Posts About 'Events'

April in Portugal

Saturday, March 30th, 2013

One of Portugal’s top international musical hits is a song called “April in Portugal,” originally sung by the great Fado diva Amalia Rodrigues but also performed by other big names like Eartha Kitt, Louis Armstrong, and Bing Crosby. The first version is from 1947 and was called “Coimbra” as an homage to Portugal’s old university city, but came to have yet another name, “The Whisp’ring Serenade.”
In the mid-20th-century the month of April came to be associated with tourism in Portugal, which promoted it as a great time to be in the country, with the temperatures rising and the flowers in bloom. This time of the year remains a great time to fly to Lisbon, especially in 2013. Here is what you’ll be able to experience this month:

Pena Palace in Sintra, Portugal

On April 5th, the new Julio Pomar Museum opens its doors. Julio Pomar is one of Portugal’s top contemporary artists, currently living between Lisbon and Paris but this will be the permanent home of dozens of his works. It’s an old building by Bairro Alto (Rua do Vale, 7) which has been refurbished by local Pritzker Prize architect Siza Vieira, and the first exhibition will be on display until September with free admission.

Lisbon’s biggest gastronomic festival is “Peixe em Lisboa,” the “Fish and Flavours” festival which this year happens from the 4th to the 14th in a courtyard of Comercio Square. Portuguese and international chefs will show off their art in preparing fish and you can try them and learn how to prepare them yourself.

The “IndieLisboa” festival is back, from April 18 to the 28th. In its 10th edition it will once again screen independent films from all over the world, and will close with the local premiere of “Before Midnight” starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Deply (it had its world premiere at Sundance and will be in theaters worldwide in late May).

On the 5th and 6th, four museums in the Belem district will host special events, from concerts to film screenings. The Coaches Museum, the Archaeology Museum, the Berardo Museum and the Museum of the Presidency will also provide access to their permanent collections through one single ticket valid for all spaces.

The São Luiz Theater will host a special jazz fest on the 6th and 7th featuring national musicians in concerts and workshops. The events start at 4PM on both days, lasting until well past 1AM.

The Belem district will host yet another festival later in the month, the “Dias da Música” in Belem Cultural Center. The annual event takes place on the 19th, 20th and 21st, with over 60 concerts, debates and a special market. This year it will focus on the music of the late 1700s and early 1800s, with classics by Beethoven and Chopin.

The river sightseeing cruises are back for another season. Available from April to October, it takes you on a two-hour tour of the city’s ancient and modern landmarks, from the old center to the Parque das Nações district and the Age of Discovery monuments of Belém.

When in Lisbon, go to Sintra. Now that the colder and rainier season is coming to an end and that the bigger summer crowds haven’t yet arrived, it’s the best time to see Portugal’s romantic fairytale town. It’s also at its most verdant and colorful, and a palace you should make an effort to visit at this time of the year is the Monserrate Palace, recently renovated but still overlooked by those who only give themselves enough time to see the famous Pena Palace. After you visit the interior, be sure to relax at the beautiful gardens.

10 Things to Do in Lisbon in the Summer of 2013

Sunday, March 10th, 2013

Joana Vasconcelos at Ajuda Palace, Lisbon

The most visited exhibition of the Palace of Versailles comes to Lisbon. The Ajuda Palace will show the works by Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos that were seen in France (including the famous shoes made of pans) and will add a few new pieces. You can see them from March 23rd to August 25th.

Lisbon waterfront

After several delays, Lisbon’s renovated waterfront next to Comercio Square is promised to be ready by the summer. Known as “Ribeira das Naus” (“Ships Riverfront”), this was where Lisbon’s explorers had their ships made. It will now be a public space to relax, to sit in the sun and enjoy the scenery.

The main event is on the night of June 12 and on June 13th, but the “Festas de Lisboa” (“Lisbon Feasts”) really happen throughout the summer. You’ll find several outdoor events throughout the city from June to September, from free jazz concerts to street performances, especially downtown and in the squares of Chiado.

