Where to stay in Lisbon: Best areas & hotel recommendations

Lisbon is a popular destination for a city trip and therefore has a wide range of accommodation. To make it a little easier for you to find the right place to stay, we'll give you our hotel recommendations for Lisbon and explain which part of the city suits you best.

Lisbon is one of the most popular destinations for a city trip in Europe, accordingly large and extensive is the offer of hotels and accommodation in the city.

We want to help you find a suitable place to stay in Lisbon. That’s why we’ve written this post to help you figure out which district in Lisbon suits you best and to give you our hotel recommendations for Lisbon.

With that out of the way, you can get on with the more important things, like getting excited for your city trip, planning your trip to Lisbon and the many great sights and day trips available.

Hotel prices in Lisbon

The prices for a hotel room or an apartment in Lisbon are still fairly reasonable compared with other European destinations for city trips. But rates vary greatly depending on the season.

During the off-season between November and March, you can get a double room or an apartment in downtown Lisbon for as low as 35 euros per night. In the remaining months, but especially in the months of April, May, June, September, and October, you can expect to pay about double for a good quality room in the city center.

The great thing about Lisbon is that the general cost of living is reasonably low. Public transport is very cheap by comparison, dining and alcoholic beverages are a bargain, and admission prices are pretty reasonable too.

Our hotel recommendations in an overview

If you don’t have time to deal with the different areas, here are our hotel tips for Lisbon in a nutshell.

Lisboa Prata Boutique Hotel: Centrally located in Baixa and perfect if you are in Lisbon for the first time.

Tempo FLH Hotel Lisboa: An inexpensive hostel, which impresses with its stylish ambience and central location.

Hotel Convento do Salvador: If you don’t mind climbing stairs, you’ll enjoy the typical old town feeling of Lisbon in this beautiful hotel.

The best areas to stay in Lisbon on a map

It’s easier to talk about the most suitable areas in Lisbon to search for accommodation with a map as a visual aid. So we’ve drawn up a rough map of the city and its districts. Just so you know, the map isn’t to scale and we assume no responsibility for the accuracy of the information.

But hey, the main thing is that the map helps us keep track of where we are. This post focuses on accommodation in all the areas marked on the map. We’ve grouped the two districts of Baixa and Chiado into a single area.

So altogether, we’ll be presenting a total of four city districts:

  • Baixa / Chiado: The city’s tourist center.
  • Bairro Alto: The city’s nightlife district.
  • Alfama: The city’s historic district.
  • Rato / Príncipe Real: The city’s hipster district.
Lisbon Accommodation Guide
On the map you can see the districts we recommend to stay in Lisbon. In order to help you find your way around, we have marked four selected sights for you

Staying in the districts of Baixa and Chiado

The Baixa and Chiado districts are great places to stay. It is especially worthwhile if it’s your first time in Lisbon and you want be close to all the important sights.

It’s safe to say that Baixa and Chiado form the tourist center of the city. This part of the city is also home to some of the most popular tourist attractions in Lisbon.

Many streets in Baixa are pedestrian zones that are overrun with tourists and street performers during the day, and there are lots of cafes, restaurants, and shops catering to them.

The best-known sights in this part of the city are most certainly the Praça do Comércio and the Elevador de Santa Justa, which connects the Baixa district with the higher-up district of Chiado.

Pros of staying in Baixa/Chiado:

  • You’d be right in the center.
  • Many of the city’s major sights are within walking distance.
  • You can get around easily via public transport.
  • The ferry stop, where boats leave for the other side of the Tagus River (to the Christ the King statue), as well as buses and trams heading to Belém, are more or less right in front of your door.

Cons of staying in Baixa/Chiado:

  • The two districts are the most touristy part of Lisbon (especially Baixa).
  • Hotel prices are a bit higher.
  • This area isn’t as charming as the others presented here.

Where to stay in Baixa/Chiado:

Baixa Chiado
The reduced-traffic streets in Baixa provide a great view of one of the city’s most famous sights: the Elevador de Santa Justa, connecting the district of Baixa with the district of Chiado

Staying in Bairro Alto

If going out, sipping cocktails, and lively nighttime streets appeal to you, then you’ll feel right at home in Bairro Alto.

