Unique bar ‘Pensão Amor’ (‘Love’ Guesthouse) Lisbon: former red light district, sailors, pink street & pole dance

Rua Nova do Carvalho in Lisbon, located behind the Time Out famous market & foodhall near the river Tagus, was for decades known as a street in the city’s red light district with bars named after European capitals (like Copenhagen,  Oslo or Roterdão (Rotterdam) and Jamaica bar to attract the sailors who stepped off their boats here.

Bar ‘Pensão Amor’ Lisbon: wonderful drawings on the walls of the stairs

Former red light district

‘Pensão Amor’ is located in a typical Portuguese 18th-century building. Once a cheap pension with rooms rented by the hour to prostitutes and their clients to enjoy a short moment of love 😉

Along the 5 floors of the building you can admire remake copies of old posters from burlesque shows and peep shows.

Drawing artist Mario Belem

Bar ‘Pensão Amor’ Lisbon: burlesque decor & ceilings with frescoes

Wonderful décor

The ceilings of this former ‘guesthouse’ are painted with frescoes, the walls are covered with mirrors, paintings and old posters, and decorative pieces give the space an old burlesque, relaxed atmosphere. Amazing! The wonderful décor is recalling the history of the building.

Bar ‘Pensão Amor’ Lisbon: the pole dance room

Pole dance & YouTube: Marina mey

Now ‘Pensão Amor’ is one of the most popular bars in Lisbon with various spaces for events like concerts, ateliers, a book store (love/erotica), a trendy hair saloon, bars and a bar with Peruvian specialties. The pole dance room is decorated with leopard and gold. Pole dance workshops are held here to learn the tricks of seduction…

Rua Nova do Carvalho, hip and trendy street in Lisbon

Area Cais do Sodré  

Nowadays this area is a hip and trendy region in Lisbon.

Rua Nova do Carvalho is a street lined with hip bars and clubs that become crowded after 2AM when the bars in the legendary area Bairro Alto start to close.

Rua Nova do Carvalho, hip and trendy pink street in Lisbon

More remarkable bars in this street:

bar/cafe Sol e Pesca, and Bar da Velha Senhora (Old Ladies Bar).

‘Pensão Amor’ Lisbon – Erika Reusens admires the bar in burlesque style

The bar has two entrances Rua do Alecrim 19  including an outside café terrace) and on Rua Nova do Carvalho. YouTube

Pensão Amor Art & culture, Bars | Cocktails  € 8.00, beer € 3. Facebook

Mon – Wed 12:00 – 02:00, Thu – Fri 12:00 – 04:00, Sat 18:00 – 04:00

Bar ‘Pensão Amor’ Lisbon – stairs to the bar

YouTube

More about the the metamorphosis of this area: Portugaldailyview & video

Looking for a short-term apartment in Lisbon? My 3-bedroom apartment in historic area Mouraria with 30 m lovely private patio 🙂

Bar ‘Pensão Amor’ Lisbon : drawing stairs to the bar

Bar “da Velha Senhora” (Old Lady’s bar) Lisbon: burlesque performances & the day ‘barefoot diva’ Cesária Évora died

Update 2017: at the moment this bar is closed 🙁 🙁

If you like burlesque performances, glittering revue shows and cabaret a must-go place is bar “da Velha Senhora” (Old lady’s bar) in Lisbon! Video: ‘Hallooooooooooooooooooo!”  2 beautiful ladies invite you to enjoy the show

Bar da Velha Senhora” Cais do Sodré, Lisbon

While eating traditional Portuguese snacks (“petiscos“) you can enjoy various artistic performances. This bar is in the same typical Portuguese 18th-century building as Pensão Amor” (a former ‘love’ guesthouse), with a wonderful unique décor . Also really worth a visit!

Stage Bar ”da Velha Senhora” Cais do Sodré, Lisbon

Inside, almost everything complies with the burlesque theme and imagery of Lisbon in the early twentieth century. The building itself – a cultural and artistic project – witnesses the time that thirsty sailors docked in the harbor and spent their free time drinking booze and have fun with women.

Bar ”da Velha Senhora” Cais do Sodré, Lisbon

Former Lisbon’s red light district

The stories of prostitutes and sailors are inseparable from Cais do Sodré, formerly known as Lisbon’s red light district with bars named after northern European capitals (like Copenhagen, or Roterdão, Rotterdam) to attract their sailors who stepped off their boats here.

But times have changed: nowaydays it is a great area to go out at night! Musicbox is a trendy hotspot for live bands and DJ’s, disco clubs Tokyo and Jamaica became two of the most loved alternative clubs in Lisbon.

Bar ”da Velha Senhora” & DJ Rycardo Lisbon, December 17, 2011

The day Cesária Évora died

I will never forget the day Cesária Évora died, December 17, 2011. Early in the evening we went to Bar da Velha Senhora. When DJ Rycardo started to play the famous and wonderful songs of Cesária, suddenly all the people in the bar started spontaneously clapping their hands and some began to cry … I still get goosebumps thinking about that day…!

