Where to Stay in Lisbon for a first time visit? An insider's guide [year]

Where to Stay in Lisbon for a first time visit? An insider’s guide 2024

Lisbon is a super-popular travelling destination that attracts all kinds of travellers from all around the world. Both historic and “new” at the same time, the Portuguese capital is one of the most exciting cities, and lately, it has witnessed a “vigorous” boost due to the influx of students taking advantage of the city’s low cost of living.

Despite its youthful vibe, the streets of Lisbon tell a completely different story. The city is built on a series of seven hills with historical buildings popping up around every corner, some of which are centuries old. Outside the touristy spots, a labyrinth of alleyways awaits you, hiding all sorts of unique and charming locales, from hipster cafés to energy-filled bars.

Given the city’s diverse culture, it’s only natural for you to wonder where to stay in Lisbon and what to do, especially if it’s your first time. Don’t worry, you will find all the answers in this guide – including a map of must-visit spots!

We know that different types of people require different advice on travel accommodations. This guide includes the best areas for

  • the first time visitor
  • Families
  • Couples
  • Luxury & Design
  • Solo-Traveler
  • on a budget

Are you more of a visual learner/travel planner?

Lucky for you, we’ve included a map with all of our favorite neighborhoods and handpicked hotels for all of your travel needs.

Check it out below to get a better idea of where you should stay for your first or next visit to the Lisbon.

This is the extension of our guide to 7 days in Lisbon.

(This guide is always up to date, the last updated July 2024.)

But before we start climbing the scenic hills of Lisbon, let’s answer the main question:

Where to stay in Lisbon for a first-time visit?

The answer is simple: Baixa!

Baixa is the historic and also the main commercial center of Lisbon. Because of its “touristy” nature, here is where you’ll find Rua Agusta, commonly known as the main pedestrian street. Additionally, the street also serves as a connecting point to four major 18th-century plazas. On the north, you’ll find the wave-patterned Rosio, and on the opposite side, you have Praca de Comercio, one of Europe’s biggest city squares. Also, you have to check out Praca do Municipio which houses the Town Hall, decorated with trademark yet reimagined cobbled designs. Finally, Baixa features lines of commercial shopping streets and Pombaline-style buildings (symmetrical structures with azulejos – heavy-detailed and patterned tin-glazed ceramic tiles), unique only to Portugal.

Baixa is also home to major landmarks, some of which include:

  • Praca de Comercio – reflecting the rich beauty of Lisbon and offering the best River Trejo views;
  • Rua Agusta – Baixa’s main street, boasting dynamic restaurants and tourist shops;
  • Santa Justa Elevator – the connecting point of downtown and Chiado – another incredible neighborhood of Lisbon, dubbed the most picturesque. Go to the top for an epic view!

Why should you hit Baixa first, you ask?

For one, Baixa should be your number one choice when considering where to stay in Lisbon due to the mix of cultures. In addition to all the historical landmarks like the Placa de Comercio, many modern establishments are located right in the neighborhood’s heart.

Some even call Baixa an open-air shopping mall due to the abundance of shops! There are even dedicated streets for specific types of stores. For instance, at the Rua de Prata, you’ll find the most luxurious jewelry, and for the most fashionable pairs of shoes, Rua dos Sapateiros is the place to be!

Finally, here you will find some of the best hotels to stay in Lisbon, Portugal, offering great comfort. Even though they’re housed in historical buildings, expect many modern amenities like high-speed Wi-Fi, excellent restaurants, and the best service.

Here’s a full map for you to understand the different areas.

 

📍Best Area:Baixa
👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Best for Families:Martinhal Hotel in Chiado
👩‍❤️‍👨 Best for Couples:The Memmo Alfama
💎 Best Luxury HotelThe Hotel Avenida Palace
🤩 Best Design Hotel:Le Consulat
😎 Best for Groups:Bairro Alto Palace
🦸 Best for Solo-Traveller:Good Morning Hostel
💃 Best Hotel for Nightlife:Lx Boutique Hotel
🤑 Cheapest Place to stay:Mama Shelter
👌 Safest Area: Chiado

1. Best areas and handpicked hotels for Lisbon

You know by now that Baixa is a great choice of where to stay in Lisbon, but not all of us have the same tastes! Some want to experience the city’s more peaceful side with their families, while most solo travelers look for hip spots to party until the morning hours. 

