Lisbon, Portugal: Where to Stay for an Authentic Experience

Lisbon is one of those places you visit and just feel right at home.

The people in Lisbon are welcoming, humble and kind. The streets are inviting and full of history. The food is rich in flavor and unapologetic about calories. But like every place in the world, location is key. Where you stay can make or break your trip. In this post, I’ll share the places that made my Portuguese experience magical.

Alfama, Lisbon Portugal
We were fortunate enough to have stayed in both the Alfama and the Bairro Alto neighborhoods.

Alfama was charming, quiet, and laidback. Bairro Alto was lively and young. Both neighborhoods had their own charm and the hilly cobblestone streets transited by the famous Tram 28. I didn’t favor one over the other. To me, they each offered incredible and unforgettable memories. Alfama called for stillness, Bairro Alto for celebrating.

Barrio Alto, Lisbon, Portugal
Bairro Alto

Bairro Alto had sparkling nightlife and delicious restaurants.There is a restaurant and a bar in almost every corner. Around midnight, the streets are buzzing with young adults having a great time enjoying their favorite drinks. If you are looking to party until the morning checkout Pink Street. Apart from partying, you can catch the Tram 28 from any street during the day to enjoy the amazing views and the various neighborhoods. In Bairro Alto, you can also check out the Time Out Market; an upbeat food market created by Time Out Magazine for the Portuguese people to enjoy five star restaurants at a reasonable price.

Cafe Oregueirao- Alfama, Lisbon
Cafe Oregueirao- Alfama

In Alfama, We spent time conversing with locals and hearing their stories. They were extremely accommodating, warm and welcoming. One early morning, we went looking for a breakfast spot and stumbled across this very small café where locals were congregating before heading to work and school. Given that the restaurant was small, our group couldn’t sit in one table together. An older lady (one of the customers) started to ask people to move and arranged one big table together for us. When we approached her to thank her for her kind-heartedness, she said “that’s what Portuguese people do”.

Alfama, Lisbon- Portugal

Regardless of where you decide to stay, Lisbon is a magnificent city and I’m sure you will have a great time!

Thanks for reading!

Check out some of my other destination blogs!


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