Bar ”da Velha Senhora” & DJ Rycardo Lisbon: the day Cesária Évora died

A woman jumped on the table and started to dance…….   Amazing!

Popular singer Cesária Évora, “the Barefoot Diva’, has made Cape (Cabo) Verde famous all over the world. She generally performed in bare feet, as a sign of solidarity for the large number of women and children back home in the Cape Verdean Islands who cannot afford shoes.

Cesária Évora: ‘Miss Perfumado (youtube). More about former Portuguese colony Cape Verde (from 1456-1975)

Bar ”da Velha Senhora” Cais do Sodré, Lisbon

Rua Nova do Carvalho 38, Cais do Sodré, Lisbon, tel. (00351)351 213 468 479. Open: Tuesday to Sunday 6pm to 4am . FACEBOOK

Metro: Cais do Sodré. Facebook.com/bardavelhasenhora

Lisbon nightlife: bar ‘ANOS 60’ in area Mouraria: trendy spot in historical area & great live music

UPDATE November 2016: bar ‘ANOS 60’ is closed due to building restoration work.

Very popular, new in 2016 at this square: FLAMINGO BAR

Lisbon Festas Santo Antonio June 12 Libon Erika Reusens

FLAMINGO BAR Lisbon Mouraria

Feast days in June : a wonderful time to visit Lisbon.

Much more……


Mouraria Lisbon ANOS 60 July 2014 trendy bar

Young tourists from the US

Bar ANOS 60 historic area Mouraria Lisbon, July 2014

 

 

History BAR ANOS 60 Mouraria (written in 2008)

This unique bar and top-class restaurant has been established in the nineties in the  historic Mouraria neighbourhood and is located at Largo do Terreirinho. It is also one of the best places to talk politics (also in English) and to listen to live music (Fado/Brasilian a.o.). The owner, senhor Fernando Casanova, chose the area of Mouraria because of the historic nature of the neighborhood.

Anos 60 Bar in Mouraria live music

Bar/restaurant ‘ANOS 60’ in Mouraria Lisbon

Politicians, journalists and many local celebrities meet up in ‘Anos 60’ to discuss politics, dine and enjoy the live Brazilian and Portuguese music. Mariza, the internationally well-known fado singer started her career in Mouraria where she grew up and performed many times in ‘ANOS 60’.

Lisbon Bar Anos 60 Mouraria Che Guevara

Bar/restaurant ‘ANOS 60’ in Mouraria Lisbon

Che Guevara . ‘Anos 60′ means ‘the sixties’. The name was chosen because of the rough political times in the sixties in Portugal, when the Portuguese people suffered under the corrupt dictator António de Oliveira Salazar, president of the Council of Ministers of Portugal for 36 years, from 1932 to 1968, and founder of the Estado Novo (New Regime). On April 25, 1974, the Estado Novo finally fell with the Carnation Revolution.

Lisbon Mouraria Bar Anos 60 live music

Bar/restaurant ‘ANOS 60’ in Mouraria Lisbon

ANOS 60 owner Fernando Casanova was, as a journalist, part of the intellectual opposition and in his bar still many discussion about the era of the revolution take place. Fernando contributed for 2 years to the political newspaper “Aqui” which was published during the period of the revolution. The Club de Jornalistas’ in Lapa, which now has 700 members, has a strong connection to the bar.

Anos 60-Fernando-Casanova-Lisbon-Mouraria

Fernando Casanova , owner of bar/restaurant ‘ANOS 60’ in Mouraria Lisbon

The clock in ‘ANOS 60’ stands still at 04:10. Stories go round that this was the time that the Carnation Revolution started… But according to Fernando, it has another reason. It has to do with the official closing time: 04:00. In the weekends the bar usually closes later. After dancing the night away you walk out onto the street at 07:00, but the clock still indicates 04:10!

Anos 60-Lisbon-Mouraria-clock

Bar/restaurant ‘ANOS 60’ in Mouraria Lisbon

In the month of June, festivities take place all over Portugal to celebrate the three Saints – Santo António, São João and São Pedro. The traditional neighborhoods Mouraria and Alfama are decorated in many colours and all the people are dancing in the streets and having barbeques, mostly sardinhas (sardines).

Lisbon Santo Antonio Mouraria june 09 Largo bar Anos 60 2

Bar/restaurant ‘ANOS 60’ in Mouraria Lisbon in June: dinner outside

 

ANOS 60 (closed in 2016)
Largo do Terreirinho 21, 1170 Lisbon.

