Lisbon is Portugal’s colorful capital city. Set across multiple hills, and set along the River Tagus, it’s strewn with winding alleyways, ornate cathedrals and grand public squares. You’re never too far away from amazing architecture or somewhere great to eat in this buzzing city.
But if you’re wondering where to stay in Lisbon it can be overwhelming at first. Each of the city’s neighborhoods offers up something distinct. This guide is all about making things easy, with overviews of the best districts, things to do in them, and even some helpful tips to plan your trip.
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Where To Stay In Lisbon
The various neighborhoods in Lisbon all have something different to offer travelers to the city. Whether you’re a couple looking for a romantic weekend break, a family in search of a wholesome vacation, or a solo traveler thinking of staying for a few weeks, you’ll find somewhere to call home (temporarily).
The main neighborhoods of Lisbon
Baixa – Lisbon’s historic core; ideal for weekend trips in the city
Belém – First time in Lisbon? Book yourself into this exciting neighborhood
Alfama and Mouraria – If shopping and wandering are your thing, these two areas await
Madragoa and Santos – Local life, cafes and good public transport in these residential districts
Bairro Alto – Here you’ll find a mix of bars, cafes, old churches and amazing views
Parque das Nações – Family-friendly and home to most of the modern hotels in Lisbon
Cais do Sodré – Heavy on the nightlife, Cais do Sodre also has an attractive waterfront promenade
Chiado and Rossio – Bookshops, theaters, grand architecture, Chiado and Rossio are sophisticated
Lisbon travel tips
It’s not just about where to stay in Lisbon — it’s about how to make the most of your time once you arrive, from transport to packing the right gear.
How to get around
Lisbon is a hilly city, so getting around on foot isn’t always the most fun option. Thankfully the city has a host of easy-to-use transport options to help you get from A to B.
- Metro – Lisbon has a modern metro system that stretches across four lines: the Green Line, Blue Line, Red Line and Yellow Line. It’s easy to change between the various lines, and work your route out. It closes every day from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Take note. The metro isn’t always the quickest way to get around. Sometimes, such as in the historic core, it’s easier to walk. But to get to places like Parque das Nações the metro is ideal.
- Bus – Buses also connect up the city, but despite their convenience are often overlooked by tourists. Buses usually stop by the big attractions such as Belem Tower. They’ll take you all over the city. Just make sure to avoid them during rush hour.
- Tram – Lisbon’s tram system winds its way around the historic neighborhoods of Lisbon. More than just a public transport system, the mustard-hued, old-fashioned trams are an attraction in themselves. They’re not always the most practical method of getting around, but they are charming.
- Funiculars / Elevators – These old-school modes of transport have been taking the edge off of hill-climbing in Lisbon since the start of the 20th century. There are a number of famous ones, referred to locally by name (but they’re also numbered). Tickets cost €3.80 for two rides on the funicular; €5.30 for a return on the elevator. Transport cards drop the cost to as low as €1.35 per ride.
- Walking – Getting around on foot is sometimes the only way to navigate Lisbon’s small streets and sloping lanes. Not only will it often be quicker, but it’ll also offer up a closer look at local life away from public transport and overcrowded tourist sights. You’ll need shoes with good grip — those hills can get slippy after rain.
Plan your trip
Here are some tips to get you started on planning the best trip ever to Lisbon.
Public transport from the airport – It’s super easy to get to the center of Lisbon via multiple different public transport options. You don’t need to spend extra money on getting a taxi.
Plug adaptors – Portugal uses the European two-prong outlet. Make sure you bring the right travel adapter for the job.
Pick up a Viva card – It can be used on 9 different transport modes in the city. It can be topped up on ticket machines, so you can get around without needing the right change. It’s even good for Lisbon’s elevators.
Book restaurants in advance – Eating out is super popular in Lisbon and restaurants can get filled up quickly. If you’re set on some specific places to eat, it’s best to book if you don’t want to wait.
Avoid tourist traps – There are a number of bars, restaurants and shops that are set up primarily to lure in tourists. These kinds of places (usually around Belem and Baixa) serve up sub-par food for pumped-up prices.
Good shoes – There are 7 hills in Lisbon, many with steep inclines. Make sure you bring comfy sneakers and leave your high heels at home.
What’s there and why visit
Baixa makes up the historic core of Lisbon. This district, with its grand neoclassical architecture, elegant squares and pedestrianized streets, was rebuilt following the devastating 1755 earthquake. It’s a masterclass in urban planning and, as such, is being considered as a potential UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Stroll along the main thoroughfare, Rua Augusta, and you’ll be greeted by a fascinating, charming world. Think old-fashioned shopfronts, colorful tourist attractions, and a plethora of eateries.
While Baixa is a popular tourist district, it’s great if you’re short on time and looking for the most convenient accommodation in Lisbon. Everything’s right here in walking distance on the doorstep.
