Historic square ‘Largo do Carmo’ Lisbon: gothic ruins, Eurovision Song Contest 1974 & bloodless military coup

Wonderful Largo do Carmo  is one of my favorite squares in Lisbon: beautiful trees, historical buildings, fascinating church ruins, the extraordinary Santa Justa elevator and amazing city views!

Largo do Carmo Lisbon, September 2017

This picturesque square is a very popular tourist attraction, well known for the terraces, in addition to being the scene of several shootings, both (science fiction) films or documentaries and commercials. Music and traditional dance are performed here during the summer.

Lisbon Largo do Carmo1

Largo do Carmo, springtime 2014

Short term rentals: my 3bedroom authentic apartment (110 m2) in the historical part of Lisbon with a lovely patio,

10 minutes walk from this wonderful square

Lisbon square Largo do Carmo kiosk 2

Largo do Carmo Lisbon

A unique fountain stands under trees right in the middle of the square. The Chafariz (fountain) do Carmo was built here in 1796.

Largo do Carmo wikipedia jacarandas

Largo do Carmo and blossoming jacarandas.

Originally from South America, these beautiful trees of the Bignoniaceae family arrived in Lisbon in the mid-17th century and ever since, between May and June when they’re in flower, they have lovely bunches of lilac-toned petals.

Largo do Carmo Military Police Station

Largo do Carmo Lisbon

Portugal’s history & Carnation Revolution

The headquarters of Carmo (Quartel do Carmo) is a very important building for Portugal’s history. Marcelo Caetano (former dictator António de Oliveira Salazar’s replacer) found refuge in the main Lisbon military police station at the time of the revolution. On April 25, 1974, the day of  theCarnation Revolution, this building was surrounded by the MFA (Portuguese Armed Forces), which pressured Marcelo Caetano to cede power to general Spínola. It was here where the Estado Novo (New Regime) officially came to an end after almost 50 years. More..

25-abril Carnation Revolution 1974 Lisbon

Largo do Carmo Lisbon April 25 1974

The Carnation Revolution (Revolução dos Cravos)

was a largely bloodless coup. Remarkable: there were two secret signals in the military coup: first the airing of the song “E depois do adeus” (“And after the farewell”) by Paulo de Carvalho, Portugal’s entry in the 6th of April 1974 Eurovision Song Contest, which alerted the rebel captains and soldiers to begin the coup. Next, on April 25, 1974 at 12:15 am, the national radio broadcast Grândola, Vila Morena, a song by Zeca Afonso, a progressive folk singer forbidden on Portuguese radio at the time. This was the signal that the MFA gave to take over strategic points of power in the country and “announced” that the revolution had started.

More details, videos and songs on Joana Morais’ blogspot

Lisbon Largo do Carmo church museum 1

Largo do Carmo Lisbon
Here you can also find an entrance to the famous Archeological Museum, the gothic ruins of the 14th century Igreja (church) Convento do Carmo).
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Lisbon Largo do Carmo church museum Santa Justa2
Ruins of the Convento do Carmo & horrible earthquake in 1755
Open from Monday- Saturday 10h – 18h, cheap entrance. The construction of this monument started in 1389 by order of Nuno Álvares Pereira. The church was destroyed the first of November of 1755 by the horrible and well known earthquake. A lot of people died.
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Lisbon Largo do Carmo church museum Santa Justa3
 Largo do Carmo Lisbon: amazing view over Lisbon
 How to get there? How to avoid ticket queues !
The famous tourist attraction ‘Santa Justa elevator’ (Elevador de Santa Justa video), Rua do Santa Gusta, built around 1900 to connect the Baixa and Chiado districts (around 32 m high), can bring you to the Carmo Square.  
As an alternative to the elevator (and to avoid the ticket office queues  – which can be horrendous) – I prefer to walk via Rua Garrett, and turn right into Calçada do Sacramento, it’s not too steep!
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Santa Justa lift view from roof terrace warehouse Pollux
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Beautiful city view of Lisbon and Santa Justa Lift
From the roof terrace of Pollux, a huge warehouse, Rua dos Fanqueiros 276. There’s a pleasant roof terrace & bar/cafe.

Pavilhão Chines Lisbon’s 1900s style bar Bairro Alto: curiosities and kitch, bizarre & one of a kind!

