Accomodation in Lisbon : where to sleep in Lisbon city centre ?

Which is the best district to stay in Lisbon

This page is dedicated to tourist accommodation in the heart of Lisbon. If you are looking to settle down permanently, we give you some advice in our "accomodation in Portugal" section.

This dossier has been designed to help you make a decision about booking accommodation for your next stay in Lisbon :

  1. We will start by introducing you to the different districts in the historic centre of Lisbon, and then we will tell you which ones to avoid.
  2. If you are looking for a nice hotel in Lisbon, we will give you some great tips. You will be spoilt for choice !
  3. Are you more B&B ? The most incredible ones can be counted on the fingers of one hand.

Where to sleep in Lisbon ?

Our favourite districts to stay in Lisbon with the best hotel

Alfama, The district of Lisbon old town (map)

Alfama, « The Baths » in Arabic, is the oldest district in Lisbon. A real labyrinth, characterised by its narrow streets, colorful houses, hanging garlands, the smell of sardines and the songs of fado. Full of charms, the district is nevertheless the most visited district in Lisbon. The famous grandmothers at the window disappear from the landscape and you will surely have a fellow countryman as your neighbour. It is losing its authenticity and gaining in tourist attractions.

Ideal for a romantic couple looking for a postcard image.

Average because most of the time it is inaccessible by taxi and public transport even though we are in the centre. You will have to face many stairs and cobbled streets.

Accommodation in Lisbon map of the Alfama district

Our best hotels in district Alfama : Memmo Alfama has a rooftop pool, the Eurostars Museum hotel has a spa !

Arroios, the most hip / hipster district of Lisbon (map)

Time Out magazine voted the Arroios neighbourhood in Lisbon as the coolest…in the World ! Traditionally, this is where you’ll find the working-class neighbourhoods with their colourful and cleverly hidden vilas operarias. Pleasant parks are located on Sant’ana Hill. It is also here that you will find cheap accommodation and Lisbon life off the beaten track, alternative. Following in the footsteps of Intendente, this young neighbourhood is evolving very quickly.

Ideal for families and small budgets.

Very good because you are well served by the metro and close to the historic centre. There is no « steep » climb if you exclude the Sant’ana hill.

Accommodation in Lisbon Baixa district map

Our best hotels in district Arroios : Torel Palace has an outdoor pool, Hotel 1908 has a great design !

Hotels in Avenida da Liberdade and the modern district

These are the Avenidas Novas, new neighbourhoods built from the end of the 19th century with beautiful Art Nouveau buildings. Starting from the famous Avenida da Liberdade (where you will find all the luxury brands), these districts were designed for the middle classes, or even the wealthy, and are heterogeneous. They are residential areas with many offices in the tertiary sector. If you’re an architecture fan, this is your neighbourhood !

Ideal for groups, seminars and corporate events.

Medium as public transport is required unless you opt for a 30-minute walk or taxi. 

Accommodation in Lisbon Avenidas Novas map

In this neighbourhood of Lisbon, the best accomodations are luxury hotels with rooftop, spa and pool :

Bairro Alto & Bica, the nightlife districts (map)

Bairro Alto is the « high district » shaped by the Jesuits as early as the 16th century. It was a landmark for newspapers and sailors. Today, this authentic district is partly populated by students and Brazilians, as is Bica. So it is naturally here that Lisbon’s nightlife is in full swing.

Ideal for partygoers, hen & stag groups.

Average for people with physical difficulties. 

Accommodation in Lisbon map of Bairro Alto and Bica

In Bairro Alto et Bica, there are few hotels but great guesthouses :

Baixa is the best district to sleep in Lisbon (map)

Historic heart of Lisbon, Baixa was completely rebuilt after the terrible earthquake of 1755. Its large blocks of buildings, traced with chalk lines, have traditionally housed merchants and craftsmen, as this area was considered « cursed » to be inhabited. Today, you will find a wealth of historic shops, cafés, restaurants… and tourist attractions !

Ideal for families, people with reduced mobility, elderly people.

Excellent ! Baixa means « low ». Lisbon revolves around this district and in particular around the Dom Pedro IV (or Rossio) square.

Accommodation in Lisbon Baixa district map

In Lisbon, Baixa district is the best for accomodation and offers a wide range of hotels near Rossio square :

Cais do Sodre district = Baixa + nightlife.

The quays of this district still bear the heritage of the sailors but the traces of the shipyards and the fishing port are fading away. The mercado da ribeira (« Time Out ») is no longer a fish market, the fishermen’s huts have been transformed into gin bars. In Rua Nova do Carvalho (the famous Pink street !), the taverns are invaded by thirsty men, the brothels become trendy night clubs. but nevertheless, it’s clean and renovated.

Ideal for partygoers hen & stag groups, lovers of concept restaurants.

