The Complete Guide
Lisbon is the capital and the largest city of Portugal. With an estimated population of 505,526 within its administrative limits in an area of 100.05 km2, Lisbon’s urban area extends beyond the city’s administrative limits with a population of around 2.8 million people, being the 11th-most populous urban area in the European Union. About 3 million people live in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area, including the Portuguese Riviera. It is mainland Europe’s westernmost capital city and the only one along the Atlantic coast. Lisbon lies in the western Iberian Peninsula on the Atlantic Ocean and the River Tagus.
Lisbon is recognized as an alpha-level global city because of its importance in commerce, media, entertainment, arts, international trade, education, and tourism. Lisbon is the only Portuguese city besides Porto to be recognized as a global city. The city is the 9th-most-visited city in Southern Europe, after Rome, Istanbul, Barcelona, Milan, Venice, Madrid, Florence, and Athens, with 3,320,300 tourists in 2017. Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in the world, and one of the oldest in Western Europe, predating other modern European capitals such as London, Paris, and Rome by centuries. Lisbon’s Opera House, the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos, hosts a relatively active cultural agenda, mainly in autumn and winter. Other important theatres and musical houses are the Centro Cultural de Belém, the Teatro Nacional D. Maria II, the Gulbenkian Foundation, and the Teatro Camões.
Like all other sectors Lisbon is also not far behind in nightlife scenes. It has got decent amount of Bars, Clubs and bar restaurants to facilitate the boozers and foodies throughout the night. Be sure to still to the following guide regarding the nightlife of Lisbon to enjoy the premium experience of its nightlife.
Considered best all over the Europe, Lisbon is well known for its nightlife. The Bairro Alto district and surrounding area are considered one of the two biggest hot spots for nightlife in Lisbon, with more than 100 bars and restaurants in a small neighborhood. Lisbon has a vibrant nightlife scene, which spills onto the cobbled streets of Chiado, watches the dawn come up over the Tagus River and serenades the stars from rooftop bars in the fragrant, warm night air. There are haunts for the young and clubs for the locals; old favorites like O Pavilhão Chinês and newcomers like Praia no Parque, where dinner continues seamlessly into dancing.
Visit Tasca do Chico
Fado is the soul of Portuguese culture expressed through music. We think one of the best venues for fado is Tasca do Chico. Keep in mind that there are two locations, so choose the one that better suits you. Tasca do Chico in Bairro Alto is perhaps a bit more livelily, but that means it’s more crowded too. Tasca do Chico in Alfama offers a more personal touch. Either way, get ready for a moving night of hauntingly beautiful singing and plenty of wine. Don’t forget to order a couple of petiscos too (Portugal’s take on tapas).
Book a moonlit tour
Book a night tour through some of the city’s most beautiful landmarks. There are possibilities for a range of interests and budgets. Let a local guide you toward amazing fado and dinner or drive you to the popular sites. Lisbon’s Facebook groups for expats and locals occasionally share upcoming dates for guided night tours to the main miradouros (viewpoints). It’s beautiful during the day, but Lisbon is extra special at night when the lights are twinkling and music floats down the narrow alleys.
Dance Under Stars
During the weekends, groups gather outside to dance to music like Brazilian forró and kizomba, a dance originally from Angola. On most Friday nights you will find forró at the Jardim de Lisboa Antiga in São Bento. The dancing begins at 8 pm and lasts until midnight. During the summer months, the number of events that are designed to keep locals outside skyrocket, even at night.
Once Lisbon’s “red-light district,” Rua Nova do Carvalho had a makeover and is now another trendy street filled with a myriad of bars and clubs. It is locally known as Rua Cor-de-Rosa or Pink Street because it is painted pink. Get there around sunset and stay to see how the night unravels. Here, you will have some of the city’s best and popular bars and nightclubs too.
Sit at a miradouro and take in the beauty of the city
At the end of a long day, sit and relax at one of the miradouros and enjoy the twinkling lights that blanket the city at night. Two of the more beautiful spots are the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara in Bairro Alto, where you will see over the city to the Castelo de São Jorge and the river, and the Miradouro das Portas do Sol with views over Alfama.
K Urban Beach
This building right on the riverbank with a large patch of sand in front of it is part of the K group, which has run some of Lisbon’s leading nightspots over the years. It comprises a bar, restaurant, and nightclub with various dancefloors. Here you can hear EDM, house and the like, including slightly less commercial sounds on the more alternative dancefloor.
Nightlife in Lisbon, like the city’s behavior in general, is lively but relaxed. Whatever you elaborate for the evening, whether it’s a hard-to-find craft beer (Cerveteca Lisboa), an elevated cocktail in a swanky speakeasy setting (Red Frog), or a glass of the country’s beloved green wine (BytheWine), there is an atmosphere to fit your impulsive mood. Here are the city’s some most appealing watering holes to tie one on, so keep our picks of Lisbon’s best bars handy:
Cerveteca Lisboa is an airy craft beer bar and shops in Principe Real that’s simply decorated: just wood, marble, and several cozy nooks. The array of bottles creates an engaging backdrop. The beers rotate; every week, a new roster of bottles highlights from the stash of more than 100 varieties, and the 14 taps change several times a day. The owners are passionate about both Portuguese and imported brews, and highlight such producers as Lisbon’s own Dois Corvos and To from Denmark.
