When planning a trip to Lisbon, one of the first and most important decisions you’ll have to make is where to stay. Lisbon is the capital, the largest city in Portugal, and the country’s largest tourist center. Thus, the accommodation options are immense and diverse – from large international hotel chains and charming hotels to pensions, tourist apartments, and cheap pensions.
This article will help you search where to stay in Lisbon, Portugal, dividing it into areas/neighborhoods such as Baixa, Chiado, Bairro Alto, Av. Liberdade, Graça, Belém, Parque das Nações, etc.
So, we will explain the advantages and disadvantages of staying in each of these neighborhoods and suggest some of the best lodges in each of these areas. To prepare this list, we will consider some of the hotels’ characteristics, such as price and quality/price ratio, location, quality of service, comfort, design/charm, and other returns.
Lisbon is a big city, and although many of the best attractions are concentrated in a few areas, it is advisable to use public transport for some trips. Still, staying in a great hotel in one of the best areas in Lisbon makes all the difference.
Where to stay in Lisbon
Baixa e Rossio – The heart of Lisbon
Baixa (downtown) is the premium area of Lisbon, both in terms of tourism and shopping. It is also called Baixa Pombalina because Marquês de Pombal designed it after being completely destroyed by the 1755 earthquake and tsunami. It stands out for being flat, at the level of the river, and with parallel streets.
The architecture of the downtown area is grand and reflects the trends of the 18th and 19th centuries. You can find Terreiro do Paço, the famous Calçada Portuguesa (traditional Portuguese stoned floor) in Praça do Rossio, the Carmo elevator, and of course, the beautiful Rua Augusta Arch. However, the biggest advantage of staying here is that it is right in the center and close to almost all of Lisbon’s major attractions, except for Belém.
Currently, it is the busiest area in Lisbon, and even in the low season, there are always a lot of people and many tourists. For this reason, in downtown, you will find endless restaurants and bars, and despite the lodging supply being huge, the prices are usually quite high due to the premium location.
On the other hand, even if it is too much bustling and noisy, it is certainly a place not to be missed in Lisbon. In general, it is the best area (together with Chiado) to stay in Lisbon, and it is suitable for any type of tourist, but especially for those who want to be close to everything and don’t mind paying a little (a lot) more for that.
Best hotels in Baixa / Rossio
The very popular Hotel da Baixa is our first suggestion for Baixa. It is an excellent 4-star hotel, as it’s very welcoming and comfortable, and with a design that has managed to integrate the historic structure of the building with modern decor. See prices here.
If you want younger accommodation, there are two incredible options downtown. Both Yes Lisbon Hostel and Home Lisbon Hostel were already considered the best internationally and offered an excellent quality/price ratio. For all these reasons, they tend to get exhausted very quickly.
Chiado – The best area to stay in Lisbon
Like Baixa Pombalina, Chiado is a busy area with numerous bars and restaurants, but it is already on one of Lisbon’s slopes (west of Baixa) and is not flat as the downtown, which makes hiking a little harder. On the other hand, despite the immense tourism, it still retains some of Lisbon’s charm.
In Largo do Chiado, you will find the famous cafe A Brasileira and the even more famous statue of Fernando Pessoa. The Convento do Carmo ruins, the National Museum of Contemporary Art, the MUDE, and the Bertrand Bookshop are also located here. It is also very close to Bairro Alto (uphill) and Cais do Sodré (towards the river), so it is great for those who want to enjoy Lisbon’s nightlife.
We advise Chiado to practically all tourists who do not mind paying a little more because they are probably in Lisbon’s best area. It is particularly great for those who do not know the city yet and those who have little time, as it is very close to most of the mandatory places to visit.
Accommodation options in Chiado
In Chiado, the Lisboa Carmo hotel stands out for its quality of service, comfort, and its classic yet contemporary decor. On the higher floors, a beautiful view over the Tagus River and Lisbon’s historic area is obtained. It is an outstanding quality 4 star. Check prices here.
