Coolest late night bars in Lisbon's Bairro Alto and Principe Real neighbourhoods

The Lisbon neighbourhoods of Bairro Bairro Alto and Príncipe Real are the city’s liveliest nightlife districts. The bars that line the cobblestone warren that is Bairro Alto are characterised by eclectic nightspots, places like the much cherished A Capela, known for its DJs and a cool, funky soundtrack. Another well-known neighbourhood favourite is Loucas & Sonhadores, another bar that welcomes a loyal clientele. Nearby Cine Bairro serves great gin cocktails and screens classic movies on the wall. And just up the street is legendary Portas Largas, a landmark venue where many long nights begin. Likewise, Clube da Esquina is another perennial favourite with residents and visitors alike. The popular and wonderfully named Alface Hall (alface means lettuce in English) is where jazz and blues in played out on most nights. Wine lovers on the other hand should head for The Old Pharmacy Wine Inn. As the name suggests, this is a wine bar fashioned out of an historic chemist. Meanwhile, Maria Caxuxa woos customers with funky decor artwork and seriously strong shots. Up in Príncipe Real meanwhile is one of the Portuguese capital’s most celebrated watering holes, Pavilhão Chinês. A bizarre collection of curios and knick-knacks line the walls of this extraordinary homage to classic kitsch. For a more refined night out head over to the sophisticated Cinco Lounge, the award-wining cocktails are mixed with skill and finesse – a marvelous place to wind down after dinner.  

Bairro Alto/Principe Real


Master mixologist Dave Palethorpe runs this super cool cocktail lounge, tucked away in one of the city's quieter neighbourhoods. The Englishman's whacky imagination and mischievous sense of humour has produced an astonishing menu of drinks,...  Read More

Bairro Alto/Principe Real


This is one of the most unusual bars in the city. With an interior decorated with an astonishing variety of collectibles, curious and bric-a-brac, the "Chinese pavilion" resembles a museum, a fact that makes a night here totally unique and...  Read More

Bairro Alto/Principe Real


Come here twice in the same month and the decor's likely to have changed. One night giant film posters might be pasted across the room publicising Hollywood B movies with a femme fatale theme, pulp popcorn classics like 'Girls on the Loose' and...  Read More

Bairro Alto/Principe Real


The premises of this wine bar used to house a pharmacy, and the former dispensary has been converted into one of the city's most eye-catching and alluring nightspots. The original glass cabinets have been left in place and now display bottles of...  Read More

Bairro Alto/Principe Real


Hugely popular with budget travellers staying at the neighbouring hostel, this informal jazz-rock bar buzzes with bonhomie and a jolly good vibe. Local musicians queue up to play here and the venue attracts a loyal clientele: the hostel provides...  Read More

Bairro Alto/Principe Real


Sited on one of the bairro's busiest junctions, the one-room "club" lures a slightly less frivolous crowd who appreciate the pub atmosphere and a chill-out soundtrack that's never louder than the conversation. This bar has been pulling them in...  Read More

Bairro Alto/Principe Real


Everybody knows Portas Largas " the "Large Doors". This is one of Bairro Alto's most celebrated bars, a magnet for a predominantly young, gay-friendly crowd from all over the world. Its origins as a fado house are still apparent, with an...  Read More

Bairro Alto/Principe Real


Now here's a bar with a difference. While sipping one of their superb cocktails, most likely mixed with one the many different gins available, pub-goers can watch a movie screened against a wall at the far end of the salon. It's a totally ad-hoc...  Read More

Bairro Alto/Principe Real


A quirky boho vibe permeates this long established drinking den. Decorated throughout with jumble sale kitsch, all mismatched furniture, flea-market décor and the odd antique, the bar welcomes an eclectic crowd seeking respite from one of...  Read More

Bairro Alto/Principe Real


Translated to English, capela means "chapel" and indeed, this bar occupies a site that was once a place of worship. Today it's still drawing the faithful after a 1998 conversion to a late night music venue. Manager Pedro Silva hangs out with...  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