Lisbon, coming up hard

There’s no doubt Lisbon is surfing on hype. We’ve lost count of how many people have returned from the city with a twinkle in their eye. Our buddies Panda Events are setting up their Plages électroniques events there in June and that’s a sure sign. There’s no denying Lisbonites have it well these days. The local electronic scene is worth scrutinising, in particular when it leans towards kuduro with Enchufada, Buraka Som Sistema’s label and Principe Records, led by DJ Nigga Fox. For its part, the local techno/house scene is doing its own thing in the underground while it waits for its own days of glory. If there aren’t that many electronic clubs in town (there’s a bunch of cheesy clubs on the banks of the river Tagus), the city’s largest venue, Lux Fragil, is also its most authentic and its elegance is in stark contrast with Music Box's raw frenzy, the White City’s other unmissable spot.

A word of caution though: on a bad day, the doorman might ask you up to 240 euros to get in, on account of your tourist looks which you will then have to recoup through drinks, with a long drink worth 7 euros. But Lisbonite nights are enjoyed in different stages, first by relishing on the food then in the streets where locals spend most of their time, which is a way of saving cash. After 2am, when the temperature becomes manageable again, the time will come to go dancing until 7 - 8am before an after party at the Kremlin, where anything goes.

Drugs and liquor

Lisbonites have a specialty : roaming from bar to bar, cup in hand. Street drinking is a collective habit. When it comes to drugs, the Portuguese aren’t shy. It’s quite easy to get hold of smokables and coke can usually be found in a few handshakes.

Three clubs, three vibes

  • Lux Fragil: Lux is spread over three floors, including a massive patio and an appropriately dark club in the basement, with an efficient sound system for techno/house played Seth Troxler, Sven Väth and Villalobos who are among the international DJs who regularly play there. Unmissable.
    Av. Infante Dom Henrique
  • Music Box: Wedged underneath a bridge in the Cais do Sodré area, Music Box is a smaller, warmer and more tropical venue, especially when the Principe Records are on the decks. A sweat box.
    R. Nova do Carvalho 24
  • Bloop parties: Nomadic parties by DJ Magazino, head of house label Bloop Recordings and a character of Portuguese night life. Sometimes in an empty swimming pool, sometimes on a sun-drenched patio, there’s always pretty people and good music.

music box lisboa
Music Box

Cost for one night: 45 €
Cost of a dinner meal: 15 €
2 beers in a bar: 3 €
2 gins and tonic in a club: 12 €
Club cover charge: 7 €
Taxi ride on the way back: 8 €

Berlin cred: 7,5/10

Best time to visit: From August 25th to 27th for the Forte Festival or anytime between May and October to make the most of the climate.

Read also: our best tips to party in...