Lisbon Weather in December

Lisbon Weather in December

This post is an overview of the Lisbon weather in December, including temperatures and rain forecasts, as well as things to do.

  

Read more »

Lisbon Weather in November

What’s the Weather in Lisbon in November

This post is an overview of the Lisbon weather in November, including temperatures and rain forecasts, as well as things to do.

  

Read more »

Free Walking Tours and Things to Do in Alfama

Alfama Lisbon | District Guide

Alfama is one of Lisbon’s oldest neighborhoods. It sits on a hill overlooking the Tagus River and is characterized by mazes of steep, narrow streets.

You’ll find beautiful, brightly colored residences, as well as churches, and plenty of terraces and viewpoints from which to see the city centre. Read more »

Free Walking Tours Lisbon

Free Walking Tours of Lisbon

Lisbon has a fascinating and unique history spanning more than 3,000 years. Visitors and locals are drawn to the culinary scene, beautiful vistas, and architectural gems.

Plus, the seven hills, narrow streets, and colorful houses make it the perfect city to discover on foot.

There are essentially 5 types of free Lisbon tours and this post will explain what you will see, tour start times, and other important information. Read more »

Where to Stay in Lisbon

Where to Stay in Lisbon

This post will help you pick the best neighbourhood to stay in while you’re visiting Lisbon. 

We’ll cover a wide range of areas that are well known for their sightseeing, entertainment, nightlife, food, shopping and/or family-friendly activities.

 


OVERVIEW

When it comes to things like culture, entertainment, art, and historical significance, there is a lot of diversity in Lisbon’s neighbourhoods.

While some areas are much better for activities like shopping or going to clubs, others are more family-friendly or great for sightseeing.

This post details some notable neighborhoods in Lisbon. We describe what you can expect to find in those areas and the types of accommodations that are available there.

We hope this post will help you narrow down which area to stay in to match the activities you are interested in.


HISTORIC CORE OF LISBON

There are several neighbourhoods in the historic core of this city, and each one features a variety of landmarks, attractions, activities and other things to see and experience while you’re in the area.

Most of these locations are great for multiple purposes, including sightseeing, entertainment, shopping, dining, nightlife, and other factors.

With that in mind, this section will list each of the major neighbourhoods in Lisbon and make note of which activities or services are readily available in each part of the city.


Alfama

Alfama is Lisbon’s most beautiful and oldest district, one of quaint but steep cobblestone streets and whitewashed houses. 

Some of the best views of the city can be had here, from Castelo de S. Jorge to multiple miradouros (viewpoints).

 

 

It is full of bars, restaurants, cafes, churches, and museums. 

For more information, read our post on things to do in Alfama or consider taking a walking tour of the neighborhood. 

Best for:

  • Sightseeing
  • Restaurants
  • Local Music (Fado)
  • Cultural Sites/Museums
  • Historic Architecture

Bairro Alto

This bohemian and colorful central neighborhood is quiet by day. That is the perfect time to take in its history, street art, and 18th-century architecture and views. 

At night it comes alive with music and crowds visiting the neighborhood bars, something that for some rules out a deep night’s sleep. 

 

Chiado Lisbon

 

Visit our post on the neighborhood to find things to do in Barrio Alto.

Best for:

  • Sightseeing
  • Shopping
  • Nightlife
  • Local Music (Fado)
  • Budget-Friendly

Baixa

Baixa, in central Lisbon, is one of the most touristy areas of the city.

Here you’ll find a series of squares and classical avenues, with tourist-friendly shops, cafes and restaurants.

 

 
You can also visit art galleries, museums, Roman ruins, monuments and pedestrianized streets. Read our post on things to do in Baixa

Best for:

  • Sightseeing
  • Shopping
  • Restaurants
  • Cultural Sites/Museums
  • Historic Architecture
  • Budget-Friendly

Belém

A leafy suburb to the west, along the Tagus River, in Belém one finds parks, gardens, and buildings that survived the great earthquake. 

It’s also home to many museums and one of the city’s most notable monuments, Belém Tower. 

 

 

Fine dining, fashionable hotels, and the best pastries in Lisbon can also be found here. 

Visit our post on things to do in Belém or consider a walking tour of the neighborhood.

Best for:

  • Sightseeing
  • Restaurants
  • Family-Friendly
  • Historic Architecture

Castelo

One of Lisbon’s oldest parts, and close to Graca and Alfama, is the authentic neighborhood of Castelo. 

It sits at the top of a hill within the walls of Castelo São Jorge, giving it marvelous views of the city and water.

 

Castelo Sao Jorge

 

Its streets are narrow and dark (though safe), residential, and filled with souvenir shops and a few hip bars and restaurants.

Best for:

  • Sightseeing
  • Shopping
  • Restaurants
  • Historic Architecture

Chiado

This bohemian neighborhood next to Barrio Alto can be described as vibrant and trendy.

