Pavilhão Chinês bar in Lisbon

One of the most inspired drinking establishments in the heart of the Portuguese capital is undoubtedly Pavilhão Chinês, whose previous incarnations include a theatre and grocery store.

Conveniently located on the northern perimeter of Lisbon’s ancient Bairro Alto district, this curio-filled watering hole and general chill-out joint is one of the most emblematic in the city due to its vast collection of miniature soldiers and model cars and aeroplanes lining the walls. There’s even a chandelier-lit pool room at the back.

Neither price nor distance were obstacles in mounting this unique collection, although in reality many of these objects are quite worthless. There are sections related to World War II, Russia from the time of the Tsar’s downfall and the Portuguese Estado Novo (New State).

Calm and carpeted, the bar also boasts a number of musical instruments for visitors to admire, along with several objects connected to the theatre and a magnificent dog interestingly attributed to King Carlos, an item once thought to have been exhibited in the grand hunting pavilion of Ajuda Palace.