More about this area…

A brief introduction to the gay bars in Bairro Alto Lisbon & Gay Clubs and Parties

Bairro Alto is a fantastic old neighbourhood in the center of the city. One of the oldest parts of town. Literally, Bairro Alto means ‘High neighbourhood’, as it is on top of one of the seven hills of Lisbon. It is a maze of narrow streets streets filled with old fashion and charming grocery stores during the day, but at night, bars suddenly appear everywhere from behind the shutter doors.

Bairro Alto_Lisbon_gay_neighbourhood

Since the eighties Bairro Alto has become ‘the place to be’ when it comes to nightlife. When the locals go out and say they go ‘ao Bairro’ (‘to the neighbourhood’) they can only mean Bairro Alto. Don’t expect big clubs though, you will find these in other parts of the city.

Bairro Alto was well known as the center of journalism in Portugal, all the main newspapers had their offices in the neighbourhood. And journalists need bars to get inspiration, and well, one thing let to another. The neigbourhood now attracts people from all walks of life even with the publishers all long and gone.

The Portugese tend to go out very late. They’ll leave the house at about midnight and start the night of easy with a drink in one of the bars, and when it’s warm out they prefer the streets. In summertime it is hard to move in Bairro Alto, all the little streets are crowded with people. The first days you will think a local holiday is being celebrated, but it’s just normal summer madness. Most places in Bairro Alto close at 02:00. For people heading for the nightlife, Bairro Alto is a pleasant warming-up.

Bairro Alto Lisboa - Gay Picture Rene van Gijn 0936

Picture: Rene van Gijn

Gay bars

Now that you know something about Bairro Alto it’s time to get down to business: Where can you go and meet new friends? The Portuguese are not so open about their sexual preferences and the few people that are ‘out’ you’ll probably find in Bairro Alto. But don’t worry, the neighbourhood is very famous across the globe and you are sure to meet many nice guys when you hit the streets.

Bairro Alto has about 50 different bars and small clubs and the majority of the places is not gay, but most of them are ‘gay-friendly’. Cruising however is not recommended. Gay Clubs and Parties in Lisbon .

Beach 19, Portugal’s most famous and popular gay beach & how to get there

Portas Largas

The best place to start of is Portas Largas as it opens early (at about five already), it’s in the heart of Bairro Alto on Rua da Atalaia. The bar is very international and you’ll most likely be served by some cute muscly Brazilian guys that already work there for years. The owner of Portas Largas has his own hotel round the corner of the bar ‘Anjo Azul’ where you will be very welcome as well.

In Portas Largas you can drink caipirinha’s (they’re quite good) and jars of Sangria. From early on the place attracts an international crowd.

Fragil

This is a small but very cool club facing the entrance of Portas Largas. Famous for it’s enormous influence on Portugese club life and music. Many famous Dj’s have played here.

The audience is 90% gay on most nights, the door policy is friendly but not everybody is allowed in.

Fragil_club_gay_lisbon_Bairro Alto

World famous club in Lisbon ‘Lux Fragil’, unique river location, trendy spot & John Malkovitch

Many experts say this is one of the best clubs in Europe. A three floor building on a unique location along the river Tejo, near train station Santa Apolónia.

Lux_Fragil_Lisbon_clubs

After his succes with the Bairro Alto club Fragil, Manuel Reis used his experiences in creating this trendy hot spot together with associate John Malkovitch (yes, you are right, the actor). This club is certainly still one of the top clubs in town, but the glory days were the opening year 1999 up until about 5 years ago (I’m sorry, but we have to be honest). Still worth a visit though, not in the last place for the top musical attractions you will find here. The view from the gigantic balcony also remains unbeatable.

The place is divided in three floors. On ground floor you will find the club area, a rectangle and dark room with two bars and a stage. First floor is a bar and lounge, with a smaller open space in the middle for dancing. But go to the balcony first and take your time to enjoy the riverview. The decoration of the bar/ lounge changes at least every half year (my personal favourite was the era that the whol place was filled with enourmous beenbags and ‘pouffes’). The second floor is a roofterrace, only open in summer.

Lux_Club_Lisbon_nightlife

Lux fragil open it’s doors for clubbers usually around midnight, but the best time to arrive is from 3.00 till 5.00. As most bars in Bairro Alto close around 2:00 am, all barowners, DJ’s and nightflies choose where to go. Doors close at 5:00. But the club stays open till about 08:00 or 09:00.
There’s many concerts in Lux as well, starting earlier. For an agenda of the clubnights and the concerts visit the luxfragil website.

Resident DJ’s

All major DJ’s from Europe play in Lux, but there are a few Portuguese stars that made their way to the top behind the desks in Lux Fragil.

Probably the most famous of them all is DJ Vibe. Check out some of his mixes on his myspace page. Facebook. He’s one of the residents in Lux and of course a well-known producer.

Rui Vargas is no doubt one of the Lux Fragil dinosaurs. You can see him in Lux almost every week.