Here you’ll find charming architecture, bars, restaurants, bakeries, and shops.

The neighborhood is walkable and filled with tourists. At night the streets are alive with music and dance. 

If you want to see some Portuguese Fado music, Chiado has a number of spots to check out.

 

 

Read our post for things to do in Chiado or consider taking a walking tour.

Best for:

  • Sightseeing
  • Nightlife
  • Restaurants
  • Local Music (Fado)

Martim Moniz

This neighborhood below Castelo de S. Jorge is close to all of the central action in Lisbon though few folks venture in.

While a little rough around the edges, it is safe and cheap, and the heart of a multicultural neighborhood.
 

 

Within a 5 minute walk are myriad food options, with everything from local seafood, to Chinese and Indian foods, to kebabs and sushi. 

Best for: 

  • Restaurants
  • Shopping
  • Budget-Friendly
  • Cultural Sites

 


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BEST SIGHTSEEING NEIGHBOURHOODS IN LISBON

In addition to the areas in the historic core of Lisbon we list above, here are other neighbourhoods to consider if you want to be near even more landmarks and sites.


Bica

This neighborhood close to Chiado, Bairro Alto, and Caid do Sodré, Bica sees one of the city’s funiculars climb its streets many times a day.

 

 

Here you’ll find one of Lisbon’s more traditional neighborhoods, often voted one of the most beautiful streets in Europe due to its 17th and 18th-century architecture and cobblestone streets.

Like Bairro Alto, it can be a nightlife hotspot, with many bars and restaurants.


Estrela

West of Barrio Alto is the historic and charming and quiet Estrela. You’ll find grand architecture, museums, and green spaces such as the romantic Estrela Gardens.

 

Estrela Garden

 

This wealthy residential area is home to a number of educational institutions, embassies, and government buildings.


Graca

Not far from the city center yet a world away is Graca. Here, at the highest point in Lisbon, are some of the best views in the city.

 

Miradouro da Graca

 

While there are many sites that attract mainly tourists, you can find others that are off the tourist track and frequented by locals.

Check out the Igreja a Convento da Graca and Miradouro de Nossa Senhora do Monte with its amazing street art.

 


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BEST NEIGHBOURHOODS IN LISBON FOR ENTERTAINMENT

Visitors who are looking for great theatres, venues where they can enjoy traditional Fado music, museums, or even artistic sites might want to consider staying in one of the neighbourhoods listed below.

It’s also worth noting that you’ll find a lot of great entertainment in some of these other neighbourhoods as well:

  • Graca
  • Alfama
  • Baixa
  • Belem
  • Estrela
  • Bairro Alto

Alcantara

This neighborhood on the west of the city, along the waterfront, is a recently revived one.

Here you’ll find industrial buildings turned into artist spaces and upscale restaurants, a diverse and active nightlife.

 

 

You’ll also enjoy the view of Lisbon’s own version of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Ponte 25 de Abril.


Campo de Ourique

Easily reached by Tram 28, this peaceful residential neighborhood is considered one of Lisbon’s most attractive.

 

Jardim de Parada

 

Here you’ll find museums, cafes, restaurants, the beautiful Jardim de Parada, and a central large market with gourmet food and drink stalls.


Mouraria

The hip neighborhood of Mouraria shares a hill with Alfama. Once neglected it has of late seen gentrification in parts.

It is often referred to as authentic Lisbon and is home to a bohemian mix of Chinese, African, and Indian communities.

Artists and younger folks have been moving in, and it has an eclectic and colorful mix of street art.


Lapa

This charming, quiet, and hilly residential neighborhood, between Estrela and the river, is considered one of the best areas to live in the city.

 

Basilica de Estrela

 

Known as the embassy quarter, you’ll find various architectural styles, museums, public gardens, churches, and breathtaking views.


Santos

A neighbor to Madragoa, and down the hill from Lapa, is another of Lisbon’s oldest neighborhoods, Santos.

Here you’ll find grand mansions, palaces, churches and museums along the water. Head to Rui dos Pregos to walk or dine along the waterfront.

 

Santos

 

More sedate than the nearby Barrio Alto, Santos offers wine bars, restaurants, and art galleries.

Thanks to the many design and architecture students attending the neighborhood arts and design institute, it’s got a creative vibe and a lively nightlife as well.

 


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MOST FAMILY-FRIENDLY NEIGHBOURHOODS IN LISBON

If you’re looking for a neighbourhood with plenty of family-friendly activities, there are plenty of locations to choose from in the list below.

You may also want to consider the following areas for more family fun:

  • Belem
  • Estrela
  • Principe Real
  • Campo de Ourique

Alvalade

Fifteen minutes from downtown is the quiet but bustling neighborhood of Alvalade.

