The Portuguese capital of Lisbon offers an unusual mix of bustling modernity and historic monuments that retains visitors’ interest as they explore the city. Lisbon is built on seven hills in total, meaning that families may want to make sure they stay near to tram and bus links to prevent young legs becoming too tired. Having said that, public transport links in and around the city are generally excellent. If you’re a night owl, the Bairro Alto area might be a suitable place to stay. It’s a lively area full of bars and clubs, and being at the top of one of the seven hills means there are great views of illuminated Lisbon at night.
Graca is one of the oldest suburbs of Lisbon and lies slightly to the east of the city. It offers a village feel, and its quiet neighbourhood would provide a good base for extended family visits of more than one month. With tram stops throughout this area you’ll only be a short distance away from the main centre, and many of the villas include barbeque facilities and swimming pools. Whilst it’s true to say that many hotels in Lisbon also feature pools, their leisure facilities can get particularly busy during the summer months, so families wishing to avoid the crowds may find a private villa more relaxing.
West Lisbon is the place to be for a quiet, laid-back short stay, but if you’re here for longer you won’t be disappointed by the relaxed ambience of the area. It’s particularly good for families who can benefit from the extra space provided by the holiday homes in this area, but still only be a short distance away from the bustling central district.
For shorter family stays, the centre of Lisbon would be a good base, with its wide choice of spacious self catering apartments and villas, some of which offer a garden space in which to relax when you’re not sightseeing.
On a budget
The Baixa area of Lisbon offers a good range of value self catering accommodation for those on a tight budget. Many self contained apartments include internet access, and the nightly rate is usually reduced for those staying for one month or more, particularly during low season.
Belem is an area to the west of the city, about 20 minutes from the centre, which offers cheaper self catering options plus access to Lisbon’s art and history museums, cultural centres and Jeronimos monastery.
If you’re looking for luxury self catering accommodation with spectacular views, you’ll not do much better than Graca. It’s at the top of Lisbon’s largest hill and offers panoramic views over central Lisbon and the area to the north. Renting a luxury villa or apartment here will give you a fantastic base to entertain guests, particularly with leisure facilities such as hot tubs and swimming pools.
Avenida de Liberdade is Lisbon’s equivalent of the Champs Elysees – full of luxury boutiques, top class restaurants and five star self catering apartments. If you’re visiting during the summer, a luxury villa near the waterfront would provide convenient access to the beaches around Lisbon.
If you’re staying on a business trip of more than a couple of weeks, or bringing the family with you for an extended trip, the Park of Nations area would provide a particularly good base. It is a residential and commercial area that housed the World Exposition in 1998 and many townhouses here offer gardens and private parking. A large shopping mall plus the Oceanarium will keep everyone busy on down days, and it’s just a 20-minute train or metro ride away from the centre.
The business district of Lisbon is Baixa, and visitors requiring an overnight or shorter stay can take advantage of the numerous studio and one bedroom apartments in this area. Plenty of restaurants nearby also provide options for evening entertainment.