Thinking about visiting Lisbon in winter? It’s a great idea! Most people visit Lisbon in the summertime, but going to Lisbon in winter is nice too! The weather is great compared to other European cities, it’s less crowded than usual and since there are few tourists, the prices are lower. You get it, you’ll enjoy traveling Lisbon in the off-season! But what to do there? Check out this list of things to do in Lisbon in winter!
Watch a Fado performance
Fado is the traditional music of Portugal. It’s usually guitars and mandolins with one singer singing slow-paced songs. It captures saudade, a nostalgic sense of longing for something or someone. You can listen to fado any time of the year but it’s better when the weather matches the melancholic mood. People usually watch fado performances at the restaurant while having dinner. Head to the Alfama area to enjoy fado. You can also buy a fado ticket here.
Admire the Christmas markets
If you go to Lisbon around Christmas time, you cannot miss the Christmas markets. They’re all over the city from mid-November until the beginning of January. Most Portuguese are Catholic so they put a lot of effort into decorating Lisbon nicely. At the markets, you’ll be able to find Christmas food not usually found during the rest of the year, but also handmade trinkets and toys, and decorative and craft items. Campo Pequeno, Wonderland Parque Eduardo VII and Natalis are the main Christmas markets in Lisbon.
Celebrate New Year’s Eve
Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Lisbon! It’s an unforgettable experience! Head to Praça de Comercio, the main square in the heart of the city! There’s live music there and of course impressive fireworks display at midnight! Beer and wine are sold at pop up stalls, and there are small celebrations all over the city! Don’t miss it!
Alfama is a famous neighborhood in Lisbon. It’s actually the oldest neighborhood of the city, it’s the only one which survived the terrible 1755 earthquake. It used to be a poor district but it’s now a trendy area with beautiful tiled buildings and cobbled streets. Alfama almost feels like a small village in Lisbon. Take some time to wander in this charming area.
Check out Bairro Alto
Bairro Alto is the area you have to check out to enjoy the nightlife in Lisbon! There’s a huge concentration of bars and restaurants there. Just wander the streets until you spot a restaurant or a bar you might like. Enjoy the good music, the tapas, the seafood and the good wine in Bairro Alto! It’s definitely better to go to Bairro Alto in winter because it’s far less crowded than in the summer, and the crowd is a bit more mature.
Enjoy the Portuguese food
Portuguese food is definitely underrated and it definitely needs to be more famous among travelers. Take some time to enjoy the delicious Portuguses specialties. Calbo Verde is one of the most popular dishes to enjoy in the winter. It’s a green soup made of potato, garlic, shredded kale, onions, olive oil, and often local pork sausage. But to completely enjoy the local food, book a food tour. Here’s a good one!
Have a wine tour
Since you’re going to enjoy the Portuguese food, why not enjoy the local wine? There are many vineyards in Portugal producing great wine, especially in the north so you have to go on a wine tour! Port wine is a sweet, red wine served with dessert and it can be fun to learn more about this Portuguese wine. Click here to book a wine tour.
Walk the miradouros
Miradouros are viewpoints in the heights of Lisbon, offering a beautiful view of the city. It’s great to walk these hills in the winter, because it won’t be too hot and again, it won’t be crowded! Miradouro das Portas do Sol, miradouro da Graça and miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcantara are the most popular, but there are 16 miradouros in Lisbon.
Shop at the Feira da Ladra
The Feira da Ladra (market of thieves) is the oldest flea market in Lisbon. It’s open on Tuesdays and Saturdays from early morning until early afternoon, and it’s been the same since its opening in the 17th century, no matter the weather. You’ll find there books, CD’s, hidden gems and junk. You’ll notice there are more locals than tourists.
Hang out at the LX Factory
The LX Factory is an open air factory ground filled with bars, restaurants, cafés, galleries, bookstores and a movie cinema! It’s a place where old meets new. Walking around the LX Factory feels like walking through an art museum, literally! Don’t miss it, plus there’s always something to do there!
Visit the musems
It might be raining, meaning you cannot really stay outside. It’s a good opportunity to visit one of the numerous museums in Lisbon. Check out the MAAT which is a collection of Lisbon’s art, architecture and technology. The National Museum of Natural History and Science is Portugal’s biggest museum focusing on the natural sciences with various exhibitions. The maritime museum is interesting. You can learn about the Portuguese sailors from the past. There’s also the fado museum, the museum at the Luz stadium, the National Museum Of Ancient Art, the National Tile museum, etc…
Take a day trip
Lisbon is a good base to explore nearby Portugal. Sintra is the most popular day trip from Lisbon. It’s a small town famous for its Maudeline National Palace and also the remains of a Moorish castle. You can take nice pictures there. Cascais is a historic fishing town, with beautiful beaches and seaside activities. Cabo de Roca is also popular. It’s on the Lisbon coastline and you can enjoy panoramic views and see the cliffs of the area. Click here to enjoy a day trip from Lisbon with a local guide!
That’s it! You now what what to do in Lisbon in winter! You won’t regret your trip there during the off-season! If you’re going to Lisbon another time of the year, check out my general Lisbon guide!
How to get to Lisbon
There are many flights going to Lisbon.
How to get around in Lisbon
Lisbon is not a big city but you can’t see everything by foot. There are uphill slopes and descents. Plus the Belem tower among others is further. You’ll have to use public transportation. The city is well served thanks to its metro and all the trams.
The easiest thing to do is to get the Lisboa Card. You get unlimited access to public transportation during 24, 48 or 72 hours. Moreover, you get free admission to many attractions with the Lisboa Card: the Santa Justa lift, the Belem tower, the Jeronimos monastery… Click here to buy your card.
Where to stay in Lisbon
If you’re traveling on a budget, I suggest you to stay at the Goodmorning Solo Traveller Hostel. Click here to check the photos, reviews and availability. For a mid-range hotel, I recommend the Hotel Da Baixa. Click here to check the photos, reviews and availability. For a luxury hotel, the best option in Lisbon is the Santiago de Alfama. Click here to check the photos, reviews and availability. Otherwise click here to check the hotels available in Lisbon.
- Traveling soon? Check out my travel resources page! This list of travel accessories can also be useful!
- Never ever travel without travel insurance! Here’s why get travel insurance!
- Want a tailor-made trip to Portugal? Click here to get a free quote!
- Always use a VPN when traveling. I use ExpressVPN and I love it. Here’s why use a VPN when traveling.
- Portugal is a cheap travel destination!