Lisbon’s summers are always big on music festivals and 2013 will be no exception. While this year there is no Rock in Rio-Lisboa, there will be the Optimus Alive festival with names like Green Day, Depeche Mode, Kings of Leon, and Editors, and the Super Bock Super Rock festival with Arctic Monkeys, The Killers, Queens of the Stone Age, among others. Best of all is that these festivals take place by the coast, allowing you to get some beach days in between. Among other concerts happening in the city this summer are those of Bon Jovi and Alicia Keys.

One of Lisbon’s best-but-overlooked museums is the Chiado Museum, the national museum of contemporary art. It’s a great place to discover the art of Portugal’s best contemporary artists and it just unveiled its new permanent collection. You’ll see works from between 1850 to 1975 and the names to look for are Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso, Almada Negreiros and Paula Rego.

Myriad Hotel, Lisbon

2013 has so far been huge on new hotel openings. This is the result of Lisbon being one of the rising stars of European travel and because it’s no longer just a seasonal low-cost destination, there are increasingly more upscale (yet still affordable) hotels. Recently-opened or about to be (and all centrally-located), there are new boutique and design hotels you’ll want to be among the first to experience. Check out the new Lisboa Carmo Hotel, Mercy Hotel, Myriad Hotel, Teatro Hotel, Beautique Hotel Figueira, Epic Sana Hotel and Memmo Alfama. Alternatively, you may choose one of the many new or renovated centrally-located apartments.

Lisbon is currently going through a gastronomic revolution that will keep on growing. The New York Times called it the city’s “Culinary Golden Age,” with creative young chefs investing in new restaurant projects since 2010. This year is no different, with new star-chef restaurants opening in the center of the city. The new Honra by Olivier serves traditional Portuguese cuisine with a personal twist on Figueira Square, Michelin-star chef Jose Avillez is adding a pizzeria to Chiado which gives him a trio of restaurants in the neighborhood, and other spots are reinventing themselves with new menus like the beautiful Tacho à Mesa by Faz Gostos.

Comercio Square is one of Europe’s largest public squares, and the second biggest royal square after St. Petersburg’s Palace Square. The statue of king José I placed at the center in 1779 is currently being restored and will be unveiled like new in August. Also being cleaned up is the same square is the triumphal arch which should be completed by then as well.
In the meantime you may always enjoy the terraces of the new cafes and restaurants placed under the arches of the eastern and western wings.

Avenida da Liberdade, Lisbon

Lisbon’s Avenida da Liberdade has become a true luxury shopping destination, reinforced by new shops of international brands like Miu Miu and Officine Panerai, and a renewed Emporio Armani. Joining them this summer is a major new Cartier store and the less-luxurious-but-very-popular Guess.

Castelo dos Mouros, Sintra

Also given a new life is the 1300-year-old Moorish Castle in Sintra. Thanks to ticket sales from a growing number of tourists to the region, this ancient landmark has now added new facilities to accommodate visitors and restored parts of the monument in the process. While the fairytale Pena Palace nearby gets all the attention, the Moorish Castle should also be part of your itinerary in 2013 and beyond.

What and Who Is Coming to Lisbon in 2013

Friday, January 11th, 2013

Lisbon Concerts - Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Bon Jovi

If you’re coming to Lisbon in 2013, you may want to make your visit coincide with some of the city’s main events and concerts. To help you mark your calendar, here’s what you can expect to find (more events and shows will be announced throughout the year):

The major concert season starts in March and lasts through the summer. The first will be teen pop sensation Justin Bieber on March 11th (Tickets: Justin Bieber concert tickets), while the other big names will come later in May. On the 5th of that month will be The XX, while on the 26th will be boy band One Direction (tickets: One Direction concert tickets), Rihanna on the 28th (Tickets: Rihanna concert tickets), and Iron Maiden on the following day (tickets: Iron Maiden concert tickets).
In June comes Bon Jovi (on the 26th – tickets: Bon Jovi concert tickets) and Alicia Keys (on the 28th – tickets: Alicia Keys concert tickets). The biggest summer festival arrives in July, from the 12th to the 14th. It’s the Optimus Alive series of concerts which this year will include Green Day, Depeche Mode and Kings of Leon (Tickets: July 12, July 13, July 14).

