Nightlife in Lisbon: Lisbon's best clubs

by guyan

Lisbon's top clubs for late-night dancing and revelry

The clubbing scene in this corner of Europe is wild, debauched and kicks-on well past dawn every night. Endurance and stamina are essential requirements if you’re going to hack the pace in this heavily hedonistic town. Here are a few places worth checking out...

Chic and upmarket

On the refined end of the spectrum is achingly chic Silk, (Rua da Misericórdia 14, 6th Floor, Bairro Alto; +351 91 300 9193; This roof-top club lords above the rest of the town in a figurative ivory tower, six floors up from Bairro Alto’s cobbled alleys below. Here 360-degree views span around the city’s twinkling skyline. A haunt for Lisbon’s social elite, waistlines are thin, wallets are fat and the tans are year-round. It’s members or guest-list only, but entry can be arranged through the website or via email beforehand (although you’ll be shamelessly asked to send in a headshot).

For the upmarket and 30-something scene, head to Kapital, (Avenida 24 de Julho 68, Santos; +351 21 395 7101). Given the amount of barbers, chinos and loafers you’ll see upon entering, you’ll think that you’ll have taken a wrong turn into Fulham as opposed to Lisbon’s Santos neighbourhood. Suffice to say, the Sloane look is very big amongst Lisbon’s hoi polloi and jet set. The door policy is pretty strict, so you’ve got to look equally as smart to get in. Once inside, the club is three floors of champagne and vodka by the bottle and fun cheesy dancing.


You can't party in Lisbon without checking out its long-standing landmark club, Lux (Avenida Infante Dom Henrique, Santa Apolónia; +351 21 882 0890; One of Europe’s premier ‘superclubs’, Lux is a dockland warehouse-cum-monster of a venue. Most of the action takes place around the spacious square dance floor, that’s filled with giant armchairs, sofas and white pillars and topped with giant glitterballs. The river-facing rooftop balcony is the place to be at dawn as the yawning estuary takes on a peach-hued sunrise. The club attracts and welcomes all sorts, from Euro glitterati to down-at-heel hipsters, although the door-staff don’t like the look of large groups of Brits, so staggered entrances are recommended if you fall into that bracket. International DJs visit regularly and attract long queues. The music policy falls under electro and house categories.

Lisbon's wild creatures of the night come out to play in Kremlin, (Rua das Escadinhas da Praia 5, Santos; +351 21 395 7101; A Lisbon institution, it is the capital's longest standing ‘superclub’. For more than two decades this has been the hedonists’ HQ, thumping beyond dawn most weekends. Often referred to as a ‘human zoo’, anything goes here.

Edgy and alternative

You’ll find a row of faceless and identikit bars along the Doca de Santo Amaro - a standard mix of karaoke bars, cheesy discos and an Irish bar or two, which is all well and good, but nothing different to what you’ll find at home. Op Art (Doca de Alcântara, Alcântara; +351 21 395 6787) breaks the mould in this part of town. The music policy is a bit more edgy and contemporary with electro, house and nu rave sounds, which attracts a slightly hip crowd. This place really gets going around dawn and is another spot for cross-river sunrises.

Alternative-minded folk and the sleep-dodging partiers are found at Paradise Garage (Rua João Oliveira Miguéis 38–48, Alcântara; +351 21 324 3400; A multi-faced venue, it runs as a live music joint in the week and a half-empty club on the weekends. It really comes into its own on a Sunday morning, when all the Lisbon after-party set come for debauched daytime clubbing. All manner of club casualties fill the dancefloor, fending off Monday with vigour and aplomb. Strictly for the hardcore.


If you're struggling where to choose, BBC (Avenida Brasília Pavilhão Poente, Alcântara; +351 21 362 4232; really ticks all the boxes. You’ll find an entire night out in this social complex, which contains a restaurant, bar and club, which are all smart, bordering on sophisticated. Start with dinner and cocktails on the waterside tables outside before moving onto the dance floor inside - no cabs, no queues, no fuss!

More expert advice on Lisbon

For suggestions on where to stay in Lisbon, see my Lisbon Hotels – Award winning expert hotel reviews, from cheap to luxury hotels in Lisbon page.

For more information, read my overview on Lisbon nightlife and see my guides Nightlife in Lisbon: Lisbon's best bars and Nightlife in Lisbon: live music and culture.


I'm a freelance travel writer, editor and author. I write and edit travel features and books for Lonely Planet, the Sunday Times, the Sunday Times Travel Magazine, A Hedonist's Guide To..., Esquire and many others.

I have been a regular visitor to Lisbon for the past thirteen years. I first visted on an interrail trip as an eager 16 year-old backpacker and immediately fell in love with the city for its cobbled mish-mash charm and Atlantic-sprayed air. I have many close ties with the city, and working as a travel journalist, I continue to return regularly. I’ve often spent months at a time in the city, living in an apartment in Bairro Alto or Cascais, where I would eat and drink my way around the town by night and sleep it off on the suburban beaches by day. I consider the city a second home and when I’m not there I can be found seeking out the best pastel de nata or bica in the many Portuguese enclaves of North West London.

My Lisbon

Where I always grab a coffee: going for a coffee in Lisbon is as much about getting my pastry fix as it is tending to caffeine cravings. If I’m anywhere near Belem, I’ll go into Pasteis de Belem for the world’s best pastel de nata (custard tart). If I’m closer to the centre of town I’ll head into Café A Brasíleira, for excellent coffee, Old World charm and bustling street tables.

My favourite stroll: in the summer, I like to head out to the beachside suburbs of Cascais and Estoril. There’s a lovely walk along the seafront promenade that connects the two towns. I also like to take one of the free bikes at Cascais train station and cycle out to the wild beaches at Guincho and beyond.

Fiction for inspiration: The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon by Richard Zimler will give you an insight into 16th-century Lisbon and the mystical world of kabbalah during the Jewish persecutions of the time. While the book is set in a very different Lisbon from the one you’ll see today, it does bring alive the medieval cobbled streets of the historic quarters and gives the city’s religious sites real poignancy.

Where to be seen: with its penthouse views across the city, members bar Silk (free membership can be arranged easily online) in Bairro Alto is where the beautiful people hangout these days.

The most breathtaking view: position yourself behind any of the cannons that protect the medieval Castelo de São Jorge. Here you’ll get a view that spans over the city’s church spires, terracotta rooftops and yawning Atlantic-facing estuary.

The best spot for some peace and quiet: for real inner-city calm you can’t beat the city’s ornate and serene churches and cathedrals, Basílica da Estrela, Igreja De São Roque, Igreja de São Vicente da Fora and Sé Cathedral.

Shopaholics beware: the vintage tailors, perfumeries, herbalists and haberdashers in the timeworn Baixa district are a maze of skills, crafts and trade.

City soundtrack: while the melancholic fado music is the traditional sound of the city, 21st-century Lisbon swings to a more Samba sound. My favourite local artist is Sara Tavares, have a listen to the lovely ‘Balancé’.

Don’t leave without... partying till dawn then getting a freshly baked pão com chorizo (chrozio baked in bread, or a Portuguese hot dog, if you like) from one of the city’s just-opened bakeries.