Lisbon is one of the European cities that I like the most. It has everything. It has so many things to see and do that it is impossible to get bored in it. Lisbon is one of those cities that you always want to return to.
In recent years, it has positioned itself as a first-rate tourist destination. And this is evident in the enormous amount and variety of accommodation the city offers. It is one of the capitals of Europe that has the best quality-price hotels in all ranges.
In general, I would rate your accommodation as cheap. It also offers a good number of options for the lowest budgets in downtown areas. However, the demand is such that it is necessary to book in advance if you want to find something nice and cheap in the center of Lisbon.
Fortunately, its public transport system is excellent, which allows a lot of leeways when choosing the area to stay in Lisbon. You don’t necessarily have to look for accommodation in the most central areas to enjoy the city.
By giving up being in the city center, significant savings are achieved in exchange for spending a few minutes getting around by metro or other means of public transport.
The best areas to stay in Lisbon
The most popular areas to stay in Lisbon are Baixa, Chiado, Barrio Alto, and, to a lesser extent, Avenida da Liberdade. These are very central and highly sought after areas. If you want to find something relatively affordable in them, it is necessary to book well in advance.
I like all these areas, but if I find something that fits what I’m looking for. I have a particular preference for Avenida da Liberdade. In addition to these, there are other areas that, although they have less demand, can be perfectly considered.
Baixa is the most central and most sought after area to sleep in Lisbon. This neighborhood stretches from the Rossio (Praca Dom Pedro IV), from where its two main streets Rua da Prata and Rua Aurea descend, to Praca do Comercio, which overlooks the banks of the Tagus River. It is flanked on one side by the Barrio Alto and the Chiado, and on the other by the Alfama and Castello.
This whole area is characterized by its abundant examples of “Pombalina” architecture. The name comes from the project to rebuild the neighborhood led by the Marquis of Pombal after its almost total destruction by the 1755 earthquake. The buildings in this area are very elegant (although today many have a somewhat dilapidated air) and sober, typical of the style of the time.
Traditionally it was one of the main business areas of the city with headquarters of important banks and companies. Today many buildings that previously housed offices have been converted into hotels or youth hostels.
Baixa is an ideal area to do tourist visits, since it is close to everything, shopping, both in the neighborhood itself and in Chiado, dining, going out in the bars of the Bairro Alto, or simply walking around.
Although the offer of accommodation from both high-end hotels and cheap options is abundant. It is not easy to find availability in the months with the highest tourist influx. It is almost mandatory to book in advance if you do not want to find the full poster.
El Chiado is a small area located right next to Baixa and Barrio Alto. It is a commercial area with a reputation for elegant and chic where you can find some of the best-known shops in the city. Both the first international brands and boutiques abound here.
The neighborhood has quite a bit of charm. In it, you will find tourist attractions such as the Santa Justa Elevator, from which you have very good views of the city, the Carmo Convent, the Chiado Museum, and its famous Art Deco cafes.
If you visit Lisbon, you will surely take a walk through some of its best-known streets such as Rua Garret or Rua do Carmo, and you will make a stop at one of its many cafes. The best known is the A Brasileira, an institution in the city.
The advantages of staying in Lisbon at the Chiado are many. As in Baixa, it is close to everything and is well connected by metro, it is a neighborhood with a lot of life through which it is a pleasure to walk through its streets, it has a thousand and one option for dinner or a coffee, and the Barrio Alto with its lively nightlife it is right next door.
3. The Barrio Alto
The Barrio Alto is right next to Baixa and Chiado on top of a hill. It is an area of narrow streets that are very reminiscent of Alfama. Many of its buildings survived the 1755 earthquake, which has allowed it to retain a certain old-town air.
This district is bustling with bars, restaurants, cafes, original shops, and young designer boutiques. It is an area with a very bohemian and alternative atmosphere, famous for its nightlife. It should also be noted that it is next to the Alfama one of the best places to listen to fados.
If the Barrio Alto is known for something, it is for its nights. It is one of the areas where there is more activity. It is full of bars and clubs. If what you want is to party, it is undoubtedly one of the best options to stay in Lisbon . But if you are looking to rest at night, better book your hotel in another area. At night it is a very busy neighborhood with a lot of noise.
The area where you have accommodation in Lisoba is also important when choosing the means of transport to go from Lisbon airport to the city center.
La Alfama is the oldest neighborhood in Lisbon. It is located on a hill right next to Baixa on the opposite side of Barrio Alto and Chiado. It is a part of the city with a lot of charm with narrow and winding streets, old trams, small squares, and viewpoints with spectacular views.
Alfama is a fascinating area in which to lose yourself walking for a good part of the day. And in which I recommend dining in one of its fado restaurants. During the day it is a safe area. It is also reasonably safe at night, but you have to be careful, especially if you walk down a little-traveled street.
It is an area that many people like as an option to stay in Lisbon . Its charm is undeniable. Even so, personally, I prefer other areas of the center, or other less central but more modern and with metro. The great disadvantage of the Alfama is its accessibility, and that it is not as safe as other neighborhoods.
5. Avenida da Liberdade
Avenida da Liberdade is without a doubt one of the best options to stay in Lisbon and the one I like the most. In my opinion, it has it all. It is close to Baixa and the Barrio Alto, and it is a very well connected, clean, elegant, and safe area.
This avenue runs from Restauradores to Plaza Marques de Pombal. It is one of the most elegant and luxurious areas of the city, with stately buildings, embassies, theaters, many luxury shops, very good restaurants, and a good number of 4 and 5-star hotels.