Suggested hotels near Baixa
Hotel Lis Baixa
This hotel features several attractions within walking distance, including shops, cafes, and restaurants, as well as Praça do Comércio. The hotel offers a restaurant and a terrace where guests can relax and enjoy meals and drinks. Room service is available most of the day/evening. Laundry and dry cleaning services are on-site.
Set in the downtown shopping and financial district, this hotel is surrounded by shops and restaurants in one of the city’s busiest areas. It’s only a 5-minute walk from the Sé Catedral and close to the tram and metro, making it really easy to get around. The hotel offers a restaurant and bar on-site.
“This property was perfect in every regard. The location was within walking distance to marina, old town, restaurants transport etc. The room was spotless and given a very deep clean daily. Wonderful amenities. Breakfast was fresh, clean, tasty and full of choice. Additionally, this hotel had the best communication prior to arrival and during our stay that I have ever encountered.”
Hotel da Baixa
Featured in the downtown area, this hotel is close to many attractions. The modern rooms feature a private bathroom, 4K TV with internet access, Bluetooth sound system and a Nespresso coffee machine. There is a restaurant on-site, which offers a daily breakfast buffet to guests.
Things to see near Baixa
Comercio Square – This enormous waterfront plaza is also known as Terriro do Paco (“Square of the Palace”). It was here that Lisbon’s opulent royal palace was once located — that is before it was destroyed by the 18th-century earthquake. The royals moved out and the square has since become home to chic colonnaded walkways, civic buildings, cafes, and a huge triumphal arch.
Rua Augusta – This is the place to be in Lisbon. Chances are you’ll find yourself here at some point during your trip. This pedestrianized thoroughfare is a bustling place that overflows with terrace cafes, shaded shops, and people out strolling. It’s also the location of some ancient Roman baths (free to visit; located underneath a bank).
Conceição Velha Church – On Rua da Alfandega, just to the east of Comercio Square, you’ll find this 16th-century church. While many of its neighboring buildings were completely destroyed in the 1755 quake, much of this church miraculously survived. Most beautiful of all is its skillfully crafted Late Gothic entranceway. Stop a while and admire the details: you’ll spot flowers, angels, and various beasts.
Santa Justa Elevator – Usually an elevator wouldn’t be a sight, but this Lisbon landmark bucks the trend. Connecting the lower district of Baixa with the upper Largo do Carmo, this feat of engineering was built in 1902. The 45-meter structure was actually the work of Raoul de Mesnier du Ponsard, who worked under Gustave Eiffel (of the tower fame) as an apprentice. In its heyday this century-old contraption was steam-powered. Amazingly it’s still in use today (€5.15 for a return ticket).
Rua Augusta – The nearest metro station is Rossio, located a seven-minute stroll from Rua Augusta itself.
Conceição Velha Church – The easiest way to get to this old church is by walking from Comercio Square (three minutes). The metro station at the square is Terreiro do Paco.
Santa Justa Elevator – Baixa-Chiado is the nearest metro station. After this, it’s a two-minute walk.
Suggested activities in Baixa
Baixa 3 Hour walking tour – Explore all the history in the neighborhood of Baixa with a knowledgeable guide on a small group tour.
Baixa and Chiado Districts Self-Guided Walking Tour – Don’t want to hang around with other people? Opt for a self-guided walking tour of Baixa instead and enjoy the sights at your pace.
What’s there and why visit
If it’s your first time in Lisbon you might want to consider staying in Belem. This riverside district has it all. From a range of beautifully tiled buildings and historic sights to a smorgasbord of eateries, there’s enough to keep you entertained beyond just one day.
There’s also a good choice of accommodation here. Think low-cost (but super stylish) hostels, mid-range international hotel chains and plush boutique affairs. It’s also a less touristy area when compared to Baixa, which means you can get away from the crowds and enjoy a slightly slower pace of life.
That’s not to say that there isn’t plenty of history to uncover here. In fact, if you’re wondering where to stay in Lisbon and you’re a fan of wandering, taking photos, and learning about the past, Belem is for you. Monuments and museums reflect the importance of the area.
It’s from this district that a long list of famous Portuguese explorers headed off on their voyages of discovery. These include the likes of Vasco da Gama, Bartolomeu Dias, and Ferdinand Magellan. Even Christopher Columbus himself stopped here on his journey back to Europe from the “New World”. Cue riches pouring into Lisbon.
Suggested hotels near Belém
NAU Palacio do Governador
This hotel features a spa and wellness center, an indoor and year-round outdoor pool, a garden and terrace, a restaurant and bar, and free private parking. Breakfast is included every morning for guests. The hotel is close to the Belém Culture Center and Belém Tower, as well as many other cafés and restaurants.
Hotel Jeronimos 8
“This is a great place to stay, just across the street from the Jerónimos Monastery.
The good things are: large beds in the room, great spaces, nice architecture.
