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It´s ARRAIAL time!! Bring on the Saint Anthony night(s)!

People dancing during St. Anthony in Lisbon

When warm June comes around Lisboa dresses up with colorful decorations for the party. During this month we celebrate our favorite popular saint – Santo António (St. Anthony). His day in 13th of June but Lisboners love celebrations, so we celebrate all month long! Festas de Lisboa – Lisbon Festivities – as we call it.

St. Anthony is “Mr. Popularity” in Lisbon and the most epic night of the year happens on June 12th. Everyone goes alfresco to the “arraiais populares” — street parties spread all over the city — to dance to the sound of live folk music, grilling sardines on pateos and sidewalks, drinking beer, wine or sangria, and eating “caldo verde”, the national Portuguese soup. made of a potato cream and choped cabbage and always with a chorizo slice inside. Frequently the dancing goes on until dawn.

On the big night of June 12th, besides the many arraiais (street parties) we also have the Marches of St. Anthony in the most famous avenue in town — Avenida da Liberdade — where the neighborhoods of Lisbon compete for the best parade in town! On the day after, June 13th, there are also the Brides of St. Anthony, when sixteen couples get married simultaneously on the medieval catedral called Sé, and Sponsored by the city hall.

All explained, you are asking: “Where to go and how the choose the best arraial to join the locals in this amazing blast?” Pretty much everywhere! From the most charming and picturesque neighborhoods — such as Mouraria, Alfama, Bica, Bairro Alto, Castelo and Graça — to the more trendy and modern neighboorhoods such as Campo de Ourique.

At Taste of Lisboa, we share with you our favorites, more trendiest and the most alternative ones:

Há Arraial na Mouraria: for the biggest melting pot in town, where the world meets.
This arraial has a very diversed programme for the whole month showcasing musicians with different backgrounds, as multicultural as the neighborhood itself.
Where: Largo da Rosa (Mouraria)
When: June 1st- July 1st

Sardinhas Achadas: for hipsters and GLBT friends.
One of the coolest arraiais in Lisbon it has indie music concerts, dj acts, songwriters, brazilian rhythms,and short movie screenings.
Where: Escadinhas da Achada (Mouraria)
When: June 7th-13th

Arraial ao Largo: for hipsters.
The self-proclaimed “most hipster arraial in Lisbon” with live acts fusioning Portuguese folk music with bossa nova, cante alentejano, and fado.
Where: Rua Marcos Portugal, 2 (Príncipe Real)
When: June 9th-13th

Arraial do Clube Atlético de Campo de Ourique: for families.
It has everything that the mainstream arraiais have: sardines and meat barbecues, Caldo Verde soup, snails, beer, sangria. It has less fuss and hustle. Ideal for families and for kids.
Where: Largo Dr. António Viana (Campo de Ourique)
When: June 9th-12th

Vegan Arraial: for vegans and vegetarians.
Now for something completely different: an arraial serving only vegan food, orgazined by The Food Temple, the 5 Starts Happy Cow vegan restaurant in Lisbon . Great if you’re not into sardines and pork.
Where: Largo do Jasmim (Mouraria) / When: June 12th

Anjos Populares: for crowds fobics.
13th of June usually is hangover day. But not in this urban arraial with dj’s, concerts, live painting, videomapping, and live tattoo. For those who are not that much into Portuguese folk music but still want to celebrate Santo António.
Where: Anjos 70-Regueirão dos Anjos,70 (Anjos) / When: June 13th 15.00 – 00.00

Enjoy the party!

Popular festivities in Portugal picture collage