As for the city’s main annual events, the gastronomic festival “Peixe em Lisboa” dedicated to the best talents and their creativity in fish happens in April, from the 4th to the 14th. That’s followed by IndieLisboa, a very popular international independent film festival (April 18 to 28).
The top sports event of the year is also in April (the 27th until May 5th), the Estoril Open, for fans of tennis.
In late May (the 29th, until June 2nd) comes Arte Lisboa, the contemporary art fair that reunites galleries, artists and collectors.

After the summer it’s time for Queer Lisboa, the 17th annual edition of the international gay and lesbian film festival (September 20-28th). Another festival happens in October, from the 27th to November 3rd, the international documentary film festival DocLisboa.

But the biggest events in 2013 take place in the later part of the year. The Architecture Triennial presents a number of exhibitions all over the city from September 12 to December 15. During that time (from November 7 to December 31st), you’ll also find the Experimenta Design biennial, a major event in several venues with design-related exhibitions, workshops and conferences.

Finally, in December, Lisbon’s famous Bairro Alto neighborhood turns 500 years old so if this is the main partying area of the city on any regular weekend, you can only imagine what will be planned for this major milestone…

Christmas 2012 in Lisbon

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Christmas in Obidos


The Tree on Comercio Square
The Christmas lights are already up on the main streets of Baixa and Chiado, and the tree will be lit up in Comercio Square throughout the month of December. This year it will be 28 meters tall (over 90 feet) and will be a “high-tech” tree with real-time video projections of passers-by. It can be seen until January 6.

“Confeitaria Nacional”
Just a short walk from Comercio Square, through Rua Augusta, you’ll reach Figueira Square where you’ll likely find people lined up outside Confeitaria Nacional throughout the month. That pastry shop sells the city’s most famous Christmas cake, “Bolo Rei.” You don’t necessarily have to go for that — you can simply enjoy a warm cup of coffee or tea and observe the festive ambience.

Free Christmas Concerts
December is the month of free Christmas concerts in several of Lisbon’s churches, and this year they’re taking place from the 7th to the 22nd. The first one (on the 7th) is at 9:30 PM in São Roque Church, then there’s one at 4PM at Marcês Church on the 8th, also at 4PM in São Nicolau Church on the 9th, at 9:30PM in Estrela Basilica on the 14th, at 4PM in Graça Church on the 16th, throughout the day at the São Jorge Cinema on the 21st, and at 4PM in São Domingos Church on the 22nd.

The Christmas Village
Many travelers to Lisbon also choose to visit medieval Obidos and in December there’s a big reason for that. It turns into a “Christmas Village” with snowmen, ice skating, Santa Claus and family activities. It’s happening from December 7 to January 2nd.

Three museums in Lisbon will be hosting the festival Belem Art Fest in September

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

 Belém Art FestThe National Museum of Archaeology, the National Coach Museum and the Museum of Folk Art will be the stage of the first edition of the Belém Art Fest festival, with concerts, exhibitions, workshops and theater, scheduled for September 22.

The concept is simple: with a single ticket, each participant can visit three museums and see part of their collections, participate in workshops, attend concerts or see a play.

Each museum will stage a different musical genre: In the National Coach Museum there will be a presentation of “three different approaches to the urban song – FADO,” with Pedro Moutinho, Maria Ana Bobone and Teresa Lopes Alves.

In the National Museum of Archaeology, the voices, melodies and rhythms of Elisa Rodriguez and Julio Resende, The Soaked Lamb and Selma Uamusse take guests on a retro journey within the Jazz and Blues genres.

At the Museum of Folk Art, the party starts with energy and good vibes with the Portuguese bands Nice Weather for Ducks, The Doups and Youthless and ending with a DJ set at 04.00.

Belem Art Fest aims to publicise different values of the Portuguese culture, combining tradition and modernity, history and innovation. Participants can visit part of the Museum’s collections, learn how to create urban handicraft with Bolo de Pano Lisboa, hear tips from L’Oréal makeup experts, enjoy an art exhibition from Pedro Madeira Pinto or watch the play “Made in China” from Grupo de Teatro da Nova. Visitors will also be surprised by an exhibition and fashion show from Lisbon Fashion School – EML.

