From the independent films of IndieLisboa to the international bands at Rock in Rio, there are plenty of extraordinary attractions in our selection of spring events in Lisbon
If winter has chilled you to the bone and a warming dose of spring sunshine is in order, look no further than Lisbon. Known as ‘The White City’ due to its year-round luminosity, this coastal hillside city is blessed with wall-to-wall sunshine and mild Mediterranean temperatures. As well as enjoying excellent weather, the Portuguese capital is a hive of activity in spring, with a variety of major seasonal events taking place each year. From the Lisbon Half Marathon to independent film festival IndieLisboa and leading music showcase Rock in Rio Lisboa, follow this guide to the best spring events in Lisbon.
Lisbon locals, also known as Lisboêtas, are known for their savvy street style. Follow in their fashionable footsteps at Lisbon Fashion Week (ModaLisboa) – the city’s premier fashion showcase. A meeting place for the country’s top designers, the event is a great place to view the latest collections and get a sneak peek of the upcoming season’s top trends.
Touted as one of the most beautiful races in the world, the EDP Lisbon Half Marathon takes 35,000 runners on an unforgettable tour of the Portuguese capital. Starting on the 25 de Abril Bridge that links Almada with Portugal, participants follow a dramatic course over the river and along Lisbon’s coastal roads. It’s a memorable event to watch or take part in, and visitors looking to get active can sign up online.
Celebrating its 10th edition in 2016, Peixe em Lisboa is a festival dedicated to fish and local flavours. Foodies can take part in wine pairing events and cooking classes or watch the pros at work during live cooking presentations by top Portuguese chefs. There’s also a gourmet market at Pátio da Galé, where visitors can shop for fish, wine, cheeses, oils and traditional Portuguese condiments.
Lisbon’s international independent film festival, IndieLisboa, bring together the best independent cinema from across the world. Over 11 days, the festival presents a series of screenings, encouraging attendees to discover new on and off-screen talent, uncover the latest filmmaking trends and explore the burgeoning world of Portuguese cinema. Whether you’re a film buff or a budding filmmaker, this festival is a highlight of the season’s events in Lisbon.
Following in the well-heeled footsteps of New York, London, Paris and Milan, Lisbon hosts its own Fashion Week in October, ModaLisboa. While the biannual showcase may not be as famous as its predecessors, it’s gaining traction in the European fashion scene. It’s one of the top fashion events in Lisbon and designers from across Portugal and Europe attend each year to present their latest collections and inspire new trends.
For a city of its size, Lisbon has an usually prolific classical music scene. To celebrate this fact, the Belém Cultural Centre hosts an annual three-day event, The Belem Music Festival (Dias da música em Belém), which aims to promote the genre through an exciting programme of concerts.
One of Lisbon’s biggest annual events, Rock in Rio Lisboa presents five days of action-packed entertainment and music. The festival at Bela Vista Park hosts over 12 hours of live music per day, from sets by internationally renowned DJs to performances by world-famous musicians and bands. British rockers Queen and American band Maroon 5 are two major headliners set to rock this year’s festival.
One of the longest running events in Lisbon, the Lisbon Book Fair at Edward VII Park, has been a fixture since the 1930s. A key annual event for literary enthusiasts, avid bookworms will lose themselves in pages upon pages of new, old and rare titles, many of which are available in English as well as Portuguese.