Where to Stay in Lisbon: Best Neighbourhoods for First Timers

orange and blue buildings line a busy commercial thoroughfare with blue umbrellas on a sunny day in one of the best areas to stay in Lisbon first time
Baixa – one of the best areas to stay in Lisbon for first time visitors

If you’re knee-deep in search tabs trying to figure out where to stay in Lisbon for first time visitors, breathe easy – you’ve landed in the right place! 

By the end of this guide, you’ll be well-versed in the most inviting Lisbon neighbourhoods, understanding exactly what each offers, whether you’re a nightlife aficionado, a café connoisseur, a history lover or tagging along with a lively family crew.

Having visited Lisbon multiple times since 2012 and now calling it a part-time home, I’ve personally explored each best place to stay in Lisbon from the hilltops of Alfama to the bustling streets of Bairro Alto.

Lisbon is not just about its iconic yellow trams or the historic Tower of Belém (like social media would have you believe); what really draws me to this city is its dynamic blend of old-world charm and a buzzing, creative pulse

Despite its roots stretching back to ancient times, Lisbon feels anything but old-fashioned. It’s a city that dances to the rhythm of the present, with a lively cultural scene that continually evolves.

A handful of areas to stay in Lisbon stand out for their central location, accessibility to stunning architecture, museums, and the kind of authentic local spots that make a trip memorable. Not to mention some pretty trendy little cafes.

The best places to stay in Lisbon are not only linked by an efficient public transport network but are also compact enough to explore on foot, connecting you to the city’s heart with every step.

For first-time visitors, where to stay in Lisbon is pretty straightforward. You’ll want to base yourself in the city centre in areas like Baixa, Chiado, Bairro Alto or Alfama

Where to Stay in Lisbon Quick Guide

Baixa | First Timer Visitors, Sightseeing, Families
Chiado | Foodies, Trendy Cafes, Shoppers
Bairro Alto | Nightlife, Young Travellers
Alfama | Couples, Romantics, History Buffs
Real Principe | Trendsetters, LGBTQ+, Second Visits
Estrela | Digital Nomads, Longer Stays
Belem | Families, Longer Stays

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Where I Stay in Lisbon (and Love!)

Best Places to Stay in Lisbon Map

Map of the neighbourhoods in Lisbon Portugal

Understanding Lisbon’s 7 Hills

Imagine Lisbon as a city built on a series of stages, each one offering a different scene. At the base of the city is the Tagus River, and from there are the famous seven hills of Lisbon

Yes, that does mean you’re going to be going up and down quite a bit. The climbs can be steep, but they’re always rewarding, offering stunning views over terracotta rooftops to the river below. Most of my favourite areas in Lisbon are located up the hills and away from the tourist core.

For navigating these hills, there are the iconic yellow trams (Tram 28 is a must!), which not only add to the city’s charm but are a godsend for tired legs, winding their way through narrow streets. Then there are the elevadores or funiculars, all designed to help locals and visitors alike tackle the city’s vertical challenges.

Best Areas to Stay in Lisbon, Portugal

1. Baixa (City Center): Best Area to Stay in Lisbon for First Time Visitors

Best For | First-time Visitors, Sightseeing, Families & Short Stays
Distance from Historical Centre | 0-10 minutes

tourists walk on Rua Augusta a famous street in Lisbon towards an arch on a sunny day in a Lisbon neighbourhood
Bustling Rua Augusta leading to the famous Arco da Rua Augusta in Baixa

When I first stepped into Baixa, it felt like walking through a living museum, with every corner telling a story. This neighbourhood sits at the heart of Lisbon, perfectly flat compared to the city’s famously hilly terrain, making it one of the best areas to stay in Lisbon for anyone looking to explore Lisbon on foot or only starting for a couple of days.

Baixa is the embodiment of Lisbon’s post-earthquake revival, with its streets laid out in a neat grid pattern, a testament to the city’s rebirth in the 18th century.

The majestic Praça do Comércio, facing the Tagus River, is where the city’s commercial heart beats the strongest. The square is flanked by yellow Pombaline facades, and at its center stands the statue of King José I, symbolizing Lisbon’s resilience. 

