Lisbon in Winter: The Ultimate Lisbon Winter Guide [2024]

WANT TO SPEND WINTER IN LISBON?

Many travelers are drawn to Lisbon for its sunny beaches, yet the city offers a unique appeal during the winter months as well. Have you ever considered a winter Lisbon adventure?

Since moving to Portugal in 2020, I’ve experienced firsthand that the Portugal winter can be surprisingly sunny and pleasant. Even when the temperature drops, you can still enjoy the bright days and might even get a bit of a tan on those less crowded beaches.

In fact, one of my favorite winter activities is walking along the shore on a crisp January day. There are fewer people around, which makes it really relaxing. And if you’re feeling bold, you could even go swimming — although I am not brave enough 🥶❄️.

Don’t rule out a trip to Lisbon during winter — it could be the perfect Europe travel destination. If you are considering a Lisbon winter break, here is all you need to know about Lisbon in winter, including some of the top activities. Ready to have a great time?

Why Visit Lisbon in Winter?

Winter in Lisbon comes with its own set of perks. It’s the sweet spot of travel — moderate weather, lower costs, and plenty of activities and sights to fill your days. Even in winter, Lisbon doesn’t lose its charm and remains a lively hub for travelers.

So what are the main reasons you should spend winter in Lisbon Portugal? Here are just a couple:

It’s Cheaper 

Winter in Lisbon is the city’s low season. That means tourist numbers are down, and with that, prices are down, too. From hotels to tourist attractions, you’ll find more affordable options than the exact same options in the high season of summer. 

It’s Actually Not That Cold 

Lisbon definitely has four seasons, and its winters are colder than its summers. But, in the end, Lisbon weather in winter is not that cold. The temperature rarely dips below freezing, and although you should expect rain, there are still plenty of beautiful sunny days to enjoy.

January is the coldest month of the year in Lisbon, but you can still expect pleasant light jacket daytime temperatures. The average is around 14-15°C or mid to high 50s°F. Be aware that the temperatures do dip at night.

There Are Fewer Crowds 

Tourists tend to flock together, and all descend on Lisbon simultaneously — in the summer. Let’s be honest: during the summer months, the crowds can be overwhelming. Luckily, they aren’t there in winter. Yes, people still come, as you should, but the crowds will definitely be fewer and more bearable. 

To Experience Winter Activities in Lisbon

Winter in Lisbon means a specific set of activities and celebrations. You can go to the Christmas markets and drink warm wine or celebrate Three Kings’ Day with the locals by feasting on a King’s cake. And, of course, you can still do almost all of the same activities as a summer visit would allow, but with a lot less sweating.

LISBON IN WINTER

What is winter like in Lisbon Portugal?

Lisbon’s winter weather is both pleasant and predictable. While temperatures and rainfall fluctuate monthly, you can expect mostly sunny days with some rainfall and cooler nights. 

But what is the Lisbon temperature in winter? Let’s break down the Lisbon weather temperatures month-by-month.

Lisbon in November

The rain starts to pick up in November, and you may get caught in some sprinkles or with a gray, overcast day — but there is still plenty of sunshine. Lisbon November daytime temperatures reach highs of about 17 – 18°C or lows of 60°F. The nights are when you’ll feel more of the chill, with lows reaching around 12°C or the low 50s. 

Lisbon in December

December, along with January, is one of the wettest months in Lisbon, with an average of 10 rainy days. Lisbon in December weather includes highs hovering around 14 – 15°C or the high 50s°F, while lows can be down to 9°C or the high 40s°F. Temperatures rarely fall below freezing.

🎄 IS IT WORTH GOING TO LISBON IN DECEMBER?

Yes, it is — the crowds thin out, the weather is cool yet comfortable, and you’ll also benefit from the lower prices during this season. Plus, Lisbon lights up with holiday cheer, offering a festive atmosphere that reveals a uniquely special side of the city.

Lisbon in the wintertime, specifically during Christmas time.
There are many things to do in Lisbon during winter, especially Christmas.

Plus, if you are visiting Lisbon in December, there are still plenty of things to do. Some things to do in Lisbon in December include ice skating, visiting Lisbon Winter Wonderland, or taking a food tour around the city.

Lisbon in January

With a decent amount of rain, January is also wet but still sees plenty of beautiful, brisk, sunny days. The Lisbon temperature January daytime highs are about the same as in December, but the nights can drop even lower with temperatures around 8°C or mid-40s°F.

