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. One of the most unusual bars in Lisbon is found deep in Alfama, a place called Ulysses. This is where to head if you love cocktails or rare bourbon. Wine lovers who appreciate drinking in authentic surroundings should amble up to Graça do Vinho, a local haunt but popular with out-of-towners, too. Stay in residential Graça for historic Botequim, which stands out for its bohemian ambiance and literary heritage. Nearby Damas, refurbished from a former baker’s premises, is a noted live music venue that doubles up as a restaurant. 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. Similarly, 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. And a great way of discovering Alfama is to join the throngs when the city celebrates the annual Festas de Lisboa. The district stays open all night and the revelry carries into the small hours. 



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



Dating back to the 1930s, this was a once thriving hardware store where locals congregated to purchase household wares and other DIY products. These days it's a cosy and equally busy wine bar, but careful restoration has preserved much of its...  Read More



Historic Alfama is probably not the first place you'd expect to find the largest collection of bourbon in Europe. But dig deep and you'll eventually stumble across Ulysses, quite simply one of the most extraordinary bars in town. This...  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