From here, Rua Augusta leads you through a lively pedestrian thoroughfare, brimming with cafes, shops, and street performers, all the way to the iconic Santa Justa Lift

For a first-timer in Lisbon, staying in Baixa means you’re never far from the action. The neighbourhood is dotted with a mix of traditional shops that have stood the test of time and modern boutiques that showcase the best of Portuguese design. 

It’s a place where every meal is an opportunity to dive into the local cuisine, with plenty of restaurants serving up the freshest catch from the Atlantic.

Choosing where to stay in Lisbon’s city center can be just as exciting. On my first visit, I found myself in a Lisbon boutique hotel that was once a traditional Portuguese townhouse. Its rooms were a blend of modern comfort and classic elements, with tall French windows that opened up to a bustling street below—perfect for people-watching over a morning cup of coffee.

Best Things to Do in Baixa Lisbon

  • Walk under the famous Arco da Rua Augusta
  • Stroll through Praça do Comércio, Lisbon’s majestic riverside square
  • Ride the Santa Justa Lift for stunning city views
  • Explore Rua Augusta‘s shops and street performances
  • Check out the statue of Praca Dom Pedro IV

Best Restaurants and Cafes in Baixa

  • A Brasileira – Historic cafe known for its coffee
  • Casa Portuguesa do Pastel de Bacalhau – For a unique take on codfish cakes
  • Confeitaria Nacional – Iconic bakery for pastéis de nata
  • Ramiro – Famous for seafood
  • Nicolau or Mill SaboresNew age Brunch spots
  • Time Out Market – A food hall in Chiado with a variety of gourmet options
  • Fado ao Carmo – Offers a modern approach to Fado dinners, combining exquisite dining with soul-stirring music
three story yellow historical building with arches in Baixa with lamp post which is one of the best places to stay in Lisbon for tourists
Praça do Comércio – famous plaza with arch in Lisbon city centre

Pros & Cons of Staying in Baixa:

Pros:

  • Flat, central location, easy to explore on foot making the best neighbourhood to stay in Lisbon for first time visitors
  • Wide variety of dining and shopping
  • Rich in historical and cultural sites
  • Well-connected by public transport
  • Vibrant atmosphere day and night

Cons:

  • Can be crowded, especially in high season (May – September)
  • Touristy, which might not appeal to those seeking a local experience
  • Noise levels might be higher due to nightlife
  • Higher prices for accommodation
  • Limited parking options

Best Hotels in Baixa

2. Chiado: Best Place to Stay in Lisbon for Shoppers & Coffee Lovers

Best For | Shoppers, Coffee Shop Lovers, My favourite location to stay in Lisbon
Distance from Historical Centre | 5-15 minutes walk

Notable Rua da Bica de Duarte Belo – famous for it’s yellow funicular in Chiado neighbourhood

Chiado holds a special place in my heart as Lisbon’s cultural and literary quarter, where the charm of the old world meets the buzz of the contemporary. Nestled between Baixa and Bairro Alto, Chiado stands on one of Lisbon’s hills. Yes, this means you will have to navigate steep inclines back to your Lisbon hotel, but what this gets you is panoramic views that are quintessentially Lisbon.

This neighbourhood in Lisbon is famed for its historical landmarks, like the São Carlos Opera House, the oldest of its kind in Portugal, and the National Museum, which showcases Portuguese contemporary art. The area’s literary history is palpable at every turn, notably at the iconic Bertrand Bookstore, the world’s oldest operating bookstore since 1732.

Chiado is also a shopping haven, with a mix of international brands and local boutiques lining its elegant streets. 

But what I love most about Chiado is the potential for streetside people watching around every corner. Just like Largo do Chiado, Lisbon neighborhood’s bustling hub, where cafes spill out onto sidewalks, inviting you to sit, sip, and observe the lively goings-on.

large European square with statue and building in the distance in a neighbourhood in Lisbon which is a good place to stay in Lisbon for foodies
Largo do Chiado – the bustling heart of Lisbon’s Chiado

For first-time visitors, Chiado offers an eclectic mix of cultural experiences, luxury shopping, and gourmet dining. Its central location makes it an excellent base for exploring Lisbon, with easy access to nearby Lisbon neighbourhoods and attractions. 

I recommend staying a bit further west in Chiado to get those picturesque residential streets that Lisbon is so famed for. It also has some of my favourite little trendy cafes, if that’s your thing, which makes this my favourite place to stay in Lisbon on my many return visits. Further east towards Baixa, you will start to see more modern shops and big brand stores.

