Are you planning a trip to Portugal and wondering which are the best neighborhoods in Lisbon to stay in? Well then, this is the guide for you. I have just recently finished a month-long trip in Lisbon, spending lots of time roaming the different neighborhoods in Lisbon. While Lisbon is generally a smaller city, where you stay in the city can really influence your trip. You want to be close enough to have easy access to everything, but still with some peace and quiet. In this “Where to Stay in Lisbon Portugal Guide,” you will learn everything you need to know about the different neighborhoods of Lisbon. I’ll be going over everything about each neighborhood in Lisbon so you can make an informed decision on the best area to stay for your visit. Keep in mind these are all just my personal opinions. So let’s get into it!
Table of Contents
Best Neighborhoods in Lisbon to Stay
1. Principe Real
Undoubtedly, my top pick for where to stay in Lisbon has to be Principe Real. And there are many reasons for that. With gorgeous mansions, upscale shops, and fine dining restaurants, this is one of the best neighborhoods in Lisbon to stay in for an excellent experience. Along with small antique shops and boutique shops, Principe Real is one of Lisbon’s more high-end areas. Principe Real is one of the best neighborhoods in Lisbon if you want easy access to everything but far enough from the tourist crowds. Unlike many other neighborhoods of Lisbon, you won’t be bothered by tourist traps in Principe Real. Some of the best restaurants, bars, and nightclubs are in Principe Real, just on the main street. The neighborhood is a short walk from lots of the city’s major attractions as well.
One of the biggest reasons Principe Real is one of the best neighborhoods in Lisbon to stay in is its elevation. Lisbon is well known for being very hilly, but Principe Real is located at the top of the hill. So to get to everywhere you need to go, you’ll be walking downhill. The main street has lots of the hustle and bustle, but it is incredibly quiet once you go down a side street. I stayed in Principe Real for my entire month stay, and it was fantastic. I couldn’t imagine staying anywhere else. As far as where to stay in Lisbon Principe Real, there are lots of great hotels to choose from and Airbnbs. If you are interested in staying in the same Airbnb I did, you can follow this link.
My Recommendations for Principe Real
- Visit Jardim de São Pedro de Alcântara– A small garden with panoramic views of the city of Lisbon. Grab a glass of wine or an espresso and enjoy the views.
- The Insólito– One of the best rooftop bars in Lisbon with fantastic cocktails. There is also a restaurant attached but its worth a trip just for the views and drinks.
- Jardim Botanico de Lisboa– A botanical garden attached to the natural history museum. The garden itself is somewhat underwhelming but if you come when everything is in bloom then I imagine it is much nicer.
2. Avenida da Liberdade
Luxury shopping, high-end restaurants, public art, and small parklet cafes are what you’ll find on Avenida da Liberdade. This main shopping street of Lisbon definitely has some Parisian inspiration, with high-end shopping on either side of this tree-lined street avenue. The entire city is highly accessible from this area, with the metro, busses, and taxis available all along the avenue. On this avenue, you’ll find some of the most high-end hotels in the city like the Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton, and many more big brand hotels. It is the most expensive of where to stay in Lisbon on this list, but it may be worth it.
Personally, I love strolling along the avenue, but I don’t think I’d want to stay here for a long time compared to some of the other best neighborhoods in Lisbon to stay on this list. If you are visiting for a short trip and want a nice hotel where you can walk to all of the top attractions, then this might be where to stay in Lisbon for your trip. This area has stunning buildings, but you won’t find many boutique shops or small businesses. This area is all about the big brand name shops like Dior, DSquared2, Prada, and many more. In addition to the beautiful shops, the tiles on the street are some of the most ornate and beautiful in Lisbon. Be sure to look down as you stroll the avenue to enjoy these tile mosaics that are so famous in Portugal.
My Recommendations for Avenida da Liberdade
- Estufa Fria– Just north of the avenue is a large park with gorgeous monuments and open space, but a hidden gem is this botanical garden with beautiful foliage and water features.
- Zenith Brunch & Cocktails– For a delicious brunch with great drinks, come to Zenith just two blocks off of the main avenue.
- Street Cafe– There are almost too many small cafes to count along the avenue. Sit along the tree lined street while you sip a cocktail or espresso.
