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Where to drink in Lisbon, from rooftop bars to underground speakeasies

Memmo Alfama
Praia no Parque is a beach bar brought to an inner-city park, and is currently the hottest of Lisbon's nightlife hotspots

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Lisbon has a vibrant nightlife scene, which spills onto the cobbled streets of Chiado, watches the dawn come up over the Tagus River and serenades the stars from rooftop bars in the fragrant, warm night air. There are haunts for the young and clubs for the locals; old favourites like O Pavilhão Chinês and newcomers like Praia no Parque, where dinner continues seamlessly into dancing. But, wherever you are, Lisbon’s dark, narrow streets, shimmering river and moonlit domed skyline, have a magical, enigmatic quality that gives the night-time city a character all of its own.

Chiado

Entretanto

In a city of rooftop bars, this claims the top spot for its views of the Lisbon skyline. It is situated on the seventh floor of the Hotel do Chiado, high above the city's rooftops and overlooking the cobbled streets of Chiado, with the Tagus River slipping slowly by in the distance. This hotel was restored some years ago by Pritzker prize-winning architect, Siza Vieira, and the new bar has since become a favourite of the locals. Try the Pink Affair cocktail – an exhilarating concoction of red fruit juice, prosecco and cointreau which is Lisbon’s answer to Venice’s Bellini.

Contact: 00 351 21 325 6100; hoteldochiado.pt
Opening times: Daily, 12pm-11pm
Nearest metro: Baixa-Chiado
Prices: ££
Getting in: Reservations recommended

Entretanto overlooks the cobbled streets of Chiado with the Tagus River in the distance

By the Wine

Here, visitors have the chance to try more than 50 wines (by the glass or the bottle) from the cellar of leading vintner, José Maria da Fonseca, in an attractive arched space in the centre of Lisbon. To accompany the wines there is an excellent selection of Portuguese cheeses such as the strong, creamy Azeitão, ham from acorn-fed pigs, and bread and oysters from the southern reaches of the country. Then there's the company's acclaimed sweet wine, Moscatel de Setúbal, to be accompanied by a range of cakes and puddings, making this an ideal place to discover the flavours of Portugal.

Contact: 00 351 21 342 0319;
Opening times: Tue-Sun, 12pm-12am; Mon, 6pm-12am
Nearest metro: Baixa-Chiado
Prices: ££
Getting in: Reservations recommended

At By the Wine, you can try over 50 types of wine from José Maria da Fonseca, a leading Portuguese wine producer

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Avenida da Liberdade

Sky Bar Tivoli Liberdade

This hotel sky bar boasts unmissable, far-reaching views over the city and the Tagus River beyond. Sleek and chic, there is a lively vibe and excellent cocktails, from Pepperlines (gin, lime juice, egg white, sugar, pineapple and chilli) to the classic Aperol Spritz. There is live music every night courtesy of the resident DJ, with regular guest performances and other events throughout the summer. The light food plates are delicious, particularly the Sky Sushi with its rolls of avocado, prawn and cucumber, and do try the white fish ceviche with lime and ginger.

Contact:00 351 21 319 8900; tivolihotels.com
Opening times: April-October, daily, 6pm-12am; July-August, daily, 6pm-1am
Nearest metro: Avenida
Prices: ££
Getting in: Reservations recommended (essential for large groups)

Sky Bar at Tivoli Avenida Liberdade Hotel has great cocktails, live music and good light plates

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Praia no Parque

This is Lisbon’s current hotspot, a beach-themed bar with huge floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the lake in Eduardo VII Park, hence the name –' beach in the park'. The previously abandoned Fifties building's vibrant interiors are green and gold in velvet and marble, and it entices with cocktails that range from Wasabi Kick (Grey Goose vodka, wasabi and lime) to Manjerico no Parque (gin, basil, ginger and egg whites) whilst a food menu (with a focus on steak) is also served. A DJ plays pop and house music as well as some Eighties classics well into the small hours on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

Contact: 00 351 96 884 2888; apraia.pt
Opening times: Mon-Wed, 12pm-12am; Thu, 12pm-2am; Fri-Sat, 12pm-3am
Nearest metro: Avenida
Prices: ££
Getting in: Reservations recommended

Praia no Parque is a beach-themed bar overlooking Eduardo VII Park

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Red Frog

Inspired by the secret bars of Prohibition-era America, this is Lisbon’s take on a speakeasy, found at basement level behind a locked door and accessed by a bell saying ‘press for cocktails’ – you'll recognise the entrance by the giant model of a red frog on the wall. Inside, the atmosphere draws on the Twenties with elegant and comfortable deco-style chairs and music that ranges from jazz and swing to soul. The extensive cocktail menu, created by acclaimed mixologist, Marian Beke, changes regularly. A private room, accessed through a wall which moves when pushed, is available for private parties.