The Miradouro de Santa Catarina offers breathtaking views of the city and river, making it a perfect spot for a sunset gaze.

Best Things to Do in Chiado Lisbon

  • Visit Bertrand Bookstore and lose yourself in literary history
  • Enjoy live performances and street artists at Largo do Chiado
  • Admire the stunning views from the Carmo Convent ruins
  • Explore the São Carlos Opera House and Chiado Museum
  • Capture stunning city views from Miradouro de Santa Catarina
  • Go photo-happy on Rua da Bica de Duarte Belo, famous for its funicular

Best Restaurants and Cafes in Chiado

  • Cantinho do Avillez – Chef José Avillez’s take on modern Portuguese cuisine
  • Brasileira CaféHistoric café known for its literary gatherings and bica (espresso)
  • Manteigaria – Offers arguably the best pastéis de nata in Lisbon
  • Sea Me Peixaria Moderna – A modern seafood restaurant blending traditional Portuguese flavors with Japanese techniques
  • Taberna da Rua das Flores – A quaint eatery serving inventive takes on Portuguese classics
  • Breakfast Lovers for new age brunch
  • COMOBA for the best coffee
  • Kaffeehaus – A cozy Austrian coffee shop perfect for brunch or a casual coffee break

Pros & Cons of Staying in Chiado:

Pros:

  • Rich in culture and history, with numerous museums and theatres
  • Diverse dining options, from high-end restaurants to traditional cafes
  • Prime shopping destination with a blend of local and international brands
  • Vibrant atmosphere with street performers and live music
  • Excellent public transport connectivity

Cons:

  • The hilly terrain may be challenging for some visitors
  • Can get quite crowded, particularly on weekends
  • Prices for dining and shopping tend to be on the higher side
  • Nightlife noise can be a concern for those seeking quiet accommodations
  • Tourist-heavy

Best Hotels in Chiado

3. Bairro Alto: Best Area to Stay in Lisbon for Nightlife

Best For | Night Owls, Foodies, Young Travelers
Distance from Historical Centre | 15-20 minutes walk

tram picks up passengers in between white stone buildings on a street that's ideal for where to stay in Lisbon Portugal for nightlife
Rua do Loreto on the border of Bairro Alto and Chiado neighbourhoods in Lisbon Portugal

Nestled atop one of Lisbon’s seven hills just north of Chiado, Bairro Alto uniquely contrasts its daytime tranquillity with the electric atmosphere of its night scene. Which, ultimately makes it the best area to stay in Lisbon for younger travellers and nightlife enthusiasts.

By day, it’s a picturesque maze of narrow streets and traditional buildings, home to independent art galleries, vintage shops, and quaint trendy cafes that invite leisurely exploration. 

As the sun sets, Bairro Alto awakens to become the heart of Lisbon’s nightlife

Its myriad of bars, Fado houses, and restaurants buzz with energy, drawing a diverse crowd eager to soak up the vibrant local culture. Rua da Atalaia and Rua do Diário de Notícias are particularly famed for their lively bar scene, offering everything from traditional Portuguese music to modern beats.

Best Things to Do in Bairro Alto Lisbon

  • Experience authentic Fado performances in one of the many Fado houses
  • Rooftop dining with incredible views at Lumi
  • Barhopping along Rua da Atalaia and Rua do Diário de Notícias

Best Restaurants & Bars in Bairro Alto

  • Lumi Rooftop – A rooftop bar and restaurant offering stunning views and a trendy atmosphere
  • 49 da ZBDTrendy art space with graffitied walls and DJs
  • A Tasca do Chico – For an authentic Fado experience alongside traditional bites
  • The Old Pharmacy – Offers a wide selection of wines and tapas in a cozy setting
  • O 36 – Hip hop-themed bar

Pros & Cons of Staying in Bairro Alto:

Pros:

  • Heart of Lisbon’s nightlife with a wide array of bars and clubs
  • Rich cultural scene with art galleries and Fado music
  • Diverse culinary options, from traditional taverns to modern eateries
  • Central location, easily accessible from other parts of the city

Cons:

  • Nighttime noise can be significant, which might affect light sleepers
  • Streets can get crowded, especially on weekends
  • Steep and uneven cobblestone streets may be challenging for some
  • Limited parking and public transport options late at night

Best Hotels in Bairro Alto

4. Alfama: Where to Stay in Lisbon for Couples

Best for | Couples, Music Lovers, History Buffs, Romantics
Distance from Historical Centre | 5-20 minutes walk

historic red tram turns the corner onto a busy street with buildings, white umbrellas and blue sky in Alfama Lisbon Portugal
Historic Alfama neighbourhood – the best area to stay in Lisbon for couples

Alfama is Lisbon’s oldest quarter, a maze of narrow steep streets and alleys that echo with the soulful sounds of Fado music. This neighbourhood in Lisbon is a step back in time, with its medieval architecture, whitewashed houses, and flower-draped balconies offering a glimpse into Lisbon’s ancient past.

Stepping into Alfama feels like entering a different era, where the pace of life slows, and the city’s history unfolds around every corner. The São Jorge Castle crowns the hill, offering panoramic views over the terracotta rooftops to the Tagus River. 

Below, the winding streets lead to hidden gems like the Sé Cathedral and the Fado Museum, where the history of Portugal’s most famous musical tradition is beautifully preserved.

Alfama is perfect for those looking to experience the authentic soul of Lisbon. If you are a couple, this is where to stay in Lisbon. It’s a neighbourhood where evenings are filled with the haunting melodies of Fado emanating from intimate taverns, and the scent of traditional Portuguese dishes fills the air.

Make sure to stop and take in the views from Miradouro de Santa Luzia on the trek up to the castle. And, if you feel like saving your gams another day of sightseeing in Lisbon, board the historic Tram 28 to explore the Alfama neighbourhood.

Best Things to Do in Alfama Lisbon

  • Wander around São Jorge Castle for breathtaking views and historical insights
  • Visit the Sé Cathedral, Lisbon’s oldest church
  • Experience the emotional depth of Fado at the Fado Museum or a local tavern
  • Explore the Feira da Ladra, Lisbon’s famed flea market, for unique finds
  • Enjoy the panoramic city views from the Portas do Sol and Santa Luzia viewpoints
  • Ride the famous historic Tram 28
two square towers adorn a gothic cathedral in Alfama neighbourhood Lisbon
Lisbon Se Cathedral in Alfama

Best Restaurants and Cafes in Alfama

  • Clube de Fado – Cozy ambiance with live Fado performances and traditional cuisine
  • O Pitéu da Graça – Known for its authentic Portuguese dishes and friendly atmosphere
  • LUDO’s – A relaxed cafe perfect for a leisurely brunch or a coffee break

Pros & Cons of Staying in Alfama:

Pros:

  • Deep historical and cultural ambiance
  • Authentic Lisbon experience with traditional Fado music
  • Picturesque streets and stunning viewpoints
  • Diverse range of dining options with traditional Portuguese flavours
  • Less commercial and more residential, offering a quieter stay

Cons:

  • The neighborhood’s maze-like layout can be confusing to navigate
  • Steep streets may be challenging for those with mobility issues
  • Nightlife is more subdued, focusing on Fado rather than bars and clubs
  • Accommodation options are more traditional and may lack modern amenities
  • Public transport access is limited

Best Hotels in Alfama

Other Best Neighborhoods in Lisbon to Stay

5. Belem: Best Neighborhood in Lisbon for Families

Best For | Families, History Buffs
Distance from Historical Centre | 20-25 minutes by bus or tram

white stone monastery sits behind a lush park on a sunny day in Belem which is a good location to stay in Lisbon for families
UNESCO Jeronimos Monastery in Belem – where to stay in Lisbon for families

Belém, located slightly west of Lisbon’s city center, is a serene riverside district that combines monumental historical sites, lush parks, and interactive museums, making it an ideal area for families looking to engage with Portugal’s rich maritime heritage and enjoy relaxed outdoor activities.

This best neighbourhood is home to some of Lisbon’s most iconic landmarks. 

The Jerónimos Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a masterpiece of Manueline architecture, while the nearby Belém Tower stands as a symbol of Portugal’s Age of Discoveries. The Monument to the Discoveries celebrates the explorers who put Portugal on the world map.