The Belem Art Fest also has a message of sustainability. It encourages participants to travel on foot between the museums and to use the train as transport to the festival. To this end, a 1€ round-trip ticket will be available for holders of the festival pass.

More information:

The 5 Great Reasons to Visit Lisbon This Summer

Monday, May 14th, 2012

Cascais, Portugal

You’d think that summer would be high tourism season for the city of Lisbon. But it’s not. Most locals go on vacation in August (many heading south to Algarve), and foreign tourists actually prefer to stay based by the beaches of Cascais and Estoril or in the refreshing hills of Sintra. In the summer Lisbon is much less of a city break destination and more of a gateway to beach-and-sun holidays.

Everything from international pop to jazz to rock will be playing somewhere in the open air in Lisbon throughout the summer. It starts later this month with Rock in Rio-Lisboa which will host Metallica, Evanescence, Linkin Park, Limp Bizkit, The Offspring, Lenny Kravitz, Maroon 5, Joss Stone, and Bruce Springsteen among many others. Then comes the annual Out Jazz which offers free jazz concerts throughout the summer every Friday and Sunday afternoon in different parks and gardens. In July, closer to the Atlantic beaches comes Optimus Alive, recently listed in “The Guardian” and “The Times” as one of Europe’s top festivals this year (some of the bands will include Radiohead and The Cure).

Throughout the month of June you’ll be able to participate in the annual “Festas de Lisboa,” a major street festival with lots of eating and drinking around every corner of the city’s historic neighborhoods. It’s as if Lisbon becomes one big village, with major feasts on the 12th and 13th, including a parade down Avenida da Liberdade with each of the city’s neighborhoods competing for best song and costume.

Where else in Europe can you spend the summer with plenty of sun, great urban attractions of a capital city mixed with resort vibe at the beach without spending a fortune and without traveling huge distances? Only in Lisbon. In the Portuguese capital you have mild weather, you can start your day at the beach in Cascais within minutes from the center, escape the heat to the fairytale palaces of Sintra, and end the day at a Michelin-starred or cheap-but-wonderful restaurant in Lisbon’s old center. Accommodation is also the cheapest of anywhere in Western Europe, allowing you to stay at a stylish central apartment for as little as 20 euros per night per person, or at a 5-star hotel often for less than 100 euros. You do the math and find out for yourself why Lisbon is the place to go this summer.

It seems that Lisbon’s biggest square, the riverfront Praça do Comercio has undergone renovation works every year throughout the last decade. From a new pavement to cleaning up the sewage system, there was always something preventing everyone from fully enjoying this grand and monumental space. It will finally be completely cleaned up by July (or so they say) and will offer several new cafés and a couple of shops on the east wing, joining the ones already found to the west. And because summer in Lisbon lasts until October, the end of the season will see the opening of a new major museum on this square, the Lisboa Story Center telling the story of the city’s post-1755-earthquake rebuilding.

Ancient Art in the Shopping Mall

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Arte no ColomboTo some this sounds like cultural blasphemy, to others it’s a smart way to bring culture to the masses: The Ancient Art Museum has taken part of its collection to the Colombo mega-mall. Until the end of June a group of 31 pieces will be on display as a “mini museum” in an exhibition related to the art of medieval Portugal. A second group of pieces from the same museum will then be shown in July until October, this time relating to Portugal’s exploration of the world.
It’s free and open every day, making it a perfect excuse to go spend some money or to combine art and shopping on a rainy spring day.
If you can’t make it to the Ancient Art Museum to see its entire collection when you’re in town and prefer to go shopping instead, this is also a good way to get a sense of Portuguese culture for free.

The 12 Biggest Events in 2012 in Lisbon

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

Oceans Festival, Lisbon

Bringing some color to the first days of spring will be Lisbon’s annual animated film festival. March 19 to 25 with productions from around the world.

The city’s main gastronomic festival, naturally dedicated to seafood, takes place from April 12 to the 22nd.