Great breakfast with complementary warm “Pastéis de Belém.””
Altis Belem Hotel & Spa
Located on the waterfront of the Tagus River, this 5-star hotel features a Michelin Star restaurant, indoor and outdoor pools, a spa and a rooftop sun deck. All rooms include views of the waterfront, TVs, a Nespresso coffee machine, electric curtains, free Wi-Fi and a private, modern bathroom.
Pestana Palace Lisboa
Based in a 19th-century palace, this 5-star hotel features private parking, beautiful garden views, two pools, a spa and wellness center, multiple restaurants and a bar. It’s in close proximity to Belém Tower and Hieronimyte Museum.
Things to see near Belém
Belem Tower – One of the main sights not just in Belem but of Lisbon as a whole, Belem Tower (entry €6) attracts hordes to its gleaming white walls. This early 16th-century, Late Gothic structure started life as a fortress to protect Lisbon’s harbor, which it stands at the entrance to. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it’s carved with motifs that reflect the Age of Discovery (ships set off from here to sail around the world).
Padrao dos Descobrimentos – Called the “Discoveries Monument” in English, this striking stone monolith is dedicated to the 500th anniversary of the death of Prince Henry the Navigator. Inaugurated in 1960, the monumental sculpture depicts a ship leaving the harbor, with a slew of important Portuguese figures aboard including Vasco da Gama, the poet Camoes and King Manuel I. You can actually go inside, where an elevator takes you up for decent views.
Mosteiro dos Jeronimos – Another symbol of the riches of Portugal’s Age of Discovery, the Jeronimos Monastery was built in 1502. A number of historical figures from this time are buried here, including Vasco da Gama. Explore the elaborately carved cloisters, admire the octagonal columns, and wander the peaceful gardens. Entry is €10.
Antiga Confeitaria de Belem – You can’t visit Lisbon without trying a pasteis de Belem (or as it’s better known, pastel de nata). One of the best places to sample this world-famous sweet treat is at Antiga Confeitaria de Belem, which has been in business since 1837. Turn up early — the queue situation is serious (particularly on weekends). It costs €1.10 per pastry.
Belem Tower – Belém station is the nearest metro here (after that, it’s a 20-minute walk along the Tagus River). You could also take tram 15.
Mosteiro dos Jeronimos – Again, Belem station is the nearest metro (or tram 15). It’s an 11-minute walk from here.
Antiga Confeitaria de Belem – Head to Belem station and walk seven minutes.
Suggested activities in Belém
Belem Tower Entry with Self-Guided Audio Tour – Beat the crowds at Belem Tower and get an audio guide on this convenient self-guided tour option.
Tagus River Sunset Cruise with Welcome Drink – Enjoy the sights of the city from the water itself (complete with a drink to kick things off.
#3 Alfama and Mouraria
What’s there and why visit
Here’s where to stay in Lisbon for some real city exploration. The neighboring districts of Alfama and Mouraria are very similar in character and make-up. They’re both centuries old and make up the historic core of the city — both also are positively riddled with narrow streets and sights.
Those who like shopping should also consider booking their accommodation in Lisbon here. Boutiques and small, independent stores entice you as you wander the cobbled streets. Visitors who want to feel an authentic, old-town atmosphere will love it (they both survived the earthquake).
Alfama and Mouraria are endlessly charming and packed with things to see. There are several 16th-century churches, a Roman theater, interesting architectural spots, and a museum dedicated to tiles, among other things. The viewpoints here are also stunning.
The only downside (other than the tourist crowds), is that transport is a bit of an issue in this part of Lisbon. Public transport isn’t great around here. But you can easily explore a number of the sights on foot. The best way to explore, wouldn’t you say?
Suggested hotels near Alfama and Mouraria
Hotel Convento do Salvador
This hotel is just a short walk away from several famous attractions, such as the São Jorge Castle, the Sé Cathedral and the National Pantheon. It features modern-style rooms that cater to all guests. Rooms include free Wi-Fi, cable TV, a private bathroom and views over the city of the Tagus River.
Alfama – Lisbon Lounge Suites
This establishment offers not only hotel type rooms, but apartments as well, which include a fully equipped kitchen and a living room with sofa bed. It’s within walking distance to Comercio Square, Santa Justa Lift and São Jorge Castle, as well as popular restaurants and cafés.
Memmo Alfama Hotel
“The hotel is tucked away from the busy street, but a very central location with a short walk to the centre/promenade with shops and restaurants. The hotel is beautifully designed and decorated, and very stylish. The rooftop is a highlight! Stunning views!”
Santiago de Alfama – Boutique Hotel
Located in Lisbon’s historic center, this 5-star hotel is a short walk from the famous São Jorge Castle. The hotel features panoramic views of the city, an on-site á lá carte restaurant and a bar. You can have your continental breakfast served right to your room and enjoy other services provided, such as babysitting, laundry and ironing.