Lisbon in February

February in Lisbon is when the first glimpses of winter ending come into focus. The number of rainy days usually drops slightly, and the temperature warms ever so slightly. And you might even be able to wear your flip-flops or a T-shirt if you are lucky.

You can expect chilly nights but days back up to around 15 – 16°C or the high 50s/low 60s°F.

Lisbon in March 

March straddles the border between winter and spring. There are even fewer rainy days, just around five or six per month. Spring in Portugal officially starts around March 20th or 21st, but the spring-like weather often arrives as early as March 1st.

With more sunshine, the temperatures can reach as high as 17 – 18°C or into the mid-60s°F.

LISBON IN WINTER

What to Wear in Lisbon in Winter

Something important to note when thinking about your trip to Lisbon for winter is that the inside is often cooler than the outside 🥶. This is because the older buildings, which still dominate the architecture in Lisbon, don’t have very good insulation.

holding my dog during winter, while on the beach
walking around near the water in Lisbon in winter.
A woman standing in front of a sunrise on a beach with a coat

They tend to keep things cool in the summer, but that coolness isn’t kept out once the temperature drops. Many properties also do not have central heating, and, unfortunately, dampness is a problem, especially during the rainy days of winter.

Here are a few Lisbon winter fashion things you won’t want to be without for your trip:

  • Warm pajamas. Again, being inside is often challenging, and sleeping could be chilly. Even with air conditioning units, they might only heat a specific part of your accommodation (like your bedroom). Bring a warm pair of PJs and good, sturdy, warm wool socks.
  • Raingear. You’ll likely encounter at least a little bit of rain throughout your winter visit to Portugal, so a good, packable umbrella will be a daily necessity. It can also get super windy, so pack a good rain jacket.
  • Layers. The key to a winter day in Lisbon is good layers, and you’ll want to leave in the morning nice and cozy and then slowly un-layer throughout the day before putting them all back on as evening approaches.
  • Comfortable walking shoes with good traction. Lisbon can be difficult to walk around on the best of days. The hills are steep, and the cobblestones are uneven. Throw some rain in, and things can become slightly dangerous. Make sure your walking shoes are sturdy and won’t have you slipping down the hills.
  • A good daypack. As you’ll be removing layers throughout the day, pack a good backpack to carry everything in as you walk around sightseeing.
LISBON IN WINTER

20 Best Things to Do in Lisbon in Winter Weather 

Whether you are looking for things to do in Lisbon in January or things to do in Lisbon in November, there is a list of some of the best things to do in lisbon in the winter, regardless of which month you decide to come and visit.

1. Lisbon Christmas Market  

Lisbon in winter activity, Wonderland Lisboa
Wonderland lisboa telephone booth and ferris wheel.

There are actually several Christmas markets that take place in Lisbon each year, but the main one is located in Rossio Square. In addition to the beautiful, classic Christmas decorations, you’ll also find food and gifts for sale. 

In addition to the Christmas market, there is also Lisbon Winter Wonderland, located in Parque Eduardo VII, and is great for kids. You’ll find a Santa village where kids can talk to him about what’s on their list, an ice rink, and a Ferris Wheel.

LISBON IN WINTER

2. Climb up to a Miradouro

Woman standing infront of the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara in January (Lisbon in Wwinter)
Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara in January

Miradouro is the Portuguese word for viewpoint, of which there are many to enjoy around Lisbon. With views across the rooftops, the water, and the castle, they are a perfect spot to get an idea of the city.

Often, miradouros have small kiosks or windows selling drinks. This is the perfect spot to order a pastel de nata and a cup of coffee to warm yourself up while looking at a gorgeous view.

A few of the best miradouro options in Lisbon are Miradouro das Portas do Sol in the Alfama neighborhood, Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara in the Principe Real area, or the nearby Jardim do Torel.

LISBON IN WINTER

3. Explore Lisbon by Tuk-Tuk

tuk-tuk tours in Lisbon, a tuk-tuk in Praça do Comércio
One of the best things to do in Lisbon during winter is to take a tuk-tuk tour around the city.

Lisbon isn’t a small city, nor is it a flat city. Enter tuk-tuk tours. These little vehicles are the perfect answer to tired feet and short itineraries. They can get you around quickly to all the hotspots but still be slow enough that you’ll have time to take it all in.

