There's more to Portugal than Port. Away from the occasionally charmless South, Lisbon is stacked with great bars and clubs that seriously threaten to turn you into a fish. Then again, nothing really happens until after eleven and this is when the maze of the wonderfully old Biarro Alto springs into life.

Bars in Lisbon: Portugal’s coastal capital

When it comes to nightlife, Lisbon offers everything from a quick drink at a small kiosk to sophisticated cocktails in subterranean bars. The Bairro Alto District is considered the spot to be for jumping nightlife with a huge number of bars, cafés and restaurants packed into a fairly small neighbourhood. But, don’t let the overwhelming choice stop you from heading down to the coast and the Cais do Sodré area for some sea-view wining, dining and dancing. If you want to go off the tourist trail, you can also find a few trendy up-and-coming areas a little away from the centre with some great nightlife such as Campo de Ourique, which has a similar vibe to the Meatpacking District in New York.

If you want a bird’s-eye view of the city, head to The Insólito (“The Unusual” in Portuguese) at the top of Bairro Alto and enjoy a cocktail or two. There are plenty of bars offering river views, but perhaps the most striking is the Vestigius– a converted warehouse in the fashionable Cais do Sodré area. If it’s traditional folk music and local cuisine you’re after, you should visit a Fado bar, like the popular Clube de Fado over on the R. de São João da Praça. For a real taste of Old Lisbon, step into the Lagar Do Cais to sip cocktails under the amazing vaulted ceiling. No visit to Lisbon would be complete without a stop at one of the vintage quiosques de refresco, where you can grab a soft drink, a glass of wine, a beer or cider. You’ll find these kiosks everywhere, but the one in Praça Luis de Camões is especially good. They’re a great way to really immerse yourself in this scenic city and its culture.

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