Things to see near Alfama and Mouraria
Sao Jorge Castle – Located up on a hill overlooking the dual districts is St George’s Castle. The storied fortification reflects the long history of the city itself. It has been home to the Phonecians, then the Carthaginians, the Romans, the Moors, and finally, the Portuguese in 1147. People have been living up here since at least the 8th century BC, while parts of the castle as it stands today date back to the 6th century. Entry €15.
Lisbon Cathedral – The city’s cathedral is the oldest church in Lisbon. Built in 1147, it has overseen much of the city’s history, and even withstood the 1755 earthquake. It costs €8 to enter, but you’ll have access to a self-guided tour that’ll take you around the highlights of the cathedral. The detail of the old stonework is magnificent.
Miradouro da Portas do Sol – In a neighborhood that’s well known for its viewpoints, this one is possibly the best of them all. Located just a stone’s throw from the Miradouro de Santa Luzia, here you’ll find a terracotta terrace looking out over the rooftops of Alfama. Arrive for sunset for some spectacular scenery. Free.
Fado Museum – Get to grips with Portugal’s famous musical tradition at the aptly named Fado Museum (admission €5). This cultural hub charts fado’s story all the way from its humble origins to its role in the modern day. Music fans will love it — you’ll learn about Portuguese guitar, fado houses and all of the famous fado singers and composers.
Sao Jorge Castle – You could catch the 737 bus from Figueira Square all the way there, or take tram 28.
Lisbon Cathedral – Baixa de Lisboa is the nearest metro station, which is 10 minutes away on foot. Alternatively, you could ride tram 28 there.
Fado Museum – It’s a 15-minute walk from Baixa de Lisboa metro station, or you could catch bus 728 (it stops right outside).
Suggested activities in Alfama and Mouraria
Saint George’s Castle Entry & Self-Guided Audio Tour – With all the history going on at this ancient castle, having an audio tour like this one is very rewarding.
Jewish History Tour of Lisbon – Get a deeper understanding of Alfama and Mouraria’s heritage on this informative tour.
#4 Madragoa and Santos
What’s there and why visit
Madragoa and Santos are pretty much the same district. Not exactly, but they might as well be. They share the same mix of traditional and modern that makes it the best area to stay in Lisbon if you’re looking for a slice of real life.
Here, the streets are busy with schools, local cafes, and workplaces. It’s the sort of area that’s busy by day and quiet by night — much more residential than touristy.
If you’re thinking of staying in this district, you’ll be greeted by a selection of short-term rentals and well-equipped apartments. There’s also a good choice of co-working spaces in Madragoa and Santos (as well as cafes with free Wi-Fi), in case you need to send a few emails or meet deadlines during your trip.
And for when you want to go out sightseeing, that’s easy. There’s public transport galore in the area, so you can quickly reach top sights without sweating about the schedules. Plus you’ll even find a few historic sights and cobblestone streets in the area, making this a great place to explore in its own right.
Suggested hotels near Madragoa and Santos
The Emerald House Lisbon Curio Collection By Hilton
“Fantastic hotel. Check-in was fast and efficient, with friendly staff. Good breakfast buffet in the morning. Nice gym with free weights. Rooms are very comfortable – nice pillows, great shower, good temperature control. On the smaller side, but enough room for 2 people. Location is a little outside the main tourist area, but with good public transit links.”
This hotel is housed in an 18th-century palace, decorated with antique furniture and authentic ceramic tiles. It features a heated pool that overlooks the courtyard, a bar and outdoor lounge area and a common room that you can find a daily breakfast bar in. Rooms include stucco ceilings, oak walls or a fireplace with a copper roof, and some have views of the Tagus River.
As Janelas Verdes Inn, a Lisbon Heritage Collection
This boutique hotel features a rooftop library with a terrace and views of Tagus River and a courtyard where guests are free to dine and relax in. The hotel is right next to Lisbon’s Ancient Art Museum, while Santos Train Station and São Bento Palace are a short walk away.
Corpo Santo Lisbon Historical Hotel
“Hotel interior and exterior are fabulous with a bonus living room in the basement with excavated ruins from the 14th century city! Decor amazing with a great atmosphere. Best breakfast of any hotel with wonderful service – just allow enough time to enjoy it. Provide extra food all day in the lobby, great help with planning what to do and friendly, courteous staff.”
Things to see near Madragoa and Santos
Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga – This landmark museum (€6 entry) is located in a 16th-century palace. Enter and you’ll have access to an array of European and Asian artwork, including a ceremonial armchair from the 1470s and 16th-century Japanese painted screens, among other intriguing objects.
Chafariz da Esperança – Located where the Rua da Esperança comes to an end, this enormous drinking fountain dates back to 1758. It boasts two levels, a number of gargoyles and various water spouts. As one of the first public water fountains to be built after the 1755 earthquake, it’s a prominent landmark in the area.
