Best Portuguese Cities to Celebrate Mardi Gras

Portuguese people are warm hosts. They like to welcome their guests, they're proud of their culture and they are eager to share it with every visitor. Nevertheless, Portuguese are also very discreet on their daily lives. They prefer low profile and they have a general tendency for shyness. There is however one time of the year when Portuguese put all that aside and show their wildest side: Mardi Gras. During the three days of festivities every city around the country has its own street parade with floats loaded with happy people dressed up in shinny costumes, singing, dancing and spraying joy all around. Choosing where to join the festivities can be hard, the whole country is in party mode. To help you, here are the 3 most famous cities from in the north, center and south of the country:

This northern city is the place to go if you want to test your party resistance. It claims the longest Mardi Gras in the country lasting no less than three weeks. It all starts with giants and big-headed figures invading the streets challenging every passer-by to join the party culminating with the famous spontaneous night parade called "Noite da Farrapada".

Torres Vedras
Torres Vedras is a quiet and discreet city all year round. Not far from Lisbon we hardly hear anything about it. Until February arrives. It is by far the most famous Portuguese city when it comes to Mardi Gras revelry. Go there only if you're sure that you can spend three days without sleeping. Torres Vedras Mardi Gras is definitely not for the weak.

In the well-known Algarve region, Loulé has one of the most funny Mardi Gras celebrations. The street parades and shows always reflect the same theme, normally a political satire. The population gathers to organise the costumes and parade floats built with high doses of humor. If you are up for good laughs, go to Loulé.

Silvia was born in Lisbon. Although her appetite for travel and writing started early in life, Lisbon is the city that she always chooses to come back to. At least until the city reveals all its secrets.

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