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Plan Your Trip to Lisbon: Best of Lisbon Tourism

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Explore Lisbon

At first glance, Lisbon’s got everything you could want from a centuries-old European city, with its winding cobblestone streets and a skyline dotted with Medieval castles. But it’s more than just its past. Now, the older sights feel right at home within Lisbon’s more modern vibe. So, enjoy the classics: Listening to moody fado music in the historic Alfama district, picking up custard tarts from their namesake shop in Belém, and gawking at the city’s signature tilework everywhere. But leave time for the new(er) stuff: Try fresh takes on traditional Portuguese food, explore the modern art galleries and street art at LX Factory, and catch a DJ set in a former brothel on Pink Street. The city’s super walkable but the tram (those iconic yellow streetcars) will be there when your feet get tired.

Travel Advice

Essential Lisbon

4 great walks in Lisbon

Pack your walking shoes and hit the streets
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An LGBTQ+ guide to Lisbon

A historic city that’s also known to be one of the most LGBTQ+-friendly destinations in Europe? Sign me up. Lisbon is full of travel experiences that cater to the queer crowd, especially in beloved gayborhoods like Bairro Alto, Chiado, and Príncipe Real. After sobbing to a fado performance (ideally by the queer duo Fado Bicha) and downing all the vinho verde and pastéis de nata you can handle, check out my favourite spots for an LGBTQ+-centric visit to Lisbon.
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  • Pensão Amor
    Housed in a former brothel, Pensaõ Amor is an erotic-themed speakeasy with frequent burlesque shows. Sailors may be the original patrons, but now members of the LGBTQ+ pack this historic watering hole every night. We stuck around after the show to check out the quirky decor—a hodgepodge of personal objects and messages left behind by patrons of the brothel—and I recommend you do the same. If you’re feeling especially frisky, you can even stay the night in one of the old rooms.
  • Finalmente Club
    Every Tuesday through Saturday night at 10:30 p.m., Finalmente Club in Bairro Alto hosts a sexy variety show with a touch of drag, some burlesque, and a whole lot of feathers. We headed over right after dinner to snag a seat near the stage and were totally dazzled by the luxurious fantasy that played out on stage.
  • Friends Bairro Alto
    Not every night in Lisbon is all about drag or burlesque. If you can pull yourself away from the performances, head to Friends—a small, indoor-outdoor bar in Bairro Alto. It’s a chill spot for affordable tapas and beers in the early evening and a great place for dancing late at night, when it turns into a nightclub playing pop hits into the wee hours.
  • Bar 106
    One of the oldest gay institutions in the city, Bar 106 hosts its iconic message parties on Sunday nights. When we got to the bar, we were each given a number and told to write a message for another guest. We then had to find the other person in the bar with our same number and deliver our message to them as a great way to meet someone new. Who doesn’t love an impromptu icebreaker?
  • Shelter Bar Lisboa
    Shelter Bar is for the bears, but everyone is welcome at this laid-back gay bar. It’s usually not too crowded, so it’s a good place to grab a drink if you actually want to talk to your friends. You can even take your cocktails out to the street in front and enjoy the festive atmosphere of the surrounding Príncipe Real neighbourhood. (Lisbon doesn’t have laws against open containers.)
  • Calle Rosa de Lisboa
    It’s a bit kitschy, but I couldn’t pass up a photo opp on Lisbon’s Insta-famous Pink Street. Painted a bright shade of bubblegum, Rua Nova do Carvalho used to run through Lisbon’s red-light district but is now lined with fun bars and clubs. It can be a bit of a stinky mess in the early morning hours, but that’s when you’ll have your best chance at snapping a crowd-free picture under the rainbow umbrella canopy.
  • Costa da Caparica: Beach & History
    We visited Lisbon in the summer, so a day trip to a nearby beach was an absolute must. In Costa da Caparica, just an hour-long train ride from Lisbon, Beach 19 is a popular nude beach among the LGBTQ+ crowd. Spend the day on this rugged stretch of sand, nestled within a nature reserve, and you’re sure to find other queer travellers soaking up the sun in their birthday suits.