Igreja de Sao Francisco de Paula – This charming old church predates the disastrous Lisbon earthquake and, as such, is an example of what the city’s religious architecture looked like at the time. Despite being close to the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, it’s often overlooked by tourists. Their loss: inside you’ll find frescoed ceilings and ornate wall paintings by 18th-century artists. Free to enter.
Marionette Museum – Set in a former convent, this museum tells the story of marionette puppets from around the world (around 1,000 in total). These artistic creations are from as far afield as Thailand and Bali, with a number of examples from European nations, as well as a few Portuguese pieces too. There’s an onsite cafe for a pitstop. Entry €5.
Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga – Santos station is the nearest. It’s a 10-minute walk from here.
Chafariz da Esperança – Arrive at Santos station and then walk just 500 meters (or seven meters) to the water fountain.
Marionette Museum – Again the nearest station is Santos, then walk for six minutes.
Suggested activities in Madragoa and Santos
3 Hr City Tuk Tuk Tour of Lisbon – Take in the sights and sounds of the city on this in-depth, three-hour tour of Lisbon from the back of a tuk-tuk.
Lisbon Surf Experience – Get out and learn about Lisbon’s surf scene with this experience (perfect for travelers who love the outdoors).
#5 Bairro Alto
What’s there and why visit
Bairro Alto is literally the “upper town”. If nightlife is what you’re looking for, this is the best area to stay in Lisbon. Steeped in charm, and strewn with affordable drinking holes and restaurants, the cobbled streets of the district are the perfect spot for fun evenings out.
As the sun sets, an array of locals ascend to Bairro Alto (it’s connected to Baixa by the Santa Justa Elevator). They come for their first drinks of the night, meeting friends and co-workers outside one of the various cool and quirky bars. There’s an interesting choice of eateries here too. Simply turn up and see where the night takes you.
From Bairro Alto it’s also an easy downhill walk to the neighboring district of Cais do Sodre. This is where the nightlife hots up, and where the evening drinkers of Bairro Alto move later on to dance the night away.
By day, this colorful district is much quieter. Its pretty streets house a number of accommodation options, including some of the more traditional hotels in Lisbon, plus some self-catering accommodation.
Bairro Alto’s string of sights will also keep you busy, from fascinating churches to bookshops and old-school cafes. The tram services can also easily whisk you from here to further afield.
Suggested hotels near Bairro Alto
Safestay Lisbon Bairro Alto
At this hostel, you get the choice of staying in dormitory style beds or private rooms. It’s close to Central do Rossio Train Station, making it easy to navigate the city. The hostel includes a roof terrace, courtyard and garden where guests can dine together. Free breakfast is offered for guests every morning.
Hotel Anjo Azul
“Location is really good – although the neighborhood is known for parties we had no troubles sleeping staff is really friendly and helpful, they made our stay there very pleasant hotel is close to some good restaurants and fado places. I recommend “A severa” for a good dinner and fado.”
Chiado Arty Flats
This hotel is next to the busy streets of Bairro Alto, and just a 5-minute walk from Camões Square. It features apartments and studios, giving guests the freedom to prepare their own meals right within their living quarters with the in-room kitchen. Don’t feel like cooking? There are several popular restaurants, bars, cafés and eateries close by!
Bairro Alto Hotel
This hotel is set in a historical building from the 18th-century and features a restaurant with an award-winning Chef. With views of the Tagus River, Chaido or Bairro Alto, it’s located right in Lisbon’s City Center, making it close to many shops, restaurants, cafés and other popular attractions.
Things to see near Bairro Alto
Sao Roque Church – Sao Roque Church may be plain on the outside, but when you step inside you’ll be greeted by one of the most glorious interiors of Lisbon’s churches. One of the chapels inside (the fourth on the left) has been dubbed “the world’s most expensive”, and is decorated with ivory, gold and silver. Throughout you’ll find detailed mosaics and Baroque paintings aplenty. Entry to the church is free; the museum costs €2.50 to enter.
Camoes Square – This vibrant meeting point is located between Bairro Alto and the neighboring area of Chiado. It’s a beautifully tiled square with a statue of famous 16th-century Portuguese poet, Camoes, at its center. There’s also a famous cafe here: A Brasileira. Many artists and intellectuals have met here over the decades.
Miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcantara – Get yourself up to this viewpoint and you’ll be treated to sweeping views out across Lisbon. From here you can see the city’s many red rooftops, the historic center, and Sao Jorge’s Castle in the distance. The viewpoint itself is an attractive spot, complete with benches, trees, and fountains.
Miradouro de Santa Catarina – Tucked away behind bustling Camoes Square is Miradouro de Santa Catarina, a viewpoint complete with its own café. Take some time to lap up views of the waterside and then explore onwards to the various mansions and museums in striking distance.