For families, Belém is a great location to stay in Lisbon as it offers spacious green areas perfect for picnics and leisurely walks. The expansive Praça do Império garden and the Tropical Botanical Garden provide beautiful settings for a day out in the sun. 

The district’s wide, pedestrian-friendly promenades along the river are ideal for strolling with a stroller or renting bikes to explore at a leisurely pace.

To reach Lisbon city centre for a day of sightseeing and to explore the best areas, simply catch the #15 tram or take any of the bus routes #727, 729, 714, 751 or 28. The ride takes about 20-25 minutes.

Things to Do in Belem, Lisbon

  • Jerónimos Monastery – Explore the stunning cloisters and church where Vasco da Gama is entombed
  • Belém Tower – Climb the historic tower for views over the Tagus River
  • Monument to the Discoveries – Learn about Portugal’s explorers and enjoy panoramic views from the top
  • MAAT – The Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology, offering interactive exhibits that fascinate both children and adults
  • Visit LX Factory for those with children of young adult age

Best Restaurants and Cafes in Belem

  • Pastéis de Belém – No visit to Belém is complete without tasting the original Portuguese custard tarts from this famous bakery, I prefer the tarts from Manteigaria in Lisbon’s downtown, but that’s for you to decide!

Pros & Cons of Staying Belém:

Pros:

  • Family-friendly museums with interactive exhibits
  • Green spaces and recreational areas for outdoor activities
  • Less crowded than central Lisbon, offering a more relaxed pace
  • Wide variety of dining options, including family-friendly restaurants and cafes

Cons:

  • Located a bit away from Lisbon’s city center, requiring public transport or car to access other attractions
  • Some sites can be busy, especially on weekends and holidays
  • Accommodation options are more limited compared to central Lisbon

Best Hotels in Belem

6. Estrela: Best Place to Stay in Lisbon for Digital Nomads

Best For | Digital Nomads, Longer Stays
Distance from Historic Center | 20-30 minute walk

red historic tram stopped at a busy intersection with people walking on the streets with tree in Estrela which is one of the best areas to stay in Lisbon for digital nomads
Border of Estrela and Chiado neighbourhoods in Lisbon

Estrela is a surprisingly fitting choice for digital nomads making their way to Lisbon. It’s quieter than the typical tourist tracks, offering a peaceful haven where work and relaxation blend effortlessly.

Imagine setting up shop in one of its trendy cafes like The Mill, Hello Kristof and Heim Cafe sipping on a strong espresso while your laptop hums away. The area’s lush Jardim da Estrela provides an idyllic escape for those afternoon brainstorms or just a sunny spot to clear your head with a good book.

While Estrela feels like a calm oasis, it keeps you connected to the pulse of Lisbon. Affordable living spaces make it easier for longer stays, and its local vibe lets you slip into the daily rhythms of Portuguese life. After logging off, you’re just a short walk or tram ride away from Lisbon’s bustling nightlife and cultural hotspots, plus you border the lively Chiado area.

For the digital nomad seeking a mix of productivity and authentic local experience, Estrela hits the sweet spot. It’s your laid-back Lisbon base, offering everything you need to work hard and play harder.

Best Things to Do in Estrela

  • Relax in Jardim da Estrela, a beautiful park perfect for picnics and leisurely walks
  • Visit the Basílica da Estrela, one of Lisbon’s most iconic monuments
  • Stroll along the Rua de São Bento to browse antique shops and galleries

Best Cafes and Restaurants in Estrela

Pros & Cons of Staying Estrela:

Pros:

  • Quiet, residential area with a local feel
  • Beautiful green spaces for relaxation and outdoor activities
  • Lower accommodation prices compared to more central areas
  • Good mix of traditional and modern cafes and restaurants

Cons:

  • Fewer nightlife options within immediate walking distance
  • Less frequent public transport connections compared to the city center
  • Limited options for quick, cheap eats late at night
  • Can feel too quiet

Best Hotels in Estrela

7. Príncipe Real: Coolest Area to Stay in Lisbon

Best For | Trendy Cafes, LGBTQ+, Second Visits or Longer Stays
Distance from Historic Center | 20-30 minute walk

buildings line a street on a partly cloudy day in Principe Real, a best area in Lisbon to stay

Príncipe Real is where Lisbon’s trendy pulse beats the loudest, offering a seamless blend of the city’s rich history with a vibrant contemporary lifestyle. This neighbourhood set atop one of Lisbon’s picturesque hills, is a magnet for those drawn to cutting-edge design, innovative cuisine, and boutique shopping

The centrepiece, Príncipe Real Garden, is not just a green oasis but a social hub, flanked by colourful mansions and concept stores. 

