The Best Time to Visit Lisbon 2023: the Ultimate Guide
Lisbon is a historical city, full of wonders and stories to tell. It’s a melting pot of everything and a paradise for historians, nature lovers, and foodies. With nearly 300 days of sunshine each year and an average temperature that typically varies from 47 degrees F (8.3 degrees C) to 83 degrees F (28.3 degrees C) and rarely drops below 40 degrees F (4.4 degrees C), the best time to visit Lisbon is just whenever your heart desires. It also has an average rainfall of 32 inches per year, following the Mediterranean pattern with abundant rain in fall and winter, less frequent in spring, and scarce in summer.
Explore this exciting European city in spring and autumn and enjoy strolling through Baixa, discovering its incredible museums, or getting lost in Sintra. When the temperatures rise in summer, have a scenic walk at the beach or participate in various water adventures, like surfing, swimming, and snorkeling in its calm, jewel-toned waters. You also don't want to miss its key events, including live music festivals, international contemporary art fairs, and concerts throughout this vibrant city.
If you’re not a fan of the heat, visiting Lisbon in winter is an exciting experience too. While the rest of Europe is freezing, this lively city will give you plenty of opportunities to chill, visit its oldest buildings, and have a wine tour. Although there are fewer sunny days in winter, you’ll still experience more sun than rain and enjoy warmer temperatures than much of the continent.
Besides the pleasant weather, it is less crowded in winter, allowing you to take full advantage of incredible activities at low prices. You can also appreciate the vibrant Christmas markets and enjoy a tour on Tram 28 without queuing. No matter what time of the year you come, there’s reliable luggage storage in Lisbon to take care of your belongings while you get lost in this gorgeous city. If you haven't finalized your sightseeing excursions, drop your bags and read our guide to 3 days in Lisbon to get started!
Summer in Lisbon: June - August
Lisbon is one of Europe’s warmest capital cities. It has a Mediterranean climate, so expect warm, sunny summers with a nice Atlantic breeze to cool the summer air. The warm season typically lasts for about three months, with an average daily high above 78 degrees F (25.56 degrees C) and lows below 68 degrees F (20 degrees C). You can also enjoy around twelve hours of sunshine daily throughout the season.
August is the hottest month of the year, but July may also give you full summer weather. July and August are typically the months with the most sunshine, with an average of eleven hours of daylight, and the least rainfall with an average of 0.1 inches.
Although this Portugal capital has long, hot summers, they’re usually bearable. But it doesn’t mean you should ditch the sunscreen. You want to be well prepared with a hat and sunscreen, especially if you plan to be out in the sun for a while. Wear something casual and comfy, like a versatile sleeveless top and your favorite pair of shorts or ripped summer jeans. Then go for sturdy footwear or comfortable walking shoes when exploring the great outdoors.
If you love basking in the sun, summer in Lisbon should definitely be high on your travel list. It’s close to pristine beaches where you can enjoy the unlimited sun, experience numerous water adventures, and go on boat trips to see the spectacular views of the city from the ocean. It’s the best time for sightseeing and going to the beach, which explains why it’s the most popular season for tourists to visit Lisbon.
For those who want to do more than explore its white, sandy beaches, you’ll love a relaxing walk at Edward VII Park, the city’s largest central park. It features mosaic-patterned walkways, monuments, and a famous pavilion, the Carlos Lopes Pavilion. It’s a favorite summer destination among locals and visitors who want to enjoy a sun-soaked picnic and explore its network of tropical greenhouses and lakes.
Portuguese people love music and parties, as evidenced by the many music festivals taking place around Lisbon. No matter your preferred genre, there’s always something to please your ears, from jazz to pop-rock. There are also street parties, parades, concerts, and theater performances hosted around the city. Each provides a fantastic opportunity to meet other tourists and mingle with the locals.
However, if you want to avoid large summer crowds, this season may not be the best time to visit Lisbon. Besides the many visitors who come here around this time, booking flights can be difficult and expensive and accommodation prices are at their highest.
Fall in Lisbon: September - November
There’s no denying that this historic city is beautiful year-round, but there’s something magical about fall in Lisbon. It can still be summery enough to hit the beach and wear a light summer coat, but as the summer’s scorching temperatures begin to drop, you’ll find fewer crowds and cheaper flights and accommodations.
Fall in Lisbon is initially sunny and warm and gradually becomes mild. At the beginning of the season, the temperatures remain warm 79.9 degrees F (26.6 degrees C) and then drop further to a comfortable 63.5 degrees F (17.5 degrees F). Residents and visitors can also enjoy eight hours of daily sunshine throughout the season. Although the chance of wet days varies throughout the year, November is typically the wettest month of the year, with an average of 8.4 rainy days with at least .04 inches of precipitation.
Pack light summer clothes and fall outfits if you plan to stay in the city throughout the fall season. Wear shorts on bright sunny days when the weather is warmer and humid afternoons. But put on a lightweight rain jacket to remain dry and comfortable when the weather shifts from warm sunshine to wet days. Windbreaker jackets are also excellent for colder nights and even on warmer days due to their breathable nature.
