Where to stay in Lisbon without a car: 8 Best areas

I love to explore places without a car, and on my website, I cover many topics for car-free travelers. In this article, we will visit Lisbon and help you find the best places to stay in Lisbon without a car

I will share my recommendations for the top areas to stay in Lisbon without a car, along with a helpful map. I’ll also tell you where I stayed in Lisbon and suggest the best hotels in Lisbon for all budgets.

Lisbon is the capital and largest city of Portugal. It is located on the western coast of the Iberian Peninsula, on the Atlantic Ocean. Lisbon is known for its rich history, stunning architecture, vibrant culture, and beautiful landscapes.

Founded by the Phoenicians, Lisbon has been influenced by various cultures, including the Romans, Moors, and Christians. The city played a significant role in the Age of Exploration, with explorers like Vasco da Gama setting sail from Lisbon to explore new lands.

If you are asking “Can you get around Lisbon without a car?” My answer is, “Yes, it is entirely possible to get around Lisbon without a car”. In fact, the best way to get around the city is on foot and by using public transportation such as trams, buses, metro (subway), elevators, and ferries.

The Lisbon Metro is a convenient and efficient way to travel around the city. It connects major neighborhoods and landmarks, including the city center and the Lisbon Portela Airport.

Lisbon is known for its iconic tram system. Tram 28, in particular, is a popular route that takes you through many historic neighborhoods. Trams are a great way to explore the city’s narrow streets and hills. Tram 15 also offers a scenic route along the riverside.

The city has an extensive bus network that covers most areas of Lisbon that are not easily accessible by tram or metro. You can use the Carris bus network to reach various parts of the city. 

Trains can be useful for traveling to places outside of Lisbon, such as the beautiful town of Sintra or the coastal city of Cascais. The Rossio Train Station and Cais do Sodré Train Station are major hubs for this.

Lisbon’s hilly terrain is navigated using funiculars and elevadores (elevators). The Elevador de Santa Justa is a popular tourist attraction and offers great views of the city.

Lisbon is located on the Tagus River, and there are ferry services that can take you across the river to places like Cacilhas, Barreiro, and Trafaria. These are often used for trips to the south bank of the river. 

Lisbon is a city that’s great for walking, and many of the most interesting neighborhoods like Alfama, Bairro Alto, and Baixa are best explored on foot. I recommend wearing a good pair of shoes and be prepared for some steep hills, though, as Lisbon is known for its seven hills.

You can also use taxis and ride-sharing services like Uber in Lisbon. They can be a convenient option for reaching specific destinations or when public transportation is less practical.

Many areas in Lisbon are bike-friendly, and you can rent bicycles to explore the city. Some neighborhoods have dedicated bike lanes.

Lisbon is a walkable and accessible city, and you can enjoy its many attractions, neighborhoods, and cultural experiences without the need for a car. Whether you choose public transportation, walking, or a combination of various options, you should be able to navigate the city effectively.

Where to stay in Lisbon without a car?

The best areas to stay in Lisbon without a car are Baixa, Avenida da Liberdade, Chiado/Cais do Sodré, Alfama, Bairro Alto, Príncipe Real, Belém, and Park of Nations. These areas are easily explored on foot or by using public transport/taxi, so you can easily get around without the need of having a car.

Baixa is the best area to book your accommodation if you want to be at the center of the action and enjoy the convenience of being close to many of Lisbon’s iconic sights.

Avenida da Liberdade is a broad, tree-lined avenue with upscale shops, hotels, and restaurants. Alfama is Lisbon’s oldest neighborhood, characterized by narrow streets, historic buildings, and Fado music.

Chiado/Cais do Sodré are known for their vibrant nightlife, trendy bars, and cultural attractions. They’re ideal for visitors who enjoy a lively atmosphere, shopping, and cultural experiences.

During my trip to Lisbon, I stayed in Downtown Lisbon at the 4-star hotel called Hotel da Baixa. This is good value for money in central Lisbon, I was able to explore most attractions and restaurants on foot and by using tram/bus. Comfortable rooms and great breakfast.

Below is a map of the popular areas in Lisbon for car-free travelers. You can scroll down to view the live map.

Map of the most popular areas to stay in Lisbon without a car
Map of the most popular areas to stay in Lisbon without a car

Let’s get into the details of the recommended areas to stay in Lisbon, especially for travelers without a car. I will provide you with some suggestions for the best places to stay in each area, catering to every budget. 

