In June, the month of the Festas dos Santos Populares (Feast Days of the Popular Saints), the Lisbon nights are filled with lively festivities that take over the city’s historical center.
The biggest saints of them all – Santo Antonio – is celebrated every year on the night between the 12th and 13th of June (and the week around that date), where Lisbon’s oldest neighbourhoods – from Castelo to Mouraria, Graça, Alfama, Ajuda and the Bairro Alto will be packed with people dressed up in Sardine Hats dancing and singing to Portuguese Pop Songs .
Like all over Lisbon, Graça will be more or less closed for traffic from early afternoon until early morning.
The local shops, sports clubs and associations will take over Largo da Graça with mobil kitchens, huge mobile bars, open BBQs and music will fill the streets from the main stage.
So don’t expect a peaceful and romantic stay during these days. And since we can’t ‘beat’ them we’ll join the fun.
Like the rest of town the party starts the week before and last for around 10 days where the main venue will be The Main Square + Jardim da Graça + Graça Miradouru. This area will turn into huge live bands from the main venue, smaller discos and lots of tents with food and drinks.
All cafes and bars will move outdoor and have decorated their temporary bars with colorful garlands, green manjericos (mini basil) and ranges of draft bars that serves chilled beer, vino verde and sangria.
The most interesting party is the now legendary Arraial da Vila Berta in one of Lisbon’s most beautiful streets hidden away behind Largo da Graça’s chaos (it´s only 200 m from us). They have been serving sardines, bread and caldo verde in one of Portugal’s most interesting historical architectural streets for more than 100 years.
It´s still mostly locals who party here – forget about getting a table. They are already reserved! Don’t miss it!
June is packed with parties, and they are everywhere and most of them all night.
There are a few official events like the big Parade on Avenida Liberdade, The Santo Antonio Race and an official program arranged by the Municipality – it may be a good idea to check out whats going on when you are in town. Time Out’s feature is a good way to start.
Lisbon will be packed with people, especially on the 12 and 13 June.
Based on our own experience there are a few things that are good to know
Except for this – just enjoy.
Have a fantastic festival
Annette & Thomas
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