There are a few excellent reasons to plan your visit to Lisbon for the beginning of April. Beautiful spring days that are neither too hot nor too cool provide the perfect environment for enjoying the parks, gardens, and the riverside, and there is more space in the city because summer tourists have not yet arrived. It is also the time when Lisbon hosts its biggest gastronomic event of the year called Peixe em Lisboa, or the Fish and Flavors Festival. This year, the event lasts 11 days, running from 5 – 15 April, 2018.
2018 marks Lisbon’s Fish and Flavors Festival‘s 10-year anniversary and its second year at the current location by Parque Eduardo VII, the Pavilhão Carlos Lopes Convention Center. Beautiful blue and white azulejo tiles decorate the recently-renovated building’s facade and interior walls. Originally built in Brazil in 1922, the building was moved to Portugal and rebuilt 10 years later then repaired and modernized at the beginning of 2017.
Designed to shine a light on Portuguese gastronomy, characterized in large part for its use of fresh fish and seafood, the festival was originally and fittingly located in the parking lot of Terreiro do Paço, by the Tagus River.
Other than moving the event’s location, the purpose and design of the Lisbon Fish and Flavors Festival remain unchanged over the last 10 years, showcasing the best of Portuguese cuisine by organizing workshops, spearheading discussions, and sharing special dishes and recipes with the public. A few of the nation’s top chefs and a few international chefs are invited to engage the crowd while cooking delicious fish and seafood recipes. Expect creative and artistic presentations from a panel of Michelin-star chefs who make the event shine brighter with their talents.
What are among the event’s top highlights? Arguably, that would be the two special recipe competitions, one for the best patanisca (fried codfish cakes) and the other for the best pastel de nata (these delicious, nationally-favored sweets show up everywhere in Portugal, even a seafood-based festival). While a pre-determined team decides on the winner, each chef is invited to share their samples with the public.
If you’re looking for something to do in Lisbon during the first two weeks of April, grab a few friends and head to this festival by taking the blue metro line to the Parque stop. It’s also an excellent activity for solo travelers as well as the whole family. This year’s tickets cost approximately €15 ($18.50) per person per day but price also changes based on which events you want to attend (at times ranging from €6 ($7.50) per person to €12 ($15.00) per person).