5 Things to Do in Lisbon This August


August is one of the months when Lisbon receives its largest number of tourists, yet it’s when you see the least amount of people on the streets. That’s because many locals are on vacation and have essentially moved down the coast to Algarve, are traveling elsewhere in Europe and around the world, or sunbathing at the beaches of Costa da Caparica. But the city’s cultural and entertainment calendar does not take a break, and those spending their August days in the city will always find plenty to do. Here are some highlights:

The Berardo Museum is one of Lisbon’s most-see attractions, not just for its permanent collection but also because it’s free. There are also temporary exhibitions and this month it has one focusing on works by one of the world’s top contemporary artists, Andy Warhol. Many don’t know that Warhol produced and directed several TV productions between 1979 and 1987, and you can see them here this month and at any time until November 14. These productions reflect the artist’s constant inspiration from the celebrity and entertainment worlds in 1980s New York.

Every August the Gulbenkian Foundation offers a jazz program in its gardens, and this year there is even more outdoor jazz in the city. Every weekend this month you’ll find free jazz concerts in the Belém gardens (next to the Jeronimos Monastery) starting at 5PM. Even if jazz isn’t your favorite music genre, it’s a relaxing soundtrack for a break during your Lisbon sightseeing.

Leading contemporary artists are showing their works in Lisbon’s Portugal Pavilion, in the city’s squares, and in three other cities in the south of the country. This month-long event is a biannual public art show consisting of installations and sculpture related to contemporary life created by national and international artists. You can check it out until August 15 and get more information on the official website: http://www.portugalarte.org/

The beaches of Cascais will get a lot of extra visitors this month. They’re the ones looking for a refreshing dip in the sea, an escape from the city or a suntan, but when the sun goes down it doesn’t mean your time at the beach has to be over. In the center of Lisbon there is an urban beach that opens in the afternoon and lasts until morning. We told you about it last year (Nightlife’s a Beach), and the news for the summer 2010 season is a new sushi restaurant called “Sakana.” If you don’t like raw fish, there is always the Kobe restaurant on the site, specializing in steak.
But if all you want is to chill out, you can go just for cocktails with your feet in the sand and the Tagus River at your feet.

The Belém Cultural Center is currently offering a program of special events in its outdoor spaces lasting until the 31st of the month. This year it’s dedicated to World Music, especially that coming from Iberia and Latin America. But it’s not just about music, as it also presents dance, theater and cinema. It takes place on weekends, and you can see the website for more information: http://www.ccb.pt

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