All hotels in Lisbon have been carefully selected by me, with guest review scores of at least 8.0 or higher at the time I chose them. If you don’t like my suggestions (perhaps they don’t suit your budget or preferences), you can click the “MORE HOTEL DEALS” button where you can choose your own hotel.

8 Best areas to stay in Lisbon without a car:

1. Baixa 

Baixa is one of the most popular areas to stay in Lisbon for car-free travelers and first-timers, especially if you prefer a central location with easy access to Lisbon’s main attractions and public transportation. 

Baixa is also known as “Baixa Pombalina” or simply “Pombaline Downtown” because it was largely rebuilt after a devastating earthquake in 1755 under the direction of Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, the Marquês de Pombal.

Baixa is a fantastic place to explore on foot, with its grid-like layout, beautiful squares, and a mix of historical and modern buildings. It has a central location in Lisbon and is very well-connected to train, tram, and metro, making it a convenient base for exploring the city. 

You’ll be within walking distance of major landmarks like Praça do Comércio, Rossio Square, and the Santa Justa Lift, Praça da Figueira, Igreja de Santo António (St. Anthony’s Church), and Lisbon Story Centre.

Rua Augusta is a bustling pedestrian street that leads from Praça do Comércio to another iconic square, Praça do Rossio. It’s lined with shops, restaurants, cafes, and street performers.  

Another popular street in Downtown is the Rua das Portas de Santo Antão known for its many restaurants serving traditional Portuguese dishes, including seafood and bacalhau (salted codfish).

Downtown Lisbon is also home to the Rua dos Sapateiros, a street famous for its shoemakers and stores selling leather goods. 

Being a central area, it’s convenient to organize day trips and excursions to other parts of Lisbon or even nearby cities and attractions. Make sure to book your hotel in advance to secure the best options.

Best places to stay in Lisbon in Baixa without a car:

  • Luxury ($$$): Hotel da Baixa, great 4-star hotel, located in central Lisbon, a short walk from Rossio Square and the iconic Santa Justa Lift. Also close to Baixa/Chiado metro Station, the lively Bairro Alto and the shopping area of Liberty Avenue.
  • Mid-range ($$): Be Poet Baixa Hotel, 3-star hotel located in Downtown Lisbon, on Rua Augusta, easy walking distance from Chiado, the Santa Justa Lift, Commerce Square, and the Tagus River. It offers paid airport shuttle service, 24-hour front desk, and very good breakfast.
  • Budget ($): Augusta Boutique House, lovely boutique guesthouse located in the historical Pombaline Downtown, just a minute walk from Metro station (Rossio), within a short distance from trendy Chiado and Alfama Fado district with its iconic São Jorge Castle.
  • Hostel ($): Lisbon Destination, great backpacker hostel located inside the Rossio Train Station, easy to take the train to Sintra, which is only a 20 mins ride away.  

2. Avenida da Liberdade

Avenida da Liberdade is one of the most upscale and prestigious areas to stay in Lisbon. It’s known for its wide boulevard, luxury shops, beautiful gardens, and elegant buildings.

Avenida da Liberdade is often referred to as Lisbon’s “Champs-Élysées” due to its high-end boutiques, fashion stores, and luxury hotels. If you enjoy luxury shopping and a more sophisticated atmosphere, this is the place to be.

The avenue is centrally located, so you’ll have easy access to both Baixa and the historic city center as well as Parque Eduardo VII, a beautiful park with panoramic views of the city.

Avenida da Liberdade is well-connected by public transportation, including buses and the metro. This makes it convenient for exploring the rest of the city.

There are some cultural attractions nearby, like the Tivoli Theater and Marquês de Pombal Square. You can also visit the nearby neighborhoods of Chiado and Príncipe Real for more cultural experiences.

Best places to stay in Avenida da Liberdade without a car:

  • Luxury ($$$): Altis Avenida Hotel, 5-star hotel located on Av. Liberdade, close to Restauradores Metro Station and Rossio Train Station. It is only 10 mins walk from the historic Chiado with many traditional shops and cafés, as well as Bairro Alto where you can find many bars.
  • Mid-range ($$): Hotel Lisboa Plaza – Lisbon Heritage Collection – Avenida, this 4-star family-run hotel located on a few mins walk to Gloria Funicular, offering services to Bairro Alto. It is also close to Avenida Metro Station, only a metro stop from Eduardo VII Park and Marquês de Pombal Square. 
  • Budget ($): Blue Liberdade Hotel, 3-star hotel, conveniently located on Praça dos Restauradores, easy access to major sights and popular neighborhoods both on foot and by metro. 

