Where to Stay in Lisbon, Portugal – Neighborhood Guide + Best Hotels

Are you looking for a fun trip to Portugal and wondering where to stay in Lisbon? Lisbon has several neighborhoods to choose from. Each of them offers beautiful accommodations for various tastes and budget ranges.

We absolutely love Portugal and Lisbon is one of my favorite cities in Europe (I know I say that a lot…I just can’t play favorites). Being from California, Lisbon has always reminded me of San Francisco. The climate and landscape are super similar. Add in the ocean and the bridge, the tree-covered hills outside the city in Sintra, and I almost feel at home, before someone starts speaking Portuguese.

We’ve visited Lisbon many times. It’s somewhere I keep coming back to again and again. I wanted to share a few neighborhoods I love to stay in and some of the best hotels in Lisbon.

Where to Stay in Lisbon Portugal - Group of kids overlooking the city of Lisbon.
Me and my kiddos overlooking the gorgeous city of Portugal

Lisbon, the Portuguese capital, is teeming with vibrant culture, stunning architecture, breathtaking attractions, colorful history, and lively nightlife. The narrow cobbled lanes and softly-colored houses indicate Lisbon’s irresistible historic charm and natural beauty.

Lisbon is indeed one of the coolest European capitals, and opting to stay in Lisbon for a couple of days or even an entire week is one of the best decisions you make.

While making this decision, you’ll encounter a minor dilemma: where to stay in Lisbon? 

Would you like to stay in Lisbon neighborhoods within the city center, where everything is within walking distance, and you’re in the middle of everything? 

Or would you rather stay in the less touristy neighborhoods with a more local vibe?

Essentially, every locality has its own distinctive attractions, and within these areas, there are a variety of lovely lodging options available to suit any kind of traveler and budget preference, ranging from contemporary hotels to vacation rentals and lodges.

So if you’re still trying to pick your home base during your trip to Lisbon, let me tell you more about each of these neighborhoods which would hopefully help you decide on where to stay in Lisbon.

Where To Stay in Lisbon: The Best Accommodations in Each Neighborhood

Wondering where to stay in Lisbon neighborhoods?

Lisbon boasts several distinct neighborhoods, each offering unique experiences during your Lisbon trip. Here’s a rundown of where is the best place to stay in Lisbon to guide you in figuring out your home base and finding potential accommodation options during your holiday.

Baixa District

Skyline view of Baixa district of Portugal

One of the areas known collectively as Central Lisbon is the Baixa district. Baixa is also known as the downtown area of Lisbon. Baixa is also known as the commercial and cultural center of Lisbon. You can find fantastic boutique shops, cafes and restaurants, galleries, and theatres here.

Baixa District is located along the Tagus River. The metro station is but a short away, and the famous Tram 28, Lisbon’s public transport, is readily accessible in the area.

It is home to several attractions, such as the historical building of Praça do Comércio, a huge plaza facing the Tagus River. The Rossio train station is also one of Lisbon’s historical landmarks and is quite one the most popular train stations in the world.

And, of course, we can’t miss out on the Santa Justa elevator, a Neo-Gothic structure established in 1902. Santa Justa Lift connects Baixa to its neighboring districts, Chiado and Bairro Alto.

Strolling along Avenida da Liberdade is also a renowned activity in Baixa. Avenida da Liberdade is a beautiful avenue lined with high-end shops, glorious sidewalks, and fine dining restaurants.

If it’s your first time visiting Lisbon, staying in Baixa District is a wise idea. It is ideal for travelers who want to explore Lisbon city center and be smack in the middle of everything. Baixa District has everything you can imagine, from dining and shopping to exploring various entertainment options.

My Story Hotel

This beautiful boutique hotel is located at the heart of Lisbon city centre. It is within walking distance of everything, including the Rossio train station, Lisbon’s main square, Baixa Cathedral, and São Jorge Castle.

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My Story Hotel is a 3-star boutique hotel featuring tastefully decorated rooms in green, yellow, and gray hues. The stylish rooms come with vintage chairs and beautiful headboards. The spacious rooms also have modern conveniences, such as in-room WIFI, flat-screen TVs, and a mini-bar.

