Lisbon is one of Europe's most charming and vibrant cities, offering a unique blend of history, culture and modernity.
With its beautiful architecture, stunning views, world-class cuisine and lively atmosphere, it's no wonder that Lisbon has become such a popular destination for expats from all over the world. But with so many different neighborhoods to choose from in this great city, it can be difficult to decide where to live.
That's why we've put together this guide to the 10 best neighborhoods in Lisbon for expatriates looking for the perfect place to call home.
From historical Baixa and colorful Alfama to up-and-coming Belém and family-friendly Graça – here are our top picks when it comes to finding accommodation in Portugal’s capital city!
Baixa, is one of the oldest and most historic Lisbon neighbourhoods and also the Business District of the capital. It’s a charming area filled with narrow streets, colorful buildings, and iconic landmarks.
There are also lots of restaurants and cafes in the cobbled streets that make Baixa a great place to relax and soak up the atmosphere.
The neighborhood offers easy access to public transportation, making it easy for expats to get around the city, it is also a priviledged location, in a tiny walking distance from the main spots in Lisbon, and the main metro station of the city.
Baixa is one of the most vibrant and lively neighborhoods in Lisbon, offering a wealth of things to do and see. At its heart is Praça do Comércio, an iconic square with stunning views of the Tagus River and the Ponte 25 de Abril bridge.
This is the most central neighborhood, being considered the city center. There you will also find the super-famous Pink Street.
Alfama is another one of the Portuguese capital oldest neighborhoods. It’s located on a steep hillside overlooking the Tagus River and downtown Lisbon, offering stunning views from its terraces.
Alfama’s narrow lanes are full of traditional Portuguese restaurants, intimate fado clubs, vibrant street art, and other characteristic features that contribute to its unique character.
Expats looking for an authentic experience will love living in this lively residential neighborhood. This Lisbon neighborhood is widely known for its old town charm.
Belém is a popular residential area located just outside Lisbon’s center. Once an important fishing port and naval base, Belém has been completely transformed into a modern neighborhood featuring luxurious apartments, trendy restaurants, cafés, galleries, museums and more.
The neighborhood also boasts some impressive landmarks such as Jerónimos Monastery and Belém Tower – two UNESCO World Heritage Sites – as well as several parks perfect for taking leisurely strolls along the waterfront.
Belém is considered by many people the best neighborhood to live in. It is a lovely place that does not hide its rich history. Its stunning architecture, located close to the city centre, has many restaurants, many buildings, green parks and a stunning historic charm.
Graça is a vibrant neighborhood located just above Alfama at the base of one of Lisbon’s seven hills.
Known for its mosaic tile sidewalks, outdoor markets selling handmade goods and fresh produce from local farmers, Graça is growing in popularity among expats due to its relaxed atmosphere and proximity to many tourist attractions such as Miradouro da Graça viewpoint or São Jorge Castle.
Many young professionals and digital nomads that live in Lisbon choose this pleasant place with close proximity to the city centre to call home.
Mouraria is another old neighborhood located near Alfama that has become increasingly popular with expats over recent years due to its low rents, property prices, and unique culture that celebrates diversity through many music festivals throughout the year like “Festa do Avante” or “Morrow Festival".
Mouraria provides an unpretentious vibe with lots of locals living side by side with tourists throughout this colorful part of town filled with vintage shops and markets selling everything, from antiques to eclectic items you won't find anywhere else in Europe!
Parque das Nações
Park of Nations is one of Lisbon's newest neighborhoods located on the banks of the Tagus River east of downtown.
This modern area was built for Expo 98 – Portugal's first world exposition – with stunning examples of contemporary art and contemporary architecture including Gare do Oriente train station designed by renowned architect Santiago Calatrava or MAAT museum designed by Amanda Levete Architects (AL_A).
Parque das Nações provides plenty of green spaces perfect for taking long walks away from hustle & bustle while still being close enough to downtown attractions like historic neighborhoods and the Oceanarium Lisboa aquarium.
If you're coming on vacations, Parque das Nações is the place to look for a trendy hotel, choose a great restaurant and enjoy you stay!
Santos is another rapidly growing district in central Lisbon between Avenida 24 de Julho & Praca do Comercio known among locals as "The Creative Quarter" due to its many art galleries & fashion houses scattered around here.
Santos also features some impressive examples of 19th century industrial architecture along Rua Nova da Trindade such as Edifício Acácias or Palácio Girassol formerly owned by Marquês de Pombal - one Portugal's greatest statesman who served under King José I during Age Enlightenment. Additionally there are plenty cafes, restaurants and various bars here offering international cuisine options and vegan food.
Campo de Ourique
Campo de Ourique has recently become one up-and-coming districts in Lisbon due largely influx expats moving here because of lower rents compared to the average price in other parts of the city, combined with the charming atmosphere that can be found all around.
There are several large parks area like Jardim Amoreiras & Praça Guilherme Nogueira, where people come enjoy pleasant stroll picnic lunch while chatting with friends and family. Additionally, Campo de Ourique is home for a plenty of eateries serving up delicious dishes and local specialties international, fare alike everything budget!
Alvalade is another residential district known for having good transport connections nearby the airport, making it ideal the spot to live if your work needs a lot of travel inside out the Portuguese territory.
Alvalade also features beautiful architecture relics from past centuries sprawling lush parks streams running through them ample shopping opportunities in all kinds of stores!
Foodies can find wide array places to eat tasting their way some truly amazing delicacies from both traditional Portuguese and foreign cuisines!
Estrela is a great neighborhood located in the north-west part of central Lisbon, bustling with activity day and night. Home to the iconic and beautiful Estrela Basilica, this district stands out from the rest of Lisbon for its charm and old-world atmosphere.
Today, Estrela is known for being one of the city’s most desirable neighborhoods and one of the top places to live in Lisbon due to its easy access to downtown areas, bus connections and transportation links, parks and gardens.
Visitors can explore its quaint streets lined with traditional buildings while discovering some of Lisbon’s best-kept secrets such as hidden cafes, souvenir shops, shops selling vintage goods and unique boutique hotels.
If you would like to be closer to sophisticated shops and modern architecture, there are two neighborhoods you need to know: Marquês de Pombal and Príncipe Real (Royal Prince). There you will find the Restauradores Square and the iconic Avenida da Liberdade, as well as a great green space called Eduardo VII Park.
Lisbon is home to several universities, which means that the city is surronded by energetic young people. If you would like to live the night life in the capital and enjoy traditional tiny bars, Bairro Alto is the right place for you.
Lisbon is a cosmopolitan city that has something great to offer to all the people living there. If you have decided that beautiful Lisboa is your new home, speak with an expert to find out the best visa option for you!