Posts About 'Nightlife'

The 5 Bars to Go Right Now in Bairro Alto

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Bairro Alto, LisbonWhen Bairro Alto became Lisbon’s nightlife neighborhood in the 80s and 90s, it had a variety of bars playing varied sounds (from rock to synthpop to Fado) and attracting diverse groups (from goths to punks to gays). Over the last decade most bars have become almost indistinguishable from each other, focusing on cheap beer, caipirinhas and mojitos. The neighborhood still attracts all kinds of under-40 crowds, gay and straight, but the more alternative bars have moved down the hill towards Bica and the former red light district Cais do Sodré on the riverfront. Nights in Bairro Alto are now essentially a street party, and which bar you end up getting a drink to enjoy outside really only depends on where you’re standing. However, if you’re looking for something different, a place where you can actually sit indoors, or perhaps where you can find more unusual drinks, there are a few places worth looking for. We’ve selected five:

Rua do Diário de Notícias, 95
One of the best bars in town to have a glass of wine, it also serves “petiscos” which is described to the non-Portuguese as “Portuguese tapas.” The wine list is huge, focusing on national wines, which are usually accompanied by a flaming chouriço (sausage) or a plate of cheeses.

Rua do Diário de Notícias, 39
This is a Lisbon classic, as traditional as a bar can be, attracting groups of all ages, locals and tourists. The main attraction is Fado, often sung by amateurs in spontaneous performances. You can sit and enjoy a drink in a very informal, upbeat atmosphere, and join others in getting the “chouriço assado,” the roasted sausage.

Rua da Barroca, 75
Those looking for an alternative to beer and caipirinhas should try poncha. That’s a traditional drink from the Portuguese island of Madeira, made with brandy, lemon juice and honey. It’s this bar’s specialty, and here it combines other fruits to create close to a dozen varieties.

Rua da Barroca, 6-12
As one of the bigger bars in the neighborhood, you’ll find plenty of people sitting inside this bar once you go past the huge crowds by the door. Decorated with retro pieces, it attracts everyone from struggling artists to thirty-something singles.

Rua da Rosa, 99
This is one of the few bars open in the afternoon. Its pop hits (thing Gaga and Spears) attract younger groups, many of them gay boys often accompanied by female friends. However, you’ll find all kinds of people sitting with a drink and chatting, despite the blaring music. Setting this place apart from the competition (besides the spacious interior) is the number of books on the walls which give it a more relaxed vibe as a hangout in the early evening.

The New Bar On Top of Lisbon

Monday, September 26th, 2011

Rooftop Bar
There’s a new rooftop bar in town. This time it’s found on the top floor (the 9th) of the Mundial Hotel, offering panoramic views of the city. You can see the river and the castle which is beautifully floodlit at night, and you may also enjoy the late-afternoon sun. It opens everyday at 6:30PM (weather permitting) and welcomes hotel guests and non-guests until midnight. It serves cocktails and occasionally also presents live jazz performances.

Rooftop Bar

5 Spots to Literally Spend the Night Out in Lisbon

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

When you say you’re going out at night, you often mean spend the night sitting in a movie theater or at a bar, or dancing at a club. “Out” simply means out of the house, but in such an outdoors city like Lisbon, “out” really means outside. Most people gather around the streets of Bairro Alto by the doors of the multitude of bars, but there are other spots for a relaxed evening in the open air. These are the five best choices:

Portas do Sol, Lisbon

In the city’s biggest and most beautiful terrace is this café-bar overlooking the river. It’s more of a café during the day, but at night it’s a cocktail bar that stays open until midnight on weekdays and 2AM on Fridays and Saturdays. The lively ambience is often enhanced by DJs.

This iconic viewpoint competes with Portas do Sol for the best views in town. It has two kiosks (one on each of the two levels), and on the lower terrace we can recommend a bowl of açaí that was introduced this summer for a healthy dessert before you go for the drinks as you look out to the moonlit city.

This riverfront café is a great spot to sunbathe during the day, but it’s also perfect at night for cocktails and upbeat sounds (this summer it also hosted live bands). On the warmer nights it has a certain beach bar vibe, especially with its palm trees and wooden decks.

Most bars and restaurants of the docks are a little touristy and lack any real personality, but one of the exceptions is this glass rectangle on the water’s edge. Throughout the week it’s open until 2AM (it closes on Mondays), and on weekends you’ll hear DJs spinning house and chill-out sounds until 6AM as you watch the sunrise.

