The best bars in Lisbon

·6-min read
Memmo Alfama
Memmo Alfama

Lisbon has a vibrant nightlife scene, which spills onto the cobbled streets of Chiado, watches the dawn come up over the Tagus River and serenades the stars from rooftop bars in the fragrant, warm night air. There are haunts for the young and clubs for the locals; old favourites like O Pavilhão Chinês and newcomers like Praia no Parque, where dinner continues seamlessly into dancing. But, wherever you are, Lisbon’s dark, narrow streets, shimmering river and moonlit domed skyline, have a magical, enigmatic quality that gives the night-time city a character all of its own.

Below our expert shares her tips for the city's most appealing bars, while here you can find the rest of our Lisbon guides, including the city's best hotels, restaurants, shopping, attractions and how to spend a weekend in Lisbon.

Chiado

Entretanto

In a city of rooftop bars, this claims the top spot for its views of the Lisbon skyline. It is situated on the seventh floor of the Hotel do Chiado, high above the city's rooftops and overlooking the cobbled streets of Chiado, with the Tagus River slipping slowly by in the distance. This hotel was restored some years ago by Pritzker prize-winning architect, Siza Vieira, and the new bar has since become a favourite of the locals. Try the Pink Affair cocktail – an exhilarating concoction of red fruit juice, prosecco and cointreau which is Lisbon’s answer to Venice’s Bellini.

Contact: hoteldochiado.pt
Nearest metro: Baixa-Chiado
Prices: ££
Getting in: Reservations recommended

Entretanto
Entretanto

By the Wine

Here, visitors have the chance to try more than 50 wines (by the glass or the bottle) from the cellar of leading vintner, José Maria da Fonseca, in an attractive arched space in the centre of Lisbon. To accompany the wines there is an excellent selection of Portuguese cheeses such as the strong, creamy Azeitão, ham from acorn-fed pigs, and bread and oysters from the southern reaches of the country. Then there's the company's acclaimed sweet wine, Moscatel de Setúbal, to be accompanied by a range of cakes and puddings, making this an ideal place to discover the flavours of Portugal.

Contact: bythewine.pt
Nearest metro: Baixa-Chiado
Prices: ££
Getting in: Reservations recommended

By the Wine
By the Wine

Avenida da Liberdade

Sky Bar Tivoli Liberdade

This hotel sky bar boasts unmissable, far-reaching views over the city and the Tagus River beyond. Sleek and chic, there is a lively vibe and excellent cocktails, from Pepperlines (gin, lime juice, egg white, sugar, pineapple and chilli) to the classic Aperol Spritz. There is live music every night courtesy of the resident DJ, with regular guest performances and other events throughout the summer. The light food plates are delicious, particularly the Sky Sushi with its rolls of avocado, prawn and cucumber, and do try the white fish ceviche with lime and ginger.

Contact: tivolihotels.com
Nearest metro: Avenida
Prices: ££
Getting in: Reservations recommended (essential for large groups)

Sky Bar Tivoli Liberdade
Sky Bar Tivoli Liberdade

Praia no Parque

This is Lisbon’s current hotspot, a beach-themed bar with huge floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the lake in Eduardo VII Park, hence the name – ' beach in the park'. The previously abandoned Fifties building's vibrant interiors are green and gold in velvet and marble, and it entices with cocktails that range from Wasabi Kick (Grey Goose vodka, wasabi and lime) to Manjerico no Parque (gin, basil, ginger and egg whites) whilst a food menu (with a focus on steak) is also served. . A DJ plays pop and house music as well as some Eighties classics well into the small hours on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

Contact: apraia.pt
Nearest metro: Avenida
Prices: ££
Getting in: Reservations recommended

Praia no Parque
Praia no Parque

Red Frog

Inspired by the secret bars of Prohibition-era America, this is Lisbon’s take on a speakeasy, found at basement level behind a locked door and accessed by a bell saying ‘press for cocktails’ – you'll recognise the entrance by the giant model of a red frog on the wall. Inside, the atmosphere draws on the Twenties with elegant and comfortable deco-style chairs and music that ranges from jazz and swing to soul. The extensive cocktail menu, created by acclaimed mixologist, Marian Beke, changes regularly. A private room, accessed through a wall which moves when pushed, is available for private parties.

Contact: redfrog.pt
Nearest metro: Avenida
Prices: ££

red frog, lisbon, portugal
red frog, lisbon, portugal

Príncipe Real

The Chinese Pavilion (O Pavilhão Chinês)

The five rooms that make up this extraordinary bar, formerly a grocery store from the early 20th century, are filled with thousands of pieces of memorabilia: there are military medals, artworks, uniforms, miniature dolls and toy trains. Located in the ultra fashionable Príncipe Real district, this has become a cult bar for Lisbonites, with a menu of more than 100 cocktails to choose from; a favourite, named after the bar, is made with rum, blue curaçao, lemon and pineapple juice. A pool table is another plus. After 9pm, the door is closed and you need to ring to gain entry.

Contact: 00 351 21 342 4729
Opening times: Mon-Sat, 6pm-2am; Sun, 9pm-2am
Nearest metro: Rato
Prices: £

chinese pavilion, lisbon, portugal
chinese pavilion, lisbon, portugal

Foxtrot

A much loved bar, somewhat similar in concept to an English pub, Foxtrot straddles the seasons with cosy Art Deco interiors complete with fireplaces for winter and a garden for hot summer nights.  Serving cocktails from classic whisky sours to smoked negronis or spiced margaritas, the Foxtrot steak, with a side of chips is also not to be missed.  A favourite for many due to its snooker and billiards.

Contact: barfoxtrot.pt
Nearest metro: Rato
Prices: £

Alfama

Memmo Alfama

When that famous Lisbon light is at its most magical and you want to soak it all up away from the crowds with a glass of delicious Portuguese rosé, head to this lovely rooftop bar in Memmo Alfama, buried down a narrow, cobbled street in the the city's ancient Moorish district. The hotel deck is an all-year-round delight; in winter an inviting fire pit allows you to sit out under the inevitable blue skies with a plate of local smoked ham to accompany your wine, while in summer you can dangle your toes in the chicest pool in Lisbon.

Contact: memmohotels.com
Nearest metro: Rossio
Prices: £
Getting in: Reservations recommended in summer

Memmo Alfama
Memmo Alfama

Lux

The undisputed king of Lisbon nightclubs, this is part-owned by John Malkovich and set in a vast warehouse which flanks the River Tagus. Impressive interiors are illuminated by spotlights and oversized glitter balls, whilst the music comes courtesy of the best DJs in town, not to mention the global artists who regularly make appearances. In all, this one draws the international crowd. Themed parties are often held, you can head to the Lux restaurant, Bica do Sapato, next door to start the evening, and the club's rooftop terrace overlooking the river is often touted as the best place in the city to watch the sun come up.

Contact: luxfragil.com
Prices: ££
Getting in: Free or door charge, depending on how busy it is inside; expect long queues

Lux - LUISA FERREIRA
Lux - LUISA FERREIRA
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