From super-chilled rooftop bars and cool dance clubs to quirky cocktail bars and grungy live music venues, there’s no doubt Lisbon’s nightlife is as varied as it is intoxicating. This is a town that knows how to party hard and late into the night – especially on Fridays and Saturdays.

Here are six places that perfectly sum up the city’s legendary nightlife.

Lisbon Cinco © Chocodolphin
Lisbon CINCO © chocodolphin

For Friday night partying

You’ve got your Friday-night gear on and you’re ready to hit the streets. Where first?” for Lisbon nightlife is the cry. Ease yourself in gently as things don’t really get moving until after midnight. First stop has to be the Cinco Lounge in Príncipe Real. Two things make this stylish Lisboa bar a standout place to kick things off: it has a comfortable, languid vibe; and it offers a shed-load of cocktail options – over a hundred, in fact.

Suitably refreshed, it’s now time to take things to the next level. The Red Frog Speakeasy Bar down by Avenida da Liberdade is within an easy stroll. After pushing the button marked Press for cocktails’ to gain entrance, you’re let into a space decorated with a quirky US prohibition-era decor and exuding a cool, bohemian vibe. A soundtrack of jazz, funk, swing and rock music keeps the sophisticated crowd on their feet while the super-stylish cocktails have a real kick to them.

After midnight jump in a taxi and hit Lux Frágil down by the river on Avenida Infante D. Henrique. This club – often said to be Lisbon’s best – is a good bet on a Friday as it tends to get packed out with locals on Thursdays and mobbed by out-of-towners most Saturdays. You’ve got a choice of two dance floors to throw shapes on. Resident and guest DJs serve up an eclectic mix of everything from electro and hip-hop to bursts of 1980s cheese. Large measures – and a very cool roof terrace – top things off nicely.

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Music Box Lisbon ©VeryQuiet

For Saturday Night Fever

A laid-back drink or two at PARK (Calçada do Combro, Bairro Alto) is a fine way to start things off on a Saturday afternoon or evening in the city. Arguably the best rooftop bar Lisbon has to offer, this chilled place affords vistas that are just as agreeable as the friendly atmosphere and leafy terrace.

Step it up a gear and follow the young, slightly alternative crowd from PARK on to Lounge, a buzzing indie club hidden behind some trendy restaurants on Rua da Moeda In Cais do Sodré. Along with hosting DJs spinning Latin, house and techno beats, Lounge also puts on plenty of top-drawer live music events. Be warned though – this place gets packed out on a Saturday so you may want to order your drinks in bulk.

Keep up with the underground live music theme, and make the short journey over to Music Box, also in Cais do Sodré on Rua Nova do Carvalho. This place pulls out all the stops to put on a truly eclectic menu of music, so expect to find rock bands and electronic live acts rubbing shoulders with big-name DJs and upcoming singer songwriters. Some of the acts don’t get going to till 2am so you may want to check beforehand if you’re likely to flag from your Friday night exertions.

Cover Photo: CINCO Lounge by Humberto Mouco