many times, I would like to share my knowledge on the best neighborhoods to choose when planning your visit.

Perched on the scenic western edge of the Iberian Peninsula, the thriving city of Lisbon is the capital of Portugal and one of the most visited cities in Europe – and perhaps the world.

TL;DR My 10 Best Places to Stay in Lisbon

So, what makes Lisbon worth a visit? Lisbon is one of the most beautiful cities, characterized by its cobbled streets, steep hills dotted with colorful houses, and iconic trams that weave in and out of the narrow roads.

Lisbon is not just an extraordinary city in terms of beauty. Still, there are plenty of great experiences and local cuisine to indulge in – making it a perfect destination for everybody.

The city weaves together a rich tapestry of culture and history with a modern flair, and it is not short of panoramic vistas since ‘the city of Seven Hills’ has plenty of viewpoints that offer a variety of perspectives.

Regarding accommodation, Lisbon is a beautiful place to treat yourself to a luxury stay, find a budget-friendly hotel, or find a spacious apartment for the whole family, which we will delve into in this article.

Yes, planning a trip can be challenging, especially when deciding where to stay, so I will make it easier for you.

So, let’s dive right in!

Lisbon Neighbourhood Guide – Places to Stay in Lisbon

1. Alfama

Lisbon’s oldest and most charming neighborhood

Colorful-Houses-Of-Alfama-Lisbon

Alfama is Lisbon’s oldest district and is one of the best neighborhoods to stay in Lisbon, especially if it is your first time visiting the Portuguese capital. Located between the Sao Jorge Castle and the Tagus River, which runs through the city, Alfama features distinct narrow streets and historic architecture. It is known for its thriving music scene – keep your ears open for Fado (a popular Portuguese music genre).

Alfama neighborhood is the best place to experience the iconic Lisbon charm, and the area is often compared to places like Montmartre in Paris and Mala Strana in Prague.

Here, you can witness music all around you, soak up the culture, and admire the old buildings that survived the 1755 earthquake in the area.

Some of the must-do activities here are strolling the authentic narrow streets to see what pre-earthquake Lisbon was like taking in a live Fado music experience, and visiting the many historical monuments, which we have listed below.

Alfama is a popular place for first-timers, and there are many accommodation options to choose from here, as well as eateries, bars, and traditional shops selling crafts.

Alfama Mini Guide

2. Bairro Alto

To experience Lisbon’s famous nightlife

A-Street-In-Bairro-Alto-Lisbon

Bairro Alto is the hub of Lisbon’s nightlife, so it goes without saying that if you are excited to experience this side of Lisbon, you should find a hotel in this neighborhood. As the city’s bohemian heart, Bairro Alto is a maze of colorful buildings and fancy boutiques by day, and when night falls, you are in for a treat.

The neighborhood transforms into a hub of bars, Fado venues, and clubs, allowing visitors to pick Lisbon’s best nightlife and evening entertainment. Featuring steep cobbled streets, historical landmarks, and vivid street art, Bairro Alto is a joy to discover by day, and you can take the Bica Funicular from here to visit the Sao Roque Church.

This fantastic neighborhood allows visitors to experience all sides of Lisbon, from its maze of colorful streets to its bar-lined streets by night. It is perfect for first-time visitors, couples, and solo travelers who want to mingle and socialize with others visiting this wonderful city.

Bairro Alto Mini Guide

3. Chiado

An affluent and sophisticated neighborhood

Yellow-Tram-On-The-Narrow-Street-Of-Lisbon

Known as Lisbon’s shopping and theatre hub, the upscale neighborhood of Chiado is packed full of designer boutiques, top-class restaurants, and historic theatres and cafes.

This is a popular choice for those who have perhaps explored Lisbon before and fancy discovering another side of the city, which is fascinating.

Here, you can enjoy the perfect blend of a historic quarter mixed with contemporary influences, and this neighborhood has many historic sights to visit. If you appreciate a refined ambiance, cultural institutions, and high-end shopping opportunities, you cannot overlook Chiado as the best place to stay when visiting Lisbon

In addition, this neighborhood is an excellent place for museum-goers, and you cannot miss a visit to the theatre or the opera, especially Teatro Nacional de São Carlos, Lisbon’s national opera house. Despite being severely affected by an outbreak of fire in 1988, the neighborhood has been brought back to life and is now one of the most sought-after areas to live, with valuable real estate throughout.