With that in mind, I have created a list of hotels to fit your traveling style! Whether you’re looking for something more luxurious or romance-oozing establishments, you’ll undoubtedly find it here! 

Let’s take a look at some of the options!

Continue scrolling or pick your group and travel type on the menu:

1.1 Families
1.2 Couples
1.3 Luxury Traveler
1.4 Design Traveler
1.5 Groups
1.6 Solo-Traveler
1.7 Nightlife-seeking traveler
1.8 Budget Traveler

1.1 Families

Lisbon is an excellent vacation destination for the entire family! Finding an activity all of you can do together will be a breeze, and once you get tired, the following hotels will provide well-deserved rest. However, remember that although the city is easily walkable, climbing its hills in the summer may be a bit difficult for the little ones. 

The best neighborhoods to stay in Lisbon for families are:

  • Baixa;
    • Centrally-located;
    • Pedestrian-friendly streets;
    • Open spaces for the kids to play in.
  • Avenida da Liberdade
    • Ideal for families who want a little luxury in their travels
    • Nearby parks and green spaces – Park Eduardo VII is a must-see!
    • Spacious, scenic, and safe

Handpicked accommodations for families

Martinhal Lisbon Chiado, between Chiado and Baixa

As soon as you arrive at the Martinhal Hotel in Chiado, you’ll be amazed by the spaciousness of the rooms! This hotel was designed with families in mind, where you’ll find big rooms with excellent Wi-Fi, a restaurant with a fun kids menu, and a special club with only one rule – ‘no adults allowed!’ So, while your kids enjoy themselves in a safe environment, you can freely head outside and explore the surroundings.

Book Martinhal Lisbon Chiado here

Martinhal Lisbon Chiado Room

Martinhal Lisbon Chiado Common Space

Four Seasons Hotel Ritz, Avenidas Novas

If you’re searching for luxurious yet family-friendly accommodations in Lisbon, the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz is ideal! While you’ll have more amenities than you can imagine, your kids will also be spoiled for choice. Upon entering, they’ll receive a specialized welcome kit, including toiletries. Finally, if you decide to come a day in, the entire family can dip in the indoor pool – those above 12 can even go themselves!

Book Four Seasons Hotel Ritz here

Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon Swimming Pool

Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon Room

 1.2 Couples

Romantic couples thinking about where to stay in Lisbon should look no further than the beautiful Alfama. This area can get quite busy during the day, though the scenery is much different at night. The charming alleyways are beautifully lit, perfect for romantic strolls like those in movies. My suggestion is to catch the sunrise from Miradouro das Portas do Sol. 

Alfama also houses a number of cozy dive bars, where you can enjoy a glass of Ginja liqueur, a popular Portuguese drink, before you dine under the stars. Speaking of dining, you’ll also find many eateries in this area with Fado entertainers, offering experiences that will stay with you for a lifetime.

Handpicked accommodations for couples

Memmo Alfama – Design Hotels, Alfama

The Memmo Alfama is best recognized for its amazing architecture and design. However, that’s not the only reason why couples always seem to flock to this hotel. Namely, the Memmo boasts a romantic appeal, best felt in the bar and poolside area. After a day of sightseeing, finish the night with a glass of wine on the rooftop balcony, which has the best views of the area and the ocean.

Book Memmo Alfama here

Memmo Alfama Room

Memmo Alfama Common Space

Solar dos Poetas, Bairro Alto

The romantic ambience of Solar dos Poetas is simply unmatched! Because of the excellent location – just minutes away from all the famous landmarks, couples can easily explore Lisbon from this hotel. There’s even a tram station right outside! Date nights are usually characterized by a delicious candle-lit dinner, which can be easily found due to the abundance of lovely restaurants around the area. Whatever you do, ensure you reserve a night for Fado – the experience is unforgettable!

