Abandon all thoughts of a long night’s sleep: exploring Lisbon’s legendary Bairro Alto nightlife is a rite of passage in this buzzing city
Bairro Alto nightlife is less about mega-clubs and more about great drinks with friends that lead naturally to dinner in some of the best restaurants in Bairro Alto, followed by dancing ‘till dawn. Get the night started by making the most of the late-afternoon sunshine with an aperitif at Park. As the name suggests, the bar can be found on the rooftop of a parking garage, which means it offers incredible views out over the city – as well as a place to leave your ride.
For wine and port respectively, Artis and Solar do Vinho do Porto are top of the list. Enjoy a glass (or two) accompanied by some delicious bites of local cheese or flame-roasted sausage to get your taste buds going. Another top spot for wine and cheese is Grapes & Bites; perch on a stool in front of your table/wine barrel and soak up the lively atmosphere.
To fully enjoy Bairro Alto nightlife, you need fortification (Lisbonites have stamina and will dance well into the early hours) so a good dinner is a must. Over at 100 Maneiras, you can indulge in Chef Ljubomir Stanisic’s extravagant tasting menu at the restaurant or sample innovative home cooking in the bistro. As an added bonus, the kitchen at the bistro stays open until midnight – perfect if you’re planning a long, leisurely evening.
Alternatively, check out one of the hottest restaurants in Bairro Alto at Blend. Helmed by celebrity Chef Chakall, the menu here is wonderfully creative and served up against a soundtrack of tunes spun by the resident DJ, ensuring you’ll be ready to hit the bars by dessert.
Although technically in nearby Principe Real, it would be a crime not to include Cinco Lounge in our guide – its thirst quenching, room-spinningly good cocktails are sure to kick the night up a notch or two. And Baliza, just on the Bairro Alto boundary, does a mean whiskey sour, should this be your preferred poison. If conversation is going strong, Clube da Esquina is the best bet for chat-friendly levels of music and great drinks as the night progresses.
If your night out is incomplete without live music, check who’s on the bill at Galeria Zé dos Bois. Home to some of the very best live music in Lisbon, expect anything from Portuguese Fado to free jazz, and American indie pop to Glaswegian techno. Open until 4am, Incognito is the place to strut your stuff until the wee hours. Around since the ‘80s, it’s one of the most popular Bairro Alto nightlife spots. Well worth the wait in the queue.