Lisbon, the coastal capital of Portugal, sits in the southern half of the country, facing out into the Atlantic. Portugal’s rich history of exploration is clear to see when you visit Lisbon. Its origins date back to Roman times, yet it was the “Age of Discovery” from the end of the 15th Century that defines Lisbon. Portugal has a population of just over 10 million, a quarter of whom live in the greater metropolitan region of Lisbon.
Tourism plays a major role in the national economy, and significant numbers visit Lisbon annually. They come for the history and culture, the varied cuisine and the warm climate between Easter and the onset of winter. You will not encounter the crowds expected in some European cities, but it is still worth buying advance tickets for some of its attractions to avoid the queues. Here are some ideas for how to spend your time in Lisbon at night.
- Lisbon At Night
- Top 3 Tours
- 20 Things To Do In Lisbon At Night
- 1- Enjoy A Pub Crawl
- 2- Take A Cruise At Night
- 3- Go Solo In Old Town
- 4- Take In The Fado
- 5- Watch A Game
- 6- Learn At A Cookery Class
- 7- Enjoy Dinner And The Fado
- 8- Taste Portuguese Tapas
- 9- Head For the Oceanarium
- 10- Eat And Drink At The Hard Rock Café
- 11- Test Your Mini Golf Skills
- 12- Save the World
- 13- Ride The 28 Tram
- 14- Learn About Lisbon’s Ghosts
- 15- Enjoy A Night At The Opera
- 16- Get A View From A Rooftop Bar
- 17- Go Clubbing
- 18- Go Shopping Before Dinner
- 19- Discover Pink Street
- 20- Roam Bairro Alto
Lisbon At Night
20 Things To Do In Lisbon At Night
1- Enjoy A Pub Crawl
If you are new to the city, what better way to find its best bars than to take a guided pub crawl?
With a few more nights in the city, you will get plenty of ideas for places to revisit later in your break in Lisbon.
Each of the bars you visit will offer you a welcome drink with special deals at every turn.
The top bohemian neighbourhood in Lisbon is Bairro Alto, your likely destination for the evening.
2- Take A Cruise At Night
You can get a different perspective of any city from a boat.
The Tagus flows through Lisbon into the Atlantic and cruising along the river will give you a chance to see the significant landmarks on either bank.
You can sit back, drink in hand, and see many of Lisbon’s highlights at night.
You’ll need to put your drink down regularly because there are plenty of photo opportunities, including Sao Jorge Castle, the Belem Tower, Jeronimos Monastery and the Monument of Discoveries.
In a couple of hours, you’ll see enough to plan what you intend to do and see the following day.
3- Go Solo In Old Town
A good way to get around Lisbon under your own steam is to take a sitway tour.
Easy to use, a sitway scooter allows you to cover a far greater area than you would be able to cover on foot.
You can visit different neighbourhoods, pass bars and restaurants, and listen to nighttime activities.
Lisbon is hilly and not ideal for walking too far unless you are a regular walker, so a sitway solves that problem.
The neighbourhood of Alfama, with its narrow streets, historic monuments and the Castelo de Sao Jorge, is captivating under lights.
You can reach several impressive viewpoints from places such as Miradouro Largo das Portas do Sol, formerly the entrance gates to the old city.
4- Take In The Fado
Taking a guided walking tour around Lisbon at night is great fun as it’s a busy city at night but the walk is leisurely.
Starting in the city’s heart, you will pass Lisbon’s major landmarks and follow the Tagus River for a while.
Among the highlights is the Monument to the Discoveries, the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Belem Tower, followed by views of Lisbon Bridge and the statue on the hill, Mosteiro dos Jeronimos.
When it’s time for something to eat, you’ll stop at a local restaurant with live entertainment, folk music and the Fado. You’ll love the ‘Fado in Chiado’ live show, which is highly popular, so reserve your tickets here.
5- Watch A Game
The Portuguese love their football and Lisbon’s most famous club is Benfica, former winners of the European Cup.
Its stadium, Luz, better known as the Stadium of Light, is open to visitors who can see the club’s history in its museum. Reserve your tour and ticket here.
The relatively new stadium replaces Benfica’s original home, which held 120,000 spectators yet remembers the days of the great Eusebio and his team.