Book Solar dos Poetas here

Solar dos Poetas Room

Solar dos Poetas Dining Room

1.3 Luxury traveler

Don’t think you can’t find luxury in Lisbon – lovers of the finer things in life will take great pleasure in the city! From designer shops at the Avenida da Liberdade to heaps of Michelin-starred restaurants, luxury is practically all around Lisbon – wait til’ you see the places to stay!

The most luxurious neighborhoods of Lisbon are:

  • Avenida de Liberdade;
    • High-end couture boutiques from major fashion houses;
    • Luxurious 5-star hotels with exclusive rooftop bars;
    • Upscale dining establishments
  • Principe Real
    • Cosmopolitan nightlife;
    • Sophisticated art galleries and museums;
    • Affluent crowds who value luxury and opulence

Handpicked accommodations for the luxury traveler

Hotel Avenida Palace, Bairro Alto

The Hotel Avenida Palace is housed in a 19th-century building overlooking the incredible St. George’s Castle. Because of its historical background, the design of this hotel pulls inspiration from Art Nouveau principles, featuring antiquities that are the definition of luxury. While there isn’t an on-site restaurant (plenty in the area), Hotel Avenida serves a delicious breakfast, and they’ll even treat you with small gifts by your bedside each night!

Book Hotel Avenida Palace here

Hotel Avenida Palace Room

Hotel Avenida Palace Dining Room

Verride Palacio Santa Catarina, between Bairro Alto and Chiado

With previous travelers describing this small luxury hotel as “exceptionally beautiful” and “the perfect stepping point to discover Lisbon”, do you need more convincing as to why you should picture this gorgeous establishment as where to stay in Lisbon? Centrally located just minutes away from Chiado, you will experience tranquility like never before. And even though the region is known for its vibrant nightlife, you won’t hear even a whisper of blaring music.

Book erride Palácio Santa Catarina here

Verride Palácio Santa Catarina Room

Verride Palácio Santa Catarina Common Space

1.4 Design-lovers

You may believe that you’d have to pay a fortune to stay at some of the best hotels in Lisbon, Portugal, that are focused on design, but I’m here to tell you otherwise! Check out some of my suggestions:

Handpicked accommodations for the design lover

Le Consulat, Chiado

There’s a reason why this Lisbon hotel is the first that comes to mind when one mentions design – all of the rooms of Le Consulat have been made in collaboration with the city’s finest art galleries and museums. And if fantastic interiors aren’t enough to lure you in, the famous #28 tram stops right outside the hotel!

Book Le Consulat here

Le Consulat Room

Le Consulat Common Space

Torel Palace Lisbon, Pena

The 25 rooms of the Torel Palace Hotel are entirely different, meaning that if you decide to come back, you’ll have a completely different experience. Consisting of two 19th-century mansions atop a scenic hill, every detail of the establishment has been carefully thought out, with the finest attention to detail. By taking a step inside, you’ll know precisely what I mean.

Book Torel Palace Lisbon here

Torel Palace Lisbon Swimming Pool

Torel Palace Lisbon Room

1.5 Groups

Lisbon is the perfect place for groups of all kinds, despite their size!  You have a world of experiences awaiting you, and because there are so many of them, I’m sure that all of your friends will find exactly what they’re looking for.

The reason why I chose Bairro Alto as the spot-to-be for groups is simple – this is the most outgoing area of the city! The neighbourhood is filled with unique cafes, restaurants, and bars, but some of them are tourist traps. How to recognize them? Easy. If you see restaurants referring to small dishes as tapas, this is something you need to avoid. Tapas is the Spanish word for these dishes, while in Lisbon, they’re called petiscos.

Handpicked accommodations for groups

Bairro Alto Special For Groups, Bairro Alto

As the name suggests this 9-bedroom apartment can fit up to 24 people! Even with a space this big, you’ll still feel at home, thanks to the amazing hospitality provided by the host. Also, there are plenty of hip bars around the apartment, so hitting the town will be very easy. That said, don’t forget your earplugs!

