Top 5 Techno Clubs in Lisbon
Originally published by Natalie in October 2019 and Updated by Ruth in February 2023
Like every major European city, Lisbon has an underground techno scene that comes alive at night, particularly on the weekends.
Being such a small city, however, Lisbon doesn’t have any clubs solely dedicated to the techno genre at all times. Most of the electronic dance clubs will simply have one or two techno-oriented evenings per week.
Techno is a form of electronic dance music that emerged in the USA during the 80s. To think that the century has turned and we are still seeking out this music across the globe in the year 2019. Here’s where to find it in Lisbon.
1. LuxFrágil in Lisbon
It’s very unlikely you’ll travel to Lisbon as a night owl and not hear about LuxFrágil somewhere along the way.
The story goes like this: back in the 80s, one of the now owners of LuxFrágil opened up a small club in Bairro Alto in the city centre. It was simply called Frágil.
It brought techno to the people of Lisbon and was something that Bairro Alto had not yet seen. Even back then, this was a neighbourhood of authentic Portuguese restaurants, cocktail bars and perhaps even a guided walking tour if you were lucky.
This spot experienced such tremendous success over a twenty-year period that the owners saw a great opportunity to expand. In 1998 they hunted down a giant abandoned warehouse right on the Tagus coast and opened LuxFrágil.
Once inside the warehouse you’ll be greeted by three different dance floors. You’ll have your pick of different musical genres, and there is almost always one dedicated to techno. They stay open until 7 am on most nights, sometimes later if the crowd is really going for it.
The entrance fee is a standard €12 at the door for everyone; the club is notorious for its bouncers sometimes requesting €300 at the door from specific guests who have either misbehaved while in line, are too drunk, or have been disrespectful, knowing full well they won’t pay and won’t come in.
Be nice, mind your manners, and make sure you’re a good addition to the party once permitted entrance. This is a really inclusive space with a melting pot of people from all over the world.
OPENING HOURS: Thursday to Sunday — Various
ADDRESS: Av. Infante D. Henrique, Armazém A, Cais da Pedra a Sta Apolónia, 1950-376 Lisboa, Portugal
METRO STATION: Santa Apolónia
2. RIVE ROUGE in Lisbon
Lisbon’s Time Out Market is another city attraction that you’ll hear come up more than just once. It’s another giant old warehouse on the coast that was transformed into one of the most famous food markets found across Europe.
There are hundreds of food stalls from around the world inside, as well as retailers of flowers, souvenirs and the occasional, are.
The second story of the Time Out Market is the RIVE ROUGE nightclub. While the market is open seven days a week, this spot only opens between Wednesdays and Sundays but will carry you through until the early hours of the morning.
Electronic music is the focus here, and it varies between house DJs and techno ones. One can read up on who is playing at the club on any given evening via social media.
Earlier in the evening this is more of a lounge. A cool spot for calm drinks after your feast of a dinner in the market is below. As the night gets older, things become rowdier. It is considered by travellers to be one of the best places to hear consistently good techno music most nights.
Unlike most techno clubs, this one is extremely spacious, with high-rise ceilings that form the top layer of the old warehouse. If you can’t make a techno night, their disco nights are fun too!
OPENING HOURS: Wednesday to Sunday — 10 pm to 4 am
ADDRESS: Praça Dom Luís I, 1200-148 Lisboa, Portugal
website: RIVE ROUGE
METRO STATION: Cais do Sodre
3. Kremlin in Lisbon
Back in the 90s, Kremlin was considered to be in the top three of underground discos in the world. Things have definitely changed a bit since then, but Kremlin still plays an important role in the nightlife scene in Lisbon. They also have one of the most impressive sound systems in the whole of Portugal.
They only open on Fridays and Saturdays, and they open until late, so at 2am when all of the bars on the famous pink street begin to close, you’ll find groups of friends stumbling their way down the hill into this dungeon club.
Doors only open at midnight, which is how it was back in the techno heydays. Sticking to underground traditions, there are a few rules that have to be followed in the space including absolutely no hats and no flash photography.
The idea is to keep people one with the music and the experience, and not to have anyone else experience tainted by someone’s cellphone going off. Understandable.
The hat rule is loosely enforced. Security will harass some people not following the rule, and ignore others. It depends on your personal luck, I suppose.
If you find yourself really not enjoying the night here, the K Urban Beach Club is just across the beach promenade right on the water’s edge. This is one of Lisbon’s most exclusive nightclubs, and while I can’t guarantee techno, I can tell you there will always be a view of the ocean and a sea breeze while you dance.
OPENING HOURS: Friday & Saturday — 12 am to 6 am
ADDRESS: Escadinhas da Praia 5, 1200-869 Lisboa, Portugal
METRO STATION: Santos
4. Incógnito in Lisbon
Incógnito is one of Lisbon’s most popular nightlife neighbourhoods. Also, three floors high, each level at Incógnito is dedicated to its own vibe and the dancing is mostly maintained on the first floor/basement.
As the club’s name suggests, the building from the outside is unassuming in the true Bairro Alto way, and Incógnito may be a bit tricky to find for first-timers.
Once inside, expect an eclectic mix of musical styles including 80s pop, alternative, indie, and rock, from a dance floor under neon beams of light.
OPENING HOURS: THURSDAY TO SATURDAY — 11 PM TO 4 AM
ADDRESS: R. POIAIS DE SAO BENTO 37, 1200-356 LISBOA, PORTUGAL
METRO STATION: Combro station
Musicbox is a venue under the arches with cavern rooms, offering live music, DJs, and a neon-lit bar. Musicbox doesn’t favour one or a couple of musical styles but offers a wide variety including both DJs and live acts.
If you decide to visit this location, don’t look for a sign because there isn’t one; instead look for an arched doorway under a bridge on a pink street, which gives the venue both a mysterious and local feel.
In addition to acting as a nightclub, the Music Box hosts multiple media-based and social events.
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