It is no secret, that the festivities on Saint Anthony's Eve are the worlds best
kept secret. Every small street in Lisbon's historic city center will be filled hip to hip with party-goers. The big decision is where to begin your celebrations. After much deliberation, The Purveyor, has complied a list of hot-spots and a
locals only map, for Saint Anthony guidance. Fun times will be happening everywhere in the city, so be prepared to get caught up in sardine smoke and traditional sing alongs.
Start in my bairro, near metro stop 'Martim Moniz' on Avenida Almirante Reis, then wander your way to the Alfama District early in the day.
Alfama is noted as the eldest of Lisbon's districts and was home to the patron saint that is commemorated this Eve. Bairro Alfama is by far, the best spot for traditional fare today. Get there early in the day otherwise you won't get a seat at a table, or breathing room. The church of Saint Anthony can be found on
'Largo Santo Antonio à Sé.' Weddings that would put Las Vegas to shame will happen here all day. Once you've seen the ump-teen newlyweds and had some grub (sardines & bread), it will be afternoon and that means, drink, drink, dance and drink some more. 21h will begin the Marchas Populares de Lisboa, on Avenida da Liberdade, this must see parade is over before you can make a beer run, so get there a little early for a quick see. Adventurous spiritos should also make it to the streets of 'Mouraria' just north of Santos train station. The finale, head down to the Bica for the best of party central. Here in the Bica, steep, tiny streets outline a procession of partying that only your eyes can believe and bottles of cachaça numbering in the tens of thousands. Some folks say Saint Anthony's Eve is like Mardi Gras. I know it to be better. I would give Mardi Gras a solid 6.5 in compairisons 1 to 10. SAE gets a 9.5. This party gets 3 more points because you can count on; a better party atmosphere, 7 times the 'arraiais' of parties, no violent conflict, more local and cultural interactions, higher quality food, and lower libation price tags. Get your proper partying on Lisbon style and wear comfy shoes. Saint Anthony wants you to stay on your feet all day,night and into the morning of the 13th. You can always confess your sins later.