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Lisbon has long been a popular tourist destination, for a variety of reasons. The spectacular architecture and impressive monuments. The shopping and gastronomy. The nightlife. The friendly, English-speaking locals, and of course the sunny, temperate weather.
The city has also become an important business hub. Its location makes it convenient for those coming from the Americas as well as Europe. The country has invested greatly in its infrastructure and transportation, and its airport is right next to the city. Accommodation is plentiful, from hotels, to monthly apartment rentals. The city’s popularity is such that it consistently ranks in the top 10 best cities for international congresses. So, if you are coming here on a business trip, where should you stay?
Long weekend or monthly rental?
The affordability of Lisbon opens up many options as far as accommodation is concerned, and even those on a more restrictive budget have no need to avoid the city center. The first thing to consider is whether you are coming for a few days or a few months. If you’re coming for a few days, then hotels or Airbnbs are your best bet. Many visitors though, will be looking to stay for a month or more, in which case you’re probably looking for furnished and serviced apartments to rent monthly.
Which neighborhood to choose?
Lisbon has many wonderful neighborhoods, all with something to offer. If you’re coming for a business trip though, what are your best options?
Baixa is Lisbon’s most central district, running from Praça do Comércio (Plaza of Commerce) on the riverfront, up to Avenida Liberdade. If you want the heart of the action, Baixa is the place for you. It is also the flattest part of Lisbon, making it highly walkable, even for the less sprightly. Many of the city’s most popular hotels for business travelers, such as the InterContinenal, sit in Baixa, or nearby Chiado.
Chiado is also very central. Sandwiched between Baixa and the famous Barrio Alto, it is a nice mix of both. The hills may be steeper, but it is also trendier. The nightlife is more vibrant than Baixa, and more upmarket than Barrio Alto, making it a good choice for those there on business, but keen to make the most of their downtime.
North of Baixa, Santo António contains some of Lisbon’s most recognisable places, such as Marques de Pombal square, and Avenida Liberdade. Famous for boutique shopping, luxury hotels, and Michelin star restaurants, Santo António is perfect for more upmarket visitors. The area is good for monthly apartment rentals, for those staying a little longer, and is one of the easier districts to walk around.
Alfama and Mouraria
On the other side of Baixa, these districts are for those looking for a more historical stay. The cobbled streets and fado bars make them perhaps the best examples of the more traditional side of Lisbon. While they may be a treat for the eyes, the streets are a lot tougher on the legs, with the hills here some of the more unforgiving. Apartment rentals can also be more difficult to find, with locals keen to keep the number of hotels and holiday lets down to preserve the area’s charming nature.
Enjoy your trip
Wherever you stay, Lisbon’s efficiency and infrastructure will surely make your trip a productive one, and its luxury shopping mixed with traditional Portuguese culture will give you plenty to do in your spare time.