Had a delicious skin-full bit still not tuckered out? You'll want to make for one of the best fado houses in Lisbon, in that case.

The Portuguese capital has plenty to occupy that's not booze-centric – these are the best things to do in Lisbon.  

O Purista

The retro barbershop at O! Purista - The best bars in Lisbon
The retro barbershop at O Purista / Image: O Purista

‘In a world that constantly looks to the future,’ declares the legend on the way into this cozy bolthole ‘take some time to appreciate the past.’ A stately old-fashioned backroom with plush seats and a pool table – free for patrons – is lined with leather books, while the area up front is occupied by, of all things, a working retro barbershop. O! Purista feels like a bit of a literary salon, and it’s proud of it. A vibey soundtrack and a refined atmosphere for exchanging gossip seal the deal. And this being Lisbon the beer, like the haircuts, are a snip.

16c R. Nova da Trindade, Bairro Alto

Pavilhão Chinês

The interior of Pavilhão Chinês - The best bars in Lisbon
Get tea-d up (and more) in the lovely enclaves of Pavilhão Chinês / Image: Alamy

Every available patch of wall, every inch of ceiling and every enticing nook and cranny in this bonkers Bairro Alto bar is encrusted in antiques. There’s maps, military apparel, medals, mugs and mannequins. Like a demented toyshop or an Antiques Roadshow acid flashback. In any case, it’s very beautifully done, with great humour and aesthetic charm. Red-waistcoated flunkies dish out fun and fruity cocktails – and, get this, 100 different teas – to patrons in jauntily upholstered booths. You’ll never run out of things to talk about here.

89 R. Dom Pedro V, Bairro Alto


Toca da Raposa

A cocktail at Toca da Raposa - The best bars in Lisbon
A forager's favourite cocktail at Toca da Raposa

Constança Cordeiro is a world-renowned mixology whizkid who learned her stripes at the legendary Peg+Patriot in east London. At Toca da Raposa, her righteously contemporary chipboard-panelled Carmo neighbourhood hangout, ingredients are sourced from foraging expeditions into the fertile countryside surrounding Lisbon. Drinks are all adorably named after animals, like the Bee, with 12-year-old Jerez-aged Macallan whisky, honey and fig tree leaves, or the dark and moody Crow, with a slug of vodka and eucalyptus.

45 R. da Condessa, Carmo

Red Frog

Situated a brief hop off well-heeled Avenida da Liberdade, this plush subterranean spot is true to its name – in that you need to ring a hidden doorbell and descend some secret steps for access. Inside, polished servers know the menu – divided into three time periods: the Belle Époque, Prohibition and Modernity – back to front, and smartly deliver impeccably photogenic brews to an upscale jazz soundtrack. Their gin-based Midnight Smugglers is a good wheeze, artfully wrapped in a paper bag for the authentic outlaw experience.

66b Praça da Alegria, Príncipe Real


The interior of Foxtrot - The best bars in Lisbon
Cosy, art deco vibes and rather arch mixology is the jam at Foxtrot

Now into its fourth decade ministering to the discerning drinkers of Príncipe Real, this art deco institution knows a thing or two about cosiness. Park yourself at the bar, worn shiny by countless after-work elbows, and treat yourself to a proper fat glass of Belgian beer. Or if it's a special occasion plump for a cocktail. Humour infuses the menu; the Jardim do Príncipe Real cocktail – basically gin with a big pinch of fresh basil – comes served in an actual flowerpot. There’s an open fire for those chilly evenings, and if you ask nicely they’ll knock you up a very respectable beef loin with mushroom jus. 

28 Tv. Santa Teresa, Príncipe Real

By The Wine

The interior of By The Wine - The best bars in Lisbon
A lauded local vino-maker lords it over By The Wine / Image: By Interactive Brands Agency

Prominent local winemaker José Maria da Fonseca has been bottling sunshine around these parts since 1834. To sample the very best of the esteemed company wares, rock up to this chic bar in the central Chiado neighborhood, stake out a space on a chocolate-brown banquette and let the staff guide you through the dizzying wine list and immaculate small plates du jour. Special mention should go to the vaulted ceiling, decorated with over 1,000 empty bottles. Which, after a couple of glasses, should have you singing ‘Ten Green Bottles’ with appropriate gusto.

41 Rua das Flores, Baixa

Maria Caxuxa

The interior of Maria Caxuxa - The best bars in Lisbon
Berlin dive vibes at Maria Caxuxa / Image: Alamy

Reminiscent of a Berlin dive bar or fantasy sixth-form common room, Maria Caxuxa is all retro movie posters, mismatched furniture and lively student types milking every last drop of pleasure out of the weekend. Fun, uber-danceable tunes and a chatty vibe serve as a nice counterpoint to some of the more self-consciously cool Bairro Alto spots along the street. If you’re peckish they’ll do you an inexpensive plate of salty fries or a no-nonsense cheese and tomato panini. A giant stone oven on one wall reminds you of its former life as a bakery. It’s still pretty sweet.

 6-12 R. da Barroca, Bairro Alto
+351 21 346 1311

Limão Rooftop Bar

Views from Limão Rooftop Bar - The best bars in Lisbon
Drink in panoramic views of Lisbon at Limão Rooftop Bar

Well worth a modest mish out to the more northern reaches of the city, this rooftop hotel gem is a stellar place to catch a sundowner with views out to sea as the church bells chime. The real draw is that achingly photogenic blue and white azulejos-style floor – so very Portuguese – but the grub also warrants a shout out with artisanal mushroom burgers, pumpkin croquettes and a devilish salted caramel brownie with wild berries and walnuts, dished out on elegant low-slung tables. It’s a taste of the high life, is what we’re saying.

83 Av. Duque de Loulé, Santa Cruz


Lisbon is an especially eye-catching prospect from the air. So credit to whichever genius decided to plonk a smart cocktail spot on the rooftop of a grimy Bairro Alto multi-storey carpark. Mingle with the good-looking cool kids over an unfussy mojito and stake out a wooden bench ensconced in lush tropical foliage. The views over the rooftops and out towards the Ponte 25 de Abril bridge are unabashedly romantic and the DJs know exactly how to ramp up the party vibes until late.

58 Calçada do Combro, Bairro Alto