Quieter bars, Lisbon
In the Barrio Alto you can find the Pavilhao Chines (it would translate as the Chinese Pavalion), but it was very worldly and not just limited to China.
We were lucky enough to have our friends Antonio, Carlos and Gloria take Zohara and I to this place, one of the most attractive and interesting we experienced in Portugal.
As you can see, every nook and cranny, every wall, even the ceilings in the many small interconnecting rooms that make up this wonderland are covered with miniatures of all types, from dolls to tin soldiers, from airplanes to buddahs. Your eyes will never stop moving while you are here and for sure you will get up to explore each room.
Dress Code: Relaxed attire, polo shirt, or t-shirt, loafers and even sandals, saw them all there, even a stiff necked tie or two.
There are two Amo.te in Lisbon: one in Chiado and one in Museu da Electricidade. I've been to Amo.te Tejo recently, and it was a really good experience.
First of all, because of the place itself: inside one of my favourite buildings in Lisbon, and so close to the river you have to be careful not to fall when you park your car. Inside, it is decorated in black, red and white and with very good taste. The staff was very friendly and efficient, and the music was not too loud (something I always appreciate) and was enjoyable.
I didn't eat anything, but both work as restaurants too and,judging by the menu, everything seems very interesting! On Tejo they also have a sushi-bar. I just had a fruit cocktail and it was delicious!
NetJazzCafe is located inside the Chapitô - where you also have a retaurant and a great view over the town of Lisbon. This is a cybercafe/bar with a good jazz mood and live music on fridays and saturdays.
Friends Bairro Alto is an interesting, if not odd, hangout spot in the Bairro Alto. I came here because I noticed that there was a computer and makeshift internet café inside, and that it was the only one in a five kilometre radius. The staff here is quite friendly, and after two or three visits, I still can't figure out if this is a gay bar or one that is simply gay friendly. The clientele is remarkably young, but there are also groups of older men who will hang out in the bar from time to time. The music is electronic and loud, but there are also lots of books and magazines for those who would like to read instead of join in the conversation. Décor is an attempt at 60's kitsch meets 90s Fantastic Plastic Machine.
Dress Code: Anything goes
It was a spring night in Lisbon of the end of March. The weather was great and I was up of trying something different. I picked the funky 28E tram and ended in Graça district. From there I climbed the hill towards Senhora do Monte Overlook and stopped in the Albergaria da Senhora do Monte almost at the top.
The Albergaria itself is a simple 3 stars hotel that looks reasonably clean and basic. The receptionist ushered us to a tiny elevator that took us to the top floor. In there we found the bar. It was a Wednesday night and the place was empty. The decoration looked a bit 90’s with a bartender all dressed up, but the best was the outdoor terrace. Although with these green funky lights and smelly plants it has a wonderful view over Lisbon. Probably the best view of all bars I have been to. I found the place a bit expensive and the bartender wasn’t exactly friendly since he seemed to be rushing us and wasn’t particular interested when he noticed we weren’t going to order an expensive cocktail but just water (I’m sorry, I was thirsty).
Anyway I was glad I went there, it was peaceful, and you could hear the sounds of town and relax your eyes in the beautiful view that can be seen from there.
It is open everyday until 24h and opens at 16h (except Tuesday when it opens at 19h).
Procopio is one of the oldest bars in Lisbon. Like its "brothers" Pavilhão Chinês and Foxtrot bar it is a very nice place to go. Set in a small alley, in a very peaceful neighborhood close to Jardim das Amoreiras and Vieira da Silva Arpad-Szenes Foundation, this bar presents a carefull decoration and an impecable service. The room is quite small and smoking is permitted in here which can turn the place a bit more uncomfortable than other bars (although it is full of smoke extractors as the law demands). It is also habit to bring salted popcorns to the table as an appetizer.
The bar has 35 years old and besides the drinks it also serves snacks. They recommend booking but I never had most trouble getting in.
It is open Monday to Friday from 18h to 3h and every Saturday after 21h.
If you want you can easily dine in the restaurants of Patio Bagatela close by and then end your night in this small enchanted bar.
Dress Code: They don't require anything special. But you have to ring at the door to get in.
Foxtrot is a nice bar with an atmosphere of the beggining of the century and is full of sofas and an esplanade so it is a nice place to chill out a bit. This place is cheaper than Pavilhão Chinês, the quality of the drinks is good and apetizers are free. The place has a separate area between smokers and non smokers and free wifi.
We were told that this bar was (one of?) the oldest bars in Lisbon est. 1910. The inside of this bar is amazing and is like no other that I've ever seen. There are separated "rooms" with memorabilia all over. There is a war room, a train/transportation room, mickey and betty boop memorabilia and so much more. In the back, there is also another bar and a couple of old pool tables that can be used. We didn't figure this out right away, but you have to ring the doorbell to get in and wait for someone to come and let you in! An amazing quieter bar to visit and see.
