Lounge, Pensão Amor, Lisbon

Is Pensão Amor (the Guesthouse of Love) Lisbon’s coolest bar?

There are two entrances to Pensão Amor  in Lisbon’s revamped Cais do Sodré. One of them leads directly into a parlour stuffed with upholstered chairs, mirrors, lamps, and pictures and sculptures of naked women. Scattered around the room as if tossed aside are feather boas and sequinned bras. The ceiling is adorned with images of nude men frolicking.

The clientele, thankfully, are fully clothed and contentedly sipping their drinks and chatting with friends.

Lounge, Pensão Amor, Lisbon
These days, everyone keeps their clothes on!

The other entrance on Rua Nova do Carvalo leads up an old stairway with crumbling plaster and saucy paintings, leaving you in no doubt as to the origins of the establishment.

Painted advertisements, Pensão Amor, Lisbon
The sailor on the wall gives you a clue as to where many of the pensão’s former customers came from. Cais do Sodre is still one of the city’s major ports and used to be a thriving red light district.
Peep show advertisement
Original paintings on the stairway to Pensão Amor, Lisbon.

Although Pensão Amor used to be a brothel, and still has many of its original features including furry walls, it’s now one of the most popular bars in Lisbon. It attracts a slightly older crowd than the Bairro Alto bars, possibly due to slightly higher prices, or it could be the comfy chairs – if you want a seat, you should get there before 10 pm at the weekend. Drinks go up by a euro after 10 pm which is another reason to arrive earlier.

Furry walls with tiles and paintings
I love the combination of fake fur and original tiles on this wall.

Early in the evening, the main room is fairly empty but as the night progresses, it fills up with revellers as the DJ gets into gear. If you’re not in a dancing mood, take your pick of themed rooms to hang out in – there’s the sparkly pole dance room, a tented space and a furry room.

Pole dancing room, Pensão Amor, Lisbon
On Thursday and Sunday afternoons, there are pole dancing workshops, presumably in this room.
Not sure where to stay in Lisbon? Click to read about which neighbourhoods make the best bases.

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12 Comments

      1. Going on my bucket list. You need to give me 3 more reasons for 3 girls to give Lisbon a go.

        1. Author

          Watch this space… I can easily give you more than three reasons! Great food, shops, bars, architecture, people and weather (most of the time). I’ll be posting more soon about my recent trips there so hopefully you’ll get some more ideas for you and your friends. Is there anything in particular you’d like to know about?

          1. I been there only for one night on my way up the silver coast.
            I guess the architecture is really important to me – ant fantastic buildings (modern) that caught your eye?

          2. Author

            I’m more into the older buildings but Oriente train station is pretty impressive. The twin towers behind it might interest you too.
            The Gulbenkian Foundation building is interesting, as is the Centro Cultural de Belem.

          3. now that looks amazing (and btw, my maiden name was Fox so were probably sisters!).

  1. I noted the well worn stone steps… I love your travelogues and photos. Another interesting- and fun- tour!

    1. Author

      Thanks! Yes, I think those stairs have seen a fair amount of traffic over the years 😉

    1. Author

      Thanks, Heather. I hope you make it to Portugal – it really is a special place and well worth the effort of travelling here, wherever you’re coming from 🙂

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