If you’re interested in living in the Portuguese capital but aren’t sure where to settle, we’ve got you covered. Featuring retiree favourites, family frontrunners, the top for the trendy and plenty more, our list of the best neighbourhoods to live in Lisbon leaves no stone unturned.
Portugal’s capital attracts expats from all over the world. And with good reason. It’s a vibrant and exciting city that seamlessly blends old and new. Every district is different and its ability to offer something different to everyone makes Lisbon one of Europe’s number one cities.
Living in Lisbon
Lisbon serves up city life at its best. It’s gained a reputation for harmonising excellent work opportunities – especially in sectors like technology – with a low cost of living and phenomenal transport links.
In fact, public transport in the town centre is actually one of Lisbon’s major attractions. Tourists rarely visit the city without riding one of its quirky trams or funiculars.
You’ll find yourself paying noticeably less for goods and services in Lisbon compared to some of Europe’s other capitals. For example, consumer prices including rent are 87% higher in London than is Lisbon. And transport is one of the key differences. In Lisbon, a monthly public transport pass will cost you around €40. The same pass in London will set you back €187.
The same can be applied to Paris, where consumer prices including rent are 38% cheaper in Lisbon. The Portuguese capital is also 7.4% more affordable than neighbouring Madrid.
On the other hand, it’s a wonderful city of culture, too. Its central districts are packed with popping nightlife venues, tasty eateries (tacas) and stunning architecture.
Lisbon is home to a plethora of neighbourhoods, all offering something different. Whether you’re looking for a lively, trendy location or somewhere quieter and more scenic, you’ll certainly be catered for in the Portuguese capital.
Avenidas Novas and Alvalade: the best neighbourhoods in Lisbon for families
If you’re seeking the perfect location to accommodate your family, look no further than Avenidas Novas and Alvalade. These sibling neighbourhoods are roughly 20 minutes on the metro outside the city centre and offer a quieter Lisbon life.
Avenidas Novas is popular with professionals and fits into a middle and upper-class bracket. It has dozens of great spots to grab a bite and you’ll often find its cafés and restaurants packed with businesspeople during lunchtime.
Alvalade, next door, has an eye for the eco-friendly as is more residential that its partner. The Parisian-style boulevards are the centrepiece of this neighbourhood with its homes and general atmosphere fitting with a family lifestyle.
Ajuda: the best neighbourhood in Lisbon for property
Ajuda is slightly out the way in the west of Lisbon. It’s building a reputation as one of Lisbon’s up-and-coming neighbourhoods. Expect to find old industrial warehouses transformed into trendy bars and breweries and a rough-around-the-edges feel.
As a district with lots of potential, Ajuda could be the best spot to grab some bargain real estate. The average price for property is around €3,720 per m² in Ajuda. This is cheaper than Alfama (€5,034 per m²), Graça (€4,410 per m²), Avenidas Novas and Alvalad (€4,410 per m²) and Baxia (€6,578 per m²).
If you’re looking to get on the real estate ladder, our guide on buying property in Portugal should answer some of your questions.
Alfama and Graça: the best neighbourhoods in Lisbon for views
Down in the south of Lisbon lie twins Alfama and Graça. Separated by an 11th-century castle, the two neighbourhoods are renowned for their mesmeric views and historical feel. The cobbled, narrow streets of Alfama – Lisbon’s oldest district – are lined with colourful doorways. You’ll find plenty of cafés and shops selling traditional Portuguese crafts.
Sat just above its sister, Graça shares similarly stunning aesthetics but is home to a younger clientele. It possesses a slightly more lived-in feel and is abuzz with older locals, young Portuguese nationals and young expats. It’s a popular spot for youthful entrepreneurs and techies working in dynamic shared areas.
Saldanha: the best neighbourhood in Lisbon for professionals
Saldanha is an area of the city with a focus on working professionals and ambitious students. The streets are rife with young lawyers, consultants and economists attending the many offices and universities.
Saldanha is famous in Portugal for its secular architecture and wide-open streets. You’ll be right in the heart of Lisbon here and won’t struggle to find nearby public transport.
Santos and Lapa: the best neighbourhoods in Lisbon for retirees
Despite being some of Lisbon’s older and more expensive neighbourhoods, Santos and Lapa are exciting spots for retirees.
Santos is brimming with dazzling architecture, offering daily inspiration to students of IADE (Lisbon’s Institute of Visual Arts, Marketing, and Design). And the buildings in Lapa aren’t too bad either, making it a great place to buy property.
The atmosphere can be both busy and quiet with tourists seeking the old churches and museums in the daytime. Santos is also lively at night and idyllic for retirees looking to get out and about in the evenings. There’s an eclectic mix of old cafés and new restaurants inviting an emerging food scene.
Baixa: the best neighbourhood in Lisbon for a piece of the action
Arguably Lisbon’s best-known neighbourhood, Baixa encapsulates the city centre experience. It’s the most central of the lot and probably the liveliest. You’re never far from a busy bar or eatery and can shop ‘till you drop with an abundance of great spots.
Baixa’s glorious plaza takes first prize for the most aesthetically pleasing part of the neighbourhood. And, its pretty property has become a target for investors looking to prey on its beauty and growing popularity.
Anjos: the coolest neighbourhood in Lisbon
It’s no surprise that Anjos is a winner for Lisbon’s trendy expats. It’s been a favourite of culture magazine Time Out’s for some time and featured in its 2021 list of the 49 coolest neighbourhoods in the world.
Anjos harnesses shabby chic and lines its streets with vibrant vintage stores, record shops and cheap, tasty food stalls. The nightlife here is pumping and goes on well into the night in the warmer months. There’s plenty of property opportunity here too. You might have to dig around to find somewhere in flawless condition. But with enough snooping, you could hit the jackpot.
Send money to Lisbon
Now that you’ve identified the best neighbourhoods to live in Lisbon for you, it’s time to think about the move. If you’re not a Portuguese national, upping sticks to the capital means moving your money. And, if the euro isn’t the currency currently filling your wallet, you’ll need to exchange. This can be a tiresome and confusing prospect, but we can help to ease the stress.
At Privalgo, we make sure you’re getting the most for your money with our top-tier rates. We’ll also allocate you a Currency Specialist to discuss your foreign exchange needs and help strategize your payments. This way, if the FX market moves around – which it likes to do often – we can limit the risks of these movements affecting your funds.
To find out more, book a free chat with a Privalgo Currency Specialist today.Book a chat with a Currency Specialist