Things to Do in Lisbon in August

Lisbon sitting cozily at the Atlantic coast in the Tejo River mouth is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The historic center of the city is located on seven volcanic hills, which makes the landscapes fascinating with the streets running up and down the hills. 

Apart from impressive views, Lisbon offers a large number of festivals and other cultural events that go on throughout the year. In August, you can attend the following events in the city:

  • A jazz festival — Jazz em Agosto;
  • A festival of the Ocean — Festival dos Oceanos;
  • A music festival of the Sun — Sol da Caparica;
  • A music festival of the Sea — Festas do Mar Cascais;
  • A film festival — IndieLisboa.

The music of August in Lisbon 

In the first third of August, a famous jazz festival is held in Lisbon with world-renowned musicians playing in the open air. The festival is called Jazz em Agosto – Jazz in August.

Jazzmen from various countries come to Lisbon to share their latest improvisations with the public. There you can hear whatever is new in jazz music. The festival was a modest event when it started back in 1984 but now it has grown into a huge and well-attended music show.

Festival of the Ocean — Festival dos Oceanos

In the first half of August, a Festival of the Ocean is held in Lisbon. The events take place at three locations in the city:

  1. Centro Histórico. The historic center of the city, its soul with a centuries-old history.
  2. Belém. The district is an important museum and cultural area in Lisbon. As you can access the sea and the river from there, Belem is highly popular with tourists.
  3. Parque das Nações is a place where you can find ‘the modern Lisbon’ with numerous tourist and entertainment facilities.

The festival of the Ocean includes exhibitions, conferences, classic and modern theater plays, and musical concerts.

Festival of the Sun — Sol da Caparica

Sol da Caparica is a music festival that brings together musicians from several Portuguese-language countries. It is held in Costa da Caparica, a small town on the opposite bank of the Tejo River.

The concerts are held in the city park and musicians from Portugal, Brazil, and some African countries perform the best music. In addition, there are stand-up shows, dancing, surfing, and many other activities during the four days that the festival lasts.

Lovers of alternative rock, African rhythms, samba, hip-hop, dance, and funk music are going to love the festival that lasts between the 12th and the 15th of August.

Festival of the Sea — Festas do Mar

Festas do Mar is a free-entrance festival that is held at Cascais, a resort town to the west of Lisbon. The festival lasts for ten days (between August 16 and 25) and the events include handcrafts exhibitions and shows, Portuguese dishes tasting events, local and international music groups concerts, a parade in the honor of sailors and magnificent fireworks.

Film festival — IndieLisboa

Visitors to IndieLisboa can watch more than 250 movies over 17 days (between August 21 and September 6). Besides, they can attend film-related seminars, debate sessions, concerts, and parties with celebrities.

IndieLisboa is mostly a low-budget film festival. It welcomes feature films, documentaries, cartoons, and experimental films. There are retrospectives as well as exclusive film shows: you can see some movies nowhere else but at this festival.

Besides, a section of the festival is aimed at the young spectator and it is called Indie Júnior. Movies, seminars, and parties with games and other entertainments are loved by children of all ages.


August is the hottest month of the year in Lisbon, so attending events held in the open might not be very comfortable for some people. However, those who like to keep in the shade can turn their eyes to various exhibitions and expositions that Lisbon is abundant in.

  1. Sete Sóis Sete Luas is held between the 1st and the 27th of August in Fábrica da Pólvora de Barcarena. Actually, it is an international event that is held in 30 cities in 12 countries: Brazil, Cape Verde, Croatia, Slovenia, Spain, France, Israel, Italy, Morocco, Portugal, Tunisia, and Turkey. It is aimed at the popularization of arts and exchange of cultural experience. The folklore, national cuisines, and architectural styles are on display.  
  2. An exhibition called Il Divino Michelangelo & Il Genio Da Vinci is held between August 1 and 29. As the name suggests, you can find the works of Michelangelo and Da Vinci on display. The exhibition is held near Mãe D’Água das Amoreiras water reservoir.
  3. The exhibition of Lego figures held in Lisbon is the largest such exhibition in Europe. It takes place at Cordoaria Nacional (National Congress Hall) and of course, it would be of great interest to children. They can look at over 100 Lego figures between August 1 and August 31.

Historic festivals in Lisbon in August

Lovers of the medieval times are going to enjoy the opportunity to immerse in those ages and get away from the heat of the city. Two events stand out:

  • Viagem Medieval em Terra de Santa Maria is held every year over 11 days staring August 1. It takes place at the historic center of Santa Maria da Feira, a town two hours away from Lisbon by car. Around 50 thousand people a day attend the event. It represents the battles and the routines of the Middle Ages with precision and involves thousands of people into the performances. Simulations of various episodes that defined the course of the country’s development in the Middle Ages are to be found there. Viagem Medieval em Terra de Santa Maria started as a relatively small event but the area that it occupies now is 40 hectares. Year after year, the popularity of this event with foreign tourists is growing. Due to the large variety of animations, Viagem Medieval em Terra de Santa Maria offers a unique opportunity to feel part of the long-gone times.
  • Another historic festival (fair) called Feira Medieval de Silves is held in Algarve to the south of Lisbon between August 10 and August 19. The festival is highly entertaining for people of all ages and besides, it lets the participants learn many interesting things about the medieval Portugal. You can dress up in costumes of those times and take part in various routines of the Middle Ages. Over the years, the festival in Silves has grown from a small event into a huge one attracting thousands of visitors. You can watch knights’ duels and stroll along the streets of the town dressed like a knight or a dame. The fact that almost everybody around you is dressed in medieval costumes will make you feel as if you were living in the Middle Ages.

As you can see, there are various cultural events that are held in Lisbon and in the vicinity every August. If you find yourself in the city at that time of the year, you simply cannot be bored! Everybody will find something to his or her taste in Lisbon in August.

What music festivals take place in Lisbon in August?

You can attend a jazz festival in Lisbon in August as well as the Festival of the Ocean taking place at three locations, the Festival of the Sun taking place at Costa-da-Caparica, and the Festival of the Sea taking place at Cascais not far away from Lisbon. There you can hear music of different genres including funk, pop, pock, classical, and ethnic music.

Can I hide away from the heat of the city in August?

Yes, you certainly can. You can attend either of the two historic festivals that are held in the suburbs of Lisbon. One takes place in Santa Maria and it is called Viagem Medieval em Terra de Santa Maria, and the other one takes place in Silves, Algarve and it is called Feira Medieval de Silves. Both festivals are held in the open air and they both will bring you the feeling of the Middle Ages.

What events in Lisbon would be interesting for children?

One exciting place to take your children to would be an exhibition of Lego figures. Over a hundred figures – large and small – are on display there. If your kids are interested in films, they will love the children’s section of the Film Festival. Indie Júnior consists of film premiers, games and parties for children of all ages.

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