Lisbon is currently one of the hottest capitals of the world. The city has been featured in a never-ending spread of tourism media and keeps ranking high on most of the “you need to visit this” lists. So, let me give you an introduction to part of Lisbon’s nightlife, as a Portuguese person would experience it. Sure, some of the places I’m recommending might not be for you, but, if you’re 18 to 35 years old, one of my suggestions just might be right!
The first thing you need to know about Portugal is that our laws allow us to drink alcoholic beverages outside. Portuguese people really love to party and, as we have awesome weather for most of the year, we really don’t need anything more than a good fresh beer and a few friends to have an awesome night out. Some of the places I’m going to recommend you, such as Ginjinha do Carmo, O 36 or Miradouro de Santa Catarina, were designed for standing outside and actually enjoying the surroundings while sipping on something that pleases your taste buds.
It’s about six o’clock, you want to drink something and chill out after an intense day of working/walking/sleeping. Head on out to any of the following spots and you won’t be disappointed.
Ginjinha do Carmo – Right next to the Rossio train station you can find this very small ginjinha shop. Ginjinha is a sour cherry liqueur, served in small glasses or chocolate cups. Its sweet taste will make you feel warm really quickly and it complements the gorgeous view of one of the busiest areas of the city’s historical centre perfectly.
Miradouro de Santa Catarina (Adamastor) – Catch some sunshine and fill up on vitamin D while lying in the grass or sitting on the terrace of one of the best scenic viewpoints of the city. It got its informal name — Miradouro do Adamastor — because of the statue that sits in the middle, a mythical giant created by one of Portugal’s greatest poets, Luís de Camões.
Topo (Martim Moniz) – Right at the heart of Martim Moniz Square and with a direct view to the castle, Topo is a restaurant/bar on the top floor of a shopping mall. Don’t be intimidated by the shady entrance, just enter the elevator and discover a great place to get a cocktail or even a bite, while enjoying a rare view that few other places can offer.
Finally, you’ve just had dinner (I hope) and you’re ready to hit the bars, talk a lot and walk around. Get moving to these venues!
O 36 — Situated in Bairro Alto, this is one of the essential bars for any self-professed hip-hop lover. It’s really small and still attracts DJ sets by every famous Portuguese act, as there really isn’t any other place like it. The amazing decor was painted by Halfstudio in collaboration with Portuguese artists Kruella D’Enfer and Akacorleone.
Park – Starving for another scenic view? Go right up to Park. You’ll get an amazing and unobstructed look at the river and Lisbon’s South Bay. Positioned in the top floor of a parking garage, this place’s mojitos are killer and they usually have great DJs lined up for you to let off some steam.
Bicanela — If you go down through the street of the Bica Funicular, you’ll find Bicanela. Honestly, I haven’t found another bar that serves such great drinks at such a low price. Whether you’re on a budget or not, go to Bicanela and order their Long Island Ice Tea – you won’t regret it and it’ll get you dancefloor ready, really quickly.
Ready to drag your friends to somewhere where you can dance the week away? Want to listen to some of the hottest bands that Portugal has to offer? Time to hop on to one of these locations.
Damas – Located in Graça, Damas is a bar with a concert hall that is probably one of the most hyped locations on this list. It has a great assortment of alternative acts and cool parties. Warning: I really recommend you get there before 1 AM, as it tends to get really packed due to free admission.
Musicbox – One of the driving forces in promoting music culture in the capital for about a decade now, Musicbox has hosted concerts by just about every artist you can imagine, whether Portuguese or foreign. Located in the centre of Cais de Sodré, its high stone arch will leave quite an impression.
LuxFrágil – Lux’s reputation is untouchable. It’s located by the waterside and is one of the biggest nightclubs that Lisbon has to offer, as well as surprisingly affordable. It hosts all kinds of events, from film presentations to a boatload of parties, and the only thing you need to know is that between its club area, bar and terrace, all your nightlife needs are going to be met – guaranteed.