7 Events to Attend in Lisbon to Commemorate 50 Years of April 25th

Written By Mihaela Gutu

On the 25th of April 1974, a military coup called the Carnation Revolution overthrew the dictatorial Estado Novo government. After this, the country transitioned toward a democratic regime and experienced major social, economic, political, and territorial changes.

Since then, the 25th of April is known as Freedom Day in Portugal. It’s the day everyone in Portugal is looking forward to, while April is the month when both locals and tourists gather together to celebrate the civil liberties and political freedom acquired after the revolution!

This year, the country will celebrate a 50-year anniversary since the Carnation Revolution. The whole month of April is filled with hundreds of events held throughout the country that commemorate what happened in 1974 – from book releases and public debates to film festivals and art exhibitions.

Many are held in Portuguese, so if you’re just visiting the country and don’t speak its language, you’ll probably want to skip them. Luckily, we’ve foreseen this and prepared a list of events you can attend in Lisbon even if you don’t speak Portuguese. We’re sure you’ll find at least one you’ll be interested in!

Keep reading to discover seven events that will make you feel like you’ve stepped into a time machine and traveled back to the 1970s!

1. 50 Years of April at SNBA

When: 13.03 – 20.04

Where: Sociedade Nacional de Belas-Artes, R. Barata Salgueiro 36, 1250-044 Lisboa, Portugal

The SNBA has a long-established history and position in Portugal’s artistic landscape. After the Carnation Revolution, the SNBA held numerous artist meetings, including those of the Democratic Movement of Visual Artists, that discussed various cultural changes that would be soon implemented.

As such, this 50th anniversary serves as an excellent occasion to celebrate both the country’s democracy and the SNBA’s identity as a major cultural hub in Lisbon. Ana Lima-Netto, Ana Velez, Gracinda Candeias, Jaime Silva, Manuel Gantes, and Pedro Almeida are only some of the artists whose works you’ll see at this year’s exhibition.

2. 50 Anos de 25 Abril

When: 24.04 – 28.04

Where: Palácio Baldaya (Estr. de Benfica 701A, 1500-087 Lisboa, Portugal), Cine-Teatro Turim (Estr. de Benfica 723, 1500-337 Lisboa, Portugal)

From the 24th until the 28th of April, you can attend some major events at Palácio Baldaya and Cine-Teatro Turim in Lisbon. You’ll have the opportunity to listen to the most popular songs that have been associated with the country’s freedom in the last 50 years.

On the 25th of April, for instance, you can listen to David Fonseca at Palacio Baldaya, a famous Portuguese musician. The entrance is free, and the concert starts at 5 pm. In fact, almost all the events in the series have free entrance, except for the Sem Filtro and the Conta-me como foi events.

For more details about the events, click here.

3. Retrospetiva o outro 25 de abril

When: 1.04 – 25.04

Where: Cinemateca Portuguesa – Museu do Cinema, R. Barata Salgueiro 39, 1269-059 Lisboa, Portugal

This series of events connects Portugal’s Carnation Revolution anniversary and the end of fascism in Italy. It’s a film festival that presents Italian classics and modern productions, offering a comprehensive overview of the Italian Resistance.

The festival began on the 1st of April and will end on the 25th with Rome, Cidade Aberta by Roberto Rossellini and Cravos de Abril by Ricardo Costa.

Click here for more details about the tickets and program.

Cinemateca Portuguesa. Photo by 69joehawkins (Wikipedia)

4. 50 Anos de 25 Abril em Almada

When: 11.04 – 24.04

Where: Almada

If you want to enjoy a one-day getaway in the beautiful Almada, you’ll just have to cross the river and attend the city’s Freedom Day celebration events!

The first event is scheduled for the 11th of April at 7 pm at the Almada Museum, Casa da Cidade – a photography exhibition by Alfredo Cunha focused on the Carnation Revolution. On the 13th of April, there will be another exhibition entitled Portais do Tempo at the Lisnave shipyard.

On the 24th of April, however, you’ll party like never before with locals in Praça da Liberdade! Dino D’Santiago, Tristany, and Batukadeiras Madame X are only some of the artists who will perform on stage that night. Oh, we almost forgot – there will also be fireworks at midnight!

You can find the complete program here.

5. A Liberdade passa por aqui!

When: 20.04 and 21.04, 4 pm – 8 pm

Where: Museu do Aljube, R. Augusto Rosa 42, 1100-059 Lisboa, Portugal

If you want to attend a party but don’t want to leave Lisbon, head towards the Aljube Museum for the A Liberdade passa por aqui! Party. The program for the 20th of April includes Batucadeiras das Olaia, Samba Sem Fronteiras, and DIDI. On the 21st of April, the museum invited Mãe Bruxa, Celina da Piedade, and Tropicáustica.

For more events held at the museum, check out their official website.

6. Factum Exhibition

When: 27.01 – 05.05; Tuesday – Sunday: 10 am – 1 pm; 2 pm – 6 pm

Where: Torreão Nascente da Cordoaria Nacional, Edifício Cordoaria Nacional, Av. da Índia, 1300-299 Lisboa, Portugal

To commemorate 50 years of democracy, Lisbon’s Galerias Municipais opens the Factum exhibition. Over 170 photographs made by Eduardo Gageiro will be on display. They have been taken from the 1950s to 2023, thus illustrating some of the most important events that happened in Portugal in the last 70 years.

The Factum exhibition is an excellent way to discover more about the country you’re visiting – you’ll learn about political, social, and cultural changes, as well as major personalities that played a pivotal role in shaping today’s Portugal.

7. 25 abril. 25 imagens. 50 anos

When: 16.02 – 31.12

Where: Biblioteca Orlando Ribeiro, Estr. de Telheiras 146, 1600-772 Lisboa, Portugal

If you’ve seen the Factum exhibition and found the photographs intriguing (and fascinating!) enough, you should definitely consider heading to Biblioteca Orlando Ribeiro to see other photos taken by Eduardo Gageiro.

The exhibition has on display 25 photos taken in April and May 1974 that are of major historical and cultural value for anyone who wants to learn about the Carnation Revolution. 

Biblioteca Municipal Orlando Ribeiro. Photo by Vitor Oliveira (Flickr)
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