There's a wide range of bars and
pubs in Lisbon, and visitors should not leave the city without doing some bar-hopping in Bairro Alto. Whether you're looking for a traditional wine bar or a sleek rooftop for a cocktail, there is a place for you.
Practically every bar serves imperial (draught beer of the
Portuguese "Sagres" or "Super Bock" brands), usually costing less than 2
euros, while the increasingly popular caipirinhas and
caipiroscas average about 3 euros; cocktails are more expensive. To try local drinks, look for the ginginha and Port Wine.
Rua do Alecrim, 19
A former guesthouse that was essentially a brothel is now one of Lisbon's most memorable bars
. It has a classic-naughty cabaret decor spread over several rooms.
Rua do Diario de Noticias, 95-97, Bairro Alto
A cozy wine bar
with wooden furnishings that give it a decades-old ambience. It serves a variety of "petiscos" (Portuguese "tapas") and wines.
Rua de São Nicolau, 24 - Baixa
This small wine bar found right in the heart of downtown is an attractive spot to try the wines from Portugal’s Douro region. It also has tables outside, and to accompany the wine you have the choice of different specialties from northern Portugal, from cheeses to the sausages.
BY THE WINE
Rua das Flores, 41-43 - Chiado
The wines served here are from around Lisbon, or more specifically from Azeitão to the south of the city. It’s run by a company founded in 1834, so you can expect good quality wines. They may be served by the wine and go together with Iberian “petiscos” (tapas). The arched space with thousands of bottles covering the ceiling was made to look like a wine cellar, and is divided into different rooms.
Rua Ruben A. Leitão, 17-A, Principe
One of the city's coolest spots with a relaxed yet sophisticated
environment. It's run by an experienced team that's worked on
Michelin-starred restaurants and Relais & Chateaux hotels, so the decor and
service is expectedly top-notch. It serves strikingly original cocktails
using fresh fruits as well as good snacks and sushi. Not the most
inexpensive nightspot in the city, but highly recommended.
ESPUMANTARIA DO CAIS
Rua Nova do Carvalho - Cais do Sodré
This bar in one of the city’s main nightlife streets specializes in champagne cocktails. Like its neighboring bars it has tables outside, and attracts a mix of locals and tourists.
Rua do Crucifixo, 58 - Baixa
Inspired by British gastropubs, this bar serves drinks and meals. It’s a beautiful dimly-lit space with 18th-century arches, and offers several choices of gin, cocktails and Portuguese wines. Television screens usually show football (soccer), rugby or golf.
Largo de Sao Domingos, 8, Baixa
It is something of a ritual for locals and tourists to step into this tiny
at the end of the day. It's named after a local
cherry brandy served as a shot, something you may want to try if you like strong drinks.
GRAPES & BITES
Rua do Norte, 81, Bairro Alto
With large barrels serving as tables, here you can sit for a variety of almost 200 Portuguese wines accompanied by cheese or other snacks. Recently it has also been turned into a restaurant.
HOT CLUB DE PORTUGAL
Praça da Alegria, 48, (hcp.pt
It's over 60 years old and one of the world's oldest jazz clubs. Quincy Jones and Dexter Gordon were among the famous names to have gone through its doors, and today it's the place to be among jazz aficionados.
LAGAR DO CAIS
Rua de São Paulo, 27 - Cais do Sodré
A brick-vaulted space that was once a rock music bar is now this wine bar that also doubles as a “petiscos” (tapas) restaurant. Whether you’re going for a meal or just a drink, you may order wine or gin, and may end up trying several dishes from Portugal’s different regions.
Rua da Atalaia 3, Bairro Alto
The decor (usually minimalist) changes regularly, but what always remains is a faithful
clientele who has come here for years and made it one of Bairro Alto's best-known bars
Sit by the large windows watching the Bairro Alto wanderers and listen to the usual World Music or electronic sounds.
Rua da Barroca 6-12,
Who would have thought that a former bakery would turn into one of the trendiest bars in Bairro Alto
Some of the furniture and machinery (including a wood oven on the wall) remain from the bakery.
It has a welcoming ambience and an atypically-large interior (by Bairro Alto standards), but
of course most still prefer to follow the old Bairro Alto tradition by standing outside.
On weekdays the sounds are relaxing lounge music, while on weekends it tends to be house.
Rua das Trinas, 25, (www.matiz-pombalina.pt
Located away from the nightlife crowds in a quiet neighborhood, this is a wonderful space to spend the night with a good cocktail. It's in an 18th-century building and includes classic furnishings in three elegant rooms where jazz, soul and other chill-out sounds can be heard.
THE OLD PHARMACY
Rua do Diário de Noticias, 73-83, Bairro Alto
The name says it all: This is a space once occupied by a pharmacy and its cabinets remain, now filled with wine bottles. Next door is a smaller space decorated with Asian crafts and at both places you can sit with a variety of wine glasses.
Rua do Diário de Noticias, 85, Bairro Alto
It's one of the best-established bars in Bairro Alto and it's easy to see why: It's more spacious than most and it's consistent in providing good nights of drinks to the sound of jazz. Great for people-watching through the large windows as you sit with a drink.
Rua Dom Pedro V, 89, Principe
And now for something completely different... This former 19th-century tea and coffee shop is a really quirky bar
an eclectic decor
and comfortable sofas. The rooms are surrounded by
glass cabinets stuffed with curious and odd artifacts from around the world,
and there is a wide selection of teas and other drinks. It also has a good
snack menu, which together with a backroom pool table, attracts people of all ages.
Rua da Atalaia, 105, Bairro Alto
Wide doors ("portas largas") open into a popular old-fashioned bar
a marble counter, an old cash register, and blue and white tiles creating a
rather rustic look. It has traditionally been known as a stopover for gays
heading to club Fragil across the street, but now attracts a mixture of casual
drinkers and tourists. Despite the spacious interior, many choose to stand
by the doorway chatting and people-watching.
Rua do Salitre, 5A - Avenida da Liberdade
This cocktail bar by Avenida da Liberdade recalls New York’s 1920s speakeasies. You must ring a bell to enter, and once inside you have the option of several creative cocktails as you listen to a soundtrack of jazz and soul music.
Praça Martim Moniz, 2
Found at the top of Mundial Hotel
(on the 9th floor), this bar opens late in the afternoon to serve cocktails while offering city views.
Rua da Misericórdia, 14, (www.silk-club.com
The city's most exclusive bar stands on a rooftop of the trendy
Chiado shopping district. There are nearly-360-degree views of Lisbon and low tables where you're served cocktails together with tapas or sushi.
Avenida da Liberdade, 185
The top of the Tivoli Lisboa Hotel opens from May to October as this rooftop bar with Lisbon as a backdrop. Facing the castle and the river, you'll be served a list of cocktails and light snacks to enjoy throughout the evening, before or after dinner.
WINE BAR DO CASTELO
Rua Bartolomeu Gusmão, 13
Tourists love this bar by the castle gate which introduces them to Portuguese wine served by the glass. There are over 150 choices to make, accompanied by a plate of cheeses.
Rua das Gáveas, 38, Bairro Alto
Found in Bairro Alto, this bar offers you the chance to try a good selection of Portuguese wines by the glass. They may accompany local sausages and cheeses, often to the sound of live music.