Where to Stay in Lisbon: Best Areas & Hotels, 2018
Lisbon's historic Rossio neighborhood is the heart of the city's old town center and the best place to stay for sightseeing, within walking distance of many of the city's top tourist attractions and home to both the train station and the landmark Elevador de Santa Justa. The adjacent Alfama neighborhood sits on the northern side, crowned by the Castelo de São Jorge and known for its narrow streets with small shops. To the south, the Chiado neighborhood climbs to the Bairro Alto, home of Sao Roque and several other top attractions. Lisbon's hilly terrain can make exploring the city by foot a challenge for some, but the multitude of small cafes provide frequent respite for the weary. The tram is perfect for getting to the highest points, where there are excellent views across the red rooftops and the broad Tagus River.
Where to Stay for Luxury
Lisbon's historic center has some of the city's finest hotels, including Avenida Palace, which sits beside Rossio Station, convenient for day trips to Sintra and surrounding areas. This stunning hotel was built in 1892 in the Belle Epoch style and has lovely features, including huge stained glass skylights and a grand, winding staircase. Hotel amenities include free parking and breakfast, a fitness center, and even live piano music in the lobby.
Just a couple of blocks from Rossio, the Heritage Avenida Liberdade Hotel is well-positioned, close to high-end shopping in Lisbon's most upscale area. Housed in an 18th-century building, this hotel is eco-conscious and provides extras, like complimentary tea and coffee in the lobby, breakfast, a fitness center with a lap pool, and transportation services. Guest rooms are elegant and spacious with high ceilings and are equipped with conveniences, like a safe and mini-fridge.
Rooms at the Memmo Alfama Hotel overlook the Tagus River and the city's red roofs, while the best views are from its lovely rooftop terrace and pool. After your complimentary breakfast, hotel staff members offer a free walking tour of the Alfama neighborhood, including the nearby Sé (cathedral), Fado Museum, and plentiful boutiques.
Where to Stay: Mid-Range
Tourists do not need to sacrifice quality or location for price when it comes to Lisbon's mid-range hotels, several of which can be found in Rossio and along the chic Avenida da Liberdade. My Story Hotel Rossio has an ideal central and scenic location overlooking Rossio Square, very close to the train station, Carmo Archaeological Museum, and the Elevador de Santa Justa. This boutique hotel has beautifully decorated rooms with unique and tasteful touches and high-end amenities, like rain showers and in-mirror televisions. Guests will also appreciate the complimentary pastries and bottled water available in the lobby, free Wi-Fi, and an excellent on-site restaurant.
The Hotel Santa Justa is so named for its proximity to the Santa Justa Elevator, which leads to the Bairro Alto. Set on a pedestrian-only street, it is quiet yet centrally positioned for prime sightseeing. Rooms are modern but have personality and include a mini-fridge with complimentary beverages, a Nespresso coffee maker, L'Occitane toiletries, and even a welcome gift for each guest.
Just north of the city center, among the designer shops of Avenida da Liberdade, NH Collection Lisboa Liberdade is conveniently located across the street from the Avenida metro station and the Aerobus airport bus stop. Guest rooms are clean and updated, featuring conveniences like an electric kettle and coffee maker, mini-fridge, and safe. Hotel amenities include a business center, free Wi-Fi, and a rooftop pool with excellent views.
Where to Stay on a Budget
For those on a budget, the Rossio neighborhood has a couple of options that are within walking distance of tourist attractions and ideal for sightseeing. The 7 Hotel sits a few blocks from the river and is within a ten-minute walk of museums like the Museum of Design, as well as several historic churches. This hotel offers a wide range of prices, and the more affordable choices tend to fill up quickly, but a generous breakfast buffet is included with your stay, and the rooms are bright and modern.
Sitting just one block from Rossio Square and close to the Tram 28 stop, Pensao Praca da Figueira has large, bright rooms. Family rooms are available, and both breakfast and Wi-Fi are included. Although you will want to take a taxi back up the hill after a day of sightseeing, the dependable quality and service at Ibis Lisboa Liberdade is a great budget choice that sits just north of the botanical garden on the edge of the Barrio Alto. Hotel conveniences include a restaurant on-site, 24-hour snacks, and covered parking.
Where to Stay for Families
One of Lisbon's newer hotels, Martinhal Lisbon Chiado Family Suites caters specifically to meeting the needs of families traveling with young children. This luxury hotel features spacious family suites with well-equipped kitchenettes and washer/dryers, a generous complimentary breakfast, and babysitting services. The on-site restaurant has a kid's area, so parents can dine without worry, and the "kid's club" play area has toys, games, art supplies, a climbing wall, and plenty of other activities to occupy kids ages 10 and under. It is located in the Chiado neighborhood, close to the Palacio, National Theater, and Museo de Chiado.
Parents may also enjoy the unique Tings Lisbon, which also has kitchenettes in its individually decorated concept suites, many of which are inspired by sister-hotel Tings Nepal. The atmosphere here is warm and peaceful, encouraging families to relax and enjoy the terraced gardens and appreciate what Lisbon has to offer - in keeping with this philosophy there are no TVs, but Wi-Fi is complimentary. A complimentary breakfast, including fresh baked bread, is served each morning, and quiet hours begin at 10pm each night to ensure a peaceful rest. The hotel is located on the north side of the hilltop Alfama neighborhood, convenient to the route of the historic Tram 28, which connects to the Castle, the Se, the Baixa, and the Bairro Alto.
Where to Stay for Romance
For a romantic luxury getaway, the Olissippo Lapa Palace has everything a couple could wish for. Although it is located in the embassy district, near the Basilica da Estrela and Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, the hotel's secluded grounds are an oasis, with plentiful trees and a peaceful stream. The 19th-century palace sits atop a hill, and each elegantly decorated room has a balcony or private terrace that looks out across the gardens and the Tagus River. Amenities rival top resorts, including a chic spa, indoor and outdoor pools, hot tub, state-of-the-art fitness center, fine dining, and impeccable service.
Couples who love Art Deco will enjoy the eco-friendly Britania Hotel, which was designed by the well-known Portuguese architect Cassiano Branco. The stylish rooms are spacious and include Wi-Fi and a freshly baked breakfast, while guests can enjoy complimentary tea and pastries in the lobby every evening. Located on a quiet street just steps from upscale Avenida da Liberdade shopping, there are dozens of restaurants nearby, as well as several chic day spas.