Here, the Embaixada, a neo-Moorish palace, now hosts a collective of design shops and eateries, making it a must-visit for anyone with an eye for style and creativity. Nearby, Rua Dom Pedro V is lined with unique boutiques offering everything from Portuguese-made fashion to artisanal goods.

Culinary adventurers will delight in Príncipe Real’s dining scene, where traditional Portuguese flavours meet contemporary innovation. From the buzz of organic markets to intimate eateries tucked away in cobblestoned alleys, every meal promises a discovery.

Best Things to Do in Príncipe Real Lisbon

Best Restaurants & Cafes in Príncipe Real

  • Atalho Real – Known for its high-quality meats and relaxed outdoor seating
  • Arkhe – modern vegetarian restaurant with terrace
  • Dramatico – Trendy coffee shop
  • Tapisco – Spanish tapas and Portuguese snacks
  • A Cevicheria – Chef Kiko Martins’ spot for inventive ceviches and pisco sours
  • Pavilhão Chinês – A quirky and historic bar with rooms full of collectibles, offering a unique atmosphere for drinks

Pros & Cons of Staying in Principe Real:

Pros:

  • Fashionable and artistic atmosphere with plenty of cultural activities
  • Wide range of high-quality dining and shopping options
  • Beautiful parks and public spaces for relaxation
  • LGBTQ+-friendly, offering a welcoming environment for everyone

Cons:

  • High-end boutiques and restaurants can be pricey
  • Limited budget accommodation options
  • Parking is scarce and navigating narrow streets can be challenging
  • Some parts are situated on steep slopes, making accessibility difficult for some

Best Hotels in Principe Real

Where Not to Stay in Lisbon, Portugal

For those looking to capture the essence of Lisbon’s rich history, lively squares, and traditional Fado music, it’s advisable to stay within the more centrally located Lisbon neighbourhoods of Baixa, Chiado, Alfama or Bairro Alto.

However, it’s equally important to consider areas that might not be ideal for a typical tourist experience. 

One such area to approach with caution is the Intendente and Martim Moniz regions. While these areas have seen significant revitalization and boast a diverse cultural scene, they can still feel edgy, especially after dark, due to lingering safety concerns and a less polished atmosphere. 

Tourists might also find the Parque das Nações less appealing for a short stay; although modern and well-designed, it lacks the historical charm of Lisbon, feeling more like a business district. It’s situated farther from the traditional attractions, which could limit the immersive cultural experience many seek when visiting Lisbon. 

red tiled roofs top white buildings in an a chaotic layout in Lisbon neighbourhood Alfama perfect for couples for where to stay in Lisbon for first time visitors

Where to Stay in Lisbon, Portugal FAQs

What is the best area to stay in Lisbon for first-time visitors?

For where to stay in Lisbon for first-time visitors, Baixa is the top recommendation. It’s centrally located, making it easy to walk to many of Lisbon’s iconic sites, and it’s well-served by public transport. Baixa combines historical charm with convenient access to shops, restaurants, and cafes, offering a comfortable and accessible introduction to the city.

What is the safest area to stay in Lisbon?

Baixa is often recommended for travellers to Lisbon as the safest neighbourhood. Its central location, high foot traffic, and well-lit streets at night make it one of the safer areas for tourists. Plus, it’s always bustling, ensuring you’re never alone, even after dark.

What is the best location to stay in Lisbon for families?

For families, Baixa and Belém are the best areas to stay in Lisbon. It has kid-friendly attractions, including interactive museums and spacious parks, like the Jardim de Belém. The area is quieter and more relaxed than the bustling city center, offering a safe and engaging environment for both children and adults to explore.

What is the best area to stay in Lisbon for couples?

Alfama is a fantastic choice for couples looking for the best place to stay in Lisbon. Its winding streets and ancient architecture create a cozy atmosphere, perfect for leisurely strolls. With stunning viewpoints, intimate Fado restaurants, and a slower pace of life, Alfama offers a romantic backdrop to any Lisbon visit.

