Activities & Adventure 7 MINS READ

Lisbon in Winter – Popular Things To Do & More

Lisbon in Winter – Popular Things To Do & More

Activities & Adventure 7 MINS READ
Lisbon in winter

Enchanting, dramatic, and historical, Lisbon is presented to visitors and the world at large as an amazing city with many secrets waiting to be discovered. If you’ve been dreaming of visiting Portugal, you can feel secure knowing that vacationing in Lisbon in winter is still a great idea.

In the winter, Lisbon offers something for everyone, whether you desire to take advantage of the city’s many cultural offerings or just enjoy some delicious traditional food. Read on if you want to discover Portugal’s capital during the winter!

Go to São Jorge Castle

📌 LocationFind on map
👀 Why Visit?It’s a window into Lisbon’s remarkable past.

Castelo de São Jorge, which dominates the city, is a great place to begin your journey. Perched majestically atop one of Lisbon’s seven hills, it offers a captivating journey through centuries of history.

Visiting the Castle in winter is a unique and atmospheric experience. Winter’s lower tourist numbers afford a more intimate exploration of the castle’s historic quarters, from the imposing walls to the archaeological remnants.

Visit Christmas Markets in Lisbon

Christmas Market
🎄 Recommended Christmas Markets✦ Wonderland Lisboa | Find on map
✦ Rossio Square | Find on map
✦ Campo Pequeno | Find on map
✦ Alvalade Christmas Market | Find on map
✦ Carnide Christmas Market | Find on map

You will likely arrive in Lisbon right before the holidays if you visit during the winter! Christmas lights decorate the historic center, main squares, and avenues of Lisbon, giving the city’s nightlife a unique glow during this season. 

The city is host to a few Christmas markets, such as the Mercado da Baixa nearby and the Rossio Christmas Market. One of the best places to go Christmas shopping is the Lisbon Christmas Market. Buy handcrafted products and trinkets that make wonderful gifts or souvenirs!

Warm up with delicious Portuguese specialties

Portuguese specialties
🤤 Must-Try Dishes✦ Portuguese stew
✦ Portuguese sausages
✦ Grilled limpets
✦ Traditional Porto sandwich
✦ Bacalhau

While learning about the top winter activities in Lisbon, you can indulge in some delectable Portuguese cuisine if you need to warm up. Enjoy wonderful hot seafood meals and meat stews during the winter months.

Make sure to try a few traditional dishes like the Portuguese stew Cozido à portuguesa, which consists of meat, vegetables, and beans, as well as traditional pastries like the custard pastry Pastéis de nata. And don’t forget to try Ginjinha, a sour cherry liquor!

Listen to Fado music

Fado Music
✨ Best Spots For Fado Music✦ Mesa de Frades | Find on map
✦ Tasca Do Chico | Find on map
✦ Clube de Fado | Find on map
✦ Sr. Fado de Alfama | Find on map
✦ Povo | Find on map

On a cold winter’s night, there’s no better way to express emotion and saudade than with fado. Fado is the traditional music of Portugal. Dinner shows are usually advertised, and you can hear it in many more conventional restaurants. It’s usually just guitars and mandolins with haunting song headliners. 

Ride the Number 28 tram

Ride the Number 28 tram
🚋 Starting PointRuns between Martim Moniz and Campo de Ourique
🎟️ Ticket Price3 euros
☀️ Best Time To RideEarly in the mornings or late in the afternoons
✨ Popular Sights Along The Route✦ Monastery of São Vicente de Fora
✦ Lisbon Cathedral
✦ Baixa & Terreiro do Paço
✦ Basílica da Estrela
✦ Prazeres Cemetery

Tram 28 is one of the best ways to see Lisbon in winter. It is a global symbol of the city and you may ride one of these yellow trams through the tiny streets of Lisbon. Do be aware and respectful of the fact that locals also use these as public transportation.

“I suggest taking the train first thing in the morning to avoid crowds”. says Camila, a regular visitor. “Remember to watch out for pickpockets!”

Admire the street art

Street Art
🎨 Artistic Neighborhoods In Lisbon✦ Mouraria | Find on map
✦ Calçada do Carmo | Find on map
✦ Rua Rodrigues Faria | Find on map
✦ Quinta do Mocho | Find on map
✦ Calçada da Glória | Find on map

Lisbon’s street art is a testament to the city’s creative spirit. Winter in Lisbon, when the air is crisp and the streets are less crowded allows visitors to explore the vibrant murals and graffiti, affording a truly immersive experience. Go on a guided tour or explore Lisbon’s historic district and city center on your own!

Take day trips

🚗 Best Day Trips From Lisbon✦ Sintra
✦ Porto
✦ Lagos
✦ Óbidos
✦ Évora

Another popular thing to do in Lisbon in Winter is to go on a day trip. There are many picture-perfect day trips from Lisbon that you can opt for. Sintra is a popular day trip destination because of its stunning palaces and monuments. 

Explore the fairytale-like Pena Palace, wander through the lush gardens of Quinta da Regaleira, and soak in the mystical atmosphere of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. The cooler temperatures add a layer of mystery to Sintra’s enchanting landscapes.

