September in Lisbon

September is probably the best month to be in Lisbon. The big August tourist crowds are gone, the weather is still pleasant, and the prices for hotels and apartments go down. Locals also go back to work, meaning there’s much more going on. There are several annual events taking place, and below is what is happening this year:

MOTELx, Lisbon

Taking place in Avenida da Liberdade‘s Cinema São Jorge from the 7th to the 11th of the month, this horror film festival will screen features from the USA, Japan, UK, Belgium and Canada among other countries. There will also be international short films, including several from Portugal competing for the MOTELx Award.

There are several outdoor festivals and activities throughout the summer in Lisbon, and they don’t end in August. Until September 11 you’ll still find many outdoor activities throughout the city, from jazz concerts (on the 1st in Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcânatara or the 8th in Rossio Station) and other live performances (September 4th in Cais do Sodré and September 11 in Camões Square, both at 7PM).

Vogue magazine is organizing a special shopping event in the city. Stores (related to fashion, beauty and lifestyle) in the main shopping districts (Avenida da Liberdade, Chiado and Principe Real) will stay open from 7PM to 11PM, when it’s sort of after-hours happy hours. Some shops will have DJs and free drinks, inviting you to enter, browse, and perhaps buy something at special prices.

The 15th annual edition of the Gay and Lesbian Film Festival takes place between the 16th and 24th of the month. It continues to be one of the biggest gay film festivals in Europe, with dozens of films that were released within the last two years from all over the world. There are long and short features as well as documentaries, and the program includes other activities such as performing arts and installations.

This event happens every two years and is back in 2011. It’s the city’s design biennial, this year happening between September 28 and November 27. In addition to design, the special events also focus on architecture and “contemporary creativity.” For this edition there are 21 main events and around 50 related activities happening around the city. The headquarters will be a former courtroom building in Chiado (former Tribunal da Boa-Hora in Rua Nova do Almada).