Lisbon Neighborhoods TOP 10 – Best areas to stay in Lisbon
The Portuguese capital is one of the most popular cities in Europe and we totally understand why… Lisbon is a very picturesque and historical city with good weather all year long, great food and affordable prices. What else do you need, right?
In fact, Lisbon is not only a “sexy” city for short-term tourists. It became a very popular choice for expats, digital nomads and long-term visitors. For all those and for those who might be wondering where to stay in Lisbon, this article is for you.
We have put together a list of the 10 best neighborhoods to live or stay in Lisbon. To select the best areas to live in Lisbon we have taken into consideration factors like safety, public transport accessibility, prices, proximity to the city center and others.
Note 1: We naturally excluded the most touristic areas (like Cais do Sodré or Belém) from this list because we don’t believe they are a good place to live.
Note 2: The neighborhoods are in random order.
Top 10 Lisbon Neighborhoods
1 – Telheiras
- Pros: Relaxed, modern, safe, commerce options, good atmosphere
- Cons: Distance to the city center, limited public transportation, prices above average
Telheiras is a very calm, modern and organized neighborhood in Lisbon. Considered an area of Lisbon for upper-class Portuguese people and families, Telheiras is clean and very safe. There are green areas and many cool cafes and restaurants mainly frequented by local people.
Despite being in a very good location in the northern part of the city, with good public transportation, it is one of the most distant options from the city center.
2 – Campo de Ourique
- Pros: Variety of local shops, relaxed and peaceful, good location
- Cons: Prices above average, no metro station
Campo de Ourique is a very peaceful and modern residential area of Lisbon. There are a variety of local shops and a real neighborhood vibe which gives it a great quality of life.
It is walking distance from the city center and despite having a good bus network there isn’t a metro nearby. Campo de Ourique neighborhood is also known for the local market – Mercado do Campo de Ourique. Here you can find a huge diversity of local and quality products and a cool food court.
3 – Alfama – Graça
- Pros: Historical area, Portuguese culture and charm, proximity to the city center
- Cons: Steep area, very touristic, occasional crime, very busy and confusing area
This is the oldest neighborhood in Lisbon and the closest to the city center on this list. It looks like an old village inside the city and it breathes history. It is where Lisbon’s cathedral and castle are located and where the traditional and cultural Fado music originated.
Being so close to the heart of Lisbon, it is a very busy neighborhood in Lisbon which occasionally attracts some crime (like pickpocketers or so). Probably the neighborhood with the best views on this list, especially in the Graça Viewpoint.
It is also where the iconic National Pantheon is located, close to which the Feira da Ladra market takes place. This is a very cultural open-air market where merchants sell antique and unique items you won’t find anywhere else.
4 – Olivais
- Pros: Relaxed and quiet area, good facilities
- Cons: Lack of soul, dependence of other areas for activities; proximity to worse neighborhoods
In the northeast area of the city, Olivais is a very relaxed neighborhood to live in Lisbon. It is equipped with very good facilities and good public transport connections.
It is characterized by its narrow streets and wide sidewalks. Aesthetically there is nothing special in this area and is not on the touristic route, but it is in a very strategic area of Lisbon. It is very close to the airport, close to the business area of Parque das Nações but distant enough to be peaceful.
5 – São Sebastião (a.k.a. Avenidas Novas)
- Pros: Great location, clean and modern area, great connections, beautiful parks
- Con: Prices above average, traffic, lacks a bit of soul in the streets.
This neighborhood in Lisbon might be one of the most expensive on this list. However, it is one of our favorite areas of Lisbon, due to its parks and views over the city.
It is a business area and residential for the middle-upper class. It has 2 beautiful gardens: Jardim Calouste Gulbenkian and Jardim Amália Rodrigues. Both perfect for a walk and enjoy a sunny afternoon and the last with an amazing view over the city center.
It is very close to the heart of Lisbon and public transportation is abundant in the area. You can easily access any part of the city within 10 minutes. And you can walk to El Corte Inglês, which is a huge and known mall in Lisbon.
6 – Lumiar – Quinta das Conchas
- Pros: Lots of local commerce and local life, peaceful and quiet, neighborhood vibe
- Cons: Distance to the city center, prices are increasing
This area of Lisbon probably didn’t deserve to be on this list 10 years ago, as it wasn’t a particularly safe zone. But now the story is very different and there is nothing to worry about.
