Barrio Alto vs. Baixa

Feb 21st, 2000, 11:00 AM
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Barrio Alto vs. Baixa

I'm planning a six day visit to Portugal in March and have two questions:
1. If I am basing myself in Lisbon, is Barrio Alto or Baixa the better place to stay? Some people have also recommended staying in Cascais.
2. Do I need to make reservations, or should I try finding accommodations after arrival?
Feb 21st, 2000, 01:32 PM
Monica Richards
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In my opinion, neither place is that great for lodging. There's a lot of night life in both places, but they're easy enough to get to if you're staying off of the Avenida Liberdade, where a lot of the hotels are located. If price is an issue, and you're looking for a bargain hotel, my suggestion would be the Baixa. It's close to the trolley line, and it's got more of a residential character. But Lisbon is really easy to navigate, so as long as you are in the heart of the city (i.e. not in Belem or one of the other outskirts neighborhoods) you'll be fine. Cascais is a nice place on the coast, but you'd be looking at about an hour on public transport, and don't even think about driving into downtown Lisbon--you'll never find parking. Probably I would stay in Lisbon and visit Cascais.

I always like the security of having reservations before I go. It's easy enough to do, and you don't have to spend time when you get to your destination looking for lodging (especially when you can't find parking anywhere.). You can check out my itinerary for Portugal and Spain at for more info on what I did last year.
Feb 21st, 2000, 03:55 PM
Cheryl Z.
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Jimmy - we spent several days in Cascais and a couple in Lisbon last April/May (trip info posted on here). We enjoyed both, but since we prefer the ocean we really enjoyed Cascais. Felt very safe walking around in Lisbon, but parts are rather run down and look more unsafe than what they are I think. Lots of great litte inexpensive restaurants with good food, inexpensive prices. Try to make hotel reservations if you can but March shouldn't be difficult anyway if you prefer to wing it.
Feb 24th, 2000, 02:02 PM
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I'd check Rough Guide Portugal. Baixa is a nicer place for accommodations than Barrio Alto, but I really liked the Pensao Londres.
Feb 25th, 2000, 06:33 AM
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If you could take away the fact that it is a pain to get up there, I thought Barrio Alto was great. We stayed up there last summer and loved it. Around every corner was a hidden bar or restaurant and the views were beautiful! It seemed like there was a lot to do in terms of nightlife too.
Mar 18th, 2000, 06:32 AM
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Just got back from Portugal - thanks everybody for the advice. I stayed at Pensao Aljubarrota in Baixa and loved it. The owner was super-friendly, and the location for travel connections was ideal. Not making reservations beforehand was not a problem.

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