Chiado Mini Guide

Suggested Reading: Is Lisbon Safe to Travel?

4. Baixa

The heart of the city and the place for sightseeing

Rossio-Square-Of-Lisbon

Baixa is among the best places to stay in Lisbon since it is the most important district for sightseeing. This central neighborhood is perfect for first-time visitors to Lisbon, couples, families, and solo travelers seeking an exhilarating experience, with plenty of things to see and do within walking distance of your hotel.

Here, you find everything you can imagine, from bustling squares and museums to historic cafes and landmarks; plus, there is a wrought iron street lift here that you should keep your eyes peeled for.

It is easy to find your way around Baixa, compared to some other maze-like neighborhoods in Lisbon, since three squares mark the neighborhood: Terreiro do Paço to the south and Rossio and Praça da Figueira to the north.

Unlike Alfama, which was untouched during the 1755 earthquake, Baixa was flattened and eventually reconstructed as a different district from the previous Medieval Street plan.

It is interesting to visit Alfama and Baixa to see the before and after of the Lisbon earthquake, a tragic yet fascinating piece of history.

Baixa Mini Guide

5. Belem

A laid-back and historic neighborhood

Belem-Tower-Lisbon

Located to the west of the city, the neighborhood of Belem gives you a glimpse into the city’s maritime past, and the area is most notable for Belem Tower and Belem Palace, to name a few.

One thing you should not miss if you choose to stay in Belem is to try the delicious ‘pastel de Belem’ (from the bakery of the same name), an iconic egg custard tart pastry famous worldwide.

This, however, is not the only culinary marvel; the area is well known for its variety of excellent seafood restaurants.

The laid-back area is nestled alongside the Tagus River and offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of the city center while being close enough to explore the top attractions.

Here, you can admire many houses decorated with iconic Portuguese tiles, soak up the atmosphere of the waterfront, and visit the many historical monuments and museums like the Discoveries Monument and the vast Gothic Jeronimus Monastery.

The famous Belem Tower is a dedicated UNESCO World Heritage Site, and even if you decide not to stay in Belem during your visit, you must venture to the neighborhood to visit this site, amongst others.

The tower served as the main gateway to the city and today is one of the significant historical sites of Lisbon, attracting many tourists from far and wide.

Belem Mini Guide

6. Parque das Nações

A contemporary neighborhood ideal for families

Modern-Buildings-At-Expo-Area-In-Lisbon

Parque das Nações is perhaps one of the most modern neighborhoods in Lisbon and is an excellent choice for families. Compared to the historic neighborhoods of Alfama, Baixa, and Chiado, Parque das Nações offers an entirely different vibe, which can be intriguing for those visiting for the second or third time.

For families, the area is home to Europe’s biggest aquarium, many outdoor recreational areas and parks, an interactive science museum, and a beautiful waterfront promenade.

Those staying here can enjoy the contemporary feel, which is apparent in the modern architecture, futuristic parks, and overall atmosphere, which is, in general, much quieter than many other areas of the city.

There are plenty of things to see here, especially street art and sculptures, which can be witnessed across the neighborhood. Some of the other top attractions here include Lisbon Oceanarium, Casino, Lisboa, Altice Arena, Gare do Oriente, Vasco da Gama Mall, and Portugal Pavilion, to name but a few.

Parque das Nações Mini Guide

7. Mouraria

The cultural melting pot of Lisbon

Aerial-View-Of-Portuguese-Building

The name Mouraria means ‘Moorish Quarter’ and is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Lisbon. This is the city’s multicultural hub, where many Asian, African, and Arabic shops exist, and the area has a substantial Asian population.

As a melting pot for cultures, Mouraria is a great place to experience excellent international cuisine and a diverse mix of people; over 50 nationalities live alone in this region.

This is the hub of Fado – the most famous Portuguese music, often described as melancholic and mesmeric, so make sure to listen out for the sounds around you.

Located just below Lisbon Castle (Sao Jorge Castle), Mouraria boasts sloping and narrow cobblestoned streets dotted with historic houses, giving it a charming feel.

Mouraria is an excellent place to visit Lisbon if you want to experience the historic side of Lisbon and witness the city’s diversity. It is a central location, so you can easily see many attractions, miradors (viewpoints), and hilltop forts by staying here.