This neighborhood of Lisbon developed a lot last decade and earned a lot of life (mostly local). Despite being the most distant option to the city center on this list, it is no longer than 20 minutes away on public transportation. And there are very good connections.
Together with Telheiras, it creates a sort of ecosystem and you might not even feel the need to leave the neighborhood. There are a lot of local shops, bakeries and restaurants. Plus the gigantic and beautiful Quinta das Conchas Park which is perfect for a morning run or a quick nap in the afternoon.
7 – Oriente – Moscavide (a.k.a. Parque das Nações)
- Pros: Clean, organized, safe and new neighborhood, facilities, international transportation
- Cons: High prices, distance to the city center
This neighborhood is an example of success in Lisbon. It was an abandoned and dirty area of Lisbon that came back to life after the World Trade Fair in 1998. The Expo ’98 was a complete revolution and that neighborhood is today one of the noblest areas in Lisbon.
It is one of the main business areas in Lisbon, full of modern buildings and offices. The surroundings are a beautiful and peaceful area to live on in Lisbon. Since most buildings are relatively new, the prices are above average.
It is a very pleasant area with a huge green space by the river, with great views. It is also home to many important landmarks such as Gare do Oriente – the international train station in Lisbon; Vasco da Gama – a very popular mall in Lisbon; Altice Arena & FIL – stage for the biggest events in Lisbon; and others.
8 – Príncipe Real
- Pros: Beautiful neighborhood and views, proximity to center and nightlife, local shops.
- Cons: High prices, can be noisy, touristic, lack of Portuguese blood in the streets
Príncipe Real is one of the most searched neighborhoods in Lisbon, and we understand why. It is an old neighborhood in Lisbon that was recovered and today is a mix of traditional and modern. The prices are, naturally, above the average, and it is a very touristic area of Lisbon.
It is a neighborhood with lots of local shops and green parks with kiosks. You can walk to the city center and to Bairro Alto, which is the heart of the nightlife in Lisbon. Despite this proximity, it is still a peaceful neighborhood to stay in Lisbon.
9 – Alameda – Olaias
- Pros: Public transport accessibility, proximity to the center, prices below average
- Cons: Traffic can be intense, can be noisy, student area.
A very popular neighborhood among students as it is close to many universities such as IST – Lisbon’s best engineering university. It is in a premium area of the city with great public transport connections which makes it a viable option as to where to stay in Lisbon.
It is walking distance to landmarks like Saldanha, Entrecampos or Estefânia. There are a few parks and many local shops and restaurants which gives it a true local vibe.
10 – Alvalade
- Pros: Public transport accessibility, Organised neighborhood, lots of options: activities, cafes, restaurants
- Cons: Traffic can be intense, can be noisy, prices above average
Alvalade is a neighborhood full of life in Lisbon. It is a mix of a business area with a place where many youths hang out.
It is the intersection of vital streets in Lisbon which makes it a bit confusing and, in rush hours, the traffic is intense. However, it is still a beautiful, clean, safe and organized neighborhood.
There are many local cafes, restaurants and bars that attract people from all over the city. Clearly a valid option of where to stay in Lisbon.
Bonus – Neighborhoods also to be considered:
If none of the options above got your attention, here is a list of other neighborhoods coming up on the radar:
- Marvila – An abandoned and industrial neighborhood in a good location that is coming to life.
- Almada – The closest city on the other side of the river. 20-30 minutes away from Lisbon on public transportation. Much cheaper housing.
- Cacilhas – Also on the other side of the river, but only 8 minutes away from Cais do Sodré in Lisbon on a boat. An exploding neighborhood for its proximity to the heart of Lisbon.
- Oeiras – A clean, safe and organized neighborhood 20-30 minutes away from Lisbon. Definitely to be considered.
- Linda-a-Velha – A neighborhood by the river, with good connections to Lisbon and many options of housing and activities.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Matilde & Miguel are a Portuguese couple who combined the passion for traveling with entrepreneurship and became Digital Nomads. They created the TravelB4Settle brand in late 2017 and since then they focused on Content Creation and Digital Marketing. Their main goal is to inspire and educate others to become Digital Nomads and help businesses all around the world to grow their presence online.