Lisbon’s hilly topography and terraced street layout makes for some stunning panoramas over the city and river. These postcard-perfect views can be enjoyed from many points in the capital, but what better way to appreciate unobstructed landscapes and downtown vistas than over a drink or a bite to eat in a fashionable and lively rooftop bar? Here are some options in central Lisbon.
Noobai Café, tucked away under an esplanade high above Lisbon’s dock front, is a favourite haunt for twenty-somethings who appreciate good conversation over a tall drink at dusk, when the sun sets over the landmark Ponte 25 de Abril suspension bridge. During the day, this trendy little place offers a menu of healthy salads and pasta dishes – and the view is just as inspiring.
Mid-town Lisbon has its fair share of rooftop bars, many of them crowning the city’s four- and five-star hotels. Fortunately, visitors are just as welcome as guests to indulge in the lofty nightlife.
During the summer months at the Tivoli Lisboa Hotel on Avenida da Liberdade, the plush property’s Sky Bar opens its doors and affords a fabulous view back across the avenue, a scene that embraces the castle and the not-too-distant river. This is a great place for sundowners, and the cocktail list is fun and eclectic. The bar also serves soups, salads, wraps, and noodles – ideal ingredients for a snack or light dinner. It’s actually worth dressing up a bit here as visitors can sometimes find themselves mingling with hotel guests enjoying an aperitif before a night on the town.
Another hotel whose roof is a talking point is the recently opened Altis Avenida. The terrace outside the top floor Brasserie Rossio restaurant affords impressive views that take in Lisbon’s downtown Restauradores area and the beautiful 19th-century façade of the city’s Rossio railway station. Tables are set throughout the day so anyone can enjoy a drink and a light meal. Mind you, the most rewarding time of the day is early evening when said façade is illuminated in dreamy spotlight.
One rooftop hideaway that’s a perennial favorite belongs, again, to a hotel property. The Terrace at Bairro Alto Hotel is the size of a postage stamp but the sweeping panorama is certainly worth writing home about. The wide-angle view takes in much of lower Chiado, Lisbon’s elegant and historic quarter. Further away is Cais do Sodré, which can be seen dipping its toes into the Tagus River, beyond which is the city’s south bank. This is a very popular venue, both night and day, and it’s not uncommon to have to wait for table. But that’s not so bad; lean up against the balcony with a cold beer and watch the world go by.