The best thing about My Story Hotel is that its central location brings you closer to the main attractions in Lisbon. Apart from cultural and historical landmarks, you can also find fantastic restaurants, cafes, and shopping establishments within easy walking distance.

AlmaLusa

AlmaLusa is one of the best boutique hotels in Baixa. The contemporary rooms are replete with local and national brands to reinforce a Portuguese ambiance during your next stay in Lisbon.

AlmaLusa has 28 beautiful hotel rooms featuring comfy beds, air conditioning, high-speed WIFI, and smart TVs. The on-site restaurant serves delicious Portuguese and Mediterranean specialties, while the snack offers a selection of lighter meals. In addition, the hotel bar is an excellent venue for winding down after a full day of exploring Lisbon.

The hotel boasts of its strategic location in the heart of the city centre. Shops and restaurants are like a 4-minute walk. St. George’s Castle and the Tagus River are also nearby. If you’d like to enjoy a vibrant nightlife, take the metro station and head over to Bairro Alto, which also offers an assortment of shops, bars, and clubs. Trams, taxis, and buses are all accessible within walking distance of the hotel.

Pousada de Lisboa

Pousada de Lisboa is a high-rated luxury hotel in the city centre. This luxurious hotel offers elegant and comfortable accommodations, making it the best place to stay in Lisbon for couples. It is a proud member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World.

The stylish rooms are decked in classical style, equipped with private bathrooms, WIFI connection, air conditioning, and a flat-screen TV. For ultimate relaxation, head to the indoor pool and wellness centre and take advantage of the sauna and spa. There’s also a fitness center for guests looking to keep up with their workout routine during their trip.

The hotel is just a short metro ride from the main attractions in the city. You can enjoy the river views of Tagus and visit Castelo de São Jorge, Arco da Rua Augusta, and Carmo Fountain.

Whether walking the winding cobblestone streets as you explore Lisbon or taking the metro station to visit neighboring districts, you’ll always feel excited to return to your comfortable and elegant hotel room in Pousada.

Chiado & Cais do Sodré

Situated just between Baixa and Bairro Alto is the hip and cool neighborhood of Chiado. Chiado is a chic district that’s alive with commerce and activity. Chiado is a historical neighborhood where artists used to gather. As a cultural hub, Chiado sports a wide array of museums, galleries, and bookstores.

Chiado is oozing with a touristy feel and vibe. From upscale boutiques, the most fabulous cafes and wine bars, and superb restaurants to popular bars and clubs, Chiado has them all. Just like in Baixa, you’ll feel you’re in the middle of all the action if you choose to stay in Chiado.

It’s worth noting that Cais do Sodré, which is well-known for its food scene, is south of Chiado. It’s rated as one of the coolest neighborhoods in Lisbon and possibly even in Europe according to Time Out. If you ever wander to these parts of the city, make a beeline for the famous Mercado da Ribeira, known as a foodie Mecca, consisting of numerous food kiosks and restaurants serving authentic Portuguese dishes.

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Also, visit Rua Nova do Carvalho, which was known as a red light district. Rua Nova do Carvalho was revamped in 2011, featuring the famous pink pavement. It is now called Pink Street, one of the city’s most popular destinations after dark.

Bairro Alto Hotel

Willing to splurge on accommodation while staying in Lisbon? Bairro Alto Hotel is the place to be. It is one of the upscale hotels in central Lisbon, offering a superb and comfortable stay paired with excellent service and modern amenities.

Bairro Alto Hotel boasts stunning river views of Tagus and overlooks the beautiful neighborhoods of Chiado and Bairro Alto. Situated right in the heart of Lisbon, you have ready access to the metro station and the famous Tram 28, the city’s public transport. Due to the hotel’s genius location, most of the city’s main attractions are a stone’s throw away!

As for accommodations, the modern rooms are sleek and comfortable. They feature contemporary art, luxurious bedding, gorgeous private bathrooms, in-room WIFI, a mini-bar, and coffee makers. But the rooftop is perhaps the hotel’s most striking feature, where guests can see Lisbon’s busy streets and beautiful sunset while enjoying an aperitif.