If you are in the city when Benfica has a game, you should be able to get a ticket to see today’s team because the capacity is still 65,000.
Benfica continues to compete at the highest level of Portuguese football and a game under floodlights is a great experience.
6- Learn At A Cookery Class
If you’re keen on cooking, you can learn about local cuisine and evening classes can cover several different things.
Those with a sweet tooth should try learning to make the delicious pastries you may have sampled with a coffee.
Pastel de Nata is a Portuguese favourite and you can bake a batch yourself in a pastry class.
You will do the whole process, feeling the texture of the dough and smelling the great aroma from the oven.
The final treat is eating the pastry you have prepared.
7- Enjoy Dinner And The Fado
Alfama is Lisbon’s oldest district and a guided introduction to its delights, and the famous Fado is a fun way to enjoy a night in Lisbon.
Sample local cuisine in Alfama before heading off through cobbled streets in Mouraria to a Fado concert.
UNESCO recognised Fado a decade ago, adding it to the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity items.
It dates back to the 19th Century and involves somewhat solemn lyrics to a Portuguese guitar.
Fado is common within the city and you will hear the music coming from many places during your time there.
8- Taste Portuguese Tapas
Anyone unfamiliar with Lisbon can do worse than employ local expertise to introduce them to Lisbon at night.
There’s no hurry on a walking tour that involves learning about and tasting Portuguese wine and sampling tapas in places that specialise in this popular cuisine.
Guides are well-versed in the traditions behind the best tapas, whether from the north of Portugal around Porto or the Algarve in the south.
9- Head For the Oceanarium
Lisbon’s Oceanarium has been popular with visitors since it opened in 1998.
The largest indoor aquarium in Europe, it features a series of permanent exhibitions from the North Atlantic to the Antarctic, the tropical Indian Ocean to the temperate Pacific.
You will find the Oceanarium on the site that hosted Expo 1998 and buying a ticket in advance makes sense to avoid any queues.
In total, there are over 500 different species with more than 8,000 creatures in the place.
Its design is such that you will get the impression that you are within one stretch of water, even though the four sections are separate. The Oceanarium is open until 8 pm.
10- Eat And Drink At The Hard Rock Café
There are many international brands that you will find in cities worldwide.
One such brand is the Hard Rock Café.
It is not typical of Lisbon, but the brand’s success is because of its marketing and content.
Music fans are certain to like this place in downtown Lisbon, and the queues suggest its popularity continues.
If you buy a ticket in advance, you can bypass the line and head straight through the door.
The menu across the many outlets worldwide is standard, the music energetic, and the souvenirs you can buy often mean you will wear something that helps to advertise the brand wherever you travel.
11- Test Your Mini Golf Skills
Even if you are not a regular golfer, the Mini Golf Experience, new to Lisbon, is great fun.
It is indoor and uses UV Neon and natural light.
There are 18 holes in total, several challenging and quirky but it is all about fun, not the score you make.
The complex also has pool tables, air hockey, soccer tables and a bar to relax and watch all the activity.
Whatever your preference, this is an excellent venue for everyone with children likely to want to return during their holiday in Lisbon.
Perhaps you will agree with them if you are unlucky enough to have a rainy day while in Lisbon.
12- Save the World
Video games are hugely popular and offer challenges on the screen, but Lisbon has an attraction that is similar to a video game.
The real-life challenge involves walking around two kilometres (1.3 miles) to defeat a threat to the world and you have 90 minutes to do it.
Armed with an iPad and action pack, you head out as a Time Cop, having been given a briefing at Lisbon Escape Hunt Headquarters on your specific assignment.
The clock begins as you leave, then you head back to HQ to hand over the action pack and relax, especially satisfied if you have succeeded. Check it out here.
13- Ride The 28 Tram
One of the attractions of Lisbon is its hills and the views it offers from on high, which means you can face a challenge.
The 28 Tram is one way to see its many highlights and landmarks while sitting down.
There are no hills to climb; the tram does it for you.
It opened at the end of the First World War and went from Martim Moniz to Campo Ourique, passing through all the popular tourist districts of Alfama, Baixa, Estrela and Graca.
