Where To Stay In Lisbon – Best Area And Places

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where to stay in lisbon neighborhood baixa main square
Photo by Deensel

Lisbon is the capital of Portugal, with a population of more than 500.000 permanent residents and over 2 million metro users, it is one of Europe’s smaller yet most vibrant capitals. It dates back centuries, but its architecture is also very modern. Visitors will enjoy exploring the beautiful buildings, churches, and other sites around the city center.

Brief History Overview

The city’s name comes from the Roman-era Latin “Lisbona,” which is thought to mean “place surrounded by water.” It was originally a Celtic settlement, but in the early 9th century AD Moors conquered the city. 

There are endless things to do in Lisbon, from visiting historic landmarks to taking in breathtaking views, from the iconic Castelo de São Jorge to the beautiful Praça do Comércio. You can also take a day trip out of the city and explore some of Portugal’s beautiful beaches or visit one of its charming towns. 

Visitors will find that the city is also home to a number of museums, including the National Museum of Ancient Art and the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum. Lisboa has a long history, as evidenced by its many historic buildings, including the Sé Cathedral and Jerónimos Monastery. 

Brief What-To-See Overview

The city is also known for great restaurants and its amazing food and drink, with a wide range of traditional Portuguese eateries serving up local specialties such as cataplana (seafood stew), pastel de nata (custard tart), and francesinha (a sandwich with ham and sausage). 

Lisbon’s neighborhoods each possess their distinct qualities, giving tourists a diverse range of options. Discover why millions of travelers flock to Lisbon every year by booking a cheap flight or getaway deal now!

Understandably, the view on the best place to stay in Lisbon may differ from one to another, so I decided to put together a detailed guide that walks you along some of the absolute favorite things for every neighborhood and lets you decide whether or not each neighborhood is perfect for your vacation.

Following is a summary of the nine best neighborhoods, alongside accommodation possibilities on where to stay in Lisbon.

Where To Stay In Lisbon – Neighborhoods Guide

Best Place In Lisbon For Family Stay: Parque das Nações

where to stay in lisbon neighborhood parque das nacoes
Photo by K. Reichert

The Parque das Nações (Park of Nations) was built for the 1998 World Expo in Lisbon, and its new neighborhood of contemporary residences and parks is a popular alternative for accommodations near Lisbon Airport. This neighborhood also has an interactive science museum and Europe’s largest aquarium, Oceanarium, as well as a riverfront walkway with restaurants, bars, and events.

Magnificent cobblestone mosaics portraying dark sea creatures, Neptune, mermaids, celestial globes used for star navigation, and vintage 15th-century sailing vessels decorate the pathways and streets. It can be really peaceful here.

Where To Stay in Parque das Nações, Lisbon

Best Place In Lisbon For Culture Lovers: Chiado

where to stay in lisbon neighborhood  chiado
Photo by Miguel Vieira

Chiado district had two major disasters throughout its history, one in 1755 when a great earthquake hit the city and the second in 1988 when a big fire swallowed 18 buildings. Since then, Chiado rebuilt itself from scratch.

Old 18th-century buildings, the National Theater of São Carlos, archeological and filigree museum, local cafés, majestic theaters, and traditional boutiques cohabit peacefully with contemporary malls, luxury stores, and trendy salons. Search for the remains of Convento do Carmo as you stroll through the neighborhood of Chiado. It is the biggest ruined structure that survived the 1755 earthquake.

Where To Stay in Chiado, Lisbon

Best Place In Lisbon For Tourist Attractions: Baixa

where to stay in lisbon neighborhood baixa
Photo by Yana Hurskaya

Baixa is presently one of the most popular neighborhoods in Lisbon. With its many tourist spots, enormous Portuguese Pombaline structures, and spectacular open spaces, squares, and boulevards, it has nearly entirely been reconstructed in a majestic Neoclassical style following the earthquake.

It is popular among budget travelers due to its inexpensive accommodations. It is also near to Lisbon’s biggest highlights and the lively pubs and clubs in neighboring Bairro Alto, allowing you to be nearby to all the activity without becoming caught up in it.