There are various tuk-tuk tour options — you can choose durations from two hours up to a half day. You can choose what you want to focus your tour on, whether that’s an art-specific tour or one that brings you around to sample all the different exciting food of Lisbon.

LISBON IN WINTER

4. Visit Belem Neighbourhood

Belem is a charming neighborhood west of Lisbon, right on the Tagus River. Since it is on the river, you can actually get there by boat. It’s about a 45-minute trip from downtown on the hop-on hop-off riverboat, and the views from the river are absolutely exceptional. 

Once in the neighborhood, head over to the Tower of Belem, which you can climb for great views. Another opportunity for city and river views (and history) is the nearby Monument to the Discoveries. And, of course, try at least one Pastel de Belem and visit the Jereonimos Monastery.

LISBON IN WINTER

5. Spend an Evening Listening to Fado

fado guitar

Fado music originates not just from Portugal, but it actually comes from the city of Lisbon itself. So there’s no more perfect place to experience an evening of Fado music than in Lisbon.

Fado once incorporated dance, but these days, you are much more likely to see a solo singer with another person accompanying them on a guitar or a similar instrument. There are often a handful of performers who will rotate from song to song.

Fado shows can usually be booked with dinner and drinks and are held around Lisbon, but some of the best spots include Clube de Fado and Casa de Linhares, both in Alfama.

LISBON IN WINTER

6. Take a Food And Wine Tour 

garlic shrimps with a lemon wedge in a dish on top of a table

There are a few different ways you could experience a food and wine tour in Lisbon. Sit in one spot at a restaurant or other food venue and spend an hour tasting and learning about different Portuguese food and wines. 

Or you could take a walking tour food tour combo and move through the city, tasting wines and sampling foods at various restaurants and cafes. Either way, the options for wine tours in Lisbon are countless, and you’ll definitely be full of delicious food and drink by the end.

LISBON IN WINTER

7. Take a Pastel de Nata Class

Rows and rows of pastel de nata, best pastel de nata classes in Lisbon, Portugal

The classic — and delicious — Portuguese egg custard tart, Pastel de Nata, exists thanks to 18th-century monks and nuns. But nowadays, it’s a well-known and common recipe you can learn to make on your trip to Lisbon.

So why not take a pastel de nata pastry class? There are classes for the more serious chef or the laidback desert lover. Some classes also incorporate other classic Portuguese desserts, while others focus heavily on how to get that perfect, crusty Pastel de Nata crust.

Is there anything better than a straight-out-of-the-oven pastel de nata and a cup of coffee (or hot chocolate) on a chilly Lisbon afternoon 🤤?

LISBON IN WINTER

8. Go Ice Skating in Lisbon

One of the best things to do in Lisbon Portugal in December is ice skating (Fotografia: Duarte Drago, TimeOut Magazine)

Open throughout the month of December up until the New Year, the Christmas market and fair that takes place at Winter Wonderland Lisbon in Parque Eduardo VII erects a special winter skating rink. 

The whole fair is open daily from 1 PM to 11 PM, with extended hours on the weekend when the fair stays open until midnight. The rink is a lovely, large, open-air space, and it’s a great way to spend an afternoon or evening, especially if you are visiting Lisbon with kids. 

LISBON IN WINTER

9. Warm Up With A Glass of Port

white and red port wine glasses on top of a table

Port wine comes from the north of Portugal, but it’s available across the country and is a great drink for a chilly winter evening. Traditionally, port is drunk at the end of the meal with or as dessert, but it’s also a great drink to enjoy on its own or with a simple plate of cheese. 

Some of the port makers in the north have locations in Lisbon as well — check out Taylor’s Port in Alfama — one of the oldest Port brands in Portugal. 

LISBON IN WINTER

10. Explore the Many Lisbon Museums

photo of the front of the museum do Fado
Another museum that you can visit is the Fado Museum in the Alfama neighborhood.

With over 60 museums in Lisbon, there is sure to be a topic to interest everyone, and when you encounter a rainy winter day, a museum visit is the perfect way to stay warm, dry, and entertained. 

Check out the phenomenal private collection at the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum. Or an amazingly unique Portuguese museum, the Museu Nacional do Azulejo, or the National Tile Museum, which presents the history of azulejos — the blue tiles you see all around the country — and some stunning displays of this unique art form.

