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Unveiling Lisbon’s Nightlife

Lisbon is Portugal’s capital, so, naturally, an active nightlife is a given. The city is quite big, so there’s many different spots for different tastes. In this article we’ll go through all of them, unveiling this amazing night owl paradise, so that you can get an idea of what might fit your style and interests better!

Frederik Pohl
Frederik Pohl, CEO
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What’s the nightlife like in Lisbon?

Lisbon is a considerably big city, with tons of different nightlife spots – all different in their own ways. Portugal in general is a little different from what you may be used to. Here it’s customary to go out on the street or to the bars at around 10pm – to drink and hang out with friends. After that, people either go to a dance club or stay out on these areas (Bairro Alto is a popular example) until the early morning. There will never be a dull moment here! 

Best Nightlife Areas in Lisbon
Bairro Alto

Bairro Alto literally translates to “High Neighbourhood”, since it is located on one of Lisbon‘s many high hills, but worry not – the climb is absolutely worth it. The area is not only known for its nightlife, it’s also very active during the late afternoon because of its many restaurants. So you can go straight to the bars after having dinner! And there are A LOT of bars – spread all over Bairro Alto’s narrow streets. When the clock ticks 11pm, these streets get absolutely filled with people from every corner of the world – just looking to have fun, drink and hang out! The atmosphere is truly contagious.

If you prefer a calmer evening, there are many traditional fado houses here also – ‘O Faia‘, ‘A Severa‘ and ‘Café Luso‘ are the most popular.

lisbon nightlife
Bairro Alto © Nuno Ferreira Santos
Cais do Sodré

Cais do Sodré is an easy (downhill!) walk from Bairro Alto! This is more a modern area, offering a mix of trendy bars, clubs, and live music venues and therefore attracting a younger crowd, known for its vibrant energy. In the summer months, the waterfront area becomes even more lively with outdoor parties and ‘botéllones’.

Pink Street (Rua cor-de-rosa or Rua Nova do Carvalho)

Located in Cais do Sodré is a specific street with an especially active nightlife – the “pink street“. It was once a red-light district, but in 2011 it started being painted pink and regained life – with many new bars and music venues opening here throughout the years. Some of the most popular spots right now are MusicBox, Jamaica, Viking and Pensão Amor. Pink Street has become so popular that it was even named one of best European streets by The New York Times!

Pink Street © Nuno Ferreira Santos
Pink Street © Nuno Ferreira Santos
LX Factory

LX Factory is a conglomerate of trendy restaurants and bars located in the Alcântara neighbourhood, that offers an artsy and creative nightlife experience. It exudes an industrial yet vibrant atmosphere and hosts various cultural events, live music performances, and DJ sets. It is definitely more relaxed – ideal for those looking to have a few cocktails with friends while listening to live music.

LX Factory

The Santos area is located between LX Factory and Cais do Sodré and is known for its many cheap bars and clubs, that attract a mostly younger crowd, especially university students. These are some of the best bars in the area:

  • O Bar Mais Triste da Cidade – Besides cocktails, ‘the saddest bar in town’ also offers live music, erotic poetry and comedy nights
  • Xafarix – Live music is the dish of the day in Xafarix, which is one of the oldest bars in Santos, but there are also comedy nights here
  • Lulu, Um Pub Bonito – Lulu is a bar inspired by the roaring 1920s and actress Louise Brooks (aka Lulu). There are signature cocktails, all named after women, plus a DJ area
nightlife lisbon

Marvila is a growing neighborhood in the outskirts of Lisbon, known for its cultural and artistic scene. Walking through the streets at night, you will find colorful murals and artistic interventions on walls and facades. It’s perfect for at enthusiasts and those looking for a more lowkey, authentic Lisbon experience. Some of the best places here are Musa – a beer shop -, and Village Underground Lisboa and ‘Lisboa ao Vivo‘ for live music!

nightlife lisbon
Lisboa ao Vivo club

After-work drinks in Lisbon

If going out until the early morning is not your thing, or it’s simply the middle of the week, after a day of work in Lisbon, you can take the opportunity to relax and unwind in one of the many places that offer drinks in the city. There is a wide variety of options, from sophisticated bars to relaxed and authentic environments.

The whole downtown area is popular for happy hours and post-work meetings. You can explore the bars and restaurants along the busy streets, such as Rua Augusta and Praça do Comércio. There, you will find a wide selection of bars with outdoor terraces where you can enjoy a drink while taking in the views of the city.

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