Developed in the 1940s, this planned neighborhood is made for those who desire a quality family life.

 

Alvalade Ice Cream

 

With green spaces, local shops and markets, bakeries, and in particular a very popular ice cream shop, it’s perfect for those who want to stay some distance from touristy areas.


Anjos

Only 5 minutes to the city center, Anjos is a culturally diverse part of the city that attracts artists and young families.

The neighborhood has recently undergone a “rebirth” though it retains its gritty edges.

 

Anjos

 

You’ll find cheap accommodations, traditional old-style Portuguese cafes, and the Anjos 70 market selling one of a kind items, organic foods, and second-hand objects.


Avenidas Novas

You’ll find wide tree-lined avenues, office blocks, residential apartments, hotels, shops, and restaurants.

 

 

Because it’s not as hilly as other parts of the city, it’s a great place to explore by bicycle, in particular its parks and gardens.


Campo Grande

This neighborhood to the north is home to the University of Lisbon and a number of other educational centers.

It is attractive to families because of the spacious living and its proximity to shops and restaurants.

 

Jardim Mario Soares

 

It’s also home to many parks and green spaces, including the largest park in Lisbon, Mário Soares Jardin.


Restelo

This affluent neighborhood, close to Adjuda and part of Belem, is known for its quiet streets and calm neighborhoods.

Here you’ll find embassies, mansions, and tranquil parks in which to relax.

What you won’t find are showy residents. The folks who live here like to keep a low profile while living in one of the best neighborhoods in the city.

 


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BEST NIGHTLIFE IN LISBON

If you’re mostly interested in enjoying activities after dark while visiting Lisbon, there are several neighbourhoods with popular clubs, pubs, and other venues you might want to visit at night.

In addition to the options listed below, you may also want to consider locations like these:

  • Santos
  • Alcantara
  • Bairro Alto
  • Chiado
  • Bica

Cais Do Sodre

Once Lisbon’s red-light district, today this waterfront neighborhood next to Baixa is one of the city’s most trendy.

 

Cais de Sodre

 

It retains a chic seediness, with burlesque shows and a happening nightlife. Here you’ll find some of the city’s hottest bars and clubs.


Madragoa

With small houses and narrow streets, trendy Madragoa, near both Lapa and Santos, proves to have kept many of its authentic features.

Although residential you’ll still find tourists here. It is known for its traditional taverns and fantastic nightlife.


Intendente

Bordering Mouraria is the small neighborhood of Intendente, one of the oldest parts of Lisbon.

Like Mouraria it’s been long neglected and is now slowly seeing a renaissance.

Because of its edge, it’s considered by some to be one of the hippest neighborhoods in the city.

Here you’ll find street artists and designers, along with vintage shops, and some unpretentious bars and cafes.

 


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BEST FOOD AND SHOPPING IN LISBON

Whether you plan on doing a lot of shopping or want to enjoy some of the best restaurants in the city, the neighbourhoods listed in this section are excellent places to stay while you’re visiting Lisbon.

If you’re also interested in sightseeing, entertainment, nightlife or family-friendly activities, you’ll also find great shopping and restaurants in the following neighbourhoods:

  • Alfama
  • Baixa
  • Castelo
  • Campo de Ourique
  • Alvalade
  • Anjos
  • Avenidas Novas
  • Chiado
  • Intendente

Avenida da Liberdade

One one of Lisbon’s main boulevards, Avenida da Liberdade is often described as Lisbon’s Champs Élysées.

 

Avenida da Liberdade

 

Lining its leafy street are high-end designer shops, posh hotels, expensive restaurants, attractive homes, and a number of tourist destinations.

 


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BUDGET-FRIENDLY LISBON NEIGHBOURHOODS

If you’re trying to save some money on food, activities, or even hotel accommodations, some Lisbon neighbourhoods are going to be more affordable than others.

In addition to the district listed below, we also recommend the following locations for low priced services:

  • Bairro Alto
  • Baixa

Principe Real

Although it’s mainly residential and traditional, Principe Real, to the north of Barrio Alto, has become quite fashionable.

It’s known for its shops, art galleries, restaurants, mansions, and gardens.  It’s also Lisbon’s gay and lesbian district.

 

 

Principe Real is often called the trendiest and most desirable neighbourhood in the city.

 


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RELATED POSTS

 

Lisbon Weather in October

Lisbon Weather in October

This post is an overview of the Lisbon weather in October, including temperatures and rain forecasts, as well as things to do.

  

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Lisbon Weather in September

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Lisbon Audio Tours

We are proud to offer our newest, affordable sightseeing option – AUDIO TOURS. Can’t make one of the guided Lisbon walking tours? No problem. 

We have partnered with Atlantis Audio Tours to provide you with a convenient way to experience our tours.