Sao Roque Church – Baixa-Chiado Station is the nearest metro station, from there, it’s a three-minute walk to the church.
Camoes Square – To get there it’s just a two-minute stroll from Baixa-Chiado Station, the nearest stop on the metro.
Miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcantara – You can either walk here from Chiado or hop on the funicular from Restauradores Square.
Suggested activities in Bairro Alto
1-or 2-Day Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour – Explore the district of Bairro Alto (among others) with ease and forget worrying about public transport during your trip.
The historical funiculars of the 7 hills of Lisbon – Learn about the history of Lisbon and its hills with a knowledgeable guide and a ride on its venerable funicular network.
#6 Parque das Nações
What’s there and why visit
Away from the cobbled streets and old palaces of downtown Lisbon, Parque das Nações is a modern portion of Portuguese capital. This is where to stay in Lisbon if you like things new and shiny — and it’s also a good choice for families, thanks to the parks and spacious waterside walkways in the area.
Accommodation here is mainly made up of large, internationally known hotel chains — the more contemporary end of hotels in Lisbon. These are conveniently located near public transport and parks alike. You’ll also find a selection of grocery stores and down-to-earth local restaurants, so it’s not hard to grab a child-friendly bite to eat in Parque das Nações.
This eastern end of the city’s waterfront was essentially redesigned in a bid to beautify the area ready for Expo ‘98. The result was attractive riverside promenades, a modern train station, large museums, bridges, towers, a casino, and a sports arena.
There’s also a cable car that connects the sights in the district and offers up amazing views as you ride it. It may not be the most exciting or traditional Lisbon neighborhood, but it’s a different side to the city and still has plenty for travelers to see and do.
Suggested hotels near Parque das Nações
Tivoli Oriente Lisboa Hotel
This affordable hotel features an indoor pool and hot tub and a recently refurbished fitness center. Enjoy the views of the city and the Tagus River from the Sky Bar while enjoying a cocktail. With the Gare do Oriente train station close by, navigating the city is super easy and quick!
“Room was spacious and comfortable. Coffee machine in the room with 4 capsules replenished daily. Location is near the Lisbon Expo, Aquarium and cable car. Breakfast was delicious and service is prefect. Hotel has an underground parking space, which is a must as there is very little free parking in the street.”
Melia Lisboa Oriente Hotel
This recently renovated hotel is close to popular attractions and many restaurants and shops. It features private parking and an on-site restaurant. The spacious rooms include satellite TV, a seating area and a tea/coffee maker, with either views of the city or the Tagus River.
MYRIAD by SANA
This luxury hotel sits right no the Tagus River and next door to the Torre Vasco da Gama. With multiple highly rated restaurants, a spa and wellness center, a fitness center and an indoor pool, you’ll never want to leave. It is within walking distance to wide variety of shops, restaurants, and bars, all located along the Tagus riverfront.
Things to see near Parque das Nações
Oceanário de Lisboa – Inaugurated in 1998, this aquarium remains the second-largest in Europe. It first opened as one of the centerpieces of Expo ‘98 and is home to over 16,000 marine animals (450 different species in all) including penguins, sharks, sea otters, and moray eels.
Altice Arena – It’s hard to miss the enormous, spaceship-esque arena at the center of the district. Once known as the Atlantic Pavilion, the newly named Altice Arena is the largest indoor arena in the country. Depending on when you visit, you may be able to catch an international sporting event or some live music.
Vasco da Gama Tower – Hop on the cable car from the Oceanario de Lisboa and you’ll reach this tower. It’s the tallest building in Lisbon, and was opened on the 500th anniversary of Vasco da Gama’s voyage to India. From the top, you can take in some pretty great views of Lisbon, including its river and bridges (there’s also a hotel inside the building).
Portugal Pavilion – Fans of architecture will enjoy admiring and snapping pictures of this striking public building. The roof, one single curve of concrete, weighs in at 1,400 tons. If you’re lucky, you may find an exhibition taking place inside. Otherwise, it’s a good place to sit and people-watch under the shade of the roof.
Oceanário de Lisboa – The nearest metro station is Oriente. Then it’s a 15-minute walk.
Vasco da Gama Tower – The nearest metro station is, again, Oriente, plus a 15-minute stroll. You could also catch the cable car from the aquarium instead.
Portugal Pavilion – It’s an easy 8-minute walk from Oriente station to Portugal Pavilion.
Suggested activities in Parque das Nações
Street Art Walking Tour in Lisbon – Take in the various modern artworks daubed on the walls around the district on this guided street art tour.
2 Hour Wine Tasting and Cheese Lunch in Portuguese Wine Bar – Foodies shouldn’t miss out on the chance to sample a whole lot of cheese and wine in an authentic Lisbon bar.
#7 Cais do Sodré
What’s there and why visit
Downhill from Bairro Alto lies the nightlife district of Cais do Sodre. Once a seedy red-light neighborhood, Cais do Sodre has reinvented itself as one of the best areas to stay in Lisbon for partying.