Where should I stay in Lisbon for the best nightlife?

For the best nightlife, Bairro Alto is where to stay in Lisbon. This neighbourhood transforms at night, with a variety of bars, clubs, and Fado houses opening their doors to a lively crowd. It’s the perfect place for those looking to experience Lisbon’s vibrant nightlife and socialize into the early hours.

What areas in Lisbon are best for foodies?

Chiado is a good area to stay in Lisbon for foodies. This neighborhood is a culinary hotspot, featuring a mix of traditional Portuguese restaurants and modern eateries. Highlights include tasting authentic pastéis de nata at historic bakeries and exploring gourmet shops. Chiado’s upscale dining scene and trendy cafes offer a sophisticated flavour experience in Lisbon.

What is the coolest neighbourhood in Lisbon to stay?

Príncipe Real stands out as the coolest neighbourhood in Lisbon, attracting those with a penchant for trendy boutiques, contemporary art galleries, and stylish eateries. Its leafy squares and colourful mansions add to the area’s hip vibe, making it a favourite among locals and visitors seeking a blend of modernity and tradition.

Which districts in Lisbon offer the best cultural experiences?

For the best cultural experiences in Lisbon, Alfama is unparalleled. This historic district is the essence of traditional Lisbon, with its labyrinthine alleys leading to ancient churches, Fado music houses, and stunning viewpoints. It’s a living museum where every corner tells a story, making it a cultural treasure trove for visitors.

Are there any quiet, less touristy areas to stay in Lisbon?

For those seeking a quieter, less touristy stay in Lisbon, consider Lapa or Estrela. These neighbourhoods offer a peaceful retreat with elegant streets, gardens, and classic Portuguese architecture. Here, you can enjoy a more relaxed pace of life while still being close enough to visit the city’s main attractions.

How do I choose between staying in Alfama, Bairro Alto, or Chiado?

 Choosing between Alfama, Bairro Alto, or Chiado depends on your interests. Alfama is best for a historic and cultural experience with its narrow streets and Fado music. Bairro Alto offers a vibrant nightlife with numerous bars and clubs making it the best location to stay in Lisbon for younger travellers. Chiado is the best Lisbon neighbourhood for shopping and dining in a chic, lively atmosphere.

Where to Stay in Lisbon First Time Portugal Final Thoughts

So, you’ve got the scoop on where to stay in Lisbon, whether you’re all about those Insta-worthy views in Alfama, ready to dance the night away in Bairro Alto, or keen to soak up the chic vibes of Chiado.

Picking the perfect Lisbon neighbourhood is like choosing the right pair of shoes for a day out exploring – it’s got to fit just right. Whether you opt for the heart of the action in Baixa or the laid-back charm of Belém, Lisbon’s ready to welcome you with open arms and a pastel de nata in hand (of course).

At the end of the day, if you book a comfy hotel in any of the central Lisbon neighbourhoods like Baixa, Chiado, Bairro Alto or Alfama you won’t go wrong. Each of these areas to stay in Lisbon is within a picturesque (albeit uphill!) 10-minute walk of the historical centre.

Portugal Travel Planning Guide


What is the best way to book my Portugal accommodation?

I always use booking.com for all my accommodations worldwide, and Portugal is no exception. I stayed in some really epic places on my adventure around this coastal gem.

What are the best day tours in Lisbon?

Taking a day tour in Lisbon is a great way to experience the top attractions and learn from a knowledgeable guide.

I highly recommend these Lisbon tours:

► Should I rent a car in Portugal?

If you are flying in and out of Lisbon and don’t plan to leave the city, I don’t recommend renting a car. You can easily get around Lisbon by walking or by taking public transportation.

If you plan to take day trips from Lisbon around Portugal I would highly recommend renting a car in Portugal. Trams and buses are a little slower in the rural part of the country, so to maximize your holiday time, definitely rent a car at either the Porto or Lisbon Airports.

► What is the best site to buy flights to Portugal?

For finding cheap flights to Portugal, I recommend booking through Skyscanner.

► Can you drink tap water in Portugal?

Yes! You can drink straight from the tap in Portugal.

If you plan to do a lot of walking in Portugal, I recommend bringing my favourite self-filtering water bottle with you, just in case.

More Where to Stay in Portugal Guides

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