Lisbon after Dark: Nightlife in the Alfama and Graça Neighborhoods


Lisbon nightlife in Alfama and Graça is a generally a refined and low key scene, which revolves around several excellent fado houses, intimate wine bars, local cafes and a select number of live music clubs. Up in residential Graça the historic Botequim stands out for its bohemian ambiance and literary heritage whereas nearby Damas, refurbished from a former baker’s premises, is a noted live music venue that doubles up as a restaurant. Further along is Café do Mont where the vibe is more muted but equally friendly. Hidden away near the castle is Wine Bar do Castelo, an engaging tasca known for its superb selection of Portuguese wines. Exploring Alfama after dark is to discover places like Duetos da Sá, a late night venue that combines fine dining with a combination of jazzy piano-led live performances. The neighbourhood is also noted for its fado houses and among these is A Baîuca, where amateur fado singers regale diners with their earthy renditions. Meanwhile, Clube de Fado is renowned for showcasing some of the very best singers and musicians in Portugal. For a more humble experience however, book a table at the family-run Sr Fado. One of the more unusual nightspots is Santiago Alquimista, located near Alfama and known for its theatrical interior and splendid mezzanine balcony. And if you’re visiting Lisbon in June then you’re in for a treat as the biggest street party in Portugal takes place either side of June 12 as the city celebrates the annual Festas de Lisboa. Alfama stays open all night and the revelry carries on till dawn.  

Throughout June the Portuguese capital celebrates with considerable gusto the Festas de Lisboa, a series of musical and cultural events held at various venues across the city. Many of these are concentrated in the Alafama district, and in...  Read More

One of the least pretentious of Lisbon's fado restaurants is also one of its finest. Hosts Duarte Santos and Ana Marina treat guests as family and the homely ambiance is warming and inviting. The homemade gastronomy is noted for its textures and...  Read More

Mario Pacheco, an accomplished guitarist who's played with the best of them, including Camane, Ana Sofia Varela and Mariza, owns this beautiful and revered establishment. The club is one of the best venues in Lisbon to hear professional fado,...  Read More

This shoe box-sized taberna in Alfama serves up ensopado de borrego (lamb stew and toasted bread) among other rich, heart Portuguese fare. But what really is special about this family-run eatery is the amateur fado performances (fado vadio) that...  Read More

Music and food are served in harmony at this cosy little restaurant-bar set under vaulted ceilings. Diners are regaled to voice and piano recitals and performances while enjoying dishes that range from cod fillets with sweet potato to pork...  Read More

As well as a popular daytime haunt, this snug rustic-style bar is a favourite after hours option for those seeking fine wine and good conversation. Tucked away at the top of a narrow lane under the shadow of Lisbon's castle, the location...  Read More

Once upon a time Graça's newest nightspot used to be a bakery, and when owners Clara Metais and Alexandra Vidal decided to refurbish the premises they deliberately maintained original interior features like the kitchen's stainless steel work...  Read More

Co-founded in 1971 by acclaimed Portuguese writer and poet Natália Correia and colleagues Isabel Meireles, Júlia Marenha and Helena Roseta, this humble watering hole is still a favourite meeting place for literary types and intellectuals drawn...  Read More


Meet Paul Bernhardt

Paul Bernhardt cut his teeth as a press photographer in England before leaving the UK to settle in Portugal, where he has lived for over a decade, and where he started to focus on more...  More About Paul