Historically, this district was where sailors would descend to drink, gamble and enjoy an array of illicit activities. These old drinking joints have now been replaced by fresh new bars, fashionable restaurants, and the coolest clubs in Lisbon.
If you want to stay in the neighborhood, you’ll have a selection of on-trend properties to choose between. Think boutique, style-oriented hotels, and aesthetic, design-heavy hostels. Even the old-fashioned fish market has been reimagined as Lisbon’s Time Out Market.
For when you’ve had enough of the late nights, you can take a stroll along the riverside portion of Cais do Sodre — or hop on the historic funicular to explore further afield.
Suggested hotels near Cais do Sodré
Sunset Destination Hostel
Situated in Lisbon’s city center, this hostel is close by to so much, including the famous Pink Street. It features rooms and dorms, a rooftop garden area with a bar and a small swimming pool. There is a limited shared kitchen free to use for guests and the 24-hour reception organizes daily activities for guests.
BED & BREAKFAST
Casa do Mercado Lisboa
This B&B is close to the famous Rossio, St. George’s Castle and Dona Maria II National Theatre. The rooms feature a private bathroom and mini bar. Free Wi-Fi and a bar are on location. A continental breakfast is offered to guests every morning.
Lx Boutique Hotel
“Right next to Pink Street and Time Out market. Great location, most attractions are easily walkable from this hotel. Although the music from pink street could be heard from our room it wasn’t overly noisy due to the quality windows and shutters. Hotel was clean. Staff were very friendly and helpful.”
City Stays Cais do Sodre Apartments
This complex is centrally located, making it within close walking distance to lots of restaurants, bars, cafés and shopping. The train and metro station are also close by, making navigating the city quite easy. The rooms offer a fully equipped kitchenette, living room and bedroom with free Wi-Fi.
Things to see near Cais do Sodré
Time Out Market – Make your way to this grand old market by the waterfront and you’ll be treated to an array of bites. From traditional Portuguese fare to more modern delights, it’s a dream come true for those who love to eat. There’s a whole bunch of places to choose from and a lot of seating.
Ribeira das Naus Waterfront – Winding its way along the Tagus River, this waterfront area is the place to go to enjoy a breath of fresh air in Cais do Sodre. There are also a number of local bars and foodstalls to be found along the way, making it a favorite spot for people to gather to eat and drink with riverside views.
Praca de Sao Paulo – Meander along this attractive public square and you’ll be treated to staggering views of the impressive Sao Paulo church itself. You can either spend time people-watching in the square or head inside the church to be further wowed.
Pink Street – This is the nickname of Rua Nova do Carvalho, a pedestrianized street with pink-hued paving. It comes alive as night falls and is practically always busy with people magnetized to the bars that edge the thoroughfare.
Time Out Market – Cais do Sodre metro station is the nearest stop to Time Out Market. From here, it’s just a two-minute walk.
Ribeira das Naus Waterfront – This place is just opposite Cais do Sodre station, making it easy to reach.
Pink Street – Take the metro to Cais do Sodre and you’ll be a three-minute walk from Pink Street.
Suggested activities in Cais do Sodré
Street Art Tuk Tuk Tour – Discover the street art in Cais do Sodre with this on this fun, informative tour.
Lisbon Private Bar Crawl – Cais do Sodre is well known for its nightlife, so a bar crawl around the district makes total sense.
#8 Chiado and Rossio
What’s there and why visit
Practically overlapping Baixa, Chiado and its neighbor Rossio hide a wealth of pretty squares, tiled pavements, and traditional architecture. It may not be home to many big-hitter sights, but what you do get here is elegance and a place where tourists rub shoulders with locals heading to work or running errands.
Rossio is where you’ll find the enormous Rossio Square — Portugual’s busiest public plaza. It boasts beautiful black-and-white tiled, Baroque fountains and grand 19th-century buildings. You’ll often find people sitting here, taking in the sights or waiting to meet a friend.
Back in neighboring Chiado, this is where to stay in Lisbon if you’re looking for something a little more sophisticated. Think chic boutique options and hotels taking up space inside centuries-old mansions and palaces.
In terms of things to do, you can spend time browsing storied bookshops, eating at Michelin-starred restaurants and watching performances at one of the area’s theaters. There’s a lot going on.
Suggested hotels near Chiado and Rossio
Things to see near Chiado and Rossio
“The property has an excellent location in the centre of Lisbon easily accessible via public transport from the airport. The staff were very friendly and helpful, the breakfast good and overall it was great value for money.”
My Story Hotel Rossio
This hotel offers a restaurant, bar, free Wi-Fi and 24-hour front desk. Rooms include a private bathroom, mini bar and views of the city. The hotel is just feet away from Chiado and Liberty Avenue.
