"Baixa" means "low" in Portuguese, so perhaps the best way to think of the neighborhood of Baixa in Lisbon would be as "lowertown," as it is nestled in a depression between a pair of high hills in Lisbon's historic district. For visitors to Lisbon, Baixa makes for a central location, flanked as it is by the remnants of medieval Lisbon on one side and the city's trendiest neighborhoods on the other.
Baixa is a predominately 18th century neighborhood rebuilt under the guidance of the Marques de Pombal following a catastrophic earthquake, and it features one of his crowning achievements, the riverfront Praca Do Comercio. The neighborhood also has the city's antique Tram Line 28 and Elevador do Santa Justa, both of which are useful for taming the city's hills and sights. These features and the neighborhood's central location make Baixa a logical base for sightseeing in Lisbon, but the neighborhood empties after dark and consequently takes on a somewhat seedy atmosphere. Travelers staying in Baixa should consider using taxi cabs to get back to their hotel.
Hotel Lisboa Regency Chiado
The Regency Chiado is situated in the area where Baxia starts to become Chiado, one of Lisbon's liveliest neighborhoods, making it safer to walk back to at night. However, the location also means that there are no restaurants and cafes immediately around the hotel, with the closest being a three-block uphill walk into Chiado. The hotel's decor combines the appointments typical of a European mid-range hotel with Asian touches. Both Fodor's and Rough Guides praised the views from the rooms that come with terraces on the upper floors, and the hotel was one of Rough Guides' author's picks.
Hotel Duas Nacoes
Located literally in the middle of Baixa, Duas Nacoes is about as centrally located a hotel as Baixa has. The exterior of the Duas Nacoes and its environs carry the stamp of 18th and 19th century urban architecture that many travel to Europe to enjoy, and as the hotel is located in the midst of a pedestrians-only shopping district, during the day the hotel's environs are a venue for window-shopping and people-watching in sidewalk cafes. However, not all rooms in the hotel have en suite bathrooms, so inquire prior to booking.
Hotel Lisboa Tejo
The Hotel Lisboa Tejo has been converted from a historic townhouse, combining hardwood floors and bare brick walls with Euro-modern design. In terms of location, the Tejo is on the north edge of Baixa and adjoins the Rossio, just a block's walk from Praca da Figueira and Praca Dom Pedro IV. A number of traditional Portuguese cafes and restaurants, such as Joao do Grao with its ornate tile-decorated interior, are just as close.
- praca do comercio in lisbon image by photooiasson from Fotolia.com