If you ended up on this article it is because you are probably looking for information on where to stay in Lisbon and the neighborhoods of Lisbon are driving you crazy in the good sense of the word. There are so many of them, located in completely different parts of the city and each one has features we don’t find in the others.
These are not at all trivial neighborhoods and I understand it is really very important to choose the best one to sleep in Lisbon. From the cobblestone streets ofAlfama and Bairro Alto, to the quaint pavement of Baxia and Rossio, you can feel throughout Lisbon the history, the slow and melancholy rhythm of language, of acting, of making art and of living.
For a traveler who wants to best discover the city and the things to do in Lisbon, I recommend choosing to sleep in Lisbon in one of the neighborhoods I will mention in the article. Choose the neighborhood that best suits your needs and interests. Lisbon has neighborhoods “for all tastes,” and if you think about it, it is also one of those few cities where the names of the neighborhoods stick well.
Usually we remember perhaps the metro stops, since by dint of getting off at a given stop after a while we remember it. We hardly remember the neighborhoods. You might also be interested in: 8 tips for a trip to Lisbon
Where to stain in Lisbon? What are the neighborhoods of Lisbon?
The most distinctive are Baixa, Alfama, Chiado, Bairro Alto and Belèm. If you are reading this post and looking for information on where to sleep in Lisbon, I recommend you also consider the neighborhood of Marquês de Pombal and surrounding areas.
Where to Stay in Lisbona: Baixa neighborhood, the center of Lisbon
This is the most central neighborhood in Lisbon. Also called Baixa Pombalina, it is the beating heart of the Portuguese capital. With the beautiful Praça do Comércio, Baixa overlooks the Tagus. It is a neighborhood “split in two” by Rua Augusta, which connects the Commerce Square to the beautiful Praça do Rossio, characterized by a truly fascinating black and white pavement.
Baixa is the best place if you want to stay in central Lisbon. Composed of elegant pedestrian streets closed to traffic that wind around the main street, precisely, Rua Augusta. It is the neighborhood of rebirth. Almost completely destroyed by the 1755 earthquake, it was rebuilt in classical style by the Marquis of Pombal and now features elegant mansions.
In addition to Praça do Rossio and Praça do Comércio, we find additional important squares such as Praça do Restauradores and Praça da Figueira. If you have not yet read the article on tips for a trip to Lisbon, go read them because for this very square I recommended a special confectionery where you can taste the famous pastéis de Nata. Don’t miss tasting them. You can best discover Baixa (and also Chiado) with a free tour in English
Where to stay in Lisbon: Alfama neighborhood, the most characteristic one
If Baixa is Lisbon’s most elegant neighborhood, Alfama is definitely the most distinctive and characteristic. Definitely a place to stay in Lisbon that fully reflects the soul of the city. Looking at the map of Lisbon you will find it to the right of Baixa (which is the central district). Alfama is the oldest neighborhood in Lisbon and is very reminiscent of an Arab medina.
The best way to discover it is …by walking. Yes, you will really have to immerse yourself in its streets, see streetcar 28 pass by in very narrow streets, have a drink in one of the miradouros overlooking the city or the Tagus, visit the Castelo de São Jorge or the Sé Cathedral. Finally, it is one of the best neighborhoods to linger and listen to a fado show while dining in some traditional restaurant. Given the intricate maze of alleyways, a free guided tour of Alfama might be a good choice. Because of these characteristics it is also an interesting part of Lisbon to stay in. It allows one to feel like a full-fledged Lisbon resident.
Where to Stay in Lisbon: Chiado district, between Baixa and Bairro Alto
This part of Lisbon is built around its namesake, namely Largo do Chiado, next to the small but interesting Praça Luís de Camões. Among the main attractions you can find in this Lisbon neighborhood is the statue of Fernando Pessoa and the fascinating Convento do Carmo, in the beautiful little square of Largo do Carmo.
For those who want to have a really special experience in the Chiado district, I recommend a beautiful Fado show, perfect in this place in the city. To reach this neighborhood, you can also use the convenient escalators of the “Chiado” subway station. As many as 5 escalators will take you exactly to Largo do Chiado.
Where to Stay in Lisbon: Bairro Alto neighborhood, between pockets and impervious streets
A continuous up and down of cobblestone streets dotted with pockets (typical Portuguese taverns) and places to listen to fado. It is Lisbon’s best neighborhood for nightlife and street art (the free Street Art tour in Mouraria is interesting).
Staying in Lisbon: Belém neighborhood, far from the center
This is one of the most remote neighborhoods in Lisbon, but it is also one of the best known. It is home to many places of interest such as the Monastero dos Jerónimos, the Monument to the Discoveries, the Berardo Museum, and, of course, the iconic Tower of Belém.
Among the attractions, I would also put the irresistible Pastéis de Belém pastry shop.
This is a neighborhood easily accessible from Lisbon by bus 728 or streetcar 15/15e. Unless you want to eat kilos of pastéis every morning (I might even agree), it may not be the ideal area to sleep, but it is a neighborhood you should definitely visit.
Where to stay in Lisbon? My recommendations.
At this point, after listing the various neighborhoods in Lisbon where to stay, I wanted to give you some advice for making an informed choice of where to stay in Lisbon. I admit that it is not easy to choose, even I had some doubts about where was best to stay. It was enough for me to understand my real needs and that is what I recommend you do. For example:
- Alfama: It is a neighborhood that I think is perfect for really feeling in the heart of Lisbon life, but for short stays it might be inconvenient to have to move around with trolleys or medium-heavy suitcases. If, on the other hand, you plan to do a whole week, I would say it is the most suitable place.
- Bairro Alto: ditto for Bairro alto, it is quite inconvenient compared to the metro, but if you want to do more nightlife, it becomes a good choice.
- Baixa and Chiado: I consider them the best neighborhoods to sleep in Lisbon. Well served by the metro, or rather the subways because both the blue line and the green line run through, they represent the very center. Convenient and close to various places of interest, the problem is that to stay in this area it is better to move well in advance because accommodations cost more.
Alternatively, I recommend my solution. I decided to stay in the red line terminus area, in São Sebastião in Marquês de Pombal. In my opinion it is a perfect area to sleep and also very convenient for the return to the airport. The hotel I was staying in that I would RECOMMEND is the Hotel Alif Avenidas and it is exactly 20 meters from the subway, what more could you want!