Lisbon’s Nightlife – Top Bars & Clubs in Bairro Alto

Bairro Alto is central in Lisbon’s nightlife, being the area with the highest concentration of bars and clubs, followed closely by Cais do Sodré and 24 de Julho.

Lisbon nightlife is diverse, and in Bairro Alto there is something for everyone. Go out into the night for an unpretentious, affordable, and unforgettable bar hopping experience. Here are 10 of the best places to check out in Bairro Alto.

1. Capela

Rua da Atalaia, 45

Capela combines a gospel ambience, created by a decor of red curtains, gold frame mirrors, dusty chandeliers and a sousaphone, with DJs adding electronic moods and grooves. This is where the night starts for many artists and intellectuals in Lisbon.

2. Frágil

Rua da Atalaia, 126
11pm-4am, Tuesday to Saturday

Frágil is a classic in Bairro Alto. When it first opened in 1982, it was one of the few gay-friendly clubs in Lisbon, though not an “all-gay” place. Frágil is still popular today, especially from 1am on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays when a queue begins to form outside. The club has a strict door policy. Inside, DJs focus on electronic and house progressive.

3. The Old Pharmacy

Rua do Diário de Notícias, 73-81

Once a pharmacy, this wine bar offers a variety of Portuguese wines by the glass, as well as expert advice from waiters. It has a small cosy interior, with the old pharmacy cabinets now storing bottles of wine, as well as outdoor sitting. There’s a menu of petiscos (small bites) to go with the wine.

4. Wine Lover

Rua das Gáveas, 38 / Rua da Misericórdia, 59
12.00pm-midnight, Tuesday to Sunday

With an extensive list of wines by the glass accompanied by petiscos, this wine bar is a popular place in Bairro Alto, perfect for a late afternoon chill out. There’s an adjoined restaurant, but the wine bar is the recommended spot.

5. Artis

Rua Diário de Notícias, 95
4.30pm-2am, Tuesday to Sunday

Wine by the glass with a jazz and blues soundtrack is what Artis offers. The place is tiny, so come prepared to sit close to other tables. However, the wooden décor creates the right ambience to drink wine and taste a selection of petiscos, including the platter of cheeses and sausages, fried potatoes, sautéed shrimps, and the legendary chicken sandwich.

6. Páginas Tantas

Rua Diário de Notícias, 85

Páginas Tantas is a classic jazz bar in Bairro Alto, with live shows from Tuesday to Saturday. There’s no cover fee, you just pay what you drink.

7. Mahjong

Rua da Atalaia, 3

Mahjong is one of the oldest bars in Bairro Alto. With Chinese motifs, it offers a great ambience lit by the weirdly beautiful cabbage chandeliers. This is a great spot to start the night with a cocktail to the sound of a varied soundtrack featuring techno, rock and reggae.

8. Maria Caxuxa

Rua da Barroca, 6
5pm-2am, Monday to Saturday

DJs combine lounge and electronic music in the nights of Maria Caxuxa. Except for Friday and Saturday nights when the place gets crowded, Maria Caxuxa has plenty of space and big sofas where you can hang out with friends.

9. Tasca do Chico

Rua Diário de Notícias, 39

Tasca do Chico is a popular fado house with a peculiar decor featuring football scarves and pictures of notable clients. Authentic “amateur” fado singers perform every night. Arrive early if you want to get a table.

10. A Tasca Tequila Bar

Travessa da Queimada, 13
6pm-2am, Monday to Saturday

This is a classic Tequila bar on a corner of Bairro Alto. The street is actually a natural extension of the tiny place that brings a bit of Mexico into Lisbon. The most adventurous ones can try the spicy tequila and mescal cocktails.

You may need good legs to bar crawl in Bairro Alto – streets tend to be steep, and the pavement doesn’t help, especially if you wear high heels. Also, on Friday and Saturday nights, expect to be harassed by the occasional hash seller, especially on some inner streets. In general, this is just annoying, and you should be fine if you simply ignore them.