Where to stay in Lisbon

Where to stay in Lisbon? The vibrant capital of Portugal is an incredibly enjoyable destination to explore, with the historic center and the attractions of Lisbon covering multiple neighborhoods. As a result, there are also several charming neighborhoods to stay, offering the best hotels, cozy hostels, and beautiful luxury hotels. It may take some searching through the large selection to find the truly great spots, but you will find truly stunning accommodations here. Lisbon offers a diverse array of neighborhoods for visitors to choose from when deciding where to stay. Whether you’re seeking historical charm, trendy nightlife, or convenient access to popular attractions, this city has it all. In this blog, we will help you make a choice. Where should you stay in Lisbon? What are the best neighborhoods to stay in Lisbon? And which hotels are recommended there?


How to get to Lisbon in Portugal

Located on the stunning western coast of Portugal, Lisbon is a vibrant and enchanting city that offers a perfect blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Situated at the mouth of the Tagus River, Lisbon is known for its iconic seven hills, picturesque neighborhoods, and breathtaking vistas.

To reach this captivating destination, there are several convenient options. If you’re traveling from abroad, Lisbon is well-connected by air, with the Portela Airport serving as the main gateway. Alternatively, you can also reach Lisbon by train, which provides scenic views along the way.

Once you arrive, the city’s efficient and extensive public transportation system, including buses, trams, and the metro, makes it easy to explore all the fascinating corners of Lisbon. Whether you’re wandering through the historic Alfama district or savoring the local delicacies in the lively Bairro Alto, getting around Lisbon is a breeze.

Lisbon Portugal

Why Lisbon is worth visiting

Lisbon, the vibrant capital of Portugal, is a city that effortlessly blends history, culture, and stunning architecture, making it a must-visit destination for any traveler. From its charming neighborhoods to its breathtaking viewpoints, Lisbon offers a unique experience that will leave you enchanted. As such, it is not only a highlight of a journey through Portugal but a must-visit destination for every traveler.

One of the reasons why Lisbon is so full of culture and attractions is the city’s rich history. This translates into the numerous iconic landmarks and the atmospheric center filled with historical structures. Not to be missed is the impressive Jerónimos Monastery, a masterpiece of Manueline architecture and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Make use of the unique wrought-iron Elevador de Santo Justa with panoramic views of Lisbon’s picturesque landscape. Visit the ruins of the Gothic Convento do Carmo, which serves as a reminder of the devastating earthquake that struck Lisbon in 1755. Capture photos of the iconic Belém Tower on the banks of the Tagus River. Stroll through the majestic Lisbon Cathedral, Sé de Lisboa.

Other well-known highlights of Lisbon? A recommendation is the famous yellow tram 28. Lisbon is filled with charming vintage trams, but this tram line is the most renowned due to its beautiful route through the old Graça neighborhood. The yellow tram winds through the narrow streets of the old city, providing a wonderful tour of this part of Lisbon. And how about enjoying a drink or a meal at LX Factory? This creative hub is brimming with the coolest art galleries, trendy shops, and hip cafes.

All in all, Lisbon is a city that enchants you with its rich history, beautiful landmarks, and vibrant atmosphere. From the nostalgic charm of Tram 28 to the cultural treasures of the Jerónimos Monastery and the Elevador de Santo Justa, visitors can easily entertain themselves in Lisbon for a weekend, a week, or even a month.

Lisbon Portugal

Where to stay in Lisbon: the 6 best neighbourhoods

Lisbon is built on seven hills and consists of many more neighborhoods. The center is quite large and is spread across several of these hills. Fortunately, most of the notable neighborhoods are within walking distance of each other, but be prepared for a lot of ascending and descending due to the many hills. By the way, with a day pass for public transportation, you can easily cover those elevation changes with the vintage trams and the beautiful Elevador de Santo Justa.

The historic center of Lisbon roughly comprises the neighborhoods of Alfama, Bairro Alto, Baixa, Chiado, and Graça. Both Alfama and Bairro Alto are located on the typical hills of Lisbon, while the other neighborhoods are situated around those hills. Additionally, the district of Belém is also known, which is a bit further from the center.

Where to stay in Alfama

Probably the most popular neighborhood to stay in Lisbon is Alfama. It’s known as one of the oldest neighborhoods in Lisbon and offers a perfect mix of narrow streets, colorful houses, and a warm, authentic atmosphere. Time has left its mark here. While other neighborhoods suffered significant damage and needed rebuilding after the devastating earthquake of 1755, Alfama remained largely intact.

The historical district is a labyrinth of cobblestone alleys and stairs, where you can wander around delightfully. Fado music, the Portuguese folk song, was born in Alfama, and you can hear it everywhere here, finding its way to the many fado houses in the neighborhood. The impressive Castelo de São Jorge is one of Lisbon’s most famous attractions, offering a panoramic view of the city. But also, the well-known Miradouro de Santa Luzia is a must-visit for an unforgettable view of Lisbon and the river. For beautiful churches, you should visit the Sé de Lisboa, the city’s oldest cathedral, and the Igreja de São Vicente de Fora, known for its typical Portuguese azulejos.

