Last Updated on September 2, 2020 by Nina Ahmedow
If you travel to Lisbon in winter the weather might not always be perfect. Most people will suggest that you travel to Lisbon in spring when it’s not too hot yet but still pleasant. But if you want to take advantage of cheaper prices winter might be the best time to book a trip to Lisbon. I, for one, had a fantastic time in the Portuguese capital in late December. (On the other hand, when I was in Vienna one cold and rainy May that really made it difficult for me to enjoy the city.)
I actually spent two whole weeks there which was great because when it rained I could simply stay inside without having to worry about not seeing everything. Because rain will be your biggest issue in Lisbon in winter, not snow.
And the rain in Lisbon in December got pretty intense. December is Lisbon’s rainiest month, then November, January, and February. But that shouldn’t discourage you from visiting this beautiful city. There are still many things to do even in cold and rainy weather.
And the rain can also make for empty streets and beautiful photo ops. So give Lisbon a chance in the winter months because there are enough things to see and do.
Lisbon has some beautiful squares that are worth checking out no matter the weather. Elegant squares such as Rossio or Praça do Comércio are a great place to wander in the winter because of their Christmas decorations. You may also come across events that take place on one of the squares.
Lisbon is a very diverse city, and its history is alive in its architecture. From the impressive Alfama neighborhood which survived the 1755 earthquake to São Jorge Castle and the 25 de Abril Bridge, Lisbon’s architecture quietly tells the city’s story. The reconstruction after the earthquake in 1755 gave room to smarter city planning. That’s why the Alfama neighborhood still has narrow, irregular alleys while Baixa is a district with rectangular street patterns.
In the winter, you can enjoy parts of the nightlife you might otherwise miss in Lisbon. What could be better than enjoying a Fado performance at a cozy bar or restaurant? Likewise, clubs or theaters may not be on your radar when the weather is too beautiful to stay indoors. But when it gets colder they are perfect to check out.
My Favorite Thing to Do in Lisbon in Winter
So before I arrived in Lisbon I had no idea that it had such a huge street art and graffiti scene. Franny the Traveler touched on this when she mentioned the similarities between Lisbon and San Francisco. I joined an excellent free street art and graffiti tour when I was in Lisbon in 2013. But sadly, that specific tour is no longer available as the woman who organized it left Portugal. But there are quite a few of these tours now that will explain this aspect of Lisbon to you.
More Suggestions and Tips for Lisbon in Winter:
Go to Belém
This Lisbon neighborhood contains two of Portugal’s UNESCO World Heritage sites and can easily be reached by train.
Try Vegan Pastéis de Nata
Pastéis de nata are must-try custard tarts in Lisbon. Luckily, vegan versions of this delicious pastry are available at different places all over the city.
Plan a Day Trip to Sintra
Sintra is a magical town 28 km outside of Lisbon and absolutely worth a day trip. The town is full of fairytale castles and a fantastic place to experience the sunset. Don’t skip it!
Are you up for a trip to Portugal?