Gay, Travel, Lisbon, Portugal

Just the Tips: Lisbon

Whether you’re indulging in Lisbon’s bashful beauty from the window seat of iconic Tram 28E. Or her posh panorama from the countless miradouros (viewpoints) located atop her seven steep hills. Her seductive aura will captivate and enthral the gay traveller.

Find our gay guide to Lisbon below. 

Where to Sleep

As a major tourist hub, Lisbon has endless accommodations available in nearly every neighbourhood and price point.

Brown’s | Central Hotel is an eclectic little spot ideal for the traveller keen on value, location and comfort. The beds are plush, stylings are fun and the staff helpful.

Gay, Travel, Lisbon, Portugal
Sink into the eclectic design of Brown’s | Central Hotel. Photo courtesy of Brown’s.

The most discerning homos amongst us will love Valverde, a 25 room townhouse turned boutique hotel. While the classic exterior blends into its surrounds, the interior is boldly decorated with top-notch European art and finishings.

Gay, Travel, Lisbon, Portugal
A stylish suite in Valverde Hotel.Photo courtesy of Valverde.

On the opposite end of the pricing spectrum is Lisbon Story Guesthouse, a very well maintained accommodation with a range of rooms.

Finally, if you take pride spending your Pink Dollars at gay owned/operated establishments, our top recommendation is Hotel Anjo Azul located in popular Bairro Alto.

Gay, Travel, Lisbon, Portugal
Photo courtesy of Hotel Anjo Azul.

Where to Eat

Bom Dia! Begin your day at  Antiga Confeitaria de Belém where pastry chefs sling the best pastéis de nata – Portugal’s famous custard tart – in the city. NOTE: A hidden gem this is not. Expect snaking lineups along the cobblestone street.

Gay, Travel, Lisbon, Portugal
Portuguese custard tarts are available throughout Lisbon. Shutterstock.

Para lunch?” you ask… Take a bite out of regional Portugal at Time Out Market Lisboa, a series of curated kiosks featuring the country’s brightest chefs, famous dishes and sought after products. For a list of Portugal’s classic foods, read our ‘Top 10 Foods to Try in Portugal‘ blog post.

Gay, Travel, Lisbon, Portugal
Take a bite out of Portugal in Time Out Lisboa. Photo courtesy of Time Out Lisboa.

If you’re looking to rehydrate, hit the taps of the city’s thriving Tascas (taverns) and cocktail bars. Rio Maravilha, celebrated Red Frog or tropical Clube Ferroviário offer the best craft brewskis and impeccable cocktails in the city.

Gay, Travel, Lisbon, Portugal
A signature cocktail at Red Frog cocktail bar. Photo courtesy of Red Frog.

Lisbon has a wealth of dinner options that’ll appease every pallet and wallet. So we’ll just stick to recommending our favourite Portuguese restaurants.

Feitoria is a superb option overlooking the river and serving exemplary modern Portuguese plates. For a more traditional dinner, head to the Baixa & Rossio neighbourhood where you’ll find  old school Pinóquio. Finally, a gloriously gourmet night awaits at chef Henrique Sá Pessoa’s restaurant Alma. The ever-changing menu is seasonally focused, regionally inspired and uses only the highest quality Portuguese ingredients.


What to Do

With it’s dramatic views, steep hills and clunket-y rumble, historic Tram 28E is a must for first timers in Lisbon. The crayon yellow streetcar connects Martim Moniz with Campo Ourique while racketing past many of the city’s most prominent attractions.

Gay, Travel, Lisbon, Portugal
Ride Tram 28E for a historic and scenic tour of central Lisbon. Shutterstock.

If you choose to jump off the Tram a few stops early, you’ll find yourself in one of the capital’s popular neighbourhoods such as Belém or Alfama. Exploring their narrow alleys, appreciating the iconic architecture and wandering into melancholic cafes and bakeries in these areas is an activity in itself.

We highly recommend trekking up to 11th-century Castelo de São Jorge. Spend the extra euro to hire a local guide who’ll relay you with tales of the citadel-turned-palace’s fascinating history.

Art Historians should visit acclaimed Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga (National Museum of Ancient Art) located inside a former palace. Alternatively Museo Do Design E Da Moda (Fashion and Design Museum) houses a striking collection of couture.

Gay, Travel, Lisbon, Portugal
The striking entrance to Lisbon’s premiere Fashion Museum. Photo courtesy of Museo Do Design E Da Moda.

If you’re in town during the summer schedule an afternoon at Beach 19, the gay strip of sand on Lisbon’s famous beach, Costa da Caparica. It’s a bit of a trek from the city centre but the boys, booze and bola de berlim (pastries sold on the beach) are well worth the commute.

Finally, take a day in nearby Sintra, a fairy-tale municipality on the edge of Lisbon. The city centre’s colourful buildings and surprising gardens have earned it UNESCO World Heritage Status.

Gay, Travel, Lisbon, Portugal
Sintra is a fairy-tale suburb of Lisbon deemed worthy of UNESCO World Heritage. Shutterstock.

Where to Shop

Loja Das Conservas is a quirky little spot selling a selection of vintage canned seafood. Sardines, anchovies, muscles and more are soaked in water, oils or lemon and adorably packed in vintage designs.

Gay, Travel, Lisbon, Portugal
A colourful display of tinned sardines at Loja Das Conservas. Photo courtesy of Loja Das Conservas.

For a less fishy souvenir, check out prize-winning ceramicist Teresa Pavão’s showroom, Objetos de Arte. Alternatively, Yoyo Objects repurposes important Portuguese modernist furniture from the 50s through 80s.

For those in the menswear market, Maison Nuno Gama specializes in colourful garments perfect for your next big occasion. For everyday wear try Up!town Lisboa.


Where to Go Out

Lisbon’s melancholic vibe is all smoke and mirrors. As sun sets, the city’s cheap booze, open-container laws and lack of last call make it a nesting ground for raucous revelry.

The heart of Lisbon’s gay scene is in Rua Barroca. That said you’ll find other gay-owned establishments in neighbouring Principle Real.

Everyone is welcome to start their night at Side Bar for cocktails and beer. If you’re looking for somewhere hairier, try the city’s best bear bar, TR3S Lisboa. Other options include Shelter Bar, Bar Espaço 40e1 and BAR106.

If you’re looking to hit the dance floor, sashay over to Trumps, Construction or Finalmente Club.

Gay, Travel, Lisbon, Portugal
Trumps is Lisbon’s top gay club. Photo courtesy of Trumps.

That’s All!

Longing to visit Lisbon? Book your flights soon as this quickly changing hot spot continues to grow in popularity with travellers.

If you’d rather visit Portugal on a gay tour, consider our Portugal: Lisbon & Porto Gourmet Foray for a lavish taste of the coastal country.

Featured Image: Rosio Square in Central Lisbon. Purchased on Shutterstock.

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