The best hotels in Alfama:

#1 Santiago de Alfama is a boutique hotel nestled in the heart of Alfama. This exquisite 5-star hotel, housed within a historic building, offers stunning cityscape views. The spacious rooms are adorned with a luxurious ambiance and bright tones. Some are even equipped with standalone bathtub.

#2 Pousada Alfama serves as an ideal hub due to its superb central location near all the top attractions. Revel in stylish comfort with modern rooms, several of which boast balconies providing breathtaking views of the Tagus River. The splendid terrace offers a panoramic delight.

#3 São Vicente Alfama Hotel stands as an elegant design hotel, situated in a historic building in Alfama. The hotel presents commodious rooms that are beautifully and stylishly appointed, often featuring a private sitting area. Glowing reviews applaud the lovely rooms, superb location, and extensive breakfast offerings.

Where to stay in Bairro Alto

Translated, Bairro Alto means something like ‘high neighborhood,’ and indeed, this Lisbon district is situated on a hill. The ascending tram Ascensor Glória and a lift – the beautiful Elevador de Santo Justa – easily take you up. The neighborhood is mostly car-free, contributing to the relaxed atmosphere found here. Along the neighborhood’s edge, you have beautiful viewpoints over the city, which are also the main attractions of the area.

Bairro Alto is Lisbon’s trendy nightlife district. This doesn’t mean that you’ll only find young people and hostels here. We had a wonderful and peaceful stay here with our baby as well. The district boasts a high concentration of hip hotspots and nice restaurants. Especially in the evenings, the neighborhood comes to life with live music and cozy bars. On warm summer nights, the whole neighborhood transforms into a large terrace, with streets filled with people and conviviality.

The best hotels in Bairro Alto:

#4 Bairro Alto Hotel is a stunning luxury hotel in a prime location. The boutique hotel is housed in a historic 18th-century building and boasts 87 rooms, including two extra luxurious and beautifully decorated signature suites. The hotel features its own restaurant with views over the river and Lisbon’s old town.

#5 Casa das Janelas com Vista has a beautiful courtyard and a cozy living room. Guests praise the extensive breakfast buffet, charming style, and great location in their positive reviews. The rooms come with wooden floors, luxurious beds, and modern bathrooms.

#6 Memmo Príncipe Real is an exclusive luxury hotel on the northern side of the Bairro Alto district. It offers an outdoor pool and a lounge with panoramic city views. Some rooms have private terraces with views. The lovely restaurant also has a large terrace, offering views of the pool and Lisbon from there.

Where to stay in Baixa

Baixa is the beating heart of Lisbon, situated between all the other neighborhoods. Its nickname, the ‘lower town,’ indicates that you don’t need to climb hills here; instead, you find yourself in the valley among those hills. Iconic cable cars and the Santa Justa lift connect Baixa with the higher parts of the city.

Baixa looks strikingly different from the charming Alfama, Bairro Alto, or other neighborhoods, as it was heavily affected by the 1755 earthquake. This Lisbon neighborhood was completely rebuilt, resulting in a somewhat clinical layout of straight, grid-like streets. Known attractions in this district include the Santa Justa lift, the triumphal arch Arco da Rua Augusta, and the monumental Praça do Comércio. The presence of the Rossio train station is also practical, offering trains to Sintra, Cascais, and the airport.

The best hotels in Baixa:

#7 Home Lisbon Hostel offers a choice of four dormitories with shared bathrooms for those seeking more budget-friendly accommodation in Lisbon. For those desiring more privacy, there are also modern and stylish private rooms with en-suite bathrooms. The hostel’s cozy atmosphere is enhanced by the communal dining area and fully equipped kitchen

#8 My Story Hotel Figueira boasts a lovely boutique design adorned with soothing shades of blue. The rooms provide an incredible experience with bathrooms equipped with complimentary Rituals products, and sometimes even the luxury of a standalone bathtub. Enjoy the warm and inviting ambiance as you indulge in an extensive Italian-inspired breakfast and delightful cocktails at the bar.

#9 Nicola Rossio Hotel is ideally situated near Praça do Comércio and Rossio. This fine hotel offers spacious rooms featuring stylish decor with hardwood floors and a luxurious bathroom featuring a rainfall shower. The glowing reviews also praise the hotel’s excellent location.

Where to stay in Graça

One of the most charming neighborhoods in Lisbon is Graça, located on the city’s highest hill. From viewpoints like the Miradouro de Graça and Miradouro de Senhora da Monte, you’re treated to an unparalleled panorama. Graça’s most famous attraction is the way to get around the neighborhood: the iconic tram 28, which we mentioned earlier.

The atmosphere of Graça is somewhat reminiscent of Alfama, with its winding streets and historic buildings, interspersed with cozy cafes, vintage markets, and charming squares. Nevertheless, this neighborhood is much less touristy, providing a more authentic experience in Graça. Partly for this reason, the area is a popular residential district among locals and expats. Here, you won’t find large, soulless hotels, but you will find an abundance of charming apartments and neighborhood cafes with character.