LISBON IN WINTER

11. Go Shopping 

Some of the best heating in the city is inside shops and malls. But, beyond simply warming up during your winter visit to Lisbon, there are excellent shopping opportunities in Lisbon to bring home some unique souvenirs. 

Check out local Portuguese design shops like Alves/Gonçalves or Lidija Kolovrat. Stop by one of the many Humana locations, a second-hand shop that always runs great promotions. Or if you’re looking for something bigger with many options, the largest mall in Lisbon is Centro Colombo Shopping Centre, which is northwest of the city.

LISBON IN WINTER

12. Take a Day Trip to Sintra

Winter in Lisbon activity, visiting Sintra. Woman overlooking Sintra from the Moorish Castle in November
One of the best day trips from lisbon in winter is a visit to Sintra (Photo taken in Sintra in November at the Moorish Castle).

The famous Pena Palace, as well as several other historic landmarks, are all in the Sintra area, which is an easy one-hour trip from Lisbon.

The trip is doable by bus, but you can also take a tour. Alternatively, you could book a rental car for the day. Since the attractions in the area, including the Moorish Castle and Quinta da Regaleira, are all fairly spread out, having your own set of wheels can make your Sintra day trip a lot more convenient. 

LISBON IN WINTER

13. Catch the New Year Celebrations

The Portugues definitely know how to throw a party, and Lisbon for New Year is no exception. The entire city is out having a ball, and there is no bad place to be. However, if you want to be at the center of the action, you’re best to station yourself in Belém or around Praça do Comércio, where the fireworks are set off.

There are also many parties like the ticketed music & dinner at Le Reveillon or Zambeze, where you can have a seated dinner with views of the fireworks. If you decide to go to a restaurant, bar, or club, the earlier you can make a booking, the better. 

LISBON IN WINTER

14. Take A Ride On Tram 28

the yellow tram 28 in Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon Portugal winter weather is mild, but if it gets chilly, then hop on Tram 28,

Tram routes crisscross the city, but Tram 28 is the perfect opportunity to go for a ride while taking in a load of classic Lisbon sights. The route takes you from Martim Moniz to Camp Ourique, but of course, you can get on or off along the way.

You’ll pass by the Portas de Sol, Lisbon Cathedral, the Basilica de Estrela, as well as several other unmissable attractions. Unfortunately, as this is a very popular route, it can be crowded and prone to attracting pickpockets.

⭐️ Travel tip: Aim to ride early in the morning, get on at one of the first stops, and keep a close eye on your belongings. 

LISBON IN WINTER

15. Drink Cocktails on a Rooftop Bar

A rooftop bar is the perfect spot to get cozy. You can find them all over the city, many with space heaters to keep you warm into the evening as you sip away at a cocktail.

For something more chic, where you can catch a live DJ set, check out Sky Bar by Seen. For an amazing backdrop of castle views, check out Hotel Mundial Rooftop Bar, which is open to everyone, not just hotel guests. For something a bit more casual but still beautiful, check out The V Rooftop Bar.

LISBON IN WINTER

16. Go on A Wine Tasting at a Winery 

A view over a vineyard in the Douro Valley, Portugal
What to do in lisbon in winter? Go on a wine-tasting at one of the many wineries in and around Lisbon.

The Lisbon region has an astonishing amount and variety of wines and wineries. You can see one of these (or more) on a day trip out of the city to spots to the south, like José Maria da Fonseca in Azeitao, or by heading north to ManzWine in Cheleiros. 

🍷 There’s also Adega Belem, an urban winery right in Lisbon. You can visit for a short tour with the lovely couple who own and run the operation, as well as taste the wines they produce. 

LISBON IN WINTER

17. Have Ginja at Ginjinha Espinheira 

A woman pouring ginja in two small cups
Warm yourself up during Lisbon winter time with a glass (or two) of ginja.

Ginja is another classic Portuguese liquor that is made from the ginja berry, or what is basically a sour cherry 🍒. It’s a delicious, sweet liquor classically served in a chocolate shot glass, which can be eaten afterward, adding to the fun.

Ginjinha Espinheira is a centuries-old location that still serves the same authentic liquor as it was nearly 200 years ago. Pull up a stool to the rustic, no-fuss bar and have a shot (but sip it to savor the experience).

LISBON IN WINTER

18. Go To The Obidos Christmas Market 

A view over Obidos, Portugal
Obidos is the perfect winter in Lisbon for couples romantic escape.

