Even though it’s still spring, May is the time when Lisbon sets its summer plans in motion. Music, art, shopping and culinary events fill the city’s streets with merchandise, pedestrians – and plenty of feelgood factor! Here is Culture Trip’s breakdown of events happening this month in Lisbon.
Tutankhamun – Treasures of Egypt
May 1 – May 7
Since January 20, Lisbon has hosted the King Tut exhibit, which showcases replicas of relics found by Howard Carter in 1922. Head over to Parque das Nações for a sneak-peek and some information about history’s most famous Egyptian Pharaoh. This exhibit is located in one of Lisbon’s most unique buildings, the Pavilion of Portugal, or Pavilhão de Portugal in Portuguese.
Where: Pavilhão de Portugal
Monsanto Primavera Fest
May 5 – May 7
For the second year in a row, Lisbon will be hosting the Monsanto Primavera Fest, a spring concert dedicated entirely to Portugese music. Held in the Benfica neighborhood, the concert is organized by two government offices: Junta de Freguesia de Benfica and the Junta de Freguesia de São Domingos de Benfica, and sponsored by many other organizations within the city. Why add the Monsanto Primavera Fest to your calendar? It’s one of the best music concerts in Lisbon that’s absolutely free to enjoy!
Out Jazz Festival
Weekends: May – September
Spring is a time for sunny days, picnics, friends and outdoor music. The Out Jazz Festival packs all of these favorite things into one event. Every weekend from the beginning of May to September, Lisbon’s parks, public squares and streets will be serenaded by the sounds of jazz music. Anyone can come to enjoy these free concerts which begin around 5 PM and end around sunset. 2017 marks the 11th year that Lisbon has organized the Out Jazz Festival; which is spearheaded by the NCS Entertainment company based out of the LX Factory, and enjoyed by locals and tourists alike.
Where: Across the city
Cosmos Discovery World Exhibition
April 14 – July 30
Who knew that Portugal would be the first country to host the Cosmos Discovery World Exhibition? It began April 14 and lasts until July 30, so there’s plenty of time to check it in Belém. From 10 AM to 8 PM every day, visitors can learn about the Soviet satellite Sputnik, the first human being to reach space, and the Apollo program, among many other historic space events. Unfortunately, this isn’t one of Lisbon’s free or cheap events and tickets begin at around €16.
Where: Terreiro das Missas
IndieLisboa – International Independent Film Festival
May 3 – May 14
To watch the best Portuguese independent films, and a few international ones too, make a stop at IndieLisboa, the city’s International Independent Film Festival. May 8 to 14 will be the last 8 days of the 11-day festival, so plan accordingly. For €4 (or €3.5 for people under 30 years of age, seniors over 65 years and the unemployed), visitors can enjoy regular film screenings – most which will be the works of French filmmaker, Paul Vecchiali and American director, Jem Cohen.
Where: Cinemateca Portuguesa
FIMFA – International Festival of Puppets and Animated Forms
May 11 – May 28
The art of puppeteering is alive and well, and this May it will be highlighted in Portugal. Puppet companies from around the world will congregate in Lisbon for shows, exhibitions and workshops. This is yet another string to the contemporary art scene that has taken over the Portuguese capital.
Where: Maria Matos Teatro Municipal
May 5 – May 27
Filled with castles and palaces, Portugal’s fairy tale City of Sintra will host a month-long festival this May, dedicated to music and dancing. Each day between May 5 and May 27 will see a different musical performance by Portuguese and International artists. The festival’s venues are a few of the most romantic spots this lovely city has to offer, including the Sintra National Palace, the Quinta da Piedade, and the Palácio Nacional de Queluz.
Where: Sintra National Palace
May 18 – May 21
Lisbon is full of contemporary art collections, and with 58 galleries on display, ArcoLisboa is THE social event of the year for artists and art-lovers. This event is open to the public and tickets cost €15, except for students who pay €5. This is a great place to learn about Lisbon’s emerging artists, as well as internationally renowned artists.
Where: Cordoaria Nacional
May 16 – May 17
Popular Brazilian singer Caetano Veloso will serenade visitors of the Estoril Casino on May 16 and 17. This is a grand event as Veloso is one of the biggest names in Portugal, and tickets are running between €80 to €150. He will be joined at the beginning of each concert by Rio de Janeiro-born singer, Teresa Cristina.
Where: The Estoril Casino
Plácido Domingo Concert at the MEO Arena
Those who love opera will want to make a note about the Plácido Domingo Concert, which will take place on May 22 at the MEO Arena in Parque das Nações. Spanish singer Plácido Domingo is one of the most famously recognized opera singers with more than 3,800 performances, 12 Grammy Awards and 3 Latin Grammys under his belt.
Tickets can be purchased online and begin at €38.
Where: MEO Arena
Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto in Campo Pequeno
Bullfights are not the only events scheduled at the Campo Pequeno Bullring. On May 27, it will host Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto, an Italian opera about love, loss, passion and murder. This is a show that promises to entertain, and tickets run between € 15 to € 45.
Where: Campo Pequeno
José de Almada Negreiros
First half of the year
The José de Almada Negreiros exhibit at the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian is a great way to wrap up May in Lisbon since it ends on June 5. The modern art collections can be viewed on Thursdays and Saturdays from 10 AM to 9 PM, and these reflect the work of Portuguese artist José de Almada Negreiros. Tickets to enter the museum are € 14, but visiting this temporary exhibit only costs between €3 to €5.
Where: Museu Calouste Gulbenkian