Bairro Alto is central in Lisbon’s nightlife, being the area with the highest concentration of bars and clubs, followed by Cais do Sodré and 24 de Julho. Here are the top 10 best bars and clubs in Bairro Alto.
Rua da Atalaia, 45
The 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. It’s where the night starts for many artists and intellectuals in Lisbon.
Rua da Atalaia, 126
11pm-4am, Tuesday to Saturday
This club has been a classic in Bairro Alto since 1982 when it first opened. At the time it was one of the few friendly-gay clubs in Lisbon. Its popularity is most noticeable from 1am on Thursdays to Saturdays when a queue begins to form outside the place. The club has a strict door policy. Inside, DJs focus on electronic and house progressive.
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 (appetizers) to go with the wine.
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 space.
Rua Diário de Notícias, 95
4.30pm-2am, Tuesday to Sunday
Wine by the glass with a jazz and blues soundtrack is what you will find at Artis. The place is small. Be 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 toasted sandwich.
Rua Diário de Notícias, 85
Páginas Tantas is a classic jazz bar in Bairro Alto. It has live jazz shows from Tuesday to Saturday. There’s no entry fee, you just pay what you drink.
Rua da Atalaia, 3
Mahjong is one of the oldest bars in Bairro Alto. With Chinese motifs, the place offers a great ambience lit by the weirdly beautiful cabbage chandeliers. Mahjong is the place to start the night with a cocktail and a varied soundtrack featuring techno, rock and reggae.
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.
Tasca do Chico
Rua Diário de Notícias, 39
Tasca do Chico is a popular fado bar 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.
A Tasca Tequila Bar
Travessa da Queimada, 13
6pm-2am, Monday to Saturday
This is a classic Tequila bar in a corner of Bairro Alto. The street is a natural extension of the tiny place that brings a bit of Mexico into Lisbon. The most adventurous ones should try the spicy tequila and mescal cocktails.