The best hotels in Graça:

#10 Be Lisbon Hostel Intendente is a delightful hostel with a great ambiance. Situated conveniently just a 15-minute walk away from renowned landmarks, it boasts a great location. The hostel offers both dormitories and private family rooms. The pleasant rooms and the cozy entrance ensure a pleasant stay in one of Lisbon’s more budget-friendly accommodations.

#11 1908 Lisboa Hotel is an exceptionally beautiful boutique hotel. Housed in a fully renovated, award-winning building from 1908, designed by architect Adães Bermudes. Positioned at the corner of Avenida Almirante Reis and Largo do Intendente, the hotel features an art gallery with rotating exhibitions, a restaurant, and a bar. With its Art Nouveau decor and unique contemporary works by Portuguese artists reinterpreting the past into the present, each room welcomes you with French balconies and splendid views of the square or the avenue.

#12 OnJ S. Lazaro Lisboa is a charming boutique aparthotel in Graça. A what? A hotel with a boutique atmosphere, offering lovely studios and apartments instead of rooms. Located just steps away from Praça da Figueira and a mere 10-minute stroll from the vibrant city center, the hotel greets guests in their own studios and apartments. These come with a complete kitchenette, a cozy seating area, and a private bathroom featuring luxurious amenities like a walk-in shower with a rain showerhead. Guests can relish in stunning panoramic views of the Graça district from the terrace.

Where to stay in Chiado

The cozy Chiado is nestled between the central Baixa and the nightlife hub Bairro Alto. It’s known as Lisbon’s main shopping area but is also characterized by numerous cafes, terraces, and hotels. Its central location and pleasant atmosphere make it a perfect base for your city trip in Lisbon.

From Baixa, you can directly access the heart of Baixa with the iconic Santa Justa lift. A visit to this attraction is a must, if only for the beautiful view from the top. There, you’ll also find the Convento da Ordem do Carmo, the Carmo Convent, a Gothic monastery ruin that partially withstood the destructive 1755 earthquake. In addition to the lift, you can also use the cable car, the Ascensor da Bica, which takes you to the Cais do Sodré district.

The best hotels in Chiado:

#13 Casa do Barao is a charming bed & breakfast housed in a beautiful 18th-century building, completely renovated in 2014 and featuring the luxury of an outdoor swimming pool. Enjoy a contemporary decor in each room, some with balconies and views of the lush garden and vibrant streets. Start your day with a continental breakfast in the lush garden. The B&B offers many common areas, including a cozy lounge and a library. The famous Tram 28 stops just 80 meters away.

#14 Casa do Mercado Lisboa receives praise for its hospitality and central location. The beautifully decorated, spacious rooms with wooden floors and light colors provide not only a pleasant stay but also lovely views. The rooms feature comfortable beds, are cleaned daily, and include daily breakfast.

#15 Lost Lisbon Chiado House welcomes guests in an exquisite location in Lisbon’s historic Chiado district. The hotel is only a 3-minute walk from the enchanting Camões Square and 5 minutes from the bustling Bairro Alto neighborhood. With its uniquely decorated rooms and daily breakfast, this hotel is a top choice if you’re seeking hospitality, beautiful decor, and a delightful atmosphere, as praised in the enthusiastic reviews. 

Where to stay in Belém

In the eastern part of Lisbon lies the historic neighborhood of Belém, where you’ll find perhaps the highest concentration of well-known attractions in the entire city. While you’re quite far from the historic center in Belém, you’ll encounter a wealth of monuments reflecting the glory of the Golden Age. This district is situated on the banks of the Tagus River and is characterized by the Torre de Belém, a majestic defense tower, and the enchanting Jerónimos Monastery, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. Both are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Iconic for Lisbon and Belém are also the famous Pastéis de Belém from the bakery of the same name, where there’s often a long queue.

Unfortunately, Belém is quite far from the historic city center. It takes over an hour to cover the distance on foot. Therefore, we recommend getting a day pass for public transportation. This pass also gives you access to icons like Tram 28, the Santa Justa lift, and the cable cars that ascend the hills of Lisbon.

The best hotels in Belém:

#16 Wine & Books Lisboa Hotel is a luxury hotel located just 800 meters away from the impressive Jerónimos Monastery. With facilities like a fitness room, wellness center, cozy bar, and restaurant, this hotel ensures a luxurious stay. From rooms with balconies to rooms with breathtaking city views, the Wine & Books Lisboa Hotel is a fantastic choice in Belém.

#17 Pestana Palace Lisboa Hotel is an enchanting 5-star hotel situated in a nineteenth-century palace. It boasts exquisite rooms and a lush private park, offering breathtaking views of the Tagus River. There are two swimming pools, a sauna, and an extensive wellness center with a steam bath and hot tub. Guests can indulge in culinary delights at the elegant restaurant overlooking the lavish gardens, where traditional Portuguese dishes are served.

#18 NAU Palacio do Governador is an enchanting property located just 400 meters away from the Belém Tower. This hotel pampers guests with an array of amenities, including a lavish spa and wellness center, a refreshing outdoor pool available year-round, a heated indoor pool, and private parking facilities. The hotel also features a garden, terrace, library, and lounge.

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