Is Lisbon Noisy? Where Are the Noisiest & Quietest Neighbourhoods

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Last updated on June 4, 2024 | Est. Reading Time: 4 minutes

Lisbon, with its vibrant culture and picturesque landscapes, can sometimes be a noisy place, posing a challenge for light sleepers. It’s crucial to do your homework before settling on a rental space, whether it’s an apartment rental or an Airbnb, as adaptation to the city’s sound levels varies greatly among individuals.

While some areas of Lisbon are tranquil, noise levels can fluctuate significantly even within quieter neighbourhoods, largely due to the unpredictability of neighbours. Unfortunately, it’s just one of the challenges of living in Lisbon.

Interestingly, some apartments in the Bairro Alto are quiet, despite being surrounded by bars and restaurants.

Top Tips:

  • For those visiting, simply look at the reviews on Airbnb or Booking.com. Both Airbnb and Booking allow you to search through previous reviews with keywords like quiet, noise, noisy.
  • For those renting long-term or buying, take a look at Lisbon’s noise map to see which neighbourhoods to avoid. However, as we’ll mention several times in this article, it really can vary from apartment to apartment.

Planes

The flight path over Lisbon affects various neighbourhoods differently, including Campo Grande, Campolide, Alcântara, Campo Ourique, Avenidas Novas, and Alvalade, as they lie in the trajectory towards Lisbon airport.

You can see the worst-affected areas by searching for Lisbon on noise-map.com.

The impact of aircraft noise can depend on your specific location within these neighbourhoods – in some apartments it will be a big deal and in other apartments it won’t matter.

Apartments near the top floor seem to be worse affected. However, living on one of the lower levels means you’re more likely to hear your upstairs neighbours.

Trams

The charm of Lisbon’s old trams comes with a caveat—their noise. Residents without the luxury of double or triple glazed windows might find the tram sounds intrusive, especially if their route is right outside.

Timing property viewings to coincide with tram schedules can provide valuable insights into potential noise levels.

Party Neighbourhoods

Noise levels in areas known for nightlife, such as Bairro Alto, Cais do Sodré, and Bica in Misericórdia, Praca do Intendente in Arroios, and Santos in Estrela, can vary.

However, it really depends on the street. Some of the side streets that don’t have bars or restaurants can be quite quiet. In other streets, you might be living above a bar that’ll stay open until the early hours of the morning. Even if there are no bars on the street, if it’s somewhere that merry revellers walk through, you may get a lot of noise.

If you’re thinking about moving here, try visiting on a Friday or Saturday night to see what the street is like.

Construction

The unpredictability of construction noise is akin to a lottery. A quiet apartment one day might be adjacent to a construction site the next, thanks to new projects.

Construction noise is permitted, but according to the law, it is restricted to the hours between 8 A.M. and 8 P.M. on weekdays, excluding holidays. Additionally, a notice must be displayed in a location accessible to occupants of the building, detailing the expected duration of the work and the specific times during the day when noise will be generated.

Thankfully, Lisbon’s city hall provides open data on construction permits, which can be a useful resource for those looking to avoid construction noise.

Roosters

Surprisingly, roosters contribute to Lisbon’s soundscape in some traditional neighbourhoods, where residents may keep chickens. While unexpected, the crowing of roosters can usually be blocked out with earplugs or a fan.

Noisiest Neighbourhoods

The following are considered some of the noisiest neighbourhoods.

Bars & Restaurants

  • Bairro Alto
  • Cais do Sodré
  • Santos

Planes

  • Alvalade
  • Alcântara
  • Avenidas Novas
  • Campo Grande
  • Campo Ourique
  • Campolide

Noise Problems?

The Lisbon City Council has introduced a dedicated phone line, dubbed “Linha Ruído” (808 910 555), designed to enable city residents to report instances of excessive noise.

However, many people have reported calling the police and other organisations about noise complaints, only to have these complaints fall on deaf ears.

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James Cave is the founder of Portugalist and the author of the bestselling book, Moving to Portugal Made Simple. He has visited just about every part of Portugal, including Madeira and all nine islands of the Azores, and lived in several parts of Portugal including Lisbon, the Algarve, and Northern Portugal.

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