Book Bairro Alto Palace here

Bairro Alto Palace Common Space

Bairro Alto Palace Room

Selina Secret Garden Lisbon, Bairro Alto

Is there anything better than kicking it with your friends on a rooftop pool and sipping on some delicious cocktails? You can do this (and much more!) in the Selina Secret Garden, known for its youthful vibe and lively nights. Bairro Alto is also nearby, and Chiado is just 5-minutes away, meaning you’ll have more than enough opportunities to explore.

Book Selina Secret Garden here

Selina Secret Garden Lisbon Swimmng Pool

Selina Secret Garden Lisbon Room

1.6 Solo-travelers

Choosing where to stay in Lisbon when you’re planning a solo trip is essential. However, you won’t have much trouble finding social establishments compared to other cities. The locals are incredibly friendly, and the city is quite safe, apart from some people trying to sell you “drugs”. If this happens, just brush them off and continue your adventure!

Both Bica and Avenida de Liberdade are known to be really safe, so you can freely walk around in them, even at night. Also, the latter neighbourhood hosts many festivals throughout the entire year, especially fil-related ones. That said, you can easily meet like-minded people who might even join you on your next adventure!

Handpicked accommodations for a solo traveler

Good Morning Solo Traveller Hostel, Avenida de Liberdade

The Good Morning Hostel features both mixed and all-female dormitories equipped with comfortable beds and lockers beside every bed. Additionally, the rooms are quite spacious and very clean. The best part? Free beer from 17:30 until 22:30!

Book Goodmorning Solo Traveller here

Goodmorning Solo Traveller Hostel Common Space

Goodmorning Solo Traveller Hostel Dorm

Dear Lisbon – Gallery House, Bica

The name says it all – you have a gallery in the comfort of your own hotel! In Dear Lisbon, everything is a work of art, and even though the vibe is very intimate, its residents are very sociable. I picked this place out for creative people – inspiration will instantly strike you.

Book Dear Lisbon here

Dear Lisbon - Gallery House Room

Dear Lisbon - Gallery House Common Space

1.7 Nightlife Traveler

Unforgettable nights happen at Bairro Alto – it is almost as if the neighborhood never sleeps. There are many dive bars, ideal for bar-hopping, as well as luxurious rooftop bars. For a change of scenery, check out the Cais do Sodre region.

Handpicked accommodations for nightlife

Lx Boutique Hotel, Cais de Sodre

Imagine staying at the party’s heart in Cais do Sodre – Lx Boutique Hotel will offer just that! Recognized as the best hotel to stay in Lisbon, Portugal, by party-goers, you can pick your choice from the many bars that are lined on Rua Nova do Carvalho. If the ibuprofens aren’t helping after a wild night, killing time in the outdoor loungers surely will!

Book Lx Boutique Hotel here

Lx Boutique Hotel Room

Lx Boutique Hotel Common Space

My Story Hotel Tejo, Baixa

The central location of the My Story Hotel Tejo provides access to many nightlife spots around the area. You can start with a drink on the waterfront and continue your night at a rooftop bar – opportunities abound! Also, this hotel boasts a historic look, which you’ll definitely appreciate.

Book My Story Hotel Tejo here

My Story Hotel Tejo Room

My Story Hotel Tejo Common Space

1.8 For the Budget Traveler

Lastly, Lisbon is an excellent choice for budget travelers! Not only do you have many free tours around the city, but the overall costs of items like food and drinks are low, saving you a pretty penny.

As previously mentioned, Avenida de Liberdade houses many luxurious establishments, but it’s also quite friendly for budget travellers as well! Since the main tram lines run through the area, you won’t have to spend too much when you want to get around in the city. Also, for some free entertainment (and attractions!), head to the Parque Eduardo VII which frequently showcases art exhibitions and street performers.

Handpicked accommodations for budget traveler

Mama Shelter, Avenida de Liberdade

If you’re an avid budget traveler, you may have heard about Mama Shelter before. The name appears in 16 cities, one of which is Lisbon. What makes this hotel so great is the use of space – budget hotels are known to have small rooms, but thanks to the big windows in each room, you won’t even notice their size!

