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Considered to be among the best in Europe, Lisbon is well known for its nightlife. It is home to many discos, Bars, Fado houses, and nightclubs, all catering to different tastes and interests and located throughout the city. All this with very low prices, when compared to other european capitals. Nighttime venues begin opening their doors at sunset and often do not close until early the following morning. With bars often remaining open until 3 or 4 AM and discos until 6 AM, a night out in Lisbon often does not end until the next day.
The Bairro Alto district and surrounding area is considered one of the two biggest hot spot for nightlife in Lisbon in these days, with more than 100 bars and restaurants in a small neighbourhood. The other big Lisbon area for nightlife is Cais do Sodré. Among with those districts, also Largo de Santos area, Docas and Av. 24 de Julho street area are the other big nightlife hotspots. In all over the city isn't difficult to find a good restaurant almost anywhere if you ask around for recommendations. Lisbon restaurants could be even cheaper than to eat at home! Check the TA reviews on these districts if you want to dinner near the nightlife areas, and for a better feel for what it has to offer. And don't hesitate to ask locals for advice. Portuguese are very friendly and helpful people and they always know where you eat with quality in a very cheap price! And don't forget: Lisbon natives drink always outside the bars where they buy it, in the sidewalk, so don't break with that tradition, and don't worry to be catched by the police, it is fully allowed!
Nightclubs come and go. Currently Lux and Urban Beach are the two top hot spots, but are not near the traditional downtown area. See reviews on TA. Radio Hotel, Dock's, Plateau, Indochina, Place, Lust, Op Art and Gossip are also some of the TOP-10 disco clubs in Lisbon. These are located all over Lisbon, not just in one area, but mostly near the river. Main and Europa Sunrise are two recently opened discos that are located in the same building (the previous well known disco Kapital), the first to be for mainstream/pop music and Europa Sunrise as the underground music spot, that opens from 5 am till 12 am in the weekends.
In the last few years, at Cais do Sodré square, in Rua Nova do Carvalho street, was born a new nightlife boom area, with great restaurants, such as Las Ficheras, Duplex, La Puttana, Taberna Tosca, Casa de Pasto or Station, 6 or 7 disco clubs and several kind of bars (around 25 or 30 bars), with the same spirit of Bairro Alto, but more classy people. Besides, in Bairro Alto there are no disco clubs, only bars. Here, at Cais do Sodré, the clubs Musicbox, Europa, Lounge, Toquio, Jamaica, Viking, Roterdão or Copenhagen are the best, such as bars like Duplex, Champanharia do Cais, Pensão do Amor, Mercearia Tosca or Velha Senhora. Also in Cais do Sodré you can have a unique experience at Mercado da Ribeira, a recently renewed place, an old vegetables and fruit market that now hosts together several local chefs and restaurants in one single food court. Almost 20 restaurants, from chef's cuisine to gourmet hamburguers and cocktail corners. All this with dozens of happy people drinking and smiling all together before going to bars and discos. Out of this area, to the old-fashioned lovers there is Incógnito, between Bairro Alto and Largo de Santos, a small disco-club opened since 1988 with pop-disco, revival, indie and new wave electronic music, very known by the elegant 30-40 years old nightlovers. Incógnito is very close to Rua da Bica, another known place to the 30-45 yo Lisbon hipsters, and where you can drink and talk in the street. Also to the hipsters community there is bar Damas, in Largo da Graça, a very portuguese-vintage place that hosts live concerts from thursdays to saturdays. Early in 2013, two new hotspots opened in a main historical place in Lisbon: Terreiro do Paço. Those are Lust and Ministerium. The first to be more fashionable and mainstream like Main, Dock's or Urban Beach, and Ministerium indicated to the underground music lovers, like tech-house and the new techno, in some nights similar to Lux, Op Art and Europa Sunrise. In the summer time Lust in Rio replaces Lust in a near-river spot in front of Santos district, and they close the regular club in Terreiro do Paço.
Out of nightlife areas there is a new cozy and gourmet neighbourhood for lunch, diner or just drink: Campo de Ourique. Similar to the Meatpacking District in NYC, this is a residential area that now holds some fo the best restaurants and shops in town. Better to explore during the day or for a more relaxed nightlife during the week. Here the center of everything is Mercado de Campo de Ourique, similar to the one detailed above in Ribeira, this one hosts unique restaurants with tipical portuguese food served in a gourmet way, and less crowded as well. Also Praça das Flores near the São Bento parliament has the same neighbourhood feeling.
One of the aspects of Lisbon's that makes it unique are its Fado houses where you can taste the traditional portuguese food and drink, and listen to this truly one of a kind music. If you can find the real thing, these intimate venues often serve traditional homemade food and drinks and host folk and acoustic musicians singing and playing the traditional music of the country. However, locals claim that Fado music being presented to the tourist trade is a joke. The best advice is to ask around among locals who they go listen to or would recommend to a family member visiting the city. But the best areas for Fado houses are mostly Alfama and Bairro Alto, but also some small spots near Lapa, Castelo de S.Jorge and Largo da Graça.
By all means, in Lisbon use the portuguese spirit: ask everything you need to anyone, Lisbon natives always have an accurate answer for you!
The Tourist Information desk puts out a monthly newsletter highlighting many events that can be helpful. However, do not neglect to search online for venues and events. AngloInfo maintains a website with frequently updated information http://lisbon.angloinfo.com/informati.... Be sure to look for flyers wherever you go.