One of my favorite neighborhoods in Lisbon is Chiado. While sometimes considered a part of the more touristy Baixa, Chiado is actually the tiny neighborhood area to the west of Baixa. Chiado is a beautiful area with many high-end shops and restaurants, luxury hotels, and quiet streets to stroll. You get all this with quick access to many other parts of the city. Chiado might be one of the best neighborhoods in Lisbon to stay in if you want somewhere nice and close to the main tourist attractions. While this is still a heavy tourist area, you won’t find as much of a local flare. It doesn’t feel overwhelmingly touristy.
With some of the other best neighborhoods of Lisbon within a quick walk from Chiado, it’s easy to see why this is one of my top picks for where to stay in Lisbon. Chiado is located at the top of a hill with beautiful views of the city. There are many beautiful art galleries in this area and some of my favorite restaurants. It is straightforward to get around everywhere you want to go when you stay in Chiado. And the best part is, you’ll be in a much quieter area.
My Recommendations for Chiado
- Rua Garrett– An upscale shopping pedestrian street with notable shops, restaurants, and cafes. There is much to see here and usually lots of street performers as well.
- Carmo Convent– The infamous ruins of an old gothic church that was destroyed in the 1755 earthquake and subsequent fires. You can enter the museum but also see much of the structure just from the outside.
- National Theatre of São Carlos– An 18th-century opera theatre that is both beautiful on the outside and the inside. You can check for showtimes to come listen to live music.
4. Bairro Alto
If you like to party, then Bairro Alto is one of the best neighborhoods in Lisbon to stay for you! This is one of the most famous neighborhoods of Lisbon for its nightlife. The streets here are small and compact, with many bars and restaurants. You can easily get lost just wandering around this area. While Bairro Alto might seem quiet and nondescript during the daytime, this place truly comes alive at night. Especially on the weekends. The bars inside are usually pretty small, so many people drink and have fun in the streets. That is actually a large part of the culture in Bairro Alto, to hop from place to place. The entire street is basically one bar and one big party. There is some real energy here with a very young and fun crowd.
As far as where to stay in Lisbon Bairro Alto, that depends on what you like. As I said, this is the party zone, and the party goes on very late into the night. If you are the type of person that wants to stay out partying until sunrise, then you’ll love this area. If you want to go to sleep at 10 p.m. to rest up for another full day of sightseeing, then you’ll want to avoid Bairro Alto. While some streets in this neighborhood of Lisbon are less crazy, you will most certainly be able to hear the party from your hotel or accommodation. If that doesn’t bother you, this may be the best area to stay in Lisbon for your trip!
My Recommendations for Bairro Alto
- The Botanical Den– A vegan bar with bar food that makes some of the best martinis I’ve had in all of Lisbon.
- Rua da Rosa– A notable street that is painted pink with umbrellas overhead. Not necessarily super exciting but worth a quick picture.
- Praça Luis de Camões– A beautiful historical square at the bottom of the Bairro Alto district.
When most people get an image in their mind of Lisbon, they are most likely picturing Alfama. This is the oldest part of the city to survive the famous earthquake that destroyed the majority of Lisbon back in 1755. Narrow streets, laundry hanging on the line, friendly locals, and lots of old-world charm can be expected in one of the oldest neighborhoods of Lisbon, Alfama. This neighborhood is excellent for people who want to have a classical Lisbon experience. The narrow walking streets and steep inclines are unique to this city area. You will see many locals in Alfama, as some families that have lived here for generations remain.
The beauty of Alfama is the old world charm and the slower pace of life. If you enjoy old-world charm with a slower pace, then Alfama may be one of the best neighborhoods in Lisbon to stay for your visit. Alfama has had troubles in recent years with over-tourism driving out locals, so be sure to be very respectful of the residents of this neighborhood. If you are a music lover, one of the most popular things to do in Alfama is listening to live Fado music. But honestly, the best thing to do in Alfama is to wander the streets and get lost. You won’t find much luck using Google Maps here, so just get lost.
My Recommendations for Alfama
- Castelo de São Jorge– The main castle of Lisbon dating back to the 11th century with incredible views of the city. This is very touristy and the lines get very long very quickly so come as early as you can.
- Miradouro de Santa Luzia– One of the most beautiful observation decks in all of Lisbon with views of the entirety of Alfama. Absolutely beautiful views and worth a visit.
- Lisbon Cathedral– Dating back to the 17th century, this gorgeous cathedral is a major landmark and worth visiting when in the Alfama neighborhood of Lisbon.
