Lisbon, Portugal’s hilly, coastal capital city, may not be the first European city you think of visiting. Sure, London, Paris and Rome might get all the attention, but Lisbon is equally worthy. With its incredible landscapes, architecture, culture and more, you’ll fall in love with gay Lisbon.
The weather is mild year round and it’s easily the least expensive capital city in Western Europe. While the gay scene is smaller than in other major cities, there is still much to draw any LGBT traveler.
Local Lisbon culture
If this is your first time visiting Lisbon, you’ll need to do these things to get the authentic experience. Fado is Lisbon’s unofficial music — you’ll hear it in restaurants, shops and in the streets. Thankfully, Fado’s soulful sounds are sure to tickle your fancy if you stop to appreciate the beautiful melody.
The best way to get around Lisbon is via the Tram. Route 28 is the most popular tram line. Route 28 will take you through the Alfama neighborhood, so you can check out the picturesque backdrop.
Lisbon also has delicious treats like pastel de Belém. These custard tarts are great with your afternoon coffee or tea. Since the Portuguese like to start partying late in the evening, so if you’re a night owl, Lisbon is perfect.
In addition to the Alfama neighborhood, there are other historic sites in Lisbon to explore. Belém, another neighborhood, is packed with monuments, museums and (as you might have guessed) is home to the famous pastel de Belém.
Sintra, about twenty miles northwest of Lisbon, has fairytale-like villas with cobblestone streets. It’s also home to plenty of castles and palaces. We particularly recommend Sáo Jorge Castle, a Moorish castle on the hilltop overlooking old Lisbon and the Tagus River. This ancient castle dates back to the medieval period and is one of the main tourist attractions.
Rossio Square also has a long history dating back to the Middle Ages. This square was the setting of revolts, celebration, bullfights and public executions. Nowadays, its magnificent backdrop is great for selfies.
Gay Lisbon nightlife
Nightlife in gay Lisbon starts very late. While in many places things start wrapping up around 2 or 3 a.m., that’s when gay Lisbon clubs finally get going. The favorite spots are found in the Principe Real and Bairro Alto neighborhoods. The gays tend to hang out on Rua Barraco between Rua das Salgadeiras and Travessa dos Fiéis de Deus.
Bar 106, a gay bar that’s been open for over 18 years, is charming and cozy; they also offer different theme nights and live drag. At Bar TR3S, you’ll spot sexy, cuddly bears. Like Bar 106, Bar TR3S also hosts different events. From Sunday’s Let Them Eat Cake to the Kilt Party, these gorgeous Portuguese bears love having fun.
Hilariously, Lisbon is also home to a super gay club called Trumps. (We doubt Donald knows about this place, but we’re sure that if he did, he’d be livid.) At Trumps, enjoy a night of dancing with sweaty men in fetish gear. You’ll also get to see some fabulous drag performers slay with their amazing dance moves.
Construction is famous for hosting circuit parties like the WE Pre-Pride party. This inclusive club always has world-renowned DJs spinning the hottest music — and get a load of the sexy go-go boys dancing late into the night.