Trams are regular, every 10 minutes or so, and the whole route of around seven kilometres (4.4 miles) takes up to an hour, depending on the traffic.
28 is busy as it has become one of the best ways for visitors to see Lisbon’s main attractions. Save money with this 72-hour tram, bus and boat ticket.
14- Learn About Lisbon’s Ghosts
Most cities have a history that combines fact and legend.
Lisbon is not alone in having some famous ghosts associated with its past. Ghosts include Custodio, a 19th Century tobacco worker who seemingly “lives” in the building where he once worked.
Working conditions were deplorable then, and today the building is a school. Ghosts inhabit the Faculty of Arts, making the elevator run, so it seems.
Arguably the best local story concerns a blind girl who legend says fell into the sea.
They say she is regularly seen carrying a doll in her hand.
If the supernatural interests you, check on the tours that will help you to learn more about Lisbon’s ghosts and nighttime is the time to “enjoy” them.
15- Enjoy A Night At The Opera
Teatro Nacional de São Carlos has played host to opera since the end of the 18th Century.
Its history is fascinating and well worth learning about.
The architecture has an Italian influence, with the building becoming a National Monument in 1928.
There is a resident artistic group, and the national symphony orchestra has been resident since 1993.
A regular programme of events is published well in advance so you can plan ahead of your visit to Lisbon.
There are three venues in one.
The foyer has informal chamber recitals, while the Main Hall and the Grand Hall both offer plenty that might interest you.
16- Get A View From A Rooftop Bar
The warm climate for many months makes outdoor drinking and dining a nightly activity.
The hilly terrain offers plenty of panoramic views, and rooftop bars and restaurants do likewise.
You can even find rooftop pools in Lisbon.
As an example, Hotel Tivoli in the centre of the city has the Sky Bar, an ultra-modern bar with views to the river and across the city.
The range of drinks is extensive, with DJs and live acts regularly in attendance.
There are many other alternatives with plenty of information online, including dress code details, usually smart yet casual. Check out this bar crawl.
17- Go Clubbing
Lisbon has several nightclubs where you can dance until the small hours.
Perhaps the most famous is Lux, which opened more than 20 years ago.
The cover charge is around £10, charged locally in euro, of course.
There are two dance floors and a rooftop terrace. If you have the stamina, you can stay until the sunrises, a great view from the rooftop.
Lux is busy, with queues forming in the early hours after some places have closed.
It’s not where you can spend long hours if you have a busy itinerary the next day, so plan your time accordingly.
18- Go Shopping Before Dinner
The Avenida da Liberdade is the street in Lisbon where you will find the poshest shops, famous international brand names and boutiques selling designer clothes.
It is a tree-lined avenue where Rolex, Cartier and Louise Vuitton sell their exclusive goods.
The bars and restaurants are top quality, so a little shopping before dinner is an option.
There is no late-night closing, but, in many cases, you can shop until 8 pm before you head to a restaurant for dinner.
19- Discover Pink Street
Rua Nova do Carvalho or Pink Street, is a pretty street, regularly photographed by everyone because it’s so charming.
It is in Cais do Sodre district and has many of the most popular bars in the city. Cais do Sodre.
Cais do Sodre was once Lisbon’s Red-Light District, when it was an important port with plenty of transient sailors and travellers as customers.
It is no longer the district that attracts criminals, “ladies of the night” and gamblers.
You would never guess Pink Street’s history if you head there for a night out. Why pink?
Well, a decade ago, the painters got to work and pink was their favourite colour to make an impact in the street.
20- Roam Bairro Alto
By day, Bairro Alto, a hilly neighbourhood in Lisbon, is very quiet. At night, it is utterly transformed with crowds filling its narrow streets.
Its bars are small, so drinkers spill out into the streets, creating a great, and completely safe atmosphere.
The Bica Funicular will take you to São Roque Church and open up views from Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara.
Centuries-old houses in the neighbourhood are vividly decorated while the restaurants inevitably play Fado music.
Tables are out in the street, enjoying the mild night climate.
Bairro Alto is the party district of central Lisbon and you should visit one night during your stay in Lisbon.
It will be crowded, especially at weekends, but it is great fun. It doesn’t close down until 4 am.
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