Lux turns 10

Lux club, Lisbon

Ask anyone in Lisbon to recommend a club for a night of drinking and dancing, and you’ll be told to go to Lux. In a city with so many clubs and nightlife options, Lux is everyone’s undisputed favorite. And there are good reasons why. It celebrates its 10th anniversary today, and for the last decade no other club has come close to offering such a variety of theme nights, big name DJs, or a reinvented ambience week after week.

It is owned by actor John Malkovich and Lisbon’s nightlife king Manuel Reis (who opened the landmark “Fragil” in Bairro Alto in the 80s), and has seen a number of celebrities and now-legendary parties walk through its doors. After a concert in Lisbon, Prince (or “The Artist” formerly known as…) decided to spend the rest of his night at Lux, and ended up giving an unscheduled mini-concert at the club.  Years later Madonna reserved the club for her private after-concert party, but although her entire staff showed up, she prefered to stay at her hotel (Pestana Palace).

Manuel Reis refuses to define Lux simply as a club, and instead sees it as a musical, artistic, and design showcase. The stylish (and often unconventional) décor is by contemporary artists (a huge chandelier completely made of tampons remains the most talked about), and the terrace with views over the river and to Alfama is the city’s best spot for a drink.

For many, getting into Lux is a strike of good luck. The club has a highly selective door staff that likes to maintain a good male-female ratio inside, and uses a subjective selection process entirely based on looks. It helps if you’re well dressed and beautiful, and if you’re not, be sure to be going with someone who is.  Sure you’ll find plenty of tacky or just plain ugly people being let it, but when that happens you know he or she is a well-known friend of the bouncer. No one is told they can’t get in — they’re just asked something like 180 euros as the cover charge (it’s really €12 for everyone else; free for the friends).

Several publications have ranked Lux among Europe’s top clubs, and “Resident Advisor” even ranked it among the best in the world, at number 35 in the world’s top 100.  If you want to judge it yourself, start your night at the Bica do Sapato restaurant in the row of former warehouses next to the club (and owned by the same team), and end up at one of the bars or dance floor at Lux.  While Fridays and Saturdays are obviously the nights with the best music and ambience, a visit during a weekday will often be a more enjoyable experience. That’s when it becomes more of a lounge without the crowds, but in any case, you’ll know there is no better place to be in Lisbon at night.

2 Responses to “Lux turns 10”

  1. Go Lisbon Blog » Blog Archive » New Year’s Eve in Lisbon Says:

    […] GoLisbon (and its blog), you already know that Lux is Lisbon’s party house, and even after a decade since it opened, it still is the club with the most happening New Year’s celebrations. Do note […]

  2. Go Lisbon Blog » Blog Archive » The Year in Review: The Best and Worst of Lisbon in 2008 Says:

    […] MILESTONES 2008 was a special year for: Lux: Lisbon’s most famous club turned 10 […]