3. Chiado/ Cais do Sodré

Chiado and Cais do Sodré are vibrant and central areas in Lisbon. Chiado is known for its cultural and shopping attractions, while Cais do Sodré is famous for its nightlife and proximity to the waterfront.

Chiado is one of Lisbon’s cultural and historical centers. It’s known for its elegant architecture, theaters, bookshops, and cultural institutions like the National Theater of São Carlos, Filigree Museum, Carmo Archaeological Museum, Livraria Bertrand bookstore, and the historic Café A Brasileira.

Chiado offers a range of boutique shops, designer stores, and traditional Portuguese stores. Rua Garret is a popular shopping street in the area.

The area has a variety of dining options, from traditional Portuguese eateries to trendy cafes. You can enjoy a meal or a coffee in charming squares like Largo do Chiado, or at Michelin star restaurant Belcanto.

Chiado is adjacent to the Bairro Alto neighborhood, known for its nightlife, bars, and restaurants. Bairro Alto comes to life at night, offering a contrast to Chiado’s daytime elegance.

The Time Out Market Lisbon, located in Cais do Sodré, is a popular food market with numerous dining options. You’ll also find historical sites in Cais do Sodré, like the Pink Street (Rua Nova do Carvalho), which has a colorful history and is now known for its bars and restaurants.

The Cais do Sodré train and metro station serves as a transportation hub, allowing you to easily access other parts of the city and even venture to nearby coastal towns.

Best places to stay in Lisbon in Chiado without a car:

  • Luxury ($$$): The Ivens Autograph Collection, this 5-star hotel located in central Lisbon, offering superb breakfast according to guests’ reviews. It is a great base for car-free travelers but also offers free parking which is a bonus for those who drive. Close to Baixa-Chiado Metro Station.
  • Mid-range ($$): Lx Boutique Hotel, great 4-star hotel located in the middle of the triangle between Chiado, Baixa and Cais do Sodré districts. It is a short walk from Igreja de São Roque and Chiado Museum. Many restaurants, bars, cafés and shops can be found nearby.
  • Budget ($): Hall Chiado, 3-star accommodation, centrally located in Chiado District, within walking distance from the ferry port for service to the South Bank. You can find a bus stop right at the front of the guest house, while the tram 28 stops and Cais do Sodre Train Station are only a few mins walk away.

4. Alfama

Alfama is one of the oldest and most picturesque neighborhoods in Lisbon. It’s known for its narrow, winding streets, historic architecture, and a distinct sense of timelessness. Alfama survived the devastating 1755 earthquake, which gives it a charming, medieval atmosphere.

The neighborhood bears the marks of Moorish influence in its architecture and layout. You can see this influence in the narrow, labyrinthine streets and the decorative tiles (azulejos) on buildings.

At the top of Alfama, you’ll find São Jorge Castle (Castelo de São Jorge). This historic castle offers panoramic views of the city and the river.

Alfama is often associated with Fado, the traditional Portuguese music genre known for its emotional and melancholic songs. You can find many Fado houses (casas de fado) in the area, where you can enjoy live performances.

Feira da Ladra, a famous flea market, takes place in Alfama on Tuesdays and Saturdays. It’s a great place to shop for antiques, second-hand items, and unique souvenirs.

The Lisbon Cathedral (Sé Catedral) is located in Alfama. It’s one of the oldest and most important churches in the city, with a mix of architectural styles, including Romanesque and Gothic.

Alfama offers some stunning viewpoints, or “miradouros,” from which you can admire the city’s beauty. The Miradouro das Portas do Sol and Miradouro da Graça are two notable spots for panoramic views.

What sets Alfama apart is its authenticity and charm. The neighborhood’s cobblestone streets are filled with colorful buildings adorned with laundry hanging from balconies, creating a timeless and intimate ambiance.

