Lisbon spent a long time being somewhat below the radar in terms of the best areas for LGBTQ folks in Europe, but between the city’s relentless fabulous nightlife, and the huge success of the 2018 Eurovision song contest the city is finally getting the attention it deserves.
We’re not just talking bars and clubs here, although there is a veritable plethora of those, Lisbon has everything you are looking for, and a fair few things you didn’t know you were!
Here’s a breakdown of the favourite spots of me and my friends, be sure to let me know of any you think need to be added.
It is impossible to try and put all the LGBTQ friendly bars and clubs in Bairro Alto into one list, so it’s better to just advise heading here after dark and discovering what is waiting for you.
Portas Largas is a good place to start though, with a huge LGBTQ community, but also welcoming to any straight friends you might have brought with you. This is also the place to get some of the cheapest drinks in central Lisbon.
Principe Real fits the same description as Bairro Alto, but Construction deserves a space all of its own.
It’s only open on Friday and Saturday, but you can have enough fun in just one of those nights to last you the same week!
As with most LGBTQ focused clubs in Lisbon, Construction is hetero friendly too, and if you want to dance the night away, this is the place. While house music is the go-to, expect many an 80s themed night, with some samba sessions thrown in for good measure!
The phrase camp as Christmas doesn’t even come close to describing Trumps. A short hop from Rato metro station, and not too far from Principe Real either, Trumps is best known for its drag shows, which involve the best drag acts in the city, who have developed a following all of their own.
There’s much more than that on offer here though, as one of Lisbon’s oldest gay clubs, Trumps has developed its strong reputation based on offering the highest level of fun you will find anywhere in the city.
If you know saunas, you know what to expect here, but there’s a lot more than that going on at Trombeta.
Close to Portas Largas, offering a place to prepare for a night out, chill down after one, or just spend a night enjoy the steam rooms and the company.
There’s a bar offering good music and reasonably priced drinks if you’re just looking for a sociable outing, and if you’re looking for more, well, you won’t have to look far!
This bar is a lot more niche than the others on this list. A €5 entry fee (€4 with a membership) gets you into a world of fetish.
The dress code is pretty strict here, and we’re not talking about shirts and ties. Naked, underwear, and fetish garments are the way to go when preparing the perfect outfit for a night at Cru.
There’s a shop attached too, open until 2am, and offering suitable outfits for the club, as well as toys and other fun additions for your evening.
Dance nights are frequent here, but it’s the more specialist parties that tend to get the most attention.
Warning – This is not one for the shy.
Straight back to the other end of the spectrum, another Principe Real hotspot is Gayola, a steakhouse that offers top quality food, and then drinks and dancing until the early hours of the morning.
The décor here is next level fabulous, with pink and lime green from floor to ceiling.
Hopefully, this gives a good mix of venues for whatever you’re after, but, as stated above, Lisbon has so, so many options. I suggest starting at one of the above places, and then just seeing where the night takes you!