Hennessy's is a great place all day and night. If you're out and about and want to make a pitstop to refresh yourself, the food is great and the drinks are even better. There are always English speaker around and everyone is very friendly. I have met countless people from all over the world here and never felt alone even if I was stopping by, by myself, to say hello to the staff and regulars. There's always live music or sport on the TV to keep you entertained too.
Dress Code: Anything goes. Seriously. ;)
We hear a lot about Lisboetas being late night party people, but I would take this with a pinch of salt. For a start, there is no public transport after 1 am, unlike London, which runs buses all night. If you have had much to do with Portuguese taxi drivers, you will want avoid them where possible. Many reasonably priced restauarants stop cooking at around eight o clock.
After taking a look around the internet to decide where to spend a Friday night of my return visit to Lisbon, I went down to the docks to check out the action there. I am wondering why I bothered. Some of the things I read really gave this a big wrap as a seriously happening place to go. The reality is that it is stunningly unremarkable and I wonder if a lot of what is written is marketing propaganda stating what they would like this area to be considered as rather than a calm and objective review of what it really is like.
The area at the docks start from right beside the big bridge. It runs up east for a distance of maximum, 200 yards. After that is a stretch of real, operational docks that seem to have some sort of involvement with Maersk corporation. In terms of what is offered within that 200 metres, there's probably a maximum of 25 places. However this is dominated by places to eat and the occurence of genuine places serving up the serious business of good time nightlife is limited to barely a handful of places. Most places are winding down and closing by midnight. There's 2, maybe 3 places that genuinely pack in the punters for drinking, music and dancing. There's also a karaoke bar that had maybe 25 people at it (this was a Friday night / Saturday morning). There's also an Irish bar where there was some live music in the form of a guy singing along to his guitar playing covers that everyone recognised. The audience was less then 20 people sat at tables outside.
The age group was typically 20 - 25. Of the few places that were busy that I mentioned above, the people there seemed to be enjoying themselves as much there as they would anywhere. If this is your age group and and you are in the area and looking for a night out, no harm done in getting yourself along here. Is this area worth making a journey to, even from another part of Lisbon? I really think not. When I was in Lisbon 5 years ago I went out at night in Barrio Alto and this area seemed infinitely more lively.
I was repeatedly approached by people in the street openly trying to sell me cocaine. Why this police haven't arrested this obvious criminality I have no idea.
No... I don't like bullfights. And it seems that, gradually, more people "joins the team", decreasing the frequency of this kind of shows. But they do happen, and it's there, usually on Thursday night, in spring and summer.
However, the crisis made them invest in another kind of shows and Campo Pequeno is, today, a large concert room where big productions (with or without bulls) may take place in a modern shopping mall. So, easy and advisable to check scheduling.
Paginas tantas is a small jazz bar i stumbled up upon purely by chance when i was in Barrio Alto.
I really liked the laid back atmosphere and the good music and spend a couple of hours there just chilling out with my book while listening to some good jazz tunes.
This is surely not a big loud party place, but more a place you go with a good quality date or with some friends you want to have an intellectual conversation with.
I have been there once and i will be back.
When they say,that Finns are heavy drinkers,they should visit some streets in Bairro alto,and think again.We have never seen anything like that.Streets were full of drinking people,it was hard to walk trough.Strange thing for us was this drinking in the street.People buy a drinka nd wonder around.It felt like something that Finns do at "vappu" ( 1st of May is a kind of carneval-night to us),but it happened every night at summer.Of course friday and saturday were most popular.At our first friday at Lisbon,we went there (we lived close).But it just wasn´t our thing.We like good pubs,with good beer-selections and hopefully good music.This felt like those people just wanted to get drunk!Are we getting old?? ;) Maybe people around 20 years like it.
This place on the photo we liked best-there you could at least sit down,and they had some more opinions to drink.And they had a dog at their logo :D
There at "go Lisbon"-web-page they say,that they do have all kinds of places here.To us,most looked the same.I don´t know where those"real pub"-looking-places were.
But if you stay more than some days,and you are under 40 or feel like it-you should take a look of this area.Just for curiosity at least.
Negative thing was drug-dealers-like everywhere around old town.But if you just say no,they are no violent,I think.
