There's a reason why Lisbon nightlife is talked about all over
The first thing you need to know about Lisbon nightlife is that there is a "formula" for going out the Portuguese way. First and foremost there's usually dinner with friends, starting anytime between 8 and 11 pm (Southern Europeans are known for being late eaters). Then, they will probably start heading to one of these pre-drinks destinations:
Quieter than Bairro Alto or Cais do Sodré, this is where younger crowds and adults who want to sip on a gin and tonic while dancing and listening to the latest pop hits go to.
Bairro Alto nightlife is a true cosmos and a real melting pot. There's everything, from LGBT+ friendly bars with drag performances and RuPaul's Drag Race screenings to hardcore rock dens and more conservative Fado restaurants. Well worth a visit.
Cais do Sodré
Although this neighborhood used to have quite a bad rep, it is now one of the hippest districts in the Portuguese capital. New "it" places like Rive Rouge, the Time Out Market, and Musicbox have given new life to what used to be Lisbon's skid row. This is also where you can find some of the hippest clubs in the capital.
After having had enough and the bars start closing down (this usually happens around 3 am during the week and 4 at the weekend, depending on where you are), it's time to hit the club. When it comes to clubbing, there are plenty of places to choose from but we will leave you with the safest bets so you can be sure whatever you choose, you'll have a great time. Oh, and don't even think about leaving before sunrise. There's nothing more Portuguese than having breakfast or a burger after a night out.
Here are four of the best clubs in Lisbon:
Musicbox in Cais do Sodré is one of the most popular nightclubs/concert halls in town. It opened in 2006 and since then it has been known to always be on top of the latest music trends. International artists the likes of Mac DeMarco and Anna Prior (of Metronomy) as well as local ones such as Lavoisier, Filipe Sambado and many more have stepped on its stage. Musicbox Lisboa is also known for its parties, Thug Unicorn and Baile Tropicante. This venue just can't be pigeonholed - this is where the cool kids make cool things happen.
Where: R. Nova do Carvalho 24, 1200-019 Lisboa
What time: 11 pm to 6 am
As the name suggests, and despite the fact it's been around for a long time and is known by every partygoer in town, Incógnito sits very discreetly just outside Bairro Alto. It's famous for indie-rock music and its habitués are as devoted to it as to a cult.
Where: R. Poiais de São Bento 37, 1200-346 Lisboa
What time: Wed-Sat from 11 pm to 4 am
It's one of the oldest clubs in Lisbon and one of the locals' favorite. Get ready to dance to disco hits of the 80s and to some pop-rock charts toppers. It is usually well-populated, especially on Wednesdays because it's Ladies Night.
Where: Escadinhas da Praia 7, 1200-769 Lisboa
What time: Wed, Fri-Sat from 11:30 pm to 6 am
Lux Frágil is considered by most as Lisbon's top club and The Guardian has ranked it among Europe's 25 best clubs. A true landmark in the Lisbon nightlife scene, Lux Frágil is divided into two electronic music dance floors and a large terrace perfect for chilling while listening to some Soul. The ground floor or "basement" as it is commonly known also functions as a concert venue. The balcony on the first floor faces the river and it's second to no other Lisbon viewpoint at sunrise.
Where: Av. Infante D. Henrique, Armazém A, Cais da Pedra a Sta Apolónia, 1950-376 Lisboa
What time: Thu - Sat from 11 pm to 6 am