Are you interested in art? The National Museum of Ancient Art has some remarkable works on display made by Portuguese artists, such as the Belém Monstrance, and others that record the Portuguese legacy in the world, such as the Namban Screens. Two of the exhibits that you cannot afford to miss are Hieronymus Bosch’s famous triptych entitled “The Temptations of St. Anthony” and Dürer’s portrait of St. Jerome. At the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, discover the art of Egypt and Mesopotamia and the works of Rubens, Rembrandt and Monet.
Do you prefer other artistic styles? At the Berardo Collection Museum, you’ll find the works of Vieira da Silva, Magritte, Mondrian and Picasso waiting for you. Give yourself some time to admire the exhibitions of Asian masks and the music and dance performances at the Orient Museum.
Discover a typically Portuguese art at the National Tile Museum and let your eyes feast on the richly decorated royal carriages at the National Coach Museum. In Porto, make sure to visit the Serralves Foundation, where, besides displaying its own permanent collection, the Museum of Contemporary Art holds regular exhibitions of international artists, such as Andy Warhol, Francis Bacon, Juan Muñoz and Goldin.
Are you a music fan? In Portugal, there are concerts for lovers of all rhythms from the classics to more modern genres. Check out the list of major venues such as the Centro Cultural de Belém in Lisbon and the Casa da Música in Porto. Don’t miss the Sintra festival, which combines classical music with ballet in settings of great beauty. In the summer, the festivities bring people out into the street. Get into the party spirit at the many festivals taking place from the north to the south of the country.
Don’t miss the Optimus Alive Festival at the Passeio Marítimo de Algés, on the banks of the River Tagus. When July comes around, you can hear the best music at the Super Bock Super Rock Festival and see concerts performed by some of your favourite pop, rock, hip hop and funk groups. Listen to alternative rock bands playing live at the Paredes de Coura Festival, in a natural amphitheatre, close to the town of the same name or at Zambujeira do Mar, where the Sudoeste TMN Festival is held every August, with some of today’s most irreverent bands.
Jazz is also very much on the agenda: in July, be sure to drop in at the Estoril Jazz Festival, while in August there’s also Jazz at the Gulbenkian, in Lisbon, and, in October, at the Angrajazz Festival in the Azores. And, finally, in November, there’s the Guimarães Jazz Festival in the region of Porto e Norte.
If you’re a film buff, come and discover the range of festivals taking place in Portugal each year. Get ready for the festival of fantasy films in February and March with Fantasporto, which has delighted film fans in the city of Porto for the past 30 years. And discover some of the new up-and-coming filmmakers and trends from world cinema at Indie Lisboa, the International Independent Film Festival held in Lisbon in April.
And, finally, have you heard about the famous Lisbon nightlife? Come and taste some of the new Portuguese cuisine in the bars and restaurants down by the river, enjoy a pleasant dinner listening to Fado music in one of Lisbon’s more typical old quarters, or let yourself get captivated by the exciting rhythms that you’ll hear at the bars and discos in the Docas area, along Avenida 24 de Julho, or further up the hill in Bairro Alto.
Algarve’s warm nights have many open air venues and beach festivals where you can party until dawn. Porto comes alive in the discos of Foz and the riverside districts of Ribeira or Cais de Gaia, across the river. Discover all the charm and seductiveness of the menus and atmospheres of the new restaurants. We want you to have fun, and there are certainly plenty of places available all around the country for dancing, listening to music, or simply enjoying some companionship and conversation.
Gamblers will find Lady Luck waiting for them at the casinos in the north and south of the country. Let yourself be guided by the thousands of bright lights that fill the nights in Portugal.