Lifestyle & Culture

Sarah Nagaty: My Top 5 list of Lisbon clubs for an unforgettable night out

My friends and I were brainstorming the other day, trying to make a list of the best clubbing experiences we’ve had in Lisbon. We agreed that five Lisbon clubs really stand out for us. We’ll get to that in a minute.

First, you should know there are a lot to choose from. Lisbon is a city with a vibrant nightlife and club scene. Bars, clubs, restaurants, live music, and rooftop terraces which offer all genres of music and all types of cuisines can be found all across the Portuguese capital.

Most of the clubs are in Cais do Sodre, Santos or Alcantra (click here for map)

Every night, thousands of locals and guests begin the real party time after midnight in the wide range of Lisbon’s clubs. Whichever music or dance style you are into, there will be the perfect club out there for you. Fortunately, Lisbon’s clubs are quite varied, ranging from those who host local DJs and musicians to those influenced by Latin American and African fusions.

Most clubs in Lisbon are located either in Cais do Sodre, Santos or Alcantra which are all in proximity to one another. So if you feel like spending your night in different venues, you will not be far away from the next club.

Be prepared to pay something between 10 euros and 20 euros for entrance (not counting drinks). However, for your money, you get to enjoy music from really good artists. So it is kind of like paying for a ticket to go to a concert.

The list compiled here consists of subjective recommendations of clubs in Lisbon which we guarantee will give you a night to remember. The list is by no means exclusive but definitely will tempt you to go out and experience the scene yourself.

Lux

Ask anyone … they will probably tell you that Lux is for sure Lisbon’s No. 1 club. As a matter of fact, many people think of it as Portugal’s top club.

Through the terraces of Lux, you get a great view over the Tejo River. Lux offers various music styles; you might need to follow them on Facebook to stay up to date with their program. The club hosts the best DJs and artists from across Portugal as well internationally recognized acts. They can be a bit picky at the door, so try not to make this “I am going out in my pj’s” night.

This three-story club is a great place for dance, parties, live music and meeting very cool crowds.

Address: Av. Infante D. Henrique a Sta Apolónia Cais da Pedra, Armazém A, 1950-376 Lisboa

Ministerium Club

This is not a conventional venue. This club is in the former building of the Portuguese Ministry of Finance. The historic building hides behind its walls one of the busiest dance clubs in Portugal with an incredibly modern spirit.

Located in the heart of Lisbon, Praça do Comércio, the Ministerium Club is a hub for house and techno music. The bouncers are not the most easygoing
(like everywhere actually); however, their exceptional guest artists will make it totally worth it.

Address: Praça do Comércio 72, 1100-016 Lisboa

Finalmente Club

To give your night a different twist, go to Finalmente. This club offers the best drag show in town. Finalmente is over 40 years old and has always attracted diverse groups of people. Even if drag shows are not your thing, you will definitely have a lot of fun because the artists along with the clientele are A LOT of fun. It is in a way quite contagious. Their nightly drag shows start at 3 am.

And don’t be surprised if Katy Perry shows up.

Address: R. da Palmeira 38, 1200-313 Lisboa

Incognito

It is difficult to speak of Lisbon’s nightlife and not mention Incognito. The name could not be more fitting. It is not the easiest club to find as it has no sign outside and to get in, you have to ring a bell!

If you are into alternative music, this small club is the right place for you. The basement floor is where you can get wild dancing all night to loud music while the upper floor is for a more chill night. Go early as there could be queues, the club is quite popular and it can only accommodate about 150 people.

Address: R. Poiais de São Bento 37, 1200-356 Lisboa

Casa Independente

Whether it is a club or a not, it is difficult to tell. What I am sure of is that it is my favorite in this list. Everything about it is special. The building is an old townhouse. Hence, it feels cozy and real.

It has a great outdoor seating area, a rooftop, and an indoor lounge. It feels like you are in a house party with the added benefits of being in a public place such as the interesting young crowds from all over the world, the bar, and the outdoor area. The big room is used for concerts, parties and DJ nights.

You will need to check their schedule ahead of time to know when
they are having an event. On a regular day, you can just go for a drink with friends and enjoy the venue. The homely atmosphere of Casa combined with the long dance nights they host would make you experience quite a unique night in busy Lisbon.

Address: Largo do Intendente Pina Manique 45, 1100-285 Lisboa

About the author:

Sarah Nagaty is a PhD researcher of cultural studies in Lisbon. She’s lived in Portugal for two years.

As a student of cultural studies, Sarah is drawn to what connects people from different backgrounds to new cultures and places, how they relate to their new surroundings and what kind of activities they could engage with in their new hometowns.

See all of Sarah’s Dispatches posts here.

See Dispatches’s Lisbon story archive here.

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