The Cais do Sodré only recently became Lisbon's hippest nighthawk neighborhood. Before, it was a notorious red-light district where sailors from the nearby docks would come in search of ladies of the night. The opening of Pensão Amor in 2011 pioneered a renaissance, but the bar remains very much a reminder of the area's shady past. The rich, crimson interior is laden with erotic artworks. There are crystal chandeliers and velvet sofas, shimmering curtains, and quiet side rooms made for intimate encounters. The whole place has the decadent air of an opulent Edwardian bordello. The maze of salons hides a risqué bookshop out back, while the upstairs rooms, which were once part of a real brothel, now host an eclectic collection of businesses including a pole dance studio, a spa, and a luxury corset maker whose creations have graced the torsos of Dita Von Teese and Kylie Minogue. A discrete meeting place for coffee or cocktails during the day, the Pensão Amor heats up after dark with an entertainment program that can include burlesque shows, live jazz, funky DJ sessions, or literary tertulias. Be sure to enter by the back door on Rua Nova do Carvalho to view the splendidly naughty strip-show artworks decorating the stairwell.
Rua do Alecrim 19
Our Rating Neighborhood Cais do Sodré Hours Mon–Wed noon–2am, Thurs–Sat noon–4am Transportation Metro: Cais do Sodré; tram: 25E Phone 21/314-3399 Prices Espresso 1€, Portuguese brandy 4€, cocktails around 8€, plate of Portuguese cheese around 5€ Web site Pensão Amor
MapRua do Alecrim 19 Lisbon
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.