A ‘must-see’ when you visit Lisbon! Once an old grocery store, this 1900s style bar, 10 minutes walk from  Bairro Alto ‘s nightlife is really unique!

Lisbon Paviljao Chines7 bar retaurant

Pavilhão Chines Lisbon: one of the most interesting and unusual decorated bars I’ve ever seen!

A good start to Lisbon’s nightlife. You have to ring the doorbell, like in many other Portuguese places. The reason for the closed doors is that the owners want to welcome you personally.

Lisbon Pavilhao Chines naked woman menu book

Erotic art: menu book bar Pavilhão Chines Lisbon

If you wish, you can buy a fine menu book with a lot of beautiful pictures and stories (20 euro) as a reminder of your visit.

Lisbon Paviljao Chines8 bar restaurant

Pavilhão Chines bar Lisbon

Fascinating collection of all sort of things, like lead soldiers, contemporary engravings, humorous ceramics and models of war planes.

Lisbon Pavilhão Chines3

Pavilhão Chines Lisbon: miniscule toy soldiers are perfectly aligned.

Walking from room to room is like going through a museum with curiosities and kitch from all over the world. It is said that only one man collected all this stuff….almost unbelievable!

Lisbon Pavilhão Chines4 bar restaurant

Pavilhão Chines Lisbon: nothing is for sale

Once sitting down at one of the beautiful tables, the choice of drinks (nothing is for sale, except the drinks and it’s a bit expensive..) is quite large: from tea, wine, cocktails to champagne.

Lisbon Pavilhão Chines9 bar restaurant

Pavilhão Chines Lisbon

You can have a drink while listening to the jukebox playing classic rock songs from the 60’s and 70’s or play snooker, and then walk down to the  Bairro Alto and enjoy the night..

Lisbon Pavilhão Chines 10 unique bar and restaurant

Pavilhão Chines Lisbon, open from 18:00 – 02:00, smoking allowed

Address: Rua Dom Pedro V 89-91, Bairro Alto. Tel: (00351)213 424 72.

Lisbon Pavilhao Chines Bar

FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/pavilhaochineslisboa

Lisbon’s craziest night: June 12, Eve of Saint Anthony, open air party’s historical areas, mix of religion & sensuality

Lisbon in June: wine, sangria, beer, the smell of grilled sardines, mojitos, caipirinhas, fado, pimba music and lots of people eating, drinking and dancing in the streets of the historical areas.

On the eve of Saint Anthony day, the ‘matchmaker ‘ (Santo António, June 13), Lisbon turns into a huge open air party!

June 12, party time! Historic area Mouraria Rua da Guia Lisbon: Eve of Santo António (Saint Anthony)

In June, the month of the Festas dos Santos Populares (Feast Days of the Popular Saints), the Lisbon nights are filled with lively festivities that take over the city’s historical center. In the ancient Alfama, Mouraria, Graça and Bairro Alto neighbourhoods it all takes place. Of course, you are welcome to join the festivities!

Historic area Mouraria Lisbon, Santo António, Rua João do Outeiro.

Santo António (Saint Anthony), Lisbon’s most popular saint

Santo António (Saint Anthony of Padua), was a Portuguese catholic priest. Many miracles have been attributed to him and he is considered a protector of the souls of purgatory, guardian of good marriages, defender of animals, healer, and advocate of lost objects. Saint Anthony was born in Alfama (1195) near Mouraria, one of the oldest areas of Lisbon.

Lisbon craziest night of the year in area Alfama, nearby Mouraria (YouTube)

Restaurant ‘Zé da Mouraria in June, Rua João do Outeiro 34, Lisbon

Restaurant ‘Zé da Mouraria’ : delicious typical Portuguese food and a popular tourist attraction in a former Moorish quarter of Lisbon, Mouraria. In the month of June, all the streets in the historical center are decorated with garlands and lights.

My 3-bedroom apartment with patio is for rent in this historical area (short term rentals)

June 12 in Lisbon: Adamastor, Santa Catarina  near the Tagus River, a popular viewpoint & gathering place.

In the ancient neighbourhoods it all takes place, but this party is also held in other parts of Lisbon, like Adamastor, a popular Tagus viewpoint, with the most breathtaking views on the Tagus river, the 25th of April Bridge and the Cristo Rei monument, overlooking the city of Lisbon.

Lisbon, June 12, Bairro Alto area

The entire month of June in Lisbon is devoted to the Saints festivities, but June 12 is a very special day. While walking around you see people eating and drinking in the streets. The crowds can be immense, there’s music everywhere and everyone around you is in a very good mood, a wonderful feeling! ‘

June 12, 2011. Famous Bica funicular Lisbon, a popular tourist attraction

Partying in the small streets around the famous Bica funicular, highly valued by tourists.

A cool and very popular lounge bar in this street is Bicaense, near the bars of the bohemian district of Bairro Alto , possibly one of the best spots in Europe for a night out. Not only in June, but every night hundreds of people from all over the world are drinking mojitos, caipirinhas and beer out of plastic cups in the narrow streets.

Pastelaria and restaurant “D. João I”, Rua D. Duarte 1-B , Lisbon

Pimba music (songs with naughty lyrics)

On June 12 the festivities in Lisbon already start around noon, and everywhere you hear music coming out of the cafes and restaurants.

YouTube “Quero Cheirar o teu bacalhau” (by Quim Barreiros): ‘I would like to smell your codfish’ 😉 😉

Even the beggar near the cafe started dancing spontaneously …..people are dancing on Pimba music – a term used for a variety of popular Portuguese folk solo singers and bands whose songs are frequently driven by metaphors with sexual meanings.

Historical area Mouraria in June: Rua da Guia, Lisbon

In the month of June all the narrow streets in Lisbon’s historical areas are packed with stalls selling sangria and beer. Everywhere there’s the sizzling aroma of grilled sardines – the traditional food of the Saint Anthony celebrations are grilled sardines – but you can also go for barbecued chicken, chouriços (sausage) or pork.

June 12 Lisbon historical area : Arraial da Mouraria, dancing in the streets

There’s lots of dancing through the night. The best thing to do is just keep going and enjoy! Throughout old Lisbon there are open air parties everywhere. The party goes on until dawn 🙂

More about Lisbon’s craziest night of the year in Mouraria

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Mouraria Saint Anthony Lisbon – pots with manjerico (basil) & small love poems

Basil & love poems

During the Santo Antonio (Saint Anthony) festival it is a tradition to offer a small pot of basil to loved ones, and in the narrow streets there are also stands where pots with manjericos (basil) are sold. Traditionally bought by boyfriends and given as a present to their girlfriends in Saint’s Anthony’s night.

Historical area Mouraria Lisbon in June: religious procession

Yearly parade

At Avenida da Liberdade, from around 8h30 pm June 12, there will be the yearly parade, with people dressed up in beautiful costumes. There’s also the Saint Anthony’s brides.

Youtube movie Saint Anthony festivities 2011

Restaurant ‘Adega de São Roque’ Lisbon, popular by football supporters & ceiling scarf decoration

Football is the most popular sport in Portugal and also in Lisbon. There are a lot of very good seafood restaurants, many with very beautiful displays of lobsters, shrimp, oysters and crabs, but a big TV-screen is also very important….! The Portuguese even watch football (futebol) while enjoying a dinner at a restaurant!

Lisbon football fans FC Schalke vs Benfica Rossio dec 7 10

Lisbon, Pastelaria Suíça, Rossio, a cafe/restaurant very popular with tourists

But this afternoon the city center was filled with blue skirts and blue jackets, just arrived in Lisbon, waiting for the match. The football supporters kill the time by drinking Cola 😉   . FC Schalke vs Benfica, Uefa Champions League.

Football lovers in Lisbon WK 2010

Restaurant 'Adega de São Roque' Lisbon tiles and football scarfs

Restaurant Cervejaria ‘Adega de São Roque’ , Rua da Misericordia, 120, Lisbon

Football lovers: this your place to be! Near the heart of the Bairro Alto area, undoubtedly one of the landmarks of gastronomy in Lisbon’s historical city center, there’s an excellent (seafood) and unique decorated restaurant. The walls and the ceiling are covered with European football team scarves and with a mix of remarkable photos of public figures who are passing through there over time.

Restaurant 'Adega de São Roque' Lisbon European football team scarfs ceiling

The ceiling in this restaurant is totally covered with European football scarves….

Here you will find not only an excellent restaurant but also a nice pub and the most diverse and traditional Portuguese snacks. The seafood cataplana and the grilled fish plate are delicious, but if you prefer pork or a steak, it’s also on the menu.

Restaurant 'Adega de São Roque' Lisbon European football team scarfs 4

Restaurant/Cervejaria ‘Adega (Cellar) de São Roque’ Lisbon in the afternoon. They are open every day from 12:00 – 24:00, so if you like to come in at 17:00 you’re welcome!

Cervejaria means ‘beerhouse’, where beer is produced (or used to be produced) and where you can eat as well. There are many Cervejaria’s in Lisbon. Most Cervejaria’s have a restaurant and a bar where you can stand and drink beer and eat snacks like a ‘prego’ which is a steak sandwich.

Lisbon Adega Sao Roque Bairro Alto football scarves Carne de porco à Alentejana

Carne de porco à Alentejana, 11,50 euro, glass of wine 1.50, bread 0,50

Pork stew with clams, potatoes, coriander and garlic is a traditional Portuguese dish, particularly near the Atlantic coast, where clams are easily found. It is called alentejana as being in the manner of the Alentejo, a province of Portugal. Delicious! Recipe YouTube

Lisbon Adega Sao Roque Bairro Alto 3

Senhor Albano Matos (l). Nice people, excellent food and good service.

Restaurant/Cervejaria ‘Adega (Cellar) de São Roque’ Lisbon, Rua da Misericordia, 120, Lisbon, tel. (+351) 213 432 167

Lisbon Adega Sao Roque Bairro Alto toilet 2

The toilet in the restaurant: Um de nós é gay (one of us is gay….)

Hotspot ‘FlowerPower’ Lisbon at Christmas: restaurant cafe, cool flower shop & owner Carlos Filipe, designer

One of Lisbon’s coolest flower shops, ‘FlowerPower’, is nowadays also a café/restaurant . A unique concept of healthy eating amid the hustle and bustle of Lisbon’s bohemien haunt of artists and writers: the legendary Bairro Alto  district.

Flower Power food and flowers Bairro Alto cafe restaurant Lisbon2

‘FlowerPower’ cafe/restaurant & vintage interior design

As soon as you enter the place you feel the relaxed atmosphere,  perfect for a light meal. You can choose a dish of the day, salads, a soup, a slice of chocolate cake, sandwiches, or go for just a glass of wine or a cool glass of rosé, accompanied by Portuguese cheeses.

Flower Power food and flowers cafe restaurant Bairro Alto Lisbon 3

The cafe/restaurant with beautiful flower arrangements

Of course the café space is lovely decorated with plants. My choice for lunch: soup (sopa: creme de gourgettes) € 2; prato do dia (menu of the day) hachis parmantier € 6,50.

Flower Power food and flowers Bairro Alto Lisbon gourmet products dog Suki

Christmas time, dog Suki is always very curious…

A small area in the cafe/restaurant with gourmet products allows you to take the finest ingredients to cook at home, or take away ‘dishes of the day’ (fusion food at low cost), salads, cakes and organic juices.

Flower Power food and flowers Bairro Alto Lisbon1

‘FlowerPower’ is sitated close to the most photographed spot in Lisbon, the famous Bica funicular

It’s also nice to watch the people on the street through the open door. Tram line 28  also passes this street, highly valued by tourists. The nearby Bairro Alto disctrict is posssibly one of the best spots in Europe for a night out.

Flower Power food and flowers Bairro Alto Lisbon Carlos Filipe owner designer artist 3

Next-door ‘FlowerPower’ shop  & Carlos Filipe, owner and designer. ‘You are from Holland? I love tulips!

The ‘FlowerPower Food’ is an extension of one of Lisbon’s coolest flower shops with the same name, created by Carlos Filipe and João Vasconcelos for over 10 years, very well-known in Lisbon for its unique and artistic flower arrangements for all types of events. Now the huge space is split into flowers and food, and customers can buy flowers, eat in the cafe-restaurant next door or buy take-away dishes.

Also available for a private party  (youtube video belly dancers), at minimum 15 people to participate)

Flower Power food and flowers Bairro Alto Lisbon dog flower shop

Dog Suki in the flower shop… ‘Natal A chegar’…. (Christmas is coming)

Carlos Filipe: “Before I came to Lisbon I lived 20 years in France (Lyon), and 5 years in Italy. I studied ‘Artes Plásticas’ (Plastic Arts) ; my atelier is in Sesimbra (30 km from Lisbon) ” . Carlos Filipe’s blog  and paintings

Flower Power food and flowers Bairro Alto Lisbon street

‘FlowerPower’ Food & Flowers

Calçada do Combro, 2 (Bairro Alto).  Open: Mon-Sun 10:00 to 21:00. mail@flowerpower.com.pt  , tel. + (351) 213 422 381

Flower Power food and flowers Bairro Alto Lisbon flowers window dressing

Beautiful Christmas window dressing

Happy New Year! Feliz ano novo!

Luxury Hotel Bairro Alto’s roof terrace, light snacks & lovely views over Lisbon

Even if you don’t stay in Lisbon’s boutique hotel Bairro Alto , you can take the tiny golden lift up to the sixth-floor roof terrace and enjoy amazing views by having a light lunch, or just an afternoon tea or a cup of coffee.

Hotel Bairro Alto roof terrace1

March 2010, a cloudy day.. roof terrace boutique hotel Bairro Alto Lisbon

The roof terrace, giving long views over the river and the city, is very popular. The hotel is on the arty side of town, located in the ancient quarter (Bairro Alto)  and Chiado, a nice traditional area and an elegant shopping district.

Hotel Bairro Alto Lisbon roof terrace2

Roof terrace boutique hotel Bairro Alto Lisbon

Strechted out on one of the chairs, you can watch night fall while savouring a glass of wine… A lunch is also available, but don’t expect a typical Portuguese lunch: ‘just light snacks’, according to the very friendly waiter.

Hotel Bairro Alto Lisbon roof terrace light lunch 3

Roof terrace boutique hotel Bairro Alto Lisbon

Caesar salad (€12.50), sandwich (€9.50). Glass of white wine (€5.00). We liked the food but we were still a bit hungry 😉  mixed cheese platter (€12.00)

Hotel Bairro Alto Lisbon roof terrace light lunch 4 view river Tagus

Roof terrace boutique hotel Bairro Alto Lisbon

The other side of the River Tagus and the famous Cristo Rei StatueHow to get there?

Hotel Bairro Alto Lisbon roof terrace light lunch 5 view city

Roof terrace boutique hotel Bairro Alto Lisbon

Chiado city view. Nearby the hotel: cafe ‘A Brasileira’ and the statue in bronze of Portugals famous poet Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935), once a regular customer, still mobbed by lots of tourists

Hotel Bairro Alto Lisbon roof terrace light lunch 6 view city

Roof terrace boutique hotel Bairro Alto Lisbon

The 1845 building of hotel Bairro Alto started life as the Grand Hotel of Europe. It became a favourite haunt for writers and artists. Its 18th-century façade forms part of the historical Luis de Camões square, named after a very famous Portuguese poet.

Hotel Bairro Alto Praça Luís de Camões Bairro Alto

Square Praça Luís de Camões . On the background Hotel Bairro Alto. The location is perfect for sightseeing and nightlife.  Bairro Alto by night

Bairro Alto Hotel window dressing champaign

Excellent Restaurant ‘Casa da Comida’ Lisbon & the heavenly garden of Sacred Art São Roque Museum

Restaurant ‘Casa da Comida’ in Lisbon is an international well-known restaurant, very famous for its Portuguese gastronomy.

Restaurant Cafetaria Casa da Comida garden Sao Roque Museum20

In January 2009 ‘Casa da Comida’ (‘ the house of food’) opened a new cafetaria/ restaurant in the wonderful new bamboo garden of Museum São Roque, just a few steps away from Bairro Alto (a legendary old neighborhood in Lisbon’s historical center). This museum and church is home to Italian art from the 16th and 17th centuries.

Restaurant Museum Sao Roque Casa da Comida 2 garden 1

The new restaurant/cafetaria is located near one of Lisbon’s most interesting churches: Igreja São Roque (Church of Saint Roch), the earliest Jesuit church in the Portuguese world with its magnificent baroque interior and the Museum São Roque : Museum de Arte Sacra (Sacred Art), one of the oldest art museums in Portugal, housed in the former ‘Misericórdia’ old people’s home and orphanage. After (or before) your visit to the church and the Museum (€ 2,50), it’s a good idea to enjoy a coffee, a light lunch or an afternoon tea in this wonderful and quiet inner-garden.

New restaurant Casa da Comida garden Museum Sao Roque girls

At the entrance of the Museum the receptionist will open the door for you, but it’s not necessary to buy a ticket. There’s a varied menu, and in winter you can also sit inside the restaurant to eat or relax.