Book Mama Shelter here

Mama Shelter Lisboa Room

Mama Shelter Lisboa Common Space

Hotel Gat Rosio, Avenida de Liberdade

Modern accommodations with designer-like furnishings – it’s almost hard to believe that this is a budget hotel! There are plenty of cheap restaurants around the hotel, and the atmosphere is lively. Make sure not to skip breakfast – it’s fantastic!

Book Hotel Gat Rossio here

Hotel Gat Rosio Room

Hotel Gat Rosio Common Space

2. Best Neighborhood to Stay in Lisbon

As previously mentioned, Baixa, or the city’s historic center, is voted as one of the best neighborhoods to stay in Lisbon. But if you’ve come this far, you know there are even more exciting areas worth visiting! 

Alfama

Alfama is the oldest neighborhood of Lisbon, boasting labyrinth-like historic streets and charming establishments. Given its age, most of the popular landmarks are located in this area, like the Sao Jorge Castle. Additionally, Fado museums are everywhere, and you can easily catch a performance. Most importantly, the 28 tram line runs through Alfama, so hopping on is a must!

Bairro Alto

Taking a breather from the historic vibes, Bairro Alto is brimming with liveliness. This neighborhood of Lisbon is characterized by late-night bars, clubs, and restaurants serving the most delicious Portuguese meals. Because nightlife is the heart of this area, Fado shows are also quite popular, but you can expect all kinds of scenes. Finally, you can catch some incredible Sao Pedro de Alcantara sights from here!

Chiado

Chiado is neck-in-neck when it comes to popular neighborhoods to stay in Lisbon due to the abundance of shops and cultural locations. Apart from the Fernando Pessoa statue and many historic theaters, there’s one place that will surely pique your interest, especially bookworms. Namely, Chiado houses Bertrand, the world’s oldest bookstore! If you like the smell of old books, prepare to be amazed.

FAQs

What is the best neighborhood to stay in Lisbon?

  • Baixa: Historic downtown area with easy access to major attractions.
  • Chiado: Trendy neighborhood known for shopping and cultural attractions.
  • Alfama: Oldest district, offers a glimpse into traditional Lisbon.
  • Bairro Alto: Lively nightlife and vibrant street culture.
  • Belém: Picturesque neighborhood with historic monuments along the river.
  • Príncipe Real: Trendy area with upscale shops and cafes.

Where should you not stay in Lisbon?

  • Mouraria
  • Martim Moniz
  • Intendente
  • Cais do Sodré (near the train station)
  • Santa Apolónia

What should I avoid in Lisbon?

  1. Pickpocketing: Stay vigilant in crowded areas.
  2. Avoid certain neighborhoods at night.
  3. Beware of overcharging; negotiate prices.
  4. Book accommodations carefully to avoid scams.
  5. Watch out for scams targeting tourists.
  6. Follow safety regulations to prevent accidents.

Where should I stay in Lisbon for the first time?

The answer is simple: Baixa!

Baixa is also home to major landmarks, some of which include:

  • Praca de Comercio – reflecting the rich beauty of Lisbon and offering the best River Tagus views;
  • Rua Augusta – Baixa’s main street, boasting dynamic restaurants and tourist shops;
  • Santa Justa Elevator – the connecting point of downtown and Chiado – another incredible neighborhood of Lisbon, dubbed the most picturesque. Go to the top for an epic view!

Map + All Sights

Summary where to stay in Lisbon

Now you have all the information regarding where to stay in Lisboa. All that’s left to do is pick out your hotel and prepare for the adventure of a lifetime!

Looking for more attractive European cities? Check out our other blogs!

Other European Destinations

Before you run off, here is a few more handwritten articles for you. These will help you to find more unique experiences and enjoy your holidays at fullest.

Any Questions?

There you have it. I hope you have no questions and found your home in my home town.

However, please remember: I am not perfect, and it is likely I missed a few things to point out.

Therefore: Do you have questions? Is anything not clear?

Please please please drop me a comment below with your email! I will reply to you ASAP via email and here in the comments.

In fact, your questions help me to make this article better. So I help you to help me.

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