Each tour offers an off-line option to view the map and hear the audio of each walk so that you don’t need to have GPS maps running with the app.

 


Get a Free Audio Tour


Here is how it works:

  1. Download our free walking tour app on (iTunes) or (Android).
  2. Download any audio tour(s).
  3. Enjoy the tour(s).

Even if you don’t download any tours, you will still have access to valuable information on sightseeing, eating and playing in Lisbon.

Listen to a sample of our Lisbon City Center Tour.


Available Tours:

  • Lisbon City Center

Check out our audio tours in all our cities:

New York | Boston | Washington DC | Charleston | New Orleans | San Francisco | Chicago | Nashville | London  | Paris | Miami | Amsterdam

Lisbon Travel Guide

Get your Lisbon travel tips with the help of Free Tours by Foot. Our local experts have written everything you need to know about what to do and see in Lisbon.

If you just don’t know where to start, visit our main post.

But if you want to explore specifics, you can find all our travel advice and trip hacks here:

Lisbon Travel Guide


Things To Do By Month

There is a lot you can do in Lisbon, depending on when you are visiting or what your interests are; we have our top 10 activities in Lisbon.

For a more detailed guide, read our full blog post, Top Things To Do in Lisbon.

  1. Go a Sightseeing Tour
  2. See a Fado Show
  3. Take a day trip to Belem or Sintra
  4. Explore Alfama
  5. Visit the São Jorge Castle
  6. Discover Bairro Alto & Chiado
  7. Taste some local Food and enjoy wine
  8. Visit the Pilar7 Bridge Experience
  9. Take a cruise down the Tagus
  10. Visit the Mafra Palace

You can also read our full blog posts on:

When to visit Lisbon?

The best time to visit Lisbon is whenever you can get here!

Lisbon is a popular summer destination, so if you want to take advantage of a few warm days to explore the beach but still avoid some crowds and peak rates, try to come between March and May or September to October.

Use our monthly guide of things to do:

 


Bus, Boat, Bike, Walking Tours

There are a number of ways to explore Lisbon. You can see a lot of the main attractions in various ways.

 

 

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Neighborhood & Local Guides


Public Transport & How to Get Around

Public transportation in Lisbon is quite handy, and even if you don’t think you’ll need it, chances are that when you see the daunting hills of this city you might change your mind.

Buses are the most common way to get around the city (and the cheapest), but honestly you can walk to a lot of places. Avoid taxis and use the metro from the airport to your accommodation in the city as this will also save you a couple of bucks (the taxi fare is approximately €10, public transportation €2 and ride share options like Uber start at about €5). If you rent a car and have to park, look for free street parking on the side streets (although this can sometimes be a challenge in Lisbon). 

The trams of Lisbon are well known for providing the best routes for sightseeing, most notably Tram 28E.

 

Historic Remodelado Tram 28

Tram 28

If you’re just trying to avoid the steepest hills, funiculars may be your best bet. 

There are 3 funiculars in Lisbon, and they are designed specifically to ascend the most difficult hills in the city.

 

 

Gloria Funicular

 

In addition to these options, you may also want to consider the metro. However, unlike in other cities, the metro in Lisbon isn’t quite as good for tourists as it is for locals.

There are also hundreds of bus lines you can use, but with so many different routes to go through, you might want to use an app like Google Maps to navigate your trip.

It’s worth keeping in mind that both the bus and metro make stops at the airport, which means you can use either of them as an affordable transfer to the city centre.

 


Discounts

Lisbon is not an expensive city but there is always an opportunity to save.

It is cheaper to drink/eat at stalls or standing than sitting down at a cafe

Eating on the go is the best way to spare your budget in Lisbon. Try the prego (beef sandwich) or the bifana (pork sandwich).

You can find them at local cafes for just 5 EUR. You can also shop at a grocery store and plan for a nice picnic at one of the local parks or waterfront.

For a nicer sit-down dinner, avoid the touristy areas, as they are usually more expensive and the quality is not always to pare.

When eating out you’ll often also be offered bread and olives/carrots. They will be brought to your table before your meal casually. These aren’t free, so politely decline the offer if you’re not interested in paying for them.

These usually come with bread (also paid; you can also decline). You can also ask for tap water.

If you don’t, they will bring you a bottle (and if you want ice, you also have to ask for it; the locals never really have their beverage with ice).

A Lisbon transit pass is a great option because it included rail, bus, tram, and train to Belem and Sintra plus the funiculars.

That was a good deal and you don’t have to worry about having bus/tram coins.

We have a few blog posts on discounts and free things to do:


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3 Days in Lisbon

3 Days In Lisbon Itinerary

When you only have 3 days in Lisbon, you’ll want to see as much as you can without burning yourself out. 

Below is a three-day itinerary that should give you as much of a cross-section of the city as possible, while allowing you to enjoy the experience.  Read more »