The main night of Lisbon’s popular festivities is from June 12th to 13th. This is when Lisbon gets filled with locals, outsiders and visitors from all over the world to witness the “Festas de Lisboa” in first hand.
It is a massive gathering of people that come for the colourful parades, the street dances, the food, the beer and wine. Lisbon doesn’t sleep, its neighbourhoods streets and alleys fill with smoke from grilling sardines, chorizos, and pork steaks, and you eat them all with bread and a salad (if you’re lucky enough to find a seat at a table).
If you don’t get enough of it from this special night, don’t worry. Many of the more traditional and central neighbourhoods keep everything going throughout the month of June, at least.
The time as past when the street festivities of Santo António were all the same - an organ, basil, smell of sardines and a combo to appear at a certain time of night. Today, Lisbon is a more eclectic city and, as much as we love the classic Antonine Feast, we can’t ignore the diversity that exists, born from contemporary society. From the “Pride Lisbon Street Fest”, June 22nd at the Praça do Comércio, dedicated to the LGBTQ community to a St. Anthony Vegan menu, at the Santos Veganos in Mouraria!
Even within the more traditional options, there are choices to make. With the historic centre of the city crammed with life, the peripheral settlements have gained new prominence. Olivais, Encarnação, Marvila, Carnide and Benfica are celebrating and are not being, in fact, subdued neighbourhoods. Even closer to the centre, family gatherings multiply. There is a party for every taste. At least the Portuguese Popular music (or “Pimba” music, as the Portuguese call it) heavyweights are all there, from Quim Barreiros to Ruth Marlene (famous Portuguese popular music singers).
But there is also the kind of camp where the “Pimba” does not enter. Instead, you’ll find tattoo shops in Anjos Populares in the Anjos neighbourhood, DJ sets at Vila Berta, in Graça, world music at the Arraial Moderno in Avenida da India (Alcantara), and you can even listen to jazz live at Parque das Nações.
If you’re looking for the traditional type of Festivals, let us reassure you that there is no reason for alarm! Classic Lisbon is still here. The grilled sardines and roasted chorizo are the traditional stars of every menu, where ever you choose to go! Except, maybe, on the Vegan themed Street Fest…
From the top of Graça, down to Riverside Santos, from traditional parties and menus to modern themed and vegan menus, there are parties in every neighbourhood. Our advice is that you walk through the city and find your own sweet spot, the one that fits you best, and enjoy!
While you’re in town for the festivities, making new friends, falling in love with the beaches, savouring the Portuguese food and weather, getting to know the city, we suggest you browse through our properties. We might just have the right home for you in Portugal!
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