Lisbon’s offbeat culture

If in Lisbon and tired of packed bars of Bairro Alto or Bica, here are a few more offbeat cultural options.

Bacalhoeiro (Rua dos Bacalhoeiros 125, first & second floor; 21.886.4891) is a cultural collective that organizes courses and workshops (from tango to oriental dance), lectures, fund-raising dinners, and photo shows. On any given weekend night, you can expect to hear anything from DJs spinning afrobeat to live jazz or klezmer.

Crew Hassan (Rua das Portas de Santo Antão 159, first floor; 21.346.6119) is a cultural cooperative set in a series of rooms with an ambiance of a private apartment. They also run workshops (djembe drumming, forro etc); expositions; film screenings; concerts; and more. It’s a nice place to stop by for a quiet drink, and there’s usually a DJ in one of the rooms.

Fábrica Braço de Prata (Rua da Fábrica do Material de Guerra 1; 96.735.4817) opened a year ago in a converted weapons factory in an industrial area close to the waterfront. It houses artist studios, a library, a café-bar, a theater, and a cinema. When I went there last Saturday night, there was an opera-installation based on the texts of Fernando Pessoa, Garcia Lorca and Hannah Arendt.

Blog Comments

It’s always a pleasure to check on my sis working on the counter of bacalhoeiro and ofering me beer. hihihihih

did you go to lagos in portugal? I hear that is a wild place to go to too.

I did go to Lagos briefly but didn’t find it particularly wild. But maybe it was really all too brief, on a random afternoon.

Although I am aware that you are well-traveled and well-published, how do you stumble upon these places that you recommend in your blog posts? Does it take many visits to these locations, word of mouth, a combination of the two?

These “offbeat culture” venues seem really interesting. I’ll take note of them for when I visit Lisbon in the future.

As a personal preference, have you enjoyed Portugal or Brazil more?

Jeff, thanks for visiting again! To answer your question… Well, I’ve spent the last few months living in Lisbon so I managed to get underneath the surface of the city at least a bit. Otherwise, I’d say word of mouth is how I get a lot of my information. I’ve been blessed with many amazing friends scattered all around the world who share great tips with me.

As for Portugal vs Brazil… The two countries are so diametrically different that I can hardly compare them. The only thing that links them, really, is the language and even that is very different. Just look at the “national” music – the melancholic fado of Portugal and the exuberant samba of Brazil.

All that said, I enjoyed my visits to Brazil greatly, although they were too brief. I certainly want to go back. Bahia is the next place I would like to check out.

your blog makes me wanna visit there for sure

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