Centuries of reinvention and restoration pile on top of one another in Portugal’s dazzling, sun-blessed capital.


Here, time-worn trams trundle through medieval streets and the scent of freshly baked custard tarts permeates the air. Modern Portugal has emerged in this historic city, too, offering nightlife, shopping and business to rival Europe’s major capitals.


Lisbon’s varied calendar of festivals reflects the lively culture and eclectic interests of the city. Here is just a small selection of the events worth catching.

Lisbon Fish & Flavours

Regional cuisine is, naturally, one of the focuses of many celebrations here. This festival, held around March every year, offers pop-up food stalls and cooking classes. If you can’t attend any of the scheduled events, simply wander around and sample freshly prepared local dishes.


February brings to Lisbon parades of extravagance and colour that rival those of Rio de Janeiro.

Rock in Rio – Lisboa

In May, the Brazilian city also comes to visit at this five-day music festival, with rock bands from around the world performing at one of Portugal’s biggest music events.

Summer festivals

The true festival season begins in June. The overarching event is the Festival of Santo Antonio, the city’s patron saint, but this is used as an excuse for dozens of mini-festivals that pop up around the region. Rock music, gay pride, street parades and fado performances bring Lisbon’s long history and present-day character crashing together in a riotous month of celebration. Book early to ensure a spot at Lisbon’s month-long party.