Portugal Nightlife: Bars & Clubs
Planning a holiday to Portugal and eager to make the most of the country’s amazing nightlife? Then here are some of the best places for Portugal nightlife.
As one of Europe’s most popular summer holiday destinations, the Algarve is famous for its bustling bars and clubs, and continues to attract many British holidaymakers all year round. In the summer, it’s not only one of the best areas for nightlife in Portugal, but it’s also one of the top clubbing destinations in all of Europe. Lagos, Albufeira and Praia da Rocha are the top resorts for partying, while the resorts of Quinta do Lagos, Vale do Lobo and Almancil are known for their up-scale nightlife and luxury hotels. From romantic bars to stag-themed party venues and beach clubs, there’s something for every taste in the Algarve.
Faro, the capital of the Algarve region, is also known for its vibrant student-themed Portugal nightlife thanks to the large number of students studying in the city at the University of Algarve. If you’re staying in Vilamoura, a popular base for honeymooners, you’ll find plenty of elegant cocktail bars and high-end venues close to the resort’s luxury marina.
Compared to the busy seaside resorts of the Algarve, the Portuguese capital has a much more authentic feel. You’ll find over 100 bars and restaurants in the Bairro Alto area, one of the main centres of nightlife in Portugal, although if you want a clubbing atmosphere, head to venues such as Urban Beach, Lux, or Plateau, which are based in different areas of the city. Many bars in Lisbon stay open until at least 3am, while discos or clubs often don’t close until 6am, when it’s already light in the summer.
This historic port in the north is the nation’s second city, and has become increasingly popular among clubbers, thanks to its bohemian Portugal nightlife. The epicentre of Porto’s nightlife is in the downtown area, where bars and clubs become very busy at weekends, although you can find quieter bars in the Passos Manuel area if you’d prefer something more laid-back. The Industrial Area is also known for its discos and commercial house music, while the historic Ferreira Borges Market is a popular party and concert playhouse.
Nightclubs and bars in the Algarve are at their liveliest in the peak season, around June to September, when large numbers of families, couples and groups of friends take their summer holidays. The Portuguese often eat quite late compared to northern Europe, which is why many clubs don’t really get going until after 10pm or 11pm. Many venues here remain open well into the early hours, and live entertainment such as comedy acts and shows are often in English.
Bear in mind that many nightlife venues on coastal resorts in the Algarve will be closed outside of the peak season, although this is a good time to get some excellent last-minute deals at very affordable prices and enjoy the quieter side of nightlife in Portugal.