The Best Bars and Nightclubs in Lagos, Portugal

There are plenty of spots to people-watch while enjoying a drink in Lagos
There are plenty of spots to people-watch while enjoying a drink in Lagos | © Harry Horton / Alamy Stock Photo
Mark Nayler

From raucous nightclubs to bohemian cocktail bars, Lagos is home to a variety of watering holes to suit all tastes. Here are Culture Trip’s top recommendations in this Algarve resort town.

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Laid-back Lagos, on the southwestern tip of Portugal, an hour’s drive from Faro, is home to one of the largest and most unspoilt beaches in the Algarve. After a day on the sands, or exploring the craggy ochre cliffs of the Ponta da Piedade, head to this resort town’s best nightspots, from nocturnal jazz joints to chilled chiringuitos. You’ll also learn where to head for drinking games that will challenge even the most hardcore partygoers.

The Garden

Bar, Beer, $

The Garden Bar

Barbecue aromas will draw you into this casual, open-air bar in the town centre. Its busy terrace is filled with trees and plants, mismatched furniture and hanging lanterns, providing the perfect setting for afternoon beers or evening cocktails (try the fizzy sangria). The star dish is a generously sized rack of barbecued ribs, which comes coated with a smoky sauce and accompanied by coleslaw and crispy new potatoes. If you can’t finish it, assistance is provided by the friendly resident felines.

Stevie Ray’s

Bar, Pub Grub, $
Stevie Ray’s is a late-night live music joint, situated just back from the marina. Head over at about 11pm for an inexpensive beer or cocktail (they do a mean frozen strawberry daiquiri) and see what’s playing. You’re most likely to find jazz or blues, but it could also be an acoustic set, pop, rock or a covers group. There’s no entry fee, but a small minimum spend is required to enjoy the live acts, which usually perform until the early hours.

InsideOut

Bar, Nightclub, Cocktails
This is an establishment for those who like their clubs non-stop, loud and hyper. InsideOut’s affordable fishbowl cocktails, nightly live house or garage DJs and a happy “hour” that runs until 12am pull in young party-goers, who dance anywhere there’s space – including on tables – until 4am. If you prefer a calmer, quieter vibe, go soon after it opens at 9pm, when you’ll be able to enjoy a couple of beers and games of pool before things get crazy.

The Star

Craft Ale Bar, Beer
Offering several craft brews, expat favourite The Star is also sought out by travellers tired of Super Bock and Sagres, Portugal’s two main beers. In an interior decorated by The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix posters, British owners Rick and Rosie also serve a killer chicken curry, run weekly karaoke and quiz nights (Sundays and Mondays, respectively). Expect classic tunes from the 1960s, 70s and 80s. Don’t leave without buying your very own Star T-shirt, available in black, blue or pink.

Three Monkeys

Bar, Beer
This budget-friendly backpackers’ hangout offers you the chance to represent your country at a highly competitive sport – downing beer bongs. Add a few to the international leaderboard by getting under the tube and letting your mates pour, before rewarding yourself with a shot, an espresso martini or a glass of draft sangria. This is primarily a boisterous, late-night joint, but perks such as a darts board, live sports and a pool table make it a popular early evening venue, too.

The Tavern

Bar, Beer
This Halloween-and-pirates themed bar offers Lagos’ three toughest drinking challenges. Test your tolerance by downing six shots and a Jagerbomb (known as Walk the Plank) or push your knowledge and skills by participating in Tavathlon Thursday, a pub quiz followed by pool and ping pong tournaments. If that isn’t enough, there’s also the Viking Inferno, in which a whistle is blown in your face as you guzzle a bright-red concoction and are repeatedly hit on the head (helmets provided).

Shaker Bar

Bar, Cocktails
Simple, cheerful Shaker Bar is another one of the few places in the Old Town that stays open into the early hours (usually 4am), even during the off-season. Try their legendary caipirinha, made with fresh limes. Live music is staged several times a week and there are also a couple of people-watching tables outside, on one of Lagos’s main thoroughfares.

Where to Stay

Explore the rest of the Algarve using Lagos as a starting point. Book the best hotels in the Algarve and the best luxury hotels in the Algarve now through Culture Trip. Enjoy the coast in new ways by learning at the best surf schools in the Algarve.

This is an updated rewrite of an article originally by Nina Santos.

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