If you want a slightly more affordable option, Hotel Borges Chiado is one of the hotels with better value for money. For that reason, it is also one of the most popular in Chiado. It is a historic hotel with a perfect location. More information here.
There are not many low-cost options in Lisbon’s center, and in Chiado, it’s even more difficult to find them. Lx center Chiado is an exception, and that is why we recommend it to everyone who wants to stay in the best area of Lisbon and still maintain a balanced budget. It is a hostel, so it naturally has a more youthful and lively atmosphere.
Bairro Alto and Cais do Sodré – Best areas for the night
These are 2 separate neighborhoods, and they are only together on this list as they have similar characteristics. Cais do Sodré is below Chiado, next to the river, while Bairro Alto is in the area above Chiado, as its name implies (Bairro Alto means high neighborhood in Portuguese).
Bairro Alto and Cais do Sodré are the night zones of Lisbon and therefore are also quite noisy at night. So, if you are a light sleeper or not very interested in this kind of entertainment and nightlife, these are not the neighborhoods for you.
At Cais do Sodré, you will find the Mercado da Ribeira (sometimes called Timeout), while in Bairro Alto, we have to mention the famous Fado Houses. Do not expect to sleep too much in any of these areas, but note that Bairro Alto is completely dead and almost soulless during the day.
Accommodation in Bairro alto e Cais do Sodré
How many times have you stayed in an Art Deco-style hostel located in a renovated Palace that offers views of São Pedro de Alcântara and the Tagus River? This is what The Independente Hostel & Suites. It has shared rooms and suites, so it is suitable for both backpackers and couples. It is an excellent option in Bairro Alto.
Also, in Bairro Alto, but in a less noisy street, we find Casa das Janelas com Vista, which besides a fabulous view, offers a cozy charm and beautiful decoration. This is one of those apartments that’s a pleasure to see, but even more to stay there. Book your stay here.
At Cais do Sodré, we recommend the Lost inn Lisbon Hostel as one of Lisbon’s best hostels. It has a fantastic atmosphere, maintaining reasonable levels of comfort. It is great for young travelers (in age and spirit). See if it is available here.
If you want to stay at Cais do Sodré, but maintaining maximum comfort and luxury, the best option is clear the Corpo Santo Lisbon Historical Hotel. This hotel is just fantastic. The 5 stars and the superb rating of previous travelers are not deceiving! See more information here.
Príncipe Real is one of the noblest and most exclusive Lisbon areas, which is why lodging here tends to be expensive and luxurious. It is a quieter neighborhood, without the mayhem of Chiado / Baixa.
Despite being next to Bairro Alto, it has a very different atmosphere, more of a residential neighborhood with small restaurants and cafés full of charm. It is a very fashionable neighborhood among tourists who do not want to be in the middle of the chaos but still at a relatively short distance.
One of the negative points is not having a metro and generally less public transports than most other neighborhoods on the list. Given the characteristics of this neighborhood, many of the accommodation options are tourist apartments or renovated houses.
We advise Príncipe Real to those who do not want to go to the middle of Chiado / Baixa’s chaos, to those who want to feel more like residents and less like tourists, and to those who prefer to rent apartments than to stay in Hotels.
Príncipe Real – Best accommodation
The best hotel in Príncipe Real is undoubtedly the Memmo Príncipe Real. This 5-star is the perfect option for those who want to enjoy Lisbon to the fullest, with comfort and luxury. It also offers an outdoor pool and lounging area with panoramic views of the city. See prices and availability here.
But as we said before, the Principe Real area is characterized by houses that have been renovated and transformed into guest houses, such as the Casa do Príncipe and the Casa do Jasmim by Shiadu. These are absolutely stunning, with beautiful decoration and architecture.
Avenida da Liberdade – Best area for business tourism close to the center
Av. da Liberdade is the central avenue of Lisbon, home to major international hotels, high-end stores, large companies, and so on. It connects Praça dos Restauradores in the downtown area to Praça do Marquês. Thus, it is not exactly a neighborhood but the entire area surrounding this Avenue.