9Hotel Mercy

If you’re figuring out where to stay in Lisbon with family, then 9 Mercy Hotel is an excellent option. This is a 4-star stylish hotel located close to the historic center of Lisbon. In addition, several attractions, such as St. George’s Castle, Santa Justa Elevator, Camoes Square, and the Carmo Fountain, are located a few blocks away.

The boutique hotel boasts 47 contemporary private rooms donned in a beautiful combination of gold and black tones. The materials and furnishings are carefully handpicked and are well-equipped with modern conveniences such as reliable WIFI, huge flat-screen TVs, gorgeous bathrooms, coffee machines, and a safety deposit box.

The hotel serves a sumptuous breakfast buffet featuring local Portuguese fare. The Carnal Gastrobar is the best location to chill and socialize after dark, where you can enjoy good food, refreshing drinks, and great music in one place. But if you want a more relaxed ambiance, head to the 6th floor and visit the Rooftop bar, where you can relax and let your hair down while admiring Lisbon’s scenic beauty.

Bairro Alto

Yellow Trolley in Lisbon going down hill on a track
The famous yellow trolleys of Lisbon in Bairro Alto

If you want to feel Lisbon after sunset, consider visiting Bairro Alto. It may seem like a typical neighborhood in the city center during the day, but it transforms radically at night; you won’t believe it’s even the same place!

So Bairro Alto is Lisbon’s nightlife hub. Restaurants, bars, and clubs are in sheer abundance in this neighborhood. In addition, Bairro Alto’s Bohemian lifestyle is popular in the country and beyond, bringing flocks of tourists looking for a good time at parties and clubs.

So if you’re looking for the best places to stay in Lisbon, Portugal, where you can meet locals and tourists while having a good time, you should keep Bairro Alto as one of your top options.

Inn Bairro Alto Bed & Breakfast

If you’re working with a tight budget during your stay in Lisbon, then Inn Bairro Alto Bed & Breakfast fits that bill perfectly. The metro station is just a brief stroll away, providing easy access to the adjacent areas of Baixa and Chiado.

 Inn Bairro Alto Bed & Breakfast offers cozy accommodations. The rooms are unique and decorated with a modern feel. You could also book the studio deluxe with a private bathroom with a private kitchenette, making it ideal for lengthier stays.

You could take part in walking tours to explore the city, or you could wander and find yourself checking out the area’s numerous shops, cafes, and restaurants. Also, visit some of the best attractions, such as the Lisbon Cathedral and Rossio Square.

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Palácio das Especiarias

Palácio das Especiarias may have an upscale feel without the hefty price tag. It is the best place to stay in Lisbon, Portugal, especially if you’re looking forward to acquiring a wealth of experience even on a slightly tight budget.

Palácio das Especiarias’ timeless beauty reflected the Age of Discoveries when spices were as precious as gold. The phrase Palácio das Especiarias translates as Spice Palace, and its 16th-century allure has been attracting tourists and guests, thanks to its grand architecture, ornate decor, and comfortable accommodations.

It’s also great to know that the hotel has an on-site spa, Tágides Wellness & SPA, offering relaxing massages, Roman baths, and sauna facilities to rejuvenate your mind and body after a full day of exploring Lisbon.

The Lumiares

The Lumiares was once an 18th-century palace located in the bustling district of Bairro Alto. This glamorous boutique modern hotel has excellent amenities to provide a comfortable and remarkable stay in Lisbon — a rooftop bar, two restaurants, a spa, and a gym. Plus, the rooms are soundproofed, so you can doze off to slumberland despite the dynamic night scene in the neighborhood.

The tastefully designed 53 rooms are all comfortable and stunning. Each room has a WIFI connection, designer toiletries, separate sitting areas, and full-sized fridges. You have the option to select from a range of accommodations based on your budget and personal tastes, including a one-bedroom studio or even a luxurious penthouse.

Most of Lisbon’s city center attractions are readily accessible from the hotel. You could walk or take public transport and get there in a few minutes.

Alfama

Buildings in Alfama Lisbon Portugal
Gorgeous tile-covered buildings in Alfama Lisbon

The beautiful and historic neighborhood of Alfama is located on a hill between the Tagus River and St. George’s castle. Whereas other neighborhoods are situated on a flatter surface, Alfama is perched on a hill, so staying here gives you a commanding view of Lisbon and the river.