Rossio Garden Hotel
“Perfect little hotel in amazing location! Kind, helpful staff, well-equipped room, great value for my cozy room in the best part of Lisbon! Restaurants and bars all around – just go across the street for a nightcap before bed. Many thanks for the lovely stay!”
BED & BREAKFAST
Feeling Chiado 15
This B&B is located in Carmo Square, within walking distance from many restaurants, Fado houses, shopping centers and stores. Rooms include views of São Jorge Castle and the Tagus River. A buffet breakfast is served daily and cakes, tea and coffee are available to guests in the common lounge area.
Bertrand Bookstore – Opening its doors in 1732 when it was founded by two French brothers, this is officially the world’s oldest bookshop. It’s grown to become a chain, with a number of branches around the country, but the one on Rua Garrett is the original. Its wooden interiors hide stacks of books from the latest bestsellers to much-loved classics.
Dona Maria II National Theatre – Overlooking Rossio Square, this neoclassical building was constructed in 1840. Famed as the most prestigious venue in the country, you don’t need to see a performance here to peek inside. You can take a tour to learn more about the history of the building. Otherwise, the grand facade exterior is illuminated after dark.
Convento do Carmo – This medieval convent, dating to 1389, was destroyed by the 1755 earthquake. It still stands, but it’s largely in ruins. On site, you’ll find an archeological museum that displays an array of artifacts found around the country.
National Museum of Contemporary Art – Art fans should make a beeline to this landmark museum. Housed inside a former convent that has been fully renovated, the setting provides an interesting backdrop for the colorful modern art on display. You’ll mainly find the work of Portuguese artists here, so it’s a good place to learn about the local art scene. Entry is €4.
Bertrand Bookstore – Baixa-Chiado metro station is the nearest stop. From here it’s a 10-minute walk.
Dona Maria II National Theatre – The nearest metro station is Rossio. The square and theater are right on the doorstep.
National Museum of Contemporary Art – Again Baixa-Chiado metro is the nearest station. You’ll find the museum a 4-minute walk away.
Suggested activities in Chiado and Rossio
‘Fado in Chiado’ Live Show Tickets – Enjoy a memorable performance of a classic Portuguese fado show during your stay in Lisbon.
Undiscovered Lisbon Food Tour with Eating Europe – Dine out on all the delicious food that Chiado and Rossio have to offer with this guided food tour.
Frequently Asked Questions
Lisbon is a great destination to visit all year but the best time to visit has be the summer months. This is when the city hots up and becomes a happening summer destination. However, for those of you looking to save a bit of money and have nice weather, the spring and fall are also ideal times to take a trip.
There’s a whole lot to see in Lisbon but I recommend spending at least three days. This gives you enough time to see the highlights and get a good taster of the city. You can see a lot in 2 days, but it would be a rush, around 5 days would be ideal. That way you can take things a little slower and soak up more of Lisbon’s local life.
Any big city you visit is going to have a few safety issues, but Lisbon is a safe destination to visit. Just make sure you keep an eye on your personal belongings in busy tourist areas and on public transport and you should be fine.
Lisbon is an affordable destination that can be visited on a budget. Sure, you could spend a whole lot of cash on big ticket attractions and high-end restaurants, but you really don’t have to do that to enjoy the city. There’s a long list of affordable accommodation choices, local eateries and low-cost activities to help make your vacation easy on the wallet.
Lisbon is an amazing city to visit. The Portuguese capital has something to offer every type of traveller. No matter what time of year you visit you’re sure to have a fun trip. Hopefully by now you have got a better understanding about where to stay in Lisbon.
You could opt to spend your trip in the city centre surrounded by all the top sights, book into a hipster enclave or spend your time in a family-friendly suburb. Wherever you choose to stay, one thing’s for sure. You’re going to have an incredible time exploring all Lisbon has to offer.
Travel Resources For Your Next Trip
If you’re in the process of planning your trip and putting together your itinerary, these are genuinely the best resources that the Going Awesome Places team stands by 100%.
Airport Parking: You’ll need a spot to leave your car at the airport so why not book a spot at a discount. Use code AWESOME7 to get at least $5 off at Airport Parking Reservations or Park Sleep Fly packages.
Hotels: Our go-to is Booking.com because they have the best inventory of properties including hotels and B&Bs. The exception is Asia where Agoda always has the best prices. TripAdvisor is also useful for reviews and bookings.
Vacation Rentals: Airbnb is the market leader but you’d be surprised how you can find cheaper deals on the lesser-known VRBO.
Travel Insurance: Learn how to buy the best travel insurance for you. This isn’t something you want to travel without.
- Insured Nomads – Popular insurance provider for frequent travelers and comes with great coverage and special perks.
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- InsureMyTrip – Best for seniors, families, and those with pre-existing conditions.
If you need more help planning your trip, make sure to check out our Travel Toolbox where we highlight all of the gear, resources, and tools we use when traveling.