Best places to stay in Lisbon in Alfama without a car:

  • Luxury ($$$): Santiago de Alfama – Boutique Hotel, this 5-star hotel, located on Rua de Santiago, in a stunning location in the middle of the historic part of Lisbon. It is just a few steps from the tram no. 28, a great place for exploring Alfama and other sites of Lisbon.
  • Mid-range ($$): Lisbon Best Choice Apartments Alfama, great apartment located in the center of Alfama, right beneath Miradouro de Santo Estevão, just above The Fado Museum and Rua dos Remedios. It is close to Santa Apolonia train station and Terreiro de Paco metro station.
  • Budget ($): Hotel Convento do Salvador, 3-star hotel, centrally located within only a few minute walk from São Jorge Castle, Sé Cathedral and National Pantheon. Easy access to Tram 28  and Santa Apolónia transport hub. Short walk from a variety of Fado Houses, museums, restaurants, bars, and belvederes.  

5. Bairro Alto

Bairro Alto is known for its lively nightlife scene. It comes alive after dark, with numerous bars, clubs, and live music venues where tourists and locals gather to socialize and enjoy a night out.

The neighborhood is known for its colorful and creative street art. The walls are often adorned with graffiti and murals, adding to the area’s artistic and bohemian vibe.

During the day, the streets of Bairro Alto are relatively quiet and ideal for leisurely strolls. The neighborhood’s hilly terrain provides unique, picturesque views of Lisbon.

The neighborhood is well-connected by the famous Lisbon trams and funiculars. The Elevador da Glória funicular connects Bairro Alto to Restauradores Square, providing a fun and convenient way to access the neighborhood.

Best places to stay in Lisbon in Bairro Alto without a car:

  • Luxury ($$$): Raw Culture Art & Lofts Bairro Alto, 5-star hotel, centrally located, within walking distance/ short train ride from all major attractions and activities. 
  • Mid-range ($$): Chiado Arty Flats, 4-star good value for money accommodation, central location, where you can walk everywhere as long as you don’t mind the steep streets. It has fabulous breakfast, an airport shuttle and family rooms.
  • Budget ($): Bairro House Lisbon Charming Suites, 3-star accommodation located within a short distance from Ribeira Market, Rossio and Commerce Square. Great base to explore Bairro Alto, the cultural and  bohemian heart of Lisbon.  

6. Príncipe Real

Príncipe Real is a trendy and upscale neighborhood located in the heart of Lisbon. It’s known for its stylish atmosphere, beautiful gardens, and a mix of historical and modern elements. 

The neighborhood is home to the stunning Jardim do Príncipe Real (Príncipe Real Garden). This lush and well-maintained park is a perfect place for a leisurely stroll, a picnic, or just to enjoy the outdoors.

Príncipe Real is often considered one of the LGBTQ+-friendly neighborhoods in Lisbon. It has a welcoming atmosphere and is home to LGBTQ+ bars, clubs, and events.

The neighborhood has its own market, Mercado de Príncipe Real, where you can find fresh produce, gourmet food, and artisanal products. It’s a great place to sample local and international cuisine.

There are several cultural institutions in the area, including museums and galleries, such as the Museum of Natural History and Science.

Best places to stay in Lisbon in Príncipe Real without a car:

  • Luxury ($$$): The Vintage Hotel & Spa Lisbon, 5-star hotel located within walking distance from  lively Avenida da Liberdade and Avenida Metro Station. It has a rooftop bar, a heated indoor pool, and Fabulous breakfast.
  • Mid-range ($$): Altis Prime Hotel, 4-star hotel in a good quiet location, easy access to sights, and tourist amenities. Close to Marques de Pombal Station.
  • Budget ($): Casa de Sao Mamede Hotel, great 3-star hotel, located only 4 mins walk from the Rato Metro Station, offering links to the Lisbon Airport and Downtown Lisbon. There are several local restaurants nearby.

7. Belém

Belém is a historic district located in the western part of Lisbon, along the banks of the Tagus River. It is a short taxi/ tram ride from downtown Lisbon. This area is known for its rich history, cultural landmarks, and delicious pastries.

Belém was the place where many of the great Portuguese explorers, including Vasco da Gama, departed on their voyages of discovery during the Age of Exploration in the 15th and 16th centuries.

Belém is famous for its pastries, particularly the Pastéis de Belém, a type of custard tart. The Antiga Confeitaria de Belém is where these delectable pastries are famously made and served.

