Where to stay in Lisbon — our top picks for all globetrotters and expats out there
Although Lisbon’s popularity has soared in recent years, this wonderful city is still underestimated as a tourist destination. What many don’t know is that it has so much to offer. Fantastic cuisine, vibrant nightlife, affordable lifestyle, outstanding historical and cultural value—what’s not to love?
One of the oldest cities in Europe, Lisbon is an outstanding place both for visiting and living. Let’s learn a bit more about Lisbon and dive into Portuguese culture.
Photo credit: visiting.lisbon
5 best neighborhoods in Lisbon: where to stay in Portugal’s capital
Lisabon consists of many districts and dozens of neighborhoods. The city is well-connected but it’s always better to stay close to the city center and avoid public transport crowds. To help you pick the best neighborhood for you, we have selected our favorite places:
- Bairro Alto
- Cais do Sodré
- Principe Real
|Where to stay in Lisbon, Portugal|
|Best for hipsters||Alfama||A historical center of the city known for its traditional culture|
|Best for your first visit||Baixa||The downtown area with all major tourist attractions|
|Best for partying||Bairro Alto||The epicenter of nightlife with countless bars and clubs|
|Best on a budget||Cais do Sodré||A hip part of the town with affordable accommodation|
|Best for long-term stay||Principe Real||A charming, quiet neighborhood within walking distance to the center|
Photo credit: visiting.lisbon
Where to stay in Lisbon for hipsters: Alfama
Located near the coast, Alfama is one of the most charming and romantic neighborhoods. It’s especially beloved among culture vultures because of its outstanding historical significance. Alfama is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city and was first inhabited back in the 7th century. Its cobbled streets are full of trendy bars, souvenir shops, and fado restaurants. If you want to see the real Portugal and not its touristy face, this neighborhood will be ideal for you.
What places to visit in Alfama
If you like exploring the city’s history and culture, you will be thrilled by Alfama’s lifestyle. From historical sights to traditional restaurants where you can hear live Fado music, this neighborhood truly has a lot to offer. Here are some places that we highly recommend to everyone:
- Castelo São Jorge
- Lisbon Cathedral
- Fado Museum
- The Santa Engracia National Pantheon
- Thieves Fair
- National Tile Museum
When it comes to Portugal’s cultural legacy, nothing comes close to Fado music. In the Fado Museum, you will discover the most important Fado artists, enjoy Fado-inspired art, and learn what makes this music genre so important to the Portuguese culture.
Photo credit: carminho
Where to stay in Alfama
Alfama offers a wide range of accommodation options, most of which are surprisingly affordable. On average, one night will cost you around $85. Check out our favorite places:
Budget option: this gorgeous apartment near the Fado Museum.
Midrange option: this cozy apartment at the very heart of the neighborhood.
Luxurious option: this beautiful apartment – Santiago de Alfama
Where to stay in Lisbon on your first visit: Baixa
Baixa and its neighbor Chado are downtown districts of the city. These two neighborhoods are where all the action takes place: there are countless historical and cultural attractions, as well as dozens of bars, shops, and restaurants. The overall vibe of Baixa is incredibly friendly and lively, so we recommend it to first-time visitors.
Best places to visit in Baixa
As the city’s heart, Baixa is filled with interesting places to visit. Whatever your needs and preferences are, this neighborhood surely has something that you’ll find exciting. If you’re wondering what to see and do in Baixa, check out our top picks:
- Praça do Comércio
- Rossio Square
- Rua Augusta Arch
- Núcleo Arqueológico
- Bertrand Bookshop
- The Convento do Carmo
- Café A Brasileira
The Convento do Carmo
Convento do Carmo used to be a 14th-century cathedral. Unfortunately, it was destroyed by the notorious 1755 earthquake. Today, its ruins are a museum devoted to preserving the memory of this great catastrophe. There are many interesting artifacts to see, including ancient statues and mosaics.
Photo credit: muxlrose
Where to stay in Baixa
As the city’s central neighborhood, Baixa has lots of hotels, hostels, and AirBnBs. On average, one night will cost you around $80. Check out our top picks:
Budget option: this cozy apartment – Baixa Terrace Hostel
Midrange option: this huge downtown apartment.
Luxurious option: this high-end apartment.
Where to stay in Lisbon for partying: Bairro Alto
Quiet during the day, Bairro Alto starts waking up at night. This old neighborhood is the liveliest part of the city, especially when it gets dark. It is the epicenter of Lisbon’s night scene and you will find hundreds of fantastic bars, pubs, and clubs. There are also several attractions so we also recommend sightseeing during the day. Bairro Alto is well-connected to the city center and in such an unusual way. All you need to do is enter an elevator and it will take you straight to Baixa district.
Where to party in Bairro Alto
Bairro Alto is full of casual pubs, trendy bars, rooftop cocktail lounges, and crowded clubs. Since it offers so many different nightspots, it’s hard to decide which bar or club to hit first. Here are several places that we find absolutely worth visiting:
- BA Wine Bar do Bairro Alto
- Bali bar
- Maria Caxuxa
- Clube da Esquina
- Cantinho do Bem Estar
Incognito is believed to be the oldest club in Lisbon, known for its great music and fantastic atmosphere. In Incognito, you won’t hear the same old boring songs that you can hear in every club in the world. The DJs are real masters and you will discover all sorts of fantastic indie music.
Photo credit: incognito.lisboa
Where to stay in Bairro Alto
Bairro Alto may be a favorite among party animals but early birds avoid it because it’s crowded and noisy. For this reason, accommodation in this area is incredibly affordable.
Budget option: this cute sunny flat.
Midrange option: this nice studio apartment.
Luxurious option: this duplex apartment with a patio.
Where to stay in Lisbon on a budget: Cais do Sodré
Cais do Sodre used to be infamous as a seedy, dangerous neighborhood but its makeover has turned it into one of the coolest parts of the city. There are plenty of sights, cafes, and markets to visit. It’s close to the waterfront so you will never run out of places to explore if you decide to stay in this wonderful neighborhood.
What to see and do in Cais do Sodre
Cais do Sodre is known for its traditional Portuguese vibe. In this neighborhood, you will get a taste of the local culture and cuisine, as well as discover some less crowded tourist attractions. Here are some places that we think you should definitely visit:
- Pap Acorda
- Praça de São Paulo
- Jardim de Roque Gameiro
- Mercado da Ribeira
- Allarts Gallery
Mercado da Ribeira
Mercado da Ribeira, the largest market and food court in Lisbon, will make any foodie’s dreams come true. This amazing place is home to hundreds of food stalls, bars, and restaurants serving food from all parts of the world. If you like exploring foreign cuisines, the Mercado may become your favorite place in Lisbon.
Photo credit: norikisekine
Where to stay in Cais do Sodre
Although it is located near the central districts, you will easily find accommodation that suits your budget. On average, one night will cost you around $70. Check out our favorite places:
Budget option: a private room in this apartment – Oasis Backpackers Hostel Lisbon
Midrange option: this amazing apartment with a balcony.
Luxurious option: this fantastic apartment right in the center of the city.