5 Things You Need to Do When Visiting Lisbon in September 2019

Lisbon in September is that time of year when school’s in but summer is not quite out yet.

Summer in Lisbon lingers well into September, with days that are still long enough for al fresco drinks and weekend trips to the beach. 

It won’t start feeling like fall for another month or so, and throughout September, tourist crowds grow smaller, and lisboetas return to their daily routines. If there’s ever a sweet spot between tourist season and authentic city life, you’ll find it in Lisbon in September. Here’s what’s on our agenda this month.

Coming to Lisbon in September? You've made a great choice. Here are five things to add to your itinerary as you make your way around the Portuguese capital.

1. Get Spooked at MotelX

During the second week of September, all horror movie fans will want to head to Cinema São Jorge for MotelX. This is the film festival they’ve been waiting for all year. For one week, the silver screen showcases the rising stars of horror filmmaking through new features, short films and documentaries.

Every year there are also special retrospective sessions featuring classics of the genre and the masterminds behind them. In 2019, look out for “Alien” and “Friday the 13th.”

2019 dates: September 10–15

If you're visiting Lisbon in September, check out the MotelX horror movie festival taking place at Cinema São Jorge.
The famous Cinema São Jorge is the setting for the most frightening film festival Lisbon has ever seen. Photo credit: 69joehawkins

2. Experience Fado at Santa Casa Alfama 

Fado is Lisbon’s most popular music genre, so it’s only natural that there is a festival entirely dedicated to it in the city’s most iconic neighborhood. 

Since 2013, Santa Casa Alfama’s goal has been to bring fado to all kinds of audiences at all kinds of venues. For two nights at the end of September, the festival hosts new and seasoned fado singers at performance venues throughout Alfama ranging from museums to churches to outdoor spaces.

After the concerts, stick around and enjoy dinner at one of the many fabulous restaurants in Alfama.

2019 dates: September 27–28 

You absolutely have to check out a fado show if you're visiting Lisbon in September. Check out the program for Santa Casa Alfama!
A passionate fado performance will take your breath away. Photo credit: misspolkadotdot

3. Dance in the Park at a Music Festival

Music lovers, this one’s for you. The Lisb-On festival is a huge late summer block party, with a fantastic view of the city. It takes over Lisbon’s most iconic park, Parque Eduardo VII, for three days of electronic music concerts lasting from 2 p.m. to midnight. 

Whether you go to soak in the atmosphere or to dance your socks off, there’s plenty of room for everyone. Bring your own blanket for the afternoon sessions, and if you’re traveling with kids, bring them along! Admission is free for children ages 3–14.

2019 dates: September 6–8 

4. Immerse Yourself in Portuguese Heritage

Every year, the European Heritage Days present a unique opportunity to learn more about Portuguese heritage far beyond a trip to the top museums. Free entrance at monuments, special tours of never-before-seen collections and night events at museums are some of the activities you can expect during these three days in Lisbon in September.

2019 dates: September 27–29 

5. Grab a Bite: What to Eat in Lisbon in September

All these energy-packed events in September mean you’ll need to recharge on the go. Although we’re fond of sitting down for meals on most occasions in Portugal, that doesn’t stop us from switching the long sit-down lunch for a quick bite at a food truck during a festival. 

A bifana is a good compromise between hearty meal and afternoon snack. Don’t be fooled though—more masterful technique goes into this unfussy pork sandwich than meets the eye. And whatever you do, don’t go overboard with the sauces—a dab of mustard is more than enough.

For longer meals and lingering conversations, a restaurant with outdoor seating is perfect for those late summer afternoons. Bonus points if you choose a Lisbon restaurant with a view. In September, the days still call for chilled wine and grilled fish with a drizzle of olive oil—enjoy.

Enjoy a fabulous seafood meal out on a sunny terrace in Lisbon in September.
Did someone say “Portuguese food with a view?” Count us in. Photo credit: @anastasia.raykova

2 Comment

  1. Yvette Nogueira Labrie says
    September 5, 2019 at 12:59 am

    Going to Portugal in July 2020; would love to receive more information on Hotels, Restaurants, etc….

    1. Devour Tours says
      September 6, 2019 at 7:01 am

      Hi Yvette! Here’s some information about where and what to eat in Lisbon: https://devourlisbonfoodtours.com/where-to-eat-lisbon/
      And here are a few of our favorite hotels in town! https://devourlisbonfoodtours.com/blog/best-boutique-hotels-lisbon/
      We hope this helps—see you next year!

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