Discovering the unknown & exploring outside the box are just two of Travel Writer Kate Armstrong’s passions when she’s on the road & she’s sharing all her all her curious findings with us. This week she takes us drinking around Lisbon.
Soak up the picturesque views with a couple of cocktails as we share the best locations for downtown bars in Lisbon, Portugal.
Lisbon is spread over seven hills and this means some mighty vistas. The best way to soak up the views is over a cocktail or three at lofty heights.
You can be easily spoiled for choice and with drinks costing around €7 to €16, you want to make sure you are at the right location to have the best experience.
This converted six-storey car park currently dominates the millennials’ social media comms and draws a trimmed-beard crowd. The rooftop is an oasis of fake grass and real plants, along with a bevvy of hip, young bar staff who shake up a great mojito. Limited views span the 25 de Abril Bridge.
There are two Topos – one in an incongruous place above a very ugly 1970s commercial block on Martim Moniz Plaza and the other in front of the stunningly beautiful historic Convento do Carmo in Chiado. Views from both face the castle, not the river.
The difference is the clientele: the first – Martim Moniz – draws a hip Portuguese crowd earlier on during sunset and an international scene after dark. Convento do Carmo, meanwhile, is a magnet for international drinkers, romantic couples, and moneyed locals. Topo serves up its own cocktails, along with the classics.
One of the first of Lisbon’s drinking spots with a view, Noobai spans several floors (it’s most easily entered from Miradouro Santa Catarina). Each floor shares the same view over the Tagus River and towards 25 de Abril Bridge. It does a good and very minty mojito. If you love it, reasonable food is served here, too.
The artistic and creative Café da Garagem is perfect for a tipple after visiting Sao Jorge Castle. Housed in the Teatro Taborda, it’s Lisbon’s best kept ‘bar-with-view’ secret.
Décor has a theatrical bent with door-mounted-on-wall sculptures and retro light shades. Even the view is slightly unexpected – this dramatic panorama faces ‘into’ Lisbon towards Convento da Graça.
This centrally located hotel, has around since the 1950s, and has a rooftop bar. Grab your sunglasses – the décor is very white and offers little shade – for an unexpected view of the baixa (downtown) and the river beyond. It attracts a slightly more mature and international clientele.
Despite its chic location in fashionable Principe Real, this laid-back place has a slight hippy element to it. The Indian divinity, Krishna, is present in various murals and statues. It serves up good drinks and castle views, minus a snooty attitude.
The most casual of the selections, this quirky spot is housed in the compact grounds of a circus school: there’s a restaurant, outdoor seating under a ‘big top’ and a bar with small terrace; it’s a casual and friendly place with a colourful atmosphere and friendly staff.
GETTING THERE AND AWAY
Once you’ve flown into Lisbon, getting around on foot is the easiest way to go (wear sturdy shoes or runners because of cobblestones) but the city is well serviced by local buses and metro. The Visit Lisboa tourist office provides good maps and information.
Got any favourite Lisbon bars to spill? Share them below!
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