You want to experience the nightlife in Lisbon? Then you may want to think about staying in Bairro Alto.

If you like staying out late in the city’s nightlife district, but want your peace and quiet once you get back to the hotel, you should look for a place to stay in a quieter area within this district, or at least make sure that your room doesn’t face the street.

Your best bet is to carefully read through what other guests have posted about their stay at a hotel.

Pros of staying in Bairro Alto:

  • You’d be right in the center of the city’s nightlife.
  • Many of the city’s major sights are within walking distance.
  • You can get around easily via public transport.

Cons of staying in Bairro Alto:

  • It gets very loud there, especially at night.

Where to stay in Bairro Alto:

Bairro Alto
The streets of Bairro Alto

Staying in Alfama

If you don’t mind going up and down flights of steps, you want to be close to most major sights, and want to experience the somewhat touristy, but still typical old town quarter of Lisbon, then Alfama is the right place for you. 

Of course the city’s historic center is a great starting point to explore Lisbon. But you should be aware that the district’s steep, narrow alleys and steps can be pretty hard on the legs.

So if you don’t want to have to rely on the tram to take you home (if it stops near your hotel, that is), you should be in good shape and prepared to do your fair share of walking.

The highlight of the district is its distinct charm and of course the medieval castle complex Castelo de São Jorge in the castle district (to make things simple, we’ve grouped the Castelo district with Alfama on our map).

Pros of staying in Alfama:

  • You’d be right in the historic center of the city.
  • Many of the city’s major sights are within walking distance.
  • There are lots of lookout points that provide a great view over the whole city.

Cons of staying in Alfama:

  • Alfama consists of steep alleys and streets, so you should be in good shape.
  • The district isn’t that well connected to the metro.
  • The range of places to stay isn’t as large as in other parts of the city.

Where to stay in Alfama:

Castelo Sao Jorge Lissabon
View of the medieval castle Castelo de São Jorge in the district of Alfama

Staying in Rato / Príncipe Real

If you’d like to stay a little outside the tourist bubble, but still don’t want to be too far from the most important attractions, then the area around the Praça do Príncipe Real is the perfect choice for you.

We rented an apartment very close by, around the Praça das Flores, when we stayed in Lisbon for a month. We’ve marked the two main squares Praça das Flores and Praça do Principe Real with two black dots on the our map outline.

There are small boutiques, great restaurants, and bars everywhere, and the locals meet by the park kiosks so typical of Lisbon to gossip over wine or coffee.

It only took us about 10 minutes on foot to get to Bairro Alto in the evening whenever we were up for a bit more action or to the Baixa district when we set out to explore Lisbon’s sights.

If you’re only in Lisbon for a couple of days, then staying in Baixa/Chiado, Alfama or in Bairro Alto would probably make more sense for you. But if plan to stay in Lisbon for a bit longer, then taking a hotel near the Praça do Príncipe Real is a great way for you to discover more than just the tourist hot spots of the city.

We’d stay here again any day!

Pros of staying near the Praça do Príncipe Real:

  • You’d be staying in a less touristy part of Lisbon.
  • Many of the city’s major sights are still within easy walking distance.
  • There are lots of lookout points that provide a great view over the whole city.
  • You get slightly better value for money than in other parts of town.

Cons of staying near the Praça do Príncipe Real:

  • The tourist center of the city is about a 10-15-minute walk away.
  • The selection of hotels isn’t all that great.

Where to stay near the Praça do Príncipe Real:

Miradoura Sao Pedro de Alcantara Lisbon
You will find this viewpoint called Miradoura São Pedro de Alcântara very close to this neighborhood

Do you have a favorite place to stay in Lisbon that you’d like to share with us?

Have you ever been to Lisbon? Which neighborhood did you stay in, and would you stay there again or choose a different area the next time you’re in Lisbon? We’d love to hear about your experiences and look forward to your comments.