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.
Following in the well-heeled footsteps of New York, London, Paris and Milan, Lisbon hosts its own Fashion Week every spring and autumn. While the biannual ModaLisboa 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.
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 every March. 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.
The Lisbon Fish and Flavors festival is exactly what it says on the tin. 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
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, Music Days in Belém (Dias da música em Belém), which aims to promote the genre through an exciting programme of concerts.
Lisbon’s international independent film festival, IndieLisboa, bring together the best independent cinema from across the world. The festival presents a series of screenings, encouraging attendees to discover new on and off-screen talent, uncover the latest film-making 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.
Championing local talent alongside rising international stars, MIL floods the city with pop, rock, soul and electronica for one weekend every spring. Alongside the diversity of concerts are masterclasses and workshops where budding popstars are given an opportunity to stage their talent and industry insiders keep an eye out for the next big thing. Find most of the action on various stages and unique venues around Cais do Sodré.
If you need more of a challenge than 21km, the Lisbon Eco Marathon follows a scenic stretch between the Monsanto mountain and the grand Marquês de Pombal square. One of the added bonuses of this pretty route is its leafy diversions along dirt tracks and through forests, which offer welcome stretches of shade. Beyond the verdant surrounds, views across Lisbon below certainly add a scenic backdrop.
A family break to sunny Lisbon. Make it an Easter to remember.