Lisbon Festivities 2018

Oh dear! Lisbon Festival 2018 is coming!

It’s half of May and these are just great news for all that, as us, are in the end moment of Santos Populares de Lisboa.

Well, to be honest, to all the santos populares lovers, once that June is almost there, ready to start.

You must have heard about this wonderful popular event, right? If not, you are in the right place, once FoodieBookings has prepared a simple guide about everything you need to know about this Lisbon Festival.

Cover photo @Boa Cama Boa Mesa

1. Santos Populares Lisboa, the Lisbon Festival

“Santos Populares”?

If you ask on the street who is the Patron of Lisbon, the most likely answer will be “Saint Anthony”, but the truth is that the official patron is Saint Vincent  

Every year, on the June 13th, Lisbon celebrates effusively the one his people has chosen as their patron, Saint Anthony.

The city becomes a wave of colors, the neighborhoods open their doors to the whole city, there are globe basil vases around everywhere and the smell of beer and grilled sardines stick in our soul with joy.

santo antonio lisboa

Photo: @Bobina e Desbobina

All the old traditional neighborhoods of Lisboa are celebrating with local parties open to everyone (yes, they are free!!)
and you can find them from the Castle to Mouraria, from Graça to Alfama or Bica to Santos-o-Velho or Bairro Alto.

Despite the all-month-celebration, the real highlight is on the night that goes from 12th to 13th of June.

On this night the city is invaded by pure joy of a huge parade at Avenida da Liberdade and on the next day it’s municipal holiday also celebrated with a religious religious parade to honor Saint Anthony.

These celebrations also signal the arriving of summer as a ritual, and so it opens the super diverse offer of outside events as jazz festivals, fado concerts and so on.

mw-1240 (2)

Photo: @Boa Cama Boa Mesa

2. Lisbon Festival for Foodies

Oh well Foodies… We hear about Lisbon Festival and right then our desires and appetites flash out, making our “summer bodies plan” scream.

This is the highlight of popular Portuguese gastronomy from the north to the south of the country and there is only one truth about it: nobody cares about forks and knives, people lick their fingers after meals and the beer just doesn’t stop to come to your table!

These popular fairs are a delicious experience to all the homemade food cooked with love and care, once on this evening improvised tables of the local residents and restaurants of the whole city prepare full plates of provisions for the ones that need to be ready to dance all night.

santos populares

Photo: Visit Portugal

This night queen is only one: the wonderful sardine.

At this moment nobody cares if the fish has multiple bone. It comes cooked in the grill with a specific kind of bread known as “broa”, fresh salad and another tasty accompaniments.

Normally, in order to prepare our stomachs for what’s coming, we start with a warm and typical Portuguese soup called “Caldo Verde” accompanied with a delicious bread and local chorizo.

Caldo Verde is a cow cabbage soup and despite being originally from the north of the country, every Portuguese knows how to cook and loves eating a good “Caldinho Verde” to remember the love to our hometowns, where it was always served in familiar celebrations and neighborhood events.

sardines_lisbon festival

Between Caldo Verde and Sardinha Assada it’s also needed to refer that the salty food will have a strong presence on the Portuguese dish during the Lisbon Festival 2018.

From shrimps to the croquettes and rissoles, from pies to chicken thighs, there is yet the tasty roasted chorizo, the steaks grilling, “bifanas” coming to the table all the time, as well as hot dogs, deep-fried flour dumpling filled with caramel, sugar and cinnamon and so many other “petiscos”.

caldo verde

Photo: @Mulher Portuguesa

Despite the low price of the food, as most of the crowd choose to try many different dishes and drinks, the Lisbon Festival of Popular Saints is not an experience that economic. You can, though, expect to spend around 15 to 20 euros in food. Hey! We said food because we can’t predict how many wine glasses or beers you want to add to the table!

Talking about drinks, they are everywhere! You will find fresh beer, sangria and good wine in every corner, as well as all the other kind of international drinks. The hard part of this will be to try to end the night feeling hungry or thirsty.

Do you want a good tip from your foodie friends? Take cash with you because you won’t be lucky if you are expecting to pay with card 🙂

beer lisbon

3. The Main Night and the Popular Parade

The celebrations on June 12th are all over the city, but this is the special night when the traditional neighborhoods go through a huge parade called “Marchas Populares” competing for the best song, garment and choreography.

This happens on the Avenida da Liberdade and you can just show up and try to find a good spot between the crowd.

Talking about that, what is this parade called “Marchas Populares”?

Since 1932, neighborhoods of Lisbon get together to dance in a big joyfull parade to the whole city and visitors appreciate. They finally accomplish what they have practiced and creatively worked with their teams and then the judges choose the best music, garment and choreography. The main goal is to parade through the all avenue and finally arrive to the final target with a lot of joy and feeling that the mission is now accomplished.

marchas lisboa

Photo: José Manuel Costa (via Youtube)

Here comes the best part: This festival goes through the whole month!

This is for real, dear foodies, June is a pretty intense month in Lisbon. The celebrations start on the first of June and only end on the 30th.

Pay for entrance? Hell no!

The popular fairs and parties are on the streets and you don’t pay to join them. They are free as we like it, and the doors are open to celebrate another summer that is coming.

There are no excuses to miss Lisbon Festival of Popular Saints this year, and by the way, aren’t you joining us in the countdown already?