There’s no better way to experience the enchanting culture of Portugal other than attending the Santo Antonio Festival, the most important annual fiesta in Lisbon. This historic event celebrates Saint Anthony, the patron saint of Lisbon, of marriages, and of lost things. Saint Anthony is a highly respected religious figure in Lisbon’s culture, so it’s no surprise that locals go all out in preparation for this event. The festivities start on June 12th; during the early afternoon, the irresistible, smoky aroma of grilled sardines starts wafting through the air, folk music wakes up the streets, and colorful décor liven up Lisbon’s already vibrant streets. Considering that Saint Anthony is the patron saint of marriages, you’ll get a glimpse of newly married couples who are celebrated during the event too! If you’re single and ready to mingle, you might want to consider partaking in the Santo Antonio tradition of gifting a pot of some basil to your special someone. Hey, you never know if it might work! Basil is considered a symbol of good luck… well, romantic luck.
The main highlight of the Santo Antonio Festival is the procession that takes place along Avenida da Liberdade. Locals don mind-blowingly elaborate costumes that will give Rio’s Carnaval a run for its money. Floats, dancers, musicians all add to the electrifying atmosphere on the streets. There will be lots to indulge in: from the delicious grilled sardines, Portuguese cabbage soup, sangria, wine, and beer will give you energy to party until the sun comes up. The day after is a public holiday, so you can get your sleep then. You won’t want to miss the parties.
Soak up the flavors, sights, sounds, and culture of Lisbon at the Santo Antonio Festival. It will be a feast for the senses in more ways than one.
In fact, the entire month of June feels like one huge party; the festival is just one part of the Festas dos Santos Populares, a month-long celebration of pagan and religious beliefs. So get ready to party it up, Portugal style!
The Santo Antonio Festival takes place on the historic streets of Alfama, Bica, Bairro Alto, Castelo, and Madragoa. These are where most activities will be concentrated, as stalls selling grilled sardines, delicious local food and drinks will be located. The processions and parades take place along Avenida da Liberdade. Get your pots of basil at the area across the Santo Antonio Church nearby Alfama.
The streets of Lisbon will be filled with partygoers on June 12, so it isn’t possible to get around in ways other than walking. Before and after the festival, you can choose from Lisbon’s many efficient public transportation options: the tram, train, buses, metro, taxi, bicycle, ferry, and funicular are all great ways to see the city.
Lisbon’s districts are so full of character and history. You can’t go wrong in any of these neighborhoods for your stay: Baixa is known for history, the old quarter of Alfama is romantic, Belem is huge on culture, Avenida da Liberdade is best for shopping, Bairro Alto is a hotspot for nightlife, Cais de Sodre is a trendy and hip area, and Lapa and Madragoa offer sophisticated, upscale experiences.
Better yet, check out the map below for great Santo Antonio Festival deals in Lisbon.
Lisbon is a grand metropolis peppered with history; the influences of Berber pirates, Roman imperialists, and Moorish builders are all still very much alive here.
Head over to the Bairro Alto district for a taste of local nightlife, visit the mystical Sintra, and indulge in all the culture that this wonderful city has to offer.
The Lisboa festivities will take place during the whole month of June with the main Santo Antonio event happening on the 12th and 13th June.
Rad Season is providing you with hotels and Airbnbs at the lowest prices available online. Book your stay for Santo Antonio Festival 2019 using the map below!
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