Visit some of Lisbon’s most iconic neighborhoods

Barrio Alto
🛣️ Top Neighborhoods In Lisbon✦ Baixa and Rossio
✦ Bairro Alto
✦ Alfama
✦ Alcântara
✦ Cais do Sodré

Every neighborhood in Lisbon has its distinct charm and personality. Beautifully tiled buildings and cobblestone streets can be found in Alfama’s historic district, and Bairro Alto offers a vibrant nightlife.

Discovering these iconic districts allows you to experience the rich tapestry of history, culture, and daily life in the Portuguese capital.

Journey to Belém

Photo credit: Crazy Family Adventure
📌 LocationFind on map
👀 Why Visit?It’s a monumental center rich in historic and artistic heritage.

A day trip to Belém is a captivating journey through Portugal’s maritime history, architectural wonders, and contemporary creativity. Nearby are the original Pasteis de Nata store and the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Torre de Belém and the Jeronimos Monastery. A monument honoring Portugal’s participation in the Age of Discovery can be found a little further down the Tagus River’s banks.

Celebrate New Year in Lisbon

New Year in Lisbon
👀 Things To Do✦ Enjoy a fireworks display
✦ Savor a special New Year’s Eve dinner
✦ Cruise on the Tagus River
✦ Go dancing and pub crawling
✦ Gamble at Casino Lisboa

As the year comes to an end, Lisbon celebrates New Year’s Eve with street parties, fireworks over the Tagus River, and, of course, a lively atmosphere! Locals and visitors gather in iconic places like Praça do Comércio and Bairro Alto to countdown to the new year.

As the clock strikes midnight, the skies illuminate with a spectacular fireworks display, casting a brilliant reflection on the water. New Year’s in Lisbon is a memorable celebration of renewal, filled with warmth, excitement, and the promise of a fresh start.

Lisbon In Winter – The Weather

Weather in Lisbon

Lisbon experiences surprisingly mild winters. January is the coldest month in the city, with pleasant temperatures that range from 8° to 15°C (46–59°F).

Lisbon in winter never experiences below-freezing temperatures. While occasional rain is common, snow is rare. But keep in mind that now might be the best time to travel to Portugal and see Lisbon, even with the cold, strong winds, and rainy days. Because it’s the off-season, Lisbon offers more affordable prices, lights and hotel rates are lower, and lines to enter attractions are noticeably shorter than they are during the busy season.

Lisbon In Winter – What To Pack & Wear

Lisbon in winter: what to pack and wear

Now that you are aware of the weather in Lisbon in winter, let’s talk about what to wear.

Here are a few wintertime essentials for Lisbon fashion that you won’t want to leave behind:

✦ Layer like a long-sleeved shirt or sweater and add a mid-layer for warmth.
✦ Bring a waterproof and windproof jacket or coat for occasional rain. 
✦ Opt for jeans, trousers, or leggings, depending on your preference.
✦ Choose comfortable and waterproof shoes, especially if you anticipate rain.
✦ Don’t forget a stylish scarf, hat, and gloves to keep warm on cooler days.
✦ Sunglasses can be handy, especially on sunny winter days.
✦ Since Lisbon can experience occasional rain in winter, it’s advisable to carry a compact, travel-friendly umbrella.

Additionally, Lisbon is known for its relaxed and stylish atmosphere, so pack comfortable yet fashionable clothing. Consider bringing a few dressier outfits for evenings out or special occasions. Check out our handy guide on what to wear in Lisbon for inspiration!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it worth visiting Lisbon in winter?

Absolutely! Lisbon in winter is lovely. While summer boasts sunshine and beach days, winters offer several perks, the best being fewer crowds, pleasant weather, lower prices, and unique festive experiences. It’s an ideal time to explore historic sites, enjoy seasonal cuisine, and embrace the local charm in a more relaxed setting.

How cold does it get in Lisbon in winter?

Generally, Lisbon winters are quite mild. Average highs hover around 15°C (59°F), with lows dipping to 8°C (46°F) on occasion.

Will it rain a lot in Lisbon in winter?

Lisbon experiences more rain in winter than summer, but it’s usually manageable. Pack an umbrella or raincoat, and be prepared for occasional showers.

What should I pack for Lisbon in winter?

Layers are key! Pack comfortable sweaters, a light jacket, and waterproof shoes. Don’t forget a scarf, hat, and gloves for cooler evenings.

What are some things to do in Lisbon in winter?

  • Explore the city: Visit historical landmarks like Jerónimos Monastery and São Jorge Castle.
  • Indulge in museums: Lisbon boasts world-class museums like the National Tile Museum and the Berardo Collection.
  • Savor local cuisine: Try hearty winter dishes like “cozido à portuguesa” (stew) and “pastel de nata” (custard tarts).
  • Festive Lisbon: Enjoy Christmas markets, New Year’s Eve celebrations, and Lisbon’s Carnival in February.
  • Day trips: Explore nearby towns like Sintra or charming coastal villages like Cascais.

Do any special events happen in Lisbon in winter?

  • Lisbon Christmas Markets: Soak up the festive atmosphere at various markets selling traditional gifts and delicious treats.
  • New Year’s Eve: Celebrate with stunning fireworks displays over the city.
  • Carnaval: Witness the vibrant Carnival celebrations in February, filled with parades, music, and costumes.

Is Lisbon an expensive city?

Lisbon is generally considered more affordable compared to many other European capitals, but prices have risen in recent years.

Ritesh Raj

COO at CuddlyNest

Editorial Policy

Last update: 10 June 2024

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