Where To Stay in Baixa, Lisbon

Best Place In Lisbon For Historic Sightseeing: Mouraria 

where to stay in lisbon neighborhood  mouraria
Photo by Diego Garcia

This mountainous historic neighborhood, positioned beneath the fortifications of São Jorge (St. George) Castle and one of the earliest districts in Lisbon, truly means “Moorish Quarter,” since it was formerly home to the Moors hundreds of years ago.

This location is also known as the cradle of Fado music, and it is rich in historical significance and colorful Portuguese tiles – azulejos! The disadvantage is that it is situated on the side of a steep slope, which will necessitate good legs and a healthy body. 

Where To Stay in Mouraria, Lisbon

Best Place In Lisbon For Maritime / Museum Sightseeing: Belém

where to stay in lisbon neighborhood  belem
Photo by Rehman Abubakr

This west-side neighborhood of Lisbon is renowned for the classic Pastel de Nata and offers breathtaking scenery of the Tagus River in addition to a few of the city’s most recognizable monuments. The Maritime, the National Archeology, the Folk Art museums, not to mention the museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology (MAAT), are all worth a visit.

Belém was formerly the site of Lisbon’s shipyards and ports, and this was the place from which 16th-century sailors found maritime passages to East Africa, South America, and the Indian subcontinent. Afterward, these trade networks brought enormous riches to Portugal, allowing for the erection of the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, an opulent monastery in the center of Belém.

Where To Stay in Belém, Lisbon

Best Place In Lisbon For Architecture Lovers: Madragoa 

where to stay in lisbon neighborhood madragoa
Photo by Freguesia de Estrela

Madragoa was the place where the fishermen who had relocated out of Alfama resided, and it gained fame for its noisy “varinas”, meaning fishermen’s wives. It was formerly a monastic community, with up to three convents in its tiny territory before that. These have now been converted into museums and public structures.

Whoever was the first to insulate their house from the increased humidity from the Tagus river and Atlantic ocean in this neighborhood, the others quickly joined, and soon, most of Lisbon was decorated in tiles. Madragoa is one of the nicest spots to roam observing all of the beautiful designs that cover many of the buildings, and there are some excellent modern examples as well.

Where To Stay in Madragoa, Lisbon

Best Place In Lisbon For Digital Nomads: Santos

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Photo by Freguesia de Estrela

Santos is placed on the lower slope of the hillside surmounted by the Estrela district. It, too, was inhabited by aristocratic palaces in the late 18th century, but nowadays it is recognized mostly for pubs and nightclubs that draw university students and teens, as well as home decorating shops and architectural and design institutions.

Most of the royal families residences have been saved and repurposed into hotels and embassies. The greatest specimens may be seen on Rua das Janelas Verdes, where the Ancient Art Museum, Portugal’s most significant national museum, is located.

Where To Stay in Santos, Lisbon

Best Place In Lisbon For Nightlife: Bairro Alto

where to stay in lisbon neighborhood  bairro alto
Photo by Teodor Kuduschiev

Bairro Alto, which translates as “Upper Neighborhood,” exudes peaceful Portuguese elegance. When the sun sets down, the celebration begins — especially on weekends, when relatively small local pubs overfill the pavements, restaurants with candlelight start serving up traditional favorites, and folks all over the place are just ready to party all night.

Whether you are younger or older, but you are set to party, you should stay in the middle of it, but choose smartly and read the reviews. Despite the existence of buses to neighboring areas, you will have to either stroll down the maze of little alleys or take a taxi directly to your selected destination.

Where To Stay in Bairro Alto, Lisbon

Best Place In Lisbon For Romantic Stay: Alfama

where to stay in lisbon neighborhood  alfama
Photo by Liam McKay

When you think of Lisbon you think of Alfama, the most beautiful part of the city, and not simply because of its mountainous streets. Historic alleyways and stairs urge you to explore, terraces provide views of ruby-roofed buildings sliding towards the Tagus, where you will find trendy cafes, craftsmen’s workshops, and wonderful boutique hotels to stay in.

This neighborhood, situated at the base of São Jorge Castle, among the hills and the river, reflects the identity of the town. Fado, the most well-known form of Portuguese music, which is quite melancholy and frequently sings about the sea, was born in this location, rich with fragrances and complex feelings, at the beginning of the 18th century.

Where To Stay in Alfama, Lisbon

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