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The epicentre of Portugal’s entertainment industry is firmly fixed in Lisbon. Aside from the city’s multitude of cafes and bars, the clubbing scene is legendary. Most restaurants, bars and clubs are located in the Bairro Alto, while trendier digs can be found in Santos and clubs for an older crowd are located in Alcântara and the docks. Part owned by actor John Malkovich, Lux (Armazém A, Cais da Pedra a Santa Apolónia) is probably Portugal’s most fashionable nightclub.
For a very different night out in Portugal, head somewhere where you can enjoy the country’s signature music genre, fado (literally ‘fate’). Lisbon is the best place to experience this lyrical, soulful music, particularly at A Parreirinha de Alfama (Beco do Espírito Santo 1)
Some of the best nights out in Portugal are to be had on the sun-drenched Algarve. Here, bright young things spend their days sunbathing and swimming before decamping for an explosive night of partying along Albufeira’s Avenida Dr. Francisco Sà Carneiro. The raucous fun of ‘The Strip’, as its known locally, is just one side of Portugal’s nightlife scene.
In historic Lagos, classier beach bars and jazz clubs, such as Stevie Ray’s (Rua Senhora da Graça), offer live music and tasty cocktails. Elsewhere, the quaint cobbled centre of Faro is popular with the city’s university students, who crowd the bars along Rua Conselheiro Bivar and Rua Infante Dom Henrique.
Porto is the second largest city in Portugal. It’s a lively university town, so as you’d expect it hosts some of Portugal’s best entertainment venues. The scene here is focused around Ribeira, Gaia, the university area, and Foz do Douro beach.
As a wine town, it has plenty of wine tasting bars, as well as piano bars and even galleries that transform into live music venues, such as Maus Hábitos (Rua Passos Manuel 178-4). Porto is also home to one of Portugal’s most beautiful theatres, the Teatro Nacional São João (Praça da Batalha).