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Dancing and Partying in Lisbon

In the 1990s, Lisbon established a reputation as one of Europe's main clubbing cities. Things have slowed down a bit in the last few years, but whether your preference is dancing to house or to the sounds of a live band, the city provides a full range of clubs.

The major dance spots are concentrated near the river on Avenida 24 de Julho (between downtown and Belem), in the docklands below 25 de Abril Bridge to the west, and across from Santa Apolonia train station to the east.

Since most locals begin the night with a long dinner and bar-hopping for hours, the dancing clubs only really get going after 2AM, and no real hard-core reveler leaves before dawn. Admission is usually between 10 and 20 euros and most clubs are only open on Friday and Saturday nights.

A couple of clubs in residential areas are very low-key and you must ring a bell to get in -- Fragil and Incognito.
On the riverfront, Lux remains the hotspot, but there's now new competition in Comercio Square, at Ministerium Club and Lust. More details below.

Dock's Club, Lisbon


Rua da Cintura do Porto de Lisboa, 226
Catering to all crowds, this place is filled with varied sounds from pop to trance, but also largely African beats due to its strong Angolan presence. Large sofas and comfortable armchairs allow you to relax and sip a drink before you step into the dance floor.
It's open on Friday and Saturday nights and also on Tuesdays for the still-popular Ladies' Night.

Incognito Club, Lisbon


(www.incognitobar.com) - Rua dos Polais de São Bento, 37, Bairro Alto
Appropriately named, this split-level club has no name on the door, and you must ring a doorbell to get in. It's one of the city's oldest clubs and its music has changed little since its first days, often spinning 80s, indie, alt-pop, and techno. It's a friendly place, and still a popular choice for a wide range of people looking for alternative sounds. Upstairs is a loft bar, while the basement is a noisy/crowded dance floor.

Lust Club, Lisbon


Comercio Square
It's rather selective at the door but it's worth trying to make it inside, as it's on one of the most central locations in the city, in one of the wings of Comercio Square's arcades. It opens from Thursday to Saturday.

Lux Club, Lisbon


(www.luxfragil.com) Avenida Infante Dom Henrique, Doca do Jardim do Tabaco, Alfama
Partly owned by Hollywood actor John Malkovich, this is Lisbon's hippest club and one of Europe's most fashionable (especially when it comes to the interior design), having attracted visiting stars like Cameron Diaz and Prince. It couldn't be a more stylish place, with a spacious interior decorated with funky and retro furniture.
Top DJs spin cutting-edge music downstairs in a frenzied dance floor, while the top floor has a more relaxed vibe with an alternative soundtrack.
A balcony running around the building overlooks the river, while a breezy rooftop terrace is a great place to watch the sun rise early in the morning.
As expected, everyone tries to come here, so expect highly selective doormen and long queues on weekends.

Main Club, Lisbon


Avenida 24 de Julho, 68
It was the popular "Kapital" for two decades but changed to "Main" in late 2012. It's been revived as a popular weekend spot attracting 20- and 30-somethings into the space divided into different areas, including a restaurant.

Ministerium Club, Lisbon


Comercio Square
Opening on Saturdays, this is one of the best clubs in the city to catch international DJs. The house and techno mixes are danced to under the vaulted ceilings of one of Comercio Square's 18th-century wings.

MusicBox Club, Lisbon


(http://www.musicboxlisboa.com) - Rua Nova Do Carvalho, 24
Located in the seedy-chic red light district of Cais do Sodré, this is a trendy hotspot for live bands and DJs. Managed by a record label, it also hosts video and film projections, making this also a cultural destination at night.

Op Art Cafe Club, Lisbon


(www.opartcafe.com) Doca de Santo Amaro
A small square-shaped building standing below 25 de Abril Bridge is a cafe during the day, but turns into a music club at night. With such a stunning location, you can come for a light meal on the terrace alongside the river before sunset, or watch the sun come up in the early morning to the sounds of electronica and chilled out house music (it closes at 6AM on weekends). It's the best nightspot option at the docks.

Plateau Club, Lisbon


Escadinhas da Praia, 3 (by Avenida 24 de Julho)
A survivor from the 90s, it's still the place for 80's and 90's music - the ideal choice for those who enjoy pop and mainstream sounds.

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