Popular landmarks in Belem are:

  • Belém Tower (Torre de Belém), a UNESCO World Heritage site 
  • Jeronimos Monastery (Mosteiro dos Jerónimos),  a UNESCO World Heritage site. 
  • Monument to the Discoveries (Padrão dos Descobrimentos)
  • National Coach Museum (Museu Nacional dos Coches)
  • Belém Cultural Center, a hub for contemporary arts and culture.
  • Belém Gardens,  great for relaxation and picnics.
  • Ajuda Palace (Palácio Nacional da Ajuda), the royal residence for Portuguese monarchs.

Belém’s location along the river makes it an ideal starting point for river cruises and boat tours that allow you to explore Lisbon from the water.

Best places to stay in Lisbon in Belém without a car:

  • Luxury ($$$): NAU Palacio do Governador, 5-star hotel, easy access to train and tram stops, within a short distance from Belem Cultural Centre, the Belem Tower, and the famous Pastéis de Belém café.
  • Luxury ($$$): Altis Belem Hotel & Spa – Design Hotels, 5-star hotel set in a unique waterfront location in Belém, next to the Tagus River, easy access to train, bus, and ferry. It has a Michelin Star restaurant, outdoor/indoor swimming pools, and a rooftop sun deck.
  • Budget ($): Famous Crows Lisbon Suites, great guest house located within walking distance from Jerónimos Monastery, the famous Pastéis de Belém. Easy access to bus/tram stops, while Belém Train Station is only a few mins walk away for trains to Costa da Caparica’s beaches.

8. Park of Nations (Parque das Nações)

The Park of Nations (Parque das Nações) is a modern and vibrant urban district located in the eastern part of Lisbon. It was developed as part of the Expo ’98 World Exposition and has since become a major commercial, residential, and cultural hub in the city.

The Oceanarium in the Park of Nations is one of the largest indoor aquariums in the world. It features a diverse range of marine life and provides an entertaining experience for visitors of all ages.

Vasco da Gama Tower (Torre Vasco da Gama) offers panoramic views of the park and the Tagus River. It’s both a structural landmark and a functioning hotel.

Lisbon Casino (Casino Lisboa), the casino complex in the Park of Nations, is one of the largest in Europe and offers a wide range of entertainment, including gambling, dining, and live shows.

Telecabine Lisboa cable car system takes visitors on a scenic ride over the park, providing stunning views of the river, the modern architecture, and the surrounding areas.

Riverfront Promenade has a beautiful riverfront promenade, which is perfect for leisurely walks and cycling. It’s lined with restaurants, bars, and shops.

The district is a significant business and commercial center, with modern office buildings, shopping centers, and a well-developed infrastructure.

Best places to stay in Park of Nations without a car:

  • Luxury ($$$): Eurostars Universal Lisboa, 5-star hotel located in the modern Parque das Nações, where the Expo was held in 1998. It is 10 minutes from the airport and  is 40 mins by Uber/ train ride to get to Downtown Lisbon. It is close to the Lisbon Oriente train station, Vasco da Gama shopping center, and the Oceanarium. 
  • Mid-range ($$): Melia Lisboa Oriente Hotel, great 4-star hotel in the heart of Lisbon’s Parque das Nações. Short walk from Gare do Oriente station, easy access to Metro, train, and bus. Its rooms offer views of the former EXPO 98 site.
  • Budget ($): Hotel Ibis Lisboa Parque das Nações, great 3-star hotel, located within walking distance from Atlântico Pavillion or the Lisbon Casino, and the FIL (International Lisbon Fair).

In conclusion, Baixa, Avenida da Liberdade, Chiado, Alfama, Bairro Alto, Príncipe Real, Belém, and Park of Nations are the best places to stay in Lisbon without a car. These areas have a high concentration of tourist attractions and amenities, so you can easily explore the city by walking, bus, tram, metro, and taxi.

You can continue reading about Lisbon in these articles:

There you have it, my recommendations for the popular areas that you can stay during your car-free trip to Lisbon. I hope you found my article helpful and enjoy your holiday!

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Your feedback is invaluable and helps me continue to create more quality travel guides.

About Author: Ocean Cameron

I'm Ocean, founder and main editor of travelhotelexpert.com. I’m a passionate traveler who specializes in uncovering the best hotels and locations in every city, especially for first-timers, all without the need for a car.

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