Where to stay in Lisbon: The ultimate Lisbon Accommodation Guide

If we’re being honest, searching for a hotel isn’t really that much fun. OK, part of the reason may be because we currently spend 365 days of the year traveling, and so we’re constantly on the lookout for great places to stay.

Basti had been to Lisbon before, so searching for accommodation for our one-month stay there wasn’t quite the hassle it usually ends up being.

Finding the right area to stay was easy, and so we focused on the search itself from the get-go.

We want to help you find a suitable place to stay in Lisbon just as easily, that’s why we’ve written this post to help you figure out which district in Lisbon suits you best and to recommend hotels in the different parts of the city.

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.

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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.

Finding a place to stay in Lisbon

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, with the exception of the Mouraria district (yellow) — for the simple reason that it only has a very limited selection of hotels. We’ve also grouped the two districts of Baixa (red) and Chiado (light green) into a single area.

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

  1. Baixa / Chiado: the city’s tourist center
  2. Bairro Alto: the city’s nightlife district
  3. Alfama: the city’s historic district
  4. Rato / Príncipe Real: the city’s hipster district
Lisbon Accommodation Guide

#1 Baixa and Chiado

About the area: The Baixa and Chiado districts are great places to stay. Especially 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

Booking.com has also grouped these two districts together. That means if you select Baixa/Chiado as your preferred ‘District’ in the left column when searching for somewhere to stay, you can limit your search to that part of the city. Last time we checked, there 444 hotels in that part of town. So you shouldn’t have trouble finding somewhere to stay.

Our favorites in Baixa/Chiado

Of course we’ve selected a few of our favorite places to stay, which we want to present to you now. All the hotels we’ve listed here have an excellent location and offer great value for money.

Our favorites in Baixa/Chiado
Under 50 euros Passport Lisboa Hostel (on the border to Bairro Alto)
50 - 100 euros BoHo Alecrim
100 - 150 euros Lisboa Prata Boutique Hotel
Over 150 euros Internacional Design Hotel (one of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World)
Hotels in Baixa/Chiado All hotels
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 with the district of Chiado.
Praca do Comercio
At the back of the picture, you can see the Praça do Comércio from above.

#2 Bairro Alto

About the area: If going out, sipping cocktails, and lively nighttime streets appeal to you, then you’ll feel right at home 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.

If you want to experience the nightlife in Lisbon, you may want to think about staying in Bairro Alto. If you choose a hotel in this area, make sure to pick a place in one of the quieter streets of the 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

You can select Bairro Alto in the ‘District’ section in the left column on booking.com to filter the search results accordingly. There are a total of 274 hotels in Bairro Alto. If you’d prefer to stay in this part of town, you have a pretty large selection to choose from.

Our favorites in Bairro Alto
50 - 100 Euros Grapes & Bites Hostel
100 - 150 euros Dear Lisbon Charming House
Hotels in Bairro Alto All hotels
Bairro Alto
The streets of Bairro Alto.
Lisbon Bairro Alto
Lisbon’s characteristic tiled walls. Bairro Alto.

#3 Alfama

About 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

You can also filter for places in Alfama on booking.com by selecting “Alfama” as your preferred district in the left column. Booking.com lists a total of 150 hotels to choose from in Alfama.

Our favorites in Alfama
Under 50 euros As Mar Guest House
50 - 100 euros Hostel Petit Lusa
100 - 150 euros Hotel Convento do Salvador
Hotels in Alfama All hotels
Alfama Lisbon
You’ll see pretty house walls adorned with crowded clotheslines almost everywhere you go.

#4 Rato / Príncipe Real

About the area: 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 andPraça 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

You can filter for places in the Príncipe Real district on booking.com by selecting “Príncipe Real” as your preferred district in the left column. Booking.com lists a total of 122 hotels to choose from in Alfama.

Our favorites in Príncipe Real
100 - 150 euros Casa do Principe
Hotels in Príncipe Real All hotels
Lisbon streets
The streets in this neighborhood also always have something special to offer around every corner.

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.