Excellent ! Everything can be done on foot. You are close to the ferry terminal (to reach Cacilhas/Almada/Cristo Rei) and the train station serving Bélem, Cascais/Estoril.

Accommodation in Lisbon map of the Cais do Sodre district

Our best accommodation in Cais do Sodre :

Chiado, the Lisbon's bourgeois district (map)

A bourgeois district par excellence, it was the lair of intellectuals and Fernando Pessoa, the famous poet. French-style « chic » shops grew like mushrooms. You’ll be happy if you want to do some shopping in Lisbon. Chiado is the cultural heart of the city, close to Bairro Alto, Baixa and the Rossio square. It is therefore ideally located.

Ideal for romantic and chic couples, lovers of shopping and great restaurants, party groups, hen, stag.

Very good. Everything can be done on foot. Average if you have difficulty walking.

Accommodation in Lisbon Chiado district map

Accommodation near Baixa Chiado is varied with a splendid 5 stars hotel. Note that the Casa Balthazar is a luxury B&B with jacuzzi in room !

Graca district, the highest hill in Lisbon.

From now on, you have to write Graça and it’s pronounced like this : « gra · suh » (/ˈɡɾa.sɐ/). This working-class district is perched on the high hill, in the extension of the castle and the Alfama districts. With its rural village atmosphere, Graça is very pleasant to live in. It is here that you can eat a delicious workers’ lunch for € 7.50. It is not sheltered from the fresh wind but it is the price to pay to admire the most beautiful panoramas of Lisbon.

 Ideal for people in good physical health and families.

 Complicated. Everything can be done on foot but you have to climb ! If tram 28 passes through the heart of Graça, you have to be patient to get a seat. The solution remains the taxi. It is therefore not recommended for people with reduced mobility.

Accommodation in Lisbon map of the Graça district

There is no hotel in Graça (and near by) except one : Tings Lisbon, the best 1-star hotel in Lisbon !

Principe Real, the gay & hip district of Lisbon (map)

Its English garden gave it its letters of nobility. This chic and good-natured neighbourhood is in some way like the Marais district in Paris. Life here is very pleasant with its inspiring and conceptualized restaurants, its Portuguese-style shops. On the heights of Bairro Alto, it is very well located. Very popular with the gay community, the Principe Real district is their place to go out and take walks.

Ideal for gay couples, chic couples and quality window-shoppers !

 Good because the district is located very close to Bairro Alto and Chiado. Average if you have difficulty walking.

Accommodation in Lisbon Principe Real map

Principe Real (and near by) has few of the greatest hotels in Lisbon :

What district should be avoided for staying in Lisbon ?

If you ask yourself this question in relation to insecurity, I can reassure you right away. All the districts in the centre of Lisbon are safe, there is no gratuitous aggression. Of course, as in any city in the world, you must always be vigilant at night, especially if you are drunk.

If, on the other hand, you are wondering about the accommodation, there are indeed some districts which are not practical to stay in because they are too far away.Among the most touristy are Alcantara (Lx Factory), Belem and Oriente (Oceaonorium). I do not recommend them if your aim is to discover Lisbon city centre.

However, if Lisbon is only a stopover during your stay and you want an area that is easy to get to by car…these areas are to be recommended ! 🙂 Indeed, it is very difficult to park in the historic centre of Lisbon, or even to simply drive around.

Areas to avoid for accommodation in Lisbon

Now that you have all the cards in your hands, you can find a nice hotel in Lisbon.

Best hotel available tonight in Lisbon and cheap with :

Bed & Breakfast in Lisbon

The Bed and Breakfast in Lisbon is very qualitative. The hosts are of a rare sympathy which allows, in addition to a generally atypical atmosphere, a real immersion in Lisbon. Here is a selection of charming B&Bs in Lisbon.

Hostels in Lisbon

Of all accommodation, Lisbon's hostels remain the most attractive. I am going to quote some figures from the 12th Hoscars award. Set up by Hostelworld, these trophies reward the world's best hostels in 120 countries for a total of 174 referenced hostels.

Why should they be highlighted ? Because 9 youth hostels in the capital city have been rewarded for their efforts. That's just over 5 % of the awarded hostels... Not bad for a single city !

The world's most awarded : Home Lisbon Hostel

Home Lisbon Hostel won 5 awards including « best hostel in Lisbon« , « best hostel in Portugal » and « second in Europe« . Its location is perfect, right in the centre. Its appearance could be worthy of a palace. But it is only a hostel. In fact, the Home Lisbon Hostel is the envy of many… It also inspires the hotel industry worldwide to improve. A not insignificant detail : this hostel is promoted for its cleanliness.
Best hostel in Lisbon

There are also a number of highly rated hostels in Lisbon :

I hope you found this guide useful, very good research and if you feel like it, book a private tour with us

Elliot and Sylvain, your guides in Lisbon

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