Given these characteristics, Av. da Liberdade has great accessibility, with lots of buses and metro stations, so it turns out to be a good area to stay as it is possible to go to most of Lisbon’s destinations, on foot or by transport, as you prefer.
Avenida da Liberdade also has many quality restaurants (the famous Solar do Presunto, for example), bars, cafes, theaters, etc. This is a good area for those looking to stay in an elegant zone, but full of life due to all the business there is.
It is a great area for business trips. Tourists who value shopping and do not mind paying to stay in hotels that guarantee comfort will probably love this area.
Best hotels on Avenida da Liberdade
Among the many 5-star hotels in the Avenida da Liberdade area, we must highlight the Hotel Avenida Palace, which is optimally located next to Praça dos Restauradores, very close to Baixa. In addition, it is in a spectacular 19th-century building and offers a level of comfort and quality well above average. Check more information here.
An alternative to Avenida Palace is the Tivoli Avenida Liberdade Lisboa, which is located in a 1930s building on Avenida da Liberdade and features a rooftop bar with panoramic views of Lisbon. it is excellent for both romantic getaways and business trips. See prices here.
If you prefer a charming hotel to an international chain hotel, we suggest Marino Lisboa. It is halfway between Príncipe Real and Av. Liberdade and is the typical charming hotel with detailed decoration and excellent quality of service. Choose one of the rooms with a hot tub for a superior experience. Check prices and availability here.
Alfama / Castelo – The oldest area of Lisbon
The Alfama and Castelo de São Jorge areas are the oldest in Lisbon and are located on the eastern slopes of Baixa. When you arrive, you will have no doubt that you are in Alfama. The narrow, cobbled streets that intertwine are completely different from the rest of the city. The typical layout of Muslim cities can still be clearly seen today.
If we should avoid using the car in Lisbon center because of the traffic and parking nightmare, in Alfama, it is completely impossible. I can’t imagine even going with the car there… and then taking it out. If you have a car, don’t stay in Alfama! But you don’t really need a car, Alfama is right next to Baixa, and it has lots of tourist attractions.
Alfama has always been a very closed neighborhood with its own characteristics and soul, and for a long time, it was ignored by tourists and even by the Portuguese. This has changed in recent years. It is gentrified and one of the most popular destinations for tourists. Currently, a large part of the houses is vacation rentals.
Best Accommodation in Alfama
Although there is not much variety, there is at least one excellent 4-star hotel in Alfama, Memmo Alfama – Design Hotels. Its superb rating on Booking is no exaggeration and the outdoor pool overlooks the Tagus much less! See photos here.
But in Alfama there are plenty of renovated apartments, carefully decorated and providing a very pleasant stay, such as Contador Mor Guesthouse, Dalma Old Town Suites, and Alfama – Lisbon Lounge Suites. As we said, the options are really many and varied.
Mouraria has many similarities with Alfama due to its antiquity and narrow streets. However, the revitalization process is much more delayed. There are far fewer tourists and many more residents. Until recently, it was a problematic neighborhood, but this issue has been overcome.
Due to its location close to Alfama and Baixa, Mouraria turns out to be a great area to stay, but the accommodation options are much smaller, and they are mostly tourist apartments.
So, it turns out to be a good alternative to Alfama or even a way to have an experience similar to what would be Alfama a few years ago. Still, Alfama has a charm and many attractions that Mouraria does not.
Mouraria – Alternative to Alfama
In Mouraria, the options are mainly apartments, but we have to note that many of these alternatives are still recent and with few experiences or a lower rating, so the risk is greater.
Graça – a neighborhood off the beaten track
Graça neighborhood is already well outside the tourist center, but at a distance where it is still possible to walk if you really like to do so. To reach the Graça area, we have to climb Alfama and then continue climbing until reaching the hill’s top. We need to warn you that it is an arduous hike.
