It’s that time of the year again, when the smell of grilled sardines invades the old neighbourhoods of Lisbon. Alfama, Bairro Alto, Bica, Graça, Castelo, Avenida da Liberdade are crowded and busy as they can get. It’s Santo António night and everyone wants to eat sardines, drink wine or sangria and dance or sing to old popular tunes.
Alfama is the central location for all these celebrations with huge crowds up and down the winding streets. Our recommendation: avoid Alfama tonight and go there any other day until the end of June.
The crowds are overwhelming in Alfama and you’ll loose the will to eat sardines, or anything really, after being pushed around, ignored by busy waiters or pickpocketed (it’s the perfect storm for the cheeky pickpockets).
There are festivals happening in other parts of the city, including Terreiro do Paço, Jardim de S.Pedro de Alcântara or Praça da Alegria if you want to get your teeth into a grilled sardine and the atmosphere of Santo António night.
More about the festivals and restaurants here, by Célia for Culinary Backstreets: