Where to Stay in Lisbon – Neighborhoods & Area Guide

Written by Jan Meeuwesen
Updated on
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One of the most remarkable cities in the European continent, Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal, has come a long way from being an unexplored land to a thriving tourist place. Regarded as one of the top 10 cities in the world by none other than the Lonely Planet, the city attracts a varied variety of visitors.

Lisbon captures your heart with its white-washed limestone structures, narrow cobbled alleyways, and innumerable entertainment and sightseeing opportunities. One of the oldest cities in the world and the oldest city in Western Europe, Lisbon was the first in the world to import the UK-based liquor brand, Guinness.

Interestingly, ravens have been the state symbol of Lisbon since 1173. Though there aren’t many left in the city, you’ll be surprised to know that all the ravens in the city are named Vincent, after Saint Vincent – the patron saint of Lisbon. And make sure that every time you see the word “Miradouro” (meaning viewpoint in Portuguese), to follow the sign for some stunning vistas across the Lisbon skyline.

Below is a list of all the popular neighborhoods in the city and what they offer. Let’s take a look at them so you can decide where to stay in Lisbon during your visit to the city.

Baixa / Chiado

Baixa, LisbonSource: basiczto / shutterstock

The heart of Lisbon and what we essentially call the “downtown” area, Baixa is one of the first places you see as a tourist to the city. Home to some of the major tourist sites in Lisbon, Baixa has a vibrant atmosphere and a countless number of avenues and plazas which are frequented by visitors from all over the world. Despite its abundance of attractions and shopping venues, most visitors prefer to hang out at one of the four famous plazas in the area, namely Praça do Comércio, Praça Figueira Praça Dom Pedro IV, and Praça Dos Restauradores. Irrespective of what your likes and dislikes are, a ride on the Elevador Santa Justa is a must. Chiado, on the other hand, is Baixa’s upscale neighbor and sits atop a hill with plenty of historic cafes, lavish hotels, and high-end boutiques. The area is often acclaimed as a popular shopping venue in Lisbon and its theatre district.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights: Museum of Design and Fashion, Arch of Rua Augusta, Lisbon Story Center, Rossio Square, and National Museum of Contemporary Art – Museu do Chiado.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Dream Chiado Apartments – Featuring spacious, self-catering apartment units, Dream Chiado Apartments offers accommodation in the popular neighborhood of Baixa/Chiado and provide facilities such as free Wi-Fi and car rental service. Suitable for solo travelers and couples.
  • Hotel INN Rossio – Within a short walking distance from Rossio Square, Hotel INN Rossio features well-appointed guestrooms equipped with facilities such as soundproofing, satellite TV, and private bathroom. Most rooms offer a striking view of the famous São Jorge Castle. The staff at the property can help in arranging car rentals and excursions around the city. Great for all kinds of travelers.
  • The Pessoa – A couple of hundred meters from Chiado, The Pessoa provides comfortable guestrooms with free Wi-Fi, tea/coffee maker, and a seating area. On-site facilities include a lounge and a bar. A complimentary breakfast is included in selected room packages. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.


Alfama, LisbonSource: ESB Professional / shutterstock
Alfama District

One of the oldest neighborhoods in the city, Alfama is best explored when you walk through (and easily get lost in) the narrow, cobblestone streets and ancient houses of the neighborhood. Home of the extremely distinguished Lisbon Castle, Alfama once catered to the poor and underprivileged communities of Lisbon, but now is one of the most fashionable and artistic areas of the city. Two of the many experiences that you absolutely should not miss is a ride on the historic 28 Tram and a view of the city and the Castle from Miradouro de Santa Luzia. If you are a history and museum lover, Museu de Artes Decorativas museum is where you can admire glimpses of the Portuguese aristocratic lifestyle of the 18th century. Looking for your perfect partner? Throw a coin at the statue of Saint Anthony (the patron saint of Lisbon and love) and hope that it lands on his book.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights: Se Cathedral, the National Pantheon, Portas do Sol viewpoint, Museu de Teatro Romano, Roman Amphitheatre, and Museu de Santo António.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Alfama by Lisbon Inside Out – Set in the heart of Lisbon’s traditional Fado district, Alfama by Lisbon Inside Out offer expansive, self-catering apartment units equipped with latest amenities, including cable TV, coffee machine, free Wi-Fi, and a private bathroom with free toiletries. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.
  • Alfama – Santa Luzia – Fado Museum – A three-apartment property located near Saint Vincent Square, Alfama – Santa Luzia – Fado Museum features fully-equipped apartment units with free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TV with cable channels, and a private bathroom. The famous, bi-weekly Feira da Ladra flea market is a 10 minutes’ walk away. Great for all kinds of travelers.
  • Alfama – Lisbon Lounge Suites – Featuring spacious, well-furnished guestrooms and apartment units fitted with amenities such as soundproofing, tea/coffee maker, and safety deposit box, the Alfama – Lisbon Lounge Suites offers a 24-hour front desk and a shared lounge within a walking distance from São Jorge Castle. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.

Avenida da Liberdade

Avenida da Liberdade, LisbonSource: Vitaly Fedotov / shutterstock
Avenida Da Liberdade

Meaning “Liberty Square” when translated from Portuguese, Avenida da Liberdade is nicknamed as the “Champs Elysees” of Lisbon; one look at the neighborhood and you will know why. Established in 1879, the area’s construction has been majorly inspired by the boulevards in Paris. And, to its glory, it is the designer shopping neighborhood of Lisbon. Avenida da Liberdade comprises endless boutiques, high-end stores, scintillating perfume shops, and all possible haute-couture heavyweights – think Prada, Boss, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and so on. Due to its upmarket status, this area is also where you will find some of the best fine-dining restaurants and bars in the city.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights: Eduardo VII Park, Marquês de Pombal Square, Cinema de São Jorge, Museum of Cinema, and Miradouro do Torel.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Tivoli Avenida Liberdade Lisboa – Set in a historic building from the 1930s, this lavish 5-star hotel features an outdoor pool with a sun terrace, a rooftop bar with brilliant views of the city, and two dining options – one that specializes in international cuisine and another that is known for its authentic Portuguese seafood specialties. A complimentary breakfast is served daily. Perfect for all kinds of luxury travelers.
  • AVANI Avenida Liberdade – A stylish 4-star property located within a short walking distance from Pombaline Downtown, AVANI Avenida Liberdade is a sister hotel to Tivoli Avenida Liberdade Lisboa and is known for offering equally-impressive facilities and services. Guests staying at the property have unrestricted access to Tivoli Avenida Liberdade’s outdoor pool and the sky bar. Great for all kinds of travelers.
  • Sofitel Lisbon Liberdade – Situated in the city’s main avenue, Sofitel Lisbon Liberdade is an opulent 5-star property with impeccable guestrooms and state-of-the-art facilities and services, including a well-equipped fitness center, a library, an on-site restaurant, and laundry services. Great for solo travelers, couples, and small families.

Bairro Alto

Bairro AltoSource: Filipe B. Varela / shutterstock
Bairro Alto

If partying your way through Lisbon is how you want to spend your vacation, Bairro Alto, a next-door neighbor of Baixa/Chiado district, is where you should head out after sunset. The nightlife center of Lisbon, Bairro Alto is literally packed with innumerable small bars, swanky restaurants, and intimate venues – the best places to chill with cocktail or dance the night away. Come weekends, the streets of Bairro Alto become a carnival in themselves with foreigners from all around the world and locals, old and young, spilling drinks, sharing stories and generally having a good time. Though not so fascinating during the day, the neighborhood is home to one of the most iconic cafes in the city, the Cafe a Brasileira. Sporting a statue of Fernando Pessoa (who paradoxically didn’t like the café and hung out at a different one), the café has been welcoming visitors since 1905.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights: Igreja de Sao Roque, Elevador da Bica, Carmo church, Jardim de São Pedro de Alcântara viewpoint, Elevador da Gloria, and The Church and Museum Of Sao Roque.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Casa do Patio by Shiadu – A short walk from São Bento Palace, Casa do Patio by Shiadu provides elegant guestrooms and one-bedroom apartment units with latest facilities such as cable TV, safety deposit box, and private bathroom. The wonderful staff at the hotel can arrange babysitting services while you enjoy a relaxing massage. A superb complimentary breakfast is served daily. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.
  • Palácio das Especiarias Guesthouse – A stone’s throw away from the entertainment scene of Bairro Alto, this former old palace offers comfortable guestrooms with modern amenities such as cable TV, private bathroom, and well-equipped kitchenette (in studio units only). Free Wi-Fi is accessible throughout the property. The 24-hour front desk can help you arrange sightseeing tours around the area. Great for all kinds of travelers, including big groups of up to 5 members.
  • Dear Lisbon – Charming House – Boasting an outdoor swimming pool, a private terrace, a well-manicured garden, and a lounge with a fireplace, this renovated hotel property features 19 well-appointed, themed guestrooms with up-to-date facilities. A complimentary breakfast is served daily. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.


Belém TowerSource: ESB Professional / shutterstock
Belém Tower

One of the busiest and the most delightful neighborhoods in Lisbon, Belém is known for fascinating museums, well-manicured green spaces, and historic landmarks, all of which nestle along the outstanding Tejo estuary. Attributing most its present-day structures to seafarers, early Portuguese explorers, and affluent businessmen, the area’s best-enjoyed activity is a pleasant walk between Pastéis de Belem and Torre de Belem which takes you through the iconic sights of the neighborhood, including Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, Jardim da Praça do Império, and Jardim da Torre de Belém. No trip to Lisbon, let alone Belém, is complete unless you have feasted upon the legendary custard tart, and there is hardly a place in the city which does it better than Pastéis de Belem bakery.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights: Padrao dos Descobrimentos monument, Torre de Belem, Mosteiro dos Jeronimos, Tejo estuary, and Jardim Botânico.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Palacio do Governador – A remarkable hotel in the heart of Belem district, Palacio de Governador treats its guest with world-class hospitality and exclusive amenities, including a year-round outdoor pool, a spa and wellness center, an indoor pool, an à la carte restaurant, and a fully stocked bar. Each room at the property offers free Wi-Fi, soundproofing, and an ensuite bathroom. Great for solo travelers, couples, and small families.
  • Altis Belem Hotel & Spa – Nestled on the waterfront in the historic neighborhood of Belem, Altis Belem Hotel & Spa offers luxurious guestrooms and suites within a 5-star property. Guests can take a refreshing swim at the indoor or the outdoor pool and enjoy the best international delicacies at the Michelin-starred restaurant. Perfect for all kinds of luxury travelers.
  • Hotel Jeronimos 8 – Offering spacious, contemporary guestrooms with up-to-date facilities, Hotel Jeronimos 8 stands adjacent to the revered Jerónimos Monastery. Guests can start their morning savoring the wonderful complimentary breakfast and catch up on the latest world news at the shared lobby and spend the day exploring one of the many notable sights in the area as suggested by the 24-hour front desk staff. Great for all kinds of travelers.

Cais do Sodré

Cais do Sodré, LisbonSource: StockPhotosArt / shutterstock
Cais Do Sodré

The cool yet understated neighborhood of Cais do Sodré has undergone a major transformation in the recent past and is now home to many trendy fashion stores, chic cafes, and lively bars, and, of course, the gorgeous waterfront of Ribeira das Naus. From the foodgasmic Time Out Market to Pink Streets’ rebellious nightlife, this area has it all. As a pleasing contrast, the streets are filled with students, young professionals, and digital nomads during the day. For something a little more exciting, catch a ferry across Tejo Estuary to Cacilhas for an amazing beach day at Praia da Conceição and fresh seafood. Want an after-party after the clubs in Bairro Alto shut down at 02:00 AM? No problem. Cais do Sodré has you covered.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights: The Municipal market, Praça de São Paulo, Musicbox, Carcavelos Beach, and São Pedro do Estoril.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Lisboa Carmo Hotel – Boasting tasteful guestrooms featuring classic and contemporary décor and a plethora of amenities to enjoy, Lisboa Carmo Hotel is a short drive away from Lisbon Portela International Airport. Guests can relish a fine-dining experience at the on-site bar and restaurant and explore one of the many restaurants and bars around the property. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.
  • Palácio das Especiarias Guesthouse – Located right in front of the famous Camões Square and a short distance from Bairro Alto, this charming guesthouse features well-furnished guestrooms, studios, suites. While all units come with an ensuite bathroom, the studios also provide a kitchenette. A delightful complimentary breakfast is served daily. Great for all kinds of travelers, including big groups of up to 5 members.
  • Browns Boutique Hotel – A 5 minutes’ walk from two of the most important neighborhoods of Lisbon, Chiado and Bairro Alto, Browns Boutique Hotel offers comfortable guestrooms with tea/coffee maker, iHome docking station, and an iPad and iMac (in selected rooms). Guests can enjoy their breakfast and hang out at the common space or use the hotel’s free Wi-Fi to catch on work. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.

Parque das Nações

Parque das NaçõesSource: Ritu Manoj Jethani / shutterstock
Parque Das Nações

The strikingly-divergent side of traditional Lisbon, Parque das Nações was once just an industrial wasteland. Thanks to Expo ’98, it has since then undergone a massive makeover and is the corporate center of Portugal. Despite its “corporate” status, the area has retained much of its glory from the Expo and has only worked towards improving the attractions that were established at the time. Frequented by locals and tourists alike, the neighborhood is your best choice if you are visiting the city with family. Endless interactive exhibits and waterparks, including the original Expo Park and Lisbon Oceanarium, keep you and your young ones entertained. Keep an eye out for the water volcanoes. Off the “family” radar, the neighborhood is also home to the best casino in Portugal, the Casino de Lisboa.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights: Pavilhão do Conhecimento, Vasco da Gama Shopping Centre, Jardim da Agua, Vasco da Gama tower and bridge, Parque do Tejo, and Jardins Garcia d’Orta.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Olissippo Oriente – Featuring modernly decorated rooms with elegant wooden furnishing and contemporary facilities, Olissippo Oriente offers a 24-hour helpful front desk, an on-site restaurant, a terrace café, and car rental services within a 15 minutes’ walking distance from Lisbon Oceanarium. A complimentary breakfast is included with selected room tariffs. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.
  • MYRIAD by SANA Hotels – Nestled on the banks of the glistening Tagus River, MYRIAD by SANA Hotels provides luxurious guestrooms and suites with premium facilities, including a minibar and an espresso coffee machine. Guests can unwind themselves in the indoor pool or opt for a soothing massage at the wellness center. The onsite international restaurant takes care of all the dining and wining needs. Great for luxury solo travelers and couples.
  • VIP Executive Arts Hotel – A few hundred meters from the happening Tagus waterfront, VIP Executive Arts Hotel offers 4-star accommodation within a beautifully designed property. Business travelers can utilize the on-site conference rooms and auditoriums for their work needs. After a hectic day at work or due to exploring the city, relax at the fully-stocked bar with a comforting drink. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.

Principe Real

Garden Of Principe RealSource: Mauro Rodrigues / shutterstock
Garden Of Principe Real

Principe Real, or “Royal Prince,” has been time and again acclaimed as the trendiest neighborhood in the city of Lisbon. Located in the north of Bairro Alto, an equally trendy district, the neighborhood has been popular for its vivacious LGBT culture and antique shops. Whether you decide to explore the many mansions, vintage stores, and miniature gardens that the area offers or not, you absolutely cannot miss a visit to Miradouro São Pedro de Alcântara – one of the best viewing platforms in Lisbon. Pavilhão Chines, with its souvenir-filled walls and three centuries worth of history, is the best place for a cocktail in the area.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights: Jardim Do Príncipe Real, Patriarchal Reservoir, Embaixada Mall, and Natural History Museum.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Casa Oliver Boutique B&B – Principe Real – Set within a historic building with modernly-designed guestrooms and suites, this wonderful B&B offers a retro décor with wooden furnishings to all its guests. The staff at the property is equipped to arrange for car rentals, babysitting facilities, dinner reservations, and much more. A fabulous complimentary breakfast is included in selected packages. Great for all kinds of travelers.
  • Hotel Botanico – A 5 minutes’ walking distance from Avenida Metro Station, Hotel Botanico provides spacious, air-conditioned guestrooms with satellite TV, minibar, and a private bathroom. After a good day of exploring Lisbon, guests can unwind with a selection of Portuguese wines from the lounge. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.
  • Flores Guest House – A short drive from the two popular neighborhoods of Bairro Alto and Baixa/Chiado, Flores Guest House offers a variety of comfortable accommodation options, all fitted with modern facilities. Start your day here with a superb complimentary breakfast or choose from one of the countless restaurants in the neighborhood to relish an authentic Portuguese meal. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.


Pena Palace, SintraSource: Taiga / shutterstock
Pena Palace, Sintra

Technically, not within the city walls of Lisbon, Sintra sits amidst the gorgeous pine-covered mountains of the Serra de Sintra and is the best choice for visitors who prefer tranquility along with close proximity to the buzzing neighborhoods of Lisbon. Often considered a day trip from Lisbon, Sintra offers a peaceful atmosphere and a cooler climate within the embrace of Parque Natural de Sintra-Cascais. Home to several larger-than-life mansions, tremendous palaces, and picture-perfect gardens, Sintra offers the finest examples of “Romantic” architecture. For such a tiny neighborhood, Sintra comprises several notable landmarks and captivating attractions, including ten national monuments and numerous ancient castle ruins. The area’s strategic location also makes it a top choice for outdoor lovers – you can hike, cycle, and enjoy some of the best rock-climbing in the country.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights:
Palácio Nacional de Sintra, Castelo dos Mouros, Palácio da Pena and the Gardens, Hiking to Cruz Alta, Palácio de Monserrate, and Peninha Sanctuary and viewpoint.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Hotel Ibis Lisboa Sintra – Featuring opulent guestrooms, a 24-hour onsite restaurant, and a fully-stocked bar, Hotel Ibis Lisboa Sintra is located a short drive from the sandy beaches in Estoril. This wonderful pet-friendly hotel features free Wi-Fi throughout the property. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.
  • Tivoli Sintra – Located in the historic neighborhood of Sintra, Tivoli Sintra provides par excellence hospitality and exclusive accommodation in a peaceful atmosphere with stunning landscape. The onsite restaurant offers an eclectic menu comprising international as well as regional delicacies as well as unprecedented views of the area. Ask the hotel staff for help in arranging local excursions as well as hiking and wine-tasting tours. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.
  • Pestana Sintra Golf Resort & SPA Hotel – Situated adjacent to an 18-hole golf course, this glamorous property features brilliantly-designed guestrooms, a spa and wellness center, tennis courts, indoor as well as outdoor pools, a multi-cuisine restaurant, and an onsite bar. Sintra’s center is only a short drive from the property. Great for all kinds of travelers.

Where to Stay in Lisbon – Neighborhoods & Area Guide:

  • Baixa / Chiado
  • Alfama
  • Avenida da Liberdade
  • Bairro Alto
  • Hotel Recommendations:
  • Belém
  • Cais do Sodré
  • Parque das Nações
  • Principe Real
  • Sintra