After all the beautiful sightseeing and cultural richness of Portugal’s capital that you most definitely must enjoy by day, get ready to get to know Lisbon by night. A city that has become quite famous for its nightlife and where the fun is only just getting started around 2 am, be prepared to party all night long… Over the years, Lisbon's gay scene has become, and quite fittingly, very European, offering a sparkling nightlife for gays and lesbians, with a wide variety of bars, clubs and typical fado-cafés ready to welcome couples who are looking for a wonderful and relaxing night out. In Lisbon, you’ll find two popular gay-friendly neighborhoods: Bairro Alto and Principe Real. Ready to jot down the most popular gay hot spots for unforgettable honeymoon nights?! The fun is about to begin…
1. Woof LX
Located in Príncipe Real, Woof LX caters mostly to “bears” and on the first Friday of every month it holds a “moustache party”. One thing that will definitely grab your attention at this bar, is its unfinished décor, however, its imperfect look is totally intentional… and has everything to do with the “bear” culture.
Woof LX +351 917294354 Rua da Palmeira, 44 B, Príncipe Real, 21:00/04:00, www.wooflx.com
2. Sweet Bar
Small, white, compact and very modern. That’s Sweet Bar for you. Besides functioning as a bar, it’s also an art gallery with many pieces to observe and acquire. At the beginning of the night, the entire place is alit but, as the night progresses, the lights are dimmed. If, besides having a drink right outside the bar’s doors – the norm in Bairro Alto – you want to warm up before you head to a club, there’s a modest dance floor in the bar’s basement.
Sweet Bar +351 960 367 756. Rua da Atalaia, 52. Tuesday-Thursday, 19h00/02h00; Friday-Saturday, 19h00/03h00, facebook
3. Mix Bar Lounge
Located in Arroios and away from the typical Lisbon nightlife circuit, this is one of the city’s most recent gay bars. Free entry, low-cost prices, male and female striptease shows are the main attractions according to the owners, who want to catch the attention of the local Brazilian community. Open all week, from 21h00 to 04h00.
Mix Bar Lounge, +351 964 004 15, Rua Carvalho Araújo, facebook
4. Maria Lisboa
The city’s largest lesbian night club dates back to 2007 and is located in the hip Alcântara area. Recently, the club’s management decided that they also wanted to welcome gay and straight party-goers, so now, the party has been amped up with shows and entertainment every Friday and Saturday night (as well as the eve of holidays) from 00h00 to 06h00. There is a minimum consumption fee of €10 on Saturdays and €5 on Fridays.
Maria Lisboa, +351 213622560, Rua das Fontainhas, 86, Alcântara, marialisboadiscoteca.blogspot.pt
This Bairro Alto bar has many attractions, starting with a delicious kitsch décor and a more female than male clientele, depending on the days. The most popular hits are always spinning, but every Tuesday night, for 50 cents, you can play any one of the old vinyl records that can be found at this bar. Another great reason to visit Purex is that it is also open on Sundays, a day when most of the neighborhood hot spots are closed.
Purex, +351 213 428 061, Rua das Salgadeiras, 28
6. Le Marais
As you may well know, Le Marais is the name of the famous gay Parisian neighborhood and that is why the photographs that decorate the bar’s walls are all Paris related and were specially taken for it. Although it is not an exclusive gay bar – during the day it functions as a neighborhood café – when the sun sets, it is definitely a gay inspired night spot and the perfect place to “warm up” if you plan to dance the night away at any one of Lisbon’s famous clubs. Extremely inviting and with sprawling couches and chairs, it sits 24 people comfortably and has a flat screen TV that is mostly tuned to music and fashion channels… all this set to the sound of cool chill out music. Besides being a smoking environment, you can order Portuguese or French wine by the glass, a flute of champagne or bubbly champagne-based cocktails… cheers to a great honeymoon!
Le Marais. R. de Santa Catarina, 28 (near Adamastor). +351 21 346 7355. Sunday-Thursday,12h00/02h00; Friday-Saturday,12h00-04h00, facebook .
7. Maria Caxuxa
The gayest street in Bairro Alto, Barroca, is where you’ll find Maria Caxuxa, installed in an old cake factory. On the weekends, it’s almost impossible to get in and out of the bar, or even circulate inside amid all its second hand furniture, so there is always a ton of people milling around outside. If you’re hungry, grab a bite to eat, while enjoying a wide variety of music, from lounge to electronic. With a predominantly male clientele, its doors are open from Monday to Saturday from 17h00 to 02h00, and Sunday from 21h00 to 02h00.
Maria Caxuxa, +351 965 039 094, Rua da Barroca, 12 , facebook .
8. Sétimo Céu
An obligatory stop in Lisbon’s gay nightlife, Sétimo Céu (which means “Seventh Heaven”) is located next to “panasquina” (which means something like “gay corner”) which is the name the local gay community has given to the Rua da Barroca and the Travessa da Espera intersection. A small and awkward place, where you’ll end up having your drink out in the street… but so worth a visit.
Sétimo Céu, +351 213 423 022, Travessa da Espera, 54, facebook .
9. Clube da Esquina
Also close to “panasquina”, the Clube da Esquina (which means “Corner Bar”) has one of the best mojitos in the entire neighborhood. Don’t be surprised if you’re questioned about the size of your drink – whether you order a beer or a “caipirinha”, here bucket sized drinks have been adopted and are the norm. The hardwood floors and the wall’s wood structure transform this bar into a very cozy environment, that’s open from 21h00 to 02h00.
Clube da Esquina, +351 213 427 149, Rua da Barroca, 30, facebook .
Run by three guys, two Belgian and one Portuguese, Tr3s (which is a play on the word “três”, which means “three”) is part of the new batch of bars that have popped up in the Príncipe Real area. With a large variety of beers waiting to be taste-tested on its inviting esplanade, the bar opens its doors Wednesday to Monday, from 16h00 to 02h00.
Tr3s, +351 965 491 225 Rua Ruben a Leitão, 2a r/c, www.tr3slisboa.com .
Considered one of the biggest Portuguese gay clubs, the entire place is a party waiting to happen! With two dance floors and many bars to sip a drink at and watch all the beautiful people having fun – lesbians, gay males and a lot of their straight friends make up most of the clientele. If you’re looking for a great, hip place to celebrate your honeymoon, this is it!
Trumps, +351 213 971 059, Imprensa Nacional 104-B, www.trumps.pt .
Although small (maybe that’s why they call it “fragile”!), this is definitely one of the coolest and most popular straight and gay clubs in Bairro Alto. Here, it doesn’t matter who you’re with, it only matters that you’re having a good time! The perfect place to end an unforgettable honeymoon night…
Fragil, +351 213 469 578, Rua da Atalaia, 126, Bairro Alto, www.fragil.com.pt .