Dress Code: Casual
I believe the name of the bar I liked so much is Batido and I think it's on Rua do Rosa, but I could be wrong. In any case, it's near the outer end of Bairro Alto. I think the back part is a cafe, but the front is just a normal bar with really hip, sweet bartenders. There was always a live DJ when I went and the music was always good. As with anywhere you go in Portugal, order a Caipirinha!! I haven't been able to find a good Caipirinha since I got back to the States, so take advantage while you can!
Dress Code: Hip, trendy and casual
Costa do Castelo is a lovely place for a drink at sunset. There are great views of Baixa, Chiado and Bairro Alto from the cafe's terrace. Drinks are reasonably priced and a small selection of bar/cafe food is also served.
It takes a bit of a climb to get here. From Baixa, turn off rua da Madelena and climb to the next street. There is a long row of steps just off this street leading to the castle - the cafe is at the top of the steps.
Quite possibly the strangest decorated bar I've ever been to - they like to call this place an "artifact museum."
Pavilhão Chinês hosts a collection of strange antiques and collectibles all crammed into a small area.
Drinks here are quite expensive, but it's worth even a short visit to scope out the decor. The atmosphere is nice and relaxed, and service is quick. Extensive cocktail menu.
Mon-Sat 6pm-2am, Sun 9pm-2am
Semsim is a double spot: Shop and Bar.
It's in Bairro Alto and you can admire and buy local artists' creations, from jewelry to painting, from music to lamps.
You can simultaneously hang around or seat and enjoy a variety of teas, cocktails or other drinks, as you browse a selection of books, magazines and newspapers.
A great place to get in contact with what's going on in Lisbon.
Dress Code: None what so ever.
We went into this place just for a quick beer and a chat, we did even have a glass of the local drink "Ginginha", which is a sweet cherry liquer. This gave us the taste for more beer around the corner.
Don’t expect any seats but the staff and customers are very friendly. Look out for the birdman pictured.
I think the place was called "A Ginginha". I know it was at the bottom of one of the squares, maybe 'Praca dos Restauradores'
Hot places to experience and to be seen in Lisbon:
It is as sophisticated as can be decorated with beds of all sorts. The music is hip-hop, and the hits of the 80s and 90s. See and be seen, yea baby. Open Wednesday to Saturday, and try the vodka tonic. Rua do Norte, 86 (Bairro Alto)
Left is small, quiet and the place to be. It?s a big hang out for radio personalities and the best days are Fridays and Saturdays. "Left" serves lunch and dinner. It's open every night except Sunday. Largo Vitorino Damasio (a Santos) www.leftbar.net/left.htm
This hot club is only open Thursday, Friday and Saturday. DJs Daveed and Baratta crank the tunes. The best time to go is around 2 a.m. and they close at 6 a.m. Rua do Instituto Industrial, 6, Lisboa. www.loftclub.com.pt
This is a great place to actually have a conversation. It?s calm with paintings on the walls. It?s open every day and a good place to be on Saturday around 1 a.m. The atmosphere is casual, and whiskey is the drink of choice. Avenida 24 de Julho, 116-118.
Don't forget that Lisboa's nightlife is considered these days to be amongst the best in Europe. Since local people love to go out, there are several areas to choose from and enjoy till dawn. The options and offers vary according to the individual tastes, but quality and fun are always a guarantee.
In the famously re-known Bairro Alto area you can find different styles of restaurants, Fado houses where you can savor the amazing local cuisine. Bars are generally open until 2 am. After that discos are a must, and are open until 6 am or even later.
Besides Bairro Alto you should also check out the bars and discos at Alfama, the Zona Ribeirinha (waterfront better known as Docas), The Jardim do Tabaco and the Nations Park areas
If you want, you can even go to Cascais and Estoril and have a good time at the numerous theatres, bars and street cafes. There is even the Casino do Estoril, one of the largest in Europe, where you can try your luck gambling, have dinner or watch a show
Located in an old building which was formerly a press, the owners have taken advantage of its past. Its decoration is planned to give a kind of industrial image with visible iron beams everywhere. In spite of this, the local is really charming and even cosy. They offer also a good restaurant, which I haven't tried yet. I have been told that they do New Portuguese Cuisine. Anyway, to have a drink there is really a must in Lisbon nights.
Situado en una vieja nave que fue una imprenta, los propietarios han aprovechado su pasado. La decoracion esta pensada para darle una especie de imagen industrial con vigas de hierro visibles por todas partes. A pesar de esto, el local es encantador en verdad e incluso muy acogedor. Ofrecen tambien un buen restaurante, que no he probado aun. Me han dicho que hacen Nueva Cocina Portuguesa. De cualquier manera, tomarse una copa en el Alcantara es una visita obligada en las noches de Lisboa
Dress Code: No special requirements.