Mouraria Mini Guide

8. Campo do Ourique

Jardim-Da-Estrela-Garden-In-Lisbon

Campo do Ourique offers visitors a laidback, relaxed atmosphere, which can be a welcome retreat from the hustle and bustle of Lisbon Center, especially after a day of sightseeing.

Unlike some busier neighborhoods, Campo do Ourique boasts a more local feel and is ideal for families or those seeking an authentic local experience, where you can witness how life is in Lisbon.

Well known for its tree-lined streets, Campo do Ourique is home to local markets, an eclectic mix of traditional and modern eateries, and easy access to Lisbon’s best attractions.

If you have been to Lisbon before and fancy seeing a different side of the city, this is a great place to choose; however, it is also ideal for first-time visitors seeking a quiet location close to the action.

Campo do Ourique boasts a strategic location beside the shopping mecca of Principe Real, the lush greenery of Parque Florestal de Monsanto, and Baixa historic center, so if you want to make the most of your trip, this is a great neighborhood to stay in.

Campo do Orique Mini Guide

9. Principe Real

A shopper’s paradise

Colorful-Facades-At-Principe-Real-Square-Lisbon

This upscale district is a fantastic place to consider when planning where to stay in Lisbon, Portugal. Here, you will be surrounded by lush gardens, historic 19th-century mansions, and a wide variety of high-end stores, which is ideal if you love designer stores.

In addition, this area is home to a thriving LGBTQ+ scene, and if this is the community you seek, you will find an exciting mix of inclusive bars in the neighborhood.

Principe Real is essentially a shopper’s dream, and this is the place to ramble around unique stores and find unusual and antique items. The neighborhood is alive and kicking with bustling cafes, cosmopolitan hangouts, and trendy bars, which make it an excellent place for friends, couples, and solo travelers to stay when visiting Lisbon for a few days of shopping and sightseeing.

For a cultural trip paired with shopping and upscale nightlife, as well as happening LGBTQ+ bars, look no further than Principe Real, which is not too far from the nightlife hub of Bairro Alto.

Principe Real Mini Guide

10. Alcântara

Lisbon’s quirky neighborhood

Alcantara-District-Of-Lisbon

Just like Bairro Alto, Alcântara is a hub for nightlife. What was once a busy port on the Tagus River has evolved to boast some top trendy bars and clubs, waterfront eateries, quirky boutiques, and creative art spaces.

In addition, you will notice a mix of industrial charm and historic sites, giving it a unique atmosphere compared to other neighborhoods.

One of the top highlights here is the LX Factory, which is well known for being the hub for funky bars, shops, eateries, and clubs, so if this is your thing, you cannot skip out on a visit here.

As you might have guessed, this area is perfectly suited to those seeking an eclectic and dynamic experience, perhaps if you have visited Lisbon many times before.

Staying in this area gives you a new perspective on the city, with the opportunity to discover art spaces and new venues and uncover Lisbon’s urban landscape.

Alcântara Mini Guide

FAQ’s about Finding a Place to Stay in Lisbon

Fountain-On-Rossio-Square-In-Lisbon

Where is the best place to stay for first-time visitors?

If you are visiting Lisbon for the first time, you may wonder which is the best neighborhood to choose, especially when you see how many hotels pop up when you click search. Where to begin? Well, if you ask me, the best place to stay is in the center, which is Baixa, or alternatively you can stay in Alfama, which offers a feeling of stepping back in time. Baixa is ideal for sightseeing since many attractions are located here, plus it is situated beside Bairro Alto if you want to experience Lisbon’s nightlife on the same trip.

Where is the best place in Lisbon for nightlife?

Bairro Alto is by far the main nightlife district in Lisbon. Of course, you can find plenty of bars, clubs, and music venues in other neighborhoods, but if nightlife is your main priority, you should choose a hotel in the center of Bairro Alto or one with direct public transport access. Here, you will find a mix of tourists and locals and plenty of small bars, which make it an excellent place for bar hopping throughout a few evenings.

Where is the quietest place to stay in Lisbon?

