The Best Time to Visit Lisbon

Europe, Portugal, Lisbon, Rua Garrett at night, elevated view
Renaud Visage / Getty Images

Generally speaking, the best time to visit Lisbon is in the spring or fall, when the weather is warm and pleasant (with occasional rainfall in April) and hotel prices are reasonable. Summer is hot and expensive, especially in August. In winter, Lisbon is the warmest of the cities in the Iberian Peninsula. Although nights can be very chilly, temperatures don't drop below zero and there is still plenty of sunshine.

It’s not only the weather that determines the best time of year to visit Lisbon. To help you decide when to visit Lisbon, we've broken down the most important factors to consider—hotel prices, crowds, and your personal interests—month by month.

January

January is the coldest month in Lisbon, with temperatures between 46 and 59 degrees F. There is a chance of rain, so be prepared and pack clothes you can layer.

Once New Year's is over, hotels often offer reduced rates and lines to major attractions around the city are definitely shorter. Take advantage of the Lisboa Card: Admission to the Torre de Belem, for example, is free with the card. It's best to get yours at the tourist office in Lisbon because buying online can be more expensive.

Events to check out:

  • Concert at the Centro Cultural de Belém: Ring in the new year by enjoying classical music with the Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra at the cultural center.
  • Dia do Reis: Unlike in Spain, January 6 is not a bank holiday–nevertheless, the day is celebrated by eating Bolo-Rei, a traditional Portuguese cake.

February

It’s still cold in Lisbon, although the temperatures are slightly higher than in January and there is even less chance of rain.

Because it's shoulder month, this is a good time of year for sightseeing. You can find reduced prices at several hotels and lines at attractions are short. Get on one or both of the legendary tram rides, either the No. 28 or the No.12. During the high season the lines are very long, but not in February.

Events to check out:

  • Carnival: Portugal is all about Carnival, and Lisbon is no exception. Expect floats, parades, street parties, and plenty of food and drink. Some hotels even offer special packages.

March

It gets slightly warmer in March, with temperatures between 49 and 63 degrees F. There is also little chance of rain.

Hotel prices start to rise slightly, but Lisbon is still one of the least expensive capitals in Europe. As far as crowds and lines at attractions go, this time of year is far from busy.

Events to check out:

  • EDP Lisbon Half Marathon: Even if you aren't a runner, the Lisbon Half Marathon is a great event to watch.
  • MONSTRA: Watch animated shorts and feature films at this film festival.
  • Lisboa Dance Festival: Dance to electronic, house, and techno music at this annual festival.

April

It’s the beginning of spring, and average temperatures rise to 68 degrees F. You might want to pack a medium-weight jacket, though—nights are still rather cold.

Over Easter week, you will see a rise in hotel prices and growing lines at attractions. The trick is to visit either very early in the morning or as late in the day as possible. The nice weather invites visitors to explore the city and her seven hills on foot.

Events to check out:

  • Peixe em Lisboa: "Peixe" means fish in Portuguese—and that’s what this gastronomic festival is all about. All the best local and international chefs compete to present the best fish dishes.
  • The Arts and Antiques Fair: 2020 celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Arts and Antiques Fair, an event you should not miss.
  • Freedom Day: April 25 is a national holiday, celebrated with a large parade across the city.

May

Spring has fully arrived, with Lisbon bursting into bloom. The city sees an average high in the low 70s, although the temperature can be warmer some days. There may be an occasional shower, but generally the dry season has started.

Although hotel prices are slightly higher than in January and February, they are still lower than in the peak months of summer. Lisbon also gets more crowded this time of year.

Events to check out:

  • Indie Lisboa: This is an international, 11-day long film festival; it starts on May 2.
  • Lisbon Under Stars: A light and music show staged in the ruins of the Carmo Convent.
  • ARCO Lisboa: Fans of contemporary art will delight in ARCO Lisboa, a modern art fair and exhibition.

June

It’s the beginning of the high season and temperatures can reach the upper 80s. Plan to escape to the beach—the city gets very crowded.

Hotel prices rise together with the warmth and sunshine. You are well advised to look for bargains and to book early.

Events to check out:

  • Rock in Rio: This music and entertainment festival will take place in the Bella Vista Park.
  • St. Anthony's Night: Also known as Arraial Lisboa Pride, June 12 is celebrated with street parties all over town. The city dresses up and so should you.
  • Portugal Day: June 10 is Portugal's national holiday, so be prepared for closures.

July and August

These are the hottest months, and the sun is strong in Lisbon. Pack summer clothes, sunglasses, a hat, and sunscreen. Fortunately, a breeze from the sea makes the heat bearable.

Hotel prices are high and the crowds standing in line at attractions are huge. In July and August, there are several jazz and rock festivals in parks throughout the city. This is also a good time to go to the beach or to venture towards the mountains.

Events to check out:

  • Festival ao Largo: Enjoy classical music and ballet at this festival in Lisbon's Opera House.

September and October

The worst of the heat is over, but it’s still warm and sunny; average temperatures are in the 60s. In October, there may be rain showers.

Accommodation prices start dropping and the lines at attractions are getting shorter.

Events to check out:

  • MOTEL/X: Lisbon has a reputation for hosting great film and music festivals. If you are a horror film fan, you can’t do any better than watching a screening or two at MOTEL/X.
  • Santa Casa Alfama Fado Festival: Fado is a style of traditional, Portuguese folklore music. You can listen to the best Fado artists at this festival.
  • ModaLisboa: This is Portugal's oldest independent Fashion Week.

November

November is one of the wettest months, and daytime temperatures linger in the 50s.

If you hate crowds, this is a good time to go to Lisbon. Accommodation prices are at their lowest and you can get into attractions and museums without waiting in line forever.

Events to check out:

  • LEFFEST: A film festival that takes place simultaneously in Lisbon and Sintra.

December

The last month of the year sees rain and average temperatures in the 50s. Hotel prices are still low, with many offering special Christmas packages.

Events to check out:

  • Christmas Festivities: Enjoy sparkling Christmas lights throughout the city and visit one of several Christmas markets (the one in Rossio Square is the most popular).
Was this page helpful?