The Independent's journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission.

Best hotels in Lisbon for partying, relaxing and sightseeing

Our selection of the best hotels in the majestic Portugeuse capital 

Ellen Himelfarb,Jade Bremner
Tuesday 31 January 2023 14:34 GMT
Portugal’s capital city benefits from fine weather almost all year round
Portugal’s capital city benefits from fine weather almost all year round

It’s no wonder everyone’s banging on about Lisbon. Just look at it. It’s a time capsule in the mould of Paris, with innovative restaurants and fearless design. You could say the weather is pretty perfect in Portugal – it’s never too freezing in winter and it’s also cool enough in summer to explore the sights unhampered. Plus, it sits handily in a GMT time zone and is just a short flight from the UK.

As for hospitality, Lisbon occupies the sweetest of spots, offering VIP treatment at delightfully retro prices – especially if you know where to look. We’ve gathered together some of our favourite spots to stay in the Portuguese capital, from family-friendly lodgings and budget B&Bs to boutique hotels and quirky guest houses. All this makes the city a most unique prospect for a weekend break. Just make sure to go soon. All the attention is bound to get to its head.

Bunkbeds are sure to win over the kids at the Martinhal Chiado

Best for families: Martinhal Chiado

Neighbourhood: Chiado

Worth every penny of its not-outrageous price, Martinhal has children’s areas with play kitchens, bouncy mats and colourful upholsteries. There’s even a mini BMW in the dining room to “drive” at mealtimes. Your kids may not want to leave. That’s OK, too: the Baby Concierge and Pyjama Club will cover you in the evenings. Come morning, top sights – including the vintage 28 Tram – are walkable in minutes.

A Junior Suite at the well-located AlmaLusa

Best for the location: AlmaLusa

Neighbourhood: Baixa/Chiado

AlmaLusa scored real estate in an enchanting praça straddling two covetable neighbourhoods, and does the setting justice with period furniture, antique tiling, silk rugs, dreamy hand-embroidered linens and fortified Juliet balconies. It’s remarkably quiet, despite its position; you can watch trams trundling past each morning while nibbling pastries on the piazza, but you can’t hear them at bedtime. The destination Portugueserestaurant Delfina, serving baccalau à brás and traditional bread stew, means you don’t really need to leave for a local scene.

Best for groups of friends: Hall Chiado

Neighbourhood: Chiado

An unsigned home-from-home with door-code access, this “not a hotel” is cheap and exceedingly cheerful. Sunlight streams in past iron balconies, and a full-kitchen option with a breakfast bar mitigates the absence of an in-house restaurant. Rooms have cork floors and vintage tiles and toiletries in the bathroom. The suite (from €76) sleeps five in two ample rooms. Store your baggage in the lockers provided in the lobby.

A superior room with a city view at the romantic Memmo Principe Real

Best for couples: Memmo Principe Real

Neighbourhood: Principe Real

Life looks rosy from a table for two overlooking the terracotta roofs of old Lisbon. This is the grandest quarter of the city after all, and the boutique Memmo chain has improved on its downtown location with this hilltop aerie. A top-floor terrace shrouded in glass and ferns houses a saltwater pool and cocktail lounge. Mood-lit rooms are warmed by faux fur throws and fireplaces on the terrace – all the better for sipping your complimentary port digestif.

Soak up the views at the NH Collection Lisboa Liberdade

Neighbourhood: Principe Real

The Liberdade takes Memmo’s fourth-storey pool and raises it seven more – that’s a helluva panorama-for-pound ratio. This rooftop has views to the Tagus river and a bar open until midnight. Book a suite with a terrace for the best views (€168). All rooms are done up in basic neutrals, but the wood floors and marble fixtures are super cool, in every sense.

Discover your next big read at the elegant Casa do Barao's library

Best for feeling at home: Casa do Barao

Neighbourhood: Chiado

It’s the smart family home you wish you’d been invited to by an intellectual friend. A tranquil, unstaffed foyer behind charming double doors leads to a well-stocked library with tufted leather armchairs and contemplative atmosphere. Art-filled rooms atop the elegant curved staircase mix contemporary design with quirky walnut antiques. Take breakfast on your private garden terrace or under a lemon tree by the trickling pool.

Casa do Barao is currently closed for renovations

Feel like one of the locals at the Lisboa Carmo Hotel

Best for a neighbourhood feel: Lisboa Carmo Hotel

Neighbourhood: Baixa/Chiado

Past a ruined 14th century convent on a cobbled square shaded by jacaranda, Carmo sits on a grid of quiet residential streets, although the city’s best boutiques are steps away. Inside, rooms are classically styled with warm brown and beige furnishings and the floor-to-ceiling windows have views to the castle – just make sure to get one on the third floor or higher, facing the square, where you’ll also have your own balcony. Staff are old-school obliging.

Chic and cheap at the Hotel Convento do Salvador

Best bargain design: Hotel Convento do Salvador

Neighbourhood: Alfama

White, wide-open spaces with cool, clever nooks make this former convent one of the loveliest spots for lounging in the labyrinthine, old Alfama district – whether or not you’re a guest. You’ll need the rest after climbing up the steep neighbourhood streets to the door. Squint and the furnishings in the immaculate rooms look just enough like designer classics for the price. That said, there’s still a bit of a budget business hotel feel about the place.

The Junior Suite at Teatro B&B

Best for partying: Teatro B&B

Neighbourhood: Bairro Alto

This classic theatre-theme guest house and great value and two streets away from the spill-out bars of Lisbon’s buzziest area, but far enough to sleep through the worst of it. Stumble home from a night on the tiles (actually embedded in the pavements) into your onyx shower and sleep surrounded by trompe l’oeil curtains, cherubs, Roman-style pillars and more mirrors than necessary. Breakfast – in a velvet banquette, designed along the elegant curves of the building – waits for late sleepers.

Stay in for the great in-house bar at the Bairro Alto Hotel

Best for staying in: Bairro Alto Hotel

Neighbourhood: Bairro Alto

In this tailored pied à terre chic fabrics by local designers cover the beds and chairs around the hotel, interpreting the city through textures, colours and materials. There’s chic bohemian feel about the place as Herringbone marble floors extend from the vast bathrooms to the shimmery grotto bar, still popular with Lisbon’s beau monde. Watch the revelry from the safety of the rooftop lounge. Stay in for the great in-house bar.

Read more of our hotel reviews in Lisbon

Read more about Portugal travel:

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in