Lisbon is especially beautiful from above, and this bar, crowning a Bairro Alto parking garage, provides rapturous views. Outside, in a magical urban garden setting lush with greenery, there is crate-like patio furniture. Inside, there is a lodge-like feel with lots of wood, vintage-style chairs, and dangling white pendants. You are here for the distinctive, surprising setting, not the thought-provoking mixology, so kick back with a straightforward, breezy Mojito or margarita.
Low-lit and polished, Cinco is the essence of a lounge: quiet enough to chat, comfortable enough to stretch out on a pillow-accentuated banquette, and sexy enough to linger over cocktails on a date. Located in lively Príncipe Real, a wood floor and hues of green and blue provide warmth, while the glass tables and curtains shrouding floor-to-ceiling windows lend an elegant, mysterious aura. Nice cocktails – along with wine and non-boozy quaffs – have made Cinco a local favorite for 15 years. The classics are always on point here, as are the more playful drinks.
Set in a former brothel in the red light district – the name translates roughly to “pension of love” – Pensão Amor still bears the imprint of its bordello roots, what with the red wallpaper and ceiling graced with images of cavorting naked men. The bar’s jumbled array of photographs – many of them fittingly seductive – and tchotchkes create a kitschy element, balanced by chandeliers, drapes, and velvety tufted chairs. The menu consists of classics like the French 75 and Boulevardier, as well as original cocktails like the Bing Qing, made with ginseng tea – infused Beefeater 24 gin, ginger, and lychee.
By the Wine’s arched ceiling is unquestionably its most striking design feature: row after row of green-glass wine bottles that reinforce the raison d’être of this bar in the trendy Chiado neighborhood, which belongs to the winemaking empire José Maria da Fonseca. As its name implies, wines by the glass – all from Portugal – are the name of the game here. There are also plenty of bottles. Try wines like Domini from the Douro and Puro Talha from the Alentejo. Several thousand bottles are up for grabs in the shop. Come to get a good grasp of the thrilling Portuguese wine scene and try some equally impressive food in a buzzy atmosphere that puts the spotlight on one of Portugal’s oldest wine producers.
Indeed a cozy place for people looking to get off the compressed path, its concept is tied to the era when coffee was a hot commodity for smugglers (hence the name). There’s coffee in almost every cocktail. Try the Mojito Raiano (rum infused with coffee, ginger beer, vanilla, and passion fruit), or go for something different and try a Padrón pepper margarita (hibiscus, triple sec and tequila). Remember to thank, bartender and co-owner, for his creativity.
Meals are not rushed in Portugal. It is absolutely regular to sit at a restaurant for two to three hours. Before exploring all of the fun things to do in Lisbon at night, take your time to taste the local eateries. Alfama, Chiado, Bairro Alto, and Príncipe Real are four popular neighborhoods where you will find an overabundance of Bar Restaurants. You can skip the usual tourist path by heading to any special one or can select some of the best Bar Restaurant given below:
The Wine Cellar, a Cais do Sodré neighborhood joint, is a huge hit with locals who love wine paired with elevated twists on Portuguese cooking. The expansive wine list reads like who’s-who of Portuguese producers. Reasonable prices make it easy to experiment – you could spend your night tasting your way through such producers as Vértice, Dona Paterna, and Quinta da Leda. The food here is as much a draw as the wine; try the tuna loin with sweet potato or rump steak with port sauce.
No matter how many times you go up to the terrace at Rio Maravilha, the view will make your chin drop. The place has always been known for its relaxed mood, fit for dancing or drinking; now, it’s new kitchen brigade presents a strong cocktail and snacks menu served outdoors. You can have a brandy sour with grapefruit and coriander to go with pork cheeks and smoked cottage cheese, or a raspberry and pop rocks margarita to go with sweet potato chips.
The team behind beloved seaside Sal Restaurante in Comporta has finally opened Bota Sal, a more youthful Lisbon offshoot in the Estrela district. Lined with seafoam green corrugated metal walls and weathered wood chairs, space channels its salty older sibling while delivering a more modern take on maritime cuisine. Try the sirloin steak, which comes with a house-made sauce and French fries; there is also an octopus salad, deep-water rose shrimp from the Algarve, and cuttlefish with bacon strips and coriander. For dessert, go for the lavender-infused milk custard.
The nourishing dishes at this temple to vegetarian cooking in the up-and-coming Mouraria district go a long way in undoing a weekend of indulgences. The Food Temple, Lisbon’s altar of vegetarian food, is located on a silent street in the slowly (but steadily) up-and-coming Mouraria district. Outside, there is seating and sufficient of tables; inside, the intimate, bohemian-chic space is marked by a colorful chalkboard menu and a kitchen draped with Nepali prayer flags. A small menu changes regularly, but it is always got hearty vegetarian soups, tapas, and mains, including warm quinoa salad with pistachios and goji berries and homemade polenta with artichokes and mushrooms.