It’s much smaller than Portas do Sol and São Pedro de Alcântara but this terrace-viewpoint is just as popular and attracts a variety of people of all ages. You can sit there drinking and chatting (often to the sound of music) until 3AM as you admire the castle and 25 de Abril Bridge in the distance.

“Grapes & Bites” – The Newest Wine Bar in Lisbon’s Bairro Alto

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Grapes & Bites, Lisbon

Most of the bars in Bairro Alto are known for their cheap beer and caipirinhas, but the newest openings seem to all be devoted to wine. The latest one is called “Grapes & Bites,” and despite the English name it only serves Portuguese wines and “petiscos” (snacks).
There are close to 200 choices, many from the bottles on display, others presented on the wine list. They can be served by the glass or bottle.
There are also cocktails, but all made with national wines. To accompany the drinks there are cold cuts, Portuguese cheeses, bread and jams.
It took over the space of a former streetwear boutique, now decorated with big wine barrels standing as tables under the arched interior.
It surprisingly opens every day, even on Sundays, from 2PM to 2AM.
It’s located in the neighborhood’s trendiest shopping street, Rua do Norte, number 81.

Lisbon’s Top 5 Summer Rooftop Terraces

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Because summer in Lisbon lasts until October, there’s still plenty of time to enjoy some of the best spots of the season. Of the many terraces in the city (from outdoor cafés to riverfront restaurants), the ones to seek this summer are high up on the rooftops, offering views, cooler air, drinks, and relaxation after a day of sightseeing, meetings, or work:


Sky Bar, Tivoli Lisboa Hotel

It was one of the most talked-about bars last summer and it’s back this year. The views alone are worth a visit, but then there is also a good variety of cocktails (including a couple of non-alcoholic choices), soups, salads, wraps and noodles. It’s found at the top of the Tivoli Lisboa Hotel and it’s especially recommended late in the afternoon, staying for a light dinner as the sun sets followed by late-night cocktails.


Brasserie Rossio

It’s one of Lisbon’s newest restaurants in one of the city’s newest hotels (Altis Avenida). So not too many people know that from here there are beautiful views of downtown all the way to the river, standing above Rossio Station and Restauradores Square. Although the dining area is indoors (but still offering views through its glassed walls), tables and chairs have been placed on the terrace so you can enjoy a light meal or simply a drink at any time of the day. And that’s open to everyone, including non-hotel guests.


NH Liberdade Hotel

Right in the center of Lisbon’s busiest avenue, Avenida da Liberdade, is one of the city’s top secrets. It’s on the top floor of the NH Liberdade Hotel, a terrace with a pool open to non-hotel guests. For 20 euros (quite reasonable for a hotel pool in the city center), you can spend the day diving and swimming surrounded by city views. When you need to regain some energy, there are salads, sandwiches, juices and beer to enjoy poolside until the sun sets.


Terrace, Bairro Alto Hotel

It’s quite small and all the seats are usually taken when you get there, but it’s worth waiting for a spot at this rooftop bar in the Bairro Alto Hotel. Recommended for the afternoon, the drink to get on the hottest days is the “granizado,” a crushed ice and fruit blend.


Entretanto Bar, Hotel do Chiado

Perhaps the best-known of all of Lisbon’s rooftop terraces, “Entretanto” of the Hotel do Chiado offers drinks throughout the day, and is also a good stop for afternoon tea once it gets colder.
To accompany everything are fantastic city views, from the castle to the top of the triumphal arch of Comercio Square.

Lisbon’s New Terrace Bar: “Clube Ferroviário”

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Clube Ferroviario, Lisboa

Lisbon has a new terrace that is aiming to become one of the city’s hottest bars. It’s found by Santa Apolonia station (and Lisbon’s favorite club, Lux), and promises an eclectic calendar of events. It has two rooms for concerts and DJs, two bars and a terrace which can also be used for live music together with views of the river.
It’s open from Wednesday to Sunday, but unlike many other bars in the city, it’s not just open at night. It’s also a place to go before dinner in the afternoon, serving tapas, light meals, and drinks looking out to the Tagus.
Sundays will be a little different, devoted to theme parties and offering a brunch served by Magnolia, one of the city’s favorite contemporary cafés. On that day you can catch guest DJs, concerts, or film screenings.
Check out its Facebook page for more details.

Portugal’s Top Fashion Designer Opens a Restaurant in Lisbon: “Unique”

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Fatima Lopes' Unique Chiado Bar-Restaurant, Lisbon

UPDATE: This restaurant has closed.

