Pubs, Clubs and Bars in Lisbon's Bairro Alto and Principe Real Neighborhoods

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 Cine Bairro, which serves great gin cocktails and screens classic movies. Just up the road 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 chemists. A genuine holiday atmosphere pervades the boisterous Bali Bar, replete with hammocks and palm trees. Meanwhile, Maria Caxuxa woos customers with some funky B movie poster artwork and seriously strong shots. For a slice of arty boho straight out of leftfield, enter nearby Galeria Ze dos Bois, one of the city’s premier underground haunts. 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 a night on the town! 

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

Nestled amongst the warren of streets and alleys of the Bairro Alto district, Ze dos Bois is better known simply by its abbreviation ZDB. This gallery-music venue has won plaudits for staging experimental visual and performance art. Works by...  Read More

Bairro Alto/Principe Real

The giant film posters pasted across the walls of this lively and popular bar illustrate the owners' penchant for Hollywood B movies with a femme fatale theme, pulp popcorn classics like 'Girls on the Loose' and 'Attack of the 50ft Woman'. This...  Read More

Bairro Alto/Principe Real

Lisbon is within reach of some fabulous beaches, but for some serious après-sun head back into the city to this ebullient after-dark venue that does a pretty good job of masquerading as a beach bar, albeit one named after a destination...  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 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 an...  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


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