Avenida da Liberdade
Lisbon's main central boulevard and neighboring streets are home to the biggest concentration of 4- and 5-star hotels in the city, and is the best area to stay in. Here, you're within walking distance of the older historic neighborhoods by the waterfront, and with easy access from the airport, by bus or Metro.
This elegant shopping district is also home to the best cafés, restaurants, and theaters in town. It climbs a hill from Baixa to Bairro Alto, and has a few elegant boutique hotels that put you in the middle of it all.
The grid of streets that make up the central downtown district between Rossio and Comercio squares only recently began offering accommodation beyond cheap guesthouses. Boutique hotels (mostly 4-stars) have opened in renovated buildings from the 1700s, and many maintain the historic character of their location.
Lisbon's picturesque "village" is mostly residential, and surprisingly only offers a small number of hotels. But those that do exist are some of the most memorable places to stay, for their locations with wonderful views, or for being converted palaces. Although the center of the neighborhood is a maze of streets not accessible by public transportation, most of the hotels are on the outer streets closer to the waterfront or up on the castle hill, and can be reached by tram and are within walking distance of downtown.
Lisbon's party district has no major hotels in its central grid of streets, and you'll know why when you step out of the restaurants and find a street party every weekend. But those planning to bar-hop in the city and wishing to find their bed nearby, will find peace at the hotels below or at those in the Chiado district just around the corner (see above).
Although it's on the western edge of the city, this waterfront district is where you find Lisbon's main landmarks and some of the top museums. Together with Alfama, this is probably the most romantic part of the city for couples to stay, although it only has a couple of hotels. Downtown can be reached by tram or bus.
Santos and neighboring Lapa are where you can find the most peace and quiet in the city. They're between downtown and Belém, and although the subway doesn't pass by, there are buses and trams. There is just one major attraction nearby, the Ancient Art Museum, but the hotels are attractions in themselves -- former mansions now transformed into charming properties, perfect for honeymoons or romantic weekends.
Parque das Nações
Eastern Lisbon looks like a completely different city. Instead of history and narrow streets, it's all about modern and futuristic architecture. Because of its proximity to the airport, its hotels mostly cater to business travelers and are mostly chain hotels. But they're all 4- and 5-star accommodation, and considering the wonderful waterfront and number of sights nearby, leisure travelers may also want to stay here. The old city may be reached by Metro.
There was a time throughout the late 20th century when pretty much every new hotel opened in this part of town. It's a mix of apartment buildings and high-rise hotels, mostly international and local chains. But this is where you'll find the biggest variety of places to stay for all budgets, from affordable guesthouses to luxury hotels. Many are within walking distance of the Gulbenkian Museum, and a Metro station is never too far away.