Looking for Things to Do in Lisbon in May 2024? Check This Out!

Written By Mihaela Gutu

Are you visiting Lisbon in May? Does your trip schedule have some time left for local events? Excellent! We’ve got you covered!

Keep reading to discover more about the top things to do in Lisbon in May 2024 – you’ll soon find your next awesome Lisbonese event!

14 Things to Do in Lisbon In May 2024

Since we can’t guess what your interests are, we’ve chosen events where you can immerse yourself in different universes – art, music, cinema, history, and whatnot! So, pack your bags and come to Lisbon! You’re about to have one of the best trips of your life!

1. FIMFA Lx24 – Festival Internacional de Marionetas e Formas Animadas

When: May 9 – June 2

FIMFA Lx24 is an international puppet and animated form festival, an artistic project organized by Tarumba. From May 9 until June 2, you can attend over 50 FIMFA events!

For example, on May 9, you can go to Castelo de São Jorge in Lisbon for the Arachnobot show – although we don’t recommend it for people with arachnophobia, ‘cause the show involves a giant puppet spider measuring around 5 meters!

Later that day, you can check out the Belgian Boucherie Bacul – an old-fashioned butchery market booth that will make you question everything you see! Instead of meat, they use stuffed animals and dolls (what?!). You’ll have to attend the event to see for yourself!

Then, you simply cannot miss Os Miseraveis, a miniature show inspired by Victor Hugo’s masterpiece. It is organized by Karyatides, who participated at FIMFA Lx22 with the Frankenstein show. The event takes place on May 16, 17, and 18 at Teatro Nacional D. Maria II.

These are only some of the festival’s highlights! Make sure to check their official website for more details and a full schedule.

2. Rien ne va plus by Jorge Nesbitt and Vasco Futscher

When: April 11 – May 15

Where: Brotéria, R. de São Pedro de Alcântara 3, 1250-237 Lisboa, Portugal

Rien ne va plus is a truly unique event for anyone who wants to transcend reality and step into the world of arts.

It’s an exhibition of a silent set of ceramic objects designed by four hands. You’ll be able to listen to the sounds produced by the bells, and through various rhythms, feel the remnants of ancestral traditions.

3. Maria Lamas and Her Women

When: January 26 – May 26

Where: Gulbenkian Art Library, Av. de Berna 45, 1067-001, Lisboa, Portugal

Maria Lamas and Her Women is the first exhibition in Portugal that shows the work of Maria Lamas, a Portuguese writer, journalist, and feminist political activist who opposed the country’s dictatorial regime.

This exhibition is curated by Jorge Calado. It consists of 67 photos taken by Maria, some of her personal objects, and a portrait of Maria executed by Julio Pomar. There’s also a plaster bust sculpted by Julio de Sousa and some vintage prints signed by other photographs.

You’ll also discover more about Maria’s literary and journalistic work while exploring the section dedicated to it. You’ll even see copies of the first editions of her work!

4. Evidence: Soundwalk Collective & Patti Smith

When: March 23 – September 15

Where: MAC/CCB Museum of Contemporary Art, Praça do Império, 1449-003 Lisboa, Portugal

The Evidence: Soundwalk Collective & Patti Smith exhibition has its roots in Perfect Vision, a musical and sound composition created by Stephan Crasneanscki and Patti Smith. The work of Antonin Artaud, Arthur Rimbaud, and Rene Daumal served as their inspiration.

This exhibition was originally created for the Centre Pompidou in Paris by Soundwalk Collective and Patti Smith and then redesigned for Lisbon’s MAC/CCB. Visitors will trace numerous travels that juxtapose Patti Smith’s photography, writings, and artworks.