If you want to visit Lisbon but prefer to base yourself in a quieter neighborhood, perhaps you are traveling with young kids or are a couple who like a relaxed vibe, then Parque das Nações is the place to stay. This modern neighborhood is further north from the center of Lisbon, but it offers something different compared to the historic centers like Baixa or Alfama. Within thirty minutes, you can access the heart of the city and its main attractions, but on your doorstep, you have plenty of museums and open spaces to enjoy, as well as a tranquil waterside setting.

Where is the best place for families visiting Lisbon to stay?

Parque das Nações is ideal for families because of the abovementioned quietness factor. It is also home to many exciting museums, the biggest aquarium in Europe, and many recreational areas. Mouraria and Belem are excellent options for visiting Lisbon with a family since they offer a great mix of historical attractions, family-orientated amenities, and many exciting activities for all ages. Campo do Ourique provides a laid-back vibe and is home to a mixture of eateries, historical monuments, and fewer tourists than other parts of the city, which could be ideal for families seeking a local experience.

So Where Should You Stay In Lisbon?

A summary of the best neighborhoods to stay in Lisbon, Portugal.

  1. Alfama – A charming historic district with winding narrow streets, Fado music, and beautiful traditional buildings. This neighborhood is ideal for those who seek culture, appreciate history and charm, and visit Lisbon for the first time.
  2. Bairro Alto – This bohemian district is an excellent place for nightlife, and by night, the neighborhood transforms to reveal eclectic bars, clubs, and music venues. This is ideal for those seeking a vibrant party atmosphere in the heart of Lisbon.
  3. Chiado – This elegant, fashionable neighborhood oozes sophistication and elegance and boasts upscale shops and trendy boutiques. Fashionistas, art enthusiasts, and those seeking a sophisticated setting or shopping experience.
  4. Baixa – This is essentially the downtown area of Lisbon, home to plenty of attractions with a busy, touristy vibe. Perfect for first-timers planning to do a lot of sightseeing and those seeking a vibrant atmosphere.
  5. Belem – A laid-back riverside district with historical monuments, plenty of green spaces, and delicious bakeries. Ideal for history buffs, museum-goers, or couples and families seeking a relaxed stay.
  6. Parque das Nações – This modern district has abundant green spaces, museums, family-friendly amenities, and a contemporary feel. Those who will enjoy this neighborhood include families and couples who want to stay further out of the city in a waterside location with plenty to see and do.
  7. Mouraria – This multicultural neighborhood was a former Moorish district and has kept its old-time charm and heritage. Those who want to experience the diversity and multicultural side of Lisbon, with excellent eateries, historical attractions, and an international vibe.
  8. Campo de Ourique – This primarily residential area offers a relaxed, local atmosphere, many parks, and local markets. This can be an excellent place to base yourself when visiting Lisbon if you want to experience a local way of life and integrate with the locals. Perhaps it is suited to those who are not visiting for the first time.
  9. Principe Real – This trendy and upscale district features many of Lisbon’s best luxury hotels, high-end shops, and a diverse culinary scene. Ideal for fashion-forward individuals, couples seeking a luxury vacation, and food lovers who value a trendy setting.
  10. Alcântara – This former industrial area has transformed into something unique and boasts a perfect mix of cultural spaces, nightlife, and restaurants. This is ideal for those who want to experience an alternative side of Lisbon, where you can discover a blend of modern and traditional aspects.

About The Author

Jade Poleon

Jade is a seasoned traveller, yoga enthusiast, adventure seeker and travel writer passionate about seeing the world and sharing hidden gems with others. As well as having travelled to 91 countries thus far, she has written for several websites and published her first book ‘The Ultimate Irish Road Trip Guide’. She is a keen writer of satirical articles, as well as ‘The best things to do’ and ‘The best dishes to try’ around the globe. Jade is currently on a campervan adventure around Europe, where she continues to get her travel and food inspiration. She is excited to share what she discovers with her readers.

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Jade Poleon

Jade Poleon

Jade is a seasoned traveller, yoga enthusiast, adventure seeker and travel writer passionate about seeing the world and sharing hidden gems with others. As well as having travelled to 91 countries thus far, she has written for several websites and published her first book ‘The Ultimate Irish Road Trip Guide’. She is a keen writer of satirical articles, as well as ‘The best things to do’ and ‘The best dishes to try’ around the globe. Jade is currently on a campervan adventure around Europe, where she continues to get her travel and food inspiration. She is excited to share what she discovers with her readers.

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