RSS Feed

Related Articles

Related Categories

Lisbon prepares to party in June with ‘Festas de Lisboa’

31st May 2014 Print

As football fever subsides and the summer nights draw out, Lisbon prepares to party with a line up of not-to-be-missed cultural events in June that will attract thousands of visitors and locals to the historic quarters of the city.

The Festas de Lisboa (Festivals of Lisbon) are a series of events which aim to preserve the traditions of the city and include street art and entertainment, musical and theatrical performances and folk parades, taking place both day and night within the city’s oldest neighbourboods. Visitors are encouraged to head to the characterful backstreets of Alfama, Bica, Castelo and Graça, and the fashionable neighbourhood of Bairro Alto to witness the spirited street dancing, singing, haunting guitar sounds of Fado and taste the freshly  grilled sardines.

One of the biggest and major highlights in the calander is the Santo Antonio Festival which takes place every year on the evening of 12th June, with folklore groups competing against their neighbouring districts in a highly colourful parade along the cosmopolitan Avenida de Liberdade in central Lisbon.

It is a lively celebration of Portugal’s patron saint, Saint Antonio, who is the saint of lost things and to whom many miracles have been attributed. In Portugal he is known as the guardian of good marriages, and as such it is tradition on the 13th June for local couples to hold collective wedding ceremonies, where the brides are known as the “Brides of Santo António” and join a procession through the winding streets around  Sé Cathedral.

For those who wish to find out more about Saint Antonio, the exhibition Saint Anthony Arm in Arm... with Art is a showcase of nearly one thousand works from artists, sculptors and designers which can be enjoyed for free at Espaço Arte na Terra.

Throughout the month of June, Folk festivals and music can be appreciated for free across the city in various venues and neighbourhoods; travellers need only follow the  distinctive sound of Fado and smell of roasted Chorizo.

The Faz Musica Lisboa is also a free line-up of concerts celebrating different music styles, including Brazilian, jazz, world music and rock, bringing together over 50 groups who perform in the city’s most charming venues. Weekend visitors also have the chance to catch a jazz performance in one of the city’s public spaces or gardens as a part of the Meo Out Jazz festival on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings until September.

Visitors to the city may be asked for quiet during the first week of June as Lisbon’s most popular singers take to the major Tram routes 28E and 12E to perform Fado to passengers as they navigate the city’s hills and climbs.

At the end of the month, attention turns to PORTUGALSLAM! an event which recognises Portuguese acting talent with a host of workshops, talks and performances in the city. The event culminates with theatre groups fighting it out at LX Factory to win the Portugal Poetry SLAM.

Families are not forgotten with two unforgettable experiences geared up for children. The Ludopolis 2014 from 6th – 10th June costs just 4 Euros per child and gives them access to around 1,000 games and amusements spread across six venues or “play villages” in the city. From sports games to folk games the aim is to bring people together through play.

Throughout June, streets across the city are decorated with coloured lights, paper chains and lavish garlands and the air is rich with the smell of grilled sardines being sold in restaurants and outside houses. The eating of Sardines is attributed to an extradordinary event that occured in the 13th Century when Saint Antonia was preaching in Rimini, Italy. Depressed that the locals would not listen to his sermons he wandered to the shore to confide in and talk to the fish. The fish miraculously flocked to the shores and the townsfolk open-mouthed rushed to witness the arrival of the fish. It was not long before they listened and showed their respect to the travelling missionary.

For more information and details on Festas de Lisboa, see

More Photos - Click to Enlarge