I was last in Lisbon was over 20 years ago. My memories of Lisbon from back then are hills, the Santa Justa elevator, and lemons. I was in Lisbon giving a talk so the university who had invited me had arranged everything including my hotel.
This time around we were on our own. On our own finding accomodation and planning the trip.
I didn’t have much to go on. But started with the fact that Lisbon is roughly divided into neighborhoods:
- Baixa – Central and down near the main square (Praça do Comércio) and rebuilt after the flood/fire/tsunami of 1755
- Chiado – Restaurants and nightlife down near the river
- Bairro Alto – Up on a hill with lots of restaurants
- Alfama – Old part of town with very winding streets
- Avenida del Libertad – Farther out
- Belém – Formerly a separate village/parish which was eventually incorporated into Lisbon
Sadly the blog posts and guidebooks didn’t do a good job of describing the neighborhoods from the point of view of staying there. So it was a shot in the dark but luckily we chose Baixa. (This is part of the reason why I write this blog… I hope that my comments are helpful!)
Why so I think Baixa is the best place to stay?
- It is central! You can get to the other neighborhoods and tourist attractions easily.
- It is flat! Need I say more?
- It is near Praça do Comércio! I loved going down to the square in the evenings just before dinner to watch the sunset and hang out. It was a quick 5 min walk for a big payoff and there was still plenty of time to go out for dinner afterward.
- It is easy to get to! While walking through the Alfama neighborhood I thought about how impossible it would be to get there by taxi/Uber since many of the streets are pedestrian only. I would not have liked to hike my luggage up those cobblestoned steep hills
We had a lovely Airbnb in a 5 or 6 story apartment building. I could see lots of cleaners coming and going so I imagine there are many apartments for rent by Airbnb in the building. We found it at the last minute and chose it primarily for the view!
If and when we go back, I will stay in the Baixa again!