For almost a decade the best independent films have been shown in Lisbon in what is now the city’s biggest film festival. This year it’s happening from April 26 to May 6.

The large temporary exhibition space of the Electricity Museum will once again reunite the best of the world’s photography and photographers. It takes place in April and May.

The self-dubbed “biggest musical festival in the world” returns to Lisbon in late May and early June with dozens of musical acts. Bruce Springsteen, Lenny Kravitz and Metallica have been confirmed. Ticket information here.

If you’re a fan or motorcycles, and particularly of Harley-Davidson, head to Lisbon’s coast in June for Europe’s biggest concentration of Harleys. You’ll see them from June 14 to the 17th by the sea in Cascais.

The beginning of summer will call you closer towards the beach with this sailing event on the coast of Lisbon.

It’s one of the city’s biggest musical events every year, this time in mid-July. Confirmed so far are Radiohead and Mazzy Star. Ticket information here.

The world’s greatest ships will sail the waters of Lisbon July 19th to the 22nd.

Lisbon’s award-winning citywide summer festival returns with sea-themed activities throughout the month of August.

The Portuguese architect recently selected to become the contemporary architecture curator of New York’s MoMA will also be responsible for a major exhibition in Lisbon this year. It will happen in September in the Design Museum and will focus on 100 years of interior design/architecture in the country.

Said to be Europe’s biggest gay and lesbian film festival, it’s showing gay-themed productions from September 21st to the 29th.

10 Great Reasons to Visit Portugal in 2012

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

Porto, Portugal

The city of Guimarães was Portugal’s capital for a brief period back in the 1100s, and in 2012 it will be European Capital of Culture. This well-preserved medieval city is one of Portugal’s dozen World Heritage Sites for its architectural and cultural treasures, and in the upcoming months it will present a calendar filled with major cultural events, from the classic fine arts to contemporary artistic performances. It will host national and international artists and will target cultured tourists to the north of the country.

Taking advantage of its proximity to Guimarães, the baroque city of Braga will turn into the European Capital of Youth. The European Union selected this Portuguese city for its young population (35% of which is under 26 years old), and it will host the EU-Africa, EU-Latin America and EU-Arab Nations summits together with several events throughout the year with lots of music and festivals.

All the attention on Guimarães and Braga will be beneficial to Porto, the capital city of the north of Portugal. Tourists will find a rejuvenated old city which has been tastefully reimagined through careful renovations. Old bookshops and warehouses are now trendy cafés and restaurants, and the once-sleepy downtown is now a vibrant center day and night. This added to its reputation as a major wine destination and its magnificent setting by the Douro River has turned Porto into one of the fastest-growing European destinations. Of course the always-increasing number of low-cost flights has helped, but the number of upscale tourists has also increased, leading to the grand openings of two grand hotels last year — an InterContinental facing the city’s main square and the luxurious Yeatman across the river.

Despite all the budget cutbacks, Lisbon will go on. The José Saramago Foundation will finally open in the landmark Casa dos Bicos after countless delays, presenting literary events and the Nobel Prize author’s library. Nearby, on Comercio Square, you’ll find a new museum related to the city’s post-1755-earthquake years with the fascinating story of how it rose from the ashes as a then-state-of-the-art city. Across the triumphal arch, you’ll find the ever-expanding Design and Fashion Museum with several new exhibitions, and in the Belém district there will be a new home for magnificent royal carriages.

2012 is a year of Rock in Rio-Lisboa, the festival that takes place every two years with lots of major international stars. So far Lenny Kravitz, Maroon 5, Metallica and Bruce Springsteen have been confirmed but other big names will be announced soon and until the event which lasts for several days in late May and early June.
And let’s not forget the annual Optimus Alive festival on July 13, 14 and 15. This year it will bring bands like Radiohead and Snow Patrol among others to be announced.

The Lisbon coast will host major international events in 2012. The Volvo Ocean Race will pass by the Portuguese capital in June before heading back into the Atlantic towards the Portuguese island of São Miguel in the Azores, eventually reaching the Brittany coast in France. A few weeks later the Tall Ships Races will be in town (July 19th-22nd), with a fleet of major ships moored by the historic center of Lisbon for a unique and magnificent sight.
Also happening on the Lisbon coast is the Estoril Open, the tennis tournament that will bring major players and lots of excitement in April and May.