Contact:00 351 21 583 1120
Opening times: Mon-Wed, 6pm-2am; Thu-Sat, 6pm-4am; closed Sundays
Nearest metro: Avenida
Prices: ££

Red Frog is a speakeasy-style basement bar with an extensive cocktail menu and jazz-fuelled atmosphere

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Príncipe Real

The Chinese Pavilion (O Pavilhão Chinês)

The five rooms that make up this extraordinary bar, formerly a grocery store from the early 20th century, are filled with thousands of pieces of memorabilia: there are military medals, artworks, uniforms, miniature dolls and toy trains. Located in the ultra fashionable Príncipe Real district, this has become a cult bar for Lisbonites, with a menu of more than 100 cocktails to choose from; a favourite, named after the bar, is made with rum, blue curaçao, lemon and pineapple juice. A pool table is another plus. After 9pm, the door is closed and you need to ring to gain entry.

Contact: 00 351 21 342 4729
Opening times: Mon-Sat, 6pm-2am; Sun, 9pm-2am
Nearest metro: Rato
Prices: £

Once a grocery store, The Chinese Pavilion is now an eclectic space filled with antique curios and trendy Lisbonites

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Cais do Sodré

Pensão Amor

Originally a bordello, this popular bar is themed around a 19th-century burlesque club, with crimson velvet furnishings, walls lined with gilt-framed mirrors, faux trompe l'oeil ceilings, antique paintings and lithographs of ladies of the night in risqué poses. There are different rooms, some with pub-style pianos or dancing poles, and the whole is a venue for regular jazz concerts, DJ evenings or burlesque cabaret performances. The bar serves a great selection of beers, wine, spirits and cocktails, and there is always a buzz that has served to make it a great favourite with the locals.

Contact:00 351 213 143 399; pensaoamor.pt
Opening times: Mon-Wed, 2pm-3am; Thur-Sat, 2pm-4am
Nearest metro: Baixa-Chiado
Prices: ££

Pensão Amor, set in a former brothel, is themed around a 19th-century burlesque club Credit: ANDRÉ PIRES

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Bica

Palacio Verride

From Palacio Verride's magnificent 360-degree viewing platform, those with a head for heights can see across the river to the outstretched arms of the iconic Christ the King monument, the city’s long red suspension bridge and, in the other direction, the many spires of Lisbon’s churches. Take a glass of Portuguese sparkling wine up there with you from the bar, which you'll find one twist of a staircase down on the floor below. Or opt for one of the many vintages available by the glass from the wine menu, or even one of the intriguing cocktails whipped up by one of the resident mixologists.

Contact: 00 351 211 573 055; verridesc.pt
Opening times: Daily, 12am-12pm
Nearest metro: Baixa-Chiado
Prices: ££

The 360-degree viewing platform at Palacio Verride is the perfect place to drink in the sights while sipping a fine Portuguese sparkling white Credit: PAULO CARVALHO

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Alfama

Memmo Alfama

When that famous Lisbon light is at its most magical and you want to soak it all up away from the crowds with a glass of delicious Portuguese rosé, head to this lovely rooftop bar in Memmo Alfama, buried down a narrow, cobbled street in the the city's ancient Moorish district. The hotel deck is an all-year-round delight; in winter an inviting fire pit allows you to sit out under the inevitable blue skies with a plate of local smoked ham to accompany your wine, while in summer you can dangle your toes in the chicest pool in Lisbon.

Contact: 00 351 21 049 5660; memmohotels.com
Opening times: Daily, 12pm-12am
Nearest metro: Rossio
Prices: £
Getting in: Reservations recommended in summer

The Memmo Alfama roof deck is an all-year-round delight

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Lux

The undisputed king of Lisbon nightclubs, this is part-owned by John Malkovich and set in a vast warehouse which flanks the River Tagus. Impressive interiors are illuminated by spotlights and oversized glitter balls, whilst the music comes courtesy of the best DJs in town, not to mention the global artists who regularly make appearances. In all, this one draws the international crowd. Themed parties are often held, you can head to the Lux restaurant, Bica do Sapato, next door to start the evening, and the club's rooftop terrace overlooking the river is often touted as the best place in the city to watch the sun come up.

Contact: 00 351 21 882 0890; luxfragil.com
Opening times: Tue-Sat, 11pm-6am
Prices: ££
Getting in: Free or door charge, depending on how busy it is inside; expect long queues

With a revolving list of renowned DJs and a legendary rooftop terrace, Lux is the undisputed king of Lisbon nightclubs Credit: LUISA FERREIRA