Given that it’s further away from the center and the lower demand, Graça is a much cheaper area and ideal for those who want to save some money both on accommodation and meals. The counterpart is, of course, the time and energy spent to reach the center. On the other hand, the famous train 28 goes up to this neighborhood, so you can always do a 2 in 1 by taking the train and go home/downtown.
This is a neighborhood with fewer tourists and with less accommodation, most of which are vacation rentals.
Where to stay in Lisbon – Graça?
At Graça, the accommodation options are smaller and even less diverse than at Mouraria. So, in this area of Lisbon, the most important thing is to find accommodation that guarantees quality while maintaining what brought us here, the lowest prices.
So our suggestions go to Charme da Graça (probably the best guest house in this area), Graça Terrace (great apartment for families or large groups), Flor Liz (Good apartment for a young couple), and Casa da Travessa (excellent for a couple with children or groups of 3 or 4 people).
The area of Belém is completely outside the historic center of Lisbon, which is why it is often overlooked as an area to stay in Lisbon. However, in our opinion, any article on Lisbon that does not mention Belém is incomplete.
In Belém, we have the monumental Jerónimos Monastery, the Belém Tower, several important museums, and the even more important Belém pastries. But all of this can be visited in one day, so most tourists stay in the center and go to Belém by public transport.
So, staying in Belém means taking transport to go downtown so that it can be inconvenient. On the other hand, it means staying in a beautiful area and enjoying a different side of Lisbon.
In our opinion, Belém is a good alternative for those wanting to get away from the chaos of the center or who already know Lisbon well and want to experience the city differently.
Best hotels in Belém
If you decide to stay in Belém, the best option is Palácio do Governador, a splendid hotel in a building full of history, as it should be, being in Belém. A true 5 star, awarded for the quality of service and comfort provided. See prices here.
A different option is the Famous Crows Lisbon Suites, as it offers studios for several people and rooms. It is very close to Jerónimos and the Torre de Belém, making it an even more pleasant option. See all information about this accommodation here.
Parque das Nações
Similarly to Belém, Parque das Nações are well outside the center, and to get there, we have to use public transports. Unlike Belém, which offers many historic tourist attractions, Parque das Nações is a recent area.
The biggest attractions of Parque das Nações are the Lisbon Oceanarium, the Vasco da Gama Tower and the cable car, and the entire riverside area that is extremely pleasant to walk. All of this was built for Expo-98 in Lisbon.
Despite receiving some tourists, Parque das Nações is mainly a residential area and for business trips. In a way, it replaced Avenida da Liberdade, which is why it has a lot of quality hotels but very focused on business trips.
We recommend Parque das Nações to those who are traveling on business and those who have been to Lisbon 2, 3 4 times and want to visit areas outside the main tourist areas or experience what it is like to live in Lisbon. Note that this is an area with premium prices due to business tourism and domestic demand.
Accommodation at Parque das Nações
As mentioned above, a large part of the demand in this region of Lisbon is for very high-quality accommodation. Thus, the offer of luxury hotels is large and varied. MYRIAD by SANA Hotels is probably the best hotel in this Lisbon area. It is a modern hotel, with panoramic views, original decor and color, and of course, impeccable quality of service. See prices here.
If the Myriad is a bit too much, there are several more affordable hotels but also of excellent quality, such as the Tivoli Oriente Hotel and the Olissippo Oriente. Both are very much geared towards business tourism.
Alternatively, you can choose one of the several luxury apartments that exist in this area, such as Your Lisbon Home Parque das Nações (excellent option for large groups), Apt in Lisbon Oriente 25 – Parque das Nações (offers spectacular views), and Panoramic Living (with options for groups of 2-6 people). All of them are modern and very comfortable options.
Finally, and if you want to try something completely different, we suggest Tagus Marina. This accommodation will allow you to spend the night on the river, as you will be renting a boat. There are options for 3 to 6 people, and the boats have everything an apartment has but on water. It will certainly be an interesting experience. The booking rating of 9.5 confirms that guests normally love this accommodation.