EasyJet will have a new base in Lisbon starting in April, bringing thousands of extra tourists to the city. But that doesn’t mean that you’ll find Lisbon overrun with tourists, as it still doesn’t get the mass tourism of Rome or Paris. It simply means that you’ll have more flight choices and price ranges to bring you to Portugal. Also, starting in the summer, your hotel or apartment in the center of Lisbon will be even easier to reach, as the airport will finally have a metro station. Of course, if you prefer, you may still choose a private transfer.

After a hostels boom, Lisbon’s accommodation choices expanded with central apartments that have become popular choices among tourists looking for extra privacy and lower prices. But there are also new hotels, starting with Fontecruz, a luxury boutique hotel right on the main avenue scheduled to open on the first days of the year. Then, later in the year we’ll see the conclusion of the landmark Sana Vasco da Gama Royal Hotel on the Vasco da Gama Tower.

In the last few years Portugal’s southern province added an extra “L” to its name when promoting its tourist attractions. It became “Allgarve,” reminding tourists that this is not just a destination for beach resorts, but really a place that’s got it all, including cultural events and a variety of activities. While it’s been reported that it will no longer use the name “Allgarve”, the Algarve will continue to offer some of the best of Portugal together with all the tacky/mass-tourism-targeting attractions many know it for. Those who get away from the tourist path will find the best restaurants in the country (it has more Michelin stars than Lisbon) and some of the finest hotels which together with a rich calendar of events and sunny weather throughout the year, making it a perfect destination for a few days of leisure and relaxation.

The euro crisis is not good news for Europeans and especially for the Portuguese during these austerity days, but it’s great news for tourists! Portugal is hoping tourism will help its bank accounts, and to attract visitors it’s been lowering prices. In doing so it also hopes that the Portuguese will travel within their own country instead of going abroad, and for that reason 2012 will be a year of bargains. Even luxury accommodation is at a third of the price of elsewhere in Western Europe, so even if you’re used to mid-range accommodation in your European travels, you’ll be able to have an upgraded experience in Portugal for the same price!

5 Major Reasons Why You Must Visit Lisbon Before the End of the Year

Monday, November 7th, 2011

War Propaganda

So what if the weather won’t allow you to have the typical Lisbon experience (culture and beach)? Even if it rains, it won’t be freezing cold (even in December), and you’ll be able to catch some world-class temporary exhibitions that invite you to go indoors. Here’s what’s happening in Lisbon until 2012:

There are even more reasons to visit the free Berardo Museum. One of its temporary exhibitions (which can be seen together with the permanent collection) is a fascinating display of war propaganda. It includes over 200 original posters from the United States, Germany, England, France, Italy, Japan, and the former Soviet Union.

The City Museum presents a selection of 257 photographs from the Frida Kahlo Museum’s collection. Kahlo is recognized as one of the top female artists of all time, and these works served as a record and working tool. You can see it until January 29.

The Gulbenkian Museum has put together works by some of the world’s major artists, including Picasso, Monet, Cezanne, Van Gogh and Matisse. What each piece has in common is still life imagery. Some belong to the museum’s own collection, others are loans from other museums from around Europe. It’s all on display until January 8.

The Cordoaria Nacional building (found on the way to Jeronimos Monastery) is presenting a great attraction for families. It’s Europe’s largest dinosaur exhibition, allowing visitors to understand the natural setting of these extinct animals. Portugal is one of the countries with the most dinosaur fossils, found in the last couple of decades by the coastline north of Lisbon (a total of 25 dinosaur remains have been found). On display until January 1st are life-size replicas of these gigantic reptiles.

The Paula Rego Museum in Cascais has added new works by Rego, considered one of Europe’s greatest living artists. They’re in two temporary exhibits (to be seen until December 31st) and include more than 100 iconic pieces from the permanent collection. It’s all free, and a must-see if you’re going by the sea in Cascais now that it’s no longer beach weather.