Alfama is teeming with historic buildings, winding alleys, and soft-hued, tile-covered houses. It gives off an old-world vibe, but what makes it unique is the abundance of modern cafes, restaurants, shops, and hotels in the area. It is a picturesque district that perfectly marries the old and new Lisbon!

Alfama is an ideal neighborhood for those seeking a peaceful and calm environment away from the dynamic energy of the city, making it the perfect choice for anyone looking for the best accommodation in Lisbon!

First, take your time wandering through the charming narrow streets. Then, sit down at a fantastic restaurant and enjoy a sampling of Portuguese gastronomy while listening to authentic Fado music.

One thing to remember, though, when you stay in Alfama is that it is quite hilly. You’ll be walking a lot, so pack a pair or two of your comfiest shoes. You could take Tram 28 as you move from one neighborhood to the next, but expect it to be packed during rush hour. Besides that, Alfama is a traditional romantic neighborhood in Lisbon worth exploring!

Lisbon Lounge Suites

If you’re looking for the best cheap places to stay in Lisbon, particularly in Alfama, you need not look further than Lisbon Lounge Suites. It comprises inexpensive, spacious apartments less than 10 minutes from St. George’s Castle.

Lisbon Lounge Suites are self-catering apartments with rooms fully equipped with a functional kitchen and a sofa bed. If you like to prepare your own meals or see yourself staying at Alfama longer, then booking one of these apartments is a cost-effective decision.

The modern rooms are clean and comfortable, and many of them come with enthralling views of the Tagus River. These apartments have a prime location in Alfama. The tram is accessible, and you can hop on and off almost straight from your doorstep! Also, numerous shops, cafes, and restaurants are within walking distance.

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Memmo Alfama

Memmo Alfama is a modern hotel comprised of 47 beautifully-designed and well-appointed rooms. It is located at the heart of Alfama, offering outstanding river views, and is a stone’s throw away from the neighborhood’s main spots.

The best aspects of the guest rooms in Memmo Alfama are the unforgettable views straight from your windows. The red roofs against the enticing views of the Tagus River are picture-perfect! Consider booking one of the Patio Rooms if you want access to the fantastic street views of Alfama.

On top of that, rooms are furnished with high-quality bedding and linen, modern bathroom amenities, luxurious toiletries, and modern facilities, such as an iPhone docking station and a minibar filled with authentic Portuguese snacks.

You can visit the downtown area or Avenida da Liberdade from Memmo Alfama within a few minutes. The iconic castle walls of St. George are also quite near. You can visit Chiado or Bairro Alto at night for a fun rendezvous with friendly locals and fellow tourists. Tram 28 stops close to the hotel, allowing you the time and freedom to explore Lisbon’s neighborhoods.

Archi-Pelago Alfama Design Suites Guesthouse

This gorgeous boutique guesthouse is a 2-star accommodation located in the middle of Lisbon. The well-appointed guesthouses are neat and comfortable, equipped with WIFI, air conditioning, and a terrace with sweeping views of the inner courtyards.

Traditional Portuguese designs adorn the rooms, giving you a truly local vibe. The rooms are decent and clean, and they are already great deals for their price points. From the parquet floors, clean private bathrooms, and provisions of toiletries, you’ll indeed feel it’s your home away from home in Lisbon.

Archi-Pelago Alfama Design Suites Guesthouse’s desirable location brings guests to the prime attractions in the city, including the Dona Maria II National Theatre, Lisbon Oceanarium, and Miradouro da Senhora do Monte, which are all just a few kilometers away.

This guesthouse provides a decent, clean, and cozy place to stay without breaking the bank. It sure is value for money!

Belem

Belem Tower in Lisbon

Belem is a neighborhood located on the west side of the city. It is much more serene and quiet than the other districts, so it’s perfect for tourists looking for a comfortable and intimate holiday in the Portuguese capital.

There is plenty of sightseeing you can do in Belem. It has retained most of Lisbon’s historical and cultural charm, so the neighborhood has a local vibe. Two of its most important landmarks, the Belem Tower and Jeronimos Monastery, are must-sees during your trip.

Impressive museums and beautiful churches are also found in Belem. But remember, you should not miss going to Pastéis de Belém, an iconic bakery that sells Portuguese tart. If you spend part of your Portuguese vacation in Belem, visiting Pastéis de Belém should be on top of your list.

Since Belem is much less touristy, accommodation prices here are easier on the pocket. Moreover, there are plenty of places to stay in Belem that are nice and cozy, with excellent amenities and top-notch service.

Palácio do Governador

Palácio do Governador is a beautiful 60-room hotel located in the emblematic neighborhood of Belem. It translates to “Governor’s Palace” as it was built on the former governor’s home of the Tower of Belem. Today, this boutique hotel offers an enticing and comfortable stay, with a chapel, restaurant and bar, spa, and even an outdoor pool.

The exquisitely-designed rooms reflect both heritage and modernity. Each room is unique, featuring historical details and classical designs. Even the paneled ceilings are original and date back to the 17th century. Modern facilities include unlimited WIFI, air conditioning, heavy-duty safe, and luxurious toiletries.

From your hotel, you could take a walk towards the Belem Tower and Maritime Museum, which are just less than a 10-minute walk. A couple of great restaurants and cafes are also within the area. But if you want to get to the city center, you can take the metro bus and arrive in a few minutes.

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The Pestana Palace Hotel Lisbon

Revived as a 19th-century Palace, Pestana Palace is now a 5-star hotel that is part of the “Leading Hotels of the World.” This title sets the standard, and you will not be disappointed. You’ll find mesmerizing views of the Tagus river from your hotel room and a verdant private garden below.

This award-winning hotel in Lisbon has accommodated Marquis and A-list celebrities. And it’s easy to see why. The rooms are elegant and tastefully decorated. They are all equipped with 5-star facilities, such as luxurious bedding, branded bathroom toiletries, flat-screen TVs, and fast and steady WIFI, among others. In addition, the suites come with a terrace and furniture, perfect for sipping your coffee or wine as you take in the glorious views of the river.

Although there are few dining options outside the hotel, the on-site dining facilities will keep you happily satisfied during your stay. Breakfasts are served at the old ballroom called Valle-Flôr, featuring delectable Portuguese cuisine. The casual yet elegant Bar Allegro offers an all-day menu plus an extensive list of cocktails and wines. During summer, you can go on a picnic on the palace grounds and enjoy the natural scenery while indulging in mimosa and charcuterie.

Altis Belem Hotel & Spa

Altis Belem Hotel & Spa is another popular accommodation option in the neighborhood. It is a 5-star luxury hotel offering the best of both worlds: contemporary facilities paired with old-world charm.

Altis Belem Hotel & Spa features 50 unique rooms, carrying the “theme of discovery” in each of them. The rooms are meticulously decorated to reflect Portugal’s wealth of culture and history. The main attraction in each of these rooms is the eye-catching panels that set an evoking atmosphere.

The facilities at Altis Belem Hotel & Spa are also top-notch. From the marble and glass bathrooms, down feather duvets, and blackout blinds to Egyptian cotton linen, you’re guaranteed a pleasant and comfortable stay in this hotel.

What is the coolest neighborhood in Lisbon?

This answer is up for debate and comes down to personal preference. Cais do Sodré has been deemed the coolest neighborhood in Lisbon and maybe in all of Europe. It is known for its nightlife and clubs. That really is not my scene, so I prefer more quaint and quiet neighborhoods like Belem.

Is Lisbon a Walkable City?

Lisbon is totally a walkable city. It is small enough that you can get around on foot or by taking the tram which runs all throughout the city. There are also tuk-tuks that drive through the city giving tours and rides to visitors.

Final Word: Where to Stay in Lisbon

Lisbon is a captivating European city. Each neighborhood has a character of its own and stories to tell. So whether you pick the bustling districts of Chiada and Baixa or stay in a serene accommodation in Belem, there’s one thing for sure: you’ll always have options!

So if you’re planning a trip to Lisbon right now, return to the neighborhoods mentioned above and find what speaks the most to you. After that, determine the best places to stay in Lisbon at your chosen neighborhood base and choose your itinerary. Don’t worry because these neighborhoods are easily accessible via public transport, so you can easily hop from one to the next and make the most out of your holiday. 

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