5. Outsiders – American Cinema Festival

When: April 30 – May 5

Where: Cinema São Jorge, Av. da Liberdade 175, 1250-096 Lisboa, Portugal

Photo by Becky Gillespie

Outsiders is an American cinema festival that runs 12 films created by independent directors. This year, the festival focuses on the American family and what it means. Here’s the program from May 1 to May 5:

  • May 1, 5 pm – Land Ho!, a movie about an ex-surgeon who convinces his brother to go on a vacation in Iceland, where they enjoy each other’s company.
  • May 1, 7 pm – South Mountain, a movie about family, betrayal, and trust explored through raw emotions. It unravels one’s darkest corners of pain, desire, and anger.
  • May 1, 9:15 pm – Pier Kids, a movie that focuses on young black LGBT people at risk through the eyes of three characters whose lives are documented for five years.
  • May 2, 7 pm – The Cathedral, a movie focused on Jesse Damrosch’s life from birth to entering college.
  • May 2, 9:15 pm – The Grief of Others, a movie that illustrates the power of grief one experiences after the loss of a baby.
  • May 3, 7 pm – Driveways, an 83-minute film about Kathy and her son Cody. As the plot unravels, you’ll find yourself following a story about loneliness, faith, pain, and kindness.
  • May 3, 9:15 pm – Birth/Rebirth follows the story of Dr. Rose Casper, a forensic pathologist obsessed with human rebirth. When she meets Celie Morales, whose daughter died suddenly because of meningitis, the story takes an unexpected turn.
  • May 4, 3 pm – The Bread Factory follows the story of a cultural center founded in a former bread factory and its financial problems that lead to difficult decision-making and brilliantly illustrate contemporary America.
  • May 4, 9:15 pm – The Surrogate – as the title implies, the movie tells the story of Jess Harris who donates an egg for her best friend and his husband.
  • May 5, 5 pm – Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets shows how Las Vegas’ popular bar Roaring 20s is about to close its doors.
  • May 5, 7 pm – Thousand and One follows the story of Inez, a convicted fighter, and Terry, her 6-year-old son. After having lost his custody, Inez kidnaps him so they can be together.

6. Ir ao Cinema em 1975

When: May 2 – 23 May

Where: Cinemateca Portuguesa, R. Barata Salgueiro 39, 1269-059 Lisboa, Portugal

Ir ao Cinema em 1975 is yet another cinema festival that aims at reproducing the movies people were watching in 1974 and 1975, two years that have left an incredible mark on Portugal.

In April, the movies took people back to 1974. In May, however, you’ll travel to 1975, reliving the experience of a whole generation and learning valuable details about Portugal and not only – after all, the festival will show movies from all over the world! 

You’ll watch movies by Andrei Tarkovsky, David Cronenberg, Manoel de Oliveira, Mario Monicelli, and many others!

Cinemateca Portuguesa, Photo by Truus, Bob, & Jan too! (Unsplash)

7. Algo muito pessoal

When: May 2, 6:30 pm

Where: Teatro Nacional de São Carlos, R. Serpa Pinto 9, 1200-442 Lisboa, Portugal

If you’re up for a romantic and elegant cultural evening, don’t hesitate to buy tickets for Algo muito pessoal at the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos in the heart of Lisbon.

It’s a concert based on Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s work, who is now famous for the music created for The Adventures of Robin Hood and Captain Blood.

In addition, you’ll admire the absolutely delightful theater – its interior will take your breath away!

8. Tile Painting Workshop

When: May 4, 2 pm

Where: Art Zone Alvalade, R. Reinaldo Ferreira 18B, 1700-323 Lisboa, Portugal

If you’ve ever been to Lisbon or any other Portuguese city, you probably already know how rich the country is in azulejo or, in other words, hand-painted tiles! So why not try the technique yourself?!

This workshop will teach you everything you need to know about traditional Portuguese tile painting techniques. An expert artist will guide you on how to paint a glazed tile. At the same time, you’ll learn more about the history of this art. As such, it is an excellent activity for families with kids!

The workshop costs 40 EUR per person, plus a 10% discount if you have company! And there’s no need to worry about language barriers – the workshops are held in both English and Portuguese. To book your seat, click here.