Obidos is a quaint, picture-perfect town north of Lisbon. You can get there in about two hours on public transport or an hour in your own rental car. 

As if Obidos isn’t already precious enough, wait until it’s all set up with the Obidos Christmas market. Running for the entire month of December, the market states its goal is to stop time.

You’ll find Santa there, along with his elves and snowmen. There’s food to enjoy and shops to peruse, but there are also many shows being put on throughout the month, including acrobatic performances.

LISBON IN WINTER

19. Take the Cable Car in Parque das Nações

To the northeast of the city, along the river, runs the neighborhood of Parque das Nações, and straddling the edge of that neighborhood is a cable car that flies you over the city and the river. The ride takes about ten minutes and spans the entire neighborhood—you can take it from either end to the other. 

On the ride, you’ll catch a glimpse of the city from above, including the Oceanarium, the Portugal Pavilion, and the Vasco da Gama Bridge, as well as other skyscrapers that pierce the skyline. 

LISBON IN WINTER

20. Eat Your Heart Out At Timeout Market

A look over TimeOut Market in Portugal
One of the best things to do in Lisbon winter weather is to eat, and there’s no better place than the Timeout market.

Timeout Market, near Cais do Sodré, is a vast food hall with over 40 options of stalls and restaurants to eat at. There is seafood, pasta, steak, and even Michelin-starred chefs cooking here. Whether you want something local, classically Portuguese, or international, you’ll be able to find it.

As well as offering various food choices, Timeout Market also puts on various events and shows. Check for artwork hanging in the hall and a schedule of live shows like DJ evenings.

Lisbon in Winter: Frequently Asked Questions

Make sure to explore Praça do Comércio, Bairro Alto & Chiado

Is it worth visiting Lisbon in the winter?

Yes — visiting Lisbon in the winter is worth considering. The city is less crowded, allowing for a more relaxed exploration of its attractions. Lisbon winter weather also has milder temperatures than other European cities.

You’ll also find that accommodation and flights can be cheaper during this off-peak season. Plus, experiencing the local winter culture, from cuisine to festivities, adds a unique richness to your travel.

LISBON IN WINTER

What is winter like in Lisbon Portugal?

The weather in Lisbon in winter is mild, with temperatures rarely dropping below freezing. The city sees more rainfall in winter, yet it still enjoys plenty of clear, sunny days.

Evenings can be cool, so layering is recommended. While it’s not beach weather, the Lisbon weather winter conditions are generally comfortable for sightseeing and experiencing Lisbon’s winter charm, including its seasonal decorations and events.

LISBON IN WINTER

Does Lisbon get cold in winter?

Yes — Lisbon does get cold in winter, but it’s relatively mild compared to many other European cities. While you won’t typically encounter extreme cold, it’s wise to bring a warm jacket for the cooler evenings and occasional windy days.

Temperatures can drop to around 8°C (46°F) at night, and daytime highs are usually around 15°C (59°F).

LISBON IN WINTER

Can I swim in Lisbon in December?

Not really — swimming in Lisbon in December is generally not recommended as the water is quite cold, with sea temperatures averaging around 16°C (61°F).

However, some hardy souls or those accustomed to cold-water swimming might still take a dip, but it’s not the norm for casual swimmers or tourists. If you are wondering what to do in Lisbon in December, there are plenty of other things to do in the city besides swimming.

Surfers in Costa da Caparica (25km from Lisbon) – surfers surf in and around Lisbon year-round.
LISBON IN WINTER

Is Lisbon colder than Porto?

Lisbon or Porto in the winter? In winter, Lisbon and Porto both offer unique experiences, but Lisbon tends to be slightly warmer than Porto.

The coastal northern position of Porto means it can be a bit cooler and wetter than Lisbon in winter. So, if you’re deciding between Porto or Lisbon in winter based on temperature, Lisbon usually has the milder winter climate of the two.

Porto is much colder that Lisbon (a photo of me in November in Porto)

Final Thoughts: Lisbon in Winter

Is summer in Lisbon amazing? Yes, but so is winter. Winter Lisbon offers a unique charm, making it a prime time for anyone seeking a blend of mild weather and cultural experiences. From the festive things to do in Lisbon December to the quieter but equally inviting Lisbon February atmosphere, there’s a bounty to explore.

Whether visiting Lisbon in February or looking for one day adventures and day trips around the region, Lisbon is a perfect winter destination.

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