It’s worth the inevitable wait for a seat at Boa-Bao, a popular restaurant in Chiado where the menu reads like a love letter to Asian flavors and recipes, from Japan to Laos. The eclectic food includes wok stir-fries, spicy soups, and an entire section devoted to the ever-popular gua-bao, or Taiwanese steamed buns (opt for the Peking duck, stuffed with hoisin, cucumber, and spring onion). An expansive selection of curries lets you compare and contrast those from different countries, including Malaysia and Thailand.
Located in the Altis Belem Hotel, the glamorous, Michelin-starred Feitoria is a destination in itself. Sure, there is an epic view of the river, but it is the gold-leafed panel (a replica of one at the National Museum of Ancient Art) that commands all the attention. The menu leans heavily on produce – Kombu, turnip, and smoked-beetroot or pigeon, cherries, and foie gras – with the chefs transforming ingredients into edible works of art. The restaurant also runs a visiting-chef program with talent from around the world.
The Portuguese capital is full of places to have great fun-nights. Clubs are plentiful and very busy for a little city compared to other European capitals. Nightclubs are mainly located in three districts: Alcântara (on the docks and in the area), Cais do Sodré (around Nova do Carvalho Street and on the docks) and Santos (on the docks and in the district around Avenida 24 de Julho). There are so many great things to do in Lisbon at night, whether you love dancing or prefer laid-back socializing with a few close friends. Multicultural, artistic, and progressive, it is possible for anyone to find fun things to do. Here are some of our recommended night-time haunts and activities:
Opened in 2012, the Ministerium Club is located on the Praça do Comércio, in the former premises of the Portuguese Minister of Finances, hence the noun of the club. Many worldwide known DJs have already played their music in that nightclub such as Ricardo Villalobos, Carl Craig, Maya Jane Coles or Miss Kittin. Obviously, famous Portuguese mixmasters also come to this nightclub. Be careful, you should be stylish and sleek if you want to go inside! The bouncers are known to be harsh and very exigent.
One of the well-known nightclubs in Lisbon for many years, you must probably have already heard about his club without having gone to Lisbon. Located on the docks of Santa Apolónia, the terraces of the nightclub provide a beautiful view of the Tagus. National and international DJs and artists with different musical styles performed at the Lux. Beware, it is very hard to go inside, especially during the evenings of a rush. Make sure to be well-dressed and no to come only with men.
Lust in Rio is a multi-purpose establishment, located on the docks of Cais do Sodré. On the first floor, you will find the SushiRio restaurant, with a modern and eclectic decoration. On the terrace, there is an amazing view of the Tagus and you will be served traditional and fusion Sushis. Every evening, the program is different from DJs, instigators, and themes that change all over the year.
Located in the former warehouses of the docks of Alcântara, the Docks Club exists for many years and has always been successful. Very busy by the Angolan community (except on Tuesday), it is a perfect place to dance on African kinds of music such as Kizomba, samba or African-house. The program also plans hip hop and R&B. The inevitable and very busy Ladies Nights take place on Tuesday nights.
The Barrio Latino was in the district of Parque das Nações but has recently moved to the docks of Santos. This is one the reference nightclubs in Lisbon if you want to dance on kizomba, salsa, other Latin kinds of music or African rhythms. So this nightclub is an absolute and right place for you.
This highly regarded live music venue champions the alternative music scene and regularly hosts local bands as well as more established World Music acts and visiting DJs. True to form, the club tends not to advertise itself and the frontage set under a bridge in the city’s Cais do Sodre district is totally bereft of signage or neon. Ask a local for directions, or check the numerous flyers posted up on nearby walls. The range and style of music performed here are refreshingly diverse and includes drum ‘n’ bass, electronic soul and fado, indie rock, hip-hop, jazz, dance, and reggae. Music Box also showcases new media events like podcasts and video. Occasionally, non-musical nights are arranged when poetry is read.
Let us conclude the topic here; we had a brief introduction of Lisbon City along with highlighting some of its prominent norms, culture, and nightlife. We also went through different activities and places to enjoy the nightlife of the City, Musical venues, Bars, Restaurants and Nightclubs as well. Such activities provide a great source of entertainment for tourists and locals as well. Moreover, such activities also help in understanding the exact cultural norms of a city.
As already elaborated the city is relatively small and dense, the nightlife of Lisbon is mainly based in its three districts: Alcântara, Cais do Sodré and Santos where city’s best pubs & bars are located. These pubs & bars are truly satisfying the desire of thirsty visitors where you can enjoy your cocktail with the mesmerizing architectural beauty of the hand-crafted bars and their decors.
You don’t feel any hunger during your trip that is why we also suggested some of the finest restaurants in the city that offer exotic and delicious food along with your favorite drinks. You can really enjoy the taste of good food along with some great booze.
And lastly, we went through comprehensive options of Nightclubs that offered great music with some delightfully exotic choices for drinks and cocktail that will definitely delight your overall experience at Lisbon City. All of the aforementioned experiences will work together to make your tour really memorable. A perfect and balanced blend of the above-identified activities can actually boost your experience and make your trip unbelievably unforgettable for you.