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; www.silk-club.com). 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; www.luxfragil.com). 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; www.kremlin.pt). 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; www.paradisegarage.com). 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; www.belembarcafe.com) 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!
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