Amongst the larger urban centers of Europe, Lisbon is the capital city of Portugal and has steadily developed a reputation as a home for LGBT-friendliness and tolerance.
Gay tourists flock to Lisbon's gorgeous downtown district known as Bairro Alto. Literally translated as the 'upper district', Bairro Alto is a pedestrian-friendly characterized by narrow, medieval streets and baroque architecture. But the zone really lights up at night, when the beautiful and the bold head out to sample the bar and club scene in Bairro Alto.
Start your night off at the Clube de Esquina, conveniently located on the corner of two of Bairro Alto's gay-friendly streets. In-house DJs keep the music fresh and both straights and gays enjoy sipping on the club's famous cocktails. Or just pick your XXL Caipirinha and drink it outside while making new friends.
Finalmente, a raucous club, has been operating since 1976, wowing dance and music lovers with its lively atmosphere. Although the doors open at 12:30am, the action doesn't heat up until around 3:00am when the club puts on a drag show.
While Fragil still attracts a fair number of straight people, it has earned a reputation for wild nights and hot DJs. Don't show your face before 2:00am but prepare to dance all night.
Principe Real is another hot nightlife destination, located in the heart of Lisbon just south of the large Botanical Gardens. Gay partygoers have a wide range of choices from a quiet drink in an intimate bar to grinding it out on the dance floor.
Popular for its 'bear' subculture, with the Lisbon Bear Pride as a climax, Lisbon has some popular bear venues mostly located in Principe Real, like TR3, a trendy bar that opens in the afternoon and serves light meals as well as drinks. Also Construction club and Woof Lx, Bar Cru or The Cock.
Located just a few kilometers outside Lisbon, the Costa de Caparica is a long peninsula known for its pristine sandy beaches. Although some of the area is blocked off as a nature reserve, Beach 19 is where gays flock to catch a few rays, splash in the water, or just chat with interesting people. Officially a nude beach, clothing is optional.
Every year at the end of June the city of Lisbon hosts a gay pride parade, locally known as 'Arraial Pride'. Held every year since 1997, the 'Arraial Pride' parade attracts tens of thousands of visitors.