Lisbon

Newcomers to Lisbon often hit the bars around 9 pm and head home at midnight thinking that the bar scene is rather quiet. In fact, Lisbon bars don't get going until after midnight, clubs even later. On weekends, lively groups spill out of bars and stand shoulder to shoulder in the streets, especially in the lively Bairro Alto an
Newcomers to Lisbon often hit the bars around 9 pm and head home at midnight thinking that the bar scene is rather quiet. In fact, Lisbon bars don't get going until after midnight, clubs even later. On weekends, lively groups spill out of bars and stand shoulder to shou
Newcomers to Lisbon often hit the bars around 9 pm and head home at midnight thinking that the bar scene is rather quiet

Newcomers to Lisbon often hit the bars around 9 pm and head home at midnight thinking that the bar scene is rather quiet. In fact, Lisbon bars don't get going until after midnight, clubs even later. On weekends, lively groups spill out of bars and stand shoulder to shoulder in the streets, especially in the lively Bairro Alto and the revamped Cais do Sodré. Many places are rather quiet from Sunday through Wednesday although, in the summer high season, bars fill every night of the week with holidaymakers who don't need to rise early the next day.

Some dance clubs charge a cover of €15 (more on weekends), which includes one drink; if you come early you may get in free. Clubs are open from about 10 or 11 pm (but only start filling up well after midnight) until 4 or 5 am; a few stay open until 8 am. Be aware that some unscrupulous door staff will try to overcharge out-of-towners; if the price seems way over the odds, walk away.

For a less boisterous evening out, visit a café-bar or a casa de fado, where professional or amateur performers sing the city’s world-renowned, beautifully mournful style of music.

Lisbon has a well-established gay and lesbian scene, concentrated primarily in and around the Bairro Alto and the neighboring Príncipe Real area, on the way to Rato.

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  • 1. Cinco Lounge

    Príncipe Real | Bars/Pubs

    With moody lighting, rococo furnishings, and potent cocktails, this spot is frequently cited as Lisbon’s best cocktail bar. The creativity and...Read More

  • 2. Garrafeira Alfaia

    Bairro Alto | Bars/Pubs

    Barrels are used as tables at this at this tiny wine bar, where the various vintages are accompanied by platters of local cheeses and sausages...Read More

  • 3. Lounge

    Cais do Sodré | Bars/Pubs

    This hip joint is where twenty- and thirtysomething vinyl lovers chat (or shout) to the pumping sound of dance music. There are regular live...Read More

  • 4. Pavilhão Chinês

    Príncipe Real | Bars/Pubs

    For a quiet drink in an intriguing setting, you can't beat this speakeasy. It's filled to the brim with fascinating junk collected over the...Read More

  • 5. Pensão Amor

    Cais do Sodré | Bars/Pubs

    Housed in a former brothel, this offbeat hangout recalls its decadent past with velvet armchairs, tassled curtains, and a huge mural across...Read More

  • 6. Rio Maravilha

    Alcântara | Bars/Pubs

    Occupying a former break room for factory workers, Rio Maravilha now offers Lisbon's creative types a chance to eat, drink, and be merry. The...Read More

  • 7. As Primas

    Bairro Alto | Bars/Pubs

    This laid-back bar is a popular lesbian hangout, although everyone drops by for the cheap drinks and to hear the 1980s music on the jukebox. ...Read More

  • 8. Bairru's Bodega

    Bairro Alto | Bars/Pubs

    At this welcoming bar, Portugal's finest wines can be sampled by the glass or bottle. Along with regional cheeses, hams, and sausages, you can...Read More

  • 9. Caxin Bar

    Alfama | Bars/Pubs

    Competition is fierce for a seat at this somewhat hidden lounge, but your patience will be rewarded with one of the friendliest drinking experiences...Read More

  • 10. Maria Caxuxa

    Bairro Alto | Bars/Pubs

    This former bakery (complete with giant kneading machine) is often packed with young people who've turned out to hear the hottest local DJs...Read More

  • 11. Park

    Bairro Alto | Bars/Pubs

    On warm evenings (and quite a few cooler ones) this terrace on the roof of a multilevel parking garage heaves with young people drinking in...Read More

  • 12. Portas Largas

    Bairro Alto | Bars/Pubs

    Partiers spills out into the street from the massive front doors of this mixed club, which often offers live Brazilian music. Sangria and caipirinha...Read More

  • 13. Purex Clube

    Bairro Alto | Bars/Pubs

    On weekends, DJs pack the dance floor at this local favorite, a tiny space that's nevertheless more of a club than a bar. It's usually quite...Read More

  • 14. Silk

    Chiado | Bars/Pubs

    Once reserved for members, this fancy rooftop bar is now open to everyone (but be sure that you dress to impress). It’s at the top of a small...Read More

  • 15. Sol e Pesca

    Cais do Sodré | Bars/Pubs

    This former fishing-tackle shop kept much of the original decor–-including fishing rods and life preservers–-when it reopened as a trendy bar...Read More

  • 16. Solar do Vinho do Porto

    Bairro Alto | Bars/Pubs

    The most refined place in Bairro Alto to start off your evening (or perhaps end it) is the relaxed Solar do Vinho do Porto. It's in a formidable...Read More

  • 17. Peter Café Sport

    Parque das Nações | Bars/Pubs

    If you can't make it to transatlantic yachtie favorite "Peter's bar" on Faial Island in the Azores, you can visit its Lisbon replica. Situated...Read More

  • 18. Wine Bar do Castelo

    Alfama | Bars/Pubs

    This is a great place to relax after visiting the nearby Castelo de São Jorge. It has a good selection of wines and authentic snacks, particularly...Read More

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