Visiting Lisbon in the fall allows you to enjoy much of the city’s tranquility and privacy. Appreciate the view from one of Lisbon’s many viewpoints, the Sao Pedro de Alcantara viewpoint. Flocks of students even before sunset are a common sight in the area. It’s also a great time to indulge in its rich dining scene, visit its art galleries and museums, and explore its distinctive neighborhoods.
If you’re looking for fun and excitement all day, head to Bairro Alto. It is one of Lisbon’s hippest districts, where you can find small shops and boutiques. It’s also a famous party zone for visitors who come during fall, offering a range of excellent bars with stunning views and plenty of activities to do. You can also check out Rossio, the Portuguese capital’s main square. It’s home to one of the city’s main theaters and surrounded by many restaurants for all tastes and desires.
Fall is the best time to visit Lisbon if you want to avoid hectic situations and prefer fewer tourists. You can expect cheaper car rentals and hotels, and there are no overbooked tours or long lines for major tourist attractions. But if you don’t like the wet season, fall may not be the best time to visit Lisbon, especially in November.
Winter in Lisbon: December - February
If you want to escape the harsh winter in Western Europe, you should definitely go to Lisbon. It has cold, wet, and windy winters, with an average monthly rainfall of about 4 inches and average daily sunshine of six hours.
Over the course of the season, the average daily high temperature is about 59 degrees F (15 degrees C) and an average wind speed of up to 6.6mph. January is its coldest month, with temperatures that hardly ever get below freezing and hovering only between 46 and 59 degrees F (8-15 degrees C).
Many travelers make the mistake of assuming that this Portugal capital is dry and warm year-round. But winter in Lisbon can also get cold and wet. A mixture of lighter tops and sweaters is an excellent starting place to build your winter wardrobe.
Black jeans pair well with virtually any winter top, and leather or denim jackets will keep you warm in mild weather. Then complete your look with ankle boots or a simple pair of sneakers for stylish and functional winter footwear. You may also bring a coat, but you could easily get away with a scarf and leather jacket.
Since the summer crowd has long departed around this time, you’ve got a lot more opportunities to explore different places without being bothered by too many tourists and other travelers. You can take your time to appreciate the vibrant street art, admire Portugal’s traditional music through the Fado Show, and soak up the city’s quieter and more peaceful atmosphere.
Visiting Lisbon during the winter holidays also provides you a cultural glimpse of the city you can’t have any other time of the year. You can party and celebrate with locals in Praca do Comercio Square or catch the unique holiday spirit in its spectacular Christmas markets. It’s a great time to travel with kids and allow them to enjoy the city’s whimsical atmosphere. You can also save on flights and accommodation prices. Hotels even provide huge discounts during the holiday season, which is ideal for travelers on a budget.
You’ll still experience cool temperatures during winter in Lisbon, but if you’re here for the snow, you’ll be disappointed. You won’t see any snowfalls, although it does snow in some areas of Portugal.
Spring in Lisbon: March-May
Spring in Lisbon provides comfortable temperatures. Daily high temperatures may increase by 13 degrees F (-10.6 degrees C), from 62 degrees F(16.7 degrees C) to 75 degrees F(23.9 degrees C). But it rarely exceeds 86 degrees F (30 degrees C) or falls below 56 degrees F (13.3 degrees C). Rainfall is still expected, with an average monthly rainfall of 2.2 inches and average daily sunshine of 8 hours.
Like other cities in Europe near the Atlantic ocean, the temperature in Lisbon can be quite unpredictable. Plus, it’s a transitional season with damp and chilly weather and warm days. The key to addressing the variable temperatures and keeping you comfortable throughout the day is dressing in layers.
Leather boots, a light rain jacket, and a waterproof bag are an excellent ensemble to prepare for the inclement weather. Thin sweaters, blazers, and cardigans are great for layering over t-shirts for cold evenings. You can consider wearing a cardigan over a dress or throw on a blazer over your favorite hoodie. Dresses and tights or leggings and pants paired with a flowy blouse are also a great option.
With the city regaining its colors and the temperatures rising gradually without getting too hot, spring is a perfect time to explore and enjoy what Lisbon has to offer. The days are also getting longer, giving you more daylight hours to tour and travel around the city and its charming neighborhoods.
Besides the wildflowers blooming on the hillsides, spring in Lisbon is filled with festivities, concerts, and extraordinary attractions. Every spring and fall, Lisbon hosts its own Fashion Week called ModaLisboa, attracting designers and top fashion icons across the country and Europe.
You can also attend IndieLisboa, Lisbon’s international independent film festival, bringing together the best indie films worldwide. For food lovers out there, check out the Lisbon Fish and Flavors festival, and if you want to do something physical, register and be part of the EDP Lisbon Half Marathon.
There’s no shortage of activities and outdoor adventures to enjoy and places to visit in Lisbon in spring. However, this season starts to attract more crowds as accommodation prices are still low and the city is at its liveliest, especially during late spring.
When is the best time to visit Lisbon for you?
While the city atmosphere changes throughout the year, you’ll always discover the unique charm and beauty of Portugal’s capital no matter when you plan to visit. Summer is a high season, with fun festivals, outdoor events, and many alluring spots to discover.
Mornings and evenings become chillier in fall but not too cold so that you can still enjoy your time outdoors. But for budget-conscious travelers and visitors who love street markets and holiday-themed events, December to Easter would be the best time to visit Lisbon.