Portuguese tiles. Photo by Job Savelsberg (Unsplash)

9. Madame Butterfly

When: May 9, 9:30 pm

Where: Coliseu dos Recreios, R. das Portas de Santo Antão 96, 1150-269 Lisboa, Portugal

If you’re passionate about opera, you’ve definitely heard of Madame Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini. You may have actually already been to the theater, especially if you’ve visited Italy!

Well, now you have the possibility to see it in Portugal. Madame Butterfly arrived in the country in 1908, only four years after its premiere at the Teatro Alla Scala in Milan. This year marks 120 years since its premiere in Italy, which is why you cannot miss the event!

If you’ve never heard about it, here’s a short yet intriguing synopsis: the Madame Butterfly opera tells the story of a 15-year-old geisha who falls in love with a U.S. Navy lieutenant. What happens next? It’s up to you to find out!

10. Lisboa Miniaturas

When: May 11 – May 12

Where: Venice Room, Hotel Roma, Av. de Roma 33, 1749-074 Lisboa, Portugal

The Lisboa Miniatura market is a true delight! You’ll be surrounded by hundreds of uniquely designed miniature pieces for dollhouses.

Visitors will be able to see the artworks of several miniaturists from Portugal, France, and Spain and choose pieces pertaining to various styles – art deco, modern, and even Victorian!

It’s an excellent destination for collectors, enthusiasts, and families with kids!

11. Guided Tour Teatro São Luiz

When: May 11, 3 pm

Where: Teatro São Luiz, R. António Maria Cardoso 38, 1200-027 Lisboa, Portugal

Are you an actor or passionate about theater? Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to visit one of the most renowned theaters in Lisbon!

Marta Azenha, who is part of the production team, will be your tour guide – you’ll visit various theater rooms and workspaces, as well as the backstage. You’ll learn everything there is to know about different theater-related professions, and, who knows, maybe it will inspire you to follow your dreams!

The tour price is only 2 EUR, and it lasts 1h30.

12. ARCOlisboa

When: May 23 – May 26

Where: Cordoaria Nacional – Galeria do Torreão Nascente, Avenida da Índia 1300-299 Lisboa

If you’re an art enthusiast, you should not miss out on ARCOlisboa 2024 – an international gathering for art collectors, gallery owners, and artists.

Being the seventh ARCOlisboa edition, it presents a section called As formas do Oceano (The Shapes of the Ocean), which includes projects focusing on the relationship between Africa and the African diaspora.

Another section is called Opening and is curated by Chus Martinez and Luiza Teixeira de Freitas. It focuses on languages and artistic spaces. Check out more details here.

A previous exhibit at Cordoaria Nacional, Photo by Becky Gillespie

13. Thirty Seconds to Mars

When: May 29, 8 pm

Where: Altice Arena, Rossio dos Olivais, 1990-231 Lisboa, Portugal

With a history spanning decades, Thirty Seconds to Mars has become a favorite band for millions! If you’re among them and you happen to visit Lisbon at the end of May, you have the amazing opportunity to attend their concert!

They will perform at Altice Arena on the 29th of May as part of their 2024 World Tour. Book your tickets now – there aren’t many left!

14. Visit Barco Varino Liberdade

When: May 4 – May 30

Where: Vila Franca de Xira

If you want to mix history and culture with a pleasant afternoon in the heart of nature, book a trip on this vessel that was once used to transport goods along the Tagus River.

At first, it was named Campino. On the 25th of April 1988, however, the vessel was renamed Liberdade. It then became a Museum Center. Today, the museum welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world!

You can choose one of the several boat routes. Whichever you choose, you’ll definitely have a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

Not to mention that you’ll be able to observe the natural fauna and flora of the Tagus Estuary Natural Reserve – just imagine that the region is a nesting area for 200 bird species! Pack your binoculars, dear bird-watching enthusiasts!

For more details about the trip schedules, click here.

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