Where to stay in Lisbon? Central are and surrounding neighborhoods are best for first time visitors. Such neighborhoods include Rossio, Baixa, Chiado, Alfama, Bairro Alto and Cais do Sodre.
Families may want to choose the Oriente neighborhood of Lisbon, with its Parque das Nacoes (Park of Nations), a modern development boasting a lovely waterfront promenade, a cable car, a huge shopping mall (the Vasco da Gama Shopping Centre) and the amazing Oceanarium, one of the best aquariums in Europe. Your kids would love a visit to Pavilhao do Conhecimento, (the Knowledge Pavilion) and to the science and technology museum.
Luxury travel lovers should take a look at some of the five-star and boutique hotels on Avenida da Libertade, Lisbon’s main avenue, home to pricey brand stores, fancy restaurants, and fashion outlets.
Belem is another great choice to stay in Lisbon, particularly if you’re not at your first visit to Portugal’s capital city.
Let’s see some of the best areas to stay in Lisbon with hotel options for all kinds of budgets. You can thank me later, after you learn how to say Thank You in Portuguese.
Main Topics of Where To Stay in Lisbon: Best Areas & Neighborhoods
Arroios – Best Value for Money
Arroios is a beautiful and relatively quiet neighborhood, only a short walk away from downtown Lisbon, which I considered to be Rossio or Praca Dom Pedro IV Square. From Arroios, there are two short metro stations (Anjos and Intendente) to Martim Moniz, the point where you meet the famous Tram 28 line, with its yellow and red streetcars.
I was very happy with the accommodation in Arroios, on the big boulevard that links Alameda to Rossio, Avenida Almirante Reis. Here’s this Apartamento Zen, clean, nice and featuring a small kitchen with everything needed for cooking breakfast. I could see the abandoned tower on top of Miradouro da Penha de Franca from my kitchen window.
A little closer to Rossio Square and Liberty Avenue, on the same Almirante Reis street, there’s another interesting accommodation, WC Beautique Hotel, a place with very good reviews on Booking.com. I passed by it every evening returning from downtown Lisbon. The area is posh and safe regardless of the hour of the day (or of the night, for that matter).
There are nice bars and restaurants in this area. One of the best meat restaurants in Lisbon is Restaurante o Carvoeiro, at Calcada de Sao Vicente 70, Lisboa. Click here to see the location of Restaurante O Carvoeiro on the map. Make sure you call them early in the afternoon to make a reservation for the evening, as the restaurant is very popular among locals and tourists alike.
Arroios is also convenient thanks to its excellent connections to the Lisbon airport, Humberto Delgado Airport (IATA: LIS, ICAO: LPPT). Getting from the airport to this area of Lisbon takes about 30 minutes and you only need to change the metro once, at Alameda.
Baixa – Downtown Lisbon
Baixa is synonymous with downtown Lisbon. This neighborhood includes Praca do Rossio, Praca do Restauradores, Avenida da Liberdade, Praca Marquess de Pombal, Praca da Figueira, and Praca do Comercio. Among the most famous streets in Lisbon that belong to Baixa there are Rua Augusta, the posh pedestrian avenue with beautiful shop windows and appealing restaurants, Rua da Prata, and Rua Aurea.
The famous Santa Justa Lift is also in Baixa.
Casa Balthazar, on Rua do Duque, Santa Maria Maior, is one of the best places to stay in Baixa. It has excellent ratings and reviews on booking.com and it is only 3 minutes away from Rossio Train Station, where you can take the train to Sintra, Belem and Cascais.
Charme da Graca is another interesting accommodation in Lisbon’s center. This property is very close to two scenic viewpoints, Miradouro da Graca and Miradouro da Senhora do Monte.
Chiado is the other neighborhood that belongs to downtown Lisbon. On many websites you’ll find the two neighborhoods mentioned together as a whole, Baixa-Chiado. If you want to stay in this area of Lisbon, you can take a look at Flora Chiado Apartments, on Rua Anchieta. This apartment has excellent reviews on booking from a wide range of travelers.
I don’t know about others, but I usually prefer apartments, as they feature a kitchen or a kitchenette with basic cooking utensils. I like to eat my breakfast at home before going out for the day. This is also a good method to save on meals while traveling.
Together with Baixa and Chiado, Bairro Alto belongs to downtown Lisbon. The fact that it spreads over the top of a hill makes Bairro Alto a great choice for those who want to enjoy beautiful panoramic views from their hotel window.
While Baixa, Chiado and Arroios are flat, Barrio Alto is on top of the hill. If you don’t want to put up with climbing stairs and slopes, you may want to avoid this area when searching where to stay in Lisbon.
Located in Camoes Square, on Rua da Horta Seca, Misericordia, Palacio das Especiarias can be your dream hotel in Lisbon. This guesthouse is only 3 minutes away from Bairro Alto and 7 km from Lisbon Humberto Delgado Airport.
If you check out travel blogs and magazines, 99.99% of them will mention Alfama as a must-see in Lisbon. Alfama is a fancy neighborhood with pedestrian streets covered in beautiful cobblestones, with shops, bars and restaurants, buzzing with life and extremely pleasurable to the eye.
Located on Calcada de Sao Vicente, in Santa Maria Maior, near Miradouro da Senhora do Monte, the Sao Vicente Alfama Hotel by TRIUS Hotels is one of the best choices for luxury travelers (and not only) to Portugal.
Avenida da Libertade
This is the central boulevard of Lisbon, a great avenue lined with old trees and featuring lovely cobblestone designs. It is home to pricey fashion shops, big brands outlets and expensive five-star hotels.
As you can easily imagine, hotels on Avenida da Libertade are expensive. If you’re on a budget, this is not the Lisbon area for you.
Cais do Sodre
Cais do Sodre marks the terminal of Lisbon’s Green metro line, the train station to Belem, and the ferry terminal to Cacilhas and Almada on the southern bank of Tagus river. To visit Cristo Rei, for instance, you’ll need to take the commuter ferry from Cais do Sodre.
As you can easily see on a map of Lisbon, all these areas and neighborhoods are intertwined and really close to each other. Choosing where to stay in Lisbon is rather a matter of finding a hotel, a hostel, a studio or an apartment that suits your budget and your preferences in terms of amenities.
Park of the Nations (Parque das Nacoes) – Oriente
If it weren’t for this rainy day in Lisbon, I would have never discovered Parque das Nacoes, the Park of Nations. This is one of the perfect areas in Lisbon for families with children. Unlike all of the neighborhoods mentioned above, Parque das Nacos is a modern area with new buildings and high-rise hotels and business buildings.
The Park of nations offers accommodations in hotels and apartments or studios, so you can rest assured you’ll find something to suit your preferences, whatever they may be.
Oriente metro station is only a few minutes away from these hotels. Click here to see a Lisbon metro map to understand what I’m talking about.
Where To Stay in Lisbon for First Time Visitors
When you’re in Lisbon for the first time, you want to be as close to the most important landmarks as possible. This is why the city center is the best choice.
Even if you don’t have a lavish budget you’ll find apartments and hostels to suit you. Hotels, however, can get on the expensive side. Choose shoulder neighborhoods such as Arroios and Alameda, in order to get the best value for your money. You’ll be at walking distance from Rossio, Santa Justa, Restauradores, and Tram 28.
Where To Stay in Lisbon for Families with Kids
Central areas are also suitable for families with children. However, if you want to be near the kid-friendly entertainment facilities, choose the Park of Nations, with its Oceanarium and science museums. Your kids will love that!
Wherever you stay in Lisbon, keep in mind that the airport is very close to the city and well-connected to almost all areas.