Drinks are sometimes quite strong for a Scandinavian-be careful,if you aren´t used to them ;)
Dress Code: No dress code
This bar in Bairro Alto was a great place to spend the evening. It is a casual place, with friendly people. The bartenders were great and the relaxed atmosphere, was a wonderful place to start a night on the town.
Dress Code: Casual
An excellent place to have a coffee, drink or meal while relaxing after a hectic day. And if the day is warm, you can even have a chat with Fernando Pessoa (famous portuguese writer) at the terrace (see third pic).
Pavilhão Chinês is a wonderful bar close to Bairro Alto. You have to ring for someone to open you the door and then you enter in a bar full of shelfs covered with all sorts of collectable goods. So having a drink here is almost the same thing as drinking in a museum and a time travel. The place has also snooker and prices are a bit higher than normal in Lisbon but in my opinion it is well worth it. Closes at 2:00.
Dress Code: Not required
Lisboa is great for parties and the first tip is do not go out too early to the bigger clubs as none of these get busy till 2am, and nowhere gets busy before 12am.
Staying in Bairo Alto I was referred to the nearby bars and drinking area, this was a waste of time, they are in dodgy back streets full of fighting and drug dealing so go at your own risk.
Otherwise go towards Port Lisboa, there are a series of bars located here, the area called Docas...this place had a bit of a gay vibe in some of the bars but otherwise it was very chilled and most of the bars had outside terraces and a great view of the bridge and River. There was a bar for every taste so find the one you like and begin your night.
Nearby are three other clubs, Doc Club, Queens and Indochina. The latter being the best one and the best looking.
Now the clubs here are difficult to get in, especially if you are in a large group of lads. Luckily when we 1st went to Indochina there was only four of us and I made good talk with one of the door staff there who assisted us in getting into other clubs during our stay.
Indochina was the best club out of these lot for the classy look and the great bar staff.
Queens I did not check out but Docs again was very good but bit more of a superclub with not many places to lounge.
Lux club is however the best club I went to in lisboa, again probably one of the most difficult to get into but again it turned out the security guy there had worked in Birmingham himself and recognised our accents! So again very good treatment and no hassle. Walking up the stairs you are faced with a giant globe with various projections on it and once inside the main area you see various sofabeds and decorations just oozing quality.
A great night and some great music, although bit mixed in genres.
Check out the balcony and the views of the rivers and also the upstairs terrace which has a giant womens shoe as a center piece.
The only other club we went to was W Disco which was not the biggest club there but was still very good, the management were really friendly and treated us all to some free drinks.
They also operate a card paying system which was usefull.
Dress Code: Although you will read about alot of the clubs and bars saying no sneakers etc...it just comes down to the securitys discretion as everywhere we went there would be people with casual dress. Even ourselves after the first two nights opted for sneakers and didnt have any trouble getting into clubs.
Also for guys who like to get in trouble, you maybe in the impression that alot of these clubs do not have much security...do not be fooled. Not all security will be wearing black jackets and making themselves obvious.
o'gilins is a nice quiet little bar near the harbour that has a good blend of locals and expats.
it's not a fancy place at all, but a laid back little dark bar and that is why i like the place.
it's not a big loud place to go daniscing but more a place where you enjoy a quiet beer.
it's located just before a fairly steep hike up to barrio alto (the old part of lisbon) so you can take a rest and have a beer there just before heading up the hill.
Dress Code: this is not a fancy place so no dress code.
Watch the clip on this link below to have an idea about nightlife Lisbon. We didn't go out because of tiredness but next time sure we will...
link for Lisbon nightlife, click on it to see
Cervejaria da Trindade is the cities oldest beer hall and it's a nice place to start off an evening in the Bairro Alto. The beer here was excellent - I had my first Sagres Bohemia here and it was by far the nicest beer I've had in Lisbon.
The front section of the beer-hall is the nicest, with impressive Azulejos on the walls. There is also a restaurant here though we didn't stay to try the food.
This club is owned by actor & director John Malcovich. It has three different floors. When I went there, the bottom floor seemed to be more Gay oriented. The Middle floor has plenty of sitting room, and the upstairs is an open roof top.
Despite the name, nothing about this place struck me as being particularly British. It's a quiet place (or at least it was at 3 in the afternoon) with a good beer selection. Leffe and Guinness on tap. Nice place to relax for a drink or two but for a night out the bars in the Bairro Alto or the Irish pub O'Gilins just down the street might be a better bet.
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