She’s opened boutiques in Paris and Los Angeles in addition to her shop in Lisbon, but Fátima Lopes is now also entering the restaurant business. Widely considered to be Portugal’s most international fashion designer, Lopes is essentially a business woman, and her new restaurant that opened this weekend will have her seal of approval on everything from the staff’s uniforms to the plates and silverware. It’s a place designed to be luxurious, but reportedly with “prices for everyone.” It’s actually more than a restaurant, it’s also a bar and the large pavement outside by the entrance will have tables when weather allows it. The cuisine will be contemporary Portuguese, created by João Simões, a rising star in Lisbon’s gastronomy who’s won the Junior Chef distinction at the World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS). He’s previously worked at Lisbon’s Bica do Sapato, Hotel Four Seasons Provence (France), and until recently was at one of the restaurants of Altis Belém Hotel.
In addition to the food you can expect good background music and drinks served until 2AM at the bar. Judging by the list of local celebrities who showed up for the inauguration, this is clearly also a place to see and be seen, but word is that it’s not necessarily a pretentious place.
You can find the restaurant in Chiado, on Rua Paiva de Andrade, right across from São Carlos Theatre (no website yet).

Enjoying Moonlit Lisbon at “Portas do Sol”

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

Portas do Sol Café-Bar, Lisbon

“Portas do Sol” may mean “the sun’s gateway,” but it’s also the name of one of Lisbon’s best new cafés with fantastic city views day or night (as GoLisbon told you about here), and now also a happening bar on weekends. So while you go to “the sun’s gateway” to enjoy Lisbon’s sunny skies and a light meal, now you can also observe the moon- and floodlit city from there as you sip on cocktails. As if that wasn’t enough to get you in a chilled-out mood, DJs provide the beats for an even more enjoyable ambience.
As the nights become longer, the temperatures rise, and rain becomes less frequent, a roster of DJs is being planned for the upcoming weeks, and we can already imagine it to become one of the hottest spots to be this summer.
There’s a spacious indoor area, but what’s likely to be taken over first are the couches on the terrace, or the tables to enjoy a midnight snack and drinks. The guest DJs arrive at 10PM and stay until 2AM. You can reach it by taking tram 28, while Lisbon residents arriving by car can park right underneath the terrace.

Meet “Maria,” Last Name “Bairro Alto” – A Cool New Restaurant and Bar in Lisbon

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Maria B.A., Lisbon

UPDATE: This restaurant has closed.

“Maria B.A.” is the new kid on one of Bairro Alto‘s quietest blocks, just steps from but not at the center of the neighborhood’s nightlife for which it is famous. It’s part bar, part loungy café and restaurant. It’s a space that allows you to go for lunch, show up for a drink late in the afternoon, or stay for dinner and drinks all night long. Food can be served until midnight, all traditional Portuguese cuisine, with fish, meat, and vegetarian options. As you can tell from these photos, the space is divided into two levels, with the restaurant downstairs and the “chill out” area upstairs. The bar serves good-old crowd favorites like beer, shots, and caipirinhas but is also strong on cocktails.
Opening times are from 12 to 3PM for lunch, then again at 7:30PM until closing time which is 2AM on weekdays and 3AM on Fridays and Saturdays. It closes on Sundays.
You’ll see it on number 48-50 of Travessa dos Inglesinhos.

Maria B.A., Lisbon

Maria B.A., Lisbon

“Artis” – Lisbon’s Newest Wine Bar is One of Its Oldest

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Bar Artis, Bairro Alto, Lisboa

“B’Artis” was one of Bairro Alto‘s trendiest bars in the 1980s, and after closing for renovation last year, it’s back with a new look and name. It has dropped the B and is now simply called “Artis,” while also concentrating more on wine — all Portuguese wines. The wooden interior has been maintained, and decorating the walls are some classic/vintage objects and a few musical instruments. It has always been known for its jazz soundtrack, and that continues to be heard along with chill-out sounds. The wine can be served by the glass starting at 3 euros, but if you prefer beer that’s just 2 euros. It also serves “petiscos” (snacks or Portuguese-style “tapas”), with the toasted chicken sandwich being the most popular over the years. Those “petiscos” range in price between €4.90 and €9.90, and according to the chalkboard list placed outside, they include the traditional Portuguese “caldo verde” (known in English as “green soup”).  You may also order a cheese or hams plate and sample some Portuguese liquors such as port and ginginha.
The bar closes at 2AM except on Fridays and Saturdays when it stays open until 3AM along with all the other bars in the neighborhood. The address is Rua do Diário de Noticias, 95.