6. Cais do Sodré
Down closer to the water is one of the neighborhoods of Lisbon that I spent the least amount of time in, Cais do Sodré. There’s honestly not too much to say about this area. It is a bit low-key and chill with a local vibe. You won’t ever feel too overwhelmed by tourism in this neighborhood. There are many universities in this and the surrounding area, so the vibe is very young. There are lots of good, modern restaurants in this area as well. This may be one of the best neighborhoods in Lisbon to stay in if you are looking to be in a young, vibrant area and save some money. There seems to also be a great deal of nightlife in the surrounding areas, with lots of popular bars.
Most notably, you will find the Time Out Market, one of the most popular destinations in Lisbon. You’ll find vendors for any food you could think of in this vast market. And it all looks so delicious. Personally, I did not ever eat at the Time Out Market because it was always so busy. But if you don’t mind that, you’ll enjoy this area. Aside from the Time Out Market, there aren’t any major tourist attractions in Cais do Sodré. But you are within reasonable walking distance to the waterfront and many other popular areas. For where to stay in Lisbon Cais do Sodré, hotels and other accommodations are usually a bit more affordable here.
My Recommendations for Cais do Sodré
- Time Out Market– A visit to this huge market with vendors of every type is an absolute must visit. It gets very busy, especially on the weekends so be prepared for that. The food here is also more expensive than you would expect for it being a food court but I have heard that it is all top quality food and worth a try!
- Pink Street– Just like in Bairro Alto, it is a street that is painted pink with umbrellas overhead. There are actually multiple colored streets of all different colors around the many neighbourhoods of Lisbon.
If you want to be in the center of all the chaos of the city, then Baixa will be where to stay in Lisbon for you. In Baixa, you will find the majority of all tourist attractions. While I think Baixa is absolutely beautiful to walk through and enjoy, just be aware that it is incredibly touristy. All the restaurants are touristy. All the bars are touristy. Everything is aimed at tourism. I understand that I am also a tourist. But personally, it gets to be a bit too much for me. If you enjoy all the hustle and bustle, then Baixa will be one of the best neighborhoods in Lisbon to stay in for your visit.
In Baixa, you will have direct access to all of the most popular tourist attractions, such as the Santa Justa Lift, Praca do Comercio, Tram 28, and too many to list. This neighborhood of Lisbon is located at the bottom of all the hills and is relatively flat to walk itself. But just know that means you’ll be walking uphill to get to many things outside of Baixa. Many trams go through Baixa, and you can always get around in a tuk-tuk. I’m sure that there are parts of Baixa that are less touristy that I never visited. But from what I’ve experienced, it is IN YOUR FACE tourist traps. Still a beautiful part of the many neighborhoods of Lisbon, though.
My Recommendations for Baixa
- Praça Dom Pedro IV– This is one of the most beautiful plazas in all of Lisbon with the famous waved tiles. A very beautiful place to stroll.
- Rua Augusta– A beautiful pedestrian street with shops, restaurants and cafes. It is all very beautiful and a gorgeous place for a stroll and window shopping.
- Praça do Comercio– Easily the most famous landmark of Lisbon, this plaza is huge with restaurants and cafes on either side and a giant monument in the center. It is a beautiful plaza.
Where to Stay in Lisbon Portugal Conclusion
No matter which of these best neighborhoods in Lisbon to stay you choose, you will have a fantastic time in the city. During my month-long stay in Lisbon, I had the great pleasure of truly exploring these areas intimately. Obviously, which neighborhoods of Lisbon you choose as the best depends a lot on what you like to do. There are other factors to consider, such as length of stay, budget, and ease of mobility. Lisbon is a notoriously hilly city, so some areas may not be the most accessible for older people or those with mobility issues. These are all things to keep in mind when you are choosing where to stay in Lisbon for your visit from these neighborhood options!
I hope you found this ”Where to Stay in Lisbon Portugal Guide” to be informative and entertaining. It is my goal to help make travel easier for you. If you found this guide useful, please consider sharing it with your friends and fellow travelers. Be sure to check out the rest of my Portugal travel content here. Also, if you are interested in more of my content, please sign up for my email list to be notified when I post new content. Be sure to follow me on social media as well to stay up to date with all of my latest travels. Thank you so much for visiting my blog!