Just like many capital cities, when the sun goes down, Lisbon takes on a different persona and it's generally a pretty cool one at that. You'll notice a Gin revolution in Lisbon and the choice in many bars is superb, if you haven't tried the Monkey 47, give it a go with only a small dash of tonic!!! The local beer is very good, Super bock or Sagres and if you normally drink pints, then resist the urge and stick with the locals and stay on 30 cl if you want your drink to remain cold. Portuguese wine is world class so make sure to stay with it as your number one choice.
Here are the directions. Head for a street called Calçada do Combro, it's city centre located and in the evening it's a good street to start your night time adventures. Stay on the right hand side when walking from Praça Luis de Camões and about 500 metres further on , as you start to walk downhill, there is a car park. Where you see the blue parking sign, enter the car park by the side street and take the lift to the top floor (trust us on this one) or if your prefer the exercise you can walk up the levels and you have arrived!
Address: Calçada do Combro, 60 Lisbon Portugal
Website: No website available
Pavilhão Chinês or Chinese Pavilion
We are not quite sure what time Pavilhão Chinês opens at but we believe that it's safe to say that it will be open at 6.00 pm, so go there after that although this doesn't necessarily mean that the door will be open. If the doors are locked but there are no shutters on the windows then simply ring the doorbell and somebody will let you in ... yes really! When inside you will enter a large room with tables & chairs and be greeted by an array of toy figurines, practically from the floor and hanging on the ceiling.
As you walk through to the bar you will realise that this is only one room of many and at the very back you will find a stunning pool room with another ornate bar. The collection ranges from action men, tin soldiers, dolls, ships, air force helmets, the list is really endless and it is worth studying the shelves as you will find some crazy stuff. Whoever collected these pieces has spent years doing so and I dare to say that it must be one of the best collections of it's kind in the world. If you are there with guests, why not have a little competition and find Roy Keane of Manchester United and Ireland fame (he really doesn't fit into this collection but somehow found his way there). The waiters are dressed in red or sometimes blue waist coats and give this bar an austere feeling but relax and enjoy the experience, don't be afraid to wander around and take photos or to enjoy a game of pool (I think it costs €12.00 per hour to play). Whatever you do .... do visit this bar, it's a MUST and is one of Lisbon's hidden secrets!
Address: Rua Dom Pedro V, 89/91 Lisbon, Portugal
True to its name Foxtrot is a venue where you can dance and the evening we frequented the Tango was the dance of choice. Whether skilled or a novice all are welcome to join in so enjoy the atmosphere and experience. This bar opens after 6.00 pm and again if the door is locked, then ring that bell!
Google map to make sure that you get here.
Address: Travessa De Santa Teresa, 28 - 1200 - 405 - Lisboa
Address: Rua Bernardino Costa, 52-54 1200-053 Lisbon Portugal
Website: No website available
Roof Top Bar - Bairro Alto Hotel
Address: Bairro Alto Hotel Lisboa Praça Luís de Camões, N.º2 Bairro Alto 1200-243 Lisboa
Photo by John Donnelly -
The yellow building on left of the photo below is the Bairro Alto Hotel situated at Praça Luis de Camões
Hotel do Chiado
Address: Rua Nova do Almada, Nr. 114 1200-290 Lisbon Portugal
Instituto dos Vinho do Douro e Porto
Although Porto is the city that we associate with port wine, Lisbon being the capital city, hosts the Institute of Port. It’s a little tricky to find but let’s give it a go. When you reach the lower end of the viewing platform Alcantâra you will see a funicular/tram. Head across the road from this and look for a high arched entrance with plaque on the wall with the institute's name on it…. Walk through the glass doors and you have arrived. It’s a quiet place and quite austere with a lot of whispering. Take a little time to read about the ports on offer (100’s), ask advice or take pot luck, or should that be port luck? This is a great place for the connoisseur or those who just wish to have a little indulgence. If you don’t like Port, then please hop on the funicular back across the road and tell us where it brings you to!!!
Below is the entrance to Instituto dos Vinho do Douro e Porto
Photo by John Donnelly
When you are exploring Lisbon you will notice many Kiosk (outdoor bars) which have a communal feel to them. They are mainly located in squares and places where people congregate and they can be quite beautiful and always inviting on a hot Lisbon day. There is one Kiosk in particular which we like the most and it's located at Largo do Carmo which is the site of the start and finish of the Revolution of 1974 (see The Little Book of Lisbon). It's a beautiful square and a great place to 'people watch' and enjoy some busking. Appreciate a cold beer in this square because if it wasn't for this revolution it's unlikely that you would have ever had the chance of exploring this extraordinarily generous city.
Miradouro (viewing points)
Photos by John Donnelly
There is another great wine which is located not too far away on Calcada do Combro , it's called Galeria. Fantastic choice and fantastic service, so do ask the assistants for advice as they have great knowledge.
Calcada do Combro
If you enjoy city night life, then we hope that these bar selections help you get more out of your evenings in Lisbon. We intend to add to this selection in the future and please share other venues that we can visit and add to our list of choices.