Busking is legal in Portugal, however, in the case of Lisbon you are required to have a permit to play in the streets. Busking in Lisbon without a license is usually frowned upon. In any other city, it’s absolutely fine to do busking.
For those of you who don’t know what busking is, it is the activity of playing music in the street or another public place for voluntary donations or for any other reasons.
Why is it illegal to do busking in Lisbon without a license?
It’s probably because it’s the country’s capital city. Rules are different in Lisbon. The city is quite crowded and people don’t like being disturbed in the streets. If you are found busking in the streets without a license, the police will seize your equipment and you may also have to pay a fine that ranges between 100 to 300 Euros.
Busking in Porto
It’s totally legal to do busking in Porto. The good thing is you don’t need a permit or a license to play in the streets of Porto.
Where can you get a license for Busking in Portugal?
You can get a busking license in Portugal from Police or local authorities. It takes a few hours to get a busking license in Portugal. If you travel all over the country busking, then you are suggested to have your busking license with you all the time.
Would you make a good amount of money by busking in Portugal?
Sadly, no. Portuguese are not like Americans or British people. They will rarely put money on your hat. However, if you are busking in an area where there are a lot of English or American people, you could end up making a decent amount of money. Faro is one such place.
What is the best time to do busking in Portugal?
The best time to do busking in Portugal is from April to October, from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm every day. If you play on weekends, you could make a decent amount of money playing in the streets.
Is Busking considered begging in Portugal?
No. It has been established in Portugal law that busking is not begging as the performer offers ‘value for money’.
Also, Busking is a form of taxable income. If you busk regularly you should register as a self-employed musician/entertainer.
Things to consider while busking in Portugal
Do not make too much noise. Don’t play extremely loud.
Don’t block public highways or local streets. People don’t like that.
Do not play on private property without the owner’s authorization.
Respect other Buskers. If they are playing, wait till they are done. Support them too.
If you have a band or a dance group with 5 people, it doesn’t give you the right to occupy the spot more than individual artists. The regular conduct for busking in Lisbon is to perform in 1 hour for each artist, so if you are 5, don’t try to be smart and stay for 5 hours.
Let people know who you are. Speak with them. English is fine but learn some Portuguese too. Don’t perform without a banner.
You may also like to read:
Is Bullfighting still legal in Portugal?
What drugs are legal in Portugal?