July 27, 2018 by Eden Flaherty
The Rooftop Bars Of Lisbon
AKA Where the Fancy Folk Dwell
I’m in Eden
No, not us – that’s the name of this rooftop bar. The Art Deco building where VIP Eden Aparthotels is now located used to be a cinema, and what a place it must have been. Fortunately, you can have a taste of the decadence, a respite from the tourists around Rossio, AND a marvelous view of Baixa and the castle, simply by strolling through the lobby and making your way up to the roof terrace. There’s a pool, but you can’t get into it if you’re not a guest, and there’s a bar, and there’s sporadic table service. We suggest sticking with wine and beer here or be prepared to wait. During the day, this place is very relaxed — on our last visit, it had a few families and a hen party that was one notch above tipsy by noon. At night, in the summer, there’s usually a DJ, women in vertiginous heels, and men with a lot of gel in their hair. Go with what you know.
Topo Martim Moniz
Topo is decidedly on the hip side of things — the food is fusion, the drinks inside the interior space often come with some elaborate wrap in hand-crafty materials, and this is the sort of place you can take your mom to — before midnight anyway. But out on the terrace, the vibe is very “democratic,” as our mother would say: attractive locals mingle with foreigners, who for the most part are expats or immigrants rather than tourists, but the tourists won’t feel out of place here either. It’s a welcome vibe, despite the (mostly) well-dressed crowd, the DJs are usually friendly, but the outside bar can get very busy on hot nights. Our tip: don’t wait to get the attention of the overwhelmed bartender here and head inside, where you can take a load off your feet while waiting for a drink. And while we recommend wine and beer, or hard booze with no mixer, at the outside bar, the inside bar is where you should absolutely try one of the expensive concoctions: they know how to mix here.
Park is a wonderful surprise to drop on your unsuspecting visitors: how often do you get to go into a parking lot garage and take the elevator up to a terrace filled with plants, beautiful people, a view of the Tejo and the bridge, and live music or DJs? The secret’s been out for some time now, but that may work to your advantage. In recent months, it’s been easier to find a table here, while the rest remains the same: no nonsense at the door, a big enough bar to accommodate many people, prices that do come with a rooftop tax but aren’t as outrageous as some of the newer places, and an intimate feel to the whole thing despite it being big enough to park several buses on.
The rooftop bar of this boutique hotel is actually at ground level when you walk in from the lobby, but thanks to its location on the hills of Alfama, you’ll have a splendid view of the Tejo and the streets below. Quite popular with the fashionista set and local actors, Memmo Alfama can feel a bit exclusive, but it’s not, despite the lobby’s receptionists insisting that you wait for someone to “assist” you to the terrace — there are some rich people staying here and their bags could be in the hallway, after all. There’s a red-tiled pool that’s been all over Instagram, although it’s quite small and can be a bit of a turn off depending on who’s in there, and moderately fast service. Not a place to party, unless there are only three of you, but a place to see (the view) and be seen. Act cool and keep your sunglasses on and people will think you’re famous. Unfortunately, this does not apply to toddlers as they are not allowed down the red carpet…unless they’re a Culkin or a Fanning.
Hotel Mundial Rooftop Bar
The views from here are great, that can’t be denied, and the drinks mixed with expertise. That fruit-filled cocktail will cost you, however, as the prices are steep, to say the least. The tunes are good, but the booty-shaking crowd that comes with this proves a little too much of a distraction for many, which can result in a mess when trying to order a drink. This isn’t the place to go for peace and quiet, but the view, booze, and spectacular sunsets will quickly quell any doubts you have about this place.
Entretanto Bar (Regency Chiado Hotel)
This bar is a fair bit smaller than some of the others on this list, so it’s worth calling ahead if you can. If you’re lucky, you’ll find yourself curled up in a cozy wicker chair and a table for your gang. The drinks served are well made and high quality, but if you order something more complicated than a classic G&T, it could take a while to come. As a bonus, these guys serve breakfast through dinner, although it certainly isn’t cheap.
Woe is me, for the favorite has fallen! This used to be a terrace at the top of a department store with fake flowers, plastic chairs, and all. After a recent renovation they have dropped the classic cafe vibe, instead opting for high-end chairs, a fancy bar, real-wood tables, and… table service! It seems to be trying to imitate the other rooftop bars, rather than embracing its own non-chic local charm. Despite all this, the view is awesome — especially for spying on the Elevador de Santa Justa — and the location is great. Check it out, just keep it on the down-low. God knows what will happen if more people hear about it. Chrome?
Atico NH Liberdade hotel
Snuggled in the folds of a shopping mall, this fancy-ish hotel hides a wonderful terrace bar. Make your way to the roof and pick your way past the pool, which is only for guests, and you find yourself at a small but cozy bar. Situated in the base of a valley, it has great views of downtown Lisbon that stretch all the way to the Tejo. With a variety of specials and expectedly pricey drinks, this can make for a great place to kick back with a single glass and watch the world go by.
Altis Grand Hotel: Garden Roof Bar
Entering the Altis Grand Hotel is entering decadence itself, with an entrance hall equal parts imposing and impressive. Head upstairs and you get to the modern looking terrace bar. Here, the drinks are mixed well and the bar staff is fabulous, but the view leaves something to be desired. Mostly facing other buildings, this is certainly not the best place to try and catch a glimpse of the Tejo at sunset. It does, however, have an enormous amount of outdoor heaters. “It’s summer,” you cry! Well, Lisbon gets cold. Whether at night or either side of tourist season and having a toasty heater means enjoying those evenings with the city passing by below.
Memmo Principe Real
If you have been to Memmo Alfama (or even just read the description above) then you will know what to expect. It has a very similar vibe, with a large, untouchable water feature and a fancy clientele. It is at the foot of the hotel, rather than the roof, but its position in Principe Real still offers great views over downtown Lisbon. The drinks can be a little pricey, as expected, and the music less than great. But, the vibe is often friendly and during the day and early evening, families seem welcome.
Level Eight by Disaronno
Fancy a drink in an office block? If you answered no, you would be completely wrong. This rooftop bar is hidden atop a rather unassuming commercial building, but when you get up there it offers one of the best views around. Enclosed by glass, the rooftop has a rather unimaginative decor (which we are starting to find charming), but this is hardly noticeable in such a magnificent setting. The only thing better than the view is the staff who are more than friendly and give the place a great atmosphere. To really enjoy the view, and avoid the crowds, head there earlier rather than later.
Great decor, great lighting, great atmosphere. This place hits the trifecta when it comes to the vibe every rooftop bar aspires to have. There is a selection of refreshing cocktails, and the crowded bar is a testament to the skill with which they are mixed. This jungle-themed terrace regularly plays a mix of great tunes, as well as screening films at its outdoor cinema sessions. A relaxed rooftop serving as an oasis from the urban jungle below.