Restaurant Casa da Comida Museum Sao Roque 2 lunch

The atmosphere is perfect for a leisury lunch. We ordered Carpaccio de carne (meat €  8.00), salade de atum (tunny € 6.00), a salad with goat-cheese (cabra € 8.00), agua (water € 1.50) and 2 glasses of (delicious) Planalto Douro wine (€ 5.00, bottle € 10.00). Coffee € 0,90.

Restaurant Casa da Comida Museum Sao Roque garden waiter Manuel Silva

Thanks to manager sr. Manuel Silva, muito obrigada for your perfect service!

Largo Trindade Coelho Museum Sao Roque Lisbon

Largo Trindade Coelho

Restaurant/Cafetaria ‘Casa da Comida’, Lisbon cafetariasaoroque@casadacomida.pt (00351) 21 323 54 46. Open: Tuesday – Sunday from 10:00 – 18:00.  (On Sundays a lot of restaurants are closed in Lisbon). Thursday 14:00 – 21:00.

Restaurant Casa da Comida Museum Sao Roque Lisbon garden 11

Rob Plews’ (teacher and writer) favorite places in Lisbon: Botanical garden & Tapada das Necessidades

Rob-plews-lisbon-writer-teacherI set foot in Lisbon back in 2001 after 9/11, and how refreshing not to understand a word as I went from café to café drinking galão, with TVs blaring in the background. I overheard an eager tourist trying to sum up this city as he scrunched his eyes under the vivid Atlantic light and scanned his vocabulary for words that fit. Faded elegance, he said.

I worked as an English teacher, moved to the Bairro Alto, opened a café, wrote two books, closed the café, and now I’m writing a third and learning to surf. For me, Lisbon is a living city. She’s female, she’s choosey, she’s testing, but if she likes you she’ll open up and share her secrets. Best thing to do is leave the guide book at home and take to the streets with an open mind. It still amazes me how people here so easily strike up conversations, and they’ll happily tell you their life story in a nutshell before giving you directions.
Lisbon is a small city, but so rich in nooks and crannies that, after almost seven years, I’m still upturning new stones. Here are two of my favourites:

Lisbon botanical Garden 3 Bairro Alto

Botanical gardens

Rua da Escola Politecnica 58 in Principe Real. Trees from all over the world, a family of squawking parrots, tiny terrapins, leafy shade, abandoned observatory and boundless inspiration.

Tapada das Necessidades.

Guarded secret even the Lisboetas don’t know about. Beautiful grounds and palace peeling pink paint, with an incredible cactus garden and a setting for a picnic you usually only see in films. Take the 28 tram to Prazeres.

tapada-das-necessidades-lisbon

Pink painted Palace  &Tapada das Necessidades

 

SNOB, restaurant in Lisbon’s Bairro Alto for the best steak in town: the bife à SNOB & a favorite place by locals

In Bairro Alto, near Principe Real square, you will find bar/restaurant SNOB.

Restaurant SNOB Lisbon Rua do Seculo 178

Restaurant ‘SNOB’ Rua do Seculo 178 , Lisbon

Ring the doorbell

If you are looking for this restaurant, don’t walk away thinking it’s closed. You have to ring the doorbell, like in many other Portuguese places. ‘SNOB’ is not a club, however. The reason for the closed doors is that the owners want to welcome you personally. Many foreigners are unaware of this and miss out on a great experience!

SNOB restaurant is a favourite of politicians, journalists, actors and artists. The restaurant is decorated elegantly in a British sixties style.

SNOB-Restaurant-Lisbon-Bairro Alto

Bar/restaurant SNOB Lisbon

The traditional Portuguese kitchen serves the best steak in town (according to many experts): the bife à SNOB. We can recommend the carne estufada (beef stew) and the feijoada a transmontana (a traditional dish of beans and pig meat).

SNOB-Restaurant-Lisbon-Bairro Alto-Owner

Bar/restaurant SNOB Lisbon: senhor Albina Oliveira

Clock without hands

Senhor Albina Oliveira and his brother are the proud owners for already 43 years. And they have every right to be proud to! The restaurant is open every day of the year, except December 24. The clock in this restaurant is famous, because it doesn’t have any hands. In other words: time is completely unimportant when you are enjoying a good meal…

Klok-SNOB-Restaurant-Bairro Alto-Lisbon

Restaurant ‘SNOB’ Rua do Seculo 178 , Lisbon.

Website

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