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

Cafe restaurant Noobai Lisbon: healthy food, great music & amazing views over the river Tagus!

What a view! Certainly one of the favorite places of many Lisbon locals and visitors of the city. The entrance of Cafe Noobai is located on Miradouro (viewpoint) de Santa Catarina, also known as Adamastor.

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Cafe Noobai, view from the wonderful terrace overlooking the Tagus River

This cafe and restaurant in Lisbon is certainly worth a visit because of the wonderful view over the Tagus (Tejo) river side, the relaxed ambience and the nice people. You will find yourself coming back to this place every day after the first visit.

There’s a wifi connection you can use and there’s salad’s, sandwiches and soups, special teas and fresh juices. And of course caipirinha’s 🙂

Noobai cafe bar Adamastor

Noobai is excellent to cool off after a hot summer’s day. In winter you can sit with a fleece blanket on the terrace.

The owners of the place are Susana and Edy and many regular visitors are friends.

dede-noobai

‘Nu bai’

The name Noobai comes from ‘Nu bai’ which means ‘we go’ in the creole dialect from Cabo Verde, a former colony of Portugal

dj-noobai

Sometimes on Sundays there are DJ’s playing relaxed tunes on the terrace.

Noobai is good fur a lunch or to get things started before moving on to nearby bars in Bica or Bairro Alto

Lisbon Noobai hotspot Adamastor great Tagus River views

Cafe Noobai

Facebook

Noobai terrace overlooking the river Tagus near Adamastor

Mail: info@noobaicafe.com Facebook

Timetable: 12 am > 12 pm.  Sunday 12am > 8 pm. Closed on Monday.

Lissabon Noobai 16 april 2016

Café Noobai, Lisbon. April 16, 2016

A lovely place in Lisbon 🙂 Cecile Joyce and Cristine van Haalen

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.

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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

Traditional fado Lisbon: taverna ‘Tasca do Jaime’ (Fado Vadio), close to famous fleamarket ‘Feira da Ladra’

Enjoy the real fado while munching on freshly-fried cod pastries in the late afternoon in Tasca do Jaime, one of the most intriguing of Lisbon’s ‘tavernas’. Traditionally, the Fado houses are popular and a meeting spot for families and friends. Close to Lisbon’s legendary flea market ‘Feira da Ladra’

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‘Tasca do Jaime’ taverna Lisbon: real fado music

You won’t always find the best fadistas, but don’t let that scare you off. This is real traditional fado, out of the tourist circle, where the fado singers can enter spontaneously and improvise.

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‘Tasca do Jaime’ taverna Lisbon, Saturday afternoon

As soon as somebody gets up to sing the audience stops talking and all the attention is on the singer. The Portuguese have a lot of respect for the performers and it is of utmost importance that the singers can concentrate and express their emotions in their singing. When the song is about to finish the audience starts applauding and cheering.

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‘Tasca do Jaime’ taverna Lisbon

Fado Vadio on Saturdays, Sundays and public Holidays from 16:00 to 20:00, Rua da Graça 91, Lisbon.

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‘Tasca do Jaime’ taverna Lisbon

Fadistas, as fado singers are known, often wear a black shawl of mourning, as one of Maria Severa did after her heartbreak. Her story epitomizes fado’s connection with saudade, “a feeling of longing or nostalgia”.

UPDATE 2015

Restaurant Portugalia Lisbon & Cervejaria’s, beer houses & seafood restaurants in Lisbon

A Cervejaria is a ‘beerhouse’, where beer is produced (or used to be produced) and where you can eat as well. There are many cervejaria’s around Lisbon and the quality of the food is normally very good.

Portugalia cervejaria Lisbon Avenida Almirante Reis

‘Portugalia’ restaurant on Avenida Almirante Reis (near Praça do Chile). Most Cervejaria’s have restaurant and a bar where you can stand and drink beer and eat snacks like a ‘prego’ which is a steak sandwich. The steak is grilled on the plate and comes with garlic in a white roll. The Portugese eat the prego’s (literally: nails, referring to the full stomach after eating one) with mustard or piri-piri. A popular snack as well is a small plate of cooked shrimps (camarão) served with sea salt and a part of lemon. You can ask for camarão grande (big ones), camarão medio (medium) or camarão pequeno (baby shrimps).

Portugalia cervejaria Lisbon Avenida Almirante Reis 3

Portugese love there seafood with beer (or with ice cold vinho verde). So on the restaurant menu in a Cervejaria, you will find a lot of seafood (marisco). You can have big shrimps (gambas or camarão tigre), scampi (lagostim) and crab (sapateira). Cooked fresh seafood tastes fantastic with mayonaise, grilled seafood goes very well with ‘molho de limão’. This is a sauce of butter, lemon and a bit of piri-piri. If they don’t bring it, ask for it. Like in all Portugese restaurants, it’s not strange to be specific about how your food is prepared or accompanied.

The crab, sapateira, is cooked and the body is open and filled with a mixture of (among others) crab meat, vinagre, onion, pickles, tomates, eggs, parsley and port wine.

Then there’s the steaks. The steaks can be grilled or fried in a pan with butter. Ask for a steak in ‘molho de cerveja’, ‘beersauce’. It comes with a fried egg on top.

Famous cervejaria’s are restaurants Portugalia and Trindade. Trindade, situated on Rua de Trindade (near Bairro Alto), is a massive restaurant which has a beautiful garden where you can sit during summertime. Prices are a bit above average, but the decoration makes it worthwhile.

Trindade website

Cervejaria Portugalia has become a brand over the years (There are even Portugalia restaurants in shopping centers and outside of Lisbon). You will find many families with children and it’s a bit touristy. The original 80 year old Portugalia restaurant on Avenida Almirante Reis (near Praça do Chile) is certainly the best one you can choose. This is the most traditional Portugalia you can find. Before entering the restaurant you will pass the messy bar where many men hang out, eat pregos and drink beer.

Don’t get us wrong, Portugalia is certainly worth a visit. The shrimps in garlic and olive oil (below) are a treat. Fans can order merchandising on the Portugalia website.

Portugalia cervejaria Lisbon Avenida Almirante Reis Shrimps Garlic

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.

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